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A closer look at the idea of sacrifice

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posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:26 PM
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What is sacrifice? Let's take a look at how Merriam-Webster defines it:


: the act of giving up something that you want to keep especially in order to get or do something else or to help someone

: an act of killing a person or animal in a religious ceremony as an offering to please a god

: a person or animal that is killed in a sacrifice


It is this first definition that will be the focus of this OP. More specifically, we will be taking a closer look at the idea of "giving up something [that you want to keep] in order to get or do something else or to help someone. The words that I have bracketed off may be taken away for us to come up with a more succinct definition of sacrifice that better suits this thread. Thus, we shall - for purposes of this discussion - define "sacrifice" as an act of giving up something in order to get or do something else or to help someone.

So, how does this fit into a philosophy of life? Quite simple - our lives are continuous cycles of sacrifice. We are simultaneously recipients and purveyors of sacrifice and this can be seen in even the most mundane of our daily routines. Let's take, for example, waking up in the morning:

Your alarm clock goes off and you get out of bed. By shutting off the alarm, you sacrifice the noise it makes for its silence. By getting out of bed, you sacrifice extra rest for starting your day.

Perhaps some of you will read this OP and think I should have sacrificed coming up with this thread so that you wouldn't read it.

No matter how you think about it, I pose to you, the ATS community (and specifically those taking an interest in philosophical discussion) that everything we do can be broken down into acts of sacrifice - whether as the cause or recipient thereof.




posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:36 PM
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a reply to: scorpio84
I actually disagree with the definition. That is to say, I think we aren't dealing with what sacrifice actually is. I think Ayn Rand discovered the meaning of sacrifice, or at least promulgated it.

“Sacrifice” is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue."

“Sacrifice” does not mean the rejection of the worthless, but of the precious. “Sacrifice” does not mean the rejection of the evil for the sake of the good, but of the good for the sake of the evil. “Sacrifice” is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t."
aynrandlexicon.com...


edit on 1-12-2015 by Thetan because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-12-2015 by Thetan because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:48 PM
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a reply to: Thetan




I actually disagree with the definition.


Great! I find discussions more interesting when people don't all agree. What word would you give, then, to the concepts I've outlined in the OP? The only other thing I could think of would be "giving" (in fact I was going to use that term first).




“Sacrifice” is the surrender of a greater value for the sake of a lesser one or of a nonvalue."


Let's take the example of a soldier who jumps in front of enemy fire and gets killed, but in the process ends up saving five comrades. What are the greater and lesser values?




“Sacrifice” is the surrender of that which you value in favor of that which you don’t."


I simply disagree with Ayn Rand's definition of the term, then. I don't see it as necessarily giving up something you value for something you don't. That would be only one form of sacrifice - negative sacrifice.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:48 PM
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a reply to: Thetan

The OP has given us the positive definition while you have responded by giving us the negative. What have you contributed to the thread by doing that?



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:54 PM
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Hmm. Just a flash that may be without merit, but hear me out. I'm surely seeing a lot of threads here lately by Scorpion, a late-arrival to ATS, including duplicate threads, over and over, on the same themes, and then the replies are ALSO from relative newcomers, mildly "opposed" to OP's views. And notice that both the OP and replies are the plain vanilla descriptions, in my case light green on grey, no avatars, no descriptions, no embellishment at all and very few posts. Eerily similar.

In other words, a Sock Puppet entertaining himself by replying to his own very repetitive threads. I suggest mods look into the iP addresses here.

Just a thought.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:56 PM
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Words of a wise old man: "anything worth doing will take sacrifice!"

We take sacrifice too hardly, surely to get anything done of worth, to bear sweet fruits, it takes hard honest work.

If your not willing to sacrifice your time, and efforts you will not eat sweet fruits.

Sacrifice makes us better people. We must sacrifice what we love for whom we love.

We must understand what sacrificing means, to give up a soft feeling with a harder feeling to deal with. Like when you spend time raising a child, sacrificing your sleep, your time, I would sacrifice my life for my child.

Sometimes I refuse to sacrifice because of laziness and later I get bitterness for fruit. It makes me foul and roth, full of regret and turning myself against me.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:57 PM
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originally posted by: Anadandan
a reply to: Thetan

The OP has given us the positive definition while you have responded by giving us the negative. What have you contributed to the thread by doing that?


