Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Reasons for suicide and how religion adds to them

 

People kill themselves for any number of seven reasons.

 
1 Depression makes them suffer and feel there is no hope. They think nobody will be hurt by their passing or even that others will be better off.

 

Note: depression can be seen as a call from God to die by suicide.  It is not a sin to die if an illness does it.  The God belief necessarily implies it is a call.  To imagine your death will be better for everybody else or work out some good plan is pure faith.  Its religious or magical.  It shows great confidence in divine grace but not for you but for those whom you leave behind.


2 Psychosis has people being driven by inner voices to kill themselves.

 

Note: Thinking there are spirits and accepting the Catholic dogma that spirit possession and mental illness can feed off each other validates those voices.  If you think demons stronger than you are compelling you to kill yourself then you hold that your death by suicide is not your responsibility and by default it must be God's plan.


3 Some kill themselves on impulse.

 

Note: Religion regards impulse as a prompt from God.  The New Testament praises sudden personality changes.  Even Jesus dropped the quiet life overnight.


4  Some do not think they will actually die and are trying to make a massive change that forces things to be better.  Death does not seem real or final to them.

 

Note: Religion and faith in the afterlife anaesthetises the reality of death.  Those who survive suicide attempts feel that they were trying to effect a huge change that ends the pain but somehow saw themselves as still being around in some way enjoying the change.  The change was seen as only being for the better and it was like they were outside their dead bodies reaping the benefit.  It is like the suicide happens to somebody else and they have become somebody else.  They lose sight of the finality.


5  Some feel their death gives their existence meaning and value! As paradoxical as it seems there can be philosophical motives for dying.  They see their death as a sacrifice that benefits others for they believe evil always does a greater good in the end.  They may think they are escaping this evil sinful drab world.

 

Note: If suicide is a sin then it is not much of a sin if it is true that evil does good which is why God lets the evil happen.  It does not follow that a devastating result can only come about with a very bad intention.


6  Sometimes it is a mistake.  For example, somebody thinks they have cancer and uses suicide as an escape route.

 

Note: People will reason that if it is okay to send innocent boys to war and get them killed it cannot be so bad to try and make things easier by ending your life when you see nothing in front of you but torture. 

 

7  The thought that in a terrifying world that you can opt for suicide is comforting.  This leads to normalisation and thus you will more easily be willing to take your life. 

 

What we have written covers attempted suicide as well. 
 
When Depression encourages suicide
 
Is it right to think that depression may make a person convinced that everybody is better off without them so that it makes sense rationally?
 
Not all depressed persons will really care how others feel. Some people really believe that others - even in the close family - are only users and fakes.
 
Christianity - especially the Reformed variety - insists that human nature is depraved in the sense that it wants its own way rather than God's and prefers to worship a version of God that suits it. Good is often the enemy of the best and believers want good but not the best. They care more about what they want good to be more than what it is. Such a doctrine induces cynicism and callousness towards others. It helps encourage suicide. It might do it sort of latently but it does.
 
If there is a God working for good and who brings good out of our wrong deeds then surely it is true that everybody may indeed be better off if one ends their life in suicide? Belief in God leads to suicide.
 
Other ways faith smoothens the suicide's path
 
Religion encourages people to think that God puts thoughts and feelings in them and that is how he communicates with them.
 
Schizophrenics who think the voices they hear telling them to commit suicide are from God will resort to suicide faster than if they think the voices are from demons or evil spirits. Belief in God then kills many schizophrenics.
 
Some people who kill themselves have done it in the hope that they will not die and thereby issue a cry for help. Many suicides seem to forget how they are going into oblivion. They seem to think they will merely change form and still be alive after the deed.
 
An atheist may feel less hope of surviving than a believer will. The notion that God has a purpose for us and will protect us can lead to a suicidal person thinking they will survive the suicide attempt by God's grace.
 
Many therapists believe that since many people want to kill themselves and nobody realises how unhappy they are, we should ask others if they ever think about suicide. They think that most of the time the person will be honest about their suicidal feelings.
 
But if you think suicide is a sin, your shame about your suicidal thoughts and feelings will make you reluctant to tell and may stop you admitting your thoughts and feelings.
 
If you tell, you may feel that you are trying to get help from people instead of going to God alone for it. That is a sin according to religion.
 
If suicide is okay, then is it really that important to have a religion (or at least a belief in God)? Does having a religion or belief in God imply that suicide is a sin or possibly a sin? If religion or belief in God is about giving meaning to life, then the answer is yes.
 
Paradoxically, the scriptures of some religions endorse suicide. Jesus the god of Christianity deliberately provoked his cruel death on himself as an example for the world. Even during his trial he would not speak up for his life. How many believer suicides have been fuelled on by knowing this? Jesus said that he agreed with the Old Testament laws that people should be killed and applauded the command to put a son who curses his parents to death. He told people that if they were not breaking the law themselves they could stone a lady to death for adultery. As a lynch mob, they were breaking the law. It would be strange to say that the Jewish religion or Jewish religious state has the right to stone people to death after a trial and to forbid you to execute yourself when you know you have committed one of the capital crimes. You know it best.
 
The argument that your life is not your possession but given to you by God for his purpose does not help people who are considering suicide. The thought that life is your own not God's is more encouraging for those who are starting to have second thoughts about killing themselves. If you are so depressed that you cannot think of what anybody else or God wants, then trying to think about how you are supposedly trying to steal life from God if you take your own life is only going to make it worse. You need to be selfish to get a better frame of mind.
 
A Thought
 
Most Christian publications intended to get people to believe in Christianity again, argue that we need belief in God and Christ in order to stop or reduce the amount of suicide that happens. Even if God exists, it does nothing to prove that suicide is wrong. And the believers want to throw the suicidal a crutch. That is interference and patronising. It is not really going to help in the long-run. It is no exaggeration to say that the fear of people committing suicide is behind a lot of devout Christian practice. Many believe that without religion and God there is no point in living. They programme people to think that. And we know what can happen if people really think that and discover their religion is groundless?
 
Religious people are not medical or psychiatric professionals and their interference is disgraceful and fanatical on that basis alone.
 
If you are suicidal and medication will help, medication is what you need. People praying for you will not help. It is not being prayed for that you need.
 
A person could be almost at the bottom of despair. He is told God loves him and offers hope. He cannot feel that. Now he has a new problem. He feels bad that he cannot feel it. He may even feel guilt. His pain then worsens. Now he is at the very bottom of despair. His life is ebbing away ...
 
When somebody dies by suicide, religious people have no problem saying, "She couldn't live without her job. He couldn't live without his child." That is really telling people that if they think they have no hope then they are right! Religion tells atheists that they cannot have hope! If we really think life drove a person to suicide, then it follows that suicide is to be responded to like an accidental death. The thought that your loved ones will not take it personally if you take your own life will only encourage you. You will reason that people have to suffer whatever time you die anyway so their pain will not put you off. Religion has the same flaws as the hypocritical society it emerges from. It is no help.