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Holiday Skirmish: TheVagabond vs Maxmars : "Scrooge; What A Guy!!"

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posted on Dec, 12 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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The topic for this debate is "It Is Better To Give Than To Receive, Especially At Christmas"

TheVagabond will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Maxmars will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

There is a 10,000 character limit per post.

Any character count in excess of 10,000 will be deleted prior to the judging process.

Editing is strictly forbidden. For reasons of time, mod edits should not be expected except in critical situations.

Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references.

Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. Each individual post may contain up to 10 sentences of external source material, totaled from all external sources.

Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference but there is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed before judging.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.

When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceded by a direct answer.

This Is The Time Limit Policy:

Each debate must post within 24 hours of the timestamp on the last post. If your opponent is late, you may post immediately without waiting for an announcement of turn forfeiture. If you are late, you may post late, unless your opponent has already posted.

Each debater is entitled to one extension of 24 hours. The request should be posted in this thread and is automatically granted- the 24 hour extension begins at the expiration of the previous deadline, not at the time of the extension request.

In the unlikely event that tardiness results in simultaneous posting by both debaters, the late post will be deleted unless it appears in its proper order in the thread.

Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.


[edit on 12/13/2008 by semperfortis]




posted on Dec, 13 2008 @ 01:45 AM
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I'd like to thank Semperfortis, the judges, and my opponent for their investment of time in making this series of skirmishes happen. Goodluck Maxmars.

Criteria for Evaluation
Some might naturally assume that in arguing that it is better to give than to receive, I will be forced to rely entirely on moral arguments. On the contrary, I intend to undermine the very basis of my opponent's case by demonstrating that the individual giving a gift stands to derive the greatest benefit from the transaction.

The Nature of Giving
We have probably all heard and even said, it is the thought that counts. Have you ever stopped to wonder why? Ask yourself what element of the act of giving could possibly be more meaningful than the gift itself.
I am happy to tell you the answer.

The heart of the act of giving is not the transfer of property. Getting a puppy for Christmas is somehow more meaningful than finding one "free to good home" in the paper. The interaction between the giver and the recipient creates additional benefits for both. The majority of that benefit, which far outweighs the gift itself, is to the person giving the gift. Additionally, because the giver is the one taking the initiative, that person has a larger degree of control over the situation, and is the one most able to shape the entire experience to his or her desire.


Over the course of my next three posts, I will detail several of the most important features of the gift exchange and how the benefits of that exchange are distributed between the giver and the recipient.

For now, I will conclude with a couple socratic questions for my opponent.

Question 1: Do you have any basis to dispute my contention that the meaning of a gift and its impact on a relationship outweigh the value of the gift itself?

Question 2: Do you agree that the giver has an equal share in the above mentioned relationship?



posted on Dec, 13 2008 @ 06:02 PM
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Ah, the dance begins; queue the holiday jingles and stage the appropriate cultural accoutrements for the event.

It with humility and cheer that I engage in this opportunity to debate the mighty Vagabond. "Thank you" to the providers for the chance. And as teaser, you may find more to my response than meets they eye... let's see what we shall see!


I will take the liberty of apologizing to my esteemed opponent in advance, for I will offer an opening that may undermined the course you are determined to take. I suspect this will present an inconvenience to your case.

To the 'forms' of the debate!


Question 1: Do you have any basis to dispute my contention that the meaning of a gift and its impact on a relationship outweigh the value of the gift itself?


I would base my dispute with your contention on the fact that is is inherently one-sided. Let me share with you...

In any action whereupon on individual 'gives' to another, something of value has exchanged hands. The value can be notional and not material. But in the end one must have something the other, after the act, lacks. So this rules out the romanticism of 'giving love' or 'good memories' or 'fond wishes' as a subject of this study in the purported 'virtue' of giving for the sake of all that is warm and fuzzy.

Essentially, the nature of the relationship rules the gift giving paradigm, and therein lies the flawed thinking surround "It is better to give....".


Question 2: Do you agree that the giver has an equal share in the above mentioned relationship?


I cannot agree to such a restriction because it ignores the 'ultimate' act of giving, namely the anonymous gift. Which in many cases may very well be, the ultimate act of selfishness!


Now, as for defining the parameters of the debate, if I may share your categorizations;

Criteria for Evaluation

Unfortunately, and perhaps unexpectedly (I can only hope
), I am not among those who will be dissuaded from presenting a most moral objection to the notion of the superiority of 'giving' over 'receiving.'

In fact, once the act of giving is exercised, the recipient must, by definition, have a new acquired item of value (or measurable benefit) which the 'giver' has abandoned to the recipient. This makes the receiver automatically the winner in the exchange, based on the completion of the act of giving.

The Nature of Giving

Giving, is in it's rawest form, devoid of emotion and social weight. It is a simple transaction. The gift itself in real terms is finite and of pertinent value to the recipient, otherwise it would not be available to give. This also eliminates the need to dive into the bizarre, e.g. "I gift you a punch in the face", or any such thing that the recipient would naturally not desire.

What mankind has allowed itself to do is to associate emotional content and moral meaning to the act. Essentially, humans, as the compulsive communicators we are, can't resist assigning meaning to every action - thus giving becomes an act of control and ego definition.

The 'giver' is always in the superior social position, automatically create emotional 'debt' on the party of the recipient, causing the deficit to become personalized and usually 'inducing' such reciprocation as the 'recipient turned giver' deems appropriate.

In fact, the givers initiative can also be abused to curry favor or consideration otherwise not forthcoming. I can't recall many times the question "May I give you a gift?" precedes the giving. And that is telling.

But I must not linger, after all this is an opening post, and I am certain my capable opponent is formulating a response even as it is being read by others.

Suffice to say,I need not debate the mater regarding the benefit of receiving because it is self-evident that the receiver is the net gainer in the exchange. I contend that other considerations are either social, psychological, or cultural constructs which only complicate the act of receiving a gift.

For Socratic questions, I choose to share these questions...,


1 - Would you say that you have never experienced a degree of discomfort at a gift you have received? To expand, I am referring to a sense of imposed social or cultural obligation ('I must reciprocate somehow'), or guilt ("I didn't get him/her anything") or ("I only got them something that pales in comparison"), or reluctant acceptance ("Yuk, that is the UGLIEST thing!") or ("I don't want this person giving me gifts!")

If no, thank you, if yes please tell me how in the balance of the 'giving initiative' this can be balanced against the discomfort of the recipient.

