Tag Archive | jesus

Why Coffee Cups Are Objectively the Best Gifts

Christmas is in just a few days and you’re still trying to find that one gift for that one person. Don’t worry; I’ve got you covered for this Christmas and every other gift giving occasion with this secret I figured out about 3 years ago.

When getting gifts for people, there are certain characteristics that we look for. The main ones I can think of are utility, personality, durability, and cost efficiency. The coffee cup maximally optimizes each of these categories.


Over half of the U.S. population consumes coffee and/or hot tea on a daily basis and more consume these drinks on a weekly basis. So, even if you barely know the person, the probability is in your favor for getting something that has a decent amount of utility. Also, at the very least, they could use it for a secondary use such as holding pencils or decoration (if it’s a collectable mug).


Coffee mugs have nearly a maximal amount of personal customizability. Think of any picture, logo, design, poster, artwork, etc that someone would enjoy. It can be put on a coffee mug! Anything that can go on a t shirt, ball cap, cell phone cover, and car bumper can go on a coffee cup. That’s not even to mention the endless amount of design variations on the cup itself. There are camera lens shaped mugs, TARDIS mugs, bullet mugs, brass knuckle mugs, shark mugs, rabbit mugs, etc etc. Also, don’t forget the ace in the hole: hand made coffee cups; they’re at any pottery place which are surprisingly ubiquitous.


Next is the durability criterion. With minimal exception, a decent porcelain mug will last around 20 years. If we expand our discussion to include thermos type coffee cups, both Tervis, Stanley, and many other companies make products with lifetime warranty (although, this affects the customizability and cost efficiency to a certain degree). Nevertheless, the coffee mug passes on the durability criterion.


Lastly is the cost efficiency. The average cost of a decent mug is $8. This is the perfect price for a gift; it’s manageable by most people, it’s above the $5 “cheapskate” threshold yet underneath the $10 “wow, I only spent $5 for you and now I feel guilty” threshold. Moreover, coffee mugs live on spectrum which allows price flexibility given your relationship to the gift-receiver.


In summary, a coffee mug has high utility value, maximal personal customizability, and great durability all at a high cost efficiency making it, objectively, the best gift. Now, you probably are aware of the stigma against coffee mugs as gifts. You yourself may have thought “what! A coffee mug is a stupid cop out gift!” If this is the case, it is my hope that you will reflect on the evidence presented and give deep consideration to this worldview. If you don’t hold this view, I ask that you join me; together, we can change the hearts and minds of our culture to accepting coffee cups as the best gift.


Monothelitism in Proper Context

Monothelitism is a Christological “heresy” which states that Christ has two natures (divine and human) and one will; this is in opposition to dyotheletism which states that Christ has two natures (divine and human) and two wills (divine and human). Why the scare quotes around heresy? First, monothelitism was indeed condemned in 681 at the Third Council of Constantinople making it a formal heresy. However, from a Protestant position, these Councils, while helpful, are not authoritative. This means there is the distinct possibility for the council-members to make an error and unintentionally condemn something that’s not actually contrary to Scripture (alternatively, they could affirm something that is contrary to Scripture).

Is monothelitism an actual heresy running contrary to the fundamental teaching of Scripture? I think that it depends on the relation between will and nature. The motivation for the Third Council of Constantinople was to combat monophysitism: the teaching that Christ has one nature. This certainly is an actual heresy, running contrary to the Scriptural teaching of the hypostatic union. The truths that need to be held in balance are that (1) Christ is one person and (2) he has two natures. This is where presuppositions come into play.

There are two broad camps when it comes to the topic of will: combatibilists and libertarians. Compatibilists generally describe the will as a property of one’s nature. An individual wills to do something out of what her nature is. On the other hand, libertarians generally describe the will as a property of the person. An individual wills to do something out of who she is and not out of what she is [1]. Libertarians would say where there is a will, there is a person (inb4 “where there’s a will there’s a way”).

Now, suppose that you’re a compatibilist and you hear that Christ has two natures; it follows naturally that Christ has two wills. If He only has one will, that would mean He only has one nature which is heretical. Suppose instead you’re a libertarian and you hear that Christ is one person; it follows quite naturally that Christ has one will. If He has two wills, that would make Him two persons which is super heretical.

In other words, monothelitism is a heresy within the compatabilist framework and dyotheletism is a heresy in the libertarian framework. It seems to me that in order to maintain monothelitism as a true heresy, one would have to demonstrate that libertarianism is incoherent in its rendering of wills as properties of persons instead of natures.

[1] This is not to say that libertarians deny one’s nature playing into one’s decisions. Soft libertarians posit that one’s nature provides the range or spectrum of choices available to an individual in certain circumstances but does not ultimately arbitrate which decision is made. This is in contradistinction to compatibilism which typically posits that the range of decisions consists of one member. This entire paragraph is a broad generalization and I recognize the shortcomings of its brevity.