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This remark is consistent with an atheistic view of reality. Although atheists can be compassionate to someone hurting enough to want to kill themselves, ultimately what does it matter?

On the other hand, if there is more to human life than a collection of atoms that happens to be organized in an interesting way and human life is sacred, as Christianity teaches, then suicide is a tragedy of the highest degree. No human is a waste of space, and every life should be protected to the extent possible through our finite means. I commend raganwald for making this post. I just wanted to point out that vonskimppy's comment illustrates implications of certain worldviews

I am a heathen, and not an atheist (I am not the GP poster either).

I don't see suicide as a tragedy nor do I see life in itself to be sacred in the way Christianity teaches it is sacred. For this reason I am pro choice but don't even try to differentiate between abortion and infanticide--- personhood is a social concept and where we draw lines is arbitrary. Just because we draw the line before birth somewhere and the Vikings drew it a few days after birth doesn't make one more right than the other.

I don't particularly frown on suicide (note, I am not untouched by this, having lost two friends to suicide both which were suffering from mental illness). However, I think that if one is competent to decide, that's the key thing. It;s tragic when we sent people off to war and then don't give them the treatment they need when they come back so they kill themselves. It is tragic when people find themselves rejected by long-time friends in their hours of need and slit their wrists in hotel rooms. I am not saying these are good choices.

But having known people who made these choices badly does not give me a right to discount it in other circumstances.

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