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Investment Versus Sacrifice

Radio Q&A: 20 May 2012, Question 3

I answered a question on investment versus sacrifice for Philosophy in Action Radio on 20 May 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.

What is the difference between "investment" and "sacrifice"? In your February 26, 2012 webcast, you indicated that you regard sacrifices as something very different from investments. But doesn't sacrifice just mean giving up something? In that case, don't investments in the future require sacrifice now? Or: What's the difference between sacrificing some ease and comfort for your goal versus investing time and work to achieve a goal?

My Answer, In Brief: The term "sacrifice" is a confused mess that conflates loss for its own sake with loss for the sake of greater gain. A person ought to pursue his own life and happiness, which means pursuing investments, not sacrifices.

Tags: Egoism, Ethics, Moral Psychology, Motivation, Sacrifice, Self-Interest, Self-Sacrifice


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About Philosophy in Action

I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing in the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."

My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and most Thursday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Thursday evenings, I interview an expert guest or chat about a topic of interest.

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