The news of the loss of Robin Williams is saddening. I however can't help feeling that it is the shared delusion of a better place to go that was likely the cause. This is not a new idea as suicide to speed along the journey to "heaven" that caused the church to announce that it was a sin. Those who say religion isn't harmful if practiced alone I believe are mistaken or have never lost a loved one who was alone with their ideas of a better place. Maybe this idea is ill timed, but I have seen many instances where life was lost due to someone hoping for the promised land because their ideas were allowed to manifest unchallenged.
Just my thoughts
Wow, considering this is my first writing of anything online, on an idea that just hit me, I cant say how pleased I am at most responses. Has given me much to think on and I hope more insight will come.
And Religious Jerks will say He's in Hell
Religious jerks will say he's in hell because every religious jerk knows that god is a jealous god. For this reason he created you out of nothing just so you could worship him. You have the choice of worshipping him or not, and if you don't worship him, he will send you to hell. This is because he loves you so much. It makes perfect idiot theist sense.
Freethinker31, excellent observation! Why didn't I see it earlier?! Well, that is part of the disease.
I had a long drawn-out emotional cataclysm in the late 80's when a lot of buried trauma and pain surfaced from my early childhood. At times I wanted to kill myself. I wanted to go to the desert with a gun and blow the pain out of my head.
The sad thing is that suicidal people are stigmatized. To my way of thinking, they are for the most part the best of humanity. They are the ultimate protestants -- in the sense that they protest. One of the early markers in the gradual unfolding of my atheism, my loss of thorns to get at the flower (puns intended) was my father's chagrin at being unable to bury a client he had become close to, a cop he defended in court against a charge of accepting a bribe. When the cop lost his case, he was so humiliated to have attained to the rank of captain only to have two underlings with "o'erweaning ambition" take him out with perjured testimony that he offed himself with his service revolver. The RCC would not allow burial in consecrated ground. That's right, a priest goes out and sprinkles some holy water on some dirt and grass with little (or big) granite monuments all about, and then pronounces the cemetery "sacred ground." (Now, all of you wags quit saying that is the sort of place you wouldn't be caught dead in!) I questioned it as a teenager and witnessed my father's anger at the rebuff and the incident planted in my young mind the notion that religion was nothing but hypocrisy under another name. One of Shakespeare's character, I think, said "the law is an ass." Must be true, since it is actually illegal in some states to take your life. Think about that.
@Gregory Phillip Dearth, great post! I thought about suicide lots as a teen, possibly as adolescent. I never had the courage to go through with it. I believe it takes courage. I never could understand the opinion of that suicide is a "cowardly" act. Most who say that are also believers, I suspect. The last line of your post is just what both suicides and their detractors need to hear. Thanks for posting.
I stand by my original statement. When Bill Maher stated on "Politically Incorrect" that he thought the 9/11 jihadist pilots were acted with bravery when they flew into the twin towers, I knew what he meant: Islam aside (and 72 virgins, or raisins, aside) knowing that one's consciousness will not only end with one's death is simply a terrifying proposition. It takes courage to go through with it. I suspect that the reason Hemingway shot himself was because he had absolutely nothing to live for. He could no longer do any of the things he enjoyed, things that made life bearable despite the slings and arrows. (Of course, it might be said he is a bad example because, after all, he had undergone shock therapy, a sort of electrical lobotomy, and might not have been in his right mind when he did the deed, but he was not crazy.) Writing, no. Sex, no. Eating what he liked, no. Hunting, no. Fishing, no. He could not do a thing he liked doing. When I reach that point I hope I have the guts to off myself as he did. I am not calling Gregory a coward, I am simply saying that I regard suicide as courageous. It is certainly as courageous as attempting it and failing. That took courage, courage I lack.
I stand by my statements.