Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Ending LifeEthics and the Way We Die$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Margaret Pabst Battin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195140279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195140279.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 12 December 2018

The Ethics of Self-Sacrifice

The Ethics of Self-Sacrifice

What’s Wrong with Suicide Bombing?

(p.240) 11 The Ethics of Self-Sacrifice
Ending Life

Margaret Pabst Battin

Oxford University Press

Terrorist attacks have typically involved using young people strapped with explosives, dispatched as ordinary pedestrians to outdoor cafés, buses, seaside resorts, university commons, or anywhere civilians could be killed, on what the West calls suicide bombings but which the militants themselves understood as martyrdom. This chapter explores the deeper conceptual and ethical significance of tactical suicide missions within the context of more general issues about suicide, self-sacrifice, heroism, martyrdom, and other forms of self-caused death. What, exactly, accounts for the heightened moral repugnance with which these missions are viewed, compared to other resistance, military, and guerilla tactics? Is there adequate moral ground for this heightened repugnance dubbed with the particularly pejorative label of “suicide” — or is it merely a matter of ideological prejudice? A number of different reasons may be advanced to show that suicide bombing is immoral, and indeed of heightened or, one might say, aggravated immorality. This chapter also examines the morality and amorality of suicide bombing.

Keywords:   suicide bombing, martyrdom, self-sacrifice, suicide, heroism, self-caused death, morality

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .