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?

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    Apr 8 2013: As it is said, "the more things seem to change, the more they remain the same".
    There is nothing new in the world; the same human desire that made the gladiator fights popular in those past and distant years, is still very much our desire. Now we've got action packed movies with lots of blood and guts.
    Gladiator fights would be a hit if it is allowed in this 21st century life.

    Old or new, we are human; and we've got different ways of saying the same thing.
  • Apr 6 2013: Deteriorated? Not hardly!
    People slow down when they see an auto accident (they want to see the blood & dead).
    Video games are hot sellers when they have death & destruction in them.
    Several children get killed by an armed gun man. Governments want to get get stronger gun laws because of it but voters don't want those laws. Guns & ammo. start selling off shelves at record pace.
    We may cloak ourselves with intellect & morals, but that cloak is tissue thin.
    So yes! Those arenas would be full and the protesters would be outside.
    • Apr 11 2013: "Governments want to get get stronger gun laws because of it but voters don't want those laws. Guns & ammo. start selling off shelves at record pace.
      We may cloak ourselves with intellect & morals, but that cloak is tissue thin."

      Absolutely nailed it, my friend!
      Somewhere deep beneath this veil of sensitivity lies the desire for violent and gory entertainment.
  • Apr 13 2013: G'day Mat,

    I would say that it would be pretty popular in some segments , and you would have heaps of people who would be trying to be gladiators.

    The popularity of "reality tv" and the cult of celebrity we have would mean that there would be lots of applicants. The opportunity to be high profile would be a pretty big draw card for some.

    Once the reality of death close up is shown though I think the popularity would drop off very quickly. We have an expectation of dramatic and clean death from our entertainment industry - the reality of screaming and leaking bodily fluids may not be palatable to most sensibilities.

    All that said given we now have a global population of about 7 billlion people - if half a percent find it attractive and half a percent have access to it that would put the size of the participants (audience and participants) of about 175,000. If half a percent of those interested were suitable to be gladiators (training, fitness etc) the size of the gladiator pool is about 870. The Colosseum had a seating capacity of about 50,000 by modern estimates.

    Put another way if 99.5% of people reject it and 99.5% can't even find it and of those 99.5% don't want to or can't be gladiators you could still have a theoretical viewing audience of triple the capacity of the Roman Colosseum, with enough initial participants for over 400 bouts (in the first round).
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      Apr 13 2013: G'day Scott

      Well done my man, I'm not mathematical in any sense but I still love others doing the sums for or against what I propose at any given time.

      In our present social structure I can't see most people attending anyway myself & of course like you said a percentage of other who have attended such events wouldn't return for obvious reasons as you have stated here. In saying all this our social structure can change at a drop of a hat like a good size meteor hitting the Earth, you would immediately get food shortages & starving people have been known to be some what un-civilised when threatened with starvation.

      I'm utterly flawed that people like Julian below think the way they do, sorry Julian, as it's very much like blind faith to me but everyone to their own as long as they don't hurt me through their blind faiths.

      Participants wouldn't be a problem, take warring gangs from our streets for starters & what about the Arabs & Israeli's, I'm sure some of them wouldn't mind participating & maybe it would be better if they did fight in these arenas at least they wouldn't be threatening the live of innocent women & children on the streets. So what's civilised & what's not again???

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 13 2013: There are two issues with this thought experiment.

    1) You would need to find people who would be willing to fight to the death as the gladiators and I can't imagine this would happen.
    If people were forced into being gladiators, society would have much bigger problems then just the potential for enjoyment of this.

    2) Assuming that this gladiator arena was taking place (with people volunteering), any people that did enjoy watching it would be met with at least equal (but probably greater) opposition from people that disagreed with it. If it ever did exist it would exist underground to avoid this opposition. Consequently the glory of being a gladiator (if there is any) would be diminished and less people would volunteer and over time nobody would want to do it. It It couldn't survive in current society.
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      Apr 13 2013: G'day Julian V

      Yes this is obvious with our CURRENT social ideological make up that this wouldn't take off but it's a hypothetical question what if it was allowed & of course the arenas would be packed. Do you honestly think if the world economy totally collapsed or a comet hit the planet that every day normal people wouldn’t act inappropriately to stay alive? I think you might be horridly surprised in human nature if any of this did happen Julian because we are not that civilised yet.

