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Is any belief worth dying for?

SheWolf

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I realize military personnel are willing to die for their country, but this question applies to abstract ideas excluding national duty. So do you think that there are any beliefs worth dying for?

The reason I ask this question is because I recall in school learning revolutionary quotes like "give me liberty or give me death." The concept is introduced and taught to while very young. I once accepted the willingness to die for a cause as noble, but now, I can think of instances where people have died for a cause that is unfathomable.

The two biggest examples I can think of is Ava Braun and others in Hitler's bunker and the Jonestown Massacre. In both cases, the people thought their actions were heroic and saw themselves as martyrs. Ava was convinced she would be remembered as an important figure and national hero one day. She took measures before he death to ensure all the videos she made of Hitler at the berghof were put together for a Hollywood movie. The Goebbel's killed their children and themselves because they couldn't bear their children growing up without national socialism. That is serious dedication.

Jim Jones told his flock that they were "born out of their time." He preached the world would change and they would go down in history for their "revolutionary deaths" because it was a just cause... "we are killing ourselves in protest of an inhumane world," he was recorded as saying.

These situations have caused me question if any abstract idea is worth dying for or if any idea is worth pledging your life to.
 

RJApple

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I realize military personnel are willing to die for their country, but this question applies to abstract ideas excluding national duty. So do you think that there are any beliefs worth dying for?

The reason I ask this question is because I recall in school learning revolutionary quotes like "give me liberty or give me death." The concept is introduced and taught to while very young. I once accepted the willingness to die for a cause as noble, but now, I can think of instances where people have died for a cause that is unfathomable.

The two biggest examples I can think of is Ava Braun and others in Hitler's bunker and the Jonestown Massacre. In both cases, the people thought their actions were heroic and saw themselves as martyrs. Ava was convinced she would be remembered as an important figure and national hero one day. She took measures before he death to ensure all the videos she made of Hitler at the berghof were put together for a Hollywood movie. The Goebbel's killed their children and themselves because they couldn't bear their children growing up without national socialism. That is serious dedication.

Jim Jones told his flock that they were "born out of their time." He preached the world would change and they would go down in history for their "revolutionary deaths" because it was a just cause... "we are killing ourselves in protest of an inhumane world," he was recorded as saying.

These situations have caused me question if any abstract idea is worth dying for or if any idea is worth pledging your life to.

The short answer would be "yes, sometimes." What those ideas actually are, however, will likely vary from person to person. Now, don't take that the wrong way, I'm not speaking in a morally relative way; there are certainly ideas that are simply not worth dying for, i.e. bad ideas, such as those in the examples you gave. Still, just as there are bad ideas not worth dying for, there are ideas that one might legitimately die for. I would say that the volunteers who fought in the American Revolution (on both sides) were valid in their willingness to die, just as those who fought in WWII (to be clear: I'm specifically referring to those who fought primarily for ideological/moral reasons, not for financial or prestige-based reasons.) The thing to remember here is that abstract ideas can translate into concrete circumstances, e.g. The Reformation, The American Revolution.
 

Lutherf

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There is a big difference between killing yourself and dying in the pursuit of a given cause. Think Patton, "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his".
 

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I realize military personnel are willing to die for their country, but this question applies to abstract ideas excluding national duty. So do you think that there are any beliefs worth dying for?

The reason I ask this question is because I recall in school learning revolutionary quotes like "give me liberty or give me death." The concept is introduced and taught to while very young. I once accepted the willingness to die for a cause as noble, but now, I can think of instances where people have died for a cause that is unfathomable.

The two biggest examples I can think of is Ava Braun and others in Hitler's bunker and the Jonestown Massacre. In both cases, the people thought their actions were heroic and saw themselves as martyrs. Ava was convinced she would be remembered as an important figure and national hero one day. She took measures before he death to ensure all the videos she made of Hitler at the berghof were put together for a Hollywood movie. The Goebbel's killed their children and themselves because they couldn't bear their children growing up without national socialism. That is serious dedication.

Jim Jones told his flock that they were "born out of their time." He preached the world would change and they would go down in history for their "revolutionary deaths" because it was a just cause... "we are killing ourselves in protest of an inhumane world," he was recorded as saying.

