Is lying in baseball a virtue?

“Part of baseball, like much of war, depends on deception and raises ethical questions.”

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Greg Linscott's picture

Well if we're telling players to intentionally violate the written rules, to gain an advantage (IMHO) we're teaching a life lesson that situaional ethics is ok.

There are situations in life, though, that do require judgment calls- to act one way in one situation is acceptable, in another not. To recognize that there are some times where a sort of "situational ethics" applies does not mean that all sense of absolutes need be discarded. 

The fact is, in basketball, there is always a degree of relativity. A pickup game will often be rougher than an officiated game. Officiated games will vary based on the way a referee calls the game and interprets fouls. What constitutes a foul in one setting may not be so interpreted in another.

As I mentioned earlier, even Jesus taught that there were exceptions to absolutes (like pulling your ox out of a hole on the Sabbath). Absorbing the consequences for an infraction for a strategic reason, like an intentional foul to slow down the pace of a game, is in one sense no less unethical than playing with some degree of hustle/reckless abandon with the knowledge that one might risk a charging foul. In your way of thinking, I could almost imagine you arguing it would be unethical to attempt a shot block, since there is a high degree of probability that one might miss clean contact with the ball and commit a foul instead.

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Greg Linscott wrote:
As I mentioned earlier, even Jesus taught that there were exceptions to absolutes (like pulling your ox out of a hole on the Sabbath).
Greg, 

Maybe you can clarify this in principle form. I am sure you are not saying that all absolutes have exception clauses. If not, then proving an exception to an absolute might not be the principle Jesus was teaching here. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

There seems a lot of moral equivocation going on here, and not a little misdefinition. First, fouling at the end of basketball game is not equivalent to pornography or even defaulting on credit card debt. And no, one doesn't lead to the other. They are not related. It is not a sin to foul at the end of a game. Confusing these categories is dangerous.

Second, an intentional foul is hardly ever committed in basketball because it doesn't make sense to commit an intentional foul. An intentional foul, by definition, is a foul without trying to play the ball. It results in two free throws and the ball being given to the team that was fouled.

 

 

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

There seems a lot of moral equivocation going on here, and not a little misdefinition. First, fouling at the end of basketball game is not equivalent to pornography or even defaulting on credit card debt. And no, one doesn't lead to the other. They are not related. It is not a sin to foul at the end of a game. Confusing these categories is dangerous.

The whole point of this is that some people do believe intentional fouling is a sin. And if so, who is to say whether it is equivalent to defaulting on credit card debt or not?

Larry wrote:

Second, an intentional foul is hardly ever committed in basketball because it doesn't make sense to commit an intentional foul. An intentional foul, by definition, is a foul without trying to play the ball. It results in two free throws and the ball being given to the team that was fouled.

Anyone that watches basketball knows those fouls committed by the losing team at the end of a game are intentional by intent whether or not they are called so by the officials and that is the point here. The technical definition of "intentional foul" is not relevant to this discussion.

Greg Linscott's picture

Chip, I don't mean to say that is Jesus' point. I am just observing that there are occasions where situations present possible exceptions.

I don't think that I am going to persuade you (or Doug H) on this. I suppose the best I or the others can do is to have shown the reasoning behind why many don't see a moral transgression with a purposefully committed foul near the end of regulation...

You run into all kinds. One of my profs at Faith would annually incense the students because of his principled opposition to playing or watching football because it intentionally damaged the body. I had to smile, though, because I also knew his wife was an avid Packers fan, and his son (who was in my youth group) was loyal to the Chicago Bears...

Greg Linscott
Marshall, MN

Pastor Doug H's picture

generally will not watch pro footbal due to it's being played on Sunday, then on Thanksgiving while I'm sleeping off the turkey will slip in and change to some "chick-flick" Smile or worse ice skating.

By the way my whole point is it is possible to play any game via the written rules and not resort to doing something that "intentionally" violates the written rules of the game.  Most of the time the 'intentional stuff' is for one of two reasons you're losing or you feel the other guy/team did something they shouldn't have.

When my boys played baseball I always gave them a warning before the season started: You're a Christian both off and on the field, so don't do anything that would hurt your testimony or the cause of Christ on or off the field.  Or I will sit you for a game/or portion there-of.

(By the way...No I would not make such an argument about a blocked shot, blocking/charging, reaching in and so on during the normal flow of the game.  My disagreement comes with the intentional foul at the end of the game because your behind. )

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

The whole point of this is that some people do believe intentional fouling is a sin.

