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The Cost of a Gift

s-anthony
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1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
There is a dilemma raging in my brain, a confusion of terms and ideas. Namely, is the act of giving essentially free or is it, necessarily, an obligation?

First of all, I feel a gift must be free, a thing one willingly does without a sense of compulsion. For, what is a gift if not given, freely, from the heart? Secondly, I believe a gift must cost the giver or it's not truly a gift. For, how could I say, "This gift is from me," if it cost me absolutely nothing. In talking about cost, I'm talking about a cost that is felt, a perceived cost, not the cost of something that will never be missed.

So, the question remains, does one's sense of obligation somehow devalue the gift? Or, can a duty be, also, a gift?

To answer this question, we must answer the hard question of free will versus determination. First, we establish a gift is an expense; it is a transference of ownership. In other words, we cannot give that which is not ours to give. In feeling compelled to give something that is in our possession, is it truly ours if we are bound by duty, or obligation, to give it away? A stark illustration of this would be slavery. Is a slave a possession of one's owner or does the slave truly own oneself? If the slave is the possession of the owner, then, slavery is a compulsion, an obligation, a duty, the slave is compelled to act against his, or her, will. If the slave possessed oneself, then, slavery would be done willingly and freely without compulsion. The slave is obligated, thusly does not own oneself.

Therefore, a gift must be a product of ownership, not obligation, or force. It must be freely given, an act of freewill and not compulsion. For, it's with ownership of ourselves can we freely give of ourselves.

Yet, with ownership comes responsibility and with responsibility comes obligation. As parents, a couple takes ownership of its children and taken ownership it also takes responsibility.

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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1/9/2016 3:12:46 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
It"s not as complicated as your confused thinking. Which if my memory serves, not to long ago you post a subject about forgiving, which is interrelated. Especially in the case of what you"ve expressed as the necessity of some cost to the giver or even the forgiver.

One could have two big screen tv"s and gives a tv to another and it could be because he just has no use or sees no need for two tv"s, therefore doesn"t value it at all. But the recipient of that tv values the gift greatly because he is unable finically to ever consider getting one and his children would love it. One could see someone with the need for something that has a need for it, and has no access to it. And if one gives that person what was needed, maybe it cost nothing, it"s really only important to the recipient.

If a relative asks for money, do you expect a return should you give it, then you didn"t give it. If you didn"t get the expected return that the relative agreed to pay back you can for give it. Play it safe, don"t lend what you can"t give.

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,609
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1/9/2016 3:25:23 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
I must say that the both of you are offering air tight arguments that God never gave any of us the gift of free will, the gift of life or any other gifts for that matter.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
DPMartin
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1/9/2016 5:26:21 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 3:25:23 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
I must say that the both of you are offering air tight arguments that God never gave any of us the gift of free will, the gift of life or any other gifts for that matter.

Ok, I'll bite. How is that?
DanneJeRusse
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1/9/2016 5:52:41 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
Here are the qualifiers, simply apply them to God.

At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself

At 1/9/2016 3:12:46 PM, DPMartin wrote:

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
s-anthony
Posts: 2,582
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1/9/2016 10:10:49 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
One could have two big screen tv"s and gives a tv to another and it could be because he just has no use or sees no need for two tv"s, therefore doesn"t value it at all. But the recipient of that tv values the gift greatly because he is unable finically to ever consider getting one and his children would love it. One could see someone with the need for something that has a need for it, and has no access to it. And if one gives that person what was needed, maybe it cost nothing, it"s really only important to the recipient.

The giver may have little need for two T.V.'s, and even though giving one away is seen as a little, if negligible, expense, it is still an expense. If the gift costs the giver absolutely nothing, meaning the giver could not place even a negligible value on it, it is no sacrifice. Being no expense, or having no value to the giver, it may actually be worth something for the receiver to take it off the giver's hands; and, therefore, the gift is in the receiving and not the giving. A gift is a gift in as much as it has value.

If a relative asks for money, do you expect a return should you give it, then you didn"t give it. If you didn"t get the expected return that the relative agreed to pay back you can for give it. Play it safe, don"t lend what you can"t give.

