Since the beginning of time, people have been committing
suicide. Self inflicted death, or suicide, can be defined
as "choosing the mode, time, situation, or occasion for
ending one's life." In general, the word suicide has a
negative connotation and is looked upon unfavorably. Yet in
some circumstances, killing oneself can be considered
acceptable or even the right thing to do. Since it's
difficult to differentiate between the correct thing to do
and the wrong thing to do, this essay will look at both
points of view.
In the story of the Masada, Eleazar and his followers were
faced with an important decision: whether they should fight
the Roman army or find another means of winning. Winning a
physical battle against the Roman legions would have been
impossible for the Jews, thus they opted to try and win the
mental battle by taking their own lives. The five to one
ratio of Romans to Jews made it impossible for the Jews to
try and win in combat. Eleazar figured that it would be
best for his people to take the victory away from the
Romans by robbing them of their glory. Eleazar's plan was a
success and history may well justify the act of suicide. I
talked to both my parents and asked them what they would do
in this situation. My mom felt that it was wrong to commit
suicide in this case because the Jews didn't even try to
put up a fight. As she put it, "Even if the Jews did lose,
their lives may have been spared." My dad felt that suicide
was the best thing to do given the circumstances
In the Bible, Mark 14:32-42 deals with Jesus willfully
being arrested and killed. Jesus knew that he would be
killed, but he still accepted his fate. My dad feels that
his actions were acceptable because he was trying to prove
a point. My dad also added, "He was merely trying to stand
up for his rights."
1 Maccabees 2:32-38 tells of the slaughter of a thousand
Jews because they refused to fight on the day of the
Sabbath. Since they would not obey the king's command, the
army was forced to attack the Jews. For the Jews, death was
inevitable since they chose to conform to their beliefs. In
this instance, my whole family agreed that the Jewish
people were only following the guidelines of their
religion, and if they were very religious at heart, then,
they had no other choice but to avoid fighting.
1 Maccabees 6:39-46 of the Bible deals with Eleazar
sacrificing his life during a war so that he could gain
fame as well as kill the leader of attack. Once again, my
family agreed that what Eleazar did was acceptable and
actually quite noble since he was trying to protect his own
people from death. Eleazar's actions displayed courage and
To some people, suicide is never acceptable, but most
people feel that taking your own life is acceptable under
certain conditions. Sacrificing one's life to uphold one's
principles or laws of righteousness is considered to be
noble and chivalrous. However, ending one's life or
committing suicide as a way to escape the normal problems
of life is thought to be an act of cowardice.

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