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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Suicide: Bravery or Cowardice

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Is suicide, volunteer infliction of certain death on self, the greatest act of bravery on part of an individual or the act of cowardice?

Former view arise from the intense human desire to live, even amidst worst of the circumstances, even after bearing numerous hardships, because of natural instinct to survive at any cost. We see this among people who suffer throughout their lives but still continue to live on, among people who lived for days drinking their own urine and eating whatever they can lay their hands on, among people who commit unspeakable act to sustain themselves. Of course, there are people who sacrifice themselves for their country, for their faith, for their family or fellow human beings, but nobody killed himself but for greater good, at least in his eyes. Therefore, suicide can be considered ultimate act of courage.

Later view arise because of choice of suicide as act of last resort, naturally. Person committing suicide has somehow decided that living is not something he can easily continue due to too much pain it inflicts on him. Since he is escaping the pain of living, instead of braving it, he is choosing easier option of ending the life, therefore, by definition, continue living would have the greatest act of bravery, and suicide cannot be the same. Suicide is thus an act of cowardice, not at all the biggest in any way, and way braver than in most circumstances.