If I give you five dollars and you repay me with three dollars, then, in actuality, I have only given you two dollars. The worth of a gift or transaction is relative. If I give you something I believe is of little, or lesser, worth and you give me something I believe is of greater worth, then, I received the greater gift, as least, as I see it. However, if you believe the gift you received was of greater value than the gift you gave in exchange, then, you received the greater gift, at least, as you see it. Yet, if either of us believes each gave the more valuable gift than the other, then, each made the greater sacrifice. The same applies to forgiving a debt.

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.

If the giver expects a greater gift in return, then, the giver has not given anything. If the giver expects something of lesser value, that which the giver receives is subtracted (relatively speaking) from the value of the gift. Expectations don't necessarily cancel out the value of a gift; they cheapen it in the mind of the receiver.
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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1/10/2016 12:14:27 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 5:52:41 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
Here are the qualifiers, simply apply them to God.

At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself

At 1/9/2016 3:12:46 PM, DPMartin wrote:

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.

As in how in what way, and relationship to what? Dogs cats planets snow rain trees what?
DanneJeRusse
Posts: 12,609
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1/10/2016 12:22:56 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/10/2016 12:14:27 AM, DPMartin wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:52:41 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
Here are the qualifiers, simply apply them to God.

At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself

At 1/9/2016 3:12:46 PM, DPMartin wrote:

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.

As in how in what way, and relationship to what? Dogs cats planets snow rain trees what?

Are you having a problem with reading comprehension or just dense?
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
DPMartin
Posts: 1,096
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1/10/2016 12:23:30 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 10:10:49 PM, s-anthony wrote:
One could have two big screen tv"s and gives a tv to another and it could be because he just has no use or sees no need for two tv"s, therefore doesn"t value it at all. But the recipient of that tv values the gift greatly because he is unable finically to ever consider getting one and his children would love it. One could see someone with the need for something that has a need for it, and has no access to it. And if one gives that person what was needed, maybe it cost nothing, it"s really only important to the recipient.

The giver may have little need for two T.V.'s, and even though giving one away is seen as a little, if negligible, expense, it is still an expense. If the gift costs the giver absolutely nothing, meaning the giver could not place even a negligible value on it, it is no sacrifice. Being no expense, or having no value to the giver, it may actually be worth something for the receiver to take it off the giver's hands; and, therefore, the gift is in the receiving and not the giving. A gift is a gift in as much as it has value.

If a relative asks for money, do you expect a return should you give it, then you didn"t give it. If you didn"t get the expected return that the relative agreed to pay back you can for give it. Play it safe, don"t lend what you can"t give.

If I give you five dollars and you repay me with three dollars, then, in actuality, I have only given you two dollars. The worth of a gift or transaction is relative. If I give you something I believe is of little, or lesser, worth and you give me something I believe is of greater worth, then, I received the greater gift, as least, as I see it. However, if you believe the gift you received was of greater value than the gift you gave in exchange, then, you received the greater gift, at least, as you see it. Yet, if either of us believes each gave the more valuable gift than the other, then, each made the greater sacrifice. The same applies to forgiving a debt.

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.

If the giver expects a greater gift in return, then, the giver has not given anything. If the giver expects something of lesser value, that which the giver receives is subtracted (relatively speaking) from the value of the gift. Expectations don't necessarily cancel out the value of a gift; they cheapen it in the mind of the receiver.

What does any of that got to do with, the cost? That you insist has to be. A gift is a gift, if the receiver pays or owes nothing for it. There"s no more to it then that. Otherwise there are conditions applied and that has nothing to do with a gift. Wow, you are correct about your confusion. Or are you trying to justify something, that would be less than above board?
DPMartin
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1/10/2016 12:27:39 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/10/2016 12:22:56 AM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/10/2016 12:14:27 AM, DPMartin wrote:
At 1/9/2016 5:52:41 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
Here are the qualifiers, simply apply them to God.

At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself

At 1/9/2016 3:12:46 PM, DPMartin wrote:

If one expects something in return, even if it"s a thank you, then it"s not a gift. If the gift is valued by the recipient, all the better.

As in how in what way, and relationship to what? Dogs cats planets snow rain trees what?

Are you having a problem with reading comprehension or just dense?

