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Mathew Naismith


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If it was allowed would an arena with gladiators fighting to the death prove popular in modern times?

I think it would be packed out myself which just show how bad our intellectual & moral selves have deteriorated back to sensationalism of the good old days of the Roman empire which has many similarities to the present empire we are living under today, what do you think?

Topics: sensationalism

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    Apr 9 2013: Hello Mathew Naismith! :D (Nice to meet you!)

    If you could implement the right psychological mechanisms! (E.G Dehumanization of the gladiators (possibly making them criminals in countries where the death penalty is legal), conformity + need for social acceptance + group polarization, obedience to authority (authority saying it is "okay"), conflict of interest (could do this with betting), altruistic needs (not really sure how this one would work out), building a whole economic section out of it (a bit like football today), and if you could diffuse the responsibility of each individual (crowd identity), and distance them-self from the act.)

    If you devalued life (made it cheap) a bit more, yeah sure.

    And it would be quite enjoyable to watch, I must admit. (Would be a worthy business as well!)

    The only problem would be the resistance from the "Sanctity of life" people, yet they could be crushed easily (if the government wanted to, from internet tracking, hacking. Making a system which encouraged to "tell" on your neibour, a bit like Soviet Russia. Again dehumanized these people as an "infection" trying to get into the "wealth-fare" and "entertainment" of the public, somehow)

    It would also solve some economic problems, with the revenue it would create. Also a great way to advertise products, just provide some economic incentives for the nation as a whole, and would be great for certain business. Various businesses like "arm dealers" would flourish, and if it was open to all it would create a great business opportunity and way to get your "name out there" and become famous. (Which with the whole consumerist and individualist (and possibly extroverted!) society we have created, I am sure would be popular. May be wrong on this point though!)

    Also you could form a whole education system around it, and possible sport. A bit like fencing just a bit more deadlier. :D

    So basically YES. Let the hunger games begin! :D

    Hoped this helped and wasn't "too sadistic". :P
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      Apr 10 2013: G'day Bernard

      If people want to take your post the wrong way they will but no it's not sadistic but frank & shows how barbaric we sill are.

      We really shouldn't be giving the multinationals new ideas because if they could they would run with this as their already killing us slowly with all the chemicals & toxic substances to make a quid or two more. We are all in the killing field if we know it or not even if we exclude wars & conflicts & related mass destructive weapons which of course kill more humans amass than hanging someone up on a cross in the good old Roman days.

      Do we honestly see ourselves that more civilised than in Roman times? Are we that stupid to think so for such a supposed more intelligent people????...I'm bewildered!!!

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        Apr 10 2013: I apologize for my awful spelling and grammar!
        These TED Talks (+ books), will answer your questions my friend. Better then I ever could :

        - The better angles of our nature by Steven Pinker.
        His TED Talk on this subject :
        Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence :

        - The luficer effect by philip Zimbardo
        His TED Talk on this subject :
        Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil :

        - The Honest Truth about Dishonest by Dan Ariely.
        His TED Talk(s) on this subject :
        Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code :
        Dan Ariely : Beware conflicts of Interest :

        These talks will give you a far better explanation of whether it is possible. Of-couse I am not to talk to about this, for I know little except for what these books tell me. :)
        I mean, from my limited knowledge of psychology, I believe in mostly stitutionalism, in the way our personality (and how we behave) is mostly crafteted by various psychological effects present. Like group polarization or dehumanization. (With concerns to evil and good.)

        I hope this helps, and you find time to watch them all!
        Also another thing, I believe the best theory around about personality is not situationlism oddly, is "Free trait theory" (which combine two theories together, a bit like the string theory of personality psychology I believe, may be wrong.) Here is a link to it : http://phulme.wordpress.com/tag/free-trait-theory/

        However. I do believe we have improved since the Roman times, in terms of evolved empathy. :)
        Also if you watch the Steven Pinker one, I am sure you will realize considering you have thought of these idea's and decided against them, I see no reason why "multinationals" should be any different! (and there will be deterrents of-course!)
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          Apr 10 2013: G’day Bernard
          Thank you for this informative post as it seems to debunk what I am saying & to a certain extent it does however it doesn’t change the fact we can no longer leave our cars unlocked & we can’t walk down the streets like we used to, we were even able to leave our houses unlocked while we were home or not. Violence itself, because it’s unlawful to a certain extent, is hidden a lot more than it used to be unlike in Roman times, one hell of a lot goes on behind the scenes than we will ever know off these days.

