Suicide And Our Many Personas

Over a decade ago, a friend of mine killed himself. As we, his many shocked and grieving friends, exchanged notes of commiseration and regret and nostalgic remembrance of a life we had all drawn pleasure from, one refrain made the rounds: “I guess I didn’t know him as well as I thought I did.” Indeed.Continue reading “Suicide And Our Many Personas”

No Atheists In Foxholes? Plenty of Atheists In Cancer Wards

In writing about Brittany Maynard, the twenty-nine year old cancer patient who has scheduled herself for a physician-assisted suicide on November 1, Ross Douthat asks: Why, in a society where individualism seems to be carrying the day, is the right that Maynard intends to exercise still confined to just a handful of states? Why hasContinue reading “No Atheists In Foxholes? Plenty of Atheists In Cancer Wards”

Julian Young on Schopenhauer on Suicide

In his concise introduction to Schopenhauer, Julian Young notes he considered it “incumbent on any ‘ethical system’ to commit suicide.” Indeed, that Stoicism fails to do so, and indeed, even recommends it “in cases where  pain is intolerable”, is for Schopenhauer, proof of its “intellectual bankruptcy.” Young rightly makes the obvious point: this seems like a strangeContinue reading “Julian Young on Schopenhauer on Suicide”

Once More Into the Fray: Stepping Back From Suicide

In one of the opening scenes of Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey Ottway (Liam Neeson) considers committing suicide, sticks a  gun barrel in his mouth, and then decides against it. Later, in the movie’s final scene, after a harrowing journey through the Alaskan wilderness necessitated by an aircraft crash that has seen his band of fellow survivorsContinue reading “Once More Into the Fray: Stepping Back From Suicide”