Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Lottery of Champions

On a class excursion from this weekend, I passed this advertisement in a convenient store and it caught my attention. We have similar advertisements in the US that positively associate the lottery with the Hope Scholarship, charities, etc., but I think it is worth discussing why we have ads that associate a potentially unwise use of time and money with passion-filled acts of glory.

Chapter 4 touches on moral justification, which in this case is a variant of more extreme scenarios (ex. the masked motives of Europeans in the 16th and 17th century to convert natives of North and South America to Christianity while actually intending to take over their land). Moral justification in this less extreme case plays into the stirring feelings of country pride, being a part of a movement, and being a part of a success story. Even if the lottery ticket purchaser doesn't win they still feel like a winner and of anything they are inclined to purchase more lottery tickets to support the cause. 

It can also be compared to the motivation example on page 61 where a person sees those at the top of their game (ex. Phil Mickelson) and admires their determination. The admirer may not be willing/may not know the amount of work necessary to get to the level of the person they admire, so instead they participate by purchasing memorabilia. This seems to work for both children and adults (ex. Wheaties, the Breakfast of Champions), which I think is worth begin discussed and explored more.
-Joanna Sullivan

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