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I recently attended an MMA fight and have seen boxing on TV and in movies (mainly Rocky movies :^). It dawned on me to ask: Is there an Objectivist position on the sorts of sports that center on the use of physical force? In boxing, the whole goal is to sufficiently pummel your opponent that you knock him unconscious. So, how does this align with the Objectivist aspiration to eliminate the use of physical force from human affairs?

asked Oct 12 '10 at 17:24

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

edited Oct 12 '10 at 18:09

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

The sport is between consenting adults - there is no 'initiation of force' i.e. approbation of 'force' between the two parties does not constitute a violation of either person's right to their property (in this case their bodies) much like inviting your friends over for coffee doesn't violate any notion of private property.

That said the deliberate recourse to physically impair, and to put in harms way ones mind (damage from repeated head blows is what I am referring) falls under the same category as substance abuse - the deliberate harm of the mind, ones tool for reason and :. immoral.

(Oct 13 '10 at 01:39) Cog Cog's gravatar image

It depends on the context.
From a political perspective, in a free society individuals may choose to engage in dangerous activities, as long as they do it voluntarily it could not be immoral because there is no violation of rights. It is not force if you agree to it, just like it is not force to have someone come and repossess your car using force if necessary, when you had agreed to pay for it on the first place.
From an individual perspective, it would be irrational to engage in violent sports if you are not prepared for them and you are therefore very likely to get hurt. But it is perfectly rational for an individual to train to be a fighter, and to match his skill with another fighter under conditions that would be very dangerous to an unprepared individual, but are not that dangerous to him. I practiced martial arts for many years, and the only times that I got seriously injured was when I was playing soccer or basketball, or riding a bike, not while training for martial arts or while sparring with other people. In fact, team sports are more likely to injure a practitioner than martial arts, because good martial training starts with preparing your body to withstand the demands of combat, preparing your mind to be in focus, preparing your subconscious to think and react quickly, and learning strategies to avoid being injured while in combat. You don't jump into combat until you are ready. The reason to practice those sports is to become more effective at living, by being more fit physically, and by being more prepared to repel an attack to save your life if that ever happened in real life. In my opinion that is a very worthy goal and I wholeheartedly condone it.
On the other hand, there are some people who get into fighting sports with the wrong frame of mind. They jump into combat right away, and their main objective is to hurt another person even if they get hurt in the process in order to gain some fake self esteem, but that's more akin to a street fight than to a sport, and I would definitely not condone martial arts practiced with that frame of mind.

answered Oct 14 '10 at 02:55

Francisco's gravatar image

Francisco ♦

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Asked: Oct 12 '10 at 17:24

Seen: 1,929 times

Last updated: Oct 14 '10 at 02:55