These situations have caused me question if any abstract idea is worth dying for or if any idea is worth pledging your life to.

If I were drafted into the service, I would die for my country...or the men/women who fought beside me. I would give my life for a child...anyone's child. I think we're probably genetically programmed to do that. I think I would volunteer to leave the lifeboat, volunteer to be the taken-away hostage, and can picture any number of sceneries where I would give my life for others. I can't come up with an ideal that I would die for.

As to your examples, Eva Braun probably was as NUTZ as Hitler himself and for the same reason. Jim jones knew he was screwed and wasn't dying for an ideal, IMO, but dying because he was murdering so damned many people. I think most of his followers probably thought they were in another dress rehearsal. Don't know about the Goebels. It's really impossible to know the workings of someone else's mind. I barely know the workings of my own.

While I may seem to have a cut and dried response outlining my willingness to die for others, when all us said and done, I realize one can never know what they will do until the rubber actually meets the road.

Interesting post.
 

Dittohead not!

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I realize military personnel are willing to die for their country, but this question applies to abstract ideas excluding national duty. So do you think that there are any beliefs worth dying for?

The reason I ask this question is because I recall in school learning revolutionary quotes like "give me liberty or give me death." The concept is introduced and taught to while very young. I once accepted the willingness to die for a cause as noble, but now, I can think of instances where people have died for a cause that is unfathomable.

The two biggest examples I can think of is Ava Braun and others in Hitler's bunker and the Jonestown Massacre. In both cases, the people thought their actions were heroic and saw themselves as martyrs. Ava was convinced she would be remembered as an important figure and national hero one day. She took measures before he death to ensure all the videos she made of Hitler at the berghof were put together for a Hollywood movie. The Goebbel's killed their children and themselves because they couldn't bear their children growing up without national socialism. That is serious dedication.

Jim Jones told his flock that they were "born out of their time." He preached the world would change and they would go down in history for their "revolutionary deaths" because it was a just cause... "we are killing ourselves in protest of an inhumane world," he was recorded as saying.

These situations have caused me question if any abstract idea is worth dying for or if any idea is worth pledging your life to.

No.

You don't die for a belief. You test the belief dispassionately and see if it holds up to scientific scrutiny. If it doesn't, you discard it. If it does, you believe it, but you don't insist that others believe it. Facts don't care whether you believe them or not, they are what they are. Beliefs based on wishful thinking ar not worth even thinking about. Prove them, or discard them.
 

Skeptic Bob

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I am finding it difficult to think of a belief I would die for. There are people I would die for. I would rather die than give up my freedom, but that is about quality of life, not a belief.
 
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To die for an idea is beyond dumb. The demagogues who create those ideas know that there are naive people who can be brainwashed into ready-to-die fanatical and mindless followers.

In wars nobody dies for his country. They die from a random bullet while trying to survive and go home. Only very few actually die as a result of a deliberate decision to save their fellow soldiers and expose themselves to almost certain death. Those are the true heroes.

Wars of choice are the worst offenders. There is no reasonable justification for any American death in Afghanistan, for example, and any claim that some young man "died for his country" or "our freedoms" is just a feeble attempt to justify the unjustifiable. His parents, to keep their sanity, will accept the coffin and the flag and will do their best to believe that their son died for a cause worth his death.

To make it really simple, there are only 8 people I am willing to put my life on the line for. No, I would not jump into Lake Michigan to rescue a reckless drunk who ignored common sense and the posted rules.
 
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Captain Adverse

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My Liberty is worth risking my life for.

Protecting my loved ones is worth risking my life for.

There are a number of things I believe in that are worth risking my life for. Which means I may die in the effort.

In all cases my hope will always be that I survive to enjoy success.
 
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AGENT J

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Well I would probably need a more specific scenario . . .

There are definitely people I would die for and in lots of situations id probably risk my life for others i dont even know

as for a belief it would simply depend on the setting . . i would die for freedom and equal rights in this country thats for sure but this is based on the fact that my doing so could have a REAL impact . . other times other places it may be better to live and fight another way
 

X Factor

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I know of Christians who refused to recant their faith even faced with prison, torture and/or death. I think that is worth dying for but I have to be real that I am not at all sure that I would have the courage.
 

