En kommentar till Mike Labossieres inlägg om hur människor resonerar om sport på bloggen Talking Philosophy.
Very interesting post and discussion. I see the situation exactly as you do, and I am loathe to think that anyone could see it any other way.
Yet I am accustomed to finding myself surrounded by people who do in fact see similar situations in a very different light - and who act accordingly! Your question as to why people treat situations like these as moral issues is central to me.
It seems, to me, to be related to questions like: “Why is Gazetta dello Sport so important to so many people?” Or “How can people (seemingly in all sincerity) bicker endlessly over which team is ‘the best’, at all?”
Perhaps the most glaring question is this: How can close to a hundred per cent of the attacking team's players and fans say (and clearly sincerely believe) that the ball has crossed the goal line - and that this is obvious! - while close to a hundred per cent of the defending team's players and fans say (and clearly sincerely believe) that the ball has not crossed the goal line - and that this is obvious?
It has always depressed me to find that many people - consciously or unconsciously - misinterpret differences based on psychologically based affections and values as amenable to moral or logical/rational discussion.
I think that there are two main reasons: (i) ignorance and (ii) group processes.
Ignorance in this case means the inability to differentiate between desires and facts, and it has a clear correspondence in developmental psychology. It reflects an infantile or childish mind, rather than a developed, mature intellect. And it is, alas, the mindset of many sports fanatics (among others).
Sociological or socio-psychological processes, on the other hand, may operate at a more conscious level (but often do not). It is so important and integral to many individuals' identity to be an “Inter” fan - as opposed to an “A.C. Milan” fan - that it engenders an active resistance to the separation between emotional and logical discourses - regardless of whether the individual is capable of performing such a separation. So, the “bickering” can constitute a “language game” played to maintain group cohesion; or it can be a psychological mechanism for constructing and protecting personal and group identity.