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  • Is Self Sacrifice Still Suicide?

    Is jumping off a skyscraper tall tower to your death to save the world still considered a form of suicide? I'd like to hear all of your opinions on this.

  • #2
    I'm trying to figure out whether to approach this specifically as a Buffy topic, i.e. "The Gift", or as a general topic.

    I suppose she provides a ready enough example. Self-sacrifice, even insofar as you are the direct agent of your own demise, isn't "suicide" in a morally condemnable sense if done to achieve a greater charitable end in accordance with the human dignity. Buffy, in "The Gift", ran toward the edge of a scaffold and fell some 150 feet to what would have been her death even if she hadn't been killed by mystical energy en route. But she didn't jump because she didn't value her own life, or belief herself a better judge than nature or (pace Thomas Jefferson) Nature's God to decide when she checked out. She did it so her sister wouldn't have to.

    I'm a Catholic, and that comes with certain clear ideas of right and wrong as you can imagine, and suicide is pretty far down the list. Yet, we're also told by the highest possible Authority, that "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

    I had a talk about this once with someone and we remembered the story of Samson, who not only killed himself (collapsed a building on himself and his captors), but prayed, successfully, for the physical strength necessary to do so.

    So my own beliefs, and a good deal of what underlines contemporary Western philosophy, draw a clear distinction between suicide and self-sacrifice.

    We see this in the Buffyverse more than once. Buffy in "The Gift"; Dawn *willing* to do it in "The Gift". Xander standing against Willow in "Grave". Doyle in "Hero". Angel in "The Trial". Spike in "Chosen" (although this is less clear since he didn't know the consequences going in, but he didn't cry off, either).
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    • #3
      My honest opinion? I think there was an element of both in her motives. Her speech to Giles in the training room before gives us an insight into that.

      "If thats all there is in this world" etc, etc. Yes, her primary motive was to save Dawn, but I can help but feel part of the strength she found for that final 'push' was because she had had enough, and just wanted this terribly stressful existence that was her life to end in the process.
      Last edited by sueworld; 10-07-08, 06:49 PM.

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      • #4
        I think that I agree with KoC ... but I'm not really sure where I stand.

        Self-sacrifice is a noble thing, but it depends on the situation if it's the right thing to do. In the case of the Gift, if there were no emotions and just ratio ... Dawn should've been the one who died because Buffy is more usefull in the world, something Buffy says in season 7. The same for Angel in 'the trial', a warrior for a woman who has no special powers or ever showed the intention to fight the good fight (I guess that Darla would fight in his name ... but still) ... again, noble but not right.

        Those things I won't call suicide because they wanted to live, there is no way that they would've gave their lives if they didn't had to save somebody. In Buffy's case, there will always be some questionmarks because she was pretty down and tired in 'The Gift', but after she said in season 7 that she would let Dawn jump ... I think that we can say that she didn't had the urge to kill herself.

        The cases of Doyle and Xander are really different. They didn't had a choice like 'she or me', in the case of Xander ... it was their last hope and it was between being the first down or going with the world. Doesn't make it unnoble, but if he didn't do anything ... he would die anyway. Doyle had to pick between Angel or him dieing to save the innocent demons, he decided to save the innocents and to save his best friend. Noble and smart, because Angel has more chance to make a difference than Doyle.

        But I think that if a character gives his/her life for somebody else or for the world ... and he/she doesn't want to die; you can't say that the self-sacrifice is the same as suicide. But it can be a pretty stupid thing to do.

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        • #5
          I think what she did falls under the form of suicide, Altruistic,which is giving your life for someone else or others because it benefits society. I personally think that there are different various examples of this and doesn't have to be so broad, thus a mother stepping in front of her child when someone is shooting a gun is a hybrid of Altruistic suicide. And in many cultures is considered a very good thing, then again other forms of suicide are not necessarily frowned upon in other cultures either so like anthing else it can depend on the culture you come from.

          But I do think sacrificing yourself for someone else, even if the word suicide is used is mostly viewed as an heroic act. Many times when someone commits suicide it is seen as cowardly, selfish, an easy way out so to speak. I cannot speak for anyone but myself but any philosophy or religion that frowns on suicide period I have a hard time with. I think each case is different and thus should be viewed as such by God, the Powers that Be etc. before condemning them for eternity.

