I have been exploring the idea of sacrifice from the perspective of a Christian and from the perspective of an Ayn Rand-follower. The following quote got me thinking about what sacrifice really is:
Is slow as a funeral procession
In rush-hour traffic, the sort of word
Other words pass, honking…–Jeanne Walker Murray
Both seem clear and diametrically opposed. Randian sacrifice, subjecting something of greater value to something of lesser value, is a vice. Eugene Peterson said this about Christian sacrifice:
Sacrifice is to faith what eating is to nutrition; it is the action that we engage in that is transformed within ourselves invisibly and unobserved into a life lived in responsive obedience to the living God who gives himself to and for us, sacrifices himself for us… It does not result in less joy, less satisfaction, less fulfillment, but in more–but rarely in ways we expect.
Ayn Rand, on the other hand, was very direct in her definition of sacrifice. She said that sacrifice is subordinating a greater value to a lesser value. In other words, anyone who sacrifices is opting for less value. To Ayn Rand (and to most people, I think), opting for the lesser value makes no sense. Rand concludes that sacrifice is not a virtue, but a vice.
How would you define sacrifice? Where might there be common ground between Objectivism and Christianity?