Officials Examine Brady’s Balls

Forgive me for the title.  I couldn’t resist.  But seriously…

The way one approaches this latest NFL scandal carves out a nice little gem of an example for one studying Ethical Theory. Notice the particular questions and comments in the news to establish the degree of “wrongness” for deflating the balls below NFL standards.  What makes this action “wrong” in the first place?  Is it merely rule-breaking?  Is it intention?

If you consider the character of sportsmanship to be paramount for determining the action then you might be harnessing Aristotle. Character and disposition matter.  Are the players acting out of proper ambition and for excellence?

IMG_4178

If you turn to the consequences of the action (was there an altered outcome?) then you lean towards a Utilitarian Ethic.  The results of the action determine the rightness or wrongness.  If the action did not cause any harm then the action was not “wrong.”  Did the deflated ball cause the Patriots to win?

IMG_4180

If you find that the principle governing action defines “right” (for example, one must follow regulations) then you most likely favor a Kantian position.  The moral worth of an action hinges on a rational motive that can be universalized regardless of the consequences.

IMG_4181

If you view football as a meaningless endeavor where grown men are paid astronomically to catch a ball and run to a set point while dodging other grown men in the process only to arrive at the other side of the field and then begin the process again but in the opposite direction until a certain time and then again at another date and then again for another season and then again the next year…well, you’re a Nietzschean.

IMG_4179

About unsolicitedtidbits

Philosophy, books, coffee, Mexican food enthusiast. View all posts by unsolicitedtidbits

3 responses to “Officials Examine Brady’s Balls

  • AC

    You’ve presented many different ways to look at this imbroglio. As for me, I feel uncomfortable with concepts of right and wrong, due to the underlying circular logic. I’d rather ask what need the Patriots may have been trying to satisfy by cheating. My guess is the need for respect, with their strategy being to gain respect by winning the game. This could demonstrate ignorance of other strategies with less risk of being counterproductive.

  • Beth

    Can’t decide if I miss Philosophy coursework or if I now have a headache………but I’m definitely a Nietzschean. That was a fun combination of genres and outlooks:0)).

  • Madam_W

    That’s a catchy headline right there. I learned a lesson today, madam.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: