Suicide=Unforgiveable Sin

Once again some friends of mine were sitting around a fire and talking about whether or not suicide was an unforgiveable sin. We were split pretty even both ways. I searched the archives but couldn’t find anything. I was hoping you dopers could should some light, or at least your opinion, on this subject.


The “unforgiveable sin” is “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit”, not “suicide”.

Matthew 12:31-32, “And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.”

The only unforgiveable sin is quoted above. I don’t think a loving God who made us and knew what kind of world we would be living in, would deny us forgiveness for wanting to get out of it and doing so. I don’t want to make this a debate about why the world is the way it is or why God would put us in it, but I do believe that he is all knowing and understanding of our emotional and psychological state of mind, and when we come to a point where we just can’t take it anymore, I have a feeling he understands. Whether or not he accepts you into Heaven or not if your not a “believer” is another story.

I wonder why blasphemy ‘against the Holy Spirit’ would be considered unforgiveable…

How would one repent before you died if committing suicide? The only thing I can think of is if you overdosed then repented a while after doing it but couldn’t stop it.

I don’t believe in reincarnation in the traditional mainsteam sense (some day there will be a specific individual who will be me, just as somewhere in the past (usually Royalty or at least the Aristocracy) there was an individual of whom I am the reincarnation).

But I believe that That Which I Am, which is God underneath it all, will experience not only the experience of being me, but also the experiences of people yet to come, whose situations are at least marginally determined by what I do in this life.

If I check out early, I leave that in the hands of others. Like you folks. Nothing personal, but I’d rather keep my hand in.

Immoral to check out early? My assessment, not God’s, or anyone else’s. My life. If, let’s say, I had nasty cancer, or was very obviously about to be tortured in ugly ways and then killed anyhow, damn right I’d do suicide.

Aside from that, I’d rather affect the future as best I can for as long as I can. After all I’ve gotta live in it.

The ancient Christian bugaboo about suicide has lessened - the RCC (Queen Mother of Christian Guilt/Sin) has taken to performing funeral rites for suicides (who used to have to have been buried in un-consecrated goriund, would go to Hell, etc.).

It is still a major sin, IIRC.

Q: If you expect to have an afterlife in a perfect place, why would you NOT kill yourself and get this live out of the way?

(maybe that argument had something to do with suicide’s classification as a ‘sin’ - if everybody check out early, who’d make babies, tithe, and otherwise justifiy (and pay for) churches?)

RCC doctrine holds that the Church was created by God, and its actions are directed by the Holy Spirit (with the Pope as Vicar of Christ). (short form)

To blaspheme the Holy Spirit would be to deny the legitimacy of the Church - not a good move for those wishing long life.

So all us atheists are doomed to hell, even if we find a belief in God later???

Neurotik had a good point about repenting after suicide Unless suicide doesn’t need repenting for. And aren’t Christians not supposed to abuse their body as it is a vessel of God. Suicide doesn’t seem to be treating the vessel very good.

Semi-hijack: is there any general consensus on what “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” entails?

My understanding is that the Roman Catholic church considers suicide the one unforgiveable sin.

Which doesn’t surprise me – whatever there is in the hereafter, suicide is certainly the one sin that’s UNPUNISHABLE by any authority in THIS world.

And if there’s one thing the Roman Catholic church has always concerned with, it’s who’s in charge.

By which rules, Stalin could be whooping it up in heaven, while some 90-year-old ALS patient who swallowed all their morphine is doomed to hell.

Makes perfect sense to me. :wink:

F. U. S.

Your understanding is wrong.

Pity, really. Your misunderstanding suited the view you want to hold of the Catholic Church so much better than the facts do.

The blasphemy is attributing the works of God to satan.

Credit where credit is due ya know.

My bad – my statement was based on what a lifelong Roman Catholic friend told me. It was his misunderstanding, my lack of throughness in checking out his claim.

F. U. S.

Jesus’ words, as I recall, were that anyone who blasphemes against the Son of Man (i.e. Jesus himself) may be forgiven, but he who blkasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not.

What’s the difference? Well, MY interpretation (take it for what it’s worth) is this: during Jesus’ lifetime, he was widely attacked and condemned by people who thought he was a blasphemer, a madman, a fraud, or just a seditious troublemaker. Jesus was saying that THOSE people might yet be forgiven, because they didn’t really understand him or what he was all about. That’s why, on the cross, he prayed, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

That is, even the people who killed Jesus had hope of redemption, because they weren’t knowingly killing the son of God- they sincerely thought they were only killing a human criminal.

But people who’ve actually seen or felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, people who actually recognize divinity… what of them? Well, those people know that God is real, and they know that Jesus was his son. If THOSE people blaspheme, well, there’s no real hope for them, is there?

If you buy my reasoning, well, there may be hope for all kinds of unlikely people. A virtuous atheist who dismisses Jesus as a myth may yet make it into heaven. Someone who never knew of Jesus may be shown mercy. But one who KNOWS that Jesus is God, and who nonetheless rejects him cannot have salvation.

As for suicide… well, there are all kinds of reasons people kill themselves. Sometimes, there is a definite element of cruelty in the act (not only is the victim ending his own life, but he’s deliberately leaving his loved ones with an eternal guilt trip). Sometimes, it’s a matter of simple human weakness and fear.

In my opinion, suicide is a trerrible thing, often a sinful thing… but since the God I believe in was human once, and agonized in the garden of Gethsemane (to the point of sweating blood) over the things he knew he would have to suffer… I have to think that God could understand and forgive a human who wanted to die, rather than experience terrible suffering.

Supposing there to be an omnipotent god and an afterlife (the only grounds on which this question becomes meaningful), then it stands to reason that he is not going to let a little think like death stop him – if he’s prepared to forgive a sin and that sin involves one’s death, he can forgive after death.

Two answers that I’ve seen:

A. It’s literal. Not, of course, saying something like “Fuck the Holy Spirit!” in a fit of anger, but the intentional allegation of evildoing about something that is patently (at least to the explainer’s eyes) the work of the Holy Spirit.

B. The rejection of the stimulus-to-conversion work of the Holy Spirit perpetually maintained. In this case, it’s equivalent to God honoring one’s free will, and no negative against Him that He doesn’t forgive it – if you intentionally and wilfully refuse to allow God to convert you when He’s trying to do so, and keep doing this forever, then for him to “forgive” that sin would be to override your free will and say, “You’re going to Heaven whether or not you want to.”

I think it would do Christianity some good if that notion would invade the most popular–or at least most apparent to outsiders–theology. I’ve the impression that a great many would be aghast that you’d say such a thing. Keep it up.

Thanks for Explanation B there. I rate it a whole lot more sensible than A.

The First Grade Sunday School Teacher’s explanation of what “Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” entails is, “It’s saying that all the stuff that Jesus did, He did through the power of Satan, not through the power of God.”


Consider the following:


I would think just about everybody here would pick the former. (If not, I know a recruiting sergeant who’d like to talk to you!)

(Switch from SW-AF to Heaven-Hell…)

Imagine a few thousand years of all the greatest artists, musicians, stacked babes, distillers, fun people, etc. migrating to Afghanistan.

Would that change your answer?

I submit that the most recent documents (aka, Testaments) are woefully out of date – heaven is not what it’s cracked up to be, and hell has gotten a bum’s rap. According to the overwhelming majority of religious people I know, almost none of the above people got into heaven. So maybe…

Hell would be a much nicer place than Heaven?!

Thoughts appreciated.