      What happens in riots, remembering these people at these riots are normal everyday people who are angry about something? We do get people seriously hurt & even killed so in adverse situations the best of people can act inappropriately when there isn’t a food shortage or a collapse of the social structure, how would they react if there was which can happen at any time?

      I thoroughly disagree that their wouldn’t be anyone to participate in such ventures, I knew a number of bikies from Mount Druitt & Black Town areas of Sydney that would, we get them fighting quite happily on the streets between different gangs anyway so you might have to rethink on this & that is only the tip of the ice berg as I think some of the Arabs & Israeli’s wouldn’t mind having ago at each other either in actual fact maybe it would be better to do this than to have a full scale war don’t you think!!!!

      Sorry Julian you just don’t make sense here. This question is if it was allowed would the arenas today be packed, looking at all the other violence that attracts us, I sorrowfully know the arenas would be packed.

      Love
      Mathew
      • Apr 14 2013: Hi Matthew,

        I'd like to know, when you say the arenas would be packed do you mean that they will be packed because most people are naturally violent or because a select few a violent but due to the population of earth this number will add up.

        I don't agree with the view that the majority of us are inherently violent. In a crisis, such as a food shortage, people may do more extreme things to survive however I do not agree that they will enjoy doing so. As for riots, there is a lot to say about social psychology influencing those, and the goal of a riot is to destroy property, not life.
        If you believe it is the select few, then I agree that there could potentially be people that are violent (probably even enough to fill a stadium). However you are assuming two things which I do not agree with. First, that violent individuals are violent and angry indiscriminantly and would simply hurt anybody (i.e the other gladiator). And second, that people will 'enjoy' watching it.

        Ultimately, we have a version of gladiator which is conducive to current society. Things such as MMA fit the bill. But we have rules designed to keep the fights from going overboard. Firstly, because I doubt as many people would volunteer for death matches, and secondly because I thoroughly disagree that this would be what the public wants. The goal of being a gladiator (or MMA) is to prove that you are the strongest. However society has moved on from believing that losing such a battle is worth the end for the losers life. In fact, society likes to see an individual come back and triumph over a previous victor after continued training. The alternative would be a fight equivalent to MMA followed by a one sided execution by the victor. Not a pretty sight.

        Julian

        PS: fighting on tv/stadiums between nations would in no way prevent any wars and may even induce them.
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          Apr 14 2013: G’day Julian
          I wish people wouldn’t put words in my mouth, I didn’t say most people are inherently violent Julian but I can see how you would assume this is what I mean.

          Like I have mentioned a number of times in previous replies it would only take one thing to change an average person into a violent one, the Dark ages & riots of today are a good indication of this because people’s emotions change when one is caught up in the moment. In actual fact the people of Rome who went to these arenas weren’t all blood thirsty barbarians but I don’t think they were the average person on the street either, what made or enticed them to watch such barbarism? All I’m saying is that sort of mentality hasn’t changed that much however like I have also said things have changed enough today that this sort of thing won’t happen but it also wouldn’t take much to go back to that sort of mentality again if we are unaware.

          Most of the gladiators didn’t want to be there either fighting to the death in arenas but they had to & this is no different in a food shortage after a disaster today, of course most people wouldn’t enjoy it as I have never stated otherwise.

          Again I never said that violent people have to be angry & would indiscriminately kill anyone, gladiators didn’t do this either but were often forced to kill when told too but today violent gangs freely do it, what’s more barbaric someone who is ordered to kill or someone who kills by will? This is my point!!! Some people enjoy & even join in when someone is being raped these days but not only that it gets telecast on the net which often receive numerous hits.

