Sacrifice = opportunity cost

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Aug 1 20:44:18 UTC 2012

I don't know how closely the two are related. In Christianity, surely, Jehovah had a choice as well in sacrificing his son.

How about these:

I sacrificed my workouts so I could take my son to his football practice.
I sacrificed my cafe latte so I could send five bucks to charity X.
I sacrificed my favorite TV show so I could take piano lessons.
I sacrificed my daily cookie so I could eat spaghetti carbonara.

I think these last two in particular are possible, which seem to indicate that "sacrifice" can take a really watered-down meaning such as opportunity cost or trade-off.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Aug 1, 2012, at 9:54 AM, Dan Goncharoff wrote:

> I don't understand why sacrifice and choice are exclusive.
> Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac is only a test if it is a choice.
> DanG
> On Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 4:44 AM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at>wrote:
>> My partner (Japanese native) pointed out today that the use by Olympians =
>> of the word "sacrifice" is odd. I had trouble fingering his objection, =
>> but then he pointed out that what they are calling sacrifices are =
>> choices not sacrifices.
>> The OED seems to be outdated. The closest is: " The destruction or =
>> surrender of something valued or desired for the sake of something =
>> having, or regarded as having, a higher or a more pressing claim; the =
>> loss entailed by devotion to some other interest; also, the thing so =
>> devoted or surrendered."
>> The AHD =
>> ( says: =
>> "Forfeiture of something highly valued for the sake of one considered to =
>> have a greater value or claim."=20
>> Olympians and athletes in general certainly do give up a lot in their =
>> pursuit of athletics, but this seems to be less lofty: opportunity cost; =
>> the giving up of something in the pursuit of something else (more highly =
>> valued).

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