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To Be Or Not To Be (is suicide ever a valid form of social protest)?

  1. VoltaireZ profile image59
    VoltaireZposted 5 years ago

    Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26-year-old university graduate without a steady job, trying to support his family, his suicide spark the uprisings in the Middle East, and "hope" for so many. How often we raise a person to the level of "hero" because he's willing to take someone else life (the cop,, the soldier, and so one), but how rarely do we raise up to the same level of hero, because they have had enough and end their own lives. But the truth is I'm deeply weighing whether I've had enough. The conservative's dream for America drowns every dream I've ever had for America and humanity (and it seems almost inevitable that they will achieve it); to simply exist for my own joys and accomplishments (which I've no talent for) seems a fruitless life to me, in a world ignorant and greedy, and from my perspective hopeless.

    In my own youth, shocked by the horrors mankind does to itself, I decided to self-immolate, but was talked out of it by a friend, who calmly asked my one question, "what would it accomplish?" The cold rational answer was "nothing." Now though, I'm certain my life, will accomplish nothing, in regards to what I feel needs to be accomplish for humanity to look itself honestly in the mirror and without hypocrisy claim itself and "good, brave, intelligent, compassionate and noble" creature. Yet, while I don't think my death would spark a revolution- it's not so fine a thing to put on the alter of humanity as Mohamed Bouazizi life was - I think it would have more of an impact towards my hopes and dreams for the world and humanity, than all the days and years I've left.  So it weighs deeply on my mind as I consider the arguments for and against, and weigh my own courage.

    Are just those who kill others brave and courageous, or do those who offer their own life up to voice their strongest and loudest objection to immorality also to be counted amongst our heroes?

    So many thoughts and questions

  2. rachelsholiday profile image60
    rachelsholidayposted 5 years ago

    I think that martyrs can often be people to be looked up to.  However, I also believe that it's only after that person has dedicated his/her life to that cause.

    For example, if I read in the news that Joe Schmo killed himself for gay rights I  probably wouldn't care very much about gay right.  However, in the news recently there has been a lot of youth suicide because they were being bullied about being gay.  That young person had lived their life hoping for acceptance and trying to accept others.  Upon not getting what they were giving they killed themselves.

  3. lizzieBoo profile image79
    lizzieBooposted 5 years ago

    laying down your life for the sake of someone else in courageous. Killing yourself to make a point is not. Self-murder is still murder.

  4. psycheskinner profile image81
    psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago

    I am not sure it is my business to say what is valid.  If it started the Arab Spring, some good came of it.

  5. Wayne Brown profile image85
    Wayne Brownposted 5 years ago

    To me, suicide is simply a valid way to remove one's self from the equation. Certainly there might be an impact in terms of sorrow with regard to a person taking their own life relative to an issue but I am not sure that it necessarily helps the cause.  From another perspective, I look at the act of murder and come away with the conclusion that murder is something which is the result of a deranged mind.  What person in their right mind would desire murder another?  Given that, suicide is the act of murdering oneself so I would have to apply the same logic and conclude that though the cause may be something the person takes very seriously, there may be other things going on mentally that has contributed to the illogical conclusion to take their own life. WB

    1. VoltaireZ profile image59
      VoltaireZposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Murder? Our actions have led to the deaths of over 100,000 people in Iraq, perhaps as high as 1.5 million, all for oil, all for a lie? Soldiers kill. Cops kill. The state kills. The state claims the right to kill my body, but won't let me exercise my own ownership and conscience it tells me, 'I can't smoke pot.' A man can refuse a life saving blood transfusion, because of a religions belief, but I can't drop acid to perhaps experience a spiritual epiphany in an altered state of mind. My suicide would be me saying, "fuck the state" it's my body.

      Would you run into a burning house to save a child? Would you do so, even if it meant the loss of your life? Is one child's life worth yours? It is mine; that I'm certain of. 25,000 children die everyday from poverty, in the world; we live in the 21st century, there are solutions to poverty; if we can break free of the rule of those who's insane wealth is depended upon that poverty. If my death, might make a difference, then I should, if I can muster the courage.

  6. ChristianRecca profile image61
    ChristianReccaposted 5 years ago

    If you are really questioning whether to commit suicide or not, you must get help now. My mother killed herself and the aftereffects have horribly affected my life, along with the lives of many members of my family. I don't know who is in your life, but you most likely have someone who would think your suicide would be traumatic. And in the end, your friend is right. Even if you spark something (which you most likely won't), you won't be around to see it.

    People don't know how deeply our world is fucked up, and people are needed to write about how fucked it is. You have a purpose. And there is life out there. You can still have it. You can.

    1. VoltaireZ profile image59
      VoltaireZposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Me me me me, I'm not thinking about me. When I was 23 (I think) I frankly examined the drug laws and realized that the marijuana laws were a gross assault on freedom, capitalism, reason, and the health and welfare of people, particularly the people of Mexico; even though I'd never tried marijuana, and I protested the insane laws of this country by selling marijuana openly in front of various court houses in Oregon; it wasn't about me, it was about my moral responsibility to others. Others have sacrificed their lives for my welfare, and I've a duty to do the same for children in general and particular my nieces and nephews; who are growing in a nation with diminished dreams because so few people have the courage to stand up and "demand" better.

