Author Topic: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?  (Read 4311 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline orthodoxlurker

  • Supporter & Defender of Fr Ambrose (Irish Hermit) - banned
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,372
  • al-Saabir yaraa al-Hurriyah
Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« on: January 19, 2009, 06:45:00 PM »
What is worse sin - murder or suicide?
What is heavier burden on offsprings in eather case?
(I hope Fr. Ambrose sees this - I can't access my e-mail account at the moment.)
Curse the Pope, for he is the root and cause of these disasters! - St. Nektarios of Aegina

You don't get to circumvent your post moderation by calling out the moderators in your signature. ~Veniamin, Global Moderator

Offline Justin Kissel

  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 32,782
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 08:08:09 PM »
I personally don't believe that suicide is a sin. People who think suicide is a sin sometimes say that there is an exception to be made if the suicidal person is mentally unstable. But IMO there is no such thing as a suicide by a mentally stable person.
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫
The original bleeding heart ♫
That is what thou art ♫
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Offline scamandrius

  • Musicians don't dance
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,089
  • Why do I waste my time here?
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 08:18:16 PM »
Deprivation of any life, whether legally justified or not, whether it belongs to another person or one's own is making a mockery of God's gift.  HOw arrogant are we to say that life is not worth living because of some inconvenience or even because of mental instability. 

They are both sins--I'm not qualified to say which is worse.

I do recognize that mental instability can make one more prone to suicidal tendencies (and I know this is a touchy subject as I have known two very close friends of mine--one of whom I loved very much--took their own lives).  either way, we will let God call them to task at the last judgment. 
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline Irish Hermit

  • Kibernetski Kaludjer
  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,991
  • Holy Father Patrick, pray for us
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 08:46:09 PM »
What is worse sin - murder or suicide?
What is heavier burden on offsprings in eather case?

Forgive, O Lord, those who have died without repentance.  Save those who
have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind, that the flame of
their sinfulness may be extinguished in the ocean of Thy grace.

            O Lord of unutterable Love, remember Thy servants who have
                        fallen asleep.


Ikos 5

http://users.sisqtel.net/williams/akathist-repose.html
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 08:46:36 PM by Irish Hermit »

Offline Justin Kissel

  • Protospatharios
  • ****************
  • Posts: 32,782
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 08:53:02 PM »
Quote
HOw arrogant are we to say that life is not worth living because of some inconvenience or even because of mental instability.

The point is, is someone in such a state of mind that commits suicide really able to make rational or sane decisions? I know I'm speaking against the majority of tradition on this, and I'm sorry that that's the case, because the majority are wrong in this case (and the majority in earlier times probably thought mental instablility was caused by demons infesting a person or something, something else they would have been wrong about).
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫
The original bleeding heart ♫
That is what thou art ♫
Jesus ♫   ♫   ♫   ♫

Offline Jonny

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 08:54:28 PM »
Murder is definitely a Sin that weighs heavily on those that committee it. Suicide is another kettle of fish all together. There is something desperate about wanting to end ones life. Personally I see it as something terrible but I cannot judge and I hope and pray for God's forgiveness. I can't blot from my mind the story my catholic priest told about a teenaged boy who killed himself and was found with a rosary in one hand and a crucifix in the other. That child had more faith than I can possibly imagine, who am I to say that his sin is worse in God's eyes than any one of mine?

When it comes to sin I believe God knows us better than we know ourselves and that although there is an absolute right and wrong there is not an absolute judgement. Surely God will judge those who wrong but know they do and choose to over those who believe they have no other choice.

Offline Jonny

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 88
  • Presently in the Roman Catholic Communion
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 08:58:08 PM »
Quote
HOw arrogant are we to say that life is not worth living because of some inconvenience or even because of mental instability.

The point is, is someone in such a state of mind that commits suicide really able to make rational or sane decisions? I know I'm speaking against the majority of tradition on this, and I'm sorry that that's the case, because the majority are wrong in this case (and the majority in earlier times probably thought mental instablility was caused by demons infesting a person or something, something else they would have been wrong about).

You say this but I've had it described to me by people who have attempted it as the most rational course of action imaginable. I do how ever believe that God take into account our own consciences and our own mental dispositions when judging us. If he does not take these into account then how does he love us and how is he merciful? We all sin, one person's minor sin is an others major sin. God knows the difference and will judge or show mercy accordingly.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,102
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 09:57:03 PM »
They are the same sin.  Suicide is self-murder.

Offline Byzantine2008

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 280
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 10:05:12 PM »
Lets not get ahead of ourselves concerning suicide as this topic is more complex than a simple yes and no answer....

Remember we never know what is in ones heart and soul when they take their last breath.

Lord Jesus Christ Son of God have mercy on me a sinner.
Let your will be done O Lord Jesus Christ through the intercession of you All Pure Mother and all the saints!

Offline Bogoliubtsy

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,268
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 10:23:22 PM »
What is worse sin - murder or suicide?
What is heavier burden on offsprings in eather case?
(I hope Fr. Ambrose sees this - I can't access my e-mail account at the moment.)


