Words Poorly Used #25 — Sacrifice

People often talk about making a sacrifice for others, or subsuming their individuality to an external cause, as a positive.  But what they are doing is choosing to behave in a certain way.  Others will refer to sacrifice as something positive expected of others — commanders will say that they had to sacrifice so many soldiers for a tactic or a strategy, idolators will say that they expect others to commit themselves entirely to the idol.  Sacrifice is a total nullification of an individual life, perhaps for a “noble” cause.  But who is to say?  A nullification is not a zero sum, it is a minus 1, and a minus of all unforeseen consequences of that 1.  Would one seek to nullify an act of the state, if the result was a zero sum?  Sacrifice is never a plus, never a conservation of the status quo, it is always a subtraction of the entirety of the sacrificed beings or objects, including their future.


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