          Noticeable violence has diminished but for a supposed intelligent race of people we are still quite very violent, to me until we can rid ourselves of violence & stop making weapons of mass destruction & so on we have no right to call ourselves intelligent &/or civilised in my mind.

          At the end of the first video, which was quite good by the way, he ask what have we been doing right & the answer to that is intelligence & with intelligence comes the intolerance of violence, if you look back in history you can see quite obviously the more intelligent we got the less violent we became even though at the same time our weapons became more mass destructive. The more intelligent we’ve become the less tolerant of violence we are so in actual fact just like in the Roman days it was the more intelligent people denouncing violence that were the more intelligent people. Anyone can act like a Neanderthal but far less people can act rationally intellectually without being instructed to do so.

          Anyone with a bit of intelligence would denounce violence all together, I know we are getting their but all we would need is a comet to hit the Earth or the world economy to totally collapse & then you will see how Neanderthal like we still are. If we outlawed all violence totally the risks of turning back into Neanderthal man would be somewhat diminished in any disastrous time & the time will come we can’t be that complacent that it won’t surly.
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        Apr 10 2013: A slight side note:
        Also we have developed the ideologies various civilization created for flourishment. Like Democracy, which at the beginning was just for the elite (in terms of rich men) and it was thought that a Democracy which excelled a population of 10,000 could never work.
        NOW look at us. Amazing.
        So yes we are different from the Romans, and the fact certain modern day cultures encourage empathy and the golden rule. (maybe not consumerism... :( )
        And we have better technology so life is more valued, and that we have more communication than ever, which again leads to an increase in empathy.
        Due to the technology we have basically we will never be the same as the Romans. :)
        Maybe the same instincts, but cultral wise probably not. (Do we still have many Gods? Or do we just have mono-theism? :P)
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          Apr 10 2013: G’day Bernard

          They had empathy back then too however empathy is also linked to intelligence, we today have more intelligent people per populous than in the Roman days however there were people who had enough intelligence back then to form a democratic government which our modern day democratic governing systems are based on today so no things haven’t changed that much.

          Life is only valued to the extent that it can be used by multinationals, every single person who is touched by consumerist materialism works for the multinationals in one way or another therefore everyone who is touched by consumerist materialism is valued but if you’re not funny things tend to happen. These are the same multinationals that will do anything to you to make a quid even if it kills, who funds wars again & toxic chemical production with obvious known dire consequences? We are in one big arena still playing the same old game of show your value & fight hard or die!!

          Bernard, tell me the difference between the multinational arena compared to the Roman arena remembering a lot of the gladiators where forced to take part in such a valued way as we today?

          Am I a pessimist or an optimist? If I have the intelligence enough to denounce violence altogether I must also be empathetic, not sure if I can be intelligent, empathetic & a pessimist at the same time however!!

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        Apr 10 2013: There is a very good line in the "honest truth for dishonesty" where (rather counter intuitively) there is a strong correlation with creativity and dishonesty, not intelligence. Maybe we are becoming more creative? :)
        I don't know. Yet I feel that we "could" go back to the Roman culture, so in that sense we aren't so different. It is just to our cultral development I feel we are different.
        I believe you are being a realist (from what I can see) to be honest.
        Bernard White
        EDIT : Also did you watch the other two? :)
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          Apr 10 2013: G’day Bernard

          Yes this is where I’m going wrong, I relate everything to intelligence but it’s not. If we take a look at changes in human consciousness which I think is spurred on by intelligence & spiritual awareness we can see if one is creative enough this will look like intelligence but of course not necessarily so. I can see how you are right with creativeness.

