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The Morality Of Martyrdom

steve_bank

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Suicide is general a cultural and religious taboo.Marterdom in the service of an imagined deity is condoed glorious by some religious folk.

Perhaps ensuring s position in haven.

The Muslim suicide bombers who thinks they get a bunch of virgin women in heaven.

Is there a difference between suicide and martyrdom knowingly preaching in a situation that liley brings death?

Current examples are North Korea and Saudi Arabia. There has been nothing recently but PR preaching against the Saudi orthodoxy and converting away from Islam, apostasy, or turning to atheism can get a death penalty.
 

Politesse

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Everyone has something worth dying for, if they're brave enough when the time comes. So much the better if it is also something worth living for. Or by.
 

untermensche

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There is no morality in dying for a delusion.

It is stupidity. Good old human stupidity.
 

Lion IRC

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martyr
1. a person who is killed by others

Suicide bomber
1. a person who kills others
 

untermensche

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A martyr is just somebody who gives up their life for a cause they and others believe in.

If they kill others in the cause that is meaningless.
 

Loren Pechtel

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Suicide is acceptable, so suicide in pursuit of a goal is acceptable.

Where it becomes evil is when you kill non-combatants in the process.

(Killing combatants is acceptable. If someone volunteered to be a kamikaze pilot there's nothing immoral.)
 

steve_bank

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I do not think the consensus here in the Christian majority USA accepts suicide. Martyrdom is acceptable. Even glorified.
 

jab

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Suicide is general a cultural and religious taboo.Marterdom in the service of an imagined deity is condoed glorious by some religious folk.

Perhaps ensuring s position in haven.

The Muslim suicide bombers who thinks they get a bunch of virgin women in heaven.

Is there a difference between suicide and martyrdom knowingly preaching in a situation that liley brings death?

Current examples are North Korea and Saudi Arabia. There has been nothing recently but PR preaching against the Saudi orthodoxy and converting away from Islam, apostasy, or turning to atheism can get a death penalty.
martyrdom and suicide are not synonymous. martyrdom means taking a stand or position knowing that it could or would get you killed, and then that knowledge being fulfilled. Suicide is killing yourself. The suicide bombers, when not coerced--as a few are--are cowards, afraid to face the consequences of their actions.
 

T.G.G. Moogly

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Clearly there can be martyrdom in suicide. No, they're not synonymous, but in the emotional/religious mind of the practitioner I doubt there is much of a distinction.
 

steve_bank

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If you know it is a futile gesture which affects nothing?
 

ronburgundy

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There is no morality in dying for a delusion.

It is stupidity. Good old human stupidity.

You'll die whether or not you're clever, my friend, and whether or not you find a purpose worth dedicating it to.

Dying because you hold false beliefs that you didn't bother to verify is the epitome of stupidity. The fact that all people eventually die has no relevance to that fact. All people make some errors, and that doesn't change the fact that some errors are the result of stupidity and some are not.

Imagine a self-inflicted death that was as much a result of stupidity as possible, such as the creme de la creme of the Darwin awards.
Dying for a god is no less stupid than that. Dying for any cause that rests upon unverified beliefs is stupidity, where the level of stupidity corresponds to lack of rational support for the belief.
 

Politesse

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There is no morality in dying for a delusion.

It is stupidity. Good old human stupidity.

You'll die whether or not you're clever, my friend, and whether or not you find a purpose worth dedicating it to.

Dying because you hold false beliefs that you didn't bother to verify is the epitome of stupidity. The fact that all people eventually die has no relevance to that fact. All people make some errors, and that doesn't change the fact that some errors are the result of stupidity and some are not.

Imagine a self-inflicted death that was as much a result of stupidity as possible, such as the creme de la creme of the Darwin awards.
Dying for a god is no less stupid than that. Dying for any cause that rests upon unverified beliefs is stupidity, where the level of stupidity corresponds to lack of rational support for the belief.

Who decides that? :confused: I think you'll find that most people do not agree with your personal value assignments.
 

ronburgundy

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For monotheists, all morality is nothing but obedience to authority. Within such a system if the authority (aka God) says suicide is wrong but dying to him is right, then it is. Also, under monotheism, every person is basically God's property and we have no value except that which God as our creator imbues. Thus, we have no rights over ourselves, only a duty to treat ourselves (God's property) as he commands.
Under this (inhumane) perspective, suicide is a form of vandalism to God's property. But martyrdom to serve God is an act of using his property (yourself) to advance God's interests as he commands, thus martyrdom is not only acceptable, but it is immoral not to die for God if it advances his will.