          Sorry Julian I can see your point to a point yes arenas wouldn’t happen today but my point is if they did they would be packed, by the minority yes but still packed.

          Love
          Mathew
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    Ethan

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    Apr 12 2013: For contemporary society to have laws in place that reject roman arenas, we must have chosen it to be so. That in itself presupposes that we detest such forms of brutality and wish never to see the light of it again, however much we may indulge ourselves in lesser forms of violent entertainment.

    Hence, it seems to me that you have posted a rhetorical question.
    For gladiators fighting to the death to be legal and thus popular, you already presupposing that societies across the world see the arena as an acceptable form of entertainment. (as this question is being posed to a global audience, I assume you mean worldwide legalisation of the arena) The act of allowing gladiators by itself already implies acceptance of extreme violence. In this way, I propose to you, Mathew, that your question has already answered itself.

    So, instead of debating about gladiators, we might as well be talking about human nature itself. Reading your comments, I respect your opinion and profess that I cannot fully understand the horrors of war as viewed through the eyes of a soldier. However, there is no real basis to assume that most humans would enjoy extreme violence of the kind that would result in mutilation or death. For every violent inclination that some individual possess, you can find in equal measure the inclination towards kindness and gentleness in some other individual. Personally, I am more Machiavellian on the subject of human nature, but I still see humans as complex moral agents; regardless of whether humans are fundamentally inclined towards violence or nonviolence from birth, there is no reason to despise the capacity of humans to be nurtured into kind and reasonable beings. What matters is that humans retain even till today the capacity for logical reasoning and moral reflection. Why else would you be posting this debate topic in the first place?

    Cheers.
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      Apr 12 2013: G’day Ethan
      Genuinely impressed Ethan with your reply, I suppose it is a little rhetorical in that it relates to an extreme.

      Let me ask you a question Ethan? What sort of highly intelligent being would create weapons of mass destruction that can wipe every living thing off the face of the Earth or kill of their own environment with all sorts of toxins? Not a very smart one that’s for sure. Once we stop totally from conflicting with each other & destroying & polluting our environment then we can say Roman arenas are of the past but not until then I believe, we are still Neanderthals in my mind.

      I don’t think I actually said most humans, if I did I didn’t mean too however it only takes the minority to make a radical change anyway in human perception for example the dark ages came about because of a few religious radicals & soon overtime took control of all of Europe & sent us some years back in evolution for the main reason they slaughtered anyone who had the smarts not connected directly with the church & at one stage they killed churchmen as well on sight. You don’t think this can happen again even if a meteor or the world economy totally collapsed? Well I think it can for the main reason so many other civilised civilisations in human history have fallen before to barbarism, Rome is but one example.

      Rome believe it or not was civilised to the rest of the known world at that time & they thought exactly the same as we do today, it can’t possibly happen but it did. Human thinking of today isn’t that much different to what it was back in Roman times, the same thought processes still remain however hopefully because of our knowing this from the past we won’t make the same mistakes but like I said a good size meteor or a small comet hitting the Earth would answer that question & it can happen at anytime.
      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 9 2013: I think this is an overly pessimistic way of looking at it, because the fact of the matter is that it ISN'T allowed. I think our laws are an incredibly revealing measure of our values, and those laws say killing for sport is wrong. I think it's unreasonable to expect some deep essence of human nature to have changed since Roman times -- it's our society that has changed, as measured by what is and isn't allowed.
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      Apr 9 2013: G'day Morton

      It's only a hypothetical question, if it was allowed the arenas would be full. Look at how many people are celebrating the death of Margret Thatcher not just at home but on the streets, you don't think this is a bit Neanderthalic & immoral, what's the difference to celebrating the death of a person in or out of an arena?

      We just had yet another fatal death in a contact sport of a 15 yr old, anyone playing a contact sport to win has the tendency to kill, yes I know it's not intentional but it doesn't stop the players from playing it hard to win which is to the best of their ability.

