Please update your browser

You're using a version of Internet Explorer that isn't supported by Questia.
To get a better experience, go to one of these sites and get the latest
version of your preferred browser:


15
Suicide: Its Nature and
Moral Evaluation

Joseph Kupfer

This paper has two purposes: to clarify what suicide is and to discuss its moral evaluation. These are not so easily kept separate, since it is just the traditional condemnation of suicide that often inhibits us from thinking of justified life-taking as suicide. We should not, however, so define suicide that it is logically impossible to have a justified suicide. Some suicides may be justified, even obligatory or noble. Consequently, I shall try to give an analysis of suicide that permits a range of moral evaluation. I shall proceed on the assumption that one way to develop an understanding of suicide is to examine a variety of cases: the ascription of suicide being sometimes clear, sometimes problematic.


I

Let's begin with cases that are clearly suicide, and see what makes them clear. Consider someone who has just lost his business and with it his life savings. He is crushed but not pathologically depressed or "out of his mind." He knows what he is doing and thinks it over for quite a while. He then proceeds to "take his own life." Or, consider someone in prison for life. He tries living in prison for several years, but after much self-searching decides that life like this really isn't worth living. He chooses to die rather than live a circumscribed life.

Both of these seem to me to be clear cases of suicide, however well or poorly justified. What makes them such? I think that here it pays to be obvious. The individual chose to end his own life and took the appropriate action. Clearly, there were other options and the individual wanted to die. It wasn't as if death was about

____________________
From the Journal of Value Inquiry 24 ( 1990): 67-81. © Kluwer Academic Publishers. Reprinted by the kind permission of Kluwer Academic Publishers.

-162-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Suicide: Right or Wrong?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 335

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.