'God is great.'
So said Drew Brees, the most valuable player in last Sunday’s Super Bowl, after leading the New Orleans Saints to an upset victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Such comments have become commonplace on American television, where athletes routinely thank God in postgame prayers and interviews.
Is this a problem? I think it is. And to see why, try to imagine if Brees had made a slightly different statement: 'Allah is great.'
It is worth noting that approximately 76% of the United States are Christians. Corrections imagines that among Super Bowl watchers, and American sports fans, it's likely higher (and more intense).
In a purely felicific calculus, average gain that individuals who watch may get from hearing a praise of their chosen deity multiplied by their number is likely greater than the average loss from individuals who watch and don't like hearing praise of god. The author's comparison would make the transition from somewhere between a 3-to-1 and 9-to-1 christian-to-other watcher, to a very small minority-to-a large majority, if an Islamic prayer were said.
The author's comparison is false, if we examined it on Benthamian felicific calculus, or any reasonable weighting to achieve a comparison between aggregate benefit and aggregate cost.