      Love
      Mathew
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      Apr 11 2013: Wholeheartedly agree Morton!
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      Apr 7 2013: G'day Carolyn

      That's a very good point Carolyn, prove it doesn't exist & no one could because it's still with us today in many ways. One of my biggest arguments in saying Rome is still apart of us not just through our political structure but that people will stand around in glee watching someone being raped &/or bashed & when this is put on the net the amount of hits it gets is staggering like with any violent act, if this isn't Roman I will be a monkeys uncle!!

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 6 2013: I really believe that our world is changing for the better, while still being very aware of everything that is NOT beneficial in our world.

    For one thing, an arena with gladiators fighting to the death would NOT be allowed in the U.S.....would it? Step in the right direction?

    Relatively new rules in sports limit the players regarding violence? NFL and NBA players have been heavily fined and/or suspended for aggressive, violent behaviors on the field and court. Hockey players have been fined, and the rules for "checking" (what is acceptable and what is not) have been changed. Tennis players are being fined for inappropriate behaviors like throwing rackets on the court, and baseball players are being fined for throwing bats on the field in anger.

    People slow down when they see an auto accident....I'd like to think it is because they want to help? I notice that cars stop OFTEN now when they see someone trying to cross the road.

    I am noticing that the national news programs are presenting good, interesting, encouraging stories at the end of the newscast, which I think/feel is a GREAT idea.

    Unfortunately, we(humans) normalize many behaviors that are not beneficial, and I believe what we focus on expands. We definitely need to be aware of what needs changing, and I like to focus on the good "stuff" because it is more encouraging for people to see.....I believe it plants seeds that might, with nurturing, grow:>) I know I'm a Pollyanna, and that, to me, is how we move things in a certain direction. We do not nurture or change anything by focusing on everything that is wrong.

    The first argument against this, is that I am not aware or informed enough, so I repeat.....I am very aware of the challenges in our world. I spend energy with awareness AND focus on the positive things that are happening in our world. "BE" what we want to "SEE".
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      Apr 6 2013: G'day Colleen

      Very good response.......They are also trying to clean up sports in Australia as well which is an awfully good step to take however the movies & games that are most popular these days have a high violent content in them (sensationalism) which is a bit of a worry & is obviously a part of the violence seen in the shooting of late for example.

      I’ve been around cold blooded killers & they would kill at the drop of a hat if they could get away with it & you would be amazed how many more people would either join in or observe such actions. Take a look at rapes in recent times in how many people where standing around watching or participating in such actions, bring in the thrill & excitement of sensationalism of any kind & you will always draw a crowd of some kind & this is what the media uses to draw crowds, for a profit of course. There is a huge profit in sensationalism & as long as that is there the threat of immoral actions will always be present.

      We all need to learn to draw on the positives of life more but on the other hand one should never ignore the obvious, ignorance isn’t bliss, could you imagine if the cops where ignorant what would happen to the rest of us? I do I’m afraid as we all should, now that's positive.

      Love
      Mathew
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        Apr 6 2013: Hi Mathew,
        I am aware that movies and video games often have violent content, and I believe this helps to "normalize" violent behavior.

        I have considered rapes and killings Mathew. In addition to volunteering with the dept. of corrections, I also volunteered in a woman/children's shelter and a family center, where we saw MANY victims of violence and abuse....including....and not limited to rape.

        I agree....it is not productive to ignore reality. I do not agree that being afraid is positive. When we are afriad, it often interferes with taking action to change.

        Love to you too Mathew:>)
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          Don't get me wrong Colleen I'm not saying we would allow such behaviour as an arena with people fighting to the death however what I am saying here is a lot of people around us who would & the number is scary, that's alarming & we, should as a whole, deal with this as you would obviously know.

          I'm spiritually aware myself without any set convictions & have had a lot to do with other spiritually aware people who just bury their heads in the sand when it come to something negative, It just doesn't exist for them. I find this just as big a problem as negativity because all their doing is ignoring the negatives in response to the negatives which to me is a negative response in opposition.

