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07/19/2008 02:28:59 PM · #1
For those who believe in God (Any religion), can I get your opinion on the following:

A man is diagnosed with terminal cancer and only finds out in the last month of his natural life. He could choose to stay home and die peacefully or go to a hospital and taken cared of perhaps more comfortably and possibly longer.

However, he chooses a different route. He decides in his final days, in days where he realizes that something 'feels' wrong, to go skydiving, and instead of opening his shoot, he just looks up at the sky and heavens, perhaps says a prayer, and goes out with a smile on his face. Would this be a sin. While technically suicide, do you think that God would look at it that way, or would He say 'You left this world with an open mind and clean conscience, and you will entire my Kingdom the same way.' or something similar? Or do you think he would be damned for doing what he did?
07/19/2008 03:34:35 PM · #2
I'm not willing to comment on the religious question (is it a sin) but from the standpoint of his family or loved ones, he'd be leaving quite a mess behind to clean up (both literally and figuratively). In general, I'm a supporter of the right to personal choice over one's health and well-being, and that includes end-of-life questions. But there are probably better ways to do it than an intentional sky diving accident.
07/19/2008 03:39:46 PM · #3
Originally posted by strangeghost:

I'm not willing to comment on the religious question (is it a sin) but from the standpoint of his family or loved ones, he'd be leaving quite a mess behind to clean up (both literally and figuratively). In general, I'm a supporter of the right to personal choice over one's health and well-being, and that includes end-of-life questions. But there are probably better ways to do it than an intentional sky diving accident.


I would imagine this skydiving 'accident' would happen after affairs were in order and likely the man informed his family. This is an open question as to how far the man in question has gone to take care of matters before death. Suicide is often a selfish way to end ones life because it leaves too many questions unanswered. If my son/daughter lived a happy life and ended it this way, me knowing the kind of person he/she is (Living life to the fullest) I don't know that I would call it selfish.
07/19/2008 04:11:10 PM · #4
In the Catholic religion, taking your own life is a sin, and wouldn't be the path to heaven. I would recommend prayer, and also he should see a priest for the Sacrament of Onointing of the Sick. With the sacrament Christ strengthens our soul in the face of sickness or death.
07/19/2008 04:12:35 PM · #5
Also not willing to comment on the religious side but I think the man's family would cope far better with a peaceful death at home as they would have the time to adjust to the idea that he would not be with them for long and they would have the chance to spend some quality time with him. A skydiving 'accident' is far to sudden and traumatic and would be extremely difficult for family to deal with as they would not have had the time to 'say their goodbyes' and adjust.
07/19/2008 04:14:47 PM · #6
Who's flying the plane? Could this type of incident cause some issues for them as well? I know these questions don't address the main subject, but I couldn't help but wonder...
07/19/2008 04:20:37 PM · #7
If he dies by suicide and the family know it, they either have to lie or forfeit the life insurance.
07/19/2008 04:22:38 PM · #8
I am not a religious person, per-se, but I would think that the person would be committing a mortal sin. Taking one's own life. However, I can understand why someone would do such a thing.

From a totally pragmatic viewpoint...I agree that it's kind of a messy way (figuratively and literally) way to go. I'd probably go through with the skydive and then do some other high-risk things I'd never gotten around to doing because I'm too chicken to do them. I'd celebrate life in the time I had (for as long as I could).

I also admit I'd probably find someway to not suffer when I got to that point. We euthanize animals to keep them from suffering, why can't we do that to those that are dying (with no hope of saving)?

Message edited by author 2008-07-19 16:23:30.
07/19/2008 04:45:07 PM · #9
You might get a more authoritative answer asking God. There's a whole Bible full of wisdom and truth that He loves to share and teach from. It takes some study and seeking, but anything you want to know...James 1:5
07/19/2008 05:46:42 PM · #10
it could be argued that it wasn't suicude as his life had already "technically" been taken by the disease, i believe god wouldn't turn them away he is a loving god. but if they were a bad person i don't know
07/19/2008 05:51:16 PM · #11
Our opinions are our opinions. God does not have opinions but infinite mercy.
07/19/2008 06:06:19 PM · #12
Getting a reliable answer for the religious aspects might be difficult. So let's focus on earthly concerns:

In my opinion, everyone should be free to end their own life (especially if they are terminally ill and suffering pain). However, such a move should be discussed with relatives and friends. And one has to make sure that the wish to die is not just due to a temporary mood. And depending on where you live there are legal implications that should be considered carefully.

