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Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

Stevicus

Veteran Member
Staff member
Premium Member
Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

It is well accepted today that the cause of the majority of suicides is mental illness. Yet in most of Judaism, Christianity and Islam suicide is considered self-murder in many if not most cases.

The Bible does not specifically address suicide as the sin of self-murder, but nonetheless it is widely forbidden.

Even though Islam condemns suicide in the scriptures, many justify suicide bombing as martyrdom.

The Baha'i Faith condemns suicide, and considers suicide a tragedy, but allows considerable leeway on the circumstances of the suicide, and allows for the contemporary behavioral science understanding of suicide as a mental illness.

This more a discussion of the different views and changing views in churches and other beliefs facing the issue in the contemporary world. The problem is the tragic rise of suicides throughout most cultures of the world.

I suppose it could also depend on how one defines suicide. What about reckless behavior, such as driving too fast or some other dangerous, risky activity which could lead to death? Or unhealthy activities, such as cigarette smoking, drug use, alcohol? They may not cause immediate or certain death, but they could be contributory factors in one's early demise.

As for intentional suicide, I would also wonder if religion (or God, if one exists) would consider other individuals responsible for an individual's suicide. For example, if a man commits suicide because his wife left him, would the wife also be considered spiritually/morally responsible? Are parents spiritually/morally responsible for the suicide of their child?
 

Erebus

Well-Known Member
So, indirectly they have no choice? I know thats not what your saying, but thats what im hearing.

Can you not control what you think and what you do?

There are certainly therapies and medications intended to influence the way a person thinks. However, they're not quick, not always effective and not always available. They're very much geared towards making day to day life endurable.

Remember that we're talking about the thought processes that might occur immediately prior to suicide. Could you choose, right this instant, to stop believing in God?
 

shunyadragon

shunyadragon
Premium Member
So, indirectly they have no choice? I know that's not what your saying, but thats what im hearing.

It is more complicated than that. Considering human nature and the degree of mental illnesses, having choices is a complex issue. It is well documented that mental illness does take away the ability of human to make choices and control their actions in more ways than the desire to commit suicide.
 

Shantanu

Well-Known Member
It is more complicated than that. Considering human nature and the degree of mental illnesses, having choices is a complex issue. It is well documented that mental illness does take away the ability of human to make choices and control their actions in more ways than the desire to commit suicide.
I know: I suffered from the persistent delusional disorder that God had protected me from my persecutors in the United Kingdom State when there was no persecution as such and no God had came to my rescue to guide me on how to deal with that evil as I saw it. It was just the State doing its normal thing. I was therefore suffering from this mental illness that led me to not being able to see the Reality clearly. I did take my medications of antipsychotic risperidone and antidepressant sertraline daily to comply with the State's requirements that allows me to live in the community. I have now shrugged off my God delusion thanks to my guruji @Aupmanyav.
 
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It is more complicated than that. Considering human nature and the degree of mental illnesses, having choices is a complex issue. It is well documented that mental illness does take away the ability of human to make choices and control their actions in more ways than the desire to commit suicide.

So, they are robots, indirectly. I keep hearing it.
 

stvdv

Veteran Member
Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

Suicide is never a sin IMO.

Just yesterday I went to a talk by a woman who had quite a rough life, growing up.

Father left when she was just born. Mother remarried and husband started beating the little girl and telling her that she is worthless and useless. When she grew older her stepfather started having sex with her. Then stepfather invited others (even a policeman [so she could not even go to the police] and their doctor (general practitioner)), and all liked to have sex with the girl. Father asked them just 1 bottle of whisky each time. So she felt that she was worth 1 bottle of whisky only.

That was just the beginning of her horrible life.

This woman contemplated suicide many times. I don't call that a sin. She had not a mental illness. Twice she was about to jump, but then God appeared to her and told her "please don't do it, it will get better after some time". So she kept going some more time. It did not get better the next years so she was about to do it again. Again God appeared. Then a few years later it got better. Now she is doing much better.

People who call "suicide done by others a sin" I call sinners (show them a mirror). They should not impose their own sin on others. If they like to call themselves "sinners" that is fine with me. It is a sin to call others who commit suicide "sinners". None of their business.

A saying goes "first walk in the other's shoes before condemn them". Very much applicable when it comes to people who commit suicide. Nobody commits suicide for no reason. Human being has a drive to live. Losing this means others hurt them too much to continue to live. As simple as that.
 