          I teach acceptance & look at any apposing thing as a difference that's all not a negative & eventually any opposition to any said negativity fades away as if it wasn't there in the first place, you to me seem like this going by your responses as you also don't seem to be afraid of negativity but are aware of how continues negative influences can sway us to do things we usually wouldn't do.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 7 2013: Many people don't know how, or are afraid, to address challenges Mathew, and for those people, putting their heads in the sand may feel more safe. However, I believe many people in our world are becoming much more aware, ready, willing and able to change things. Our advanced communication systems, like TED, allow us to communicate throughout our world, which facilitates more awareness, and change starts with awareness.

        We can only do the best we can as individuals, and hopefully be good role models for those who are afraid to take positive steps toward peace in our world. If a person is secure in him/herself, the negative influences around us can only motivate us to take action to change those behaviors that are not beneficial to our global community. I cannot be swayed to do things I usually would not do.....can you?
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          Yes anyone can be swayed to do things they wouldn't usually do, if a sizable meteorite hit this Earth I would kill to sustain myself & my family.

          If we could go back & see what consumerist materialism would do to ourselves & our environment we too wouldn’t be swayed in taking on such a system to live by, we are always swayed in doing things that are hurting ourselves & the environment around us that we wouldn’t do unless we were swayed or brainwashed in taking on normally. We are acceptingly vulnerable in more ways than one & should be at least familiar with this without dwelling on it.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 11 2013: Mathew, again with love and respect in my heart....

        As thinking, feeling, intelligent, multi-sensory, multi-demensional humans, we can make choices. People can only be "swayed" if they allow themselves to be. As functioning adults, we have choices.
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    Apr 19 2013: The reason that it is not allowed is because our moral philosophy on the subject has changed. It's as simple as that. It wasn't as if someone suddenly came along and banned bull fighting, fox hunting, gladiator fighting, stoning homosexuals etc. Our perception of these rituals have collectively, gradually changed over time. It was only two days ago gay marriage wasn't allowed in New Zealand and yesterday it became legal. So to answer your question: no it wouldn't be entertaining because we, as a society, have decided that it wouldn't be - a long time ago for this specific activity.
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      Apr 19 2013: G'day Mathew

      I see your parents knew how to spell as well!!

      I will just past & copy a response I gave someone else Mathew.

      G'day Catya

      The type of arena used ,as you have said here, has changed that's all as we are just as aggressive & blood thirsty as ever, in actual fact I think it's more blood thirsty, how many people have actually died because of the financial arena even excluding the great depression which was a blood bath in one way or another? As I have stated by supplying facts that the Roman arenas weren't as blood thirsty as some people thought or obviously want to think but I can't say the same with the financial arena.

      If you take into consideration the drug companies in how they want to keep us sick even though it kills some of us I think we are actually less civilised & moral not more. Also I think Doctors being able to invest in drug companies is a sham to say the least as I know of a number of people who have died from taking too many pills at one given time.

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 19 2013: I'm positive that the arena in today's time would be jam packed full of onlookers to watch people fight to the death. I'm sure that it would and could replace Network Shows like UFC and Wrestling. You can theoretically say that you fight to the death as it is if you're into those kind of sports, because all it takes is really the wrong move and out they go. Our society craves this kind of entertainment. But again, it doesn't go to well for those that get effected in emotion over the site of someone the just seen, not dead not moving. So Yes.

