Do you think that suicide terrorists feel scared when they die?

Thinking about the 9/11 hijackers and the 7/7 bombers. They all signed up for their respective missions knowing they would die. They know what different religions say about death i.e heaven and hell. They also probably knew that a lot of Muslims (and other religious individuals) disagreed with what they did and thought that it was suicide and mass murder which would land them in eternal torture.

But on the other side, they believed that they would not only would most likely be granted paradise but commit a justified form of revenge against the ‘enemy’; whether it was to send a message to civilians or goverments around the world. Do you think this was enough to overpower their ‘fear of death’?

And a second question, do you believe the excessive fear of death is biological or rather than societally constructed? I believe it is biologically natural to avoid pain but not death provided our brains ‘rationalize’ that a tumultuous life is better to end than endure. I don’t believe at all this idea that seeking death is irrational at all. I would go so far as to say that a terrorist is no more irrational (psychologically) than someone who goes into a war that they will be guaranteed to die in.

From the videos I’ve seen, they seem more like 'Pumped up for the Big Game’.

Not true at all. And neither are many of your other assumptions.

I would go with this but word it more as an adrenaline rush.

I read a reddit thread asking questions of military veterans about suicide bombers. According to them.

  1. Some of them (arguably many) were conscripted, not volunteers. Groups like the Taliban would kidnap their family and tell them if they didn’t commit an assault on US troops or suicide bomb US soldiers, they’d kill their family. One solider told a story about a wave of suicide bombers attacking his base, he said all of them had their hands tied behind their backs. They wouldn’t do that voluntarily.

  2. Some suicide bombers are doped up on heroin or meth. This will make them less afraid to die.

As far as point 2, people seem more willing to die if they think they will survive death as a spirit, or if they feel they are dying as part of a larger unit that will survive after them (a nation), or if they feel death is coming soon or their quality of life is low.

I’d hazard a guess that most of them do feel fear of death, yes. It’s a very powerful human instinct. But as history has shown, plenty of people overcome that fear and die suicidally anyway.

One of the biggest fears any person has (and this is common among all cultures) is letting the team (or family) down that you are a part of.
Talk to almost any person playing a team sport and they mention that they are trying their best to get the team to a victory first over any individual feats.

The same can be applied to terrorist organizations where the guilt of not letting the team down can be overpowering and difficult to resist even in a suicidal operation.

To illustrate my point differently, look at WW2. Hitler killed no one personally (unless you include himself and his mistress) but yet was able to convince Germany to go to war and kill millions in the process.
Most militaries will follow the same principle. However as Patton famously said, “The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the bastard die for his”

Do you think the Columbine killers felt scared? How about the Virginia Tech shooter?

**Do you think that suicide terrorists feel scared when they die?

No. And this is one of the reasons that I say religion is just about the single most dangerous thing we humans have ever invented to inflict upon one another. Religion replaces common sense. You’d think that a suicide bomber would hear somebody say, “Here, put on this vest and go blow yourself up in the mall - you’ll go to heaven for doing it”…and there would be a prompt response of “Ummm…wait a minute, guys.”

Nope. It’s all “Put that thing on me and point me at the infidels!”. They have been brainwashed to believe that blowing themselves up is a GOOD thing.

Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehhi, Hani Hanjour, and Ziad Jarrah (9/11 pilots) certainly knew they going to die (I don’t know what the other hijackers were expecting.) I would also think someone wearing 50 pounds of dynamite is expecting to die. Can you reflect on how this assumption breaks?

I am guessing that **panache45 **means “Not true at all” in the sense that, “Not *all *suicide-attack terrorists know they’re going to die” - unless he really means that suicidal attack terrorists don’t expect death, period, which would be a puzzling statement.

They almost certainly had no idea at all about other religions, and very little idea of their own. There are schools “madrasas” where poor young boys are brought to learn the Koran*. The boys’ parents let them go because they are unable to feed all their children. They think they are pushing the child toward a better life.

But the boys are not really taught anything. They are just given lessons to repeat the sounds of Koranic verses, as if they were parrots, but they are never taught Arabic. So they have no knowledge at all of their own religion except what they are told in the school, and no lifetime exposure to any other religion’s principles or ideas.

The boys are told that if they perform this brave act, they will be transported to paradise, and much is said about the amazing food and sexual favors they will receive. They are also told that their families will be paid, so their Mothers and younger siblings will eat well, and go to real schools. The boys think they are providing their families with a better life.

So yes, they know that there will be pain, but their lives have been mostly pain anyway, and they have no future prospects other than what may be provided by the adults who are urging them to take this path.

What else would they do?

*Obviously, some madrasas are excellent schools, we are talking about a small sub-set of them here.

The most well documented suicide attackers were the kamikaze and being human there was a mixed assortment of emotions.