2 - Has a former 'giver' ever 'reminded' you of a gift they gave you, in an unwelcome manner? Does 'the thought' still count, if it is in fact 'counted'?



posted on Dec, 14 2008 @ 04:44 PM
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I will be using my extention for this post.



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 03:48 AM
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My opponent has made a few mistakes which segway rather nicely into the point I will be making in this post, so forgive me if I do not compartmentalize my rebuttal and my several arguments as per usual.


In fact, once the act of giving is exercised, the recipient must, by definition, have a new acquired item of value (or measurable benefit) which the 'giver' has abandoned to the recipient. This makes the receiver automatically the winner in the exchange, based on the completion of the act of giving.


This quote from my opponent represents the most obvious challenge to the proposition that it is better to give than to receive. Many people pondering the question never get any further than this challenge in fact.

However simple economics blow this problem right out of the water. Value is relative. The value of an item which creates a "public bad" or which has a cost of ownership or opportunity cost can even be negative for an owner who does not derive any offsetting benefit from the item, while being positive for a new owner who can derive offsetting benefits from the item.

For example, I once had a car which, if I had kept it any longer, would have had a value for me of worse than -$1000 (the home owners association gave me one week's notice of an impending fine, and there were many and varried minor costs on top of that). But for somebody else, it would have been worth $800 or less (That was the bluebook on it, but nobody wanted to pay that much- believe me, I tried to make them). So I gave up and gave the car to charity, even though I don't even itemize my tax deductions. When I gave the car away, I gained more than the person who got the car.

So even from a strictly material point of view, it can be better to give than to receive. Thus my opponent is missing the point when he says the following:


I need not debate the mater regarding the benefit of receiving because it is self-evident that the receiver is the net gainer in the exchange.


In truth, the receiver is ONE net gainer in material terms, but not necessarily the sole net gainer. Therefore, given the proposition "It is Better to give..." the question, even if we judge strictly in material terms, is not merely who gains, but who gains the most.

The answer to that question is entirely dependent on who the giver is, who the recipient is, and what the gift is, because value is relative.

And who controls those factors? The giver. The giver decides what item to give, the giver decides who to give to. Whether or not the giver decides who he is himself is a whole other philosophical can of worms but essentially irrelevant as the giver may adjust the other two factors to the equilibrium point of his choosing. The giver controls the values on both sides of the transaction and is in a position to make it better to give than to receive. For it to be materially better to receive, the giver must make it so.

Having handled the material side of the question, we move on to the ethereal side of giving- if it exists at all. My opponent apparently isn't certain that it does, but is rather a separate issue which humans optionally tack on to the act of giving


I contend that other considerations are either social, psychological, or cultural constructs which only complicate the act of receiving a gift.


This is putting the cart before the horse however. This essentially suggests that the act of giving comes first and the motive for doing so arises afterwards as nothing more than a side-effect.

In truth, as my opponent has said, humans are "compulsive communicators" (my opponent's phrase). We can't help ourselves- we have to communicate. Sometimes we go insane if we don't communicate. It's not an accident that gifts take on meaning. They are intended to have a meaning, and that intent is received. This is precisely what separates a gift from the abandonment of property to another, as my opponent so coldly described it.
(I know what that's making you think about the car example I started with Maxmars and I hereby sincerely and in good faith advise you not to bother trying- that's why I gave the car to charity instead of having my redneck uncle help me set it on fire and shoot it full of holes, even though the later would have been pretty fun.)

The item being given is a medium of communication, comparable to the vibration of air against tiny hairs in your ear when someone sings to you. The gift, like the sensory input of a song, may be gratifying (or sometimes may not be, as many a knit sweater and Kenny G album have proven) however the primary value of the gift is in the intent. The act of giving is primarily an act of communication.

My opponent might like to continue to insist that the communication is a psychological and cultural construct and somehow less worthy of our consideration than the material, but consider this. What if the gift is a CD? A CD is a worthless peice of plastic with a bunch of mathematically predictable micro-imperfections. The material value of the CD and its content are psychological and cultural constructs themselves, yet they are real in their impact and cannot be ignored.

So on which side do we find the balance of the very real value of the communicative aspect of a gift?

Again with the giver, and for nearly the same reasons that applied to the material aspects. The giver decides what to communicate, how best to communicate it, and who to communicate it to. The receivers role is entirely reactive, and more often than not can be correctly anticipated by the giver. While in most cases the giver intends to communicate affection and therefore the most prominent benefit of the communication is mutual, the balance is tipped both by the givers control and the giver's imperfect knowledge, which will result in some cases where the overall experience is maximized for the giver while only good for the receiver, among other results which favor the giver.

This brings us to my opponent's socratic questions.

Re: 1. No, I have never felt discomfort because of a gift in the sense that you describe. Although I have received some unimpressive gifts, one of which is in a basket above my computer right now and may not be seen again by human eyes until I am dead and my possessions are at auction, none of them was ever of a negative material value to me at the time that I received them, and all of them communicated at least a marginally positive message to me (in the case of the bumpersticker in the basket above my computer, it communicated that someone thinks my sense of humor outweighs my sense of materialism- I'm not completely sure about whether or not that is accurate, but it's a flattering message). Whether this means that my social life is really really good or just not very extensive, I'm am uncertain.

Speaking of me being dead and my possessions being at auction, I can't help but wonder. Does consciousness persist beyond the body? Because if it does, (I stress the if because I do happen to be an atheist) I could perhaps take the messages communicated through the medium of gifts into some kind of an afterlife. The gifts themselves- no chance- unless instead of heaven or hell I die and go to an auction house.


Re: 2. Again the answer is no, however, I am going to pretend that the answer is yes because that is more damaging to your case.

If the answer were yes, and I had in fact been reminded of a gift in an unwelcome manner, the thought would count very much, which is precisely why I would become very angry at the individual in question. The communicative value of the gift would become negative, as the intended communication of the gift would be revealed as being that the giver desired to control me, and that negative would far outweigh the positive material value of the gift (which is not changed by this revelation).

So you see, your own question proves the superiority of the value of a gift in terms of communication over the value of a gift in material terms. Communication is neither zero sum nor one-way. Both sides may gain, the value of the gains can be relative, and the individual who seizes the initiative in communication is at a natural advantage.


