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Chapter 19

PHI2396 Chapter 19: Bioethic Note 15 Chapter 19

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Dean Lauer

Chapter 19 Suicide in the West: A Brief History Suicide Middle eastern religion view -Condemn the act as an offence against God: God is the giver of life. He gives & takes away Suicide, the taking of one’s own life, is ungodly because it rejects God’s gift of life No man/woman should presume to take God’s authority upon themselves to end his/her own life Christian message on its wrongdoing for giving up his/her life against God's plan Eastern Religions: are open to suicide on conditions of intolerable pain or dishonour Suicide as wrongdoing: Plato’s argument: teacher of Aristotle- Suicide is permitted exceptions to the civil/legal prohibition against suicide cases of extreme dishonour (more from the church view), self-administered capital punishment (undermined world -Socrates), painful disability & terminal disease, certain cases of infanticide, & voluntary euthanasia --> Aristotle’s argument: permissive under some conditions:  if it was to take life to avoid poverty or desire or pain is unmanly/cowardly  he also believed that it was allowed if the state ordered it  suicide should be seen as seriously extreme act –therefore almost always unwise Stoicism: surrounded by the belief of most of the Greeks when it came to suicide *Stoic = "steps" The Stoics (eg. Plato & Aristotle), believed that suicide was wrong except under some circumstances -the circumstances could only be determined by the individual as to when life-quality had so deteriorated to rational reason to self-killing  suicide went against the instinct of self-preservation & therefore, was further to be condemned as an unnatural act It can also be said: the rights within me include: right to choose behaviour/action which mean right to end life by myself Sinful Suicide -early believer in haven thought of suicide as a path of a paradise where virgins await and was widely practiced st th St. Augustine: one of the 1 saint to condemn suicide as a violation of the 6 Commandment: “Thou shalt not kill” which involves selves in the middle ages, Cristian church removed people from the member list who attempted suicide and those who died by suicide were buried outside consecrated graveyards St. Thomas’s 3 classical arguments: sin against self, society and God 1. Contrary to the natural law & to virtue of the charity 2. Every part belongs to the world  every person is part of the community  Suicide Injures the community 3. Life is God’s gift to us & is subject to his power, who kills and makes to live  Suicide is denial -death & life chosen by myself instead of God's decision/natural decision *medieval church’s condemnation of suicide extended to active euthanasia  tolerated as non-suicide Neutral or Situational View of Suicide Michel Montaigne: agrees that God gives us sufficient dispensation when
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