"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms toward perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Into that heaven of freedom it should be our intent. ( my adaption from Rabindranath Tagores famous lines)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


If the state does not allow one to take a life then how come the state allows a soldier to kill and also pays him for it ?
At the outset we are speaking of a person making a decision in a stable state of mind rather than an instant decision following some frustration or depression.
The person who is contemplating suicide is obviously making a choice between what the future holds for him by staying alive or otherwise. If he has thought through this, and believes that if he were not to take this measure he would continue to live a difficult and painful life , then he has a reason and a right to commit suicide The right to suicide is a right of noninterference and is a right to his personal liberty, so long as he does not harm or imperil others. Even if suicide is harmful to family members or loved ones, this does not support an absolute prohibition on his attempted suicide. The arguments invoking God and religion are just evasive arguments. So also the argument of what the State or Government has enacted. The State or Government should clearly spell out what it will do to help out in a case of a person contemplating suicide is made to decide otherwise. No State has deliberated on the right to die. I shall go still further and defend SATI (in case it is not enforced on her and she does it on her free will.). The Indian Government does not allow SATI ( the act of a widow committing suicide by throwing herself on the dead husband’s funeral pyre). It is only she who knows of the consequences of what the State, her immediate society and the family will bring upon her.... And she has this right to decide what she has to do with her own life. If causing death to ones attacker can be treated as self-defence and the act condoned, by reverse argument all these acts fall in the same category.

In conclusion the basic question a person must answer is to determine which world-course is best or rational for him to choose without causing legitimate harm to others.


  • At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A soldier is paid, or in a draft called upon by the State, to defend those who might otherwise try to occupy internationally mandated or recognized territory of the injured party - and in so defending, to face the consequence of death or injury. The right, or its negative, to take one's own life, on the other hand, is an ethical and moral issue. In world history or in the context of various religons, there has never been the sanction.


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