Explain Christian views on suicide.

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Explain Christian views on suicide. [35]

In a broad sense suicide can be defined as, “the act of intentionally ending your life.” However, there are many different types of suicide. Durkheim identified four kinds: egoistic suicide, which is the result of feeling one’s life is meaningless; altruistic suicide, the act of giving one’s life for the greater good; anomic suicide, the result of a major social change that disrupts a person’s sense of order; and fatalistic suicide, the results of excessive regulation, when one’s future is pitilessly blocked by oppressive discipline, such as in a prison or dictatorship. Christians believe that all life is sacred, and therefore the vast majority of denominations are against all forms of suicide. In examining the reasons behind this, a good place to start is the Christian teaching on the sacredness of human life.

Christians believe in the sanctity of life, meaning that all human life is created in God’s image and has intrinsic worth. The Decalogue teaches, “Do not kill.” This includes killing oneself. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes 7:17 states, “Be not over much wicked, neither be you foolish: why should you die before your time?” Prematurely ending your life prevents the believer from serving God to his full potential. This idea is backed up in the New Testament, where the Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Christians reject the idea of total bodily autonomy, meaning that they do not believe we have the right to do whatever we want with our bodies. The Bible suggests that our bodies are not our own, but God’s, and therefore we do not have the right to destroy them.
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Historical church fathers have held consistently negative views on suicide. Augustine was one of the first to publically speak out against it. He opposed it because we have a duty of self‐care arising from natural inclination and we have a debt of love that we owe to others. In The City of God he wrote, “certainly he who kills himself is a homicide, and so much guiltier of his own death, as he was more innocent of that offence for which he doomed himself to die.”

To take one’s own life into one’s hands and act precipitously ...

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