vendredi 24 juin 2016

Answering J. P. Holding on "Did Jesus Commit Suicide"

Note, he is an Evangelical apologist, and his answer is "no, not as the word means today", given here:

The tekton ticker : Did Jesus Commit Suicide?

But his answer is at best incomplete. Here is my comment, which he might or might not chose to publish:

"While there were undoubtedly mentally unstable people who killed themselves in the ancient world, suicide was more widely perceived as a noble way to die under certain specific circumstances. The samuari warrior, the Roman gladiator, and the Greek philosopher Socrates might all be viewed in these terms."

Sigh "the ancient world" ...

  • 1) The Samurai is as Medieval as European knighhood, actually a couple of centuries earlier than strict feudalism:

    Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD, which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe (Emperor Tenji) in 646 AD. This edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, bureaucracy, culture, religion, and philosophy.[3] As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, and the later Yōrō Code,[4] the population was required to report regularly for census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Mommu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males was drafted into the national military. These soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, and in-return were exempted from duties and taxes.[3] This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system. It was called "Gundan-Sei" (ja:軍団制) by later historians and is believed to have been short-lived.

    Also, the seppuko or harakiri is precisely the kind of gesture that Pagan Stoics in Rome and later Japan (and back in modern apostasised Europe, like suicide of Dominique Venner) admire and Christians abhor.

    It means "having the courage to die" when you don't have the courage to settle your debts in more painstaking ways.

  • 2) The Roman gladiator was not killing himself, he was exposing himself to death.

    But he was doing so with no due reason.

    A gladiator match would be the kind of duel which Catechism of St Pius X considered as "partaking both of the evil of murder" (namely in case one should kill) "and of suicide" (in case one should be killed, after agreeing to the risk).

    Gladiators did this to appease the kind of curiosity which is now less violently appeased by the curious people watching boxing or reality shows.

    Gladiators were also slaves and the killing seems to have originated in a kind of human sacrifice - with slaves both as sacrifice and priest.

    Any parallel would be that Christ did also sacrifice himself, as both sacrifice and priest. But not as a slave to men, though denuded as if one.

  • 3) Socrates' suicide was "suicide on order", his obedience to an execution order with himself as executioner.

    This was pushing obedience to the state to the exact point of suicide, of doing what is hateful to God.

    A bit like sacrificing incense to the Emperor or taking the Mark of the Beast.

Now, up to recently, one was not really in the habit of saying "In our daily experience, "suicide" comes with specific associations: A person who is mentally unstable, depressed, or otherwise in some sort of mentally or spiritually undesirable state."

The only thing there is spiritually undesirable state, namely mortal sin.

Usually other ones, like sorrow, leading up to it.

But giving suicides the excuse from crime given by excuse of insanity was not done. If English police found a man trying to hang himself, he would be saved, brought to trial, and executed for the crime of attempted suicide.

Hopefully having, in the meantime, had some time to make his peace with God, before the death date he was not chosing himself.

However, Stoics did admire the suicide of Socrates. And extended the cases when suicide was permissible in their distorted view. And as Apologists we must not only defend the Honour of God against the charge of having been unstable, but also against the charge of having been a Stoic.

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