SUICIDE: IN TERM OF TELEOLOGICAL AND DEONTOLOGICAL THEORIES
The aim of this paper is determined and assess the perspective of suicide that currently occurs in this previous years. Discuss the reason why people try to attempt suicide, the pros and the contra of suicide, in term culture which are they linked together and determined the suicide issues. Moreover, there are two main ethical theories: teleological and deontological. Both of ethics has a different role in the framework. Kant’s ethical theory is about deontological, the theory emphasizes moral rules, duties, and obligation. On the other hand, teleological comes from words teleos (end) which emphasize the end result of a certain action. At the end result, suicide can be categorized as ethical issues which are related to both of the theories.
There is a lot of argument and counter-argument regarding of suicide since suicide is related to people’s life, we can conclude that suicide is an act of ending someone life. This action can be taken on every age, races, religion of someone, because suicide is about the mental of this particular person, the perspective of seeing their own life, some people beliefs that in every life has meaning of it, how they appreciate this particular life and overcome the problems, on contrary some of it they seek to be silent, hopeless and useless. How people considering suicide, feel as if their pain will never ending and this action is the best way to stop the suffering. Moreover, suicide is critical discussion since a lot of people see it as a different perspective. The diversity of culture and beliefs can affect an act of attempting suicide.
Suicide issues can be categorized at two major ethical theories: Teleological ethics and deontological ethics, as known as consequences and non-consequences theory. Both ethics has a different meaning, to clarify, in advance teleological ethics is an ethics that discuss the importance of the final result.
Teleology comes from Greek words which means: teleos, ‘end’ and logos, ‘result’. The good or bad of an action will be determined by the end result or its consequences. By looking at the outcome, impact, and output of the certain action. According to Aristotle, he declared full explanation, anything has to consider its final cause as well as its efficient, material, and formal causes. The basic idea is not one of the temporary or occasional satisfaction of desires but a life-long development of ‘well-being’ in its most fundamental sense (Harrison, 2005).
Example, A husband steals a bread in order to feed his starving wife. The act of the husband is morally wrong since the act of stealing is prohibited. We can conclude that the rightness or wrongness of his action not intrinsic to that action or process of it, it can only be judged and evaluate by its consequences. However, teleological ethic will justify this action is morally good since the outcome of it makes his wife happy.
Utilitarian is the referrer to consequentialist theory, the value of the consequences depend on how much happiness it contains. In utilitarian, people try to see the positive and negative of an outcome, so if the positive is heavier rather than the negative, we assume that decision in ethical. For example, imagine there is a tsunami heading toward the town, there is 1 boy struck down by collapsed building due to an earthquake before the tsunami. On the other hand, 3 of girls trying to climb to a higher building. In this position, if a man tries to help 3 of girls to climb up the building, he cannot save 1 boy’s life, but if he helps 1 boy that was struck the collapsed building, he can’t save 3 girls life. So, in this situation he chooses to helps 3 girls life. 1 death better than 3 deaths, we assume that he tries to minimize the loss of life by helping the girls and his decision is considered to be ethical.
On the other hand, Immanuel Kant, a German philosopher, who is established deontology ethic. Deontological theories in ethics are those which assert that some actions are right or wrong in themselves, quite apart from their consequences (Batson & J. Neff, 2012). His theories stress motivates behind the certain action. Therefore, this is will lead to some thought about the obligation, duties, and rights. We can assume that deontology theories are simple action to apply. The reason for it just requires people and those people have to follow the rules and their duty since his theories telling about the obligation, duties, and rights.
Kant believes human tendencies, emotion and outcome will not have any aspect of a moral action, therefore the motivate behind a particular action must be based on obligation. Unlike teleology theories, the main focus of this ethic is the action of it, whether it is wrong or right, rather than the outcome. For instance, a student steals a motorcycle in one of an elite house in Kuala Lumpur, he is doing his action at night while the owner of the motorcycle is sleeping, on the next morning, the owner just knew his motorcycle was gone. Based on deontology theory, the student does not do his duty as a good human being. He has taken someone’s motorcycle without permission this is morally wrong, he is making a bad deed. In deontology theories, every particular action considered good because the action is good for themselves, so this is an obligation that must be done.
2. What is Suicide
Suicide is a complex definition or even the situation, it is related to someone people’s life. People trying to end their life. Clear out their burden of life, a hard time that this person has to face it, hopeless and lost. There are bunch of people trying to attempt suicide, according to WHO (World Health Organization), 800,000 people per year commit suicide. In fact, men have a higher number of attempting suicide compare to women, Imagine how many minutes or second we spent to do activities, and some people commit suicide.
