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Topic: Sports
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Understand what is true and relevant about each perspective, and how together they can form a holistic vision for the highest nature ('vision') of Sports
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Perspectives & Resources
Perspectives are short paragraphs summarizing any point of view about the Topic. Explore each View and then vote on it.
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"Make sports a force for respect, good will, and peace on earth"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Make sports a force for respect, good will, and peace on earth

Use sports to build a culture of excitement, excellence, respect, and good will. Sports has many good effects, such as forming community and expressing deep emotion. It is an outlet for pure entertainment and a release of our natural instincts. It is a way to perfect talents and support personal excellence. It teaches us endurance, to overcome adversity, and learn how to deal with defeat. But we can set a standard higher than mere victory. We can bring sports back into the world of thought, making it even more enjoyable and powerful, as well as a force for good.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Visionary Society
"Can we make sports (and our use of sports) more meaningful?"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Can we make sports (and our use of sports) more meaningful?

The main thing is that we develop a grand mission or quest that is difficult to achieve, that is worth fighting for, and that has a transcendent purpose (transcending our everyday squabbles and conceits). It could involve the practice and cultivation of skills, beginning with physical activity itself, continuing to creative and intellectual activity, and perhaps reaching a goal of transcendent importance – transcending our need for glory, aesthetics, or external development.

One of these qualities is that we would not only limit our enjoyment in defeating the other, but go so far as to appreciate and even help the opposing side!


 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Geoff Bederson
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the view of the Opinion creator
"Sports celebrates the pagan hero: the winner, the strongest, the most se"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Sports celebrates the pagan hero: the winner, the strongest, the most se

“One has only to recall the wild, crazy enthusiasm with which people participated in the various wars of the past two centuries – the readiness of millions to risk national suicide in order to protect the image of ‘the strongest power,’ or of ‘honor,’ or of profits. And for another example, consider the frenzied nationalism of people watching the contemporary Olympic Games, which allegedly serve the cause of people. Indeed, the popularity of the Olympic Games is in itself a symbolic expression of Western paganism. They celebrate the pagan hero: the winner, the strongest, the most self-assertive, while overlooking the dirty mixture of business and publicity.”
To Have or To Be, 117


 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Erich Fromm
"Do not suggest that only your team should be victorious"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Do not suggest that only your team should be victorious

Sports can have unexpected effects, for individuals and in society. It can make us more egotistical and less sensitive to others. We can be overly concerned about our team and our success, and less sensitive to the needs of others. Greed, aggression and conflict can be an indirect result of this state of mind. Enthrallment by spectator sports can be an artificial, socially constructed reality that magnifies ambition, competition and isolation.

– Do not overemphasize your own superiority.
– Do not suggest that only your team should be victorious. Say something good about other teams.
– Create a mini-climate for meaning at the arena.

Sports can be desensitizing – or it can potentially be used as a force for good. Think about how you are leading your life, and the long-term effects of what you do. Do not limit your enjoyment to defeating the other, but also appreciate and even help the opposing side.

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the view of the Opinion creator
"Sports represents exceptional valuation of the human body"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Sports represents exceptional valuation of the human body

“Sports represents an exceptional valuation of the human body, as does also modern dancing. The cinema, on the other hand, like the detective story, makes it possible to experience without danger all the excitement, passion and desirousness which must be repressed in a humanitarian ordering of life.” Carl Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, 219


 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the opinion of Carl Jung
"We seek meaningless pleasure"
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Topic: Sports Sports


We seek meaningless pleasure

“The Alps themselves, which your own poets used to love so reverently, you look upon as soaped poles in a bear-garden, which you set yourselves to climb and slide down again, with ‘shrieks of delight.’ When you are past shrieking, having no human articulate voice to say you are glad with, you fill the quietude of their valleys with gunpowder blasts, and rush home, red with cutaneous eruption of conceit, and voluble with convulsive hiccough of self-satisfaction….It is pitiful, to have dim conceptions of duty; more pitiful, it seems to me, to have conceptions like these, of mirth.” The Genius of John Ruskin, 308

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
This is the opinion of John Ruskin
"Professional football is a physical assault by one team on another"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Professional football is a physical assault by one team on another

