Recently, I have had some trying times. In talking with some of my friends (Christians), suicide came up. They were afraid I would do something like "kill myself". With that said, they gave me reason why I shouldn't: I would go to hell, some afterlife scenario...
Well, since I don't believe in heaven or hell or some type of punishment from God, what would stop me from doing it. Well, I have people who love me, that's why. However, that made me think...hmmmmm
Are atheists more prone to comitting suicide because they have no expectations of some type of punishment from God in the afterlife. Maybe, the fear of God has kept many people from doing that very thing. But what if you do not have a fear of God. What if you believe your purpose in life is to live and die. Nothing more, nothing less. What if you don't believe you have to fullfill some divine plan?
I think most people have to have that type of belief as a copng mechanism. In my trying time, I was told "God can do anything. Let go and let God...". And I so badly, wanted to believe that! But the harsh reality for me was no God was gonna come clean this mess up for me, ever!!!!! Which made me feel really down. But my friend had cancer, and was jolly as ever. Why? Because he knew God would heal him. Which he did finally become cancer free. His belief in God, kept him going thru it all.
I don't know. I just wondered if there were any statistics on suicide rates of atheists vs christians.
Why? It was VERY well-written, true, sensible, and it needed to be said.
I thank you.
I didn't notice it was long until I was finished reading. That means it was a good read. :)
How many atheist suicide bombers are there?
The biggest incentive for committing suicide is a belief in an afterlife which will, the believer hopes, be better than this one.
The biggest incentive for valuing the life we have here in the observable world is the belief that, in all likelihood, it's the only one we've got, and statistically speaking -- given the extraordinary improbability not only of a life-supporting planet coming into existence, but also life itself and the evolutionary process resulting in intelligent, self-aware, human life in which we can even ask questions like this -- we are exceedingly lucky to have this one life, we had better damn well make the very most of it!
The real question for Christians I'd have, if they asked me such a patronizing, condescending, self-congratulatory question, is, "If you really believe all that stuff, then why not cut to the chase? Why don't you just kill yourselves and join your God in his heavenly paradise RIGHT NOW? (<- Not a serious suggestion, just rhetorical pushback).
That's why the Catholic Crutch made suicide "the unforgivable sin" ages ago, and why xians are so opposed to physician-assisted suicide for terminal patients who beg for it. They don't want to admit that their god is not in complete control, for one thing. Plus as long as they can keep a person alive, and hoping for a "miacle," they can count on the patient's friends and family putting money in the offering plate, buying candles to burn in front of tacky statues, etc.
Most Christians believe suicide is a straight ticket to hell. Muslims belief an act of Jihad is a straight ticket to heaven and virgin vajay vajay. So, for a Christian, suicide should not be an option. But for a person who is not worried about punishment in an afterlife, it just seems suicide would be an easier choice. Maybe.
Well said, Rich.
All I know is that when we die, something miraculously evolution like happens, and our energy goes on, OR We just cease to exist which for me is more horrible than any imagined Hell. So that is why I would never kill myself. Death will have to earn his keep to get me.
Sometimes, when life doesn't seem to be worth living, and alternative of nothingness beats misery. I think. Now, if I had to trade my life mysery for an eternal hell, then I would choose to remain in this life.
I am no expert but I believe that people are able to cope because of a nurturing environment not becuase of their beliefs. People who have religious beliefs and people who are atheist both will kill themselves. So answering the question of living people; what keeps you from killing yourself may be answered in the amount of respect and support a person feels for themselves. Do you feel that you can overcome adversity? The norm is probably that most people have old circuits to survive; depression impairs the survival mechanism because you lack the ability to see yourself as worthy, or without purpose. If that old sense of survival is revitalized then depression may go away.