The Morality Of Suicide Throughout The Ages

1697 WordsOct 27, 20157 Pages
The Morality of Suicide Throughout the Ages “Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to preserve it. Has it ever been said that a man who throws himself out the window to escape from a fire is guilty of suicide?” This quote, by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, notes very clearly that suicide may be justifiable in certain situations, but society generally doesn’t define this type of act as suicide because of the stigma associated with the word itself. Suicide can be more than just killing oneself over emotional distress; it can include honorable suicide, and euthanasia, which all have further reaching implications especially when analyzed throughout history. Origin and Development According to Online Etymology, the word suicide comes from “the Latin root sui, which means oneself, and cidium meaning to kill” (Harper). The word as it is now was first used in Europe in 1651. Before this date, the only word similar to suicide was suicida from Europe during the 1200’s. Suicida was rarely ever used because the majority of those living in Europe at the time felt that it was too horrific to talk about. Those who spoke about suicide earlier than those times used a word that would loosely translate to self-murder. Even though many thought that suicide was a terrible action, there still was discussion about it. The debate about the morality of suicide began in ancient Greece with the philosopher Socrates. He asserted that people shouldn’t take their our own lives because to do so
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