It all depends on how many angels were on the head of the knife used in the murder or suicide.
"When you give food to the poor, they call you a saint. When you ask why the poor have no food, they call you a communist". - Archbishop Hélder Pessoa Câmara

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 39,523
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2009, 10:41:39 PM »
What is worse sin - murder or suicide?
What is heavier burden on offsprings in eather case?
(I hope Fr. Ambrose sees this - I can't access my e-mail account at the moment.)


It all depends on how many angels were on the head of the knife used in the murder or suicide.

How about how many fallen angels in the head of the murderer?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline ialmisry

  • There's nothing John of Damascus can't answer
  • Strategos
  • ******************
  • Posts: 39,523
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2009, 10:43:08 PM »
I personally don't believe that suicide is a sin. People who think suicide is a sin sometimes say that there is an exception to be made if the suicidal person is mentally unstable. But IMO there is no such thing as a suicide by a mentally stable person.

Masada.

Jonestown.

Waco.

Goering's end.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Marc1152

  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 14,742
  • Probiotic .. Antibiotic
  • Jurisdiction: Rocor
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2009, 10:52:16 PM »
When my wife killed herself in 2006 she was utterly delusional. There are many levels of mentel instability. She was "Channeling" and thought she was in contact with the Dali Lama and was obsessed with all things Chinese. She was paranoid and thought she was going to be kidnapped. She couldn't sleep and exhausted herself with worry.

No just God would condemn her and if he does then I will gladly descend into hell myself to be with her when my time comes.

Let's find something else to discuss, shall we?
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,383
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2009, 11:03:34 PM »
The point is, is someone in such a state of mind that commits suicide really able to make rational or sane decisions?
In most cases, No.  And any mental health worker worth their salt will tell you the same.

I know I'm speaking against the majority of tradition on this, and I'm sorry that that's the case, because the majority are wrong in this case
Two things to note here:

1) We should not think of sin the the judicial sense, but in the Orthodox Christian sense of "spiritual illness". Body, Soul and Mind are one entity, one hypostasis, therefore both Mental Illness and Physical Illness can cause some Spiritual Illness, which needs medicine and healing.  For example, someone in pain from an illness may become irritable and lose patience with those caring for them, and attack them. This loss of patience is a Spiritual Illness which needs as much healing as the cause of their spiritual pain does- without patience, we are lost.

2) If the Church liturgically prays for those "who have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind", we can't really claim that the Church does not traditionally acknowledge that suicide is a result of a "darkened mind" (i.e. mental illness). Clearly the Church does hold this.

(and the majority in earlier times probably thought mental instablility was caused by demons infesting a person or something, something else they would have been wrong about).
Again, I think we need to approach this from the Orthodox Christian viewpoint.  Demons are not "naturally evil" according to Orthodoxy. The demons' nature is "naturally Good", but what the demons have done is to distort something good into something evil. In their proper state, the demons are Angels by nature, in other words, a demon is a diseased Angel. In the same way, Cancer is diseased cellular replication, Diabetes is diseased blood sugar maintenance, Anaphylaxis is diseased immune response. In each case, something good is distorted to make it "go bad". Mental illness is the same. The brain is good in it's "natural state" but it can become diseased, similarly  the mind (and we can argue what that is and whether it exists until the cows come home) is good in it's natural state, but can become diseased.
If the Angels carry out the Will of God and protect us, and guide us and prompt our consciences to prevent us from "missing the mark", what would a "diseased Angel" do? A diseased Angel would not protect us, but seek to harm and destroy us, and cause us to "miss the mark" in any way they can. And if they can take advantage of a diseased mind to do so, they will. It's just like how a pack of wolves will pick out the weakest member of the herd and attack them as their prey.
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,102
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: OCA
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 01:18:10 AM »
I just want to clarify that I wasn't pronouncing how God would judge each individual situation, but simply stating that suicide is a form of murder, and therefore I do not consider them to be separate sins to rate in order of severity.  That is what the original poster was concerned with.

I pray that God would be merciful to all of mankind, including those whose minds have been darkened to the point of suicide/murder.  Ultimately it is always up to God to judge the people Himself; certainly not us.

Offline Nigula Qian Zishi

  • Administrator Emeritus, Retired Deacon, Inactive Poster, Active Orthodox Christian, Father, and Husband
  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,837
  • 我美丽的妻子和我。
    • Orthodox Ecclesiology and The World
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2009, 01:54:23 AM »
There is time to repent after murder. Suicide, notsomuch. Hence those who kill themselves to not receive a Christian funeral service and only get a graveside service. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, including this one, I am sure. But murder is horrible as you may have prevented a person from repenting from serious sins as well.
在基督
尼古拉
前执事
的博客

Offline John of the North

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 3,533
  • Christ is Risen!
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2009, 02:30:40 AM »
What is worse sin - murder or suicide?
What is heavier burden on offsprings in eather case?
(I hope Fr. Ambrose sees this - I can't access my e-mail account at the moment.)