          Anyway in a nutshell I prefer saying the words self sacrifice, like KoC mentioned, over suicide unless you put the type that it is and even then not everyone know what that means. But to answer your actual question, yes I believe it falls under one of the types or forms of suicide.

          Oh and Nina: I just read your post and that is exactly why I have a hard time with those who cannot forgive suicide, some are very lost, others are cowardly, and some are trying to save an individual or others. Thus many times wanting to die is not the real reason for the attempt, thus need for case to case but I think if the act you do leads to your death, then the word suicide is used..eh then again accidental death or accidential overdose are words used time and again one someone "accidentally" kills themself so is awareness the key factor? What I mean is does knowing that death is a possiblity in the action you are taking make the difference with whether the word suicide is used. So if a very small kid picks up daddy's gun and he shoots himself it is just accidental death because he didn't know his action would lead to death, but someone like Doyle or Buffy know that is the consequence of their action or choice so though selfless and noble the word suicide is brought back into the mix.
          Last edited by Boltmaiden; 10-07-08, 07:08 PM.

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          • #6
            The issue as I see it, is where is the line between sacrifice and martyrdom? Because suicide bombers (presumably) also believe they are doing the right thing, giving their lives for a greater good.

            Really, the only line is the question is one of believing in one's heart they're doing the right thing, but at the end of the day, that's subjective.

            That's why I'm not sure that this belongs in the Buffy thread, not sure...

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            • #7
              I think Buffy’s swan dive was suicide (intentionally taking your own life) in a way that, say, running into a hail of bullets while going over the top in WWI isn’t… because the aim of the running into a hail of bullets is to stay alive long enough to kill some enemies/gain some territory…and, I think even if you know with part of your brain that there’s no way you could survive the charge, you still hope that you will.

              Even if you throw yourself onto a bomb to shield your buddies (not sure why I’m getting all military about this, but seems a convenient source of death-related examples) from the blast, there’s a million to one chance that somehow you might survive…and your goal would be achieved if you survived just as much.

              With Buffy’s action, killing herself was an inherent part of the success of her mission – her purpose could ONLY be achieved if she died. Death was her gift.

              However, although she was taking her own life (or giving it, rather), I believe she was doing the right thing. Suicide’s rightness or wrongness depends on the motives, imo, and - to answer the thread title question - I think it was both self sacrifice and suicide.
              Last edited by Wolfie Gilmore; 14-07-08, 10:45 AM.


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              • #8
                I lean for both things. She had lost so much, she wasn?t willing to lose Dawn and if she did, she didn?t know how to live in that world, so she chose her life instead of Dawn?s. At first, it seems Buffy already has that death wish Spike talks about but in the end, she sacrificies herself more for love, a gift for Dawn and her friends. A gift of love.

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                • #9
                  I’m on the side of both here- I think Buffy was feeling weary and beaten down by the world. She fought evil and suffered in different ways for a long time. I don’t call her act suicide though, or think that her wish for some peace detracts from her sacrifice because I think if the situation had never occurred, Buffy would have continued to live and fight regardless of what she was feeling.

                  Death was her gift to the world and to Dawn because it averted disaster. It’s possible it can also be seen as death was her gift, her reaching a place of rest and comfort and peace after years of struggling against evil. Her battle was over.

                  And I won’t take credit for this, but I read somewhere that we saw Buffy struggle with her life as a girl and as the slayer; often the two were in conflict. On top of that tower, for the first time, there was no conflict- what she wanted as a person and what was demanded of her as the slayer met.

                  Tragic to be sure.

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                  • #10
                    I don't view the scene earlier with Giles as any evidence that Buffy's swan dive at the end of the episode was partly about 'giving up' or anything like that. I think that's partially where me and Sue to be specific differ on the matter, though I agree with her most certainly that the conversation between she and Giles is worth referencing. It most certainly had its point.

