Moral Character And Cheating In Sport

1442 words - 6 pages

MORAL CHARACTER AND CHEATING IN SPORTAndreia, sophrosyne, dikiaosyne and sadphronesis; those familiar with ancient Greek language are aware that these are the four virtue ethics of ancient Greece, translating: courage, temperance, justice, and wisdom, accordingly. In Greek philosophy it was thought that these virtues are related, if not completely unified: to have one is to have them all [3]. To speak of ethical virtue, the emphasis is not on mere distinctiveness or individuality, but on the combination of qualities that make an individual a sort of morally admirable person; having good moral character. When applying this to sport, Ancient Greek philosophers, such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle believed sporting contests elicit those cardinal values, and that was the main purpose of sport [3].When considered, sporting events create tasks that are intrinsically meaningless, or in other words, set-up challenges that act as a mechanism for generating and celebrating the very human qualities that enable a person to excel in life's challenges, as opposed to simply setting one man above the rest [3]. If that was sports' original purpose, it would not matter who the opponents were and it would not be a goal of sporting events, such as the Olympics to set the best competitors in the world against each other. If you were to make comparisons between modern sport and ancient Greek ideals, looking at the strive for moral ethics as the stem of drive for athletes, you would see that for a large portion of athletes that is their reason for competing in sporting events [3]. Money and entertainment play a large contribution in popular sport; however they are not the fundamental purposes for sport. Athletes who experience high level competition do not need to be pushed hard to understand that the fundamental structure of sport itself is to test their own skill against that of their comrades and compete as part of a community to achieve higher levels of excellence [3]. But how does this outlook apply to athletes who take part in cheating?The desire for a player to win above all else raises the question of whether they are playing that sport for the right reason. Greek philosophers believed that athletes who engaged in sport for the sole purpose of defeating others practice sport for the reason of philonikia, the love of victory, rather than the pursuit of leading a virtuous life and striving for their own personal excellence [3]. Cheating is understood as an attempt by a player to gain an advantage with respects to the standard objective of the game by means of breaking the rules and, by deception, to avoid any sanction - to 'get away with it' [4]. Most everyone is aware of the most common outlook on cheating: that it is morally wrong. Reasoning behind this can be easily defended, for it gives one team or individual an advantage in sport where it ought to be a level playing field. When looking further into cheating and athletic morals, are there differences...

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