People believe all sorts of things, but some of them are wrong.

And if so, who is to say whether it is equivalent to defaulting on credit card debt or not?

People who know what sin is, and who understand the various issues that are being talked about.The rules of a sport do not set up a moral standard by which sin is measured.

Anyone that watches basketball knows those fouls committed by the losing team at the end of a game are intentional by intent whether or not they are called so by the officials and that is the point here. The technical definition of "intentional foul" is not relevant to this discussion.

So now the rules don't matter? Up above, we were being told this issue was that rules were being broken, intentionally, to boot. Now you are saying that the rules of the game don't really matter. Which conversation do we want to have here? 

Larry's picture

Moderator

My disagreement comes with the intentional foul at the end of the game because your behind.

But remember that what you are calling an intentional foul is not an intentional foul by rule. What you are calling an intentional foul is an attempt to get the ball, according to the rules of the game. And that is legal. If, in the process of that, inappropriate contact is made, then a foul is called. But it is not, by definition, an intentional foul.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Technically, there is a difference between a foul (a violation of the rules in the course of play which may be accidental or intentional), an intentional foul (a deliberate violation of the rules in order to gain a perceived advantage), and a flagrant foul (an intentional foul that puts the opponent's health at risk). Fouling while trying to block a shot deserves a penalty but is distinct in this conversation if it was done accidentally rather than intentionally. Playing hard and inadvertently crossing the line is different from making a choice to deliberately break the rules. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Chip, in the rules, the first two categories are the same category. There is no distinction. Where the confusion comes in is in confusing the first two categories with the third one. People are using the third term to refer to the first two situations.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

The whole point of this is that some people do believe intentional fouling is a sin.

People believe all sorts of things, but some of them are wrong.

Exactly... And that goes for you too. Just because you state dogmatically this is a sin does not make it so.

Larry wrote:

And if so, who is to say whether it is equivalent to defaulting on credit card debt or not?

People who know what sin is, and who understand the various issues that are being talked about.The rules of a sport do not set up a moral standard by which sin is measured.

Again, there is reasonable debate on whether this is a sin or not. Your pronouncement that it is not a sin does not make it so.

Larry wrote:

Anyone that watches basketball knows those fouls committed by the losing team at the end of a game are intentional by intent whether or not they are called so by the officials and that is the point here. The technical definition of "intentional foul" is not relevant to this discussion.

So now the rules don't matter? Up above, we were being told this issue was that rules were being broken, intentionally, to boot. Now you are saying that the rules of the game don't really matter. Which conversation do we want to have here? 

Trying to decide how to handle this. Do you really not understand how a foul can be intentional even if it is not called intentional by officials? It is not at all a hard thing to understand. The question is not whether an official calls a foul intentional. It is whether it is OK for a player to intentionally foul. 

Larry's picture

Moderator

Exactly... And that goes for you too. Just because you state dogmatically this is a sin does not make it so.

I haven't dogmatically stated this is a sin. It isn't. There is no moral component here, Greg.

Again, there is reasonable debate on whether this is a sin or not. Your pronouncement that it is not a sin does not make it so.

Reasonable? I have yet to see any reasons that place fouling in a basketball game into a moral category.

Do you really not understand how a foul can be intentional even if it is not called intentional by officials? It is not at all a hard thing to understand. The question is not whether an official calls a foul intentional. It is whether it is OK for a player to intentionally foul.

So you are admitting that the rules don't matter? That's the point, Greg. What has been appealed to here constantly is the rules. But then when someone actually cites the rules, the rules aren't the issue anymore.

You are correct that this isn't hard. It has been addressed in the rulebook. As Chip says, there is a confusion of terms here, not to mention a confusion of morality.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

Exactly... And that goes for you too. Just because you state dogmatically this is a sin does not make it so.

I haven't dogmatically stated this is a sin. It isn't. There is no moral component here, Greg.

Again, there is reasonable debate on whether this is a sin or not. Your pronouncement that it is not a sin does not make it so.

Reasonable? I have yet to see any reasons that place fouling in a basketball game into a moral category.

Do you really not understand how a foul can be intentional even if it is not called intentional by officials? It is not at all a hard thing to understand. The question is not whether an official calls a foul intentional. It is whether it is OK for a player to intentionally foul.

So you are admitting that the rules don't matter? That's the point, Greg. What has been appealed to here constantly is the rules. But then when someone actually cites the rules, the rules aren't the issue anymore.