                    I think if anything Buffy understands the point of life and this world in that moment of clarity when she realises she can give up her life for Dawn. It's something she speaks about in 'Bargaining' when she states how everything was so clear. In her conversation with Giles she says how she doesn't know how to live in the world if giving up Dawn after having to sacrifice Angel were the choices that one had to make. But when she's up there with Dawn she understands her purpose. So in some sense, it was ?easy' for her to make, but I don't think the conversation with Giles was a sign a part of her had just gave up, I think it was just meant to show how lost she was, and how in this moment she finally found the meaning of everything.

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                    • #11
                      I think although Buffy was feeling very beaten down and defeated by the world, her sacrifice in The Gift does not count as suicide, as she was saving Dawn, who was made from her. I think she feels that by sacrificing The Slayer, she is saving Buffy, whose human innocence is displayed by Dawn.

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                      • #12
                        Awesome topic! Also one I hadn't thought of in relation to The Gift. And my learned colleagues here have given me a lot of food for thought!

                        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                        I suppose she provides a ready enough example. Self-sacrifice, even insofar as you are the direct agent of your own demise, isn't "suicide" in a morally condemnable sense if done to achieve a greater charitable end in accordance with the human dignity. Buffy, in "The Gift", ran toward the edge of a scaffold and fell some 150 feet to what would have been her death even if she hadn't been killed by mystical energy en route. But she didn't jump because she didn't value her own life, or belief herself a better judge than nature or (pace Thomas Jefferson) Nature's God to decide when she checked out. She did it so her sister wouldn't have to.
                        KoC, amen! I've debated with many, many people regarding this exact thing. Yes, Buffy saved the world. But she jumped to save her *sister*, not to save the *world*. She had failed to save everything that meant anything to her in that season (specifically, her Mother and Riley) and was *determined* not to lose anything else!

                        Originally posted by KingofCretins View Post
                        We see this in the Buffyverse more than once. Buffy in "The Gift"; Dawn *willing* to do it in "The Gift". Xander standing against Willow in "Grave". Doyle in "Hero". Angel in "The Trial". Spike in "Chosen" (although this is less clear since he didn't know the consequences going in, but he didn't cry off, either).
                        Well, in my view, Spike *did* choose, because he had the opportunity to leave with Buffy - it seems clear (to me) by the look on this face when he looked back into the Hellmouth and said "I want to see how this ends" he *knows* he's not getting out of the Hellmouth. Also, I believe he chose to *save the world*, making this a sacrifice, not a suicide.

                        Originally posted by sueworld View Post
                        My honest opinion? I think there was an element of both in her motives. Her speech to Giles in the training room before gives us an insight into that.

                        "If that's all there is in this world" etc, etc. Yes, her primary motive was to save Dawn, but I can help but feel part of the strength she found for that final 'push' was because she had had enough, and just wanted this terribly stressful existence that was her life to end in the process.
                        I'm not sure I can agree entirely with you here, Sue. I think the "training room" chat with Giles was certainly her true feelings at that *moment*. The whole season had been one long endurance contest for Buffy in particular. Her mother had just died and she knew she drove Riley away. And she knew that Glory was a *God* and that the chances of saving Dawn weren't goo high. And her role as The Slayer is all about *control* She was *tired* and not a little *depressed*. Translating the events of that season to something that could happen in real life tells me that *anyone* human would be feeling the same way.

                        But, where I can't agree with you is the idea that Buffy was thinking that *after* the massive fight with Glory and her finally getting to Dawn on the platform. In her flash of *death is my gift*, I believe she sought to save *Dawn*, not the world. Her final words before jumping were for Dawn, Giles & the Scoobies. "Live. For me."

                        Originally posted by Nina View Post
                        Dawn should've been the one who died because Buffy is more usefull in the world, something Buffy says in season 7. The same for Angel in 'the trial', a warrior for a woman who has no special powers or ever showed the intention to fight the good fight (I guess that Darla would fight in his name ... but still) ... again, noble but not right.

                        Those things I won't call suicide because they wanted to live, there is no way that they would've gave their lives if they didn't had to save somebody. In Buffy's case, there will always be some questionmarks because she was pretty down and tired in 'The Gift', but after she said in season 7 that she would let Dawn jump ... I think that we can say that she didn't had the urge to kill herself.

