Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Suicide

"Moral principles that exalt themselves by degrading human nature are in effect committing suicide." - John Dewey

"[Suicide note] - Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or 'broken heart' is excuse for cutting off one's life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one." - Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a.k.a. Charlotte Anna (nee Perkins), Charlotte Perkins Stetson

"Fear of life is one form or other is the great thing to exorcise; but it isn’t reason that will ever do it. Impulse without reason is enough, and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift. I take it that no man is educated who has never dallied with the thought of suicide." - William James

"Guard against heavy meals: more heinous than homicide is suicide." - Judah ben Asher

"The suicide is guilt of a double offence; one spiritual, in invading the prerogative of the Almighty... the other temporal, against the king." - William Blackstone, fully Sir William Blackstone

"Killing time is suicide on the installment plan." - Noah Weinberg, fully Rabbi Yisrael Noah Weinberg

"We have failed to grasp the fact that mankind is becoming a single unit, and that for a unit to fight against itself is suicide." - Henry Havelock Ellis

"If suicide be supposed a crime, it is only cowardice can impel us to it. If it be no crime, both prudence and courage should engage us to rid ourselves at once of existence when it becomes a burden." - David Hume

"Art is an antidote for violence. It gives the ecstasy, the self-transcendence that could otherwise take the form of drug addiction, terrorism, suicide, or warfare." -

"Atheism is the death of hope, the suicide of the soul." - Hugh Miller

"Everything naturally loves itself, the result being that everything naturally keeps itself in being, and resists corruption as far as it can. Wherefore suicide is contrary to the inclination of nature, and to charity whereby every man should love himself." - Saint Thomas Aquinas, aka Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis or Doctor Universalis

"In war, as it is waged now, with the enormous losses on both sides, both sides will lose. It is a form of mutual suicide; and I believe that the entire effort of modern society should be concentrated on an endeavor to outlaw war as a method of the solution of problems between nations." - Douglas MacArthur

"We were truly all the same (brothers) - because their belief in one God had removed the “white” from their minds, the “white” from their behavior, and the “white” from their attitudes... Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities - he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth - the only way left to American to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to." -

"No man was ever more than about nine meals away from crime or suicide." - Eric Sevareid, fully Arnold Eric Sevareid

"Hate is a prolonged form of suicide." -

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question in philosophy." - Albert Camus

"There is only one philosophical problem that is really serious, and that is suicide. To decide whether life is worth living or not is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy." - Albert Camus

"There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question in philosophy." -

"There is only one philosophical problem that is really serious, and that is suicide. To decide whether life is worth living or not is to answer the fundamental question in philosophy." -

"The cause of the breakdowns of civilizations is not to be found in loss of command over the human environment, as measured by the encroachment of alien human forces... The most that an alien enemy has achieved has been to give an expiring suicide his coup de grace." - Arnold J. Toynbee, fully Arnold Joseph Toynbee

"Those who commit suicide are powerless souls, and allow themselves to be conquered by external causes repugnant to their nature." -

"Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"Anguish of mind has driven thousands to suicide; anguish of body, none. This proves that the health of the mind is of far more consequence to our happiness than the health of the body, although both are deserving of much more attention than either receives." - Charles Caleb Colton

"Suicide is man’s attempt to give a final human meaning to a life which has become humanly meaningless." - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"To have a true idea of man or of life, one must have stood himself on the brink of suicide, or on the door-sill of insanity, at least once." - Hippolyte Adolphe Taine

"Suicide is not abominable because God forbids it; God forbids it because it is abominable." - Immanuel Kant

"A world technology means either a world government or world suicide." - Max Lerner, fully Maxwell "Max" Alan Lerner, aka Mikhail Lerner

"Skepticism is slow suicide." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance, that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better or for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The question is whether [suicide] is the way out, or the way in." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"The religion that is afraid of science dishonors God and commits suicide." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide int he liar, but is a stab at the health of human society." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Suicide is not to fear death, but yet to be afraid of life. It is a brave act of valour to contemn death; but when life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valour to dare to live." -

