Tuesday, 6 January 2004
God, sports, credit, and blame
This morning David Bernstein wrote an entry on selective thinking for the Volokh Conspiracy. Ignoring the word "sports" in the second sentence, this is a concise summary of the largest thorn in the side of skeptical inquiry.
I've noticed that Americans have a tendency to publicly attribute any success they have had — anything ranging from winning a Little League playoff game to winning the lottery — to God's intervention on their behalf. But I haven't noticed a countervailing tendency to blame God when things go wrong, an especially annoying defect in the sports world, where victories are freely attributed to Jesus's blessings. If God wanted the Marlins to win the World Series, doesn't that mean he wanted the Yankees to lose? Just once, I'd like to see the losing Super Bowl quarterback tell the media "Guess Jesus really had it in for me today."