    Robert Spath,
    Admin of offerfanatic.com
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      Apr 19 2013: G'day Robert

      It's very sad to think it would be but it would which doesn't say much about our civilisation, a few hundred years ago we thought the Mayans were barbaric so what are they going to say about us in a few hundred years time, not much better?

      love
      Mathew
  • Apr 15 2013: I as a teen believe for some reason that it would be accepted to some extent. If regulations were shown as to who could participate and it was totally voluntary there would be a large fanbase.
    Personally I don't agree as it would encourage violent behavior. Look at WWE, as a child I was so mesmerized by what they could do and usually fought with my brothers. Now that I'm a little more mature I belive that no human being has any right to decide what fate another humans life falls in.
    Inconclusion I think that this generation as much as we claim to be more sensitive while we sort of deattach ourselves from the more serious global issues, there is this part of some of us that like action in this context.
    But this is just my opinion.
  • Apr 15 2013: I have been pondering this discussion and chatting with a couple of co-workers/friends about it. While I do believe that a portion of the population would watch and attend a gladiatorial event, I think a part that has not been discussed is the "prize" for the event.

    Yes, death in it actuality would be a deterrent for some. It would most certainly turn off a portion of the population. Not to mention that another portion of the population would be turned off while watching the event and realizing that it was in fact to the death and death is not what they expected. Still, a portion of the population would definitely watch the spectacle.

    One qualifier would be the "prize". For example, prisoners, fighting for their life and freedom, might be more interesting that two gladiators fighting for a dollar prize. I wonder what effect that might have on the individuals watching. For those who wanted to see "justice served" they might be more interested in watching if they thought "good would win" and "evil would lose", however that might be defined. The higher the stakes and prize, the more likely people would be to watch. If the spectacle was just to watch two people fight it out, then I don't see this taking off as extremely popular.

    I would contend that it would come back how well the event was advertised and supported by others.
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      Apr 16 2013: G'day Everette

      I wouldn't attend myself of course but there are a certain portion of the populous that would.

      Below is a couple of links explaining that most of the gladiators where mischiefs slaves & criminals but 19 out of 200 gladiators died in the arenas which would include from wounds incurred in the actual arena itself.

      I have a point to make, we have electrocuted, hung, drawn & quartered shot, poisoned & so on criminals since Roman times without the criminals having a chance of redemption however in the Roman arenas they had this chance at redeeming themselves , what is more civilised, just killing people in cold blood or allowing them a chance of redemption remembering only 19 out of 200 gladiators die? I think most if not all the people on death row would participate some how especially if they could become wealthy doing so.

      Love
      Mathew
      • Apr 16 2013: I noted the links as well and the information regarding the low actual death rate. Thought I might question the data in this particular case. That being said, we discussing a different animal in this case I believe, especially when we suggest that death could be likely. Though with modern medicine, we could severely limit the death toll with medical staff on hand and such. Not would I attend or watch such an event as it does not even remotely interest me.

        I feel that the question of "redemption" also comes with a parallel discussion about justice. Is it just to allow a death row inmate a chance to walk free rather than face his crimes? That question alone would be a lively discussion. As is the discussion about the death penalty when it arises. The discussions about redemption and justice deserve discussion and merit time spent on the topic. Thought I don't know that this is quite the thread to address those issues.
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          Apr 16 2013: G'day Everett

          Yes I suppose your right, less people would die of wounds because of medical assistance however I'm like you I wouldn't attend nor would I like such arenas to exist again even though it seems more humane than to electrocute or hang people without a chance of redemption.

          Would I give a child molester & murderer a chance of redemption? The spiritually aware side of me says yes but my human side says absolutely not, hard one to answer but the Romans answered this I suppose when it came to such a person on the end of a sward & a decision had to be made for life or death. I don't think the child molester would survive some how.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 19 2013: What an interesting POV you've presented here, Matthew. I agree with your thoughts about redemption. Hopefully, we can find better ways than the gladiator route, but I definitely think we should go in that direction. My perspective in my earlier answer was focused on the morality of the observers more than the desperation of the participants.
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          Apr 19 2013: G'day Catya

          I think everyone no matter what should have a chance of redeeming themselves especially for the life they might have taken in my mind anyway.

