Philosophy, Society

A Few Thoughts on Suicide

I am pro-legalized suicide. I am well aware of the practical considerations regarding the legalization of assisted-suicide and I don’t intend to discuss that now. But thinking about it in terms of survival instead – or in some kind of utilitarian fashion – I think there is a practical case to be made in favour of legal suicide.

There are approximately 7 billion people in the world. Most exports I have read say the world can properly, sustainably support 3-4 billion give or take. That’s approximately half of the current population. Does it not make sense to allow those people who don’t want to be here to leave?

Of course many will argue that these people don’t really want to leave, but at some basic level people should be aware of the consequences – especially the life-or-death consequences – of their actions and, moreover, at some point with anyone who constantly threatens you with suicide attempts, you have to let them try, as hard as that is.

A ruling such as this latest one in England where a judge has ordered the force-feeding of someone to keep her alive, strikes me as preposterous, and not just in terms of the violation of her individual rights as a person. Because, at bottom, we are in this together. If someone is ready to kill themselves, it is not just their right to do so, but it also has a utilitarian benefit to us.

This may in fact be one of the few cases where utilitarianism and individual rights aren’t in direct conflict with each other.

So let’s recognize our situation and support the legal right to suicide, not just for the peace of mind of those who feel like they do not want to or cannot live any more, but for the good of us all and our planet.

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