I'm sorry is this supposed to be about me, now? You raise the issue, expound on it like any coherent human being if you want a reasonable response. It"s not my job to guess at what you are getting at.
s-anthony
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1/10/2016 10:53:06 AM
Posted: 11 months ago
What does any of that got to do with, the cost? That you insist has to be. A gift is a gift, if the receiver pays or owes nothing for it. There"s no more to it then that. Otherwise there are conditions applied and that has nothing to do with a gift. Wow, you are correct about your confusion. Or are you trying to justify something, that would be less than above board?

As I see it, a gift is a transference of ownership from the giver to the receiver. With ownership comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes obligation. Obligation is a forced expense; it's a duty. Parents are responsible for their children and therefore obligated to them. If you own a car, the car is your obligation. The cost of the gift is in the ownership of the gift.
MadCornishBiker
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1/10/2016 1:23:14 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:
There is a dilemma raging in my brain, a confusion of terms and ideas. Namely, is the act of giving essentially free or is it, necessarily, an obligation?

A gift which is given under obligation is not a gift in the true sense of the word, it is merely a price paid for some reason.

The only true gifts are ones given spontaneously and without the demands of the calendar or a special occasion.

Of course some gifts given at such times are genuine and from the heart, but my question has always been, if you love someone enough to give them a gift, why do you need a special occasion to do it?


First of all, I feel a gift must be free, a thing one willingly does without a sense of compulsion. For, what is a gift if not given, freely, from the heart? Secondly, I believe a gift must cost the giver or it's not truly a gift. For, how could I say, "This gift is from me," if it cost me absolutely nothing. In talking about cost, I'm talking about a cost that is felt, a perceived cost, not the cost of something that will never be missed.

Agreed, such was the gift that Jehovah gave us in his only begotten son.


So, the question remains, does one's sense of obligation somehow devalue the gift? Or, can a duty be, also, a gift?

It can be if given in love, but not if merely in duty.


To answer this question, we must answer the hard question of free will versus determination. First, we establish a gift is an expense; it is a transference of ownership. In other words, we cannot give that which is not ours to give. In feeling compelled to give something that is in our possession, is it truly ours if we are bound by duty, or obligation, to give it away? A stark illustration of this would be slavery. Is a slave a possession of one's owner or does the slave truly own oneself? If the slave is the possession of the owner, then, slavery is a compulsion, an obligation, a duty, the slave is compelled to act against his, or her, will. If the slave possessed oneself, then, slavery would be done willingly and freely without compulsion. The slave is obligated, thusly does not own oneself.

Therefore, a gift must be a product of ownership, not obligation, or force. It must be freely given, an act of freewill and not compulsion. For, it's with ownership of ourselves can we freely give of ourselves.

Yet, with ownership comes responsibility and with responsibility comes obligation. As parents, a couple takes ownership of its children and taken ownership it also takes responsibility.

So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself

Agreed.

And that is why we are ever in debt to our God and Creator, Jehovah.

That is why we owe him for all he has done for us, i doing for us, and will do for us.

However he does not want us to give him his due out of duty, he wants it given out of love for him, since it is out of love for us that he does what he does.

There is no obligation on his part. He crated us, and we are his to destroy if he so decides.

True he has a certain level of responsibility for having created us, but he more than meets that obligation every day of our lives.

He could have created us to be like the animals, ruled by our bodies and by instinct.

He gave us free will to make certain choices.

He could have given us a plain and simple diet.

He created a wide variety of foods for us to enjoy.

He could have given us a plain featureless home.

He gave us this beautiful planet to live on, and the Universe to enjoy looking at.

Why should he put up with us destroying it as we are forever?

Simple.

He won't.
DanneJeRusse
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1/10/2016 3:06:25 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/10/2016 1:23:14 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:

A gift which is given under obligation is not a gift in the true sense of the word, it is merely a price paid for some reason.

The only true gifts are ones given spontaneously and without the demands of the calendar or a special occasion.

Agreed, such was the gift that Jehovah gave us in his only begotten son.

And that is why we are ever in debt to our God and Creator, Jehovah.

That is why we owe him for all he has done for us, i doing for us, and will do for us.

Then, based on your own words, Jehovah never gave us any gifts if we "owe him for all he has done for us".

However he does not want us to give him his due out of duty, he wants it given out of love for him, since it is out of love for us that he does what he does.

But, we owe him for what he has done, you just said that, hence it is a duty and not out of love.