There is no worse sin. Sin is not graded on a curve. All sin is equally bad as it divorces us from the Love of God, thus bringing us only death.
"Christianity is not a philosophy, not a doctrine, but life." - Elder Sophrony (Sakharov)

Offline scamandrius

  • Musicians don't dance
  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 7,089
  • Why do I waste my time here?
  • Faith: Greek Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: DOWAMA of AANA
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2009, 03:38:35 PM »

2) If the Church liturgically prays for those "who have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind", we can't really claim that the Church does not traditionally acknowledge that suicide is a result of a "darkened mind" (i.e. mental illness). Clearly the Church does hold this.

George,

I know that you are tackling this from the persepctive of one who works extensively in the health profession, but do the church fathers use this same phrase, that of darkness of mind when referring to any other sin committed such as adultery, drunkeness, kidnapping, etc.?   Also, you have already said that we should not talk about sin in the simple juridical sense. But, at the same time,  you are not using mental illness (or darkened mind or whatever you want to call it) as a means of excusing such actions, correct?
Hey, I don't hand out 9.5s to just anyone!  ;D

Offline Heorhij

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,576
    • Mississippi University for Women
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2009, 04:08:10 PM »
^^What OzGeorge said.

To the OP: what do you mean under "burden on offspring?" Could you please clarify? Thank you.
Love never fails.

Offline Riddikulus

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,788
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2009, 07:55:19 PM »

2) If the Church liturgically prays for those "who have committed suicide in the darkness of their mind", we can't really claim that the Church does not traditionally acknowledge that suicide is a result of a "darkened mind" (i.e. mental illness). Clearly the Church does hold this.

George,

I know that you are tackling this from the persepctive of one who works extensively in the health profession, but do the church fathers use this same phrase, that of darkness of mind when referring to any other sin committed such as adultery, drunkeness, kidnapping, etc.?   Also, you have already said that we should not talk about sin in the simple juridical sense. But, at the same time,  you are not using mental illness (or darkened mind or whatever you want to call it) as a means of excusing such actions, correct?

If not an "excuse", wouldn't it amount to mitigating circumstances? ( I think that is the term I'm looking for.) After all, we are basically held hostage by who and what we are genetically. If genetically we have a tendancy to mental illness, that is a very heavy burden. Without God's healing grace how would one overcome? Would God be an uncaring Judge of his flawed creation? I'm not saying that anyone has suggested that, just trying to clarify my own thoughts on this. 
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline ozgeorge

  • I'll take you for who you are if you take me for everything.
  • Hoplitarches
  • *************
  • Posts: 16,383
  • My plans for retirement.
    • Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2009, 08:01:12 PM »
you are not using mental illness (or darkened mind or whatever you want to call it) as a means of excusing such actions, correct?

Someone with Diabetes has Diabetes- what difference does an "excuse" for having Diabetes make to the diagnosis? The treatment may be different in that an education program tailored to the individual who developed Diabetes through their bad habits may be part of their particular treatment, but essentially, the problem is their Diabetes.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2009, 08:03:14 PM by ozgeorge »
If you're living a happy life as a Christian, you're doing something wrong.

Offline frost

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 108
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2009, 12:50:35 AM »
Dear Friends:

We need to keep in mind that the vast majority of suicides (at least in western cultures) are committed by persons suffering from severe psychoses. At that point, they are simply unable to know or understand what they are doing. It is best to leave them ot the infinite mercy of the loving God. They have sufferend enough already, and their loved one have suffered enough already. We really should not try to speculate on their "sin" of suicide. To do so is a little presumptive and unkind to those who have lost loved ones to suicide.

As for murderers, they have in fact, made themselves agents of Satan, "who was a murderer from, the first".

FF

Offline mike

  • Stratopedarches
  • **************
  • Posts: 22,594
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #22 on: January 23, 2009, 03:40:24 PM »
And what about those who sacrificed their lives to protect the others, like those from United Airlines Flight 93? Are they also regarded as sinners?
Hyperdox Herman, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - fb, Eastern Orthodox Christian News - tt

not everything I typed before [insert current date] may reflect my current views on the subject

Offline PeterTheAleut

  • The Right Blowhard Peter the Furtive of Yetts O'Muckhart
  • Section Moderator
  • Hypatos
  • *****
  • Posts: 35,352
  • Lord, have mercy on the Christians in Mosul!
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Re: Murder or suicide - what is the worse sin?
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2009, 04:32:44 PM »
And what about those who sacrificed their lives to protect the others, like those from United Airlines Flight 93? Are they also regarded as sinners?
1.  They did not inflict death upon themselves; rather, they gave themselves up to certain death by causes outside themselves.

2.  Intentionally or no, they followed the example of Jesus Christ, who said that "no greater love has a man than he lay down his life for his friends" and then set the example of this teaching by giving Himself over to death at the hands of evil men that we all might be saved.
Not all who wander are lost.