Socratic Questions:
Hypothetically, if your significant other, all of your best friends, and your parents all got together to give you a special christmas feast, and then it turned out that they had not set one single item of food on the table that you were not fatally allergic to...
1. Would you be appreciative or insulted?
2. What aspect of the situation would be the main cause of your feeling on the matter?

3. Ever dance with the devil by the pale moon light?
(you don't have to answer that last one, I'm just fond of movie quotes and playing the bad guy)



posted on Dec, 15 2008 @ 03:19 PM
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My opponent has made a few mistakes …,


Well, we may or may not disagree on this point… But since my opponent was kind enough to give me this notice of errors, I will reign in my enthusiasm.


I previously stated, “Once the act of giving is exercised, the recipient must, by definition, have a new acquired item of value (or measurable benefit) which the 'giver' has abandoned to the recipient. This makes the receiver automatically the winner in the exchange, based on the completion of the act of giving.”

As with any debate, the matter of generalization leads to the possibility of misdirection, since all things are, in fact relative, there will always be divergent examples which stand outside the parameters of the generalization. For example, TheVagabond points out the net gain for the giver in a scenario involving the donation of a vehicle to charity yields a higher material gain to the giver in tax-offsets than the value of the donation itself. My esteemed opponent proceeds to evaluate the existence of this exceptional circumstance as a foundation to state:


So even from a strictly material point of view, it can be better to give than to receive. Thus my opponent is missing the point when he says the following:


I need not debate the mater regarding the benefit of receiving because it is self-evident that the receiver is the net gainer in the exchange.


In truth, the receiver is ONE net gainer in material terms, but not necessarily the sole net gainer. Therefore, given the proposition "It is Better to give..." the question, even if we judge strictly in material terms, is not merely who gains, but who gains the most.


I must however point out that if the act of giving is to be undertaken as a gesture of gain for the giver; the act is not really one of ‘giving,’ is it? If the purpose is to increase the value (material or notional) of the giver, the act itself loses its’ moral high-ground and becomes self-serving. This is not giving; it is serving one’s own interests and thus does not meet the criteria of giving as a ‘gift.’ The benefit to the recipient then becomes incidental and of little or even no consequence, i.e. there is no ‘message’ in the gift that can be seen as altruistic or meaningful as ‘giving’.

Also, if we are to focus on ‘net gain’ as the controlling variable used to render the final evaluation of which is better, giving or receiving, we are then left to quibble over who values what, and how much. The only way to deal with that would be by an instance-by-instance analysis of the act, which is a dead end; since everything is relative and all acts thus taken are undeniably unique.

Perhaps we should both avoid the inclusion of the ‘gift’ as a determinant of the ‘giving.’ But I am not sure that would necessarily make this debate any less difficult.


The giver controls the values on both sides of the transaction and is in a position to make it better to give than to receive. For it to be materially better to receive, the giver must make it so.


I must disagree with my opponent on this position. The giver, may wish to control the control the value on both sides of the equation. But such control is illusory and self-deluded.

This is a point I was hoping to make.

If we are to assume that all gift giving is a form of communication, and that the initiative of the act derives from the giver, we can state that the giver is on the offensive end of the transaction. The giver approaches the receiver; the giver imbues the gift with intent and meaning, and then must cover the void between the gift and the intended recipient. This is not a position of strength.

The defensive position of the receiver leaves him or her in total control. The receiver may refuse the gift, or decide upon his or her own, to ‘attribute whatever meaning he or she is inclined to accept. They may receive the gift as an insult, whether so intended or not, or he or she may decide to be grateful; but in the end, it is the receiver who decides the fate of the gift, and so controls the ultimate meaning it will have, leaving the giver the only option to attempt to reassert control of the message (gift) which is at that point no longer theirs to give again.

I stand by my statement that we humans are compulsive communicators, seeking to assign meaning to everything we do, or experience; even if the situation, or event, is simply a base component of reality. As a result, we muddle otherwise easily defined aspects of life with burdens of presumed consciousness or delusions of morality.

Interestingly, the receiver bears no such burden, unless the psychological, cultural, or social climate imposes it. Without that complicating factor, receive is inherently the superior position, the remainder of the equation being relegated to the ‘imagined’ or ‘contrived.’

However, even in the environment where the receiver is bound by external conditions, we can clearly see theirs is the true superior position. It is the recipient who will offer the reaction to the action of giving. While it may be a predictable thank you, or otherwise, the truth is the freedom to choose what to turn a particular act of giving into is the domain of the recipient. He or she may construe it completely incorrectly, or twist the intent far beyond the scope or plans of the giver. Giving is an act of open vulnerability in this regard.

The essential giving is a simple matter, oft-times painfully burdened with emotional or social baggage, and less frequently, empty hollow matters of obligation or ‘proper form.’ Receiving is more like a blank template, scripted by the recipient.

Hence, when I was quoted, saying;


I contend that other considerations are either social, psychological, or cultural constructs which only complicate the act of receiving a gift.


My meaning was in fact contrary to what my opponent perceived:

This is putting the cart before the horse however. This essentially suggests that the act of giving comes first and the motive for doing so arises afterwards as nothing more than a side-effect.


In its essential form, giving and the motive or intent behind it are two completely separate and distinct aspects of the act. While the giver may ‘wish’ to implant a certain meaning or message in the gift, they are not truly in control of the meaning or message received. The horse and cart analogy cannot apply to this as my opponent attempts. Simply, from the position of the giver the motive precedes the gift, but the giving does not end there, the recipient must receive the gift and then conceptually ‘react’ to the message, making the value of the message (or intent) the last element of the process.

And now, for your responses to my opening Socratic questions;

Re: 1. No….,


I would consider you luckier than I. My point however, was well circumvented by your response (dang it!). Such was the point that I wished to invoke that the ‘feedback’ from the ‘input’ of gift giving is not always a wash of equally balanced communicative expression. But don’t expect this to be the last time I will present that little gem.


Re: 2. Again the answer is no, however, I am going to pretend that the answer is yes because that is more damaging to your case.

Okay, that’s just wrong! You know, you seem to be trying to win this debate. Now I will have to invest more emotional currency in the gifts I send to the judges… (j/k) :p

Again, the side-stepped point shows an important aspect within the subject. That while giving a gift is a form of communication, it is not always sincere. In fact, you as the receiver may not even be aware of the attempt to control being thrust upon you. But the power is within you, the receiver, to rebuff or modify the feedback message, which shows that the recipient is more in control than the giver, since response and evaluation is the final communication element.


Socratic Questions:
Hypothetically, if your significant other, all of your best friends, and your parents all got together to give you a special Christmas feast, and then it turned out that they had not set one single item of food on the table that you were not fatally allergic to...


For the sake of simplicity I must answer based upon a choice of scenarios. If I presume my allergies are not known to these people; it is a matter of ignorance and lack of due diligence in preparation. So to answer:


1. Would you be appreciative or insulted?


I would be appreciative and apologetic for not having made my sensitivities known beforehand. This way I have removed the initiative from the givers, and thus voided any ill feelings my demise may have caused.


2. What aspect of the situation would be the main cause of your feeling on the matter?


Protecting the ‘givers’ from the emotional burden of potentially killings me.


3. Ever dance with the devil by the pale moon light?
(you don't have to answer that last one, I'm just fond of movie quotes and playing the bad guy)


A Socratic question MUST be answered. Therefore I reluctantly admit, such a dance took place, but I neither inhaled nor enjoyed it (he’s a smokin’ horny bastard!)

As I am out of space, I will forgo the Socratic questions I had in mind... (lucky you) ... I would like you to consider it a gift!


[edit on 12/15/2008 by semperfortis]



posted on Dec, 16 2008 @ 03:03 AM
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Ah, more than a week till Christmas and I've already gotten what I really wanted. I think Maxmars just made me a fan of Hanukkah. In the spirit of giving, I hope that's not the only thing he changes my mind about in the course of this debate. (PS, for the next day of Hanukkah, I would like more socratic questions to turn around on you).


originally posted by Maxmars: If the purpose is to increase the value (material or notional) of the giver, the act itself loses its’ moral high-ground and becomes self-serving. This is not giving; it is serving one’s own interests and thus does not meet the criteria of giving as a ‘gift.’ The benefit to the recipient then becomes incidental and of little or even no consequence, i.e. there is no ‘message’ in the gift that can be seen as altruistic or meaningful as ‘giving’...

Perhaps we should both avoid the inclusion of the ‘gift’ as a determinant of the ‘giving.’ But I am not sure that would necessarily make this debate any less difficult.


So my opponent admits that the message communicated by the gift over-rides the gift itself, contradicting his earlier contention that:


Giving, is in it's rawest form, devoid of emotion and social weight. It is a simple transaction.


Having won the day on the subject of material versus communicative value, I perceive that only one of my opponent's rebuttals regarding the material aspect remains relevant, as it speaks to the conduct rather than the intent of the debate. The rebuttal I speak of is the following:


TheVagabond points out the net gain for the giver in a scenario involving the donation of a vehicle to charity yields a higher material gain to the giver in tax-offsets than the value of the donation itself.


I was very clear that I do not itemize my tax deductions. The value was not derived from the transfer of the item, but merely from the absence of the item from my possession afterwards. While the material aspect has been conceded and has become irrelevant, I still find this particular error relevant in that it, at best, displays a lack of attention to detail and at worst a deliberate misrepresentation, both of which the reader should be wary of while weighing this question.

Let us not trouble ourselves further with a point that has been resolved though. On to the communicative value of gifts.

On this issue, my opponent has also made concessions, acknowledging that the giver has the initiative (or as he characterizes it, "the offensive", as if a gift were an act of war) and the receiver is in a reactive position (the defensive as my opponent puts it). Having served in the United States Marine Corps and having taken it upon myself to complete a very large portion of both the Commandant's and Sgt. Major's recommended reading lists, I could cite at length from Commandant Krulak's Warfighting, Sun Tsu's Art of War, Rifleman Dodd, Starship Troopers and other works proving that the offensive position is the position of strength.
I will spare you the heavy reading though on two grounds:
First, that the idea of a gift as an act of aggression ignores the bilateral benefit of the exchange and is thus a return to the zero-sum logic that I have already refuted without challenge from my opponent.
Second, that viewed through the lens of communication, it suggests the unwillingness of the recipient to engage; a suggestion not supported by the vast majority of observed cases, as any of us here can attest from experience.

So let us continue to treat this in terms of initiative and reaction without assumption of either hostile or amicable relations, for the sake of broadest applicability.

For the one taking the initiative, options are virtually infinite, as I pointed out previously in regard to the giver's control of both gift and the choice of recipient, and the giver's status as the party with the greatest foreknowledge upon which to base expectations and plans for the interaction. The receivers options are quite finite on the other hand. He has received a designated item from a designated person and may either accept it or reject it. One may then react of course, but one's reception of the item occurs at an emotional level, not a cognitive level. When one reacts negatively to a gift that was not intended to convey a negative message, this is by definition a mistake, which in turn by definition is not intentional. What is not intended is not controlled. Therefore such instances do not illustrate any position of control for the recipient.

My opponent is however correct that the receiver controls the ultimate fate of the gift itself. I can give him that much. It's a shame that he's already tacitly admitted that he was completely wrong about the material gift being the meaningful element.

(Sorry for accidentally escaping that question last time Maxmars- if I'd known what you were trying to prove I would have pretended the answer was yet, like I did with question 2. And while I'm having a pleasant aside with my opponent, who I can honestly say I respect very highly for how rapidly he has evaluated the subtleties of the topic, even among the almost uniformly elite field of names that have become notches in my belt before [not to mention the unnamed rat bastard who recently defeated me], I would like to add that if he intends to curry favor by gifts, he will find that Springer is partial to Maker's Mark brand Whiskey, although he has never judged a debate to my knowledge).


At this point I have addressed all of my opponent's arguments and have defended the previously established superiority of the giving position, leaving us with my opponent's responses to socratic questions to be addressed.

That my opponent would be both appreciative and apologetic for dying I will accept as true because he has proven to be an individual of remarkably good humor and sportsmanship, however this only furthers the proof that intent is paramount. However I fail to see how gratitude for involuntary manslaughter constitutes a position of control, despite his contention.

And in regard to my second question, he states that his concern would be to protect the givers from the guilt of having killed him. This only reinforces the fact that the recipient is in a reactive position of finite options. Otherwise I'm quite confident that his primary concern would be to remain alive. (If not, he's simply a better man than I. While this is not a difficult status to obtain, I salute it none the less.)

For the response to my third socratic question (TWISI, I hope to god you aren't reading this, even though you already know I'm an evil sexist pig): Odd. The devil I met had the most amazing breasts you ever saw. (go ahead, postulate that it was a fat male- as a fat male I will understand).

And for flavor, a single socratic question:
1. Who is winning this debate?



posted on Dec, 16 2008 @ 03:29 PM
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Ah, more than a week till Christmas and I've already gotten what I really wanted. I think Maxmars just made me a fan of Hanukkah. In the spirit of giving, I hope that's not the only thing he changes my mind about in the course of this debate. (PS, for the next day of Hanukkah, I would like more socratic questions to turn around on you).


Grrrr. If you continue to try and win this debate I will be forced to pout (my secret weapon). When questioned regarding my pouting (bear in mind the tune accompanying “You better not put, you better not cry…..”) I will simply state that “its The Vagabond’s fault!” and you will get a lump of coal in your shoe (thus increasing your carbon footprint)! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

As for my statements: “If the purpose is to increase the value (material or notional) of the giver, the act itself … becomes self-serving. … The benefit to the recipient then becomes incidental and of little or even no consequence, i.e. there is no ‘message’ in the gift that can be seen as altruistic or meaningful as ‘giving’...”


So my opponent admits that the message communicated by the gift over-rides the gift itself, contradicting his earlier contention that:
“Giving is ... a simple transaction.”


You are misrepresenting my message, indicating either a lacking in the construction of my argument (me? Never! – OK, maybe occasionally, but not this time!), or you are ‘spinning’ the statement as is necessary to salvage your contention that the value (be it material or communicative) of a gift is controlled by the giver, thus erroneously giving the impression that the giver position is superior to that of the recipient.

This contention cannot stand on its own. I have quite clearly stated that the two are separate aspects in the exercise of ‘giving/receiving gifts’ and are not interdependent. Thus the communicative element is window dressing to a simple act.


Having won the day on the subject of material versus communicative value…,


The judges may disagree, although I admire the idea of putting it in their head that you did. I prefer to think that they can decide for themselves – (judges: think ‘expensive gifts,’ as in from me to you..,
)


I was very clear that I do not itemize my tax deductions. The value was not derived from the transfer of the item…,


I never intended to imply otherwise. I was merely observing that judging gifts based on material value alone can demonstrate many ‘exceptional’ circumstances which demonstrate how a giver might benefit more than a receiver. In fact the same can be said of the communicative value, there are and always will be exceptional circumstances in which the giver seeks a return of higher value than anything the receiver might enjoy. In any such case, the circumstance exists because of extraneous considerations which are separate and distinct from the gift itself, and as such, render the giving secondary to the gift. By that fact alone, one can see that the giving is not genuine as intended within the context of the debate topic “It is better to give than receive.” Unless the hidden concession my opponent is trying to disguise is that there is in fact no particular measure of benefit (or value) to which his logic can apply consistently.

My position on the other hand is quite universal. Regardless of messages, intent, or other ‘qualifying’ aspects of the act, it is the giver who is least significant when rendering the “better or worse” judgment. On the whole, the receiver has the power and discretion to choose what is the outcome of the gift giving. All arguments to the contrary involve social, cultural, or psychological maxims that are imposed upon the act; but are not part of the act itself.


On this issue, my opponent has also made concessions, acknowledging that the giver has the initiative (or as he characterizes it, "the offensive", as if a gift were an act of war) and the receiver is in a reactive position (the defensive as my opponent puts it).


From a strictly clinical perspective, it is. Gifts are unsolicited transfers of value from one to another. Considering that the recipient must react (accepting, rejecting, or imposing his or her own ‘meaning’ to the gift) theirs is a defensive (or perhaps more clinically, “reactive”) position. The onus and power to deal with the act comes from the receiver.

Within certain very specialized situations, offense is a projection of strength; however, I believe that to characterize it as preferable to a well-constructed defensive reaction is a misunderstanding of strategic theory. While I am familiar Krulak, and Sun Tzu, I have never interpreted them to indicate that an offensive strike is superior unless the defensive capabilities and reaction are known and anticipated.

When ‘giving’ a gift, it is impossible to be certain of the reaction you will receive; thus demonstrating the inherent vulnerability in the act. (Also, offense is inherently an extension which exposes the actor to unexpected reactions; and it is also consumes more resources). As for Starship Troopers, I found Heinlein to lean towards a fascist mentality, so I don’t adhere to his militaristic attitudes.


I will spare you the heavy reading though on two grounds:
First, that the idea of a gift as an act of aggression ignores the bilateral benefit of the exchange and is thus a return to the zero-sum logic that I have already refuted without challenge from my opponent.


There is a distinct difference between what you perceive as no challenge and what hasn’t been challenged. I have directly addressed the notional bilateral benefit of exchange as mutual acceptance of a paradigm, which cannot be assumed to be the case. But let me not repeat myself.


So let us continue to treat this in terms of initiative and reaction without assumption of either hostile or amicable relations, for the sake of broadest applicability.


OK, let’s do that.


The receiver’s options are quite finite on the other hand. … One may then react of course, but one's reception of the item occurs at an emotional level, not a cognitive level. When one reacts negatively to a gift that was not intended to convey a negative message, this is by definition a mistake …


I cannot agree. The giver has but one option; to give. The choice of gift and recipient are incidental to the event, it could be anything to anyone. That those options are ‘infinite’ does not include the element of the will of the recipient. The recipient is free to construe or engineer any response, genuine or contrived.


My opponent is however correct that the receiver controls the ultimate fate of the gift itself. I can give him that much.

Well, now we’re getting somewhere. Maybe you won’t get that lump of coal after all!


It's a shame that he's already tacitly admitted that he was completely wrong about the material gift being the meaningful element.


What?! Who?! I never said that! I have maintained those elements are incidental. What is meaningful is subjective to both receiver and giver. The receiver controls the outcome of the process; as such they are the arbiter of the ‘meaning’ or lack thereof; subjecting the giver to his or her judgment. The power rests in that final determination. The giver is ‘opening’ himself (or herself) to the whim of the receiver’s ‘evaluation’.


(Sorry for accidentally escaping that question last time Maxmars…


You’re not fooling anyone, you did that on purpose! Thanks for the whiskey tip though, you never know when it’ll come in handy (I doubt Springer has ever even heard of me – but Maker's Mark Whiskey is a great tool for introductions!). At any rate, I’m sure other judges may appreciate some aged beverage.., or jewels, or other such niceties (judges, pay attention! – my winning could be ‘beneficial’ to you too
)


… However I fail to see how gratitude for involuntary manslaughter constitutes a position of control, despite his contention.