To be fair, I was not clear on positive vs. negative sacrifice. I will attempt to clear that up now:

Positive sacrifice can be thought of as belong to two categories:
1). giving up something in order to attain something for ourselves
2). giving up something in order to help someone/something

Negative sacrifice is, as Rand says, "the surrender of that which you value for that which you don't" - and belongs to two categories as well:
1). voluntary negative sacrifice
2). involuntary negative sacrifice

In fact, it could be argued that voluntary negative sacrifice does not truly exist, limiting our forms of sacrifice to three categories.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:58 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
Hmm. Just a flash that may be without merit, but hear me out. I'm surely seeing a lot of threads here lately by Scorpion, a late-arrival to ATS, including duplicate threads, over and over, on the same themes, and then the replies are ALSO from relative newcomers, mildly "opposed" to OP's views. And notice that both the OP and replies are the plain vanilla descriptions, in my case light green on grey, no avatars, no descriptions, no embellishment at all and very few posts. Eerily similar.

In other words, a Sock Puppet entertaining himself by replying to his own very repetitive threads. I suggest mods look into the iP addresses here.

Just a thought.


Surely your imagination is running away with you.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 08:59 PM
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a reply to: Thetan

No discussion is possible with tacit agreement on terms used.

Anyone is free to make up their own definition for terms but you cannot use your definition (or another 'pundits') to discuss any topic. The very attempt at communication requires the use of commonly defined terms and usage.

I find it very common that participants in a discussion may use the same word for greatly varying concepts. I.E. Freedom.

If we don't agree to use common usage their can be no discussion. If you concept differs from the 'dictionary' definition then you must be clear in your modification.

Whole worlds have been built on non-standard definitions of common terms but they do not interact with reality in any meaningful way with the rest of the world and are often dismissed because of it.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 09:02 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Funny, I haven't noticed you reply to any of my threads - which are mostly about religion, unlike this particular one. Are you just stalking me or is the conversation over your head?

I wonder if you even read the OP before replying with your off-topic drivel.

I'm sorry that I did not put a picture of myself as you clearly have, Mr. Palpatine. Yes, let the mods look into my IP address. Not a single thread I've made repeats itself. Some points may get repeated during the course of argument, but the starting point has been different in every case. Anyhow, unless you are going to contribute to the question of sacrifice as the underlying theme in our lives, then kindly resume lurking.



posted on Dec, 1 2015 @ 09:05 PM
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a reply to: FyreByrd




If you concept differs from the 'dictionary' definition then you must be clear in your modification.


I agree - and I hope my modification was clearly explained. If you know of another word that better fits the definition of sacrifice I laid forth, please tell me. I see it simply as a giving up of something for something else. This does not have to do with giving up something wanted, as per the dictionary.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 04:57 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: FyreByrd




If you concept differs from the 'dictionary' definition then you must be clear in your modification.


I agree - and I hope my modification was clearly explained. If you know of another word that better fits the definition of sacrifice I laid forth, please tell me. I see it simply as a giving up of something for something else. This does not have to do with giving up something wanted, as per the dictionary.


It's not the definition you quoted but your usage of the word.


So, how does this fit into a philosophy of life? Quite simple - our lives are continuous cycles of sacrifice. We are simultaneously recipients and purveyors of sacrifice and this can be seen in even the most mundane of our daily routines. Let's take, for example, waking up in the morning:

Your alarm clock goes off and you get out of bed. By shutting off the alarm, you sacrifice the noise it makes for its silence. By getting out of bed, you sacrifice extra rest for starting your day.


You are speaking of 'choices' not actually "giving something up" in order to "gain something else" or "help someone else".

You choose to turn the alarm off because you don't want to hear it - you aren't sacrificing anything. You can't sacrifice the 'noise' because it's not something you "have" at most it's something you have control of.

Words have denotations and connotations. And strictly, denotably, speaking I can see your reasoning; however the connotation of the word according to it's orgin:


Origin

Middle English: from Old French, from Latin sacrificium; related to sacrificus 'sacrificial', from sacer 'holy'.


www.oxforddictionaries.com...

implies that a sacrifice is a holy act, an act of 'giving up' without expectation of reward.

