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The morality of martyrdom and the stigma of suicide

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2014

Joshua Rottman
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215. rottman@bu.eduwww.joshuarottman.comdkelemen@bu.eduwww.bu.edu/childcognition
Deborah Kelemen
Affiliation:
Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215. rottman@bu.eduwww.joshuarottman.comdkelemen@bu.eduwww.bu.edu/childcognition

Abstract

While primarily identifying similarities between suicide terrorists and other suicidal individuals, Lankford also notes differences in how their actions are morally evaluated. Specifically, “conventional” suicide is stigmatized in a way that suicide terrorism is not. We identify the root of this condemnation, showing that suicide is intuitively considered impure and disgusting, and discuss implications of this purity-based stigma.

Type
Open Peer Commentary
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

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