You are assuming I ate the food in the scenario, I was assuming I narrowly avoided death. Now if we are postulating my death (how unseemly) I would say that my reaction would have been more focused on dying with dignity, pulling the tablecloth while slipping from my seat, spilling the contents of the table to the ground, before vomiting and soiling myself in a raging fit of flailing and spitting; so much for my dignity.


And in regard to my second question, he states that his concern would be to protect the givers from the guilt of having killed him

Again with the whole ‘killing me’ thing! I am beginning to feel a twinge of paranoia… I hope you’re not trying to tell me something I’m too dense to follow. Once again my response was framed as one who ‘almost’ was killed. Sigh. My inner child is wounded. *sniff*

At the end, both Socratic questions led to the same end, with ‘mine’ (the receiver) being the determinant and operative judgment upon the act. Seems to me that clearly demonstrates the superiority of the receiver’s position.


And for flavor, a single Socratic question:
1. Who is winning this debate?


I prefer to think of it as an adventure where all parties share in the exposition of profound thought, and the ramblings of acute minds.
To be more concise, I am winning this debate. But my objective is for us to get to the bottom of this burning mystery - which IS better; to give or receive?

All kidding aside, this has been one of the most enjoyable debating experiences I have had. Sincerely, you have expanded my horizons – thank you TV.

A single Socratic question (don't want to disappoint you):

Putting all matters of value aside, given the opportunity, what constitutes a 'meaningful' gift, if the receiver is unaware of the act? (e.g. flowers to a comatose patient).


[edit on 12/16/2008 by semperfortis]



posted on Dec, 16 2008 @ 03:38 PM
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delete

[edit on 16-12-2008 by Maxmars]



posted on Dec, 17 2008 @ 03:27 PM
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My opponent's latest post is dedicated almost entirely to trying to fix and deny the contradictions in his own argument that I have pointed out. I leave it to the reader to decide on how credible his attempts to do so really are.

There is one new bit of support for my position in his latest post though.


Putting all matters of value aside, given the opportunity, what constitutes a 'meaningful' gift, if the receiver is unaware of the act? (e.g. flowers to a comatose patient).


This is intended to be a trap question. My opponent sets aside both value and communication (communication he thinks is ruled out by stipulating that the receiver must be unaware), and thus thinks he's given me a real stumper I'm sure.

But let's go with the response my opponent apparently wants me to take. Let's think about bringing flowers to a comatose patient for a minute. What exactly is the material value of flowers to someone who is not receiving sensory input? Nihl.
So when you give flowers to a comatose patient, you attempt to communicate with them. They do not receive your communication, nor the material value of the gift. Yet people do it. Could it be because the giver still benefits from a gesture of communication? Nobody gets the material benefit, the receiver doesn't even have to be able to participate, and givers still derive benefit from giving.


As the 24 hour window is closing quite quickly I will end it here. What else is there to say anyway, until my opponent figures out what he really meant to say.



posted on Dec, 18 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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I must admit, my opponent’s last entry presents an interesting divergence. I find myself imagining that he simply ran out of time, which is regrettable but sometimes occurs in debates. The strength of his reasoning was not well-served by this post.

I have reviewed my prior entries, and found it difficult to agree that my case as presented thus far presents ‘contradictions.’

Excerpted from 1st Post


In any action whereupon on individual 'gives' to another, something of value has exchanged hands. The value can be notional and not material. But in the end one must have something the other, after the act, lacks….
Essentially, the nature of the relationship rules the gift giving paradigm, and therein lies the flawed thinking surround "It is better to give....".

… once the act of giving is exercised, the recipient must, by definition, have a new acquired item of value (or measurable benefit) which the 'giver' has abandoned to the recipient. …

… it is self-evident that the receiver is the net gainer in the exchange. I contend that other considerations are either social, psychological, or cultural constructs which only complicate the act of receiving a gift.


Excerpted from 2nd Post


… if the act of giving is to be undertaken as a gesture of gain for the giver; the act is not really one of ‘giving,’ is it? If the purpose is to increase the value (material or notional) of the giver, the act itself loses its’ moral high-ground and becomes self-serving. This is not giving; it is serving one’s own interests…

If we are to assume that …. the initiative of the act derives from the giver, we can state that the giver is on the offensive end of the transaction. …
The defensive position of the receiver leaves him or her in total control. The receiver may refuse the gift, or decide upon his or her own, to ‘attribute whatever meaning he or she is inclined to accept. They may receive the gift as an insult, whether so intended or not, or he or she may decide to be grateful; but in the end, it is the receiver who decides the fate of the gift, and so controls the ultimate meaning it will have, …

I stand by my statement that we humans are compulsive communicators, seeking to assign meaning to everything we do, or experience; … As a result, we muddle otherwise easily defined aspects of life with burdens of presumed consciousness or delusions of morality.

Interestingly, the receiver bears no such burden, unless the psychological, cultural, or social climate imposes it….

However, even in the environment where the receiver is bound by external conditions, we can clearly see theirs is the true superior position. It is the recipient who will offer the reaction to the action of giving. While it may be a predictable thank you, or otherwise, the truth is the freedom to choose what to turn a particular act of giving into is the domain of the recipient. He or she may construe it completely incorrectly, or twist the intent far beyond the scope or plans of the giver. Giving is an act of open vulnerability in this regard.

The essential giving is a simple matter, oft-times painfully burdened with emotional or social baggage, and less frequently, empty hollow matters of obligation or ‘proper form.’ Receiving is more like a blank template, scripted by the recipient.


Excerpted from my 3rd Post


… judging gifts based on material value alone can demonstrate many ‘exceptional’ circumstances which demonstrate how a giver might benefit more than a receiver. In fact the same can be said of the communicative value, there are and always will be exceptional circumstances in which the giver seeks a return of higher value than anything the receiver might enjoy.

… the circumstance exists because of extraneous considerations which are separate and distinct from the gift itself, and as such, render the giving secondary to the gift. By that fact alone, one can see that the giving is not genuine as intended within the context of the debate topic “It is better to give than receive.” Unless the hidden concession my opponent is trying to disguise is that there is in fact no particular measure of benefit (or value) to which his logic can apply consistently.

My position on the other hand is quite universal. Regardless of messages, intent, or other ‘qualifying’ aspects of the act, it is the giver who is least significant when rendering the “better or worse” judgment. On the whole, the receiver has the power and discretion to choose what is the outcome of the gift giving. All arguments to the contrary involve social, cultural, or psychological maxims that are imposed upon the act; but are not part of the act itself.

