There is no God. I want to die. Why should i not commit suicide?

I am your patient. You are my Atheist Psychologist.

There is no God. I want to die. Why should i not commit suicide?

Metaphysical naturalism is true. So why should i keep on breaking my back for very low wages, feeling unhappy, having no friends, no wife, and generally having a ****** non-fulfilling life.

Since death is inevitable, why put up with the humiliation on a daily basis, suffering from severe depression, taking pills to get by, when i could just simply cease to exist and therefore cease to struggle in this meaningless world?

The fear of death is the only thing keeping me alive.

  1. It is impossible to be sure metaphysical naturalism is true.

  2. It is impossible to be sure you will never be happy, have friends, a wife and a fulfilling life.

  3. It is impossible to be sure you will continue to be humiliated on a daily basis and suffer from severe depression.

  4. While there is life there is hope.

  5. There is no guarantee that when you die you will cease to exist or that your problems won’t be worse.

  6. The fear of death is a good reason to stay alive: that’s why it exists!

“Who would fardels bear, To grunt and sweat under a weary life, But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover’d country from whose bourn No traveller returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have Than fly to others that we know not of?” - Hamlet



Thats nice Tony. But can i point out to you that i assume for the sake of argument that metaphysical naturalism is true.

The positions in normative ethics rarely make mention of naturalism or theism. So, why can’t the naturalist adopt any number of those which would say it’s morally wrong to commit suicide, or at least wrong in this situation?

Knowing nothing more about the individual than that they are a naturalist, there’s not much to do except try to convince them of an ethical position forbidding such an action. That certainly needn’t involve reference to theism.

For example, if the person is married and has kids, I’d try and make the case that he has a duty to them, and if he didn’t care about that, I’d try and make him empathize for the pain he’d inflict in those around him etc. Of course, he could reject all suggestions; but, so forth for anyone whether naturalist or not.

Camus dealt with this problem as an atheist, and the best he could come up with is that one should try to confront the inherent futility and absurdity of life in a (supposedly) godless universe by scorning the universe’s meaningless by trying to lead a live of heroism and nobility, as a gesture of scorn to the universe, instead of committing suicide.

Sounds like a pretty sad perspective to me. There’s a reason so many atheists seem angry and nasty in many of their on-line posts.

Why do i have a duty to them?

That depends on the moral theory we’re adopting here. Let’s use the veil of ignorance here to discern whether spouses have duties to each other in virtue of their marital relationship and whether parents have duties to their children in virtue of their familial relationship.

I think it becomes readily obvious that you do.

I suspect your goal here is to keep asking ‘why’ until I have to say ‘just because’; but, as atheist moral philosopher Shelly Kagan told WLC in their debate on whether God is necessary for morality, you can do the same thing to theists. There comes a point on any moral position when you hit a bedrock, if the person doesn’t agree at that point you either have to change strategies or just walk away.

If I’ve suspected wrongly I apologize.

No apology needed, because i agree that atheists have no rational basis for claiming that any action is wrong.

Everything in the OP is fixable, including the depression, but depression fools us into thinking everything is forever hopeless when it isn’t (been there).

The question in your atheist scenario is whether nothing can ever be better than something. Perhaps if someone is in continuous excruciating physical pain with no chance of remission, or has lost control of their bodily functions and screams at the constant indignity, perhaps nothing might just be better than that something, but do not go gentle into that good night.


What you could do perhaps is emotionally blackmail the person into staying alive; since we have a tendency to equate feelings with action. You can say if you “care” you will struggle for your family because thats what carers usually do. But you cannot claim this to be an objective moral truth, because its based upon social constructs they we have invented; we have not discovered it to be true. Its being true for you is relative to whether or not the person sees it as rational to allow emotions to hold us to social contracts which make us suffer in a meaningless existence. The person under question would have to agree that there is meaning in the proposition. Such a person could perhaps view it as equally selfish for anyone to expect him to suffer when he does not have to. If they really cared they would let him or her die.

In any case, the person in the OP has nobody to be dutiful to in the sense of family or friends.

I think the idea is that the veil of ignorance is a means of discovering moral truths.

Its being true for you is relative to whether or not the person sees it as rational to allow emotions to hold us to social contracts which make us suffer in a meaningless existence.

I’m not sure why you said this.

The person under question would have to agree that there is meaning in the proposition. Such a person could perhaps view it as equally selfish for anyone to expect him to suffer when he does not have to. If they really cared they would let him or her die.

