Sport: the Treasure of Temperance

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Sport: the Treasure of Temperance

The modern lifestyle, with its emphasis on enjoyment and immoderation, could lead a human being to the point where he is not a master of himself anymore. Inner desires and outer pressures force a man to take those actions that are not in accordance with his rational human nature and that are not good for him. According to the classical philosophical view of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, this clearly shows the inner slavery of modern man. Temperance, moderation or asceticism today seem old fashioned and unnecessary virtues; nevertheless, it is obvious that many problems of modern societies have roots in the absence of these virtues. These problems include a high percentage of obese population, different addictions and other health problems concerning the immoderate life style. It seems that nowadays enjoyment is the highest imperative for the individual and for society as a whole. However, these days it is possible to recognize the revival of these virtues. This paper points out the case of sport where these virtues are still cultivated and highly appreciated. At first this may seem somehow strange, because many times sport is perceived as connected with pleasure, fun and excess, but in reality sport demands much of participants. It could be even said that professional athletes are modern ascetics, and a big part of recreational sport is all but not enjoyment. In conclusion we can assert that virtues acquired in the field of sport can indeed help a human being to live a better life in general.

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