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Thread: The Morality Of Martyrdom

  1. Top | #11
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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.

  2. Top | #12
    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    The question is is it suicide when one confronts tyranny in a public act sure to cause one's death.

  3. Top | #13
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    If you know it is a futile gesture which affects nothing?

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    Mazzie Daius fromderinside's Avatar
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    Morality need be based on more than hope. So even then it's the fact of tyranny being opposed that is moral.

  5. Top | #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    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.

  6. Top | #16
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by untermensche View Post
    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? I think you'll find that most people do not agree with your personal value assignments.

  7. Top | #17
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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.

  8. Top | #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    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? 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.
    Last edited by ronburgundy; 05-13-2019 at 07:08 PM.

  9. Top | #19
    Sapere aude Politesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Politesse View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    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? 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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