          Saying that the arenas would be packed is also saying that a certain amount of the populous are immoral which would probably be correct but of course these day they are the minority not the majority.
          Love
          Mathew
  • Apr 14 2013: Obviously it would be popular, and I think that if you offer these modern Gladiators enough money they would risk their own life in such pursuits. As far as entertainment, people always find epic drama in any conflict,
    What it is about is the simple reality of what people are willing to do to get ahead in today's world: if one legal fight to the death could elevate you from poor to rich( someone who's life is eternal drudgery and toilet cleaning has a chance to be someone who is allowed to follow dreams) wouldn't you do it?

    And yes I agree it points at something fundamentally wrong.
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      Apr 14 2013: G'day Uri

      Well it's obvious some people would rather starve to death first or would they?

      It’s good you brought this up about being paid for such ventures Uri, Russian roulette is the modern version of the Roman arenas & it still goes on today in certain countries because of the exact reasons you bring up here.

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 12 2013: We pretty much have that already, don't we? I don't know how else to describe the ongoing "Wars" in Afghanistan, Iraq, , etc. No to mention the past ones, like Vietnam. Plenty of live TV footage. The media several years ago let the cat out of the bag: It's not "news", it's "entertainment".
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      Apr 12 2013: G'day Shawn

      Sadly so, people make money from this stuff quite willingly but I suppose they are only giving us what we want or is it?

      Love
      Mathew
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    May P

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    Apr 11 2013: If it was suddenly announced on television that there would be a gladiator fight to the death, would the public respond positively? No. Perhaps I have unrealistic faith our humanity, but I certainly think there are at least enough conscious minds to prevent anything like this from happening. Seeing other people die for no reason is not entertainment, at least for many of us.

    However: could something like Roman times emerge again? Yes. Could a government bewilder and manipulate their citizens into actively support such a thing? Yes. My mind goes to the Hunger Games trilogy, here, but I won't stray into fiction. Governments have proved themselves capable of horrible things and have driven their people to do unthinkable crimes - we need look no further than the Holocaust to see what damage can be done by a powerful enough leader and enough people to follow him. But would a gladiator fight in a present day society become popular? Even if enough of the society glazed over it, I cannot imagine the rest of the world keeping silent for long - we are not that far gone as a race.
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      Apr 11 2013: I share your faith in humanity May P. I believe our world is becoming more interconnected, partly because of our advanced communication systems, and partly because, hopefully, we are evolving as thinking, feeling, intelligent human beings.
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        Apr 11 2013: G'day Colleen
        Hypothetically, if a good size meteor hit the Earth don't you think most people would do anything for food even you, if you have ever been really hungry you will know what I mean. We would instantaneously become barbarians again in a flash no matter how intelligent or civilised we think we are, you would be surprised, obviously, how you would react especially watching your loved ones starving.

        I just can’t believe you & a few others can’t see this as my initial question of the Roman arenas is in the same context as mentioned here with a meteor hitting Earth. It is hard for some people to think hypothetically terminologically but that is all we are doing here.

        Let’s take a look at floods for instance, most people do the right thing in a flood but there are many that don’t in regards for instance looting however if you made looting non-illegal how many more would loot? You would be surprised. Instead of burying our heads in the sand & say we ourselves wouldn’t stoop to these low levels so most other people wouldn’t either think hypothetically what if?

        I’m sorry but I think outside the square & I if that’s supposed to be negative according to you & a few others so be it but at least I’m being realistic about what if’s. Don’t be fooled about how wonderful we are & how intelligent we are supposed to be just look at the dark ages & you can see how far back a human race can go & how brutal the everyday average person can behave.

        All I’m saying here is we need to be aware of our overly complacent thought process.
        Love
        Mathew
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          Apr 12 2013: No Mathew, I do not believe I would "instantaneously become barbarian", it is not difficult for me to think "hypothetically", and I am responding to your hypothetical suggestions.