I also agree that enjoying special activities (like skydiving) in your last days is a good idea. You might even want to take risks you wouldn't accept under normal circumstances (because it doesn't really matter anymore).

However, I wouldn't recommend combining the two (ending your own life with a skydive jump). Just think about the details: Where would the person land? Might they endanger somebody else? What will happen to the body? What are the consequences for the skydiving company? What are the consequences for the family (someone mentioned the issue of life insurance)? etc.
07/20/2008 12:02:16 AM · #13
It's obviously a hypothetical question, and it really is more the religious views that I was looking for. I would say that all things being sorted out before his jump, with family and friends, to a point where they would maybe NOT know what he was going to do, just that he wasn't coming home by taxi the next time. Perhaps he has no family at all, just a good man living a good life with an unexpected illness.

This actually came to me years ago, not because I was interested in suicide but because I wondered if taking ones own life a day or a week before painful natural causes would, if it would still be a sin in the eyes of God. What brought these thoughts back was an episode of Vegas in season 2 (Episode 4 or I can't remember) where this situation took place. On the show it was portrayed as him going out with a smile, and the cast being happy for him that he did.


07/20/2008 12:12:44 AM · #14
In my OPINION (<--------capitalized word is very important here), I THINK, based on my Christian views, that if he had accepted Christ as his savior, then, yes, he would be shown mercy and go to Heaven.



07/20/2008 12:43:42 AM · #15
We are, after all, approaching death every instant of our lives. As we age, the experience of that instant should be increasingly intense and cherished. The sum of all things is, after all, diminishing. If we do not, consciously and tangibly, embrace every moment after having had a lifetime to consider all things for their joy and sorrow, how could we say to have lived?

The man in the analogy, instead, projects an idea of pain and misery which prevents him from completing his journey in a meaningful way. He, in my view, has no faith.
07/20/2008 12:56:02 AM · #16
Originally posted by zeuszen:

We are, after all, approaching death every instant of our lives. As we age, the experience of that instant should be increasingly intense and cherished. The sum of all things is, after all, diminishing. If we do not, consciously and tangibly, embrace every moment after having had a lifetime to consider all things for their joy and sorrow, how could we say to have lived?

The man in the analogy, instead, projects an idea of pain and misery which prevents him from completing his journey in a meaningful way. He, in my view, has no faith.


nicely stated
07/20/2008 02:32:38 AM · #17
I think mostly? Christians have answered this thread, I am happy to see some of those believe in mercy.

My faith has no name nor label. Nor does it technically have a heaven, hell... at least not in the Christian sense, see below, nor does it have a personal god at its center. I believe everyone and everything is god, there is no separation between anything, we are given a certain view of life as we live which is stripped away when we die until all we know is the truth, free from the limitations and illusions of our minds and eyes.

That all souls may eventually end up at the same place, even though for some the road will be much longer and harder. That there is a natural flow and cycle to life, a rhythm and disrupting this flow or swimming against it is "bad". The result being a willingness to believe in illusions, which will lead the soul further from its goal.

In life we are blind to all that is around us and only through death may our eyes be opened, slowly. We are asleep but in death we will awake.

I believe part of that awakening comes at the cost of reliving all the pain caused to others throughout ones life. That it is the natural progression of becoming aware of ones life and the lives around each of us. As well will the soul relive all the joys it has brought to others.

I cannot say if suicide when terminally ill is a joyous or painful thing to do. Normally suicide would be a painful thing, to our family, to our friends. In death we would face that pain head on. However, there are times when watching a loved one suffering is too much pain to bear and they would pray for peace to come to their loved one soon.

So, to answer your question, as my faith allows me; the person would end up on the road regardless, however depending on the pain caused by their suicide may be hindered in progressing.

That is the real hell, not having to face the pain, but in being hindered and kept in the dark because of ones unwillingness to accept who they were and face it head on. To run away from ones mistakes instead of moving past them.
07/20/2008 03:13:03 AM · #18
To the OP...
The Bible says that Christ is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFe and nobody would enter heaven and meet the father without him.

If he was saved...I don't believe he would actually take his life before God called him home. I think he would spend the last month trying to win as many souls to Christ as possible.

Suicide...whether by skydiving, by overdose or by any other means is the cowards way out. It isn't only effecting you...it is effecting your family, anybody that he may harm when He hits the ground, the people he is skydiving with, the company he goes jumping with on the fateful day, etc. etc.

In short, I don't think somebody that is 'right' with God would ever consider this route.

