Why Sport and Religion are bad for society

By Nasir Hashir.

I live in a small town in California. I was born here and my parents have been here since the 1960’s. Because my older brother was a hot rod enthusiast, my childhood sports heroes were low-budget independent drag racers, and not football, baseball or basketball players.

So from an early age, when my school friends did the shouting, cheering, high-fiveing sport-fan things, I smiled and nodded and remained quiet and calm. I enjoyed being on the outside of it.

When made to play games with balls and teams at school, I did not object, but I would get into mild trouble when I would fail to notice a passing ball that I was supposed to catch, chase or run with, because I was looking at a weed in the grass, or a car parked nearby, or the female teachers that I had crushes on.

And so I adopted a life devoid of sport. I even turned my attention away from car racing by the time I reached 12.

And that’s when I first noticed that the more people like sport, the more violent, angry, competitive and generally unpleasant they become. Whereas, the less people like sport, the more reasonable, intelligent, objective and charitable they become.

There are of course many exceptions, many sports players or fans who are very nice indeed, but I can can sum it up thus:

Sport causes violence.

 

My parents were non-religious, and from an early age I saw the common sense in that. I simply cannot understand why anyone anywhere would for one second believe that the God myth is true. Since I am lucky enough to be an American, and I don’t live in Iran or Afghanistan or in certain areas of Dallas, I can freely and openly declare my non-belief and only get beaten up by religious people once every few years.

And from this outside, objective, point of view, I can observe the religious and clearly see that they are more likely to hate people who are different from them. Some Moslems hate Christians and Jews, some Hindus hate Moslems, some Protestants hate Catholics, etc. etc. and throughout the modern history era, this attitude has been taken to the ultimate level, war and murder.

There are of course many exceptions, many people of religion who are among the nicest people in the world, but I can sum it up thus:

Religion causes killing.

 

So there you have it, sport causes violence and religion causes killing. You may sit there and read this and say, but I like baseball and bowling and I never hit anyone. Or you may say, I go to church and I oppose all war. But as I said, there are exceptions and if you are a nice person and still like sport and religion, you are using your power of reason to go against the flow to a certain extent.

There are exceptions on both sides. Some people may not like sport or religion and yet still be killers. There are exceptions to any rule and trend. But I stand behind my observations and say again, sport and religion are bad for society.

Nasir Hashir is a baker in a small town in California, but does not eat cakes himself.

 

23 Comments

  1. Wow Nasir. You are brave to write such things in this god-crazed country. I definitely agree with your points.

  2. Have to admit playing and watching soccer made me short-fused and likely to fight. Becoming a father and focusing away from sport probably kept me out of jail. I am proof that sport makes you more violent.

    And religion, nice for many but evil for a few, especially the priests. Those scumbags asking everyone for money and then saying and doing bad things. Disgusting.

  3. Inflammatory, yes, but I have to reluctantly agree with the writer. Sport and religion have the exact effects on society that he suggests. They shouldn’t but sadly they do.

  4. I agree with every word said by Nasir and would like to see sport and religion eradicated from the planet.

    Unfortunately it will never happen because so many people have a gap in their lives which sport/religion fills quite nicely. Such a pity.

  5. I don’t really agree here. I think you are lacking arguments. In my experience, and in my childhood, it was all the opposite; most of those who were not in sports teams were the guys who got involved in drugs/drinks at an early age, did not understand responsibility and failed classes, and where the ones fighting at school.

    Those of us who played sports were too focused on trying to play next Sunday for the team. We were actually more friendly because we knew better how to share, or learned stuff such as being a good teammate, learned other stuff that was taught by our coaches (whom you see as really cool guys when you are a kid), and these guys usually teach responsibility, since success in sports means hard work, discipline and a lot of good things. For me, and for many others that I know, sports shaped us into great persons.

    Some people who cannot have access to a good education since their childhood (because of not so good parents or other factors) may get the teachings I mentioned above and stay away from drugs and violence thanks to participating in sports.

  6. I agree with anduco. This is inappropriate in my opinion. If you don’t believe in religion or sport you don’t have to start a page demeaning it. You don’t support your points. And i very much disagree.

  7. I totally disagree I think that sports are good especially when it comes to religion mostly cause that is the thing in sports is the best way to practice your virtues it helps you restrain yourself from any violence.Sports can help you both physically and mentally.The most virtues shown during sports are the 4 cardinal virtues.And this coming from an 11 year old thats how much I disagree.

  8. I have the feeling that Dominique is parroting her parents. I also agree whole heartedly with the author of this article. Finally – another sane minded, well spoken human being! There aren’t enough of those on this planet.

