I often find myself in a position where I realize that taking my own life would be very easy. Suppose I am about to cross the street, or am rock climbing; how simple and quick it would be to take one step, just one step, in front of a car or off a cliff. In all likelihood I wouldn't even feel any pain.
In this way there seem many scenarios wherein the effective "barrier" to suicide seems practically nonexistent. I must stress: my contemplation of suicide in such instances has nothing to do with depression or even emotion, nor do I mean to make light of those who suffer from such grief; rather, I find the extreme ease with which I may conceptually commit catastrophic acts somewhat counter-intuitive.
After all, what is there, really, to dissuade me? Suppose that I am an atheist. what rationale exists that might prevent me from killing myself? For one who is certain (1) that there exists no afterlife, and, further, (2) that there is no consciousness after death (i.e., I won't "miss" anything of life or even be aware thereof) what is the conceivable "cost" of suicide?
Certainly the idea of a painful death may serve as a inhibition to taking one's own life. It is easy, however, to imagine scenarios such as the aforementioned wherein suicide would be literally instantaneous and painless. A biological drive to self-preservation may also have force, but this is arguably irrelevant insofar as I have framed this discussion purely within the bounds of reason.
It's finals week. I'm stressed out of my mind. Why not jump out in front of a incoming truck on route 9? At least I wouldn't have to do any more school work. Besides, what exactly would I lose?
-andy c. nguyen
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