  7. Cagsil profile image83
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    Only a complete moron would think that "suicide" is a valid form of social protest. wink

    1. psycheskinner profile image81
      psycheskinnerposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      It happens, it sometimes has profound effects.  What there is "invalid"? The willingness of the Kru to commit suicide rather than become slaves is one reason why their people ceased to be valued and so hunted by slave traders--seems valid to me.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch … %E1%BB%A9c

  8. Aficionada profile image92
    Aficionadaposted 5 years ago

    Also, there were Buddhist monks during the Vietnam War who made an impact on the world's consciousness through various forms of suicide.

    But I believe ChristianRecca's voice is the one that VoltaireZ should hear the most.  We're not just talking about a theory here.  The actual act has its biggest impact on the people closest to the one who committed it.

    How would the act be perceived:  as what you have built it up in your mind to be; or as a tragic result of flawed thinking?

    VoltaireZ, I don't know where you live or what horrors you face in your personal life.  But, unless they genuinely rise to the level of the Vietnam War, the slavery faced by the Kru, or the extreme injustices in some Middle Eastern nations, your act would have little or no meaning.

    How is that even remotely possible? Seriously?

    You have a much better opportunity at having an impact towards your hopes and dreams for the world, if you engage in discussions in the HubPages forums, even if people here disagree with you on your beliefs.  Because while you are engaging, you always have an opportunity to come back later and explain what you meant, or add additional thoughts and ideas.  If you were dead, you wouldn't have the chance to correct someone who tried later to explain what your death "meant." 

    And here in the forums, there are people from all around the world who read the arguments and discussions.  They may not always contribute their own thoughts, but the things you write could certainly change someone's mind somewhere.  But your death would almost certainly be known only to the people closest to you, and so would have little if no impact.

    1. VoltaireZ profile image59
      VoltaireZposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      Worldwide 100 million children will die from poverty in the decade between my 40th and my 50th, I'm now 43; what a mockery that makes of anything I could ever do with my life. I assure everyone, that I'm not depressed, except when I consider killing myself in protests of the course my country and humanity is set upon. I am terrified of dying, but I am more terrified of not doing what I believe to be right.

      Gandhi said of the Jews, (paraphrasing) "It would be better for them to throw themselves off cliffs than to let Hitler do what he's doing to them."

      So I think (am thinking) that while in a Republic one can't always get what he wants, but then again, I don't have to live in a Nation overrun with fiscal conservatism, in a nation destroying the "New Deal" and looking more and more like Rome every day (who are we going to war next with); a nation where the rich and powerful are immune from prosecution, a nation that tries to rewrite international law and its own history to mean whatever is useful for the moment; a nation where most people don't read or watch anything that really resembles "news" anymore. I could go on.

      Now, if I thought things were getting better, would get better, then I would be more inclined to just accept my person failings in life and find some way to dwindle away more slowly. But I believe things are getting worse, and are going to get much worse.

      I don't believe discussions are enough. I believe mass action and willingness to go to jail is needed, but I don't see anything like that kind of moral responsibility in people. Oddly enough, people in this Republic don't feel responsible for what is happening in this country; they blame others, and so they don't believe they have to do more than they already are doing. I don't feel that way at all, I feel our children's dreams and hopes are diminished because people have become lazier, apathetic, and more cowardly. I feel we need far more courage in this country, far more people saying "absolutely no, our children's lives will be better, and I will do everything to make that happen!"

      If my life had more measure of social wealth, then I could perhaps make a bold statement through an act of civil disobedience, like burning down some foreclosed homes in protests of the US governments unwillingness to bring people to justice for ruining our economy, but my life isn't. but there is just enough "perceived" worth in it that ending it might, achieve something.

      1. Cagsil profile image83
        Cagsilposted 5 years ago in reply to this

        This statement is distortion. Poverty doesn't cause death and to imply it does is just wrong. It may be a contributing factor, but it doesn't directly cause death.

        1. VoltaireZ profile image59
          VoltaireZposted 5 years ago in reply to this

          Smoking doesn't cause death. It may cause cancer and the cancer may cause death, but smoking doesn't cause death.

          Poverty makes it impossible for some parents to buy their children food, they starve to death, starvation was the cause of death, poverty the cause of starvation: direct causal link; there are many other direct causal links such as not being able to afford simple medication; clean water; and so on that cause...death. It isn't a distortion. Poverty is a cause of death. Poverty does not always cause death, but that depends on how one defines poverty. Are you impoverished if one get food stamps and free medical care from your society, well not from the perspective of those people who are impoverished and don't get those things. I don't define poverty as a person a Swiss student who gets everything paid for him by the state, I define as the person who can't earn enough to get sufficient shelter, food, clean water, and medical care, and that causes death, just like smoking causes death, often much faster.

  9. VoltaireZ profile image59
    VoltaireZposted 5 years ago

    I just read an article online about a woman who weighs 700 pounds who is trying to gain weight, because she wants to hold the world record for most Obese woman....speaking of suicide.

  10. lorlie6 profile image86
    lorlie6posted 5 years ago

    Strictly personal-every time.