Aloka wrote:Suicide...would be killing a chance for enlightement in this life that we're living here and now.
But herein lies the problem. Enlightenment=cessation of the aggregates. The Buddha compared it to a flame being snuffed out.
So why wait? If there is no rebirth, then if someone dies right now, he/she has for all practical purposes achieved "enlightenment in this life that we're living here and now". That person has gained complete freedom from dukkha in all its forms.
I know this topic is not easy to discuss dispassionately and I don't mean to stir anyone up. It's an aspect of Buddhist teaching which I am trying to clarify for myself as I venture further into study and practice. The standard answer, as I mentioned above, is that suicide wouldn't actually achieve cessation; rather, it would lead to renewed existence, complete with some bad vipaka as a result of wrong views and an act of violence.
What I'm wondering is what other answers might be put forward from a Theravada point of view. I'm finding the responses in this thread helpful in untangling the question.
If i had a friend who was considering suicide and asked me why, from a Buddhist point of view, he or she shouldn't do this, I'm not sure how I could respond other than by asserting the possibility of rebirth. Assuming the person knew something about Dhamma, they could easily point out that existence is dukkha and cessation the ultimate goal of Buddhist practice. So I don't know what other kinds of skillful responses there might be.