There is no obligation on his part. He crated us, and we are his to destroy if he so decides.

True he has a certain level of responsibility for having created us, but he more than meets that obligation every day of our lives.

How exactly?

He could have created us to be like the animals, ruled by our bodies and by instinct.

We are animals.

He gave us free will to make certain choices.

He did not give us free will as we are supposed to worship and obey him or else burn for an eternity. That's a threat, not a choice.

He could have given us a plain and simple diet.

He created a wide variety of foods for us to enjoy.

He could have given us a plain featureless home.

He gave us this beautiful planet to live on, and the Universe to enjoy looking at.

LOL. The universe was created for us to look at? You do realize that we are unable to view anything other than the handful of stars within our own galaxy, right? Yet, billions of galaxies are in the universe, with only a couple nearby that we can barely see.

Why should he put up with us destroying it as we are forever?

Simple.

He won't.
Marrying a 6 year old and waiting until she reaches puberty and maturity before having consensual sex is better than walking up to
a stranger in a bar and proceeding to have relations with no valid proof of the intent of the person. Muhammad wins. ~ Fatihah
If they don't want to be killed then they have to subdue to the Islamic laws. - Uncung
Without God, you are lower than sh!t. ~ SpiritandTruth
RuvDraba
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1/10/2016 4:40:45 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/9/2016 11:53:26 AM, s-anthony wrote:
There is a dilemma raging in my brain, a confusion of terms and ideas. Namely, is the act of giving essentially free or is it, necessarily, an obligation?
That's a great question, Anthony. I haven't seen it here before, and it's a delightful change from the questions we usually see. :)

First of all, I feel a gift must be free, a thing one willingly does without a sense of compulsion. For, what is a gift if not given, freely, from the heart? Secondly, I believe a gift must cost the giver or it's not truly a gift. For, how could I say, "This gift is from me," if it cost me absolutely nothing. In talking about cost, I'm talking about a cost that is felt, a perceived cost, not the cost of something that will never be missed.
I say it this way: the measure of love is sacrifice. I think you're describing gifts as an act of love, rather than an act of favour.

The distinction matters: the first connotes no notion of power or status; the second is all about an articulation of status between the giver and recipient. So there may be an ontological question hidden beneath your reflections: is the world intrinsically structured by power relationships, or is it not? If it is, then gifts are all favours and hence sociopolitical manipulations. If it's not, then there are two distinct categories: gifts of love; and bribes, threats and ostentatious demonstrations of power and affluence; and we need to work out which is which. :)

So, the question remains, does one's sense of obligation somehow devalue the gift? Or, can a duty be, also, a gift?
The role of gift as creating reciprocal obligation varies between societies. I've noticed the concept of gift-as-obligation nowhere stronger than in Japan, where the concept is picked up in the Japanese word giri: [https://en.wikipedia.org...]. This notion of gift as reciprocal obligation that must be balanced is a lynchpin in traditional in Japanese society and affects everything. It's very easy to get trapped by the social obligations of accepting gifts that you cannot reasonably refuse.

To answer this question, we must answer the hard question of free will versus determination.
I take a different view here, Anthony. If choices are fully predetermined, the question becomes meaningless. If they're not, the question must still be answered.

And the epistemology of free will/determination is dubious anyway, and not well-supported by what we actually see in human behaviour. Moreover, whether the distinction is meaningful or not, the question probably won't be resolved by thinking about gifts.

So I'd suggest treating the questions as independent.

First, we establish a gift is an expense; it is a transference of ownership.
Actually, the notion of ownership isn't common to all societies. As best I understand it, the way we presently do ownership seems to have emerged from the way we do agriculture: I invest a lot of effort in clearing and tilling this land. Therefore I am entitled to all of its future product, and if you help me clear and till the land, I'll share it with you. [Thus we invent both capitalism and banking, and all their accompanying transactions. :D]

But that's not how nomadic hunt-and-gather societies work, for example. Not everything is a possession; there's more a notion of custodianship and responsibility; not every possession is individually owned, regardless of who holds custody, and you can't necessarily transfer title to whomever you want.

