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Ethical Discussion: Suicide in the Cases of Hume and Kant
Suicide is a kind of death that has philosophical, religious, ethical, cultural, juridical, historical, medical and sociological meanings. There is a consensus about how hard it is to understand the act itself. There can be a close relationship, when it comes to one’s attitude towards suicide, between one’s fear of and irritation to it and its being considered to be a crime. Suicide was not considered to be so in the Jewish-Hellenic tradition until the 5th century of Christianity. Since the beginning of this century, the Church has begun to take a serious stance on suicide. The relationships of Christian tradition to God as well as the prohibition of suicide as a rearrangement of social relations make it necessary to take into account the etymology of the concept. In other words, that "suicide" comes from the Latin words "sui" (self) and "cadres" (kill) shows historically how this taboo settled. We will be interested in two philosophers, each of whom deals with suicide in a historical context. Hume shows in a small treatise that why suicide is not a crime against God, society, and the man himself. On the other hand Kant, in his various works written in different periods, explains why suicide cannot be justified. Although Kant when the examples given in the first period are taken into consideration does not seem to be clear, he in accordance with his ethics of duty in the second period does not accept suicide under any circumstances. Having two opposing views on suicide, Hume and Kant today may contribute to ask the correct questions in the discussion of the problem on an ethical aspect.

Suicide, Hume, Kant, ethics, religion.

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