Comment on Amnesty discussion Forum
Brave is of course both subjective and relative. Subjective in as much as we perceive it internally. Someone who, for instance, fears spiders perceives themselves brave even to be in a room with one. However, whilst we accept that that they are brave to confront their inner demons, we non-spider fearing folk know, objectively, they have confronted nothing. The chances of being killed by a spider is vanishingly small.
Step onto the streets of Mosul and begin a speech in defence of gay rights is, relative to the imminent danger to your life and liberty, brave indeed.
What is brave in liberal Britain (where I live), is not about going to work every day in defiance of terrorrism; vile though these acts may be, we are as likely to be killed by them as by a spider. Brave is to overcome our irrational fears and not to allow the draconian laws, the oppressive surveillance and excessive security that erode our cherished liberties.