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David Hume on Suicide

            Though the gift of life is a virtue so invaluable that it would seem immensely farcical to throw it away, the reality of suicide is upsettingly prevalent in Canada, and all over the world. Though it seems stereotypically immoral, philosopher David Hume defended the act, labeling suicide as sometimes permissible. Using absurdist and deontological ethics, I wish to prove that although Hume's argument is valid, the argument is not fundamentally sound. .
             Hume's positioning on suicide is reflective of Epicurean and Platonic philosophies, because of its emphasis on living a good life, rather than a long, unpleasant one. The main fundamentals of Plato and Epicurus's philosophies rely on maximizing pleasure and reducing any evil in one's life. David Hume's innovative essay entitled 'Of Suicide' generated discussions of how one's life could sustain so much evil, that the possibility of suicide could be seen as permissible. The essay was published in 1782, a time when philosophers were traditionally strongly against suicide, thus making Hume's work at the time very controversial. Hume's arguments consist on debating the three consequences that could possibly occur in the events of a suicide. Hume states that suicide is not always a transgression of our duty to god, our duty to our neighbours, and our duty to ourselves (Hume: 4). Our relationship with god is systematically complicated in philosophy, because of the difference in religions, and belief within our society. If God has a plan for us, and knows exactly when we will pass, then how is it possible to alter our life at all? Hume contrasts the act of suicide with taking medicine that may alter our life's span in the long run; since taking medicine is not impious, either is committing suicide for a valid reason. According to Socrates "the gods are our keepers, and we men are one of their possessions. we must not put an end to ourselves until God sends some compulsion like the one we are now facing.

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