Hand Ball Luis Suarez – Man or Superman

4 Jul

What does moral philosophy have to say about the new “hand of god” in world soccer?  Uruguay’s Luis Suarez’s handball on the line preventing a certain goal has been condemned by deontologists, many of whom seem to live in the world’s most populated nation, Facebook .  The immoral action of Suarez is a prime example of morality’s relegation to the lower divisions. Under no circumstances should Suarez have lifted his hands – it was wrong yesterday, today and tomorrow, as we are all duty bound to do the moral thing no matter what the consequences.

But this doesn’t play on the Moral Relativists bench, and they Kant understand such thinking at all. They hacked this idea by suggesting Suarez’s act rejected the notion of a global moral authority, his primal instinct trumping arbitrary standards conceived in a world where one man’s vuvuzela is another man’s perforated ear drum, or if you are hungry, one man’s Big Mac is another man’s disgust, or illiterate, one man’s metaphor is like another man’s smile (sic), or if you are all about equality, one man’s woman is another woman’s man. One can never be sure about what the hell is going on – after ten lagers.

On the other hand, consequentialists play wide by arguing that the consequences of Suarez‘s act are the only factors that matter. He handled the ball, he was punished, Ghana missed the spot kick and Uruguay won. That is the result. Suarez is perfectly right to claim himself as a hero by sacrificing himself with an immoral act, he saved the greater good; he saved Uruguay.

It was the French thinker Albert Camus who said, “Everything I know about morality and the obligations of men, I owe to soccer.” Camus was a goalkeeper, as was Suarez at his philosophical moment of truth.

So is Suarez, man or superman?

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6 Responses to “Hand Ball Luis Suarez – Man or Superman”

  1. Dylan July 4, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

    I would of done the same and I would expect players on my team to do the same.

    He took a risk and it payed off.

    I dont think FIFA should ban him for any longer than the original 1 game ban, although I dont think Uruguay will make it past the Dutch.

    But we will see.


  2. David July 5, 2010 at 7:05 pm #

    The beautiful game is full of injustices. Some of them clearly against the actual rules of the game go unpunished (England’s “ghost” goal), some of them are sweetly punished while pushing the rules to the very limit (like Suarez’ gamble).

    I’d hate to be on Ghana’s shoes these days, but it’s part of the game (technically it wasn’t cheating; it was wrong on “moral” grounds… however vague that definition could be), but I’d be more pissed if I was an Englishman, because that one was clearly against the written rules and FIFA could easily make a practical stand (not a moral one) and put an end to these types of injustices.

  3. Alex July 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    To me, he is considered superman. Everybody talks about Suarez but what about the way the ghanians kicked the Uruguayan players, how Gyan was offside in that penalty play and how we didn’t get a penalty. Also, fucile was given a yellow card in a play that wasn’t a foul.

  4. Guido July 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm #

    Y have seen 12 world including South Africa. What Suarez did was wrong and he got penalized with a red card. Suarez did not make the fottball rules.
    Worse are the mistakes that referees make. FIFA penalizes the referees.

  5. marienplatz July 31, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    may be Suarez plays excelent, but the team needs to be changed – Ajax is not the same that was used

  6. liliana alamedin October 29, 2010 at 10:33 am #


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