Hume on suicide [Author’s Name] Introduction Life is the most mysterious thing that humans can face. It is given to us and we have no opportunity to choose to be born or not to be born. The question is if humans have a right to get rid of their life or if a woman, who gifted this life, can take it away?…
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Nobody can state for sure, if a person have right to commit a suicide and to get rid of the dearest that was given to him. There is an philosophy that suicide is a method to demonstrate to the God the power of humans in a short and strict form. The issue is very controversial and was discussed by many famous philosophers. David Hume is among them. He devoted the whole essay “Of Suicide” to this issue. The reception of Hume's views The unique and controversial idea presented by Hume is that there is no person in this world who will commit suicide if he considers his life to be valuable. Thus, according to Hume, a person has a right to commit a suicide: “to restore men to their native liberty, by examining all the common arguments against suicide, and showing that, that action may be free from every imputation of guilt or blame; according to the sentiments of all the ancient philosophers” (Essays on suicide and the immortality of the soul. p.3). If to consider this statement from the point of view of social issues and values, the supporters of it can be accused in the misrepresentation of God and religion as well as in immorality. Children are taught in school that only morally weak individuals can commit suicide as suicide is the easiest way to solve the problem. “Hume’s recent critics read him differently, however, as if his observations concerning the fragility of human life are intended to show (positively) that we have a low value in God’s eyes” (Holden 2005, p.203). Hume states that there are several stages before committing a suicide. A person usually feels disorder and weakness, apathy and stupidity (Muller, 1997). These are signals for the mind that it is time to finish the life. Not all the people in the modern society would agree with Hume on the aspect. According to him, each person who has such problems is a potential suicide committer. Nobody will deny that we always can find a reason for stress and problems are waiting for us every second, thus it is a usual thing to feel such symptoms. Hume also underlined that changes that could occur in life, would bring the unexpected results for sure. Thus, the question is if the changes only push to suicide or vice versa. Let’s imagine person who is about to commit a suicide. He or she is in the last stage and suddenly the fortune proposes him or her a present, winning the lottery. It is interesting whether this can serve as a reverse point for a person and if it can make him change his mind. Philosophy, religion and everyday life Holden states: ”Hume presents arguments for the moral permissibility of suicide that could readily be generalized to license any action, murder not excepted. But no one thinks that murder is permissible, so we have a clear reductio of Hume’s reasoning” (Holden 2005, p.190). However, Hume does not consider a suicide to be a murder. According to Hume, it is unfair to consider the suicide to be a crime. He considered material and animal world and comes to the conclusion that all the things inevitably return to their basic state. This argument is also very controversial. Politicians and the law as well as religion dictate what the citizens should do and how they should behave in the society. In reality each country has its law and unwritten rules of behavior, the picture of the world, which form the mentality (Flew, 1986).
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