Re: memetics-digest V1 #686

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Fri Jun 22 2001 - 14:03:24 BST

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    > The trouble is that people who believe themselves to be martyrs are rarely
    > defined that way by others- do most Americans tink of Tim McVeigh as a
    > martyr (which is clearly why he was happy to be executed)? True martyrs are
    > those who die in an apparently selfless manner- they are thinking of others
    > not themselves, and thus martyrdom is bestowed upon them by their survivors
    > (e.g. Joan of Arc I suppose).
    > Is martyrdom copied/imitated? Surely it would need to be in order to be
    > memetic.

    I think we shouldn't neglect selfishness here - after all the one thing
    'guaranteed' to these martyrs is eternal life in heaven. No mucking
    about going to church and being virtuous, a truly 'now' almost
    consumerist way of getting 'up' there. After all the only thing stopping
    the truly religious from just topping themselves to get to heaven, out
    of the rat race, avoiding any chance of accidentally sinning at a later
    stage, asap, is the fact that suicide is a sin. However if your suicide
    makes you a martyr, you have a viable shortcut.

     Chris Taylor ( »people»chris

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