A stark illustration of this would be slavery. Is a slave a possession of one's owner or does the slave truly own oneself?
This example shows that possession is a social construction -- a story. And the more you can get people to buy into it, the stronger it sticks. And as I've sketched, the ontology of possession -- what can be possessed, by whom and how, and what rights and privileges appertain thereto -- has changed over time, and continues to change.

Therefore, a gift must be a product of ownership, not obligation, or force.
If I collect berries from a wild tree and give them to you, am I really transferring ownership? Or am I simply investing labour in your welfare? Which is being gifted -- the berries or my time and care?

If I subsequently discover that this wild tree was planted by a hiker, who comes by every year with his family to eat those berries, have I gifted them to you, or stolen them? Does it depend on the hiker's story about the tree, and whether the hiker is present to tell it? Does it matter if the hiker comes from an agricultural tradition with notions of possessing assets wrested from nature with labour, or a nomadic tradition, with notions of custodianship, and tribal/land obligations?

Finally, are all gifts tangible? If not, then what does that do to your underlying notion of possession?

In a society with material abundance and excessive self-absorption, I find that the greatest gifts are often immaterial: to give someone sustained, compassionate, honest reflection -- whether it's a loved-one, a friend or stranger -- is a gift they cannot buy. It often has an observable and beneficial impact unachievable any other way. Yet what is being transferred?

If the answer is 'nothing', then what defines the value of the transaction?

Yet, with ownership comes responsibility and with responsibility comes obligation. As parents, a couple takes ownership of its children and taken ownership it also takes responsibility.
So, with ownership comes both freedom and obligation, both liberty and determination; and, the gift, a transference of ownership, a product of that which is free and bound, must of necessity be free and bound, itself
It's a magnificent question, Anthony, but I think it merits further examination. :)
MadCornishBiker
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1/10/2016 10:00:37 PM
Posted: 11 months ago
At 1/10/2016 3:06:25 PM, DanneJeRusse wrote:
At 1/10/2016 1:23:14 PM, MadCornishBiker wrote:

A gift which is given under obligation is not a gift in the true sense of the word, it is merely a price paid for some reason.

The only true gifts are ones given spontaneously and without the demands of the calendar or a special occasion.

Agreed, such was the gift that Jehovah gave us in his only begotten son.

And that is why we are ever in debt to our God and Creator, Jehovah.

That is why we owe him for all he has done for us, i doing for us, and will do for us.

Then, based on your own words, Jehovah never gave us any gifts if we "owe him for all he has done for us".

Oh he has given us many gifts, not least the gift of life.


However he does not want us to give him his due out of duty, he wants it given out of love for him, since it is out of love for us that he does what he does.

But, we owe him for what he has done, you just said that, hence it is a duty and not out of love.

No, he gave out of love, we owe him our love in return.

He does not want gifts of duty, but gifts of love. If we give only out of duty we do not truly appreciate his love.


There is no obligation on his part. He crated us, and we are his to destroy if he so decides.

True he has a certain level of responsibility for having created us, but he more than meets that obligation every day of our lives.

How exactly?

He protects us from the worst of Stan's anger, and to a much more limited extent from ourselves.

He allows the sun to shine, the rain to fall, the ground to produce. He could as easily let it all die out, but he doesn't.


He could have created us to be like the animals, ruled by our bodies and by instinct.

We are animals.

Only if we choose to behave like them.

We were created to be more than animals. We have more free will than animals who have to obey their instincts. We do not, we can choose.


He gave us free will to make certain choices.

He did not give us free will as we are supposed to worship and obey him or else burn for an eternity. That's a threat, not a choice.

No it is not a threat it is a promise.

We can still choose to take advantage of it or not.

Even if you choose to see it as a threat we can still choose to ignore it.


He could have given us a plain and simple diet.

He created a wide variety of foods for us to enjoy.

He could have given us a plain featureless home.

He gave us this beautiful planet to live on, and the Universe to enjoy looking at.

LOL. The universe was created for us to look at? You do realize that we are unable to view anything other than the handful of stars within our own galaxy, right? Yet, billions of galaxies are in the universe, with only a couple nearby that we can barely see.

I take it that you realise that when you look at the starts you are looking at the past, not the present?

How do you know that many of those galaxies even exist now? Light from them has taken us so many centuries, even millions of years, to reach the earth that they may not even exist any more.

