13
Feb
10

The Martyr

has martyrdom been thought in relation to the desire for an irreproachable death? that suicide is not more common is surely because it places a burden on the family, friends, and reputation of the suicidal person. to commit suicide is to open yourself to infinite reproach as not only the weakest and most cowardly but most selfish.

martyrdom is death beyond reproach. what is desired is not the bounty of the afterlife, but the exoneration of the life lived. this is the secret to christ’s appeal. this being beyond reproach, beyond responsibility, beyond the web of human relations, beyond even morals is the seductive promise of martyrdom. the martyr thus has much in common with the overman, the transhuman, the immortal.

a question: can a suicidal person become a martyr? does the selfishness of suicide cancel the gift of the martyr? is the desire for death beyond itself a cause for reproach?

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