  9. I totally agree. Competition could be blamed for so much that is wrong with our culture / society. However as soon as you challenge it you are challenging peoples beliefs and who are those p( more often than not this is also glorified )
    people ? The competitive breed ! it is an impossible mission.

    This could be turned into a massive argument either way but competition is based on the fact that someone has to get beaten that someone has to lose and is this fundamentally good from anyone’s perspective ?

  10. You just posted thee most ignorant thing I have ever read. I’m non-religious like you but I find religion to be one of the greatest concepts ever created by man. At worst, it’s a scam of time and money, but other than that it keeps people sane. Violence isn’t soley due to sports… Sports teach people how to become better people, the 3 p’s, practice, persistence, and patience. Key virtues to be successful in life. I’m disgusted by your opinion. Both of these concepts, sports and religion, bring great things to our society and fighting is simply human nature. You’re clearly a less superior being and would be among the first to go if social darwinism was indeed a true concept. You’re an ignorant fool, along with the people who agree with your statements.

  11. I agree except for a few things. I would like to point out that you did not mention that as well as causing barbaric actions sports are enjoyed mostly by people who are already barbaric. This is because they think being tough and physically superior makes them better than everybody else. Sports is also bad for society because it creates the dillusion that it is important. All of the kids who are good at sports in school will be respected and have more friends. As well as this people will grow up to be more attracted to somebody who is good at sports and not somebody who excels at a subject that actually matters. If you agree with this way of thinking then you are no better than an ape. Because of this Brilliant people are seen as losers and often become depressed just because of our barbaric society. For example people mock Stephen Hawking when in an ideal society it would be him who mocked them for being stupid. The human race needs to move on and stop valuing people for their physical ability. Another example is the Olympics. The UK pulled out of funding the hadron super collider because we didn’t think have enough money but we still were able to host the Olympics. This strengthened the false message that sports matters and at the same time wasted billions. I would also like to point out to anyone who disagrees that this is not an opinion it is scientifically backed up. Religion is another matter. My Grandad is one of the most intelligent and kind people that you will ever meet but he is a Christian. Religion is still debatable and is probably influenced more by an individual’s surroundings rather than the the simplicity of their mind.

  12. I agree that sport and religion are bad for humanity.
    However, I suggest that it is religion that encourages violence and sport that encourages ignorance.
    For anyone interested the issue of all organised religion is outlined intelligently in excellent detail in christopher hitchens’ book ‘god is not great’.
    As for sport – physical activity is essential for the human machine. Keeping fit is good for you in many ways.
    Following sport as a distraction is not.
    This can be seen in other things, such as popular music and reality television.
    Yes music is an important creative past time – but not when it swaps creativity with banality and swaps talented musicianship with criminals and divas.
    Notice how you rarely see anyone using an instrument in a music video? All you see is some gyrating idiot who thinks they are beautiful…
    These are all part of the same problem – the combined rejection of education, common sense, morality and creativity because their worth lies in the more difficult task of personal effort; and the fear of standing on your own without institutionalised support.

  13. Why did some people ignore the ‘there are exceptions’ thing? BUT ANYWAYS, I kind of agree with you. I think some sports (like running & swimming) are ok, because it doesn’t scream: ‘KICK THEIR BUTTS!!’ I instead says: ‘I wonder who’s faster? /I hope that guy wins!’ And in the end, the result to(respectively) ‘FCK! THEY DIDNT WIN!!! FAN RAAGGGEEEE!!!!!’ And ‘darn, that sucks. I hoped he would win! Too bad.’ This is not always. It can be the opposite. But it seems to me that sports that involve players be physical to the opposing team(in soccer, stealing the ball, basket ball, same thing, football, DO I EVEN NEED TO EXPLAIN IT?) encourages people to be physical. Maybe it makes it the ‘social norm’. The violence does weed out some idiots who would later kill people over stupid sport sh!t. Try saying that 5 times fast.
    Now religion. I am an agnostic(I’m pretty sure) and I think killing/wars over religion is FCKING. STUPID. I think it’s stupid because Hitler said ‘Jews killed Jesus! We should kill them!’ THAT WAS STUPID. He probably did in the name of god or some sh!t, but I start thinking: ‘God is nice(except for the time she(I think god is a woman, sue me) said ‘hey Cain, take these veggies & fruits’, and later said ‘your fruits suck as a sacrifice. You suck.’) Did he think god would be like ‘Hey, people from that guy’s religion killed my son, so kill all the people from his religion, even if they had ABSOLUTELY NO FCKING THING TO DO WITH IT.’ SERIOUSLY. Religion is not bad in my opinion, people who take religion OH SO SERIOUSLY THAT THEY HAVE TO KILL TO PROVE THEIR ‘UNYIELDING LOVE AND BELIEF’ IN GOD SHOULD BE SMITTEN.

