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Atheists and Suicide

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posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 06:58 AM
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Why don't atheists kill themselves?

Please note this is a genuine question and not an inflammatory remark.

Whilst firmly believing in the goodness of creation and the capacity for goodness in humanity I am endlessly saddened and distressed by the evil, corruption and greed manifest in the world due to concupiscence.

It seems that in our era there is less and less to compel people towards goodness and a culture which celebrates the self over all other concerns and greed which not only concerns commodities but also ideological, sexual, etc. "greed".

I found myself recently considering suicide (not as a personal option for me but as a phenomenon) and have come to the conclusion that without my faith in a better world to come, in God, I would not be bothered living any more.

If all the physical science of the last few hundred years is correct, and I have no reason to believe it is not, then why keep living? If the purpose of "Life" is to pass on one's genetic information why would one want to?

What do we condemn our children to live in and even, besides the hope that things might be better in future generations, cosmological teleology strongly indicates that one day it will ALL be over. One "day" (when days no longer exist) there will be nowhere for your genetic inheritance to exist.

If all this existence is an accident of physics why persist in serving the capricious "will" of non-sentient randomness?

So, what makes the atheist persist despite the futility of the supposed purely material life?




posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:02 AM
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[I have no idea why but everytime I post a new thread in "Conspiracies In Religion" it appears in "Mysterious." I click the "New Thread" in the "Conspiracies In Religion" sub forum, at the top of the input page it says "» Conspiracies in Religions » Post New Topic" but when I click [Post New Topic] it appears in "Mysterious"?

Would a mod be so kind as to move this for me and perhaps help me know why this is happening?]


[edit on 31/3/09/ by Supercertari]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:04 AM
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Happy people don't kill themselves.

Line two.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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IF life is a one-time-only-ride..i would not want to kill myself...

i would (am) enjoy every minute of it...



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:09 AM
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I have not only considered suicide i attempted it but its far from a clever thing to do. All those around you who love you suffer people who you never expected to give a monkeys are shocked by what you did.

Now when i look back upon it even though at the time i was on a downward spiral i am very glad i never succeeded. I wouldn't have what i do today and life is finally looking up for me


My advice to anyone even thinking about it is life changes every single day what seems the worst thing in the world one day is a memory the next.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:10 AM
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reply to post by Next_Heap_With
 


Yeah..severe depression doesn't really work like that.

two lines



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:12 AM
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When my life is over, that's it.

My life - every day - is precious to me because of that simple fact.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:17 AM
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Originally posted by Kaytagg
Happy people don't kill themselves.


Some people want to be happy, but can't be.

The only person I personally know who committed suicide did so because he had clinical depression and he couldn't take the hell he was living in anymore. He was very smart. He was very nice. He tried all the doctors and the medicines. He had family support. But the hell he was in was too great for him to carry.

I knew Steve since 4th grade and we hung out together all through high school. At the time of his suicide I was living 1,000 miles away. I hadn't been in contact with him for a few years. It was just physical distance and not any kind of disagreement that had us apart.

One day I was at home and my husband (who also grew up with Steve) was at work. Suddenly I thought of Steve ... out of the blue ... and with this thought came a very warm 'hug' feeling in my soul. I can't even explain it. Words wouldn't do it justice. This stayed with me for 2-3 minutes.

A couple of days later my mom called to tell me that Steve had died. He had commited suicide. The approximate time of death was near when I had thought of Steve and had experienced the soul-hug feeling.

That experience tells me that Steve 'made it'. He isn't in Hell for his suicide. He's happy. He's with God. His hell on Earth is over.

I have read many near death experiences of people who tried to commit suicide but instead of going to heaven they found themselves either in hell or in a purgatory type state. Very unpleasant. I do not think that happened to Steve and the reason I don't think that is because of my experience.

When it comes to culpability and suicide we can never be sure who 'makes it' and who doesn't. I can only imagine that if someone commits suicide out of selfish hateful reasons then they 'don't make it'. Those that do so because the pain is too great or because of clinical depression, like Steve had, probably 'make it'. I could easily be wrong about that, but that's what I've come up with.

