Innocence and Suicide

Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):315-335 (1999)
Abstract
In this paper I examine one line of argument against the claim that (some) suicide may be morally legitimate. This argument appeals to a putative moral principle that it is never licit to assault an innocent human life. I consider some related arguments in St. Augustine and St. Thomas, and I explore two possible senses of “innocent.” I argue that in one sense the putative moral principle is very implausible, and in neither sense is it true that all suicides assault an innocent life. So this line of argument fails to establish the desired universal prohibition of suicide
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