On Sunday, I finished watching the third season of 24 on DVD (I watched the season when it original aired as well). What stuck in mind at the end of Season Three is that the terrorists when captured and not allowed to commit suicide, always eventually crack. Sometimes this takes physical violence or the threat of it like Roger Stanton (Season Two-tortured with electric shock paddles) or Walt Cummings (Season Five-Jack threatened to cut out his eyeball) or for the more hardened evil doer who isn't scared to die for his/her cause, threats against the lives of their families like Said Ali's wife and children (Season Two) or Stephen Saunder's daughter Jane (Season Three).
Two instances (that I can remember) where individuals didn't crack from extended physical torture were when Jack was tortured to the point of death (the torturers then brought him back to life) in Season Two and when Chase was tortured by the Salazar brothers' thugs in Season Three (including getting a bullet thru the hand compliments of Hector Salazar).
This got me thinking about what we, as human beings, are willing to do and go thru for our beliefs. Thousands of troops from America and elsewhere are willing to risk their lives everyday not knowing when they could be the next victim of a roadside bomb. There might be a thousand Iranians willing to strap explosives to their chests to protect Iran's nuclear plants.
Many of us are willing to sacrifice our lives for things we believe are 100% true but we can't be 100% certain whether those beliefs are true or not. But what if we knew if something was true or not? Would anyone out there be willing to experience torture and be killed for something they knew was a lie? It seems impossible or at least very highly unlikely.
Around 1,950 years ago, the disciples of Jesus were beaten, tortured and killed because they claimed to have seen their rabbi defeat death. These individuals were in a position to know whether they actually saw a risen Christ or not and they were willing to die for it. Why would they be willing to be tortured and killed for something they knew was a lie?