That’s true, like I said, in this case there’s nothing anyone could really say to him. That doesn’t mean he isn’t morally forbidden to commit suicide.

In order for there to be no God then there must be a God…

Why should you not commit suicide.

Because it is so final and once you have done so there is no coming back.

Given metaphysical naturalism, what does that mean?

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

Alas, you are correct; without a moral code to the contrary, there is no particular argument against taking one’s own life, just the practical one that death is irreversible, and that no one knows for sure what happens after death.

There are cultures where suicide is an acceptable option. Once one is at the point where the pain is unbearable, rational arguments are unlikely to be persuasive.

Oh sure, cause it’s not like there’s any nastiness or anger on CAF. :rolleyes:

I’d thank you not to rudely stereotype such a large and diverse group of people.


Why should you not commit suicide.

Thats what i am asking.

Because it is so final and once you have done so there is no coming back.

Great. No more meaningless suffering and experiences forever. Death is inevitable. I am just fast forwarding. There is nothing to regret once your dead.

You are just given me reasons to prefer death.

Well, to start with, I do not accept your premise that there is no God so I don’t think we have a basis for argument. Maybe for discussion though.

One thing, Is this a discussion or are you really contemplating suicide? A discussion I could take part in. If you are really distressed and/or in pain, I would rather extend a hand to you to to grasp.

I believe that all creation is searching for God. The blessed ones (let us call them Christians) find Him, while others are still out there searching for Him. The bible says, “And because ye are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”(Galatians 4:6)

There are many who are unaware of the spiritual battle that has been raging since the beginning of time when St Michael first ousted the angel Lucifer from heaven. From the moment that each child is born into the world, there is a battle for the precious soul of that child. It is the story of good versus evil continued. Unfortunately, the world would have you believe this is a myth, when in fact this world’s view is the biggest lie of all.

All of creation is searching for God but because they are not searching correctly (with their hearts instead of their intellect), they are finding false illusions of God instead. People who are successful think that success is their god, people with power, see power as their god. I will even go so far as to say that people in religion think that religion in itself is god. These are all untruths which the world has unfortunately bought into.

If we would listen to the world, we would look to the things of this world to make us complete, yet the bible (the Word of God) tells us to look for God in His son Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:5-7)

There is truth and there is false teaching. The thing is to be able to discern the truth from the lie, the truth from the falsehood. I could tell you that there are many in hell (even Christians) who refused to believe the truth about God and Jesus and are now there paying a heavy price for their unbelief. As long as you follow the world’s view over God’s view you continue to walk in darkness

There is a God and there is a Savior, whose name is Jesus Christ. If you are in despair or at the end of your rope, call upon him and see if he does not reveal himself to you in your darkest hour. Never ever let satan (the world) deceive you into believing his many lies. At the end all will be revealed. Now there is a veil over our eyes, but at the moment that we pass on into the next life, that veil will be uncovered and then we will know what the real truth was. His name is Jesus and he is your Savior.

Jesus Rocks

I will spare philosophical musings for the moment and address this question from a very personal perspective.

It’s hard to admit it, but I have been both that patient and that shrink to myself, and there is nothing that could have been said by anyone, from an atheistic view, that could change those feelings. Atheism is a philosophy that is only healthily sustainable in the most ideal of settings; economic, emotional, psychological, and so on. I don’t find it a coincidence that the percentage of atheists in my country is roughly analogous to the percentage of the super rich. Not to say that the two consist of the same individuals, but that the number of people whose hereditary fortune, fiscal and/or genetic, allow them to lead such charmed lives as to feel numb to the need for something greater than ourselves is something of a biological corollary to those who hit (or inherit) the capitalist jackpot. Compare an atheist at Yale to an atheist in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, and you’ll see the difference I’m underscoring here. I’ve known atheists of both breeds. Inevitably,the man whose lot in life is not so appealing is nearly guaranteed to have a much more negative, cynical, self destructive a****nd even criminal worldview than his well fed, well bred counterpart in the Ivy League. Contrast this to the poor folk, many whom I’ve known, coming from a very lower class background, who despite the horrific and violent circumstances that surround them, keep faith and trust in God, and manage to live such humble and holy lives, and be so full of love, compassion and wisdom. Any one of these people makes a better case for the existence of God than any theologian or philosopher can present for or against.

Sorry for the rant. I just felt the need to get that out. :slight_smile:

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