“Two dedicated and disciplined armies. Outfitted in the distinctive armor of the gladiator, twenty-two athletes, eleven to a side, cross the boundaries to test one another in the most primordial manner – hand to hand combat.
Other societies had their symbolic wars….Professional football is basically a physical assault by one team upon another in a desperate fight for land.”
“A game of physical dominance; the weak are punished unmercifully and the unskilled are run off the field.”
The First Fifty Years, National Football League, 1969

 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of National Football League
"Professional sports breeds hatred"
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Topic: Sports Sports


Professional sports breeds hatred

“These are not even the biggest problems with pro-football and other professional sports. The biggest is the hatred it breeds between rival teams and rival fans, and the justification of rage and anger. Cut throat competition, in which winning and losing is all that matters, is a very addictive, blinding pursuit that sucks valuable time and energy and money out of people's lives and community resources. We only remain addicted because the vast majority of the population still hasn't emotionally graduated from middle school. And the story of how it destroys children and families has yet to be written, because people are too intimidated to talk. Can you imagine how truly great- rather than sham great - we could be if all that violent, angry, hateful energy were directed towards building our communities rather than addicting fans so that they don't have to feel the empty voids inside themselves?”


 

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Addresses the root issue
Flawed, one-sided, or superficial
 
How to Explore a Perspective
Relax, focus. Take a step back and look at the Perspective from all sides. Now, zero in at the center!
 
What is the Bias?
What assumptions does it make? Whose interests does it serve?

What is your Personal Experience?
How does it make you feel? How do your experiences, privileges, and personal interests affect your understanding of it?
Now, enter the heart
▶ Say something good about what you disagree with, even if there are flaws.
▶ Find causes, not symptoms. Ask what lies at the root.
▶ Have respect for people with different views, insights, and priorities!
 
Opinion added by
Visionary Society
on April 19, 2018
 
Visionary
This is the opinion of Scotto, Incline Villa
 
Recommended Resources (Review before voting)
 
 
Text: The meaning of sports
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The meaning of sports

Effects of spectator sports

As a mass public event, sports functions partly to keep us acting in socially conventional ways. By developing the habit of being a spectator it distracts us from independent thought and will. It redirects our energy from thought, relationship, creativity – that is, sensitivity to life. It teaches us to glorify ourselves, closing us off from those we don't identify with. It inflames our passion for power and success, which is a primary root of war, and so implicates us in that also, whether or not we support a particular conflict.
Sports is just one of a number of ways in which we are desensitized (and in which we seek to become less sensitive). These include hypnotic music (played at places we have no control over), advertising that preys on fear, presenting of politics in a divisive way in the media, and much more that is part of daily life.
Sports has many benefits. It is an outlet for human emotion and pure entertainment, and a needed outlet for our natural instincts. We are not suggesting that one should stop participating in it. Instead, we want to bring sports back into the world of thought, to make it more powerful, enjoyable – and a force for good.


Can we make sports (and our use of sports) more meaningful?

Can we reimagine the use of sports so that it is less divisive, but still satisfies our need for excitement and community? By its nature sports involves the need to be victorious. But what does it mean to be 'victorious'? Victory does not mean that one has to defeat another. Instead, victory is just the accomplishment of a goal that is hard to reach. These hard to reach goals include personal excellence, overcoming adversity, persistence and endurance, and learning how to deal with defeat.
Can all this be accomplished in another way? The main thing is that we develop a grand mission or quest that is difficult to achieve, that is worth fighting for, and that has a transcendent purpose (transcending our everyday squabbles and conceits). It could involve the practice and cultivation of skills, beginning with physical activity itself, continuing to creative and intellectual activity, and perhaps reaching a goal of transcendent importance – transcending our need for glory, aesthetics, or external development.
One of these qualities is that we would not only limit our enjoyment in defeating the other, but go so far as to appreciate and even help the opposing side!