Eric
07/20/2008 04:08:08 AM · #19
As far as most non-Roman Christians would be concerned, choosing to suicide (regardless of the means) would not affect your status with God:
* If you have chosen to follow Jesus, then his forgiveness covers all your sins - past and future. (See Romans 3:21-25, 5:1-2, 5:21, 8:1-2) This doesn't give us an excuse to go and do whatever we want (Romans 6:1-2), but it does mean that the sins we do are already paid for.
* If you haven't chosen to follow Jesus, then no matter how much good you do or suffering you put up with, it's not going to get you into Heaven. (See Romans 3:10-11,20)

As much as it might grate on some peoples' sense of "justice", there aren't really different grades of sin - so if I "only" tell a few lies this doesn't put me in a better place than someone who suicides; if I committed suicide, this doesn't still leave me with more hope than someone who molests children. If I've accepted Jesus sacrifice for my mistakes, then that covers petty theft and rape. If I haven't, then the same result is waiting for me whether I've engaged in genocide or in gluttony, whether I die gently in my sleep or after a long painful illness.

I'd disagree with egamble's comment that anyone right with God would never consider suicide. Despite being forgiven, we still consider (and, sometimes, do) things we shouldn't (Paul talks about this in Romans 8:14-25). I have considered suicide on more than one occasion and know at least two believing Christians that have committed suicide (being Christian doesn't make you immune to major depression!). I believe God would be disappointed if I did suicide, but (as specified above) he wouldn't take my salvation away if I did.
07/20/2008 04:17:38 AM · #20
Originally posted by paddles:

As far as most non-Roman Christians would be concerned, choosing to suicide (regardless of the means) would not affect your status with God:
* If you have chosen to follow Jesus, then his forgiveness covers all your sins - past and future. (See Romans 3:21-25, 5:1-2, 5:21, 8:1-2) This doesn't give us an excuse to go and do whatever we want (Romans 6:1-2), but it does mean that the sins we do are already paid for.
* If you haven't chosen to follow Jesus, then no matter how much good you do or suffering you put up with, it's not going to get you into Heaven. (See Romans 3:10-11,20)

As much as it might grate on some peoples' sense of "justice", there aren't really different grades of sin - so if I "only" tell a few lies this doesn't put me in a better place than someone who suicides; if I committed suicide, this doesn't still leave me with more hope than someone who molests children. If I've accepted Jesus sacrifice for my mistakes, then that covers petty theft and rape. If I haven't, then the same result is waiting for me whether I've engaged in genocide or in gluttony, whether I die gently in my sleep or after a long painful illness.

I'd disagree with egamble's comment that anyone right with God would never consider suicide. Despite being forgiven, we still consider (and, sometimes, do) things we shouldn't (Paul talks about this in Romans 8:14-25). I have considered suicide on more than one occasion and know at least two believing Christians that have committed suicide (being Christian doesn't make you immune to major depression!). I believe God would be disappointed if I did suicide, but (as specified above) he wouldn't take my salvation away if I did.


We can just agree to disagree.

In my opinion, true salvation is fully trusting in and believing the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven.

If you choose to take your life into your own hands, regardless of your state of mind, you are not trusting and believing fully in Christ. Remember what Christ said, You will know a tree by its fruits. The Spirit of God, according to the Holy Bible, offers several fruits..none of which are self murder.

As for ,once saved..always saved, etc...etc...that is a discussion I refuse to have online.

Message edited by author 2008-07-20 04:25:31.
07/20/2008 04:38:25 AM · #21
Because the question was a religious one I thought some scriptures from the bible may answer you question, whether hypothetical or not.

Although self-inflicted death is never justified, never righteous, the apostle Paul did hold out a beautiful hope for even some unrighteous ones. As he told a Roman court of law: “I have hope toward God . . . that there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.”—Acts 24:15.

Stunned friends of a suicide victim may thus take comfort in knowing that “God has shown mercy to those fearing him. For he himself well knows the formation of us, remembering that we are dust.” (Psalm 103:10-14) Only God can fully understand the role of mental sickness, extreme stress, even genetic defects, in a “suicidal crisis Ecclesiastes 7:7 ("For mere oppression may make a wise one act crazy")

Granted, one who takes his own life deprives himself of the opportunity to repent of his self-murder. But who can say whether one driven to suicide might have had a change of heart had his fatal attempt failed? Some notorious murderers have, in fact, changed and earned God’s forgiveness during their lifetime.—2 Kings 21:16; 2 Chronicles 33:12, 13.

