What are good secular arguments against suicide?

Now when it comes to religion, some of the reasons why suicide is viewed wrong is things such as:

-Your life is not yours to take away. Its God’s
-You will go to hell
-It is a sin of pride to say you aren’t worthy of God’s forgiveness.
-It shows no trust in God’s mercy and providence.
-It shows a lack of love for God.

I am curious to know, what are reasons atheists use to consider suicide as wrong, since the reasons that have to do with God would be irrelevant to an atheist.


It doesn’t matter if the atheist considers those arguments to be irrelevant. The meaning that’s inherent in creation is true whether an atheist believes it or not.

But, on the other hand, one should treat a suicidal person with compassion and not beat him/her over the head with threats of Hellfire. I’d ask the atheist if there’s a certain person whom they’d die for. If the atheist answers “yes”, then ask “why aren’t you willing to live for him/her, then?”. Think about it; dying for someone costs you more than living for them. Killing yourself only brings grief upon the person(s) whom you care about.

Therefore, do what costs you less and gives positivity to others. Live.

Often, a person has people depending on them, whether it’s financially or emotionally, and I’d argue they have a responsibility to them.

Beyond that, though, often a person considering suicide is dealing with mental health issues. When they get this bad, you’re usually past the point where arguments will have an effect. Therapy and pharmacological assistance are probably called for.

I agree with you, as does Viktor Frankl in his work with “Logotherapy”. you can read his “Man’s Search for Meaning” or listen to it on YouTube youtube.com/watch?v=Xe2R_R0kVaY
It is basically the understanding of what you alone must do for the future if that desired future will ever be realized, which is what life expects of you, rather than dwelling on current or past lack of benefit that you yourself have received, but instead realizing that you are depended upon for some future reality that will not be without you continuing and doing it.

Interesting. :thumbsup:

I knew an atheist who was also gay, and he had no problem with suicide, said that some people who contract AIDS, have a party, then end it all…that it’s a good system.

You seem to be assuming that people who commit suicide are engaging in a rational decision-making process before doing so. Perhaps you should learn more about the subject.

“It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem.” If you can get them to really believe this, they might have hope for the future and see things more rationally.

Besides the usual arguments about leaving behind their loved ones, hearing about other people who overcame their problems might help.

They might also accept the fact that IF their brain is chemically imbalanced, then simply trying antidepressants might help them feel so much better.

Suicide hotline probably has a lot more ideas, if you really have such a person in your life whom you need to help and they won’t call, then YOU call and get some tips, please.
1-800-273-8255** SUICIDE HOTLINE

I’m not an atheist, but here are some arguments against suicide that don’t refer to God’s existence:

  • God might exist (and therefore Heaven, Hell etc.)
  • The decision is irrevocable
  • Effect on family, friends, society etc.
  • Many have considered suicide, but later their lives turned around

Brittany Maynard? Do you say she was not rational? :confused::shrug:

People who commit suicide arent usually insane, if that’s the argument you are going for. Its just a belief that people need to tell themselves to rationalize a very horrific situation. No one wants to think that they are susceptible to the same temptations.

Pills don’t take away temptations from the devil. There is no " medical help" that takes Satan away. Only spiritual. People, especially religious ones should not waive away the spiritual aspect to emotions. The word Psychology means the study of the soul… That should be the realm and responsibility of religion, or is religion flawed or not filled with truth that we now have to hold onto theories on how everyone is an absolute slave to their flesh (" brain chemicals") You either have one or the other… Not both.

The op may know more about the subject than you realize. Me? I’ve studied the subject intensely for years. I’ve known one too many peers who committed the deed, sadly.

There are many people who will be hurt by a person’s suicide…family, friends and fans, as in Robin Williams’ case.

There is always someone in a suicide’s life who will be affected by their death. :sad_bye:

If you’ll actually read my post – it’s very short, won’t take you long – you’ll notice I never said any such thing. One can be irrational without being “insane.” I would think that someone who has “studied the subject intensely for years” would know that, and have a bit of sympathy for people who are in such emotional, psychological, and spiritual distress that they cannot see any other way out.

Agreed. If I’m not mistaken, the OP posted on this subect earlier today. It worries me that he (or she) is on these forums reading material that he could be used to justify making the choice to take his own life.

Or material that could lead to even deeper depression. Just as chemical and hormonal malfunctions can affect the body (diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.), they can likewise affect the brain (depression). The OP or whoever he is referring to needs the medical help that God has provided via mental health professionals.

Golden Seal,

I am not contemplating suicide. I was just curious about how people cope with it.

On atheism I see no reason why suicide is something bad and should not be done. Good or bad don’t exist in any real way for the secularist, only the perception of society at that time makes an action good or bad.

Well…some secular arguments have already been stated.

Sometimes, people commit suicide while severely depressed, and if they would wait it out, with medication and/or counseling, treatment, the depression might lift and life might, again, seem worth living.

Also, some problems, in their moment, may seem overwhelming, but often, when we make it through to the other side, we see it is possible to survive many of even some of the most difficult problems, be stronger for it.

Problems are often temporary, that there are often highs and lows, and there was one time I very badly wanted to commit suicide, (but obviously didn’t :wink: ). Anyway, at that time, the depression was quite bad, and I felt utterly hopeless and helpless. Then, it did begin to turn around. I had one very hard year, particularly, but after that, my life got comparatively easier. In other words, the difficulties didn’t go on forever and ever and ever, like they seemed.

When a person is distraught, the answers might be literally right in front of him, but sadly, due to the depression, many times he/she can´t see them. A lot of people maybe don´t realize in that moment in time they have a really choice, feel desperate, can only see one way out, but generally, it’s not the case.

I remember when I was divorcing, worrying I might go into bankruptcy, and to me, bankruptcy seemed like the end of the world. I talked to someone who had been through it, found out she survived it, and is actually okay, now.

What I dreaded…the bankruptcy, also never did come to pass after all! So, I had worried a lot over nothing!

It is harder, I think, to motivate an atheist to want to live under circumstances, using purely secular views. Even my ex-husband, who is an agnostic, said he thought I would be actually be able to handle more than he would, because I had my faith.

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