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alternative
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Atlas Shrugged
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alternative
Used In
Atlas Shrugged
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as in: an alternative plan Define
something available as another possibility
  • Where there are no alternatives, no values are possible.
  • His particular distinction from all other living species is the necessity to act in the face of alternatives by means of volitional choice.

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  • But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.

  • There are no more uses of "alternative" identified with this meaning, but check unspecified meaning below.

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  • Let’s think of at least three alternatives before we decide what to do.
  • Can anyone think of a better alternative?

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unspecified meaning
  • What alternative occurred to you?
  • That is the alternative.

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  • Your only alternative is to state for the record that you throw yourself upon the mercy of the court.
  • They had counted on his pity and dreaded his anger; they had not dared consider the third alternative; his indifference.
  • ’Value’ presupposes a standard, a purpose and the necessity of action in the face of an alternative.
  • It is only a living organism that faces a constant alternative: the issue of life or death.
  • There is only one fundamental alternative in the universe: existence or non-existence-and it pertains to a single class of entities: to living organisms.
  • But a plant has no choice of action; there are alternatives in the conditions it encounters, but there is no alternative in its function: it acts automatically to further its life, it cannot act for its own destruction.
  • The modern mystics of muscle who offer you the fraudulent alternative of ’human rights’ versus ’property rights,’ as if one could exist without the other, are making a last, grotesque attempt to revive the doctrine of soul versus body.
  • Just as your body has two fundamental sensations, pleasure and pain, as signs of its welfare or injury, as a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death, so your consciousness has two fundamental emotions, joy and suffering, in answer to the same alternative.

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  • Just as your body has two fundamental sensations, pleasure and pain, as signs of its welfare or injury, as a barometer of its basic alternative, life or death, so your consciousness has two fundamental emotions, joy and suffering, in answer to the same alternative.
  • But you cannot live as anything else-and the alternative is that state of living death which you now see within you and around you, the state of a thing unfit for existence, no longer human and less than animal, a thing that knows nothing but pain and drags itself through its span of years in the agony of unthinking self-destruction.
  • Man has been called a rational being, but rationality is a matter of choice-and the alternative his nature offers him is: rational being or suicidal animal, Man has to be man-by choice; he has to hold his life as a value-by choice; he has to learn to sustain it-by choice; he has to discover the values it requires and practice his virtues-by choice.
  • Men are free not to choose man’s survival as the standard of their morals and their laws, but not free to escape from the fact that the alternative is a cannibal society, which exists for a while by devouring its best and collapses like a cancerous body, when the healthy have been eaten by the diseased, when the rational have been consumed by the irrational.
  • Wait! I haven’t said yes or no!" he cried, cringing tighter against the door, as if immobility of mind and body were his best protection, "One-" she counted; she could see his eyes staring at her in terror —"Two-" she could see that the gun held less terror for him than the alternative she offered-"Three."

  • There are no more uses of "alternative" in the book.


To see samples from other sources, click a word sense below:
as in: an alternative plan Define
something available as another possibility
as in: alternative medicine Define
non-traditional or non-standard
Show Multiple Meanings
Go to Book Vocabulary
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