Suicide – Is Suicide Wrong? Since the beginning of time, people have been committing suicide. Self inflicted death, or suicide, can be defined as “choosing the mode, time, situation, or occasion for ending one’s life.” In general, the word suicide has a negative connotation and is looked upon unfavorably. Yet in some circumstances, killing oneself can be considered acceptable or even the right thing to do. Since it’s difficult to differentiate between the correct thing to do and the wrong thing to do, this essay will look at both points of view. In the story of the Masada, Eleazar and his followers were faced with an important decision: whether they should fight the Roman army or find another means of winning. Winning a physical battle against the Roman legions would have been impossible for the Jews, thus they opted to try and win the mental battle by taking their own lives.
The five to one ratio of Romans to Jews made it impossible for the Jews to try and win in combat. Eleazar figured that it would be best for his people to take the victory away from the Romans by robbing them of their glory. Eleazar’s plan was a success and history may well justify the act of suicide. I talked to both my parents and asked them what they would do in this situation. My mom felt that it was wrong to commit suicide in this case because the Jews didn’t even try to put up a fight.
As she put it, “Even if the Jews did lose, their lives may have been spared.” My dad felt that suicide was the best thing to do given the circumstances In the Bible, Mark 14:32-42 deals with Jesus willfully being arrested and killed. Jesus knew that he would be killed, but he still accepted his fate. My dad feels that his actions were acceptable because he was trying to prove a point. My dad also added, “He was merely trying to stand up for his rights.” 1 Maccabees 2:32-38 tells of the slaughter of a thousand Jews because they refused to fight on the day of the Sabbath. Since they would not obey the king’s command, the army was forced to attack the Jews. For the Jews, death was inevitable since they chose to conform to their beliefs.
In this instance, my whole family agreed that the Jewish people were only following the guidelines of their religion, and if they were very religious at heart, then, they had no other choice but to avoid fighting. 1 Maccabees 6:39-46 of the Bible deals with Eleazar sacrificing his life during a war so that he could gain fame as well as kill the leader of attack. Once again, my family agreed that what Eleazar did was acceptable and actually quite noble since he was trying to protect his own people from death. Eleazar’s actions displayed courage and bravery. To some people, suicide is never acceptable, but most people feel that taking your own life is acceptable under certain conditions.
Sacrificing one’s life to uphold one’s principles or laws of righteousness is considered to be noble and chivalrous. However, ending one’s life or committing suicide as a way to escape the normal problems of life is thought to be an act of cowardice and is not justifiable.