          In certain ways we are definitely worlds apart from Romanism & in other ways not so much which of course would be shown, hypothetically, from the number of people who would attend such arenas today.

          I do look at myself as being a pessimist as others do at times because one should always be wary of this in my mind but thanks for looking at me as being a realist who gets himself in all sorts of bother with others of different modes of thought to mine at times.

          I did enjoy all the videos you supplied but latter on I thought about the first one saying basically that Neanderthals where basically blood thirsty killers. Science has proven that Neanderthal & Cro-Magnon man lived together for several thousand years & in actual fact there is evidence of them breeding together. Could you imagine trying to have it off with a Neanderthal female against her will that’s just as wild as any wild animal we have today? One other thing, the population of Neanderthals where quite small so I don’t think they would have travelled hundreds of miles over very rough terrain full of dangerous animals to purposely kill other tribes out but that still happens today. In saying this yes of course there would have been altercation between Neanderthal tribes as there would have been between Neanderthal & Cro-Magnon man no different to what we do today.

          Thanks again for your insightful intelligent input Barnard; it takes a realist to see a realist.

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        Apr 10 2013: Sorry to get quite confused with the whole reply format!
        "not sure if I can be intelligent, empathetic & a pessimist"
        I believe you could be. You could have a high IQ (if that is how you choose to define intelligence) feel great empathy for people, yet not be very hopeful in positive things happening. Hope this helps.
        I found the 'our buggy moral code' one really interesting, because it suggests we are empathetic to a certain extent, yet are still rational to an extent.
        Also you have to bear in mind, if everybody was an optimist, and you were an realist, you would seem like a realist. It is all relative comparison, if you watch the TED talk : The optimism bias by Tali Sharot, more pessimistic people usually are more realistic.
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          Apr 10 2013: G'day Bernard

          Yes your probably right & why not that's probably why I try to take note of myself, I'm my best Ginny pig.

          I haven't taken an IQ test but I couldn't imagine it being too high probably for the main reason school didn't interest me.

          Yes I found the buggy moral code interesting as well, It's not what I thought but I can see the reasoning in this. isn't it funny when you finally think you have it someone else shows you a different perspective.

          I suppose it would depend in how pessimistic one is, I suppose a balance of pessimism & intelligence with a bit of empathy helps. People love looking at things more optimistically because it makes them feel good even if it's a lie but a pessimistic person only wants to show the blindness of these over optimistic people the truth as they see it or as it is which is empathetic.

          Not sure if I got it right or not.

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        Apr 10 2013: Well this is one of the joys of life.
        Trying to find out the 'truth' beyond the whole world of 'lies'.
        Which does raise an interesting question : would you want to live in a world of lies?
        (Sorry to get a bit side tracked!)
        No I feel that you seem like a very reasonable, and rational person. ( And good of heart and intention) Their is great strength to be able to admit your wrong. (Which I often find very hard.)
        Yet you must bear in mind, I may be wrong. :P

        I find IQ tests flawed anyway, amped most exams are just massive memory tests! But I won't go into this, feel I a, getting too far away from original debate!
        Thanks Bernard. :)

        Just remember this quote I'm relation to this subject of evil (which impacted me greatly)) : "When you learn to love, you bear the risk of hate."
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          Apr 11 2013: G’day Bernard

          We don’t live in a world of lies yet however it seems like that at times.

          I don’t have a problem being wrong because I am wrong so often; I would have real problems if I minded being wrong as I’m sure some people do. Being wrong is like making mistakes, if you’ve never made a mistake in your life you never really learnt anything because one can only truly learn from making mistakes as humans as a species have always done & look at what we have learnt but of course there is always more to learn like becoming even less violent for starters.

          I think the reason you’re a reasonable bloke is that you can incorporate science (psychology) & spirituality (theology) without too much of a problem as I. I believe science & spirituality are one of the same they just use different deductive reasoning. Psychology works so much in the same way as spirituality it’s not funny, I know people are going to say psychology only works on one or two people at a time where’s spirituality can lift many at any given time but that’s not true, how often are we tricked in buying something we don’t really need but want?

          There we go I’m off the beaten track as well!!!


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