Simon Critchley’s defence of suicide

At the Durham Castle Lecture Series

Simon Critchley gave a lecture in defence of suicide at Durham Castle last 3 December. ‘I have a very simple idea,’ he said, ‘to write a philosophical defence of the right to suicide in the attempt to get us all to think more clearly, more soberly and less hypocritically about the perennial question: should I live or die? The legal frameworks that define suicide are still hostage to a Christian metaphysics that declares that life is a gift of God and therefore to take your own life is a sin. In killing oneself, it is claimed that one is assuming a power over one’s existence that only God should have. In the contemporary world, the state has taken the place of God and suicide is either deemed illegal or regarded as a kind of moral embarrassment. We think it is wrong without knowing why.’

Watch the lecture in full here.


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