That is because the universe is forever changing. It is not as it was when he set it in motion. Stars we can see now probably haven't even existed for millions of years because the light takes that long to reach us. we will never know because we cannot find out what, if anything, is happening there, now.

There may be stars being born which we will not be able to see for millions of years.

When Jehovah created the universe he set in motion a chain reaction. He created for us a spectacular firework display, ever changing, but only very slowly indeed. But then he did originally plan to have us watching it unfold forever, as will be the case when Satan's "trial" is over and all the evidence is in.

We humans make so many assumptions about what we think we see, and I would not be at all surprised to find that 80% of those assumptions are wrong, maybe more.

You look at light from a start which has taken many millions of years to reach us. Is it really still there? or has it been allowed to die out to be replaced by the next one that appears to be a few thousand light years nearer.

Like I said. When we look at the universe we see ancient history, much of which was written before this solar system was created. Anything else is pure guesswork.
s-anthony
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1/11/2016 5:17:45 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
A gift which is given under obligation is not a gift in the true sense of the word, it is merely a price paid for some reason.

The only true gifts are ones given spontaneously and without the demands of the calendar or a special occasion.

This stipulates no condition can be placed on the act of giving, in other words, nothing must compel, or obligate, the giver, not even a sense of empathy, or compassion. The giver gives for no reason whatsoever.

If this were so, why would the giver give to one person over another? Why would the giver give one thing over another?

With every gift, there is a degree of compulsion, whether derived internally by emotions or externally by collective obligations. The act of giving is not volition versus compulsion but volition in relation to compulsion. If an individual felt extreme empathy for the poor to the extent it compelled the individual to give charity in helping the poor, being the donor was compelled by one's emotions, did he, or she, give freely or by force? You may say, "It was the giver's sense of compassion that compelled one to give and not an outside force; therefore, the giver gave freely." However, isn't it the giver's emotions that compel the giver to give in every situation? You may quickly reply by saying, "No, the giver may be forced to give by an act of violence or moral obligations." In the case of violence, it is not merely violence that compels the giver to give but likewise fear. For, if fear had no hold on the giver, violence, itself, would be not reason enough to give. In the case of moral obligation, the giver is compelled by a sense of guilt. In either situation, the giver is controlled by one's emotions. So, why is the emotion of empathy anymore autonomous than the emotion of fear or guilt?
s-anthony
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1/12/2016 3:14:05 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
I say it this way: the measure of love is sacrifice. I think you're describing gifts as an act of love, rather than an act of favour.

I believe love is desire, desires for that which we see as valuable. The attainment of our desires requires sacrifices, it requires expenses. We favour those things we love. If we didn't favour them, why would we love them over any other things? Why is our love specific if not for favour? Why not sacrifice for all things, equally?

The distinction matters: the first connotes no notion of power or status; the second is all about an articulation of status between the giver and recipient. So there may be an ontological question hidden beneath your reflections: is the world intrinsically structured by power relationships, or is it not?

A relationship is a dynamic of positive and negative energies, dominance and submission, give and take, strengths and weaknesses.
RuvDraba
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1/12/2016 3:43:45 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/12/2016 3:14:05 PM, s-anthony wrote:
I say it this way: the measure of love is sacrifice. I think you're describing gifts as an act of love, rather than an act of favour.
I believe love is desire, desires for that which we see as valuable.
Anthony, I'm sorry for not being clear, but I was talking about love for another. I meant compassionate concern -- what the Greeks called agape -- and not material desire. I have suggested that the measure of that is sacrifice. I mentioned that because I think it's key to understanding altruisim and hence gifts.

The distinction matters: the first connotes no notion of power or status; the second is all about an articulation of status between the giver and recipient. So there may be an ontological question hidden beneath your reflections: is the world intrinsically structured by power relationships, or is it not?
A relationship is a dynamic of positive and negative energies, dominance and submission, give and take, strengths and weaknesses.
That seems to describe relationships of dependence, Anthony. What about other kinds?
graceofgod
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1/12/2016 6:47:25 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/10/2016 10:53:06 AM, s-anthony wrote:
What does any of that got to do with, the cost? That you insist has to be. A gift is a gift, if the receiver pays or owes nothing for it. There"s no more to it then that. Otherwise there are conditions applied and that has nothing to do with a gift. Wow, you are correct about your confusion. Or are you trying to justify something, that would be less than above board?

