We all know the warning against painting ourselves into the corner. In simple terms it means don’t get yourself into a situation that you can’t get out of if you can avoid it, but more specifically it means to think about the consequences of what you’re doing and try to avoid the ones that are undesirable.
But when you’ve already laid down the paint, there’s nothing to do but try to find some way to get out of the corner without messing things up.
According to God, that’s what led to suicide being raised to the level of mortal sin in the Catholic teachings. They had done such a good job of telling people how wonderful Heaven was, how it was a paradise where your every whim was fulfilled beyond your expectations, that they began to fear their true believers would find ways to try and gain early admission. Now one thing that pretty much all religions have in common is that they’re always trying to increase their numbers. They want market share. And having their followers start to kill themselves is bad for that in two ways… First, when someone has killed themself, they may still technically be one of your followers, but they don’t contribute much. Second it makes it harder to get new members. I mean think about it, if you were considering changing religions (or getting one for the first time), would you look for one where people are killing themselves or would you look for one where they weren’t? I think the answer’s pretty clear.