Cupit extends his analysis of promising to requesting and argues that a mere request can generate obligations for the same inner reason that promising can.

His idea is that the requestor trusts that the requestee is not “cold, uncaring, indifferent, unloving, disregardful.” If that trust is disappointed, the requestee makes the requestor into a dupe for trusting him.

The implausibility of this should have been a warning to Cupit, but he is eager to unify his theory. The disanlogy is that there is a natural and perfect duty to keep promises; there is at most only an imperfect matter of Christian charity to grant requests. No one has to honor any particular request. Every man, including a Christian, is perfectly at liberty to refuse to grant any request.

The perfect duty to keep promises generates a right to have the promises kept; the imperfect duty of charity does not generate any rights to be assisted.

Even if the requestor’s trust is correct, and the requestee is warm, caring, etc., no felt charity must result in any particular work of mercy. The trust is not broken by virtue of the requestee declining to help.

Something is broken indeed, but it is not faith (or trust) but hope. The requestor is hoping to get what he wants. But if he doesn’t, he is not by that fact made into a dupe, he is not degraded.

God is perfectly charitable, but He is not a genie and does not satisfy all prayers. If God does not help, it is a wrong response to lose one’s faith in Him. Again, what is disappointed is your hope, and not even hope in general as a theological virtue but hope in this particular thing. Hope is an imperfect virtue, its consummation is possession of the good hoped for. In the case of a request I merely hope that you will grant it, in the case of a promise I own your compliance by right. Failure to honor a request, unlike failure to keep a promise, is not a rights violation.

Cupit argues that it’s true that the requestor can abstain from making a request, but if he does so on the ground that he thinks the request will be denied, he is being unjust to the requestee by assuming him to be cold, uncaring, etc. But this entails that if one wants to make a request, he is morally required on pain of injustice to do so, and that is absurd.

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