Heretics During the Middle Ages
Q: How does the Church explain why the heretics of the Middle Ages were willing to give up their lives rather than renounce their beliefs?
A: Some people are just crazy. ‘Nuff said.
Seriously, though, there have always been people who have been intellectually convinced of a position, been convinced that it was worth dying for, and ended up dying for it, irrespective of whether the belief was true. This is as much the case in the past as it is today.
Right now there are all kinds of people who are convinced enough of their positions to be willing to die for them, and that is true regardless of whether the people are Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists, Branch Davidians, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Marxists, Neo-Nazis, or just about anything else.
Those positions cannot all be true, because they are mutually exclusive, so all this proves is that just about any cause is capable of sufficiently convincing some people that they would be willing to die for it, it doesn’t prove the position is correct.
Someone may be willing to die for a position because they have been honestly convinced of it, because they are crazy, or for who knows what reason, but it does not mean the position is true.