James Lileks on Kurt Vonnegut Here.

My small contribution regarding this quote from Vonnegut:

Vonnegut said it was "sweet and honourable" to die for what you believe in, and rejected the idea that terrorists were motivated by twisted religious beliefs.

"They are dying for their own self-respect," he said. "It's a terrible thing to deprive someone of their self-respect. It's like your culture is nothing, your race is nothing, you're nothing."

How exactly is killing innocent people supposed to enhance your "self-respect"? If it does, should we think twice about whether "self-respect" is such a wonderful thing? And if this judgment that self-respect demands the slaughtering of innocents stems from your affection for "your culture" -- and I stress that this is a big "if," which reflects an assumption that Vonnegut had made -- what does that say about the merits of your culture?