Please read our Greenygrey declaration in Churchill voice for Remembrance Weekend: We try to keep Britain and Europe free, safe and secular not because we think it is a perfect society or finished product, but because we think it is a developed civilisation, and hope it is heading in the right direction.
Extremist Liberalism and Placebo Effect
Combating extremism risks your becoming extreme, in what we call the ‘Bridge on the River Kwai syndrome’, after the classic film about a British officer who gets so involved with building a bridge while a P.O.W (prisoner of war) that he begins to work for the enemy.
To avoid becoming anti-extremist extremists, the Greenygrey tries to mix up its blogs between lots of different topics and categories.
With religious extremists claiming Godly credit for Hurricane Sandy, we think we’re justified in responding. So, here’s our sporting response:
The God Placebo
While a belief in God or something else can be a sporting motivational mind tool, we think it is a placebo effect, rather than God actually helping sportspeople who are often competing against people of the same religion.
Examples of a placebo effect at work aired last night on British television, with several people overcoming lifetime mental barriers with the aid of a placebo in the latest Derren Brown Channel 4 special.
God’s not Sporting
As Martin ‘Werewolfie’ Adams inferred on this very site, August 9th How to Win Gold Medals, to our knowledge God has never helped a totally untrained sportsperson win an Olympics or world title. Whereas world class sportspeople like Jonathan Edwards and Bruce Lee have achieved their goals without a belief in God.
Sometimes, it seems like sportspeople from monotheistic religions think God is going to help them against sportspeople who follow the same God, as there is only one God per monotheistic religion.
If there is only one God per billion people, or however many followers the bandwagon propagandists claim it has, is it really going to have the time to choose sides and provide intervention on a personal basis?
And what would we think of a God who regularly lets good people die too young, and then helps its favourite sportspeople?
Godly Games and Careers
Other times, sportspeople thank their God when their team score a goal, point or run; but then the other team scores several. Does God desert them in the intervening period?
A similar story of ‘God-given’ success followed by ‘God-deserting’ failure happens over careers. Sportspeople thank God when their careers are on the rise, but when they age or tire of success, they usually lose to younger and hungrier competitors. Again, has God deserted them… or is it just human ability and the career cycle?
When there’s a 100-year-old world champion in a speed or strength sport who doesn’t train, and credits God, we might begin to believe in Godly intervention.
Interventionist God or Not
While these sporting examples seem trivial compared to the damage of Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters, they are from the same philosophical question when it comes to blame and achievement: whether there is an interventionist God or not?
We will probably never know for sure whether there is a God, and how it works if there is one; so we have to learn, question and debate from the evidence we have. For us in sporting terms, it’s so that religious extremists don’t have a guilt-trip walkover.