1040 GMT April 03, 2020
The reader of this article is entitled to know the main reason behind the writing of this article. In fact, the reason for writing of this article is not its immediate significance, rather, the question is: Why such a simple problem is not solved? Some of the causes are discussed below.
There are two approaches to Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in sports. Some newspapers, officials and some high-ranking FIFA officials and even some referees support it while some others oppose it.
There are two claims in the remarks of the opponents, who rely on one or both of them to forward their argumentation. First, by relying on VAR, the referee uses some means that he is not entitled to do and it is some sort of cheating because the referee in discharging his own duties relies on assistance of something else. Second, such a move is tantamount to replacement of human being with technology. It is said that if this trend continues, the cameras will replace the referees in the soccer playground. It is also argued that such a move is tantamount to the domination of technology over human being, the rule of robots on man and undermining of man’s role.
The advocates of this approach in some cases defend human error and argue that human error is inseparable part of referring and the game and hence human error should not be eliminated. Some even argue that such a measure is tantamount to dehumanization.
The thrust of this article, based on the author’s acquaintance of cognitive science and philosophy, is to explore the reasons of such invalid and primitive claims, which are not free from cognitive errors, and can create ballyhoos.
It is pertinent here to discuss as to why such claims are invalid and primitive. The advocates of the first claim announce that the referees should discharge their duties single handedly. First of all, the referees does not discharge their duties single handedly and they are assisted by three linesmen in soccer. Secondly, it seems that the objective of appointment of a referee is forgotten, i.e. the philosophy of appointment of a referee is to prevent unfairness against the players and hence a referee is entitled to seek the help of anyone and anything. Basically, the duty of the referee is not to unveil or discover the truth. The duty of the referee is to vindicate the rights of the players and if the lifting of a limitation can help better discharge of the referee’s duty, such limitations should be removed. It seems that it is forgotten that essentially the referee is appointed because the players themselves cannot decide about their differences. Hence, the duty of the referee is to recognize the right instead of entering the contention as a third party. At the same time, in many cases, the players themselves know whether they harm the rival players out of anger or just intended to hit the ball. Hence, first and foremost, the presence of the referee in the playground is not to discover the truth, but only to referee as the final source of decision-making in the game.
The second claim that contends that such a move is dehumanization and domination of machine or robot on human being, is a mainly is not based on reason but on some causes.
In other words, although the paranoia of the domination of robots may not be that illogical (and not that logical either), it is not related to this subject and those who raise this issue don’t have any argumentation or reason, but there is a cause for such claims.
Its main cause is that, as many technologies have rendered many people (particularly workers) jobless, it may also render those who advocate this approach jobless. They normally receive very high salaries which are irrelevant compared to the service they render to the society. In order to grasp this irrelevance it is enough to compare their salaries with those of a simple worker, whose livelihood will be endangered if they don’t work for ten days. However, the referees normally compare their own salaries with those of the footballers and complain of their low salaries, but the unreasonable salary of a footballer is not a reason for reasonability of the referees’ salaries. Just compare their salaries with those of the simple workers.
The same technology has been used in refereeing tennis, volleyball, some martial arts and other sports long before soccer, but neither did the referees become idle nor did the group protest. If their problem really is technology overtaking humans, they either do not consider other sports cameras to be cameras or referrers of other sports as humans. Unless, their analysis is flawed or they have no problem with technology at all and they only use it as an excuse.
But more importantly, they have even defended human error! What kind of claim is this? Psychologically, such thoughts only come out of brains that have some prejudice.
But given that such stadium sports have their bases on a gladiatorial logic that has only been slightly enhanced with a Freudian method, this hypothesis is slightly strengthened. Fights between players in the field and worse than that their fans’ brawl outside the field are another proof of this.
But if they have no prejudice, then the only hypothesis that remains is that such views only support human error in order to manage large bets through backstage dealings and buying the referee to earn money. Since robots and technology don't favor one over another as humans may do, this has infuriated them.
Anyhow, this has always been the mutual relationship of many powers with technology. On the one hand, they are greatly attracted to it as technology expands the scope of their hard, soft and intelligence power, but on the other they are always worried about the independent structure of technology as Heidegger say could affect themselves.
* Seyed Amir Mohammad Moosavi Jashni is a researcher of Cultural Brain and Cognitive Science.