                        The cases of Doyle and Xander are really different. They didn't had a choice like 'she or me', in the case of Xander ... it was their last hope and it was between being the first down or going with the world. Doesn't make it unnoble, but if he didn't do anything ... he would die anyway. Doyle had to pick between Angel or him dieing to save the innocent demons, he decided to save the innocents and to save his best friend. Noble and smart, because Angel has more chance to make a difference than Doyle.

                        But I think that if a character gives his/her life for somebody else or for the world ... and he/she doesn't want to die; you can't say that the self-sacrifice is the same as suicide. But it can be a pretty stupid thing to do.
                        Exactly! And in the case of Doyle, flash forward all the way to You're Welcome - Cordy puts a period on it. "Doyle Pissed me off so righteously going out like that, but he knew. He knew what he had to do. Didn't compromise. Used his last breath to make sure you'd keep fighting. I get that now. " Cordy herself used the "TPTB owed her one" favor to do the same thing - make sure Angel kept fighting.

                        In the same vein as Buffy in The Gift, I think that Xander in "Grave" was seeking to save *Willow*, his "all his life" best friend, not necessarily to save the world. "And I know you're about to do something apocalyptically evil and stupid and hey, still want to hang. You're Willow." Yes, they want to stop Willow, but we don't hear that saving the world is the *primary* issue. Willow is about to do something bad, Xander loves Willow, Xander will do what he can. Xander's strength and simplicity pretty much *demand* that he respond this way.


                        Originally posted by Veverka View Post
                        The issue as I see it, is where is the line between sacrifice and martyrdom? Because suicide bombers (presumably) also believe they are doing the right thing, giving their lives for a greater good.

                        Really, the only line is the question is one of believing in one's heart they're doing the right thing, but at the end of the day, that's subjective.

                        That's why I'm not sure that this belongs in the Buffy thread, not sure...
                        Exactly! I've had the same discussion many times regarding suicide bombers - martyrdom! What *we* would call a terrorist is called a "hero" in other areas of the world! It's personal and very subjective!

                        But, I would argue that this discussion should be in the Buffy thread because we've seen this concept many times throughout Buffy and Angel - the idea of self-denial and sacrifice for others. It's a main theme in many seasons and arcs.

                        Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                        I think Buffy’s swan dive was suicide (intentionally taking your own life) in a way that, say, running into a hail of bullets while going over the top in WWI isn’t… because the aim of the running into a hail of bullets is to stay alive long enough to kill some enemies/gain some territory…and, I think even if you know with part of your brain that there’s no way you could survive the charge, you still hope that you will.

                        Even if you throw yourself onto a bomb to shield your buddies (not sure why I’m getting all military about this, but seems a convenient source of death-related examples) from the blast, there’s a million to one chance that somehow you might survive…and your goal would be achieved if you survived just as much.
                        My thought here isn't from personal knowledge, but from my son (currently serving in Afghanistan) and his buddies - at those kinds of times you are not *thinking* at all! You respond according to your instincts and/or training. You aren't thinking about whether you will survive or not - there is *no* conscious thought. You respond according to your nature. Some people run and some people fight. (sounds like the "help the helpless", doesn't it?) In the cases of Xander and Doyle (and to a certain extent even Buffy), I can't help but think their thoughts weren't about dying to save the world, but about doing what was in their power to do to save their *friends* - it was totally unacceptable that Angel or Willow or Buffy die, so they did what they could do to keep their friends alive. Some people might regard those choices as stupid - as many of you will know, *my* view is that stupid is in the mind of the beholder!

                        Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                        With Buffy’s action, killing herself was an inherent part of the success of her mission – her purpose could ONLY be achieved if she died. Death was her gift.

                        However, although she was taking her own life (or giving it, rather), I believe she was doing the right thing. Suicide’s rightness or wrongness depends on the motives, imo.
                        Well, that would depend on what her purpose is! This perfectly outlines why Buffy jumped. The world would have been saved if *Dawn* jumped. Death was her gift to *Dawn*, not the world. It would be hard to argue that Dawn is more valuable to the world than The Slayer.

                        The problem with motives is that they are totally subjective, too! Back to the suicide bomber - in his *own* mind, he's doing God's will, in *our* mind, he's a terrorist!

