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If I spend lots of time and money studying to pursue a career of great significance to me, what is the name of that action? An altruist would say that I "sacrificed" my time and money. What word would an Objectivist use to describe the action of giving up things of lesser value in order to obtain something of greater value? In other words, what is the opposite of "sacrifice"?

asked Aug 12 '12 at 01:48

user890's gravatar image


edited Aug 12 '12 at 16:03

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

You didn't "sacrifice" your time and money. You invested your time and money on a goal.

(Aug 12 '12 at 01:53) Collin1 Collin1's gravatar image

You were being selfish. :)

(Aug 12 '12 at 03:57) Humbug Humbug's gravatar image

That word is investment. And it's not just an Objectivist usage: most everybody classifies giving up a value now to gain a greater value in the future as investment.

It is just that egoists (Objectivists) are careful to not confuse investment with its moral opposite: giving up a value now to not gain a greater value in the future.

So the real question is: what's the word for that opposite of "investment"? We really need to be able to recognize investment and it's opposite! But in our culture, there isn't a word for that... the word Objectivists use is "sacrifice" -- but in our culture that is widely considered to mean simply the giving up of a value, period, with no regard for the purpose of doing so. That is of course a supremely dangerous concept because treating morally opposite things as the same is a sure way to hurt if not kill yourself.

answered Aug 12 '12 at 16:01

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

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Asked: Aug 12 '12 at 01:48

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Last updated: Aug 12 '12 at 16:36