“The Morality and Rationality of Suicide” by Richard Brandt

Richard Brandt dedicated his work “The Morality and Rationality of Suicide” to the analysis of suicide concept on the basis of its morality and blameworthy; the author presented the philosophical perception of the concept analyzing its meaning and moral obligation. It is necessary to underline the fact that Brandt presented suicide morality on the basis of two principle aspects: 1) the suicide act is to be considered wrong; 2) there are moral obligations prohibiting suicide committing; taking into account these ideas, the thinker provides opposition to general point, stressing that suicide can be justified taking into account the conditions and circumstances if its committing.

According to Brandt, suicide has moral obligations stressing the wrongfulness of this action; the doubtless of serious weight is considered to be the determiner of the negative morality reflected through suicide. Nevertheless, there are some cases when suicide can be justified and cannot be regarded immoral; it is necessary to stress that many great thinkers, such as John Locke and Immanuel Kant, did not support the idea of suicide immorality, stating that one’s life sacrifice in the battle with enemies or for the purpose of community welfare cannot be treated as the immoral action.

Brandt expressed several arguments on the basis of moral obligation against suicide committing; the person has no right any actions resulting in somebody’s death. Taking into account this position the thinker provided contrastive point on the basis of unexpected circumstances, under which the suicide will never be considered immoral. It is necessary to underline the fact that the key point discussed by the suicide critics is concentrated on the idea that one has no right to take somebody’s life to provide one’s welfare; the immorality of suicide is considered to be the most supportable view in philosophy.

Taking into account Brandt’s position, it is necessary to analyze hi theological argument against suicide; this concept is concentrated on human obligation to follow the divine commandments. The rules of the natural law prohibit human beings to kill oneself on the basis of the following reasons: 1) everything should love itself in accordance with the rules of nature, leading to corruption resistance; 2) suicide concept is considered to be opposed to nature inclination. This position caused a number of arguments and debates, stressing the point that every person cannot be morally bound acting in accordance with the personal inclination.

There are some cases when the suicide committing is perceived as a part of rational activities of the person; Brandt stressed the complications of person’s rational thinking without the overcoming of mind frame. In this case the person is to consider his moral obligations treating these positions and inclinations in accordance with the divine accommodations.

So, the work of Brandt stressed that suicide concept can be treated both from moral and immoral point of view; there is moral obligation not to commit suicide, but at the same time suicide cannot be regarded immoral under the circumstances. It is necessary to stress that Brandt demonstrates, one’s life sacrifice for the welfare of others cannot be treated as immoral action even if take into account the concept of death.

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