Re: PHIL: Extropy, Boundaries and Suicide

den Otter (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 11:47:58 +0100

Michael Lorrey <> wrote:
> Sorry, the last thing I would want any do gooder to do is save me from myself.

Of course. But what if you really aren't yourself at that time, i.e. in some kind of
fit that has blocked out your "normal" consciousness? Maybe the libertarian
solution would be to make a deal with others while fully conscious that allows
them to act on behalf of your primary persona during a fit or longer period
of insanity. There are however some problems with this, like what are people
to do during your first fit (no instructions), or what about strangers who see
you running around a busy highway naked and screaming etc. Sometimes
coercion can be really for one's own good (but I agree, it should be kept to
an absolute minimum).

> A drunk
> or addict cannot get sober solely through the actions of others, but only through
> personal will to do so,
Maybe this is more or less true at the moment(?), but I suppose that future medics
be able to correct any mental problem, whithout requiring your co-operation.

> nor should a person who has decided to end their lives be
> forcibly saved and then brainwashed by the shrink establishment into thanking
people for
> doing so.
Well, if you assume that there are in fact multiple personalities, of which one (or
want(s) to live while the other(s) want(s) to die, then at least a part of that
person will
be truly grateful for saving him from the alter ego(s) that hijacked his mind. The
problem could be: which one of the multiple personalities is the "real" one? Or:
rights should be respected? Maybe forcibly curing the person isn't such a bad idea
after all, because this is in fact the only way to please *both* personalities: the
suicidal one gets removed (his deathwish is granted) while the other, non-suicidal
one stays alive.

> Just as the freedom of speech means that one has the freedom to NOT speak, the
> right to life guarrantees that the individual has the right to decide when NOT to
> otherwise, it is no right at all.
I agree, but with the mentally ill things are somewhat more complicated (see above).