I would appreciate if answers can cite the individuals or religious-paradigm that derive the answer.

The concept of being 'deserving' suggested an availability, if not a right, to something. 'Deserving' would thus seem to be a metaphysical form of ownership.

In that regard, 'asking for more than you deserve' is equivalent to 'asking for something you do not own'?

If deserving gives one a right, then grounding is given for righteousness. Is this 'right' rooted in ownership / relationship:

she deserves a the book
they are deserving of liberty

or is there any context in which we can construct a sense of being owed or entitled, with specifying a thing that someone deserves

his wretched state made him quite deserving

(e.g. I cannot even say if this last statement is sensical)

The question may be further clarified by considering the difference between

  • asking for something of which you are not deserving

    Will you allow me access to the city?

    Will you let me speak my mind?

  • asking for a mundane thing that you do not own

    May I have one of your apples?

Consider the differences between these and tangible thing with essential symbolism

May I have some water?

Thus, does there exist any cultural traditions/customs when asking for more than is deserved? (this may have too many culturally-specific answers to be part of the answer to the main question)

  • 5
    I really like the thesis about deserving as a metaphysical ownership. I think the equivalency would be better described with "asking for something you don't have a right to, because, as Kant pointed out, owning something is nothing more than having the exclusive right to the use of something. To be honest, I don't understand what follows, the strength of specificity and the effects, maybe you can explain your thoughts in more detail here?
    – iphigenie
    Apr 15, 2013 at 9:14
  • @NewAlexandria I like the question but agree with iphigenie too. If you can provide more details it can be a great question and get good answers. Apr 15, 2013 at 10:01
  • @iphigenie and all, I've elaborated Apr 15, 2013 at 14:16
  • People CAN do this. I have seen it happen (sorry I am channeling my elementary school teacher). Apr 27, 2013 at 4:16

4 Answers 4


In Judaism, there is a very interesting approach to prayer. According to one of the principles of Judaism, god does not change his mind. It is then difficult to understand how one can ask god for anything! The answer Judaism gives to this question is that when one prays to god and asks him for something, the person himself changes, and therefore god is judging a new person altogether. Therefore, god does not change his mind, but since he sees a completely different person, he judges him by his new character. Similarly, perhaps when one is asking for something, he becomes more humble and thus becomes deserving of what he asking for.

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    Regardless of one's religious position, this model should be considered by anyone on philosophical grounds alone Aug 4, 2014 at 2:35

Your question is relevant to every religion that advocates some form of prayer for the fulfilment of a request: If you 'deserve it', you'll get it; if you don't deserve it, why should asking for it make you more deserving?

Judaism's answer: Prayer demonstrates that you are deserving...

So perhaps you question is somewhat flawed: Being 'DESERVING' is not a static state, but dynamic...


Can one ask for more than they deserves? YES one can ask for more than they deserve buy virtue of their self accordance. As a self contractor I can ask for more then I deserve. If the buyer of my service agrees to the service at a price that he my think I do not deserve but yet agrees to it then I will be paid according to the agreement. The righteousness would come for the buyer of the service to ground the contract too the proper price. The contractor must know his bottom price for profit. When the job is completed. Then what is owed would then become owned buy the customer upon completion of payment based on the first agreement. If the contractor gets more than he deserves it was buy consent in the first agreement. The party's that get more than they deserve are the ones that demand you to ask "will you allow me" and "will you let me". By contrast. Being forced buy demands to usurp, and insist on what they deserve buy accordance to rule is not liberty and is undeserving.

  • That is a weird argument. Isn't "what I deserve" subjective? Then how can you just claim, without any clarification or definition, that selling something, I can ask for more than I deserve? What if I just think that I deserve more than the average price?
    – iphigenie
    Sep 30, 2013 at 8:40
  • Subjective "yes" people do ask for more all the time and they may get it if the other person agrees to pay deserving or not.
    – drinkh20
    Sep 30, 2013 at 13:32

David Cameron Gikandi (in his book "A happy pocket full of money") presents the theory of Abundance, where EVERYONE can have EVERYTHING as long as they believe they can. He supports this theory by Jesus Christ's saying "If a man asks a mountain to jump into the sea and believes it, the mountain will jump into the sea." Similarly muslims say "If God granted everyone's every wish, it would only be like dipping a needle in an ocean and taking it out."

Based on these I believe that the concept of deserving changes a bit. It drills down to faith. Faith that you will get whatever you wish for. Having said that if you lack faith and believe you won't be granted a certain wish, then you don't deserve to get that wish granted.

Getting back to your question, the answer would be everyone only gets what they deserve, not less not more. The more you wish for believing you will get it, the more you deserve!

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