Western aka Christian culture has a specific attitude about suicide, but not all cultures share that attitude.
I always thought it odd that people who claimed to be Christian were so afraid of dying aka meeting Jesus. Obviously not all Muslims share that fear, no do some Asian cultures such as the Japanese.
From Christian website:
Suicide: What’s the problem?
A little bit about Seppeku "Honorable Death":Now, if you’re familiar with the Bible, you may know that death is portrayed not as a friend but an enemy, resulting from the Fall of Adam (see The Fall: a cosmic catastrophe). 1 Cor 15:26 teaches us, ‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death.’ But if a person has grown up his entire life being told he’s nothing but some rearranged, energized pond scum, existing simply because of some fantastic cosmic accident, there’s no logical reason to call death an enemy. In fact, the entire concept of evolution depends on the death of the weak to keep the system going. Yet the death of a loved one still evokes nagging feelings in even the most evolutionized people of our society; feelings that ‘something just isn’t right.’
Seppuku - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
History of suicide - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaSeppuku (切腹?, "stomach-cutting") is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai bushido honor code, seppuku was either used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies (and likely suffer torture), or as a form of capital punishment for samurai who had committed serious offenses, or performed for other reasons that had brought shame to them.
Lastly, "suicide" need not mean final death and can be a form of rebirth. In the movie "Eddie and the Cruisers", the story of Arthur Rimbaud is mentioned. Rimbaud wrote a poem titled "A Season in Hell", regarded as a pioneering example of modern Symbolist writing, then committed literary suicide by never writing again in favor of a common working life including that of being a soldier and a foreman at a rock quarry. By giving up his former life as a wild, drugged writer he found peace in everyday living.In ancient times, suicide sometimes followed defeat in battle, to avoid capture and possible subsequent torture, mutilation, or enslavement by the enemy. The Caesarean assassins Brutus and Cassius, for example, killed themselves after their defeat at the battle of Philippi. Insurgent Jews died in a mass suicide at Masada in 74 CE rather than face enslavement by the Romans.
During World War II, Japanese units would often fight to the last man rather than surrender. Towards the end of the war, the Japanese navy sent kamikaze pilots to attack Allied ships. These tactics reflect the influence of the samurai warrior culture, where seppuku was often required after a loss of honor. It is also suggested that the Japanese treated Allied POWs harshly because, in Japanese eyes, by surrendering rather than fighting to the last man, these soldiers showed they were not worthy of honorable treatment. In fact, the Japanese unit in Singapore sentenced an Australian bombing unit to death in admiration for their bravery.
In modern times, suicide attacks have been used extensively by Islamist militants. However, it is important to note that suicide is strictly forbidden by Islamic law, and the Muslim clerics who organize these attacks do not regard them as suicide, but as martyrdom operations. Clerics argue the difference to be that in suicide a person kills himself out of despair, while in a martyrdom operation a person is killed as a pure act.
Spies have carried suicide pins to use when captured, partly to avoid the misery of captivity, but also to avoid being forced to disclose secrets. For the latter reason, spies may even have orders to kill themselves if captured – for example, Gary Powers had a suicide pin, but did not use it when he was captured.
I think most people who commit suicide do it from mental illness, specifically depression or depression mixed with something else. My aunt was bipolar and depressed throughout her life until she shot herself in the head at age 62(?) while my uncle was outside gardening.
Others may do it for a cause, deluded or not. Some do it for honorable reasons or, as in the case of accused sodomist/rapist Army Brigadier General Jeffrey A. Sinclair, if guilty, should do in order to save his family and service the dishonor of a trial.
Although I've had some tough times in my life and suicide was considered a plausible option, I also considered the idea that "If I'm willing to end my life, why not just leave? Why not head for Australia and begin a new life there as a common laborer? What have I to lose? If I really want to die, I can do it anytime". This is a form of the rebirth example.
So the questions are "Is suicide a personal choice? Can it be honorable or for reasons other than a result of poor mental health? Can suicide be justifiable, whether actual, figuratively, literally or some other form than physical?"