You are correct that this isn't hard. It has been addressed in the rulebook. As Chip says, there is a confusion of terms here, not to mention a confusion of morality.

Where did I say rules don't matter? It is ridiculous for you to keep saying that. What I said (and others are saying) is this:

* There are rules that supersede the official basketball rules that may apply here. The official basketball handbook is not the sole source of all rules and that is especially true for moral ones.

* There are two definitions of intentional foul (every child understands that). One definition is addressed in the basketball handbook. The other definition involves morality and is what people here are discussing for the most part.

 

x_delete_jhowell's picture

wives and ice skating on thanksgiving day? Smile Give me the grid iron, along with the "intentional" grounding any day!

Larry's picture

Moderator

Where did I say rules don't matter?

When I cited the actual rule about intentional foul, you said "The technical definition of "intentional foul" is "not relevant to this discussion."

But in the game of basketball (or anything game), the rulebook for that game determines what something is. I don't think you can say that the rulebook is not relevant. It matters because it determines how the game is played.

* There are rules that supersede the official basketball rules that may apply here. The official basketball handbook is not the sole source of all rules and that is especially true for moral ones.

But again, fouling someone is not a moral issue. Otherwise, no game could be played without sin because fouls happen. To say that we should maintain our Christian testimony is true. To say that such requires one never to foul is not true.

* There are two definitions of intentional foul (every child understands that). One definition is addressed in the basketball handbook. The other definition involves morality and is what people here are discussing for the most part.

First, there's only one defintion of intentional foul in the rulebook for the game, and those are the rules the game is played by. Every child may not understand that, but that's the way the game works.

Second, if you think this involves morality, then I am willing to entertain that argument, but it has to be made. So why not show how fouls (that are not intentional by the rules of the game, which stipulate intent to hurt, flagrant, etc.) involves morality.

GregH's picture

Larry wrote:

Where did I say rules don't matter?

When I cited the actual rule about intentional foul, you said "The technical definition of "intentional foul" is "not relevant to this discussion."

But in the game of basketball (or anything game), the rulebook for that game determines what something is. I don't think you can say that the rulebook is not relevant. It matters because it determines how the game is played.

* There are rules that supersede the official basketball rules that may apply here. The official basketball handbook is not the sole source of all rules and that is especially true for moral ones.

But again, fouling someone is not a moral issue. Otherwise, no game could be played without sin because fouls happen. To say that we should maintain our Christian testimony is true. To say that such requires one never to foul is not true.

* There are two definitions of intentional foul (every child understands that). One definition is addressed in the basketball handbook. The other definition involves morality and is what people here are discussing for the most part.

First, there's only one defintion of intentional foul in the rulebook for the game, and those are the rules the game is played by. Every child may not understand that, but that's the way the game works.

Second, if you think this involves morality, then I am willing to entertain that argument, but it has to be made. So why not show how fouls (that are not intentional by the rules of the game, which stipulate intent to hurt, flagrant, etc.) involves morality.

The technical definition of "intentional foul" is not relevant to this discussion because that is not the scenario being discussed. The fouls being discussed here are fouls made intentionally at the end of the game by the losing team for the purpose of stopping the clock.  I think everyone here besides you knows that and that is why your continued insistence to reframe this discussion to refer to another scenario (the intentional foul as defined by the rule book) is frustrating.

Personally, I don't have a strong opinion on the morality of committing fouls intentionally to stop the clock, but there is a legitimate question as to whether committing a foul intentionally is rebelling against authority in the same way intentionally speeding might be. Regardless of whether you agree or not, there are some good arguments either way and I think it is a bit much to dogmatically dismiss the other side as you seem to have done.

Since I could not care less about basketball, I should probably not have jumped into this. I just wanted to point out that I don't think dogmatism is appropriate here nor do I think you are being fair in refusing to acknowledge the difference between an intentional foul and a foul committed intentionally.

Aaron Blumer's picture

EditorAdmin

Greg's observation several posts up covers a lot of ground

There are situations in life, though, that do require judgment calls- to act one way in one situation is acceptable, in another not. To recognize that there are some times where a sort of "situational ethics" applies does not mean that all sense of absolutes need be discarded.

