Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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OLD AGE AND DEATH.  Apart from the commands of religion, the question may well be asked, Why is it more worthy for an old man who feels his powers decline, to await his slow exhaustion and extinction than with full consciousness to set a limit to his life?  Suicide in this case is a perfectly natural, obvious action, which should justly arouse respect as a triumph of reason, and did arouse it in those times when the heads of Greek philosophy and the sturdiest patriots used to seek death through suicide.  The seeking, on the contrary, to prolong existence from day to day, with anxious consultation of doctors and painful mode of living, without the power of drawing nearer to the actual aim of life, is far less worthy.  Religion is rich in excuses to reply to the demand for suicide, and thus it ingratiates itself with those who wish to cling to life.  

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