Need To Survive For Their Cause YKTTW Discussion

Need To Survive For Their Cause
(permanent link) added: 2011-05-11 09:42:58 sponsor: neoYTPism (last reply: 2011-07-05 06:47:40)

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"I don't see myself as a hypocrite, I need my life to fight for the rights of animals."
- Mary Beth Sweetland of PETA, type-1 diabetic opponent of experiments on animals, on using insulin to survive; this method of keeping type-1 diabetics alive was found through experiments on animals.

Do We Have This One?? Oh, and I am open to title suggestions.

This is a justification (whether sincere or disingenous) for people who keep their survival through morally ambiguous means. Perhaps they are accepting what they would otherwise consider ill-gotten survival, and want to convince people they are not Hypocrites. Perhaps they refuse to make a Heroic Sacrifice, and want to convince people they are not Dirty Cowards.

Whatever the scenario, they will talk about their life as if it is a means to another end; as if only they could provide the help their cause needs, and therefore they need to survive for their cause.

Contrast with Survivor Guilt, something this reasoning often overcomes.


  • The above example is the real-life case of Mary Beth Sweetland invoking this; of course, whether she is being sincere or disingenuous is debatable, as is the question of whether said contradiction is justified or not, but someone's answer to one question doesn't necessary imply one's answer to the other.
  • Used in the Necron level of Dark Crusade: As this is the only level in which the general's death brings failure, part of the opening cutscene for each race is the troops begging their leader not to throw his life away (as you need to bring the general to the deepest point of the catacombs to place a bomb, then get the hell out before it explodes), to which he replies that the campaign to clear the planet is not done, and he has no intention of dying before this happens (it's the units who insist they need his leadership, not him though).
  • Princess Vivi in One Piece is specifically told to do this. To survive no matter what so as to get word of what she's learned spying for Baroque Works back home. The main thing she does towards this end is ally herself with a crew of pirates.
  • In Nepeta Quest 2011, Nezumi hates Zander for not doing this.
  • Used in Casablanca where Lazlo is the one who needs to survive and Ilsa needs to be the one with him to make sure he does.
  • Terminator 3 has Schwarzenegger's character telling John Connor to act like this.
  • Starship Troopers. When Rasczak's Roughnecks get to Whiskey Outpost on Planet P they find that the troopers guarding it have all been slaughtered by the Bugs. While searching the base they find General Owen hiding in a cabinet, which is rather strange since he should have fought and died alongside his troops.
    General: I had to evade capture. The security of the Federation was at stake. I have operational knowledge of what we're up to out here.
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