There's been some confusion among Bible-believers ever since Joseph Fletcher published Situation Ethics in the 1960's. The title is somewhat misleading, and reactions against Fletcher have often resulted in upholding ethics that ignore the "situation." For what it's worth, Fletcher taught that loving intentions justify basically everything. If you act with the intention of helping somebody ("love"), the act is morallly right. It should have been titled "Good Intention Ethics" or "Love Ethics" or something.

It doesn't work to ignore situations when trying to identify right vs. wrong, because the context of an act is a huge, huge factor in it's rightness or wrongness.

  • Yelling "fire" at a shooting range, vs. yelling "fire" in a crowded theater... when there's no fire.
  • Giving morphine to a dying person in agony vs. giving morphine to an addict
  • Whacking somebody on the back when he's choking vs. whacking someone on the back to get him out of your way
  • Wearing muddy boots in the barn vs. wearing muddy boots in the living room

So with all of these you could try to establish an 'absolute' that says "It's always wrong to yell fire" or always wrong to give someone morphine or wear muddy boots, etc. But there's not really any way to do that. The situation is decisive.

When it comes the role of situations, there are more options than many realize:

  • The situation always determines right/wrong
  • The situation never determines right/wrong
  • The situation sometimes determines right/wrong

We don't have to choose between the first two.

I'm out of time to gather the details right now, but there a NT term meaning something like "appropriate" or "fitting for the situation." And the NT holds this up as a positive thing. (If I'm not mistaken OT has a similar concept in Proverbs etc.)

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Aaron, 

I agree that context impacts decision making. however, I reject the idea the context is the final arbiter. As Christians, we still live by principle - universal, timeless, authoritative principle. The problem is that sometimes we are to simplistic or imprecise in our articulation of principles. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Greg Long's picture

Chip, context determines how can we define something as right or wrong, Aaron is saying. Shooting someone is defined as either murder or self-defense depending on the context. Murder is always wrong, but what is murder is determined by the context/situation.

-------
Greg Long, Ed.D. (SBTS)

Pastor of Adult Ministries
Grace Church, Des Moines, IA

Adjunct Instructor
School of Divinity
Liberty University

Larry's picture

Moderator

there is a legitimate question as to whether committing a foul intentionally is rebelling against authority in the same way intentionally speeding might be.

Is this really a legitimate question? The fact that someone can ask it does not grant it legitimacy. Legitimacy occurs when there is a reasonable argument that then must be answered. But the argument has to be made first.

Until someone shows reasonably that basketball rules administered by an official in the course of an athletic contest and civil laws administered by sworn officials in a legal system are similar, then there is no basis to declare this a legitimate question. And I doubt that argument could even be started, much less concluded. This is the type of moral equivocation I was talking about. These things have nothing in common. To equate the officials in a basketball game with sworn public officials, and the rules of a game with civil law, is a huge stretch, at best.

Regardless of whether you agree or not, there are some good arguments either way and I think it is a bit much to dogmatically dismiss the other side as you seem to have done.

If such an argument can be made, then someone needs to make it. But so far, I haven't seen it. There has simply been equivocation, as in this is like defaulting on credit cards, or the same mentality that leads to pornography. Those are not arguments. Show me that fouling in the course of a basketball is an unbiblical defiance of authority.

There are all kinds of reasons to foul someone that have no connection to defiance of authority, including the fact that they are less likely to make two free throws than a layup. Or for the sake of time. Or some other reason. There is nothing sinful or against the rules about that. It's part of the game, and part of the rules, and it is defined a specific way in the rulebook. We are, in every game or sport, permitted to take advantage of the rules. We do it in other areas of life as well. The rules define it as a legitimate basketball play for which outcomes are anticipated. It is living by the rules of the game.  I continue to fail to see the problem here, and no one seems to be willing to take a stab at explaining it.

I am not going to prolong this any more. I think the bigger issues here are the way people go about arguing things. Moral equivocation is a serious error because it misleads people about the true nature of biblical living and submission to authority. And that's why I think it needs more thought than is being given here.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry wrote:
There are all kinds of reasons to foul someone that have no connection to defiance of authority, including the fact that they are less likely to make two free throws than a layup. Or for the sake of time. Or some other reason. There is nothing sinful or against the rules about that. It's part of the game, and part of the rules, and it is defined a specific way in the rulebook.
The basic reason is a desire to gain something for yourself, the same basic reason anyone breaks any rule - it's really not different in kind, only in degree. There are also specific rules that explain the consequences of breaking the law, but that doesn't make it ok to break the law and simply accept the consequences. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Chip, My point is that you actually have to argue for that. You can't simply assert that "it's not really different in kind, only in degree" and then consider the argument over. You actually have to show that they are similar in some way. You have to make an argument that the rules of basketball are an authority ordained by God.

