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A cause to die for

? Reports from the Middle East last week said that western protestors are forming a human shield around Yassar Arafat in protest at Israeli aggression towards the Palestinians. What cause would you be prepared to die for?

Reports from the Middle East last week said that western protestors are forming a human shield around Yassar Arafat in protest at Israeli aggression towards the Palestinians. What cause would you be prepared to die for?

The natural answer of course is the beloved wife and children. To die for the benefit of non family members may be a noble calling to some, but who can safely say they are competent to decide who is more valuable or more important?

Religious zealots or 'patriots' aside, I would consider dying for a ticket to the European Cup final to be held at Hampden Park, although to gain the ticket, I would miss the match.

Scott McKenzie, 35, health and safety adviser, Glasgow I think it is almost impossible to predict what we are capable of.

Recent history is littered with people doing things that the rational mind wouldn't imagine possible. This is a classic example.

The response to social and political pressures that stigmatise difference lead to behaviours that are very difficult to understand, especially from the comfort of the developed world.

Mark Stephenson, 40, chief engineer Cornwall There are not many things that I would be prepared to die for, but family, friends, loved ones or Partick Thistle winning the Scottish Premier League next season (providing we get promoted this season of course) would be on the list.

James Murray, 28, civil engineer, Glasgow Were I religious, I might say for my faith (which, of course, is the cause of terrorism pretty much everywhere). Failing that, to protect my loved ones, or to fight in a just war to defend my country, such as the Second World War (although I recognise that such a war, thanks to those who have already made that sacrifice, is highly unlikely).

Luc Koefman, 31, wind farm engineer, Texas I would put my life at risk for the safety and future wellbeing of my family. My wife and daughter are the most precious people in my life and life would not be worth living if I had failed to protect them. If this was to mean defending my country as part of the armed forces in a time of need, then so be it.

Matthew Young, 32, operations manager, Hampshire If I am honest I would say, with a little shame, none!

John Park, senior engineer, Glasgow

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