Today’s blog from Dr. Mohler has sparked my interest once again in suicide. No, I am not interested in attempting suicide; I am, rather, interested in how we view such behavior. Until the 20th Century, states had laws forbidding suicide and classifying suicide as a felony.
In the 20th Century, we began including such “ludicrous” laws into board games, along with the bulk of California legislative propositions. The joke was whether to punish the one who commits suicide with the death penalty. Yet, the laws were more than a laughing matter. The seriousness of these laws (and their useful purpose in society is demonstrated by the following quote from a Satanist whose internet site guides people to commit suicide:
“The guide is there to make it easier for people who opt for suicide to carry it out. The purpose of my information is empowerment for competent human beings who have an interest in ending their lives. What’s the problem with that?
There is the question. What’s the problem? The problem–which the old-timers rightly understood–is that people ought not to kill themselves or others. People ought not to murder anyone, not even themselves. What we can’t see any longer is just how valuable human life is and just how unwaveringly we are supposed to uphold the value of a human being. The issue was never about punishing the criminal; it was about encouraging life.