Boxing is a violent sport full of hate where the only objective is to knock your opponent unconscious. This is a very quick and biased view of boxing because if you study boxing closer it helps teach the person about their moral character. Boxing helps teach people to “get off the canvas and roll with the punches” (Marino, 2010, para 8) and to face their fears, two important lessons to get through life. Throughout the article written by Marino, he educates about Aristotelian ethics and uses boxing as a real-life example.
I believe that Marino’s invocation of Aristotelian ethics is well articulated, and I agree with his application through boxing relating it to your life. Aristotelian ethics and boxing can relate to the rights and responsibility lens; boxing can help develop our moral lives and can clearly define and educate people about Aristotle’s definition of courage. The sport of boxing and comparing it to real-life morals and virtues is extremely well done by Gordon Marino using Aristotelian ethics.
The moral virtues that Aristotle preached such as “qualities, temperance, justice, pride, and truthfulness” (Marino, 2010, para.11) all can be directly applied to Kantian ethics and the rights/responsibility lens (DesJardins, 2012). Boxing is a man versus man, woman versus woman sport which “can compel a person to take a quick self-inventory and gut check about what he or she is willing to endure and risk” (Marino, 2010, para. 4). The rights and responsibility lens are all about the self, honesty, responsibility, temperance, completing your duties and following the rules (Ethics games, 2012). All these values and characteristics are important in boxing and are all needed to find out who you truly are.
Boxing teaches individuals self-discipline, responsibility, courage, and “what physical and psychic powers they possess – of how much, or how little, they are capable” (Marino, 2010, para. 5). Marino (2010) writes that Aristotle while talking about excellence, states “it is not enough to know, but we must try to have to use it” (para. 10). Boxing, unlike many other sports, accomplishes this within the first sparring session. Boxing is not only a sport that allows individuals to release anger but can also help improve one’s moral character. As Marino (2010) states, life requires toughness and resiliency because it is filled with blows.
Being inside a boxing ring will teach you about your own toughness and resiliency and let you face fear. Facing these fears, no matter how big or small, will make you come out with a greater understanding of your moral self. Boxers are faced with fear, but after months of training they are able to cope with their fears and can start to see things that emotions blinded them from earlier. “By getting into the ring with our fears, we will be less likely to succumb to trepidation when doing the right thing demands to take a hit” (Marino, 2010, para. 14).
In doing this, you realize what it takes to overcome fear and will not crumble to this pressure when faced with real-life situations. Boxing is the best sport to use to enhance Aristotle’s view of courage because boxing is all about building up yourself, learning what you are made of, identifying your breaking point to go past it, and to face fear and move past it. All these values help individuals deeper understand Aristotle’s definition of courage.
According to Marino (2010), Aristotle’s definition of “courage is a mean between rashness and cowardliness; that is, between having too little trepidation and too much” (para.12). This means you need to find a middle ground between having too much fear that something may happen and having no fear at all. In order to find this happy medium a person must practise, experience, and face fear to develop their courage.
Boxing is perfect for developing Aristotelian courage because boxers “become more at home with feeling afraid. Fear is painful, but it can be faced, and in time a boxer learns not to panic about the blows that will be coming his way” (Marino, 2010, para. 13). This means that with time, boxers find that perfect mean between rashness and cowardliness.
Marino’s invocation of Aristotelian ethics is thoughtful, and his application to real-life through boxing is the perfect match. Boxing is said to help develop our moral lives and can be a clear cut definition of Aristotle’s definition of courage. The moral virtues taught by Aristotle align with the rights and responsibility lens and focuses on the self, honesty, temperance, and completing your duties. Boxing helps an individual face their fears, identify their breaking point, struggle to exceed that point, and get through anything.
This will allow a person to develop their moral character by not crumbling under pressure in real-life situations and by finding the perfect middle between rashness and cowardliness. References DesJardins, J. , (2014). An Introduction to Business Ethics. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Ethics Games, (2012). Ethical Lens Inventory. Retrieved from http://www. ethicsgame. com/Exec/Eli/EthicalLensResults. aspx? R=1 Marino, G. , (2010, September 15).
The New York Times. The Opinionator: Boxing Lessons. Retrieved from http://opinionator. blogs. nytimes. com/2010/09/15/boxing-lessons/? _php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0.
Courtney from Study Moose