“No cause is ever worth dying for.” Discuss
Cause- fighting for freedom, ideologies, rights, status, wealth, power etc
Dying- Can interpret in both the literal and metaphorical manner. What exactly can constitute dying in the metaphorical manner? Dying in the sense of not living the life that an individual desires and wants?
This question is pretty simple, as it just requires students to assess whether if there are any worthy causes for an individual to sacrifice his or her life for. These causes can span many different areas such as the fight for freedom, the fight for religion and even personal causes like the rights to express oneself and sexual identity. Students should focus on different causes in order to have a better scope of the question. Students should also expand up the definition of “dying” in the paper. It should not just be viewed as death literally. Sometimes, “dying” can refer to the slow and gradual death of an individual, best manifested by the loss of passion in what one does, so much so that one is not living a life worth living. Also, it can refer to great personal sacrifices such as being jailed by political opponents. It may not be death in the literal sense, but still the sentence is slow death that leads to the dying of their beliefs. The term “ever” suggests that across time, it does not make sense to die for any cause as it is too idealistic, and what is important today, may not be important at all in the future.
Yes, causes are worth dying for
1.Extremist militant groups feel that dying for their cause display the highest form of commitment that one can display. In such a situation, death is seen as a badge of honour and it represents an individual’s chivalry to the end. This is also applicable in times of war where certain individuals are willing to die rather than betray themselves, their comrades, and their nation to the enemy state. Betrayal would be viewed as worst and more humiliating than death itself.
An instance would be the ISIS fighters who are willing to sacrifice their lives and even suicide bombers just to proceed with their cause and to attain their goals. Also, the Japanese has this culture of “Harakiri” (Ritual suicide) if they lost in battle and it is too shameful for them to bear. Also, during the Second World War, Japan had Kamikaze pilots who are willing to sacrifice for their nation and to advance their cause.
2.Every individual should have a cause that he or she should be willing to die for, otherwise they have been living their life in vain. This cause does not necessary have to be anything significant to society, as long as it is important enough for an individual. This cause could be the driving force of how an individual leads his life.
For instance, Steve Jobs is one such case where he lives his life for his cause- to constantly innovate and improve on Apple. He is so passionate about his work that he is willing to go to work even at the last stages of pancreatic cancer. His zealous and zeal in life can be seen as an attempt to even die for his cause to create better products for his company. In fact, in his biography and speeches, Steve Jobs have always said that he is willing to die for what he believes in and is passionate about in life.
No, causes are not worth dying for
1.There is no need to resort to death in order to make a point to fight for political changes in a country or even to stand true to one’s political ideology. Death in itself is unable to solve problems; the way forward is to have courage to triumph forward and the stamina for the struggle before changes are even implemented. In fact, when a non-violent approach or struggle is adopted, it could mean greater empowerment, as there is greater strength in non-resistance than resistance in the long term to win the hearts and minds of the people.
For instance, Nelson Mandela and Ghandi are well known peace freedom fighters that get to change the history of South Africa and India respectively through the legacies they left behind. Apartheid was abolished in Africa and Ghandi managed to wrestle independence from the British for India. All these legacies were achieved through a peaceful struggle and these well-renowned leaders did not die for their cause or even their political ideologies.
2.No cause is ever worth dying for as self-preservation is key. There is no value in dying for a cause, and not see the fulfillment of the cause to the end. Also, what is important to many in today’s world may not necessary be important to others in generation to come. What an individual sets out to achieve and earmark in history may be tore down by others in the future. If that is the case, then the very act of sacrificing oneself may be viewed to be very foolish. Also, it is unlikely that society will progress forward or even adopt the cause if anyone dies for it. Death equalizes everything and things are likely to remain at status quo.
For instance, the military in Myanmar refuses to recognize the election results and to give power to Aung Sun Suu Kyi. The rights of democracy and human rights are not respected. In such an occasion, by choosing to “die” for democracy does not mean that Myanmar will suddenly become a democracy the next day. Such transition takes time and it is not easily solved through making a statement of sacrificing oneself. Ironically, it would mean the death of democracy. However, one should note that the hunger strike by Aung Sun Suu Kyi that nearly resulted in her death is effective in getting concessions from the military only because she is the daughter of the well-respected Aung Sun. The military does not want a backlash from its own people.