One thing I’ve learned in my life is that nothing can be generalized. Everything has their own unique application to our lives. Hence, I call this post “My” right to die.
My thoughts on death and suicide have been a blend of careful religious historical philosophical (even theoretical physics) study, and my own emotions. I would like to open up the idea of the first ingredient of my blend for our community’s discussion and for the reader’s additional insight.
Suicide as a right can be seen throughout our history. Various ancient cultures have seen suicide as an honorable way to die. The ancient Mayans for one even had a goddess for suicide named Ixtab. Ixtab would make sure suicide victims would enjoy paradise in the after life. Another example are the ancient Japanese samurai. They viewed suicide as a means to restore honor preceded by a shameful act.
In a semi-religious and semi-historical perspective, some Buddhist monks before would find enlightenment by long meditations followed by self-strangulation. Their mummified corpses I think can still be seen in some parts of the Himalayan mountains. This “suicide” wouldn’t be against Buddhist teachings as this religion teaches that life is suffering and that attachments, like attachment to life, further cause suffering.
In Jainism and Hinduism, some practitioners are culturally allowed to commit suicide by fasting if they believe that all their worldly obligations have been met.
Philosophers like Albert Camus have also mentioned suicide as the primary question of philosophy, aka the study for the “meaning of life”. Verbatim, Camus says, “There is only one really serious philosophical problem… and that is suicide. Deciding whether or not life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy. All other questions follow from that.”
Somehow, we have come to our present culture that now generally frowns upon suicide even though it has been part of history, study, and other religions. People generally see suicidal people as victims of their emotions rather than rational beings. Just because my life and death can be influenced deeply by my emotions doesn’t mean that I have abandoned all rational thoughts on the matter. On the contrary, I have explored and still continue to discover the logic in my right to live and my right to die.
And if I go by any single logic that I have mentioned above, then definitely, I have the right to die. What more if I take all of the above as one homogeneous reason? Then captain, its a dazzling display of logic.