Are Martyrs Always Right? Argumentum ad martyrem

The father of the United States Marine Humayun Khan, blown up in Iraq by a fellow believer, thinks his son has meant more to the United States than Trump. Of course, the Donald did not let that go by and a media riot broke out. Which brings us to a fascinating philosophical question.

Sense and nonsense of the martyrs

The Christian faith has grown with it: martyrs. In the early pacifist days of Christianity, this usually concerned Christians murdered by order of the emperors of the Roman Empire. As Christianity became the state religion and the Roman Catholic Church increasingly deviated from Christian pacifism, their numbers declined. Some well-known past martyrs were beatified by the Church and then canonized. Their statements were given a special meaning. They had their own saint's day and one hagiography after another saw the light.

Humayun Khan was a hero as well as a martyr. He saved the lives of hundreds of US soldiers by stepping on a suspicious vehicle himself. For this he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart award. Source: Wikimedia Commons / Sgt. Cody W. Torkelson

The second great faith, Islam, also has martyrs. The Quran guarantees every Muslim who dies (shahid) for the sake of Islam, a certain stay in paradise. All his, or occasionally, her sins are forgiven this person by Allah. Although suicide is forbidden in both the Quran and the narratives (hadith), it is allowed to die murderously. Martyrs are also highly honored within Islam. For example, there is extensive worship of martyrs in the Palestinian territories. Survivors of suicide attacks receive a special benefit.

There is also an extensive cult around fallen soldiers in the United States.

Are Martyrs Right?

From a rational point of view, a martyr is one who has failed to achieve his goal alive. This may be because the only way to reach the goal is to sacrifice yourself. In that rare case, the martyr was a brave man. In many cases, it is a rather silly person best to deceive you posthumously Darwin award can reach out. The Muslims who blow themselves up with a bomb belt can be seen as such. These are gullible, often mentally less gifted that are easily fooled by smooth nice craters. A lot of sexually abused Muslim women become martyrs to save their family's honor.

According to publicly available information, a suspected taxi was approaching Humayun Khan when he served as a security guard in Iraq. He dismissed his subordinates and hailed the taxi himself. Then the driver, a suicide bomber, detonated the taxi. Based on this information, we can provisionally conclude that Khan was indeed a hero. He risked his life to neutralize the danger, instead of sending one of his subordinates. He respected the lives of others more than his own. That makes him a hero in the classic sense of the word.

Who has meant more to the United States: Humayun Khan or Donald Trump?

Khan saved the lives of probably several hundred people through his courageous actions. Trump has had varying degrees of success in his various business activities. This wealth, by the way, mainly because Trump had a rich father. You need money to make money in the real estate world. Without Trump, there would probably have been some other tall buildings than now, some fashion models would have had another rich guy, and Trump University attendees would have let themselves be fooled by another scammer.

Had Trump been an entrepreneur in medical engineering, for example, or a philanthropist, he would in principle have made a much greater positive contribution to the US than Khan could ever have done as a soldier. Let alone, if his dream of becoming a military lawyer had come true. Nevertheless, we have to conclude here that Khan's contribution was positive on balance, and therefore incomparably greater than that of Donald Trump until his presidency.

Whether his contribution to Usa was positive or negative after Trump's presidency ended, we can only determine later. Ratings for presidents sometimes change over time. He has shaken things up quite a bit and thus accelerated the course of history.

3 thoughts on “Hebben martelaars altijd gelijk? Argumentum ad martyrem”

  1. I don't think you can completely brush away the fact that people work hard all their lives (and pay taxes!) By saying that someone who built other buildings than now. The same also applies to the work that Humayun Khan is said to have done: there are also substitutes for that. Nevertheless, it is of course quite impressive how Kahn has reacted in a dangerous situation.
    But this whole thing started, of course, with Trump's remark to - for now - deny all Muslim immigrants entry into the US. And it must be said that countries here face a major problem: if you import Islamic immigrants, you are also importing Islamic terrorists. And maybe not even directly, but the descendants of Muslim immigrants can also become terrorists.
    #itstheislamstupid so to speak ...

    Trump via Twitter July 31:
    • Captain Khan, killed 12 years ago, was a hero, but this is about RADICAL ISLAMIC TERROR and the weakness of our “leaders” to eradicate it!
    • I was viciously attacked by Mr. Khan at the Democratic Convention. Am I not allowed to respond? Hillary voted for the Iraq war, not me!
    Response from Trump's running mate Mike Pence (Indiana Governor) that same day:
    • “Donald Trump and I believe that Captain Humayun Khan is an American hero and his family, like all Gold Star families, should be cherished by every American.
    Captain Khan gave his life to defend our country in the global war on terror. Due to the disastrous decisions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a once stable Middle East has now been overrun by ISIS. This must not stand.
    By suspending immigration from countries that have been compromised by terrorism, rebuilding our military, defeating ISIS at its source and projecting strength on the global stage, we will reduce the likelihood that other American families will face the enduring heartbreak of the Khan family.
    Donald Trump will support our military and their families and we will defeat the enemies of our freedom. ”
    Trump response to Kahn doing TV interviews all the time - Aug 1:
    • This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews, but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the US Get smart!

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