Once you get rid of God, the discussion is moot because their is no secular basis for suicide itself being immoral. The morality of any act hinges upon harm to others. So, the particular context and it's impact on others (e.g., suicide when you have young kids) determines the morality. Thus, some suicide has no moral implications, and some would actually be a noble moral act (e.g., suicide to save family years of emotional pain, hardship, and economic loss). Without God, martyrdom itself also has no moral implications. Again, it would be real (not delusionally believed) impact on others that would determine whether it was immoral.
 

ronburgundy

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Dying because you hold false beliefs that you didn't bother to verify is the epitome of stupidity. The fact that all people eventually die has no relevance to that fact. All people make some errors, and that doesn't change the fact that some errors are the result of stupidity and some are not.

Imagine a self-inflicted death that was as much a result of stupidity as possible, such as the creme de la creme of the Darwin awards.
Dying for a god is no less stupid than that. Dying for any cause that rests upon unverified beliefs is stupidity, where the level of stupidity corresponds to lack of rational support for the belief.

Who decides that? :confused: I think you'll find that most people do not agree with your personal value assignments.

Stupidity is not a subjective value judgment, any more than height is.

Expanding on this a bit, I'm applying a standard definition that stupidity includes reaching a conclusion that has very low probability due to failure to apply reasoned thought, which fits quite well with the widely accepted definition of stupidity.
Beliefs that God commands you to do X, objectively meet this definition and that is not a matter of subjective values and more than whether evolution occurred is a matter of subjective values.

In addition, "stupidity" is commonly used to refer to actions that contradict one's own goals and intended outcomes. And it is precisely objectively wrong beliefs that cause this conflict with one's own goals. You wrongly believe that action X will lead to Y, when it will not or may even make Y less likely. If that wrong belief is the product of stupidity (failure to apply reasoned thought that would have avoided the error), then the action is one of stupidity. The theists goal to go to heaven is not "stupid", it IS a purely subjective value that cannot be correct or incorrect. However, their belief that they will go to heaven if they do X is almost certainly wrong and the result of a refusal to apply their own reasoning faculties. Thus, it is a stupid belief and any actions based upon it will not achieve the actors goal, and thus is stupid. In addition, their resulting death inherently contradicts and makes impossible ever other goal they had that entailed being alive. So, it is as stupid an action as any action can get.
 
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Politesse

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Dying because you hold false beliefs that you didn't bother to verify is the epitome of stupidity. The fact that all people eventually die has no relevance to that fact. All people make some errors, and that doesn't change the fact that some errors are the result of stupidity and some are not.

Imagine a self-inflicted death that was as much a result of stupidity as possible, such as the creme de la creme of the Darwin awards.
Dying for a god is no less stupid than that. Dying for any cause that rests upon unverified beliefs is stupidity, where the level of stupidity corresponds to lack of rational support for the belief.

Who decides that? :confused: I think you'll find that most people do not agree with your personal value assignments.

Stupidity is not a subjective value judgment, any more than height is.

Expanding on this a bit, I'm applying a standard definition that stupidity includes reaching a conclusion that has very low probability due to failure to apply reasoned thought, which fits quite well with the widely accepted definition of stupidity.
Beliefs that God commands you to do X, objectively meet this definition and that is not a matter of subjective values and more than whether evolution occurred is a matter of subjective values.

In addition, "stupidity" is commonly used to refer to actions that contradict one's own goals and intended outcomes. And it is precisely objectively wrong beliefs that cause this conflict with one's own goals. You wrongly believe that action X will lead to Y, when it will not or may even make Y less likely. If that wrong belief is the product of stupidity (failure to apply reasoned thought that would have avoided the error), then the action is one of stupidity. The theists goal to go to heaven is not "stupid", it IS a purely subjective value that cannot be correct or incorrect. However, their belief that they will go to heaven if they do X is almost certainly wrong and the result of a refusal to apply their own reasoning faculties. Thus, it is a stupid belief and any actions based upon it will not achieve the actors goal, and thus is stupid. In addition, their resulting death inherently contradicts and makes impossible ever other goal they had that entailed being alive. So, it is as stupid an action as any action can get.

Ah, Dunning-Kruger.

Pro tip: referring to your opinions as objective does not make them any more objective than those of people who are more self-aware.
 
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