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Suicide: synonymous to courage or cowardice?

Roberto Henry Ebelt

06.09.2013

Suicide: synonymous to courage or cowardice?


O Suicida, por Edouard Manet.

Em 23 de agosto, após ler o excelente texto do Ricardo sobre o suicídio de Vargas, sugeri um artigo sobre o suicídio, este ato tão estranho ao ser humano e que, por uma motivação ou outra, foi o fim da vida de muitos seres humanos, tanto admirados como odiados. Como não sou psiquiatra, socorro-me de alguns textos da Wikipédia para provocar o debate sobre o assunto que, conforme comentário feito sobre as minhas observações, ainda é tratado como tabu por muita gente.

Suicide (Latin suicidium, from sui caedere, "to kill oneself") is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair, the cause of which is frequently attributed to a mental disorder such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse.

Stress factors such as financial difficulties or troubles with interpersonal relationships often play a role. Efforts to prevent suicide include limiting access to firearms, treating mental illness and drug misuse, and improving economic development.

The most commonly used method of suicide varies by country and is partly related to availability. Common methods include: hanging, pesticide poisoning, and firearms. Around 800,000 to a million people die by suicide every year, making it the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. Rates are higher in men than in women, with males three to four times more likely to kill themselves than females.  There are an estimated 10 to 20 million non-fatal attempted suicides every year.  Attempts are more common in young people and females.

Views on suicide have been influenced by broad existential themes such as religion, honor, and the meaning of life. The Abrahamic religions* traditionally consider suicide an offense towards God due to the belief in the sanctity of life.

During the samurai era in Japan, seppuku was respected as a means of atonement for failure or as a form of protest.

Sati, a now outlawed Hindu funeral practice, expected the widow to immolate herself on her husband's funeral pyre, either willingly or under pressure from the family and society.

*Abrahamic religions (also Abrahamism) are the monotheistic faiths of Middle East origin, emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham[1] or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him. They are one of the major divisions in comparative religion, along with Indian religions (Dharmic) and East Asian religions (Taoic).


Symbols of Abrahamic religions.

As of the early twenty-first century, it was estimated that 54% of the world's population (3.8 billion people) considered themselves adherents of the Abrahamic religions, about 30% of other religions, and 16% of no organized religion. The Abrahamic religions originated in the Middle East.

The Abrahamic religions in chronological order of founding are Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Bahá'í Faith.

Suicide and attempted suicide, while previously criminally punishable, is no longer in most Western countries. It remains a criminal offense in most Islamic countries. In the 20th and 21st centuries, suicide in the form of self-immolation has been used as a medium of protest, and kamikaze and suicide bombings have been used as a military or terrorist tactic.

Para encerrar, lembro que a saída encontrada por Vargas, em 24 de agosto de 1954, para os problemas que o afligiam, e não eram poucos esses problemas, não é algo incomum, e realmente foi uma saída e não uma entrada, como ele quer nos fazer crer em sua (?) carta testamento. Apesar de não ter a mínima simpatia por Vargas e especialmente por seus herdeiros políticos, torço para que o que ocorreu em 24 de agosto de 1954 não tenha sido suicídio, e sim um abominável assassinato.

Have an excellent weekend.


Tags: Roberto Henry Ebelt, ensino, inglês


Roberto Henry Ebelt é professor, escritor, escreveu uma coluna semanal para o Jornal do Comércio de Porto Alegre entre 2001 e 2013, e é diretor do curso HENRY'S BUSINESS ENGLISH desde 1971.

Seu mais recente livro, O QUE VOCÊ DEVE SABER ANTES DE ESTUDAR INGLÊS, pode ser encontrado nas livrarias Disal, Cultura e SBS ou à rua Hoffmann, 728 em Porto Alegre.

E-mail: roberto@henrys.com.br
Fone (51) 3222-3144
www.henrys.com.br
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