As I see it, a gift is a transference of ownership from the giver to the receiver. With ownership comes responsibility, and with responsibility comes obligation. Obligation is a forced expense; it's a duty. Parents are responsible for their children and therefore obligated to them. If you own a car, the car is your obligation. The cost of the gift is in the ownership of the gift.

no not really, you are placing the obligation upon yourself to use the gift wisely or not, the giver did not place that obligation upon you, the gift is free, you could burn it, destroy it any way you wished, bin, it, ignore it, or just leave it sat in the corner, the gift is still free..
s-anthony
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1/12/2016 8:35:13 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
Anthony, I'm sorry for not being clear, but I was talking about love for another. I meant compassionate concern -- what the Greeks called agape -- and not material desire. I have suggested that the measure of that is sacrifice. I mentioned that because I think it's key to understanding altruisim and hence gifts.

If you love another human being, you have a desire for that person. You don't love, human or otherwise, that which you don't desire. Empathy, compassion, or altruism is the capacity to form emotional connections. If you don't desire someone, you definitely don't want to form emotional connections.
s-anthony
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1/12/2016 8:48:58 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
no not really, you are placing the obligation upon yourself to use the gift wisely or not, the giver did not place that obligation upon you, the gift is free, you could burn it, destroy it any way you wished, bin, it, ignore it, or just leave it sat in the corner, the gift is still free..

I never said the giver placed any obligation on the receiver. I said, "With ownership comes...obligation". If you would like to own something, you are obliged to maintain it. If you don't take responsibility for it, you are not taking ownership of it. The piece of property will soon be lost to whomever or whatever decides to lay hold of it.
graceofgod
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1/12/2016 9:08:10 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/12/2016 8:48:58 PM, s-anthony wrote:
no not really, you are placing the obligation upon yourself to use the gift wisely or not, the giver did not place that obligation upon you, the gift is free, you could burn it, destroy it any way you wished, bin, it, ignore it, or just leave it sat in the corner, the gift is still free..

I never said the giver placed any obligation on the receiver. I said, "With ownership comes...obligation". If you would like to own something, you are obliged to maintain it. If you don't take responsibility for it, you are not taking ownership of it. The piece of property will soon be lost to whomever or whatever decides to lay hold of it.

not at all if the owner decides not to bother with the gift it is the owners right, obligation is placed purely by the receiver if they want to but there is none if they do not wish any..
RuvDraba
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1/12/2016 9:18:52 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/12/2016 8:35:13 PM, s-anthony wrote:
Anthony, I'm sorry for not being clear, but I was talking about love for another. I meant compassionate concern -- what the Greeks called agape -- and not material desire. I have suggested that the measure of that is sacrifice. I mentioned that because I think it's key to understanding altruisim and hence gifts.
If you love another human being, you have a desire for that person.
Seeking what? Fulfilled how?

If that conjecture were false, Anthony, how would you know it?
s-anthony
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1/12/2016 10:37:29 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
not at all if the owner decides not to bother with the gift it is the owners right, obligation is placed purely by the receiver if they want to but there is none if they do not wish any..

Correct. The receiver is under no obligation to accept the gift or to maintain the gift.
graceofgod
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1/12/2016 11:06:57 PM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/12/2016 10:37:29 PM, s-anthony wrote:
not at all if the owner decides not to bother with the gift it is the owners right, obligation is placed purely by the receiver if they want to but there is none if they do not wish any..

Correct. The receiver is under no obligation to accept the gift or to maintain the gift.

yep that's right... and of course if the receiver wishes to they can treasure the gift ..
s-anthony
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1/13/2016 2:20:22 AM
Posted: 10 months ago
At 1/12/2016 11:06:57 PM, graceofgod wrote:
At 1/12/2016 10:37:29 PM, s-anthony wrote:
not at all if the owner decides not to bother with the gift it is the owners right, obligation is placed purely by the receiver if they want to but there is none if they do not wish any..

Correct. The receiver is under no obligation to accept the gift or to maintain the gift.

yep that's right... and of course if the receiver wishes to they can treasure the gift ..

I think it might be important to point out: if the receiver refuses to accept the gift or maintain it, the receiver refuses ownership.