Why use martyrdom as an argument? It is an essentially flawed argument. One can argue about the emotional impact this has on us, but to use it practically is difficult.
As Nietzsche explains (I have chosen to bold the most important phrases):
- The deaths of martyrs, incidentally, have been a great misfortune in history: they seduced. The inference of all idiots, women and the people included, that there must be something to a cause for which someone goes to his death (or even, like early Christianity, generates death-seeking epidemics)- this inference has immeasurably thwarted examination, the spirit of examination, and caution. The martyrs have harmed truth.
Even today it takes only the crudity of a persecution to give an otherwise completely indifferent sectarianism an honorable name. How? Does it change the value of a thing if someone gives his life for it? An error that becomes honorable is an error which is that much more seductive. Do you believe, my dear theologians, that we would give you an occasion to become martyrs for a lie? One refutes a matter by laying it respectfully on ice- this is how one also refutes theologians. This precisely was the world-historical stupidity of all persecutors, that they gave the opposing cause the appearance of being honorable- that they gave it the fascination of martyrdom as a gift. Even today woman lies on her knees before an error because she has been told that somebody died on the cross for it. Is the cross an argument?
~ from The Antichrist