How can an unacceptable act of self-destruction be worthy of our respect?
When we claim to stand for what we believe, does that include giving our life?
In terms of military action this is a common thought and an act of this nature would be applauded by most.
The military honours this type of sacrifice.
The offering of a life for a purpose of “serving the greater good” is, in fact, a selfless act of heroism.
If this is so, then I would propose that the lone protestor who stands for what they believe and is willing to give their life for that cause is as much a hero.
Undeniably this is a desperate act, one that is contemplated when all other recourses have been extinguished. Still, is this not an act of heroism?
Is this true for the suicide bomber as well?
Or is a fanatical act excluded and judged a subversive tool used for the benefit of a political endeavour?
Then, of course, it would depend solely on which side of the politics you believed in.
In Tibet some citizens have committed self-immolation as the ultimate act of protest against a totalitarian authority.
Can this be celebrated as an advocate of change?
Can this act be emancipatory and redemptive, or shall it always be considered only destructive and forbidden?
Is this individual act worthy of our respect, when a government would portray these people as insane, yet that same government would consider the decimation of part of the civilian population in an act of war quite acceptable?
Are we wrong to honour the sacrifice of individuals who believe that their cause is more important than their lives?
Historically violence has always been the unacceptable advocate of change, but sadly, also the most common.