Is this suicide


#1

Say that a person was on an asteroid headed for Earth and he blew it up in order to prevent from hitting Earth, but he was killed as a result. Would he have commited suicide?

(and yes I'm aware that blowing up an asteroid would only make the problem worse, but assume for the sake of argument that it would actually fix the problem.)


#2

If Bruce Willis could have got away and remotely detonated the bomb, he would have. He certainly did not intend his own death, but accepted it as an unintended secondary effect of saving a) the Earth and b) Ben Affleck.

Of course, we could vigorously debate whether saving Ben Affleck was the correct thing to do.

But no, not suicide.


#3

CCC:

2281 Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life. It is gravely contrary to the just love of self. It likewise offends love of neighbor because it unjustly breaks the ties of solidarity with family, nation, and other human societies to which we continue to have obligations. Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.

the main purpose of the act isn't to kill oneself, but to save others.

no, I don't think Bruce Willis committed suicide in Armageddon. you could have picked a more plausible scenario, there are many stories of people smothering grenades to save the lives of others. the first aviator to dive his crippled plane on a enemy ship in the Pacific during WW2 was an American. their memories are among the most highly honored.


#4

It is not suicide because we have a Canonized Saint who did a similar thing in WW2.

St Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to give up his life to the Nazi's at Auschwitz in place of a father who had a wife and children.

catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=370


#5

[quote="JMJSHJ, post:4, topic:328517"]
It is not suicide because we have a Canonized Saint who did a similar thing in WW2.

St Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to give up his life to the Nazi's at Auschwitz in place of a father who had a wife and children.

catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=370

[/quote]

Q.E.D.


#6

[quote="JMJSHJ, post:4, topic:328517"]
It is not suicide because we have a Canonized Saint who did a similar thing in WW2.

St Maximilian Kolbe volunteered to give up his life to the Nazi's at Auschwitz in place of a father who had a wife and children.

catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=370

[/quote]

But his death was the act of malicious human beings, not of nature.


#7

[quote="devoutchristian, post:6, topic:328517"]
But his death was the act of malicious human beings, not of nature.

[/quote]

He volunteered for certain death. he took the place of someone who was going to be murdered. read his story. this isn't Bruce Willis we're talking about.


#8

[quote="Fairwinds, post:7, topic:328517"]
He volunteered for certain death. he took the place of someone who was going to be murdered. read his story. this isn't Bruce Willis we're talking about.

[/quote]

I've read his story and there is a significant moral difference between harm caused by humans and harm caused by nature. For instance, there is a large moral difference between going to Mass in spite of anti-Catholic mobs, and going to Mass in spite of a blizzard.


#9

[quote="devoutchristian, post:8, topic:328517"]
I've read his story and there is a significant moral difference between harm caused by humans and harm caused by nature. For instance, there is a large moral difference between going to Mass in spite of anti-Catholic mobs, and going to Mass in spite of a blizzard.

[/quote]

why do you think it matters who kills him?


#10

No, it is not suicide, because the person’s intention is to prevent the asteroid from hitting the Earth rather than to kill himself. As a result, he was killed. As small as the chance may be that he survive, there is still that possibility. A similar scenario in the case of a pregnant woman who must taking a life-saving medication, but this medication unintentionally kills her unborn child. While the likelihood may be very high that the baby will die, that was not the intent and therefore she did not abort her baby.


#11

[quote="devoutchristian, post:8, topic:328517"]
I've read his story and there is a significant moral difference between harm caused by humans and harm caused by nature. For instance, there is a large moral difference between going to Mass in spite of anti-Catholic mobs, and going to Mass in spite of a blizzard.

[/quote]

... and that difference is...?


#12

http://static-cl1.vanilladev.com/charltonlife.vanillaforums.com/uploads/thumbnails/FileUpload/a9/7c534761affcb8ad0a336aa28feaad.jpg


#13

"No greater love hath a man than to lay down his life for another." ~ Our Lord

What about the soldier during a war who dives on a grenade to save his platoon mates?

This person on the asteroid sacrificed his life to save millions on earth...remind you of anyone??


#14

Suicide is:
1) a voluntary Act
2) done as a rejection of Hope and of the Life God has given you.

To sacrifice yourself to save another or others is totally different. Many saints have been canonized for such sacrifices. many knowing that their actions would result in them being killed by others, or by nature...
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, died after giving birth to a child, when she could have had an operation to save her life, but that would have killed her baby. She knowingly made the choice t give up her own life rather than risk her unborn babies life.
Her specific medical situation would be unlikely to re-occur in the West were modern medicine can now save the lives of both in her situation, but many many women do suffer from far more serious types of Gynicological problems, including the Fibroids that caused Gianna's death. in serious cases they can still threaten Life due to hemorrhage during or after child birth.
My own wife put her health on the line every time we choose to get pregnant. While our medical care makes any rsk to her life very very low, it is still there.

Another example would be someone who goes out into a dangerous environment : like a severe storm to save a person or group: and puts his own life on the line.

But your example, of "X situation will kill many people. I can perform Y act, and save them all, but if I do Y, I will be unable to escape with my own life- in fact my method will directly, violently end my own life"
While the Asteriod example of X and Y is from science fiction, the example of a soldier diving on a grenade is very comparable. It is Self Sacrifice - NOT suicide.


#15

[quote="Fairwinds, post:9, topic:328517"]
why do you think it matters who kills him?

[/quote]

Because there is a difference between being murdered by other humans and between dying without deliberate human aggression.

[quote="TarkanAttila, post:11, topic:328517"]
... and that difference is...?

[/quote]

The difference is that the possibility of martyrdom does not excuse from the obligation of doing that which is normally morally obligatory, whereas the possibility of natural death does.

[quote="anruari, post:14, topic:328517"]
Suicide is:
1) a voluntary Act
2) done as a rejection of Hope and of the Life God has given you.

[/quote]

So would you say that live heart donation is morally licit?


#16

Simple explanation to my No.
His intention was only to stop it from hitting the earth as he knew it should be stopped from hitting the earth. He does not even think about his death...then where is the question of suicide??


#17

[quote="jjkadavil, post:16, topic:328517"]
Simple explanation to my No.
His intention was only to stop it from hitting the earth as he knew it should be stopped from hitting the earth. He does not even think about his death...then where is the question of suicide??

[/quote]

But he doesn't merely take an existing danger onto himself but creates a new danger which applies to himself (the artificially designed explosive).


#18

The difference is that the possibility of martyrdom does not excuse from the obligation of doing that which is normally morally obligatory, whereas the possibility of natural death does.

It still would not be suicide. It would, however, be misguided.

Trudging through snow for two hours for the sake of the Eucharist and dying just outside of the church doors is a strange kind of white martyrdom.


#19

You’re saying that it wouldn’t constitute suicide to deliberately freeze oneself to death? In any case I was addressing moral obligations, not moral permissibility.


#20

It would not be suicide to freeze yourself to death out of a hunger - a love - for Christ. It would be misguided to do so, but not strictly suicide. “Suicide contradicts the natural inclination of the human being to preserve and perpetuate his life.” (CCC, 2281) A love of Christ, even unto death, even if it is not obligatory, is not intentionally suicide, and therefore not suicide.

The man is an extreme example, and an inordinate one, and thus a bad one. But while his act is gravely wrong, he does not know it is. Therefore it cannot be suicide, at least not in his intention.

I am, of course, assuming the man trudging two hours through snow to get to Mass has at least a faint hope he will make it. If he is sure he will die on the way, he’s a bad (false) martyr.


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