December 12, 2005


I had a brief discussion with a minion of mine today that led to an interesting question. Since we were unable to come to a consensus with everyone we asked, I decided to share it with you to see if you might share your opinion.

With all the medical and scientific knowledge that we have today, we know that certain things are unhealthy/bad for us. Such things as smoking, excessive drinking and over-eating we know will cause health complications that could lead to death.

Since we know that, if a person dies from an illness that was brought on or a direct result of smoking, drinking or over-eating, did that person commit a form of suicide? And if so would they be denied to the right to go to heaven?

Posted by Contagion in Questions at December 12, 2005 03:43 PM | TrackBack

Wow, first it really depends on what faith you buy into. Say, Catholicism, if you were to repent, ask for forgivenance, complete some sort of pennance, and not repeat the offense that got you in the predicament if the first place; Heaven is still obtainable.

Posted by: Dr. Phat Tony at December 12, 2005 02:55 PM

Nope - not until they can prove conclusively and 100% that the eating, drinking, or smoking would always kill you...

Think of it this way - a person severely allergic to peanuts... you know the allergy that kills several children and some adults each year... now if they know they have this allergy and they then go home, open a jar of peanuts and proceed to eat - THAT could be considered suicide.

BUT with most eating, drinking, and yes even smoking... the effects generally take years to make themselves known AND not everyone dies from indulging in these activities... not even a majority of people might be said to die from these activities. Plus there is the fact that we don't know enough about genetics to understand why one person who does everything wrong will live to be 100 and another does everything right and dies of cancer at age 25...

Before there is a correlation with suicide - the activity MUST lead to death - and that fairly quickly. Otherwise, like speeding a bit in a car - it might be risky behavior, but not expected to lead to death. Therefore not suicide.

Posted by: Teresa at December 12, 2005 03:12 PM

I have to disagree with Dr Tony, Catholics will always get into heaven.

All you have to do is confess your sins on your death bed and get forgiveness and your a shoe in for heaven.

Plus overeating, smoking and drinking isn't one of the 7 deadly sins and your not breaking any commandments with those so you have nothing to worry about.

Posted by: Machelle at December 12, 2005 03:23 PM

Actually Gluttony (over eating) is a deadly sin.

Posted by: Dr. Phat Tony at December 12, 2005 03:27 PM

I am so not getting into heaven . . .

Posted by: oddybobo at December 12, 2005 03:50 PM

"could lead to death". Everything could lead to death, including accidentally stabbing ones self in the eye with a communion wafer and dying from a horrable gruesome eye infection.

One really has to watch it with the "could lead to death" stuff. :-)

Posted by: Sarah at December 12, 2005 04:08 PM

hell in a handbasket all the way.....

Posted by: armywifetoddlermom at December 12, 2005 08:18 PM

Machelle: ANYone who asks forgiveness, even on a deathbed, and is sincere, is a shoe in, not just us Catholics. (Ain't Grace a wonderful thing?) :)

Gluttony (an over-indulgence in anything, not just food) IS one of the 7 deadly sins, but not because it can kill you; constantly over-indulging in ANYTHING, is considered a "deadly sin", for it's something we put between us and God. It's a death of the spirit, not the body, that concerns God most.

That being said, I don't see how drinking, smoking, or over eating can be forms of suicide, UNLESS you're eating, drinking, or smoking something that you know FOR A FACT will kill you immediately.

Just my $.02 worth.

Posted by: Wes at December 12, 2005 08:55 PM

I'm with the majority here -- nope. Anything COULD lead to death.

Posted by: Ogre at December 13, 2005 06:22 AM

Eat, Drink & Be Merry (and watch football)! Worry about that other shit later. BTW- I think I'll get the job of Bus Driver on my trip to Hell!

Posted by: Shawn at December 13, 2005 09:08 AM

"Life is an inevitably fatal sexually-transmitted disease."

Everybody dies. As I see it, the sin in suicide isn't in dying, it's in refusing to use what life you have to help fulfill God's Will. Making poor choices and possibly messing up your future isn't the same as deliberately choosing to deny God's plan for your future by making sure you have no future at all.

And yet it's still sin. But sin can be forgiven. And I'm not qualified to say who will be denied Heaven by God - that's His job.

Posted by: Jenna at December 13, 2005 11:06 AM

What's this heaven that you speak of??? Will there be booze, food and smokes...I sure hope so...

Posted by: spurs at December 13, 2005 11:30 AM

Okay, can't say anything about overeating... yet..., but as far as drinking and smoking:

Drinking is good, and good for you. We see all the time that dark beer is healthy, or wine has benefits. Is it suicide by health kick?

And smoking, while it can damage your life, also is responsible for many people being alive. Most smokers I know will kill folks if they can't get their smoky treat. Surely, they'll be forgiven for slowly killing themselves, in order that others won't suffer a violent death.

That's the best I can do...

Posted by: That 1 Guy at December 13, 2005 12:47 PM

Shawn: I call shotgun!

Posted by: Wes at December 13, 2005 03:02 PM

Hmmm... I'm thinking suicide would probably be defined as a deliberate attempt to take one's own life - and bad habits, although we know they're not good for us, aren't really deliberate suicide attempts.

Driving 55 in a 45 zone also increases my chances of death... I don't think that counts as a ticket to hell tho...

Posted by: Shadoglare at December 14, 2005 07:47 PM

I consider smoking and drinking as a "repentable sin".
..recalling the incident when the Pharasees were making a mockery of the _temple of Jeruselem_ by deeds of evil.....
later in the Bible...
Jesus tells us "the body is the temple of God and life is his gift to us"....
aren't we making a mockery to the 'temple of god' (viz) our body by destroying it part by part by smoking drinking......

[[[Many say that drinking is not a sin and that depends on their conscience. They give the example
that people drink in the cooler regions to keep them warm arent they sinning to survive?]]]

Drinking creates heat in the body which is sometimes necessary for survival. We should leave it to our conscience to decide whether we should drink or not.....

but at the thought of conscience, we should remember that every human has two conscience' , bad and good. The good c and bad c always contradict each other. and many a times the bad wins......
.... but we can strengthen our conscience, and the
best way to do that is by ceasless PRAYER......
.. in prayer we should make it a point to ask the holy spirit to strengthen our Good c and to give us the Gift of wisdom, which will help us to discern between good and Evil.

Robert D'Almeida(Jesus youth-India)

Posted by: Robert at January 6, 2006 10:20 PM

"[[[Many say that drinking is not a sin and that depends on their conscience. They give the example
that people drink in the cooler regions to keep them warm arent they sinning to survive?]]]

Drinking creates heat in the body which is sometimes necessary for survival. We should leave it to our conscience to decide whether we should drink or not....."

Unfortunately that is not accurate. Drinking gives a false sense of warmth. It actually thins the blood and makes on more succeptable to hypothermia. So no, they are not sinning to survive.

As for the original question. After doing more research on the subject, the key to suicide is intent, not the result. If a person is over-eating, drinking or smoking, even though and contrary to some opinions, they know it will lead to health problems and ultimately death, unless they are doing said activities with the intent to cause their own death it is not suicide.

Posted by: Contagion at January 6, 2006 10:33 PM