Sacrifice, a religious rite in which an object is offered to a divinity in order to establish, maintain, or restore a right relationship of a human being to the sacred order.
While the original use of the term was in the context of a religious act, the word is used more broadly today.
The term has acquired a popular and frequently secular use to describe some sort of renunciation or giving up of something valuable in order that something more valuable might be obtained.
In a secular context, it really isn’t much different than what was meant in the historic, religious context. Why would we sacrifice to the gods? Ultimately with the hope to gain something in the future (a good crop, victory over enemies, eternal life in heaven) better than we otherwise would have received (a hailstorm, defeat at the hands of enemies, eternity in hell). It always was, and remains today, giving up something of value in the hopes of attaining something more valuable in the future.
Desperation blinds me
And through these bloodstained eyes I see the light
A better life is worth this sacrifice
– The X Aspect, Dream Theater
Sacrifice is not an exchange of a good for a good; that is a trade. It is the exchange of a good for a hope, or a certainty for a possibility; one gives something up and may, or may not, receive that which he hopes for in return. We sacrifice today in order to have the possibility to achieve, in some manner or another, a better life tomorrow. But no guarantee.
Genesis 22: 1 Now it came about after these things, that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.”
“God endorses child sacrifice!” How many times are Christians beat over the head with this passage? “What does it say about the followers of such a God?” “What kind of God is that?” I will come back to these questions.
Lesley Stahl: We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?
Madelaine Albright: I think that is a very hard choice, but the price, we think, the price is worth it.
The children were sacrificed for the hope that a better future would result. Secondary, for the purposes of this post, is for whom or in what manner we might find this better future. But child sacrifice it was – for the benefit of someone’s future.
As an aside, Albright has since written that she shouldn’t have put it that way, instead she should have pointed out that “Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations.” So, it was Saddam’s fault.
She would continue: “Nothing matters more than th
Article from LewRockwell