Life is a gift from God, not something to be abused or to end at one’s own hand. (James 1:17) Hence, the Scriptures encourage us to see ourselves, not as immortal souls, but as valuable creations of the God who loves us, who treasures our being alive, and who looks forward with joy to the time of the resurrection.—Job 14:14, 15.

Love strengthens our recognition that suicide—though evading one’s own burdens—only heaps more problems on loved ones left behind. As far as the one who rashly took his own life is concerned, we humans cannot judge as to whether he will get a resurrection or not. How reprehensible was he? God alone searches ‘all hearts and every inclination of the thoughts.’ (1 Chronicles 28:9) But we may be confident that ‘the Judge of all the earth is going to do what is loving, just, and right!’—Genesis 18:25.
07/20/2008 05:07:51 AM · #22
Why not simply keep jumping? He'll have a ball doing it and sooner or later the chute won't open. If that doesn't work, he could always try surfing huge waves at Jaws or Mavericks. That should do the trick. :)

07/20/2008 05:10:42 AM · #23
The information regarding life insurance stated above may not be accurate. Most policies will not pay the death benefit if a death occurs by suicide within the first two years. Thereafter, the company must pay the death claim even if death is by suicide. I believe most states require this provision so that companies cannot argue about the cause of death in an attempt to evade a contractual obligation to pay. The two year period is intended to protect the companies from someone who is unstable at the time they buy the policy, apparently assuming that anyone who is unstable won't be able to hold on for two years. It's basically a public policy position balancing the need to protect the companies on the one hand and protect legitimate policy holders who become depressed and take their lives on the other hand.

Under the scenario where someone is avoiding a painful death in old age by committing suicide, the company is probably just paying off a few years early, because death was likely to occur anyway.

(Caveat: This is intended to provide some general educational information. I'm not giving legal advice here folks. Ask your own attorney and read your own policy if you want to know the answer as it applies to you. This is a disclaimer.)
07/20/2008 05:40:22 AM · #24
The OP seems to assume that sin and salvation are 2 seperate things. However, it is fundamental to all christian belief that sin and salvation are not mutually exclusive, but actually go together. We all sin - that's a given. It's inescapable. If we believe and accept Jesus, we are saved. Regardless of our sin.

We can look at hypotheticals until the cows come come, and try to judge what specifics make it sin or not sin, but in the end, that is between God and the man. Similarly, whether the man is saved or not is also solely between God and the man. It is not our position to make judgement on this. We live our own lives as best we can, based on our beliefs, and we can work with others based on our beliefs, but too often people get bogged down in trying to determine whether what other people do is a sin or not. It's irrelevant. All the points raised here are valid concerns, and if we met this man, we could discuss with him the consequences of his actions, but we must never assume to pass judgement on whether he is saved or damned.

"Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

Instead, look at your own life, and those around you, and in response to faith, work out how you can make a difference. Not because you have to, but because you can.


Message edited by author 2008-07-20 05:42:17.
07/20/2008 07:44:10 AM · #25
Everyone is so judgemental.

From a societal frame of reference, going into a hospital or hospice would certainly cost more than the clean up from a "fall."

Here comes a guy who doesn't want to be a burden on anybody and chooses to end it- On his terms. He doesn't waste all his families money on expensive experimental treatment- he doesn't walk out into traffic-(which is far less innocent than skydiving to death- because you know you are ruining the life of the person that hits you)-
and theres actually people who would say he won't have eternal life? Some Catholic who spoke to God and God said "suicide is wrong- die a horrible miserable death or go to hell... be a man for Christ's sake."

Or some catholic or born again who would become a soldier and kill and figure god says its ok if I'm protecting america? News flash- killing is always wrong. No turning back- no saying "I believe" on your death bed and your saved. OR maybe its not wrong, and their is nothing to be saved from.

There are tons of people who die in equally terrible ways that are really just prolonged suicide. Severe alcoholics. Drug Addicts. Smokers even. How about people that ride motorcyles without helmets? (Who takes care of them when they carash and God-forbid DON'T die? You and me pay for their careless behavior.) Some of these activities are so reckless- and some have been warned- stop or you'll die- as to make them practically suicide.

I'm admittedly as agnostic as they come. But most religious rules were made up to keep people in line in societies when there were no police forces; the ten commandments are often just rules how to be a good neighbor and keep neighborhood bloodshed to a minimum.

The choice of what to do when you have terminal cancer is really up to the individual- I hope I don't have to make this choice- or anyone I know for that matter. I'd really hate to think that someone would suffer and put everybody around them in a total miserable hell just because they thought they'd be damned if they made a choice. I would certainly not want to see anyone make that choice based upon what their mega-church tells them to do....

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