Many reason and circumstances can end up someone’s decision to suicide. The factors can lead to mentally or physically of a victim. It is important to know if someone having depression, trauma, and loss since all that factor can lead to suicide. We have to remember a major change can make overwhelm and unable to adapt or cope.
There are pros and contra of suicide. The different perspective of people and cultures. In this era globalization, people are managed to open their mind, examine which one is wrong or right, therefore perspective of suicide might be changed.
There are certain pros and contra regarding suicide. People’s argument about suicide. Why these people have to suicide? Why do they have to choose that way? And infinity question, argument, and perspective. Let’s discuss a little bit about the pros of suicide. First, it ends. All the burden that you have is over, all your worries are gone. It looks so tempting, but that again it depends on people, some people believe in the afterlife, some of it no. Moreover, the contra will affect the people surrounding, it could be your family, friends, teacher or even the world. Some of them will angry, sad or devastated of losing you. The world will lose a positive contribution of against suicide.
We have to emphasize suicide have a different perspective in terms of everything. For example, in terms of culture japan had been applied suicide tradition. By the Edo period, on earliest Japan. The culture of honorable death as known as ‘seppuku’ or ‘hara-kiri’ (self-disembowelment). This tradition occurs among samurai man. This is considered the bravest way to die. They believe, slitting the stomach is a straightforward method to die. Therefore, by seeing this culture and tradition, suicide is already existed since before the era globalization. As the word stress ‘honorable death’, means a samurai man die in honorable. By committing hara-kiri at least a samurai be able to prevent or even maintain the loss of honor for his family and himself.
3. Two ethical frameworks about suicide
The theology framework will look from another angle of a situation. As we described earlier, this ethic works as the end result always justify the meant of the action. People have a reason to choose suicide, it can be a family reason, debt, bullying. Moreover, suicide can be morally permissible, forbidden or obligated. However, it depends on the effect or consequences of it. Sometimes it is permissible, sometimes it is forbidden. For instance, a businessman bankrupt during the second year of his business. He tries his best to build up the business from zero. In order to maintain his business, he borrows money from the bank, unfortunately, his business keeps going down, debt in everywhere, zero income every month, delay salary on the employee, no one believes in him. It was horrible time for him. So he decides to suicide by jump out from up building.
From the example above, he died and leave out his responsibilities as the owner of the business. He decides to suicide, and leave out his employee without salary and he didn’t settle his debt. We underline the ‘consequences’ word of this theory. The good or bad of an action will be determined by its consequences. So, the consequences of his suicide: he is irresponsible and selfish. To apply this theory, what he did is wrong, and he is doing a bad deed.
On the other hand, utilitarian believes that morally good action is the action that maximizes the pleasure and minimizes the pain. However, it is morally right if the result contains happiness and morally wrong if the result contains pain. We highlight the reason why people suicide, as they own reason can be morally good or bad. For example, American fire-fighters divers die in the rescue attempt in order to help 2 boys in the sea. Based on utilitarian, his action is morally good. 1 death better than 2 deaths, we assume that he tries to minimize the loss of life by helping 2 boys, even though he has to sacrifice his own life. However, it is morally permissible to suicide if it has greater utility.
Emphasize the duty and right of a situation or individual. Moreover, if a student no longer wishes to continue her life due to an external factor such as she believes her soul and body are useless in the world, no beneficial for her to stay alive and scared of future. However, her reason is considering impermissible or prohibited, first, it violates our moral duty as a human being to appreciate the value of life, second, a human cannot predict future life, it is our duty to facing and ready for it.
Kant could grasp the reasonability of suicide in particular cases, he mentions 3:
1. Where one’s future life will include an entire loss of balanced self-rule because of some degenerative issue (sound self-rule being a basic precondition for Kantian good thinking)
2. Where it maintains a strategic distance from gross irremediable agony
3. Where it is the best way to stay away from a future that is debasing.
The example of last option is hara-kiri, just like we mentioned earlier. It is a tradition of commit suicide in order to prevent or maintain the loss of honor for his family and himself.
Suicide occurs before the era globalization, there are various pros and contra regarding of suicide. People have own perspective in terms of culture and ethics. Both of ethics play an important role on the different view. Teleology theories with their concept of utilitarian. Teleology defines suicide can be morally permissible, forbidden or obligated and it depends on the consequences of it, and utilitarian theories claim that it is morally permissible to suicide if it has greater utility. Lastly, deontology theories prohibit any act of suicide, but Kant could embrace the permissibility of suicide, in 3 cases that he mentions, as an example hara-kiri.