Vee

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
The Bible does not specifically address suicide as the sin of self-murder, but nonetheless it is widely forbidden.

The Bible doesn't specifically address the subject (that I know off) but since our life is a gift from God, someone taking their own life could be interpreted as disrespecting that gift.
However, we all know that people who commit suicide are normally in a state of desperation and maybe completely out of their minds. We're not here to judge and we don't know what happens in people's lives to make them get to the point of thinking that death is better than the life they have. It is really sad that so many people think they don't have another way out.
 

David T

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

It is well accepted today that the cause of the majority of suicides is mental illness. Yet in most of Judaism, Christianity and Islam suicide is considered self-murder in many if not most cases.

The Bible does not specifically address suicide as the sin of self-murder, but nonetheless it is widely forbidden.

Even though Islam condemns suicide in the scriptures, many justify suicide bombing as martyrdom.

The Baha'i Faith condemns suicide, and considers suicide a tragedy, but allows considerable leeway on the circumstances of the suicide, and allows for the contemporary behavioral science understanding of suicide as a mental illness.

This more a discussion of the different views and changing views in churches and other beliefs facing the issue in the contemporary world. The problem is the tragic rise of suicides throughout most cultures of the world.
I don't recall it being mentioned in the Bible and it became an issue when .The rates were extremely high around the 13th century. Sort of embarrassing if everyone is offing themselves while under the guidance of the church as a political power. Sort of like be happy damnit you are embarrassing us.
 

Kenny

Face to face with my Father
Premium Member
It was a factual reference.
But superfluous, which brought up unnecessary questions such as "Do you want us to celebrate suicide?"

It sounds like your attributing a 'spiritual evil' as a possible source of the desire of people to commit suicide. I prefer the understanding of the issue of mental illness, which is better understood by science. Problems of mental illness is by degree and the ability of individuals to control harmful or in the case of suicide deadly desires. Mental illness, either momentary of chronic is the best documented cause of most suicide. Hearing voices is known to be factor in some types of mental illness. Of course, some can manage these voices and desires, but others may not. I believe a more integrated mental health care in our lives is a significant part of the answer.

In trying to reduce suicide rates, I would pursue both. Science should look at all options... including spiritual IMO.

There is mental illness but, IMV, there is a spiritual battle too.

Certainly, in my sister-in-law's case, it was a spiritual issue and not a mental illness issue.
 

Vinayaka

devotee
Premium Member
I think society in general is becoming much more compassionate towards mental illness, via a greater psychological understanding, and more humane methods of dealing with it. The negative terminology is dissipating. For the folks who are inflicted, and for the loved ones, it must be a huge relief.
 

paarsurrey

Veteran Member
The Bible doesn't specifically address the subject (that I know off) but since our life is a gift from God, someone taking their own life could be interpreted as disrespecting that gift.
However, we all know that people who commit suicide are normally in a state of desperation and maybe completely out of their minds. We're not here to judge and we don't know what happens in people's lives to make them get to the point of thinking that death is better than the life they have. It is really sad that so many people think they don't have another way out.
Well, mental illness is something different, but a normal, intelligent and wise man must not commit suicide as it is a sin:

"According to the theology of the Roman Catholic Church, suicide is objectively a sin which violates the commandment "Thou shalt not kill".

[10]]"Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph 2280, 2281".
It raise a question:
Jesus was a Jew not a Christian all his life, but those who proclaim about him as a "first Christian" though posthumously, was Jesus a Catholic Christian?
If yes, that makes Jesus a sinful Catholic, please. Right,please?

Regards

_____________
Judaism[edit]
Main article: Jewish views on suicide
Suicides are frowned upon and buried in a separate part of a Jewish cemetery, and may not receive certain mourning rites. In practice, every means is used to excuse suicide—usually by determining either that the suicide itself proves that the person was not in their right mind, or that the person committing suicide must have repented after performing the deadly act but shortly before death occurred. Taking one's own life may be seen as a preferred alternative to committing certain cardinal sins.[2]
See Talmud Bavli Gittin, 57b

Islam[edit]

Muslim scholars and clerics consider suicide forbidden, including suicide bombing.[19][20][21][22][23][24]

A verse in the Quran instructs:

And do not kill yourselves, surely God is most Merciful to you.

— Qur'an, Sura 4 (An-Nisa), ayat 29 [25]
The prohibition of suicide has also been recorded in statements of hadith (sayings of Muhammad); for example:

Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet said, "He who commits suicide by throttling shall keep on throttling himself in the Hell Fire (forever) and he who commits suicide by stabbing himself shall keep on stabbing himself in the Hell-Fire."

— Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:23:446
Religious views on suicide - Wikipedia

Hinduism[edit]
In Hinduism, suicide is spiritually unacceptable. Generally, taking your own life is considered a violation of the code of ahimsa (non-violence) and therefore equally sinful as murdering another.

Evangelicals, Charismatics, Pentecostals, and other denominations
Conservative Protestants (Evangelicals, Charismatics, Pentecostals, and other denominations) have often argued that suicide is self-murder, and so anyone who commits it is sinning and it is the same as if the person murdered another human being. An additional view concerns the act of asking for salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as personal savior, which must be done prior to death. This is an important aspect of many Protestant denominations, and the problem with suicide is that once dead the individual is unable to accept salvation. The unpardonable sin then becomes not the suicide itself, but rather the refusal of the gift of salvation.

Orthodox Tradition
Suicide is regarded generally within the Orthodox Tradition as a rejection of God's gift of physical life, a failure of stewardship, an act of despair, and a transgression of the sixth commandment, "You shall not kill" (Exodus 20:13). The Orthodox Church normally denies a Christian burial to a person who has committed suicide.
Religious views on suicide - Wikipedia


 
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shunyadragon

shunyadragon
Premium Member
But superfluous, which brought up unnecessary questions such as "Do you want us to celebrate suicide?"

I did not bring up that question.

In trying to reduce suicide rates, I would pursue both. Science should look at all options... including spiritual IMO.

There is mental illness but, IMV, there is a spiritual battle too.

It depends on how you define the spiritual battle.

Certainly, in my sister-in-law's case, it was a spiritual issue and not a mental illness issue.

you cannot be certain of that.
 
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The Hammer

Skald
Premium Member
Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

It is well accepted today that the cause of the majority of suicides is mental illness. Yet in most of Judaism, Christianity and Islam suicide is considered self-murder in many if not most cases.

The Bible does not specifically address suicide as the sin of self-murder, but nonetheless it is widely forbidden.

Even though Islam condemns suicide in the scriptures, many justify suicide bombing as martyrdom.

The Baha'i Faith condemns suicide, and considers suicide a tragedy, but allows considerable leeway on the circumstances of the suicide, and allows for the contemporary behavioral science understanding of suicide as a mental illness.

This more a discussion of the different views and changing views in churches and other beliefs facing the issue in the contemporary world. The problem is the tragic rise of suicides throughout most cultures of the world.

As a Pagan, I personally consider suicide a tragedy of the soul (life essence), and I heavily discourage it, especially having stood on that precipice numerous times; and while I do not condone it, I will not condemn it either, I will instead mourne the loss of quiet potential with each passing, and perhaps we will all learn empathy.
 

shunyadragon

shunyadragon
Premium Member
As a Pagan, I personally consider suicide a tragedy of the soul (life essence), and I heavily discourage it, especially having stood on that precipice numerous times; and while I do not condone it, I will not condemn it either, I will instead mourne the loss of quiet potential with each passing, and perhaps we will all learn empathy.

Good response!
 

viole

Ontological Naturalist
Premium Member
Is suicide a sin if the person is not mentally competent to be responsible?

It is well accepted today that the cause of the majority of suicides is mental illness. Yet in most of Judaism, Christianity and Islam suicide is considered self-murder in many if not most cases.

The Bible does not specifically address suicide as the sin of self-murder, but nonetheless it is widely forbidden.

Even though Islam condemns suicide in the scriptures, many justify suicide bombing as martyrdom.

The Baha'i Faith condemns suicide, and considers suicide a tragedy, but allows considerable leeway on the circumstances of the suicide, and allows for the contemporary behavioral science understanding of suicide as a mental illness.

This more a discussion of the different views and changing views in churches and other beliefs facing the issue in the contemporary world. The problem is the tragic rise of suicides throughout most cultures of the world.

Is murder a sin if the perp is not mentally competent?

Ciao

- viole
 

Shantanu

Well-Known Member
No. It's a tragedy that it happens, but the victims won't be held accountable for the sin. "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
That attribution sort of relates to oppressors and persecutors not to those committing suicide.
 
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