As far as I know Steve wasn't an athiest. But considering the clinical depression, you never know where the person's mind is ...



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:30 AM
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I know an atheist, someone who believes we're just a little pile of chemicals and that there's nothing for us after death.

She's had a family and I've met few people who put so much into life. She has a rare energy and enthusiasm for it - most of the time.

I'd say that an atheist might be less likely to commit suicide simply because they believe this is their one shot and they want to make the most of it.

I don't believe in 'God' as he understood today but you won't shake me in my belief that we are all souls inhabiting physical bodies which we survive after death.

I've never had / wouldn't consider having children, not just for my own reasons but because there is no way that I would bring someone into this world the way things are now.

I haven't a single gene I'd want to pass on to anyone either (well, except my nose
)

I've discussed suicide with my atheist friend, we've both considered topping ourselves at various times. The only 'advantage' she has over me is that she doesn't believe there'd be any penalty to pay.

I don't think the lack of belief in a penalty necessarily tips the balance in favour of atheists being more likely to commit suicide though. I think the idea of just having that one turn on the merry-go-round might be what persuades them to stay. I think that is the case with my friend, that and her responsibility to her family.

I suppose, really, that it is our responsibilities that keep a lot of us here who would rather be somewhere else.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:37 AM
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Originally posted by Supercertari
So, what makes the atheist persist despite the futility of the supposed purely material life?


Well being someone that is currently undergoing treatment for depression and having had suicidal thoughts (and thoughts of self harm), I can assure you that those thoughts are more due to a chemical imbalance rather than a "choice".

Many people with thoughts like this that do not recieve treatment are likely to commit suicide.



Studies show a high incidence of mental disorders in suicide victims at the time of their death with the total figure ranging from 98%[25] to 87.3%


Im not sure if you understand what im trying to say Op, I may be able to explain it a little better later



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:44 AM
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As an atheist, as someone who's been on the edge of suicide and had two friends who did commit suicide; I'll tell you that the will to survive is a powerful thing (although not impossible to override).

You can try and dress it up and rationalise why we would 'want' to keep on living but at the end of the day the body and mind will fight the desire to self terminate.

That and it's a cowardly thing to do. This nihilistic line of thinking will rarely ever lead to actual suicidal thoughts - although the transition from theist to atheist can be very depressing for a while, but you get over it.

[edit on 31-3-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:46 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 


I know what you mean in so far as I myself experienced a lengthy period of depression and have read your input on other threads of a similar theme.

Trying to formulate the op was difficult and, as with most things with my daft mind, it will take the "dialogue" of the thread to help me better formulate my enquiry.

So far the "happiness" response has appeared and it leaves me with the question of what does that happiness consist in which, for the atheist, makes existence tolerable enough to continue with.

I know my own hand has been stayed often by faith in its dual role as at times warning against and other times promises of. If I didn't have faith I'd probably have shuffled off long ago into nothingness.

Perhaps those who are atheists and speak of happiness have a healtheir outlook on life (akin to that which happy believers might have). However, I find it hard to see in life (in material, physical, evolutionary terms) anything that would suggest it is worth pursuing.

Why continue with something that is capricious enough to enable a species of it to contemplate suffering and futility?



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by Supercertari
 


The will to live is a powerful thing ,but once its effect weakens ........ it pretty much doesn`t matter what you believe or disbelieve .
Family / God (insert what matters most to you).... its all dark on that spiral downward .
Of course it is a chemical imbalance , but to the person experiencing it those are just words ......... and while we discuss depression , they inhabit its dark recesses .

I would be described by others as an atheist , and my disbelief in an afterworld only heightens my desire to live life to the fullest .

The knowledge that this life i live may only be the product by some cosmic coincidence ........
........well then - aren`t i the lucky one .



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by Supercertari
Perhaps those who are atheists and speak of happiness have a healtheir outlook on life (akin to that which happy believers might have). However, I find it hard to see in life (in material, physical, evolutionary terms) anything that would suggest it is worth pursuing.

Why continue with something that is capricious enough to enable a species of it to contemplate suffering and futility?