When ‘giving’ a gift, it is impossible to be certain of the reaction you will receive; thus demonstrating the inherent vulnerability in the act.

I have directly addressed the notional bilateral benefit of exchange as mutual acceptance of a paradigm, which cannot be assumed to be the case.

The giver has but one option; to give. The choice of gift and recipient are incidental to the event, it could be anything to anyone. That those options are ‘infinite’ does not include the element of the will of the recipient. The recipient is free to construe or engineer any response, genuine or contrived.


After reviewing the posts carefully, I can only surmise that it has been my opponent's subjective evaluation of my statements that has been contradictory. While he clearly is erudite and skilled in the debate; the position he has been burdened with is only defensible as long as the accepted traditional paradigm of the phrase "It is better to give then receive" accompanies the notion, despite the logic of the simplicity of the action.

To render this into a less vague argument chain, consider:

In its' transitive or intransitive form, the verb 'give' is extraordinary ubiquitous in it's applications in our language. Merriam-Websters has a large array of meanings associated with the word. "give"

In its' transitive or intransitive form, the verb 'receive' is a bit more simple, and thus more straightforward "recieve"

A comparison of the two words clearly lends itself to the truth that receiving is superior to giving.

Only by adorning the act with extraneous emotional or psychological baggage does the matter become murky. I think it is clear that in its essential form, it is better to receive than it is to give.

In keeping with my opponent's brevity I will shorten my response by offering a simple remark regarding my last Socratic question, and it's nature. It was not a trap, in actuality it demonstrates the weakness of giving when considered unilaterally from a 'givers' perspective. The recipient must be actively engaged for the 'gift' to have meaning to him or her. The recipient is the key to the act and the final measure by which the act must be evaluated - thus making theirs the superior position.

While not pressed for time as my opponent may have been, I will adjourn to nevertheless; thank you.



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 05:44 AM
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Well, we are drawing near the end of this debate, and all that really needs to be said has been said. The last 3 posts or so have been little more than recap and clarification, and that makes sense, because this is essentially a simple question.

It is clear that the power of a gift is in the way that we use them to communicate feelings and intentions to one another. I have defended this fact and found evidence of it even in my opponents arguments while he was at first attempting to deny it. And from that point there has really only been one major issue.

We all know that communication is a two-way street. Both sides help shape it and both sides benefit, as I have said from the beginning. Both sides must give and take. Nobody likes an overactive communicator who won't let them get a word in edgewise, and nobody likes a passive communicator who never responds or reciprocates. People must send and receive messages, speak and listen, give and receive, in order to have healthy relationships. My opponent reinforces this point in his question about giving to a comatose person.

However, the two sides are not equal. They are polar opposites- offsetting extremes. This is why they must be balanced. The question in this debate is which side of this Yin-Yang relationship of giving and receiving is the "high" and which is the "low".

In my opponent's question which was intended to illustrate the balance, a slight imbalance favoring one side can be seen. There can be no reception without an engaged giver. It cannot be done. Yet there can be a gift without an engaged receiver, and this IS done, particularly by people in positions of grief who need the benefit of expressing themselves.

The big issue is initiative. It comes down to a matter of wanting an element of control in one's life. Wanting to act upon the world and not only be acted upon.
Who wants to sit passively and just take what they get? Who wants to let others determine everything about their social life, by always waiting for somebody else to make the first move, always letting somebody else decide what kind of communication you will have and what direction to steer relationships in with that?

In my experience, and I suspect in that of the reader as well, a person can go a very long time without wishing to be given a gift. It is far more common to be stuck by the impulse to give. It is only natural to wish to choose to communicate with someone, to make gestures and attempt to further the relationships of your choosing in the way you want them to grow.

My opponent can recap and clarify the road we've taken to get here however he likes, but throughout this argument there has been one clear and compelling reason after another why it is better to give than to receive, leaving even my opponent with no choice but to jokingly growl at the position he finds himself in.
The alternative has scarcely been argued. My opponent suggested that he need not argue it even in his opening. The best positive argument set forward for receiving was an attempt to paint gift exchanges in terms of military conflict.

Christmas is coming up my friends, so what do you want: a gift card to Walmart or a chance to make your kids' faces light up with joy? Is anything in Santa's bag more important than having an active part in the development of your own relationships?



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 11:20 AM
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I commend my opponent for his stalwart defense of his position. I suspect that in reality, the 'fighters' unwritten code demands that I do the same. However, one thing that has both blessed and cursed me throughout my life is my penchant for non-conformity.

In the spirit of utter defiance of protocol I submit for our judges the final installation of this exercise.

The giving and receiving of gifts..., which is better.

While The Vagabond and I have explored the externals and periphery of this subject, both of us have been avoiding the conflict that renders BOTH our arguments an empty sophistic exercise.

As with all things there is an inescapable element of duality within the debate topic at hand (brace yourselves - because a little birdie told me of an upcoming possible big-time debate about duality - a most relevant subject to this debate!)

Essentially, action-reaction, cause-effect, input-feedback are eternal pairs. And "giving and receiving" fall clearly inside the set of 'duality. It's about the simple things that make us equals. All of us. Every Human Being that exists or ever will.

With no one to give to the giver may well not exist. With no gift to receive, neither can exercise ANY such activity. Were there lacks anything to receive, the essence of the recipient is lost. Simply put, the elements do not lend themselves to 'one-sided' superiority.

If we are to examine the process, all elements affect the act. As a personal aside, I find it comforting to entertain the belief that the within the quintessential gift giving experience, the giver receives and the receiver gives to the satisfaction of both (as my opponent has essentially expounded himself, I suspect you may have noticed).

As with Yin and Yang we see that the light contains shadow, and shadow contains light - inextricably defined by each others existence. So it is with gift giving. (I won't bore you by belaboring exceptional examples or dialectic paraphrasing)

Thus, friend The Vagabond (I can't get used to the "The" part of your name... I always am tempted to simply say "Vagabond" - clear that up for me some day, will ya?), - a gift for you...,

How could receiving be superior to giving? Only if approached as a selfish cold act of acquisition. Similarly giving is not 'giving' unless their is voluntary purposeful intent to create a positive effect upon the receiver - leaving the receiver free to respond or not - that IS the essence of giving.

What's this? You may ask, has he not contradicted himself? It is a matter of perspective.

