17th April 2011
An open challenge to Bhagwad Jal and Anuj to write the world’s first rational suicide letter
I was hoping it wouldn't come to this, but I have no choice. No reasoned argument seems to persuade Bhagwad Jal and Anuj that there no fundamental right to suicide (see the post and comments here).
Their contention is that just because in some imaginary case one could argue in favour of suicide, it must become a fundamental right that the state must protect (else rights have no meaning, anyway). I've been arguing that one can't create a legal "right' on the basis of some imaginary case (which in any event can't be challenged, being imaginary).
I've said that repeatedly that if suicide is such a good thing for a healthy person to undertake, then I'd be happy to do it and recommend to everyone. Unfortunately that point didn't get into Bhagwad nor Anuj, who are stuck, like a broken record, in insisting that a right to commit suicide exists – and that it is a rational act.
To me, and to everyone in their right mind, suicide is caused by an unfortunate sickness of mind, an aberration, and NO case, I argue, exists where a healthy (physically and mentally) person can cogently get up and commit suicide.
We obviously CAN'T MAKE A LEGAL RIGHT on the ground of mental or other sickness. Sickness must be cured. The causes must be fixed.
Only two rights exist: to life and to liberty, with life being the predominant source of all rights.
I'm flabbergasted at the persistence of a mindless libertine argument that makes nonsense of the concept of life, of liberty – and of rationality.
I'm very aware that this is a very sensitive matter and I would be loathe to treat the concept of suicide lightly or causually. I'm very sorry if I'm disturbing anyone by discussing this issue, but unless bad ideas are PINNED DOWN AND DESTROYED, they have a tendency to keep arising in the future.
And so my open challenge to Bhagwad Jal and to Anuj:
Can you, Bhagwad and/or Anuj, please imagine that you are a healthy (mentally balanced, and physically fine) person. Now please propose to me a detailed argument – in the form of a suicide letter – that proves suicide is in your best interest.
In DOF I've outlined a detailed process for testing the rationality of a claim for euthanasia. At the minimum I'd expect this argument/claim (from Bhagawad and /or Anuj) to be PUBLICLY vetted and thoroughly tested for cogency.
Just like all people in the world can agree to a case that 2+2=4, EVERYONE in the world should agree that there is a very good rational argument for a healthy person to commit suicide.
Note that ALL potential counter-arguments should have been taken care of in your "suicide letter", else it will be basically an IRRATIONAL letter and disprove your point.