Korimyr the Rat

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I know of Christians who refused to recant their faith even faced with prison, torture and/or death. I think that is worth dying for but I have to be real that I am not at all sure that I would have the courage.

Nobody ever is until they've actually been there.

There are a lot of ideals that I'd like to believe I'm willing to die for. I'm willing to die for my freedom and the freedom of my loved ones. I'm willing to die for my country, if my country is actually in danger. I'm willing to die for my faith. I'm willing to die if it means advancing humanity's evolution.
 
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Nobody ever is until they've actually been there.

1. There are a lot of ideals that I'd like to believe I'm willing to die for.

2. I'm willing to die for my freedom and the freedom of my loved ones.

3. I'm willing to die for my country, if my country is actually in danger.

4. I'm willing to die for my faith.

5. I'm willing to die if it means advancing humanity's evolution.

1. Name a couple.

2. Freedom to do what?

3. How would you know that your country is actually in danger? Because somebody on TV said so? Is the U.S. in Afghanistan because it is in danger? How about Korea, Vietnam or Iraq?

4. What does that mean?

5. You are joking. Right? How can you advance evolution? I thought that evolution happens by itself. Like rain and snow.
 

Dittohead not!

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People who advance human evolution by dying and taking themselves out of the gene pool are recipients of the Darwin award, are they not? We see people all the time who seem determined to earn this award by taking foolish risks for no apparent purpose.
 

Rogue Valley

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Over 110 Ukrainian civilians perished on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kyiv protesting the draconian Black Thursday laws (6 January 2014) of the Yanukovych government.

Thousands of Ukrainian civilians perished in mid-2014-early-2015 after interrupting their lives to fight the Russian invasion in eastern Ukraine. This sacrifice stemmed the Russian advance and bought time for the nation to rebuild its horribly neglected military.
 

soot

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No.

You don't die for a belief. You test the belief dispassionately and see if it holds up to scientific scrutiny. If it doesn't, you discard it. If it does, you believe it, but you don't insist that others believe it. Facts don't care whether you believe them or not, they are what they are. Beliefs based on wishful thinking ar not worth even thinking about. Prove them, or discard them.

It certainly holds up to "scientific scrutiny" and is a well established "fact" that I would be a LOT better off financially if I could own you and your family as my slaves and benefit off the fruit of your labor.

You aren't "free" because there isn't a legitimate economic reason for slavery.

You're free because people "believe" that everyone deserves to be free.

So those "believers" fought and died for their "belief" in your freedom.
 
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It certainly holds up to "scientific scrutiny" and is a well established "fact" that I would be a LOT better off financially if I could own you and your family as my slaves and benefit off the fruit of your labor.

You aren't "free" because there isn't a legitimate economic reason for slavery.

You're free because people "believe" that everyone deserves to be free.

So those "believers" fought and died for their "belief" in your freedom.

Grade school pablum again.

No. They died because they were drafted and killed by a bullet.

"In some cities, particularly New York City, enforcement of the act sparked civil unrest as the war dragged on, leading to the New York Draft Riots on July 13–16.

That lipstick seldom sticks to the pig.
 

soot

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No. They died because they were drafted and killed by a bullet.

"In some cities, particularly New York City, enforcement of the act sparked civil unrest as the war dragged on, leading to the New York Draft Riots on July 13–16.

I was referring more to slavery in the West in general but if you just want to choose one corner of the world as an example I'm fine with that.

Prove your argument that a veritable handful of malcontents are representative of the entirety of the Union population, including the military, as a whole.
 
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I was referring more to slavery in the West in general but if you just want to choose one corner of the world as an example I'm fine with that.

Prove your argument that a veritable handful of malcontents are representative of the entirety of the Union population, including the military, as a whole.

Once you have draft, it's impossible to claim that a soldier died for his country. He died fighting the other guys and lost. That's it.

All that stuff about dying for his country is a feel-good stuff for his parents, school children and Hollywood.
 
