Suicide can be moral, but that’s no reason to egg people on

At the moment, in Cape Town, there’s a man threatening to jump to his death. Some are calling for him to jump.

I jotted down some thoughts about why suicide can be moral, but why that’s not the same as being part of a crowd yelling for him to leap to his death. And also oppose those who claim life is always worth living.


  1. Aaroninmelbourne says

    There are two things about suicide:

    1. Suicide often happens when the emotional pain someone is in, is more than their ability to cope with it and is thus a psychological health emergency;

    2. Suicide is a moral option if someone were to lose control of their ability to be moral.

    Jeffrey Dahmer was a case in point: he had urges to kill people but attempted to self-medicate with alcohol and adult materials. Then one day someone accidentally died during a sexual encounter and he lost control. If he had suicided (I’m carefully avoiding “committed suicide” as I refuse to use language suggesting it’s a crime of any sort… as a digression, it’s the same reason I don’t “admit” to being an atheist or to being gay, but will declare or confirm depending on circumstances) then it would have been more moral than otherwise as he would, in effect, have saved the lives of his future victims. Of course, losing control was a psychological emergency as well; it was what he did that was immoral, not what happened in the confines of his brain.

  2. noel says

    Godley and Creme address this issue with wicked sardonicism in their song, “The Sporting Life”: “Wait ’til there’s a crowd below/Give a little, when you go.”