"Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." -John Adams

Welcome to Patriot's Lament. We strive here to educate ourselves on Liberty. We will not worry ourselves so much with the daily antics of American politics, and drown ourselves in the murky waters of the political right or left.
Instead, we will look to the Intellectuals and Champions of Liberty, and draw on their wisdom of what it is to be a truly free people. We will learn from where our Providential Liberties are derived, and put the proper perspective of a Free Individual and the State.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Jordan Peterson's Biblical Sacrifice and Hans Hoppe's Time Preference: Part 1 - That which you value most

Jordan Peterson draws immense meaning out of the short story of Cain and
Abel in Genesis. One of the main concepts in this story is the idea of
sacrificing that which you value most, embodied by Abel's sacrifice of
his best animals.  Cain, on the other hand, sacrifices a pile of vegetables.

While both brothers offer sacrifices, God only finds favor with Abel's
sacrifice. It is a bigger (actual?) sacrifice, and it is sincere. Abel
is "all in" when it comes to foregoing present enjoyment for future (or
spiritual) enjoyment. Cain, on the other hand, isn't offering his best,
so can he be said to be truly sacrificing anything?

What struck me the first time I heard Peterson articulate the
evolutionary significance of humans learning to practice sacrifice (stay
tuned for Part 2) is that it is exactly Hans Hoppe's description of Time

Hoppe notes that the basis of savings (and all of civilization) is the
willingness to sacrifice present enjoyment for future enjoyment. Even
better, in a honest system, this sacrifice results in MORE future
enjoyment than what is sacrificed in the present. Exactly as the story
of Cain and Abel describes.

Peterson could shorten his description of "sacrificing that which you
value most" by using Hoppe's simpler phrase of "the present moment" or
"present enjoyment". Perhaps the phrase "present pleasure" would be even

Cain wasn't really sacrificing enjoyment by burning some plants, but
Abel was burning a delicious fatted calf that I'm sure was making he and
his brother's mouths water. Cain was sacrificing the present SUFFERING
of choking down plants, but Abel was sacrificing the present ENJOYMENT
of marbled steak.

There can only be one type of sacrifice - sacrifice of what you value
MOST, right NOW. Both parts are necessary or it isn't sacrifice. When
you have plenty of money, saving doesn't feel like a sacrifice, and it
isn't. You reap a reward measured in small percentages. But the reward
you get from taking the first step in saving the FIRST dollar, the act
of forming the habit, is the ENTIRE VALUE of the savings, not just the

-David Giessel

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