The truth is that the debate we are engaged in; ""It Is Better To Give Than To Receive, Especially At Christmas" was intentionally narrowed by our unspoken understanding that the struggle to win would come from the subject of the title, rather than the qualifier.

I think we both accidentally agreed that adding the Christmas angle opened room for distraction from the core of the debate (and added a not inconsiderable opportunity to offend those who take exception to the Christmas tradition - limited though that audience may be.)

But there must be something to this socio-cultural phenomenon that is the "Holiday (gift-giving) Season" that transcends logic. For there is a definite positive feeling to be acquired from giving, and while I can't speak for others, I believe that a graciously received gift is particularly enjoyable for the giver. From the perspective of gift giving for the sheer joy it brings, represents a paramount human value.

I will not rant heavily on how we have allowed commercial and 'entertainment' industries to soil the experience for us. Trust me - it is so.

We know that the bounds of gift giving transcends values of money, or even joy alone. It is an interpersonal experience unlike any other in the relationships which mark the human experience. It is not 'tribute', 'currying favor', 'fulfilling obligations' or, the 'repayment or satisfaction of debt relief' that marks what a gift is. It isn't about the giver alone, it is not about the receiver alone, it is not about the gift (whatever form it may take) alone.

It is about a mutually shared experience creating a momentary lapse of grief, sorrow, status-quo, or stress. It can be a very good thing - when it is a true gift.

Other 'baggage' as I have stated before tend to make experience less so, rather than more so. This is not a bad thing in and of itself for to be human is to communicate; and we all know that we must keep communicating, if we are to thrive in this world.

So, it boils down to this ...;

(regardless of seasonality)

It is not better to give than receive
It is not better to receive than to give

There is no 'better' or 'worse'; that's a man-made thing.

The contention that either is better is a disservice to the experience; forcing the dissection of a human interaction into separate elements. Now, my analogy is this;

Look at the Sistine Chapel, pick a color and remove it. Will it look better? Look at it in just that one color, does it look better? Is there any one element of the painting (color-wise) that expresses the painting 'better' than the whole?

Such is giving and receiving..., the gift, the giver and receiver, the reason, the reaction.... they are all one thing.

The assertion:

"It Is Better To Give Than To Receive .. " is thoroughly incorrect; adding " .. Especially At Christmas" is a romantic qualifier, a; 'color' if you will pardon the metaphor, which brings a 'warmth' or cultural-bond between the participants in this extremely human activity.

Thank you The Vagabond, and Semper Fi, for your patience during this encounter. Thank you readers for taking this exchange into your minds and mulling it around. Thank you to the judges for sacrificing their time to review our ponderings.

(ooh, and a special thanks to all you folks who gave me a star here and there, I needed ego food - The Vagabond is one tough cookie!)

May all future time bring peace, joy, and wisdom to you all (and don't forget to share!)

MaxMars



posted on Dec, 19 2008 @ 08:08 PM
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Now it's all up to the judges..

Semper



posted on Jan, 15 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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We have a decision!!!!!


Although there wasn't much of a holiday theme to this one, it was fascinating to read. The Vagabond had some great points and the comment about my answer is no but I'll pretend it is yes, really cracked me up.

Max had good points too and I loved the closing.

I'll call it a draw. The missed posts made the difference.



This will be the very first time I issue a tie. Im sorry but neither side can truly be thought of as "loosing". The amount of rhetorical intelligence and multi-level consideration invested was stunning. While my own bias says that Maxmars had the more difficult position, that giving indeed holds more power than receiving, I return from reading this debate still holding this position but thoroughly confused as to the why and why nots. Who would have thought that such a simple topic in a "Holiday Skirmish" that was meant to be light-hearted could turn into such an epic dispute?

Congratulations to both.



This was a very interesting debate. Really a pleasure to read.
I entirely enjoyed the pleasure Maxmars showed in composing his posts, I also love the clear structure of his post.

I was a bit puzzled that Maxmars excludes the feeling in the process of giving and taking, as if they just would have been a social agreement. Therefore it was very clever by TheVagabond to bring in that exchanging presents is a way to communicate! Very well done!

Both Maxmars and TheVagabond concentrated too much on the material side of giving and receiving, especially TheVagabond when he dissects the gift of a CD to its components or negates the benefits of a gift for a patient in coma.

Maxmars somehow tends to contradict himself. At first he claims the giver being in superior position, than

receive is inherently the superior position

– this left me a bit confuse.

All in all I got the feeling, that this debate was not really TheVagabond’s favorite. I really missed the spirit I found in other debates of this man. I am still very puzzled by his post in round 3, so short that I hardly can believe, that it was written by the man, who usually has to shorten his posts.

So overall Maxmars is in my opinion winner of this debate.


With the results at 2 ties and a decision, the winner is Maxmars!!!!

Congratulations to both Fighters!!!!

Semper



posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 12:20 AM
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Well, to be honest, I'm a bit shocked, but hearty congratulations to Maxmars! It appears this is one of those debates that I'll be rereading and learning from for quite some time to come.

And for those of you who were looking for that semi-psychotic humourous spirit- yeah, I probably should have been more absurd. I'm gonna go ahead and blame that on serious times in the real world (because that sounds way better than saying that I've lost my sense of humor).



posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 10:07 AM
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Thank you everyone!


I consider myself honored to have had the opportunity to spar with TheVagabond, whose debate skills I approached with something of a forgone conclusion... I didn't think I could win this.

I have a feeling that on a different occasion TV would have taken me down, but I hope that day doesn't come too soon.

This "Holiday Skirmish" thing was bit tricky, especially since it centers around a season which, traditions aside, has some spiritual roots thus making it a tad difficult to 'get nasty.'

Considering this is a 'weak' split decision, I have to say I will always consider myself to have 'gotten lucky.'


TheVagabond, you still rock; I thank you for the experience, which I found educational and entertaining, even if it was a bit skewed - topic wise. I have to admit, it was a refreshing divergence from the sporadic confrontations I seem to run into out in the threads on the board.



posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 11:18 AM
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Great work, guys! On a side note, I had no idea individual judgments could consist of a draw. Never seen that before, nevertheless two in one debate.

I remember seeing a tie a while back but that was back when judgments were decided by the amount of stars the debaters had and in this one instance, they tied for the amount of stars.

Funny stuff and good work to Vag and Max.


[edit on 1/16/2009 by AshleyD]



posted on Jan, 16 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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This was a brilliant debate...just brilliant.






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