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Let's see if I can get my train of thought down in some semblance of… - Melodramatic, corsetted mistress of the obscure — LiveJournal
November 25th, 2009
11:59 am


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Let's see if I can get my train of thought down in some semblance of order.

I got to thinking about a scene from a movie where a woman (VERY unhappy with some things she's recently had to do) is in a locked, metal cage that is subsequently submerged in water. When the hero tries to save her from drowning, she first tries to disuade him with gesture, gives up on that and goes to the back of the cage where she deliberately tries to take a breath.

My thought on this was 'Could someone argue that was suicide?" On the one hand, drowning was certain in the next minute or so. On the other hand, DEATH is certain for everyone at some point.

Could deliberately inducing drowning now instead of involantarily in 30 seconds be suicide?

Obviously, some part of me says yes and some part of me says no, and so I am forced to look at my definition of 'suicide'. And it comes up nebulous in at least one particular.

-> Is giving in gracefully to inevitable death a form of suicide?

Is going peacefully to the executioner a kind of suicide?

Is failing to fight a terminal illness, so you die 6 months sooner than you would if you fought it, a form of suicide?

If the answers are yes, does that mean not desperately trying to find a way to make yourself immortal is a form of suicide?

But if the answers are no.... what IS suicide?

What difference between dying now, instead of 30 seconds from now? Or dying now, instead of a year from now? Or dying now, instead of 20, 40, 60 years from now?

Is it a matter of degree? Where does one draw the line?

(3 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:November 25th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
I know exactly the movie you're remembering. And it was totally suicide. Which is what makes the character and situation so tragic.

That said, I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with suicide, even for people who don't have a terminal illness. This is a conversation that usually gets me into a lot of trouble, but there you go. =b
Date:November 25th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Her death is absolutely suicide. In the book I think she actually takes pills, rather then expire dramatically in a submerged elevator.

And as far as extrapolation goes: People with higher IQs tend to be less happy, and commit suicide more often, than those with lower IQs. Since people of higher intelligence also tend to breed fewer offspring and are therefore depriving the human race of beneficial genetic material, does that make them guilty of genocide?
[User Picture]
Date:November 25th, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
I think that the boundary line for suicide is best put at when you commit a deliberate action that you know will lead to your immediate or near-immediate demise (like taking a breathful of water). I don't think failing to act in the face of death (like not resisting the executioner) qualifies.
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