                        All this is why I've been the "devil's advocate" in other threads! I could (and have in the past) argue that Buffy's jump in TG was intensely *selfish*, even though the *outcome* made her look like a hero! In TG storyline, we see *inside* a story that we normally see only the *outside* of! Buffy jumped so *Dawn* wouldn't have to, not because she wanted to save the world! We normally don't see the inside process leading up to these huge events. We normally don't have any insight into the thoughts and feelings leading up to a "heroic" action. Joss has given us many, many situations to debate. (Which is why I would vote to have this thread at least in the general area, it's very relevant to the Jossverse.)

                        And, I suppose most of this is technically OT - to answer the original thread question - technically, I would have to reluctantly admit self sacrifice *is* suicide!
                        Last edited by Cinderela; 13-07-08, 04:07 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cinderela View Post
                          My thought here isn't from personal knowledge, but from my son (currently serving in Afghanistan) and his buddies - at those kinds of times you are not *thinking* at all!
                          Very interesting to have some insider knowledge on the topic.

                          You respond according to your instincts and/or training. You aren't thinking about whether you will survive or not - there is *no* conscious thought.
                          Right. I think what I was trying to get at was that the purpose of the selfless actions of soldiers - putting themselves in harm's way to save others - is not to die. That is, the mission could be achieved without their deaths, and hoping to stay alive might be irrational/a foolish hope... but still, they could do both - survive and succeed. Whereas with Buffy's mission, she HAD to die in order to complete her mission, as it was the stopping of her blood flowing at death that would close the portal (though...that whole Summers blood thing never quite made sense... I mean, did she do a blood test? Maybe she got Riley to use his field medical kit to do one. ).

                          But I agree in terms of the impulse:

                          You respond according to your nature. Some people run and some people fight. (sounds like the "help the helpless", doesn't it?) In the cases of Xander and Doyle (and to a certain extent even Buffy), I can't help but think their thoughts weren't about dying to save the world, but about doing what was in their power to do to save their *friends* - it was totally unacceptable that Angel or Willow or Buffy die, so they did what they could do to keep their friends alive.
                          That's an interesting question... whether there's a difference between dying to save your friends and dying to save the world. Sometimes, people seem to think it's more noble to fight for something abstract, that's not a part of your life. I don't think I agree though... just because there's a "selfish" motive of love involved, that doesn't make you any less dead after you've sacrificed yourself. You're still prepared to die for someone else.

                          Well, that would depend on what her purpose is! This perfectly outlines why Buffy jumped. The world would have been saved if *Dawn* jumped. Death was her gift to *Dawn*, not the world. It would be hard to argue that Dawn is more valuable to the world than The Slayer.
                          True!

                          The problem with motives is that they are totally subjective, too! Back to the suicide bomber - in his *own* mind, he's doing God's will, in *our* mind, he's a terrorist!
                          Freedom fighter/martyr/terrorist/suicide bomber... yup, it is a blurry line.


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                          • #14
                            I still view Buffy's swan die as for Dawn *and* the world. Because if it was just about not letting Dawn jump, she simply wouldn't have let her, whatever way she could, as she spoke about earlier in 'The Gift' when she said the last thing Dawn would see is Buffy protecting her. The fact she took the next step and realised it wasn't about just not letting Dawn jump, but also about not putting the world and all those in it through some much grief, IMO demonstrates she not only did it for Dawn but for the world.

                            I do think that’s what Buffy believed she was partly doing, she tells Dawn that “this is the work that I (she) have to do” which could indicate she felt it was her duty as a slayer to sacrifice herself. Her duty as a slayer is to the world, not to her sister. So I think it works both ways for Buffy.
                            Last edited by vampmogs; 14-07-08, 12:09 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Here is a question. Does suicide need to always be wrong. On dictionary.com, the definition for suicide is "the intentional taking of one's own life", it does not specify any circumstantial criteria beyond this. Under this definition Buffy did commit a form of suicide as outlined earlier by Boltmaiden:

                              Originally posted by Boltmaiden View Post
                              I think what she did falls under the form of suicide, Altruistic,which is giving your life for someone else or others because it benefits society. I personally think that there are different various examples of this and doesn't have to be so broad, thus a mother stepping in front of her child when someone is shooting a gun is a hybrid of Altruistic suicide. And in many cultures is considered a very good thing, then again other forms of suicide are not necessarily frowned upon in other cultures either so like anthing else it can depend on the culture you come from.

