Does Dying for a Belief Add Validity To The Belief?

Is she really dead?

Christian apologists like William Lane Craig and Lee Strobel like to use the following argument, "Why would the apostles die for a lie? The reason that they died for their beliefs is because Jesus rose from the dead! No one would die for a lie!" Lee Strobel fails hard in this video:

Besides the obvious objection of there being no good evidence to suggest that the apostles were actually martyred, here are some easy refutations.

This argument of "why would someone die for a belief...the belief must have been true because they died for it" seems appealing, but it easily fails when you start to think of examples and understand potential motivations...

- Members of a religious sect want their ministry and doctrine to continue, so they actually die (whether or not they actually believe) for their beliefs.

Imagine that a member of a fringe religious sect is captured by members of a majority religion. The fringe member is asked to recant his beliefs or be killed and decides not to recant. Because of this death, the person is thinking that the belief will be spread because someone was willing to die for it.

- A person dies for a lie in order to protect others.

Consider the following situation. A mother and her son are involved in gangs and drug dealing. They are often in trouble with many gangs and the law because they steal weapons and drugs from others. One day, while a mother and her son are home, a gang member breaks into the house, places both the son and mother at gunpoint, and says, "I want to know who stole my drugs. I'm going to kill whoever did it and then leave. If no one says anything, I'll shoot you both." Although the mother had nothing to do with the theft, she speaks up to protect her son and is then killed. The gang member walks away as promised.

- A person believes that martyrs will enter the afterlife.

The almost exclusively religious suicide bombing community believes that martyrdom is a good thing that will send one to a very pleasant paradise.

- People think that they will die for "reason x" and take their lives instead.

Consider a mafia member who is captured by vigilantes. If the mafia member rats out the mafia boss, he knows that he'll be killed by the mafia boss and the organization would crumble. Instead of being killed by the mafia boss and destroying the organization, the mafia member tells the vigilantes a lie in order to deflect attention away from the mafia boss's location. Unknown to the mafia member, the vigilantes know that this is a lie and kill the mafia member.

- Heaven's Gate Cult

Members of the Heaven's Gate cult who thought that a UFO from behind a comet would kill them decided to take their own lives before the comet passed them. They clearly died for a belief that wasn't true.

- People make up a story to add credibility to a claim
Perhaps the apostles were killed in a skirmish and people who wrote the stories later on decided to embellish and make up the story that the apostles died for a lie. There's a great deal of embellishment already in the Gospels, for example, that really hurts their credibility as historical sources free from myth and extreme bias. The Gospels were written so that people would believe them, not to objectively report happenings.

Regardless of all these objections, the argument of "People died for a belief, so the belief must be true" is a total non-sequitur. Dying for a belief does not suddenly make the belief true. All throughout history, people have been martyrs for ideas, religions, and other people...and we view these deaths as wasteful and silly. Think about Nazis, Aztecs, Egyptians, etc. If a solipsist were to be martyred for his belief, would solipsism suddenly be plausible?