Sport, Ethics and Philosophy 12 (1):50-69 (2018)

Shawn Graves
University of Findlay
In this paper, we’ll present, explain, and defend a Christian ethic for sport that takes loving all individuals as the fundamental moral imperative. First, we’ll begin by taking a seeming detour through views about the morality of war. More specifically, we’ll consider realism, according to which, roughly, moral requirements and rules are suspended during war such that it is misguided to attempt to apply moral terms to acts performed within the context of war. Second, by paying attention to relevant surveys and testimonies, we’ll see how this sort of realism seems to be prevalent within the sports world. We’ll see that a singular focus upon winning seems to cultivate this orientation toward realism and its corresponding relaxed attitude toward rule exploitation and violation and the imposition of harms upon one’s opponents. Third, we’ll present an argument from counterexamples against realism about war and then we’ll consider a structurally identical argument against realism in sport. Fourth, we’ll fill the resulting void by presenting, explaining, and defending the aforementioned Christian ethic for sport. Finally, we’ll apply our Christian ethic for sport, tracing some of its implications for fighting in the NHL, taunting and trash-talking, and telling the truth within gameplay.
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1080/17511321.2017.1311369
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The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2004 - Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
The Reasons of Love.Harry G. Frankfurt - 2006 - Princeton University Press.
``The Doctrine of Everlasting Punishment&Quot.Thomas Talbott - 1990 - Faith and Philosophy 7 (1):19-43.

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