  14. Tl;dr: Some sports should be discouraged, god is usually good, hitler was an a-hole, some people do really stupid sh!t over sports & religion.

  15. I do t watch sport, I do sport. I cannot understand why some people can sit on their butts for hours while watching, or admiring millionaires having fun on a field. I could never do that, unless you tied me to this chair, I’m just going to grab my ball, call up some friends for a quick match. Those same friends, will spend hours arguing about Kobe this, Lebron that, stay up late watching play off while their grades are suffering. One of them was kicked out the university because his GPS was too low. How is this different from alcoholism or drug abuse? You reach a point where if affects your life. And don’t get me started on Facebook, Instagram and those online videogames. There are two kinds of people in this world: sheeps and wolves: the sheeps are those who follow and consume everything they put in their plate, they have that herd mentality, they are represented by the sports fans and the common religious folks. On the other hand, the wolves run the show: they are the sports team owners, the religious leaders. They do not care whatsoever about sports or religion, they are just after the money, and of course, POWAH.

  16. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    However, I disagree, somewhat. Sports and religion are moreso distractions from real issues than anything else. Any violence involved depends on many factors, such as already mentally unstable practitioners.

    I am involved with martial arts. This has taught me how to overcome/control violent tendencies and respect my opponent. That said, martial arts has its origins in both offensive and defensive behaviour (and posturization, which I’ll get to). I’m also certain that most sports have their origins in training for war (just watch an American football match, the initial push, exploitation of breaks in the line, and the flanking movements are a give-away). If there’s anything to say about success in combat, it is knowing your opponent and attempting to ensure a quick solution to the problem.

    In war (and sports games, which is not very different), when anyone involved resorts to atrocities and lowly tactics (often fuelled by “religious beliefs”) it is usually to do with a “sick” mind. These sorts are often blindly followed because of sharing at least some ideological points. This goes beyond caring about victory and bothering to learn about the enemy and straight into the world of sociopathy. Unfortunately, plenty of sociopaths live on the fringes of society.

    I will speak in examples. Take Alexander III (the great) of Makedon. While he and his army won many breathtaking victories during their adventures in the Balkans, Greece, and Asia, they took their tactics to the extreme. Exterminating entire cities, slaughtering women and children, forcing people to live in new cities, extreme hedonism (even during battle), et cetera. As if this weren’t bad enough, Alexandros was becoming more insane, paranoid, egotistical, and hedonistic with every passing year, which cost him the confidence of the soldiers. He was royalty, and that status must be maintained, even if it means conducting assassinations of your own men and crushing real and perceived dissent (Parmenio, his son Philotas, and many lesser soldiers paid in blood). There were several attempts on his life and it is very possible that he did die of poisoned wine days after yet another nightly drinking binge. All of this behaviour was typical in classical “civilizations”.

    Royalty was, and always will be, on the fringe. This includes enlightened absolutism.

    Do you see what I mean? Sports are a way to include and get to know people. I was an overweight asthmatic and did not always enjoy playing sports in my school years, but I did recognize the value in some of them. I wasn’t always “included”, but I at least tried to be involved. There is a sort of satisfaction that comes from competing with others. This does not automatically cause violent behaviour. War is the same, especially when it comes to posturizing. Posturing is something that humans, like apes, do very well. The average person does not like to really fight unless it’s necessary. The New Zealand All Blacks rugby team is notorious for their interpretation of the “haka”, a war dance done by Maori warriors before battle in an attempt to scare the enemy away.

    See, it’s usually not sports themselves that cause violence. It’s people in the fringe who happen to be involved in sports, especially those with infectious personalities that gain followers. That is when things become dangerous. Religion is no different. When “outsiders” are included and seen as equals, there is much less risk of bad things happening.

    This is part of the reason why Alexandros’ father Philipos II created a professional army that included people from all parts of Makedonian society. He united the tribes, gave people purpose, and prepared his men to top any threat. This all shattered when Alexandros (despite being a tactical genius) failed to keep up the standard after decades of success in several brutal wars. The day he died, the largest and wealthiest contiguous empire yet broke into pieces with his generals fighting for dominance for decades in sadistic conflicts, with countless lives cut short for no reason. Most of these successors were sick ***** in the highest order.

    Anyways, yeah. Do you get my drift? Don’t get me wrong, I see where you’re coming from. There have been times that I’ve agreed with your viewpoint. Sometimes life teaches us things we wouldn’t expect in odd ways.

    Peace.

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