Re: Teen suicide

Tibor Benke (benke@SFU.CA)
Wed, 2 Nov 1994 13:14:25 -0800

Dear Janet,

You wrote the following to ANTHRO-L

>My cold and calloused opinion is that our society tolerates a lot of
>"unacceptable" behavior. If we are discussing teenage suicide/the
>suicide of young people in the U.S., then issues of moral responsibility
>of the individual (the teenager) should also be included. I'm not
>referring to those trapped by violent abuse who can find no means escape
>but for death; I'm talking about "copy-cat suicides", and "not being able
>to handle the pressure" -- teens who have been educated to alternatives,
>but reject them.
>In addition to finding the causes of violent behavior and educating
>teens about such, why not also reinforce some discipline? If a person
>(whether 15 or 50 years old) cannot make rational decisions regarding the
>value of human life, they should not be allowed in society until their
>judgement improves.
>A suicidal person may not be deemed dangerous to those *around* them, but
>suicide is _a deliberate choice of violence as a means to an end_. Each
>person is responsible for his/her actions, and violent behavior should
>bring more than a therapy session and a slap on the wrist. Teenagers
>should be helped and protected, but they need to know that once they make
>a decision, they will suffer ALL the consequences for that decision. I
>believe that if the consequences of violent choices are unpleasant enough,
>fewer of those decisions will be made.

I was suuprised to see your little outburst on a list devoted to
scientific/humanistic discourse. Your sentiment is neither. What is more,
it is people with attitudes like yours that make me understand why I often
contemplated suicide in my youth. When you speak of the responsibility of
anyone other than your self, it is best to take the advice of someone who
said something like, " Why are you so eager to take the speck from your
neighbor's eye, first remove the beam from yours"

>@> (*)%(^)%
>@> Tibor Benke / (^)%(#)
>@> Graduate Student (MA program)
>@> Department of Sociology and Anthropology
>@> Simon Fraser University,
>@> Burnaby, B.C., Canada. V5A 1S6 >@>
>@> Nota Bene: The opinions herein expressed are merely my own ! >@> ^^^^^^^^^^^