We used to make fun of Jeremy for his beliefs. A lot. There was not a bus trip that went by where another teammate and I would not take him to task. If god was so benevolent, why all the wars? How come you can never see him? Do you really not believe in evolution?
The funny thing is that I think I was missing the whole point. The ancillary details surrounding the religion are not that important. Being religious gives people a moral framework that they build their life around. This structure can be a very positive force.
The power of the mind is undeniable. If you believe that a higher power has planned big things for you than you are more likely to make something out of your life. I really think that’s the case, and even if it is just a placebo effect, it is still an effect. They have given pills to pregnant women that were supposed to induce vomiting, told them it was an anti-nausea pill, and watched as those women suffered less from morning sickness. The human brain is NUTS. So, if you ignore the fact that a ton of religious people think a dude died and came back to life, and that the earth is only 10,000 years old, you can see where having seemingly irrational beliefs can come in handy.
You need to be irrational to succeed in basketball. You have to believe in the hot hand, even if stats prove it does not exist. You have to believe you are the best player on the court, even if you have just played 5 sub par games in a row. You have to believe that spending hours a day shooting a ball through a hoop is a better use of time than learning a different skill, spending time with friends, or even studying. Continue reading “Religion and Basketball”