Yep I can choose to sleep rather then go to work - but I 'lose' on both ends of that equation. I do not sacrifice sleep for work nor do I sacrifice work for sleep. I choose with is - and this is key - more important to me at any given time.


A political leader of an emerging country was asked about the great sacrifices she had made during her country s rocky road to freedom. She responded that she “had never sacrificed, merely made choices.”

Her s is an interesting distinction. Most people seem to buy into the belief that they make sacrifices from time to time for a cause, a loved one, a job or a principle. They seem to like, or at least are comfortable with, the idea of sacrificing.

The truth is all you do is make choices — about what you will do or not do, about what you will support or defend. Your choices determine your direction, and to some extent, your outcomes.

If one of the outcomes you want is to feel that you have sacrificed, then realize that is only a choice you make.

- See more at: steves3minutecoaching.com...



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 06:29 PM
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a reply to: scorpio84
Why a sacrifice in first place; I imagine you are speaking of the dramatic giving up ones 'vessel' or ceasing to exist in doing so for the sake of something other, (saving another's life or dying for a principle)? What possible gain can that have; as if done so have no idea how this may change the future if at all? I see it as a convenient suicide of choice this includes Joan of Ark (burned at the stake), Thomas More (beheaded) and Jesus (crucified). Who dies on principle (those seeking martyrdom)? or the very brave in trust their 'sacrifice' was not in vain.
edit on 2-12-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: vethumanbeing

I'm not speaking of sacrifice just in the sense of "dying so others may live." I propose that there is sacrifice going on, maybe even at a microscopic level, in every little thing we do, every waking moment of our lives.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 07:29 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: vethumanbeing

I'm not speaking of sacrifice just in the sense of "dying so others may live." I propose that there is sacrifice going on, maybe even at a microscopic level, in every little thing we do, every waking moment of our lives.



Maybe you are mixing sacrifice for choice. One is faced with options and alternatives all the time. By choosing one option you necessarily sacrifice the alternatives. I guess true sacrifice is when you relinquish thoughts of self for the greater good regardless of the personal risks in doing so.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: Anadandan

originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: vethumanbeing

I'm not speaking of sacrifice just in the sense of "dying so others may live." I propose that there is sacrifice going on, maybe even at a microscopic level, in every little thing we do, every waking moment of our lives.



Maybe you are mixing sacrifice for choice. One is faced with options and alternatives all the time. By choosing one option you necessarily sacrifice the alternatives. I guess true sacrifice is when you relinquish thoughts of self for the greater good regardless of the personal risks in doing so.


Not a grave sacrifice that ends badly; you are speaking more of self service given to others in need?



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 07:45 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
a reply to: vethumanbeing

I'm not speaking of sacrifice just in the sense of "dying so others may live." I propose that there is sacrifice going on, maybe even at a microscopic level, in every little thing we do, every waking moment of our lives.

Could you elaborate? I am a human without a creator that for whatever reason refuses to proclaim itself. My sacrifice is in trusting it exists.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 08:49 PM
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originally posted by: scorpio84
A closer look at the idea of sacrifice

Shall we alter the parameters for a moment?
A slight shift towards Reality?
What would 'sacrifice' mean, if there were no 'free-will', no 'choice'?



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 09:15 PM
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"The needs of the many outweigh the need of the few"...So the Sun God won't kill us.



posted on Dec, 2 2015 @ 09:17 PM
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The question is, what do we really have which can be given.

In essence we have nothing other than our self to give, the ultimate surrender.
Sacrifice therefore is a surrender to the divine, as is mentioned in the bible, "verily, only those who give up everything, shall be able to enter the kingdom of heaven".

Not that i'm a christian, christianity and islam places god outside and in doing so create a division between humanity and the divine.
And since there is division, there is room for the mediator, the exploiter who will teach people how to serve god.
That which is sacred, now has become mere knowledge that has been passed from old to young for many centuries.

It has led to immense wars and bloodshed in the past and in the present.
Nobody who follows organized belief, shall be able to enter the kingdom of heaven, for they have not given up everything, they have sought mediators for knowledge and live according to a concept which means they follow a doctrine.
The kingdom of heaven is within you, not out there somewhere.
Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.




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