                              But I do think sacrificing yourself for someone else, even if the word suicide is used is mostly viewed as an heroic act.
                              I personally think that sucide can be good or bad depending on the reason. As long as the plan to kill ones self is intentional, soldiars in war do not intentionally seek out death, then it is suicide. To jump from a sky-scraper high tower is, imo, an act of suicide even if it is done to save the world or another human being. And if it is done to save the world or another human being, then it is good, but it is still suicide. It is the intentionallity of it that matters. And to those of you who think suicide is a sin due to religion, please consider this: did not Jesus intentionally enter jeruselum knowing that his death was waiting for him there. Did he not go there intentially to die a martyrs death as had been decreeded by prophecy and the Lord. Did he not intentially give up his life to save all other lives. May that not count as alturistic suicide, being both a form of suicide and good. If I have offened anyone I appoligize, I am just trying to bridge understanding.

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                              • #16
                                I think it really depends on your own views and beliefs. I'm a catholic and as King states earlier in the thread, the Catholic faith deems suicide as wrong, but then it also states homosexuality is wrong, and that's not something I'm on board with. I'm not on board with a lot of the things in my religion, but I pick and choose what I believe are justified and good rules to live by in life. I'm not heavily religious though.

                                Personally I just think it's such a personal and individual question. There's always the debate in wether or not euthanasia is wrong, and that's a form of suicide. Honestly, I just can't comment.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                  Very interesting to have some insider knowledge on the topic.
                                  *snort* Knowledge I wish I *didn't* have (*hope mods don't see me going OT*) I was spellbound by his latest e mail detailing his near death experience with mortar fire ! He could keep *some* things to himself!.......right-o back on topic

                                  Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                  Right. I think what I was trying to get at was that the purpose of the selfless actions of soldiers - putting themselves in harm's way to save others - is not to die. That is, the mission could be achieved without their deaths, and hoping to stay alive might be irrational/a foolish hope... but still, they could do both - survive and succeed. Whereas with Buffy's mission, she HAD to die in order to complete her mission, as it was the stopping of her blood flowing at death that would close the portal (though...that whole Summers blood thing never quite made sense... I mean, did she do a blood test? Maybe she got Riley to use his field medical kit to do one. ).
                                  *lame Joss plot cop out* But the world could have been saved via *Dawn* dying, right? Clearly, The Slayer has more value in the world than a whining klepto.......*oops* did I say that out loud?

                                  Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                  But I agree in terms of the impulse:


                                  That's an interesting question... whether there's a difference between dying to save your friends and dying to save the world. Sometimes, people seem to think it's more noble to fight for something abstract, that's not a part of your life. I don't think I agree though... just because there's a "selfish" motive of love involved, that doesn't make you any less dead after you've sacrificed yourself. You're still prepared to die for someone else.
                                  Well, that's exactly it! How nit picky could anyone get? If someone is a genuine bonafide *hero*, it's a little much to not only expect someone to do the right thing, but to do it with motives *you* consider worthy!

                                  Originally posted by miscjj06 View Post
                                  Here is a question. Does suicide need to always be wrong. On dictionary.com, the definition for suicide is "the intentional taking of one's own life", it does not specify any circumstantial criteria beyond this.

                                  I personally think that sucide can be good or bad depending on the reason. As long as the plan to kill ones self is intentional, soldiars in war do not intentionally seek out death, then it is suicide. To jump from a sky-scraper high tower is, imo, an act of suicide even if it is done to save the world or another human being. And if it is done to save the world or another human being, then it is good, but it is still suicide. It is the intentionallity of it that matters. And to those of you who think suicide is a sin due to religion, please consider this: did not Jesus intentionally enter jeruselum knowing that his death was waiting for him there. Did he not go there intentially to die a martyrs death as had been decreeded by prophecy and the Lord. Did he not intentially give up his life to save all other lives. May that not count as alturistic suicide, being both a form of suicide and good. If I have offened anyone I appoligize, I am just trying to bridge understanding.
                                  Before anything else, welcome, miscjj06! That whole suicide=mortal sin is not the only totally contradictory things you will find in religion! You certainly have not offended me, I *totally* love intellingent, respectful discussions of different points of view. We are pretty broadminded here as long as everyone is respectful in the discussion - *except The Boiler Room*, it can get rather warm in there! Ohh, I seem to be having trouble keeping on topic!