As I pointed out, the rules of a game are not the same as civil laws; the officials are not the same as sworn officers. There is no reason that I know of to consider them the same in kind.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry, I did argue for it waaaaay back up the thread. The principles are the same: obey the governing authorities in your life, whether that be civil government, employer, or referee. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Chip, I don't have a lot of time to continue this so I will say this and then try to back away from the table here.

I just went back and quickly reread, and it confirmed my impression that there was no actual argument made showing how they are the same. There were just assertions and equivocations along the lines of "They are the same kind, just different degrees," which is not itself an argument. And equivocations of every thing from defaulting on credit card debt to internet pornography to premarital sex. Which is perhaps like equating a nice day at the beach with a housefire. After, it's the same kind of heat, just different degrees, right?  But we all acknowledge that the difference of degrees is pretty significant. It's no minor deal. Some heat is acceptable and some is not. The beach sun and housefire have a different source and a different effect. And that is a clear difference between the rules of a game and the laws of a civil society.

As I said, I am not sure such an argument could even be begun, much less sustained, but I will certainly be willing to consider it, if it is made.

Analogies are rarely perfect, and this one won't be, but if you want to use a credit card analogy, late payments or partial payments is more similar to this. A payment "must be made" by such and such a date. If you don't, there is a penalty to pay. In some cases, people judge is better to pay the penalty and make the late payment or carry over the balance.

On the issue of moral relativity that you have raised a few times, first, there is moral relativity in some sense, as revealed by the Law of Moses, inspired by God. Killing a person and killing an animal receive two different penalties because in relation to each other, they are not morally equivalent; they are relative. But would something like the rules of basketball even make into that discussion?

Before we get there, we would have to have some sort of argument made that fouling in a basketball is a moral issue to begin with. And we haven't even gotten there yet, aside from naked assertions.

So why is a basketball game, and strategic fouling a moral issue? By what definition is it a sinful defiance of biblical authority?

Thanks for the exchange. I need to move on here (I hope).

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry wrote:

Analogies are rarely perfect, and this one won't be, but if you want to use a credit card analogy, late payments or partial payments is more similar to this. A payment "must be made" by such and such a date. If you don't, there is a penalty to pay. In some cases, people judge is better to pay the penalty and make the late payment or carry over the balance.

Larry, before you move on maybe we can use your analogy. Would you counsel someone that this is morally acceptable behavior, or is it a sin?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Larry's picture

Moderator

Well Chip, there is no answer without more context. Someone who carries over a balance buying big screen TVs and eating out every night is different than someone who carries a balance because they are unemployed and buying groceries and gas. And both of those are different than someone who forgets to make a payment. Not all of it is sin, and none of it might be, but all of it involves a use of a card that is permissible so long as one is willing to pay the price for it. Again, all analogies break down.

But this conversation is all premature. Again, until you show that the rules of a game (basketball) are equivalent to the law of God and an authority ordained by God, we have no foundation on which to discuss this particularly issue. Someone can't be defying an authority from God until there is an authority from God. Furthermore, said authority has expectations, and by agreeing to the authority, you agree to the expectations. So if the authority expects the fouling to take place, then it is not defying the authority for it to happen. It is not wrong to do what the authority expects you to do.

So in the end, you have yet to show that this is a moral issue. You've skipped right past the most important part.

 

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Larry wrote:

Well Chip, there is no answer without more context. Someone who carries over a balance buying big screen TVs and eating out every night is different than someone who carries a balance because they are unemployed and buying groceries and gas. And both of those are different than someone who forgets to make a payment. Not all of it is sin, and none of it might be, but all of it involves a use of a card that is permissible so long as one is willing to pay the price for it. Again, all analogies break down.

But this conversation is all premature. Again, until you show that the rules of a game (basketball) are equivalent to the law of God and an authority ordained by God, we have no foundation on which to discuss this particularly issue. Someone can't be defying an authority from God until there is an authority from God. Furthermore, said authority has expectations, and by agreeing to the authority, you agree to the expectations. So if the authority expects the fouling to take place, then it is not defying the authority for it to happen. It is not wrong to do what the authority expects you to do.

So in the end, you have yet to show that this is a moral issue. You've skipped right past the most important part.

