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What would count as suicide in the religious sense?

#1thecrobarPosted 3/23/2013 8:09:32 PM
Obviously taking your own life via a bullet or hanging would be suicide.

But what about events that you know carry risk or you know could lead to death? What about accidental death?

I was having a conversation with a Christian friend of mine recently. We're both teetotalers- myself because I don't like the taste/effects and him because of religious reasoning. It lead to this conversation about "what counts" as suicide: would a heavy drinker that drives home drunk and careens into a tree be considered "suicide" even if they didn't mean to kill themselves? Same for a smoker- if you engage in a harmful behavior that you know will have negative consequences and possibly lead to death would that count as some kind of suicide by passivity? I guess it could be extended to eating unhealthy food too: it's something that can lead to health risks, that you know is wrong, and yet you still do it.

What about other accidental deaths? It it simply dying by your own hand or having the intent to kill yourself?
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#2Hustle KongPosted 3/23/2013 8:14:30 PM
I think suicide, to have any meaning at all, has to include the intent or desire to die.

If I slip and fall in the shower, that certainly shouldn't count as suicide.
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#3Moorish_IdolPosted 3/23/2013 8:21:35 PM(edited)
Hustle Kong posted...
I think suicide, to have any meaning at all, has to include the intent or desire to die.

If I slip and fall in the shower, that certainly shouldn't count as suicide.

This.

Suicide requires, by definition, an intentional killing of oneself. Your example of a drunk driver who crashes and dies would not be suicide because he didn't purposely crash his car.
#4kozlo100Posted 3/23/2013 8:30:16 PM
I agree with Hustle and Moorish.

Taking part in activities that have a very high probability of death, but expecting to live or even considering the result unimportant, is a very different position from taking an action with the intent to die as a result.

Suicide is solely the taking of action with an intent to die, and successfully achieving that goal.
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#5thecrobar(Topic Creator)Posted 3/23/2013 8:35:51 PM
I guess the sticking point is the idea that the reason committing suicide is wrong because it's a refusal of god's gift of life, then wouldn't prolonged harmful behavior like smoking apply as well?

Perhaps not to the same thing, but if you'd imagine that life=a car...

Suicide would be purposefully driving into a tree and getting it totaled.

Smoking would be taking out and driving it around in the woods, dinging it up and making it run worse and possibly ruining it in the future.

I guess I'm asking that, if the harm of suicide in religion is denying the gift of life, then wouldn't treating your body/life poorly through drug use be an abuse of that gift?
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#6Hustle KongPosted 3/23/2013 8:38:25 PM
Sure, but it's a different thing than suicide.
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Shooting Game never die.
It prays that the clover of luck be always in your mind.
#7kozlo100Posted 3/23/2013 8:43:43 PM
Yea, there's degrees of action and intent to be considered.

There's mildly risky activities, like driving to work, where you absolutely could die, but probably won't. Then there's things like skydiving, which are very risky, but you have every intention of living through them.

The spectrum goes on, and only at the extreme is there actions like jumping off a building, where you know with certainty that once you make a decision and take an action, death is inevitable.

There's little utility in compressing that whole spectrum into one category.
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Time flies like the wind,
and fruit flies like a banana.
#8bratt100Posted 3/23/2013 8:47:02 PM
I never thought I would say this but "what hustle said"
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#9bratt100Posted 3/23/2013 8:48:57 PM
What of situations where you intend to die but by some fluke you survive...does that count?
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"If the victim was a mute, then she shouldn't really be out alone."- OrangeWizard on rape
#10Moorish_IdolPosted 3/23/2013 9:16:07 PM
thecrobar posted...
I guess I'm asking that, if the harm of suicide in religion is denying the gift of life, then wouldn't treating your body/life poorly through drug use be an abuse of that gift?

In Christianity specifically, I believe this is best answered by their belief that their body is a temple for Jesus / the Holy Spirit.

This will give you an idea of what many Christians think about harmful habits:
http://blogs.cbn.com/WeightLossCoaching/archive/2009/02/25/treating-your-temple-with-respect.aspx