                                  Anyway, yours was a *totally* on point analagy I would not have ever thought of! In the "dictionary" sense, that was most certainly suicide, however, in my own weird perspective, I don't see it in the same light as many others. Jesus merely followed his *own* destiny and *knew* the whole plan. He gave his own *human* life and claimed his own destiny. He was *born* divine, not something to be earned. *Faith* was not required - he *knew* where his road was leading - straight to the right hand of the Father. (Of course, this makes sense only if you are of that religion.)

                                  Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                                  I think it really depends on your own views and beliefs. I'm a catholic and as King states earlier in the thread, the Catholic faith deems suicide as wrong, but then it also states homosexuality is wrong, and that's not something I'm on board with. I'm not on board with a lot of the things in my religion, but I pick and choose what I believe are justified and good rules to live by in life. I'm not heavily religious though.

                                  Personally I just think it's such a personal and individual question. There's always the debate in wether or not euthanasia is wrong, and that's a form of suicide. Honestly, I just can't comment.
                                  Same for me, vampmogs! I'm not Catholic, but tend to follow the same train of thought as you. I'm not slavish to the beliefs of any one school of thought, I just pick what seems to be in keeping with the spirit of the lessons and try to live accordingly.

                                  It just occurred to me that it may not matter in the least what the *motives* are in these situations, but the desire to make things right. I just can't get away from the idea that *right* and *wrong* are in the mind of the person in question....which is why I seem to waffle so much on these kinds of questions!

                                  But, this is an awesome discussion!
                                  sigpic

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                                  • #18
                                    Well Marti Noxon said that Buffy's sacrifice in The Gift could very well be interpreted as suicide. I don't know that means anything I just thought I'd mention it. Personally, I think it was somewhat a bit of both saving the world and Dawn and a release from her life. She did seem as if she was beginning to become depressed toward the end of season 5 but really I think she was more concerned with ending the apocolypse than ending any depression of hers.
                                    Your logic does not resemble our earth logic.

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Veverka View Post
                                      The issue as I see it, is where is the line between sacrifice and martyrdom? Because suicide bombers (presumably) also believe they are doing the right thing, giving their lives for a greater good.
                                      This is true, and a rather good point. Something I hadn't thought of, and it really adds depth to the conversation, which the first two or three posters could have deftly handled otherwise, in my opinion.

                                      Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                      Suicide’s rightness or wrongness depends on the motives, imo, and - to answer the thread title question - I think it was both self sacrifice and suicide.
                                      PS. Love the avi, Wolfie~

                                      Gah, you beat me to my point. I certainly (probably...) wouldn't say that Buffy committed suicide in the normal fashion, or in the everyday definition of the word, at least. But she certainly did kill herself, so that's suicide. But Buffy's death was, in the end, for the greater good, not for herself. She did it for Dawn, and she did it for the world. That's self-sacrifice if I've ever heard the word.
                                      "There ain't no sin and there ain't no virtue. There's just stuff people do. It's all part of the same thing. And some of the things folks do is nice, and some ain't nice, but that's just as far as any man got a right to say." -- Jim Casy

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                                      • #20
                                        "bit of both" i think is the answer. 1) she'd rather sacrifice herself than let dawn die. 2) she wanted out of her life and it is talked about continuously through the season.

                                        what she did was she saw an opportunity were she could let herself out of her life, while others would still see her as a hero and she would do it for a good cause... but that doesn't change the fact that she wanted out. the opportunity presented itself where she wouldn't be seen as selfishly suicidal.

                                        unfortunately, season 7 killed buffy's heroism from the gift.
                                        Last edited by NileQT87; 16-08-08, 09:29 AM.

                                        "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
                                        "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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