Many recent, and not so recent, suicides of celebrities, stirred up some questions whether humanity is actually progressing, or evolving, especially when the noticeable increase of mental health issues is taken into consideration, such as depression or anxiety disorders that often lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide…
My question is: How does suicide fit into the evolutionary theory?
How does suicide fit into the deterministic notion popular among many evolutionists and materialists who claim that humans have no free will?
Here is how one article Why Doesn’t Evolution Discourage Suicide? elaborated on the issue of suicide in light of evolution:
“Humans, like all animals, are designed to pass along genes to the next generation. But ending your own life means, in stark evolutionary terms, cutting off, or harming your future reproductive success. When young people kill themselves, their genes are eliminated from the gene pool; when adults kill themselves they can no longer care for dependent children; when elderly people kill themselves, they, too, abdicate the role of caring parent for the next generations.”
So, suicide, even thoughts of suicide, makes no sense, at least from an evolutionary point of view…
Another problem is the choice involved in suicide itself. If humans have no free will, as supporters of determinism claim, why only some commit suicides and the great majority of suicidal people don’t?
Here is how another article explains the issue of choice involved in suicide:
“In order to commit suicide one has to (consciously or subconsciously) assess the reasons, the pros and cons, evaluate the methods and elaborate on the process and its possible after effects. This may take a long or a short time, even hours or minutes. But what is important is that there is the ability to go through these processes. Therefore, intelligence and a process of rationalization (not necessarily a rational thought process) are necessary here. Even deeply depressed people have some background rudimentary ability to implement at least some parts of the above processes. So one could say that true intentional suicide (the conscious decision to end one’s life) is only found in humans. Of course, many other species may kill themselves but this is based on hard-wiring, on their instincts, and it is not a question of free will.”
Is culture to blame?
In the article Americans are depressed and suicidal because something is wrong with our culture USA Today implies the following:
” Rather than pathologizing the despair and emotional suffering that is a rational response to a culture that values people based on ever escalating financial and personal achievements, we should acknowledge that something is very wrong. We should stop telling people who yearn for a deeper meaning in life that they have an illness or need therapy. Instead, we need to help people craft lives that are more meaningful and built on a firmer foundation than personal success.
Yes, there are people who have chemical imbalances who should be supported and treated with medicine. But most Americans are depressed, anxious or suicidal because something is wrong with our culture, not because something is wrong with them.
Changing our culture is critical. Being honest with others about our own personal struggles and dark nights of the soul is the first step. People on the edge need to hear stories that assure them there is a way through the all-consuming pain to a meaningful life.”
So, often times, the lack of deeper meaning in life is the underlining culprit of depression and anxiety that can lead to suicide…
The philosophy of materialism – with universe and life having no purpose – with its driving force of mindless evolution is one of the leading causes of despair among many leading to depression, anxiety and sometimes suicide…
I’m pretty convinced that neither suicide fits into the current evolutionary narrative, nor it can be explained by determinism…
What’s new about evolutionary theory other than it’s based on one assumption: Evolution must be true even if the evidence suggests that is false….
BTW: I realized Barry Arroganton did a similar OP at UD:
Why Do Rich and Famous People Kill Themselves?
It seems his assumption is that clinical depression (related to chemical imbalance in the brain) doesn’t affect believes…
Suicide is a terrible thing to do and the reasons for one to take his own life, whether instantaneously, or gradually, is very difficult to accept… I can’t…
I have no insight into the issue other than it makes absolutely no sense from evolutionary prospective…but what else does in the evolutionary theory?
If some people want to believe nonsense, they will do it…Nobody can stop them… even if it is a very obvious nonsense… The reason for this is simple:
They either hate or resist the truth…Or they are …
Should we feel sorry for them?
It’s up to you to decide…
It makes perfect sense because evolution is not an all-powerful fucking god. Read the fucking answers for comprehension at least just once.
And take all the fun out of it? Why do you hate fun?
That pretty much goes without saying.
Darwin surely spoke of it as having godlike powers, and his followers today show ever sign of believing it has godlike powers.
Darwin has “followers”?
My final comment about determinism is that although I have recently realized some really disturbing implication of free-will “restrictions” in quantum mechanics published in the respected scientific literature, I still think that suicides neither fit into the evolutionary framework nor do they fit into the determinism nonsense…
Would I say it if it were not true?
To be precise:
“…There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one…” – Charles Darwin
Anybody would like to take a stab at what powers Darwin was talking about that were originally breathed into life forms???
If natural selection has no godlike creative powers, then what does? Mutations are apparently random and lead to cancer and other problems…Natural selection is selective about selecting which mutations to eliminated and which to preserve and does a terrible job too…
Same seems to apply to the increase gender issues in populations…If 27% of youths are questioning their gender, how is natural selection supposed to be effective in making sure the populations will reproduce?
It’s another example of natural selection being selective about selection that goes against the dogma of evolutionary theory…
It proves one thing: the destructiveness of mutations and the impotence of natural selection…
I’m convinced. It’s silly to think mutations can build things.
All I need now is the equivalent of “The origin of species” for the alternative – i.e. a treatment that I can understand. As while I’m convinced that evilution is not the answer I’m now at a loss to understand what is the answer?
What is the answer J-Mac? What is the origin of species according to J-Mac?
Not strictly true. We know for a fact that if your deity exists it is unable to cure amputees (see https://whywontgodhealamputees.com/ ) whereas evolution can create animals that can regrow amputated limbs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axolotl so god 0 evolution 1 on that front…
How could anybody know? Maybe reproduction and variation. Darwin still didn’t think of evolution as being an all-powerful god. He used examples of imperfections to support his ideas about evolution. If you only learned to read …
Why should anything have god-like powers?
Of course. It’s not an all-powerful fucking god. I told you already.
Have you heard of Malthus?
1. Evolutionary theory is not dogma you idiot. It’s science.
2. If you understood evolution you’d understand that what you’re presenting does not go against evolutionary theory. Again, have you heard of Malthus? Darwin did. It’s one of the reasons that he thought of natural selection.
It just proves that you have no idea what you’re talking about.