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soot

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Once you have draft, it's impossible to claim that a soldier died for his country. He died fighting the other guys and lost. That's it.

All that stuff about dying for his country is a feel-good stuff for his parents, school children and Hollywood.

Fair enough.

So we'll leave out the roughly 3% to 5.5% of Union service members who were drafted over the entire course of the Civil War.

You will have to concede, of course, that of the remaining 90+ percent a large majority must actually have believed in the cause they were fighting for.
 

Logicman

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I realize military personnel are willing to die for their country, but this question applies to abstract ideas excluding national duty. So do you think that there are any beliefs worth dying for?

The reason I ask this question is because I recall in school learning revolutionary quotes like "give me liberty or give me death." The concept is introduced and taught to while very young. I once accepted the willingness to die for a cause as noble, but now, I can think of instances where people have died for a cause that is unfathomable.

The two biggest examples I can think of is Ava Braun and others in Hitler's bunker and the Jonestown Massacre. In both cases, the people thought their actions were heroic and saw themselves as martyrs. Ava was convinced she would be remembered as an important figure and national hero one day. She took measures before he death to ensure all the videos she made of Hitler at the berghof were put together for a Hollywood movie. The Goebbel's killed their children and themselves because they couldn't bear their children growing up without national socialism. That is serious dedication.

Jim Jones told his flock that they were "born out of their time." He preached the world would change and they would go down in history for their "revolutionary deaths" because it was a just cause... "we are killing ourselves in protest of an inhumane world," he was recorded as saying.

These situations have caused me question if any abstract idea is worth dying for or if any idea is worth pledging your life to.

Everyday, God, country, family, and even friends are worth dying for. I even took on a guy once beating up on a young woman, not knowing if he had a gun or a knife on him.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." - John 15:13
 

Nilly

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No.

You don't die for a belief. You test the belief dispassionately and see if it holds up to scientific scrutiny. If it doesn't, you discard it. If it does, you believe it, but you don't insist that others believe it. Facts don't care whether you believe them or not, they are what they are. Beliefs based on wishful thinking ar not worth even thinking about. Prove them, or discard them.

Flawed thinking. Not all beliefs pertain to facts. Not all beliefs are scientific and not all beliefs are capable of being proven.

I'm willing to die if it means advancing humanity's evolution.

Interesting thought. Could you elaborate on that?
 

Korimyr the Rat

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Interesting thought. Could you elaborate on that?

We're on the verge of several fascinating transhuman technologies. I would fight and die for your right to apply those technologies to yourself and your children.
 
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Fair enough.

So we'll leave out the roughly 3% to 5.5% of Union service members who were drafted over the entire course of the Civil War.

You will have to concede, of course, that of the remaining 90+ percent a large majority must actually have believed in the cause they were fighting for.

I will go along with that.

Today, there a many reasons why people sign up. Dying for the country is not in that list. Never was. Never will be. It's an unfortunate outcome in the the world of random events. The trick is to accomplish the mission while lowering the odds of getting killed to the minimum. Like going to work in Chicago through a black neighborhood every day and not getting shot.

That patriotic line - he died for our freedom - really pisses me off because I didn't want anyone to put his life on the line for me in some s***hole 7000 miles away and make me feel bad when they come back in a coffin.

On top of that, nobody ever bothered to explain how would my freedom be reduced if nobody ever went to Afghanistan or Iraq or Somalia or Lebanon or Saudi Arabia.

And what exactly I would be less free to do.

Would anyone sane put his life on the line to make sure that some Mexican thugs at home are free to "express themselves" by beating up Trump supporters, and burning the American flag while waving theirs?
 
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We're on the verge of several fascinating transhuman technologies. I would fight and die for your right to apply those technologies to yourself and your children.

Are you for real, or are you a transhuman, whatever the hell it is?

If you want those "several fascinating transhuman technologies", ask your loved ones to die for them, or do it yourself.

Count me out.
 
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Flawed thinking. Not all beliefs pertain to facts. Not all beliefs are scientific and not all beliefs are capable of being proven.
Interesting thought. Could you elaborate on that?

How do you elaborate on insanity?
 
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