A month or so ago, I found myself asking this question of myself, then later of people on a facebook debate group with Atheists and Christians that I frequent. Though I have come to my own conclusions on the subject, I was curious what others would say.
I made it clear that it was not a question of right or wrong, thus if you can not get past that argument, don’t participate. It was a question of justification. Do you think it is ever justified, and give reasons as to why you think that. As expected, all of them were leaned in the direction of unjustified. And they pretty much all used selfishness as the main reason for that conclusion (again, not to surprising).
One of the bigger motivations for this, would have been what messes (be they financial or otherwise) will be left behind for the next of kin. Which is a good argument.
But in my mind, that is not always the case, which is why I changed it up a little, and made a little example to study. Say there is a person that, for whatever reason (its irrelevant really) does not want to live any longer. They have no financial or other debts, and are will not leave behind any tricky messes for there loved ones to clean up. Given this scenario, is it still selfish to takes ones own life?
Even now, the answer was a resounding yes. Because even though they didn’t leave a mess in there wake, they were still being selfish by leaving all there friends and family behind.
One has to note the seeming selfishness of that argument. Even if the person is suffering, they can not end there life, because they will affect the people around them.
Though I explain this to them, it never seems to be comprehensible. The idea that it could also be selfish, to expect someone to suffer just to have them around.
But its not really surprising. There is an interesting conundrum presented here.