 

So you can't call it sin to enter into an agreement whereby you borrow money and agree to pay it back with interest on a set timetable and do not fulfill your agreement? You don't see that as stealing, or lying, or anything? What you have described is textbook relativism Larry. No wonder you don't see any problem with disrespect for officials and disobedience to duly appointed authorities in deliberately breaking rules in a game to gain an advantage. 

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

GregH's picture

A bewildering perspective you have Larry. No one says that basketball rules are as authoritative as Biblical rules. But if someone goes into a basketball game, you would think they would be by default submitting to the rules and thus intentionally breaking them would be a moral issue. Would you not teach your children to obey the rules if they went into a basketball game? If so, why?

Again, I am lukewarm on this issue and don't care about sports really but just don't get where you are coming from. Not that I disagree with you that strongly; it is more about the dogmatic way you approach it, dismissing valid arguments in the process. 

Larry's picture

Moderator

So you can't call it sin to enter into an agreement whereby you borrow money and agree to pay it back with interest on a set timetable and do not fulfill your agreement? You don't see that as stealing, or lying, or anything?

That wasn't the scenario I posed nor a question I was asked. But since you ask here, of course it is sin if you enter into an agreement to borrow money and pay it back and you do not fulfill it.

What you have described is textbook relativism Larry.

Of course this relativism. That's not even controversial. There's a reason why when you foul in a basketball game the other team gets two shots, but when you shoot a man in cold blood you get life in prison or the death penalty. Relative to each other, they are significantly different, and that is noted by differing penalties. Relativism is not a bad word. It's a good word. It's the same thing as having perspective. The relativism that's bad is when two equal things are treated differently. Treating different things differently is relativistic, and is proper. Again, that's demonstrated in the Law of Moses given by God.

No wonder you don't see any problem with disrespect for officials and disobedience to duly appointed authorities in deliberately breaking rules in a game to gain an advantage.

Actually, I have a great problem with this. But again, this wasn't the issue that was raised. In a basketball game, when the official blows this whistle and makes a call, you respect that and abide by it whether you like it or not.

The problem continues to be, Chip, that you are refusing to mount any sort of argument in support of your position. There is no foundation for this discussion to even take place. You want to pretend that a game with an accepted standard of playing is equivalent to an authority established by God. You actually have to make that argument.

Until you do that, there is likely no need to continue here. Honestly, Chip, I am at a loss here. I don't know how to proceed with no argument to respond to.

 

Larry's picture

Moderator

No one says that basketball rules are as authoritative as Biblical rules.

That appears to be the argument being made here, that to foul someone with the knowledge of accepting the penalty for it in the convention of a game is the same as defying God's authority, and therefore is sin, just as is breaking God's law in the word.

But if someone goes into a basketball game, you would think they would be by default submitting to the rules and thus intentionally breaking them would be a moral issue. Would you not teach your children to obey the rules if they went into a basketball game? If so, why?

Again, aren't you confusing categories. It is not morally wrong to use accepted strategy in a non-moral context to accomplish a particular end. Yes, I teach kids to obey the rules. And part of the rules allows for fouling someone, giving up two shots, with a chance to get the ball back. There is also a case in the rule book for intentional fouling when you don't get the ball back. Defiance of authority, or refusal to submit would be things like continuing to play after the whistle, arguing with officials, flagrant fouls intended to injure, grabbing a player's jersey and hoping not to get caught, etc. None of that is being talked about here.

Wouldn't you agree that in contexts, there are commonly accepted patterns of doing things in certain ways, and everyone expects it and agrees that it is a proper way to play? In fact, to fail to play that way could be (and would be by many) considered to be quitting. It's not as simple as saying "You broke a rule. You sinned."

Again, I am lukewarm on this issue and don't care about sports really but just don't get where you are coming from. Not that I disagree with you that strongly; it is more about the dogmatic way you approach it, dismissing valid arguments in the process.]

There have been no arguments made, much less valid ones. Arguments are propositions supported by other propositions of an evidentiary nature with the goal of persuading one to adopt a position. So far, all we have are propositions. We have no supporting propositions. The means to persuasion here has been to label something and declare that solves the problem.

As I said above, I am willing to entertain the argument, but the argument has to be made before I can entertain it.

My dogmatism (if it could even be called that) is only in the sense of trying to make a case for something. I would not confuse making a case with dogmatism. I don't think this is that controversial for most. I am actually surprised that it has gone this far.

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