"AIDS obliges people to thin of sex as having, possibly, the direst consequences: suicide. Or murder." - Susan Sontag

"Those who commit suicide are powerless souls, and allow themselves to be conquered by external causes repugnant to their nature." -

"Hate is a prolonged form of suicide. " - Douglas Van Steere

"Evolving our consciousness is not something we do only for ourselves - it is something we also do for others...for all others, and for the earth. Because we open up and let our body and mind feel the ties with others and with nature, we change ourselves, and change others around us. When a sufficient number of people pray or meditate together, or find another path to evolve their consciousness, other people are affected as well. More sick people heal, divorce and suicide rates drop, crime and violence diminish. When many people open up, a powerful force develops - a leap of consciousness takes place." - Ervin László

"We have been reminded that cruel and inhuman acts can be derived from distorted theological beliefs, as suicide bombers take the lives of innocent human beings, draped falsely in the cloak of God's will. With horrible brutality, neighbors have massacred neighbors in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In order for us human beings to commit ourselves personally to the inhumanity of war, we find it necessary first to dehumanize our opponents, which is in itself a violation of the beliefs of all religions. Once we characterize our adversaries as beyond the scope of God's mercy and grace, their lives lose all value. We deny personal responsibility when we plant landmines and, days or years later, a stranger to us — often a child – is crippled or killed. From a great distance, we launch bombs or missiles with almost total impunity, and never want to know the number or identity of the victims." - Jimmy Carter, fully James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.

"We were truly all the same (brothers) - because their belief in one God had removed the “white” from their minds, the “white” from their behavior, and the “white” from their attitudes... Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities - he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth - the only way left to American to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to. " - Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little, Muslim name El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

"Everywhere today man is rightfully occupied with the problem of world peace. If there is war, it means nothing short of racial suicide and total destruction. But world peace cannot be ensured through dogmas, however learned, or organizations, however efficient. It can be ensured only by a release of unarguing and unconquerable love which knows no fear or separateness." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"Preventive war is like committing suicide for fear of death." - Otto von Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg

"The day is not far distant when humanity will realize that biologically it is faced with a choice between suicide and adoration." - Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

"No one ever committed suicide while reading a good book, but many have tried while trying to write one." - Robert Byrne, fully Robert Leo Byrne

"To set up as a standard of public morality a notion which can neither be defined nor conceived is to open the door to every kind of tyranny." - Simone Weil

"The man for whom time stretches out painfully is one waiting in vain, disappointed at not finding tomorrow already continuing yesterday." - Theodor W. Adorno, born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund

"I repair, then, fellow-citizens, to the post you have assigned me. With experience enough in subordinate offices to have seen the difficulties of this the greatest of all, I have learnt to expect that it will rarely fall to the lot of imperfect man to retire from this station with the reputation and the favor which bring him into it." - Thomas Jefferson

"Unless our ideas are questioned, they become part of the furniture of eternity." - Walter Lippmann

"This is the perennial danger which besets semiotics: what with man being preeminently the sign-using creature, and what with man using signs in everything that he does, semiotics runs the risk of being about everything and hence about nothing." - Walker Percy

"While the scientist sees everything that happens in one point of space, the poet feels everything that happens in one point of time." - Vladimir Nabokov, fully Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov

"There have been superficial blendings, as spiritual groups take up social service work and social activists join religious organizations, but a real integration of social action and spirituality at a deep, innovative level has not yet happened to any significant degree. The history of human development has been fragmentary, and the majority of people have been content with the fragmentation. It has the sanction of society. Each fragment of society has its own set of values. Among many social activists, anger, hatred, violence, bitterness, and cynicism are accepted norms, even though the effectiveness of these motivations for peaceful living has been seriously put in doubt. And indifference to the needs of the poor has had shocking acceptance among generations of spiritual people who considered higher states of consciousness much more significant than the misery of the starving millions." - Vimala Thakar