Thus we hear that suicide is the most cowardly of acts, that only a madman would commit it, and similar insipidities; or the senseless assertion that suicide is “wrong”, though it is obvious there is nothing in the world a man has a more incontestable right to than his own life and person.
[…] It therefore seems that the extraordinary zeal in opposing it displayed by the clergy of the monotheistic religions – a zeal which is not supported by the Bible or by any cogent reasons – must have some hidden reason behind it: may this not be that the voluntary surrender of life is an ill compliment to him that said that all things were very good? If so, it is another instance of the obligatory optimism of these religions, which denounces self-destruction so as not to be denounced by it.
Could there possibly be a better way to die? Who in their right mind would prefer the usual alternatives?
It really is an affirmation of life — a refusal to allow all that made life worth living to be degraded by a sentimental clinging to mere biological existence. We’ve all seen relatives who died in a hospital or nursing home, blind, deaf, sickly, bedridden, dependent on nurses to feed and wash them. What’s the point? Why not make one courageous final stand for dignity and meaning? Why not proudly sign your name and close the book of your life of your own volition?
Our greatness and efficiency crumbles away not all at once but continually; the little plants which grow up in and around everything and know how to cling everywhere, it is these which ruin that which is great in us – the everyday, hourly, pitiableness of our environment which we constantly overlook, the thousand tendrils of this or that little, fainthearted sensation which grows out of our neighborhood, out of our job, our social life, out of the way we divide up the day. If we neglect to notice this little weed, we shall ourselves perish of it unnoticed! And if you absolutely must perish, do so all at once and suddenly, then perhaps there may remain of you some sublime ruin! And not, as there is now some reason to fear, a molehill! And grass and weeds upon it, little victors, modest as ever and too pitiable even to celebrate their triumph!