Well being an athiest, I obviously have to have other things to look forward to in life. Otherwise I probably wouldnt be recieving help for my illness.


I have many things I want to pursue before I go, like getting married having kids, owning a house etc. Its these things that keep me going.


And to Welfhard, do you realis how incredibly insensitive, ignorant and offensive that statement "That and it's a cowardly thing to do" is? Im deeply offended that you obviosuly think that suicide isnt a serious issue, and its obvious that you have no clue about what you're on about. Do some research



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:03 AM
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well: dying was the last thing i ever wanted to do.

Your assumption that someone who doesnt believe in an afterlive has a stronger incentive to kill himself than someone who doesnt sounds rather wierd to me. I mean, arent some guys promised paradise etc after they die and all will be a whole lot better and great and etc ... well, what are you guys waiting for?

Yeah, i know, the beareded guy in the sky said "that would be cheating"

But why on the other hand would somebody who is convinced that this life is his only one chance he will ever get at it, and also the best life he will ever get since i won't get another not ever, want to end it sooner rather than later.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:06 AM
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Originally posted by Supercertari
Why don't atheists kill themselves?

...

So, what makes the atheist persist despite the futility of the supposed purely material life?


because I have things to do and places to be?

I have a lovely dinner lined up later, yummy! And something super on the more distant horizon.


However, I find it hard to see in life (in material, physical, evolutionary terms) anything that would suggest it is worth pursuing


I haz the sads for you.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:06 AM
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reply to post by OzWeatherman
 


"That and it's a cowardly thing to do" is? Im deeply offended that you obviosuly think that suicide isnt a serious issue, and its obvious that you have no clue about what you're on about. Do some research


I'm sorry that I offended you and I must stress that I do not take this lightly. However, in my depression, in my self-hate being told that it was the cowardly thing to do was one major reason that I'm still here now. It's not what everyone needs to hear or ought to hear, but it is what I needed to hear.

Again, sorry.

[edit on 31-3-2009 by Welfhard]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:43 AM
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It isn't hard to get down on life at times, whether its a result of bad experiences, bad thoughts or bad chemistry.
On the other hand there are lots of incredibly good things that happen; often with an equal amount of mystery as to cause.
One thing is for sure, the good would not feel so good if the bad had not also happened to give us something to measure it against, to make us appreciate it.

One thing that I have come to terms with, is that I do not need to know all of the why's and wherefore's. I do not need to intellectualize about everything; so long as I am truly experiencing, feeling and knowing life (kind of instinctually) from the inside out.
Often I just end up wondering "now what was that all about?", and move on, hoping one day before my time comes, that I will have figured a little more of it out. Its a bit presumptuous of us to think that we could have it all figured out without life experience to back it up.

edit to add: I am not a "believer" or participant of any organized religion, just to give my comments context in relation to the OP. I am though, experimenting with meditation, intention, and positive thinking, which may be somehow related or connected to the traditional "faith" espoused in religions.

[edit on 3/31/2009 by wayno]



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 08:54 AM
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I've never really understood suicide. I don't doubt for one second that some ppl hurt so much and can't go on any longer. But, for me, I dont think it could ever be a possibility. In regards to my beliefs, I am somewhere in the middle, I do not believe in "God", but I do think we have a "soul", an energy that carries on long after our physical bodies have gone. Whether that continues as a ghost or goes into another physical form is beyond me but suicide just seems so painfull, so final. I guess I kinda think that if we do have an energy, that suicide kills that too, kills your spirit completely. As bad as things have ever been for me, I've never wanted to end it, never wanted to not be able to see my friends and families faces again, never hear my favorite songs or eat my favororite foods. Again, its just seems so......final.



posted on Mar, 31 2009 @ 12:36 PM
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Eh, it sounds like your view of life is a lot more negative than the majority of people, but you're making the assumption that it's average. I don't come across that many people who think life is utterly pointless, atheists or otherwise.

I'm an atheist, and I actually think suicide can be a legitimate choice (though in most cases it's likely due to mental illness). But I don't desire to do it because...life is interesting.



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