Geoff Bederson

 
 
Other Resources
 
Text: Sport has become less independent and more economic
X
Sport has become less independent and more economic

Arguably, sport and work originally were independent realms of social behavior. Then sport increasingly provided a form of compensation for work, but ultimately work values and behaviors began to spill over into sport. As a result, sport became less independent or compensatory over time.” Such spillover may occur for various reasons. Among these are cultural values (e.g., the Protestant work ethic, the spirit of capitalism) supporting work and disparaging leisurely and pleasurable activity. The American experience has corroborated the spillover model (see chapter 6). Sport was acquiring the characteristics of work while it was being touted as preparation for work or justified as a “break” from work. Characteristically, Theodore Roosevelt asserted that sport is preparation “to do work that counts when the time arises, when the occasion calls.”666 The prevailing view was that Americans should work until they were weary and then take recreation so they could work again. But as sport and recreation became more work-like, they offered less in the way of refreshment or compensation. Rodgers noted that workers in the Industrial era frequently used time off to engage in an equally strenuous regimen as members of athletic clubs and YMCAs.667 The recreation that took place in these settings revealed few compensatory qualities.

America’s athletes increasingly emulated disciplined laborers. Winning contests and setting records required maximum output that, in turn, necessitated intensive preparation at a pace and intensity reminiscent of the assembly line. The athlete essentially became a producer of performances and records. Efforts to this end were directed by a trainer or coach (the equivalent of the foreman/supervisor) whose goal was to improve the performance of athletes.668 The assembly-line methods applied to the game of college football led historian Arnold Toynbee to comment that “Anglo-Saxon football was not a game at all. It was the Industrial System celebrating a triumph over its vanquished antidote. Sport, by masquerading in its guise.”669 Sports heroes were idolized by the public in the same context as heroic laborers. Mark Twain noted that both river boat pilots and athletes were made into heroes not only for their power, authority, and glamour, but also for pride in their jobs and their salaries.670

Thus did the work ethic divert sport from the model of amateurism. By the late nineteenth century, coaching had become a paid profession, and talented athletes gained the option of being paid to play sports. There had been early instances of paid athletes in the sports of boxing and horseracing. In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first salaried Major League Baseball team—although some ballplayers had been compensated prior to then. An increasing number of sports careers were made available to athletes who demonstrated the requisite skills. In the first half of the twentieth century, football, basketball, and hockey formed professional leagues with salaried athletes placed under contract. The athlete became a new type of worker who sold his labor power to entertain the general public. Moreover, the work-oriented mentality of paid athletes and coaches gradually infiltrated amateur sports (see chapter 1 l).‘571

The modern Olympic movement attempted to maintain a spirit of amateurism, and Olympic athletes adhered to this principle for a while. Through the early years of the games and into the 19303, the typical Olympian participated in his or her sport as an avocation. Medal-winning swimmer and film actor Johnny Weissmuller epitomized the rather carefree spirit of the era. He would begin training for his event about two weeks before a meet. Elizabeth Robinson, who ran for the American team in the 1928 Olympics, normally trained only three days a week. She won her Olympic medal in the fourth track meet in which she had ever competed. Jean Shirley, who won a gold medal in the high jump at the 1932 Olympics, had never participated in a national meet until she qualified for the games. Olympic athletes of that era were amateurs not only in their approach to training, but in the sense that many of them held full-time jobs to support themselves while they trained

This amateurish approach to training was soon to change. Elements within the American Olympic movement pushed coaches and athletes toward a more disciplined model following the poor showing of the American team in the 1924 Paris games. It was ironic that some of the critics subsequently charged the 1928 Olympic team with being over- coached and over-trained. However, Americans convinced themselves a more work-like approach to training was the key to improving performance. The new emphasis was evident in the escalating training regimen of Olympic swimmers over the following decades. Sixteen-year-old Cathy Ferguson, a gold medal winner at the 1964 games, was swimming [2,000 to 16,000 meters (seven to ten miles) a day. John Nabor, a 1976 gold medal winner, recalled that most trainers by then had established four hours of training a day as the minimum for competitive swimmers.674

Sport was becoming a full-time occupation.

Steven J. Overman, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Sport
Notes: Page 207


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What is most important – and true – about each perspective, especially those you disagree with? Taking all this into account, what is an important element of the highest nature or form of Sports?
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