          I agree....there are many people who make good appropriate decisions when facing challenges. I am not burying my head in the sand Mathew, and I'm getting tired of you accusing me of that. I have thought "what if" Mathew, and I responded respectfully to your question and concerns. I do not feel as if I am "fooled" Mathew, I simply do not agree with you. I do not have an "overly complacent thought process". I thought you resolved that accusation.
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          Apr 12 2013: Mathew,

          I just want to mention that I don't think anyone is shaming you for "thinking outside the square" (incidentally, as a linguistically-minded individual, I'm interested if this is the common phrase in Australia, as we say "out of the box" in the US). I, at least, joined the TED conversation in order to think out of the box. However, Colleen and I seem to respectfully disagree with you. Hoping there are no hard feelings!

          May
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      Apr 11 2013: I'm afraid I do not share your faith in humanity! :(
      If you read my comment (somewhere! :D) with the right psychological mechanisms in place you could easily make it possible, and make some economic incentives, and crush most opposition! (And enjoyable too!)
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      Apr 11 2013: G’day May

      A few people, as yourself, seem to be missing the point here, the question is hypothetical of course. I can’t believe people are taking this in a literal sense as it’s obvious it’s hypothetical as other have pointed out; please don’t take in in a literal sense.

      Let me ask you a question here, if hypothetically we legalised killing what do you think would happen, this is the same question as with the arenas? Killings would escalate out of control obviously not just because of the perpetrators but the intended victims would also kill to save themselves & their families, violence altogether would escalate.

      Love
      Mathew
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        Apr 12 2013: Mathew,

        I cannot answer for others, I suppose, but I can answer for myself. If murder was legalized, no, I would not start killing people. I can't imagine myself doing that. I have never wanted to kill, and I can not imagine a situation where I would want to kill - perhaps I am wrong in that, but that is how I know myself. I am under the impression that there are others like me. We are brought up with the understanding that killing is bad. We would bring up our children in the same way. While I recognize that there are people for whom this would not be the case, I tend to see the majority of people choosing to live together rather than kill each other - a generally sensible option for the continuation of the human race.

        I'm confused by your 'hypothetically' - No, I'm not taking this 'literally' - I do not think we are in any danger of having killing be legalized. However, I am taking the hypothetical situations you present and treating them literally. Can you clear up this confusion?

        May
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          Apr 12 2013: G'day May

          I don't mean the righteous people would go out & kill but a lot of others would & to protect ourselves we would have to kill them to survive.

          Some people here are taking what I asked as being literal in a sense that having killing sprees in an arena can't happen because righteous people wouldn't have it but what if it did happen hypothetically.

          What happened in the dark ages? We went back a thousand years not just because of the killing sprees but because they killed off the literate & educated people amass. This seems like it couldn't possibly happen again, this is what the Romans probably thought as well remembering in their time they where the most civilised people in the known world back then.

          If the world economy totally collapsed or a meteor hit the Earth you would see something that modern man today thought could never happen again, barbarism, it wouldn't need much & we must be wary of this is all I'm saying. I just don't want to leave a mess for our kids & their kids to deal with we must recognise the problem & deal with it now.

          Don't get me wrong I know there are a lot of lovely people out there but we can't allow this to blind us to the wrongs still being committed.

          Love
          Mathew
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          Apr 12 2013: Mathew,
          I do not perceive myself and some others "missing the point". We simply have a different perspective regarding your hypothetical qustion. You are right Mathew, there have been horrible situations in the past, and there continues to be some horrible and challenging situations in our world.

          On the whole, I believe our global community is changing, and there are a lot of horrible things that happened in the past that would no longer be allowed. That is not to say there are no more horrible behaviors. In my perception, the majority of people in our world are caring, respectful loving people who want to beneficially contribute to our global community. Again.....that does not mean I have my head in the sand regarding the challenges in our world. We have plenty of room to impove.

          You seem to be trying to say that the majority of people in our world like to see killing and chaos, and would do it at the drop of a hat when given the chance. That is not my perception of our world, and apparently there are at least a few people on this thread who share my perception.

          There are a LOT of people in our world Mathew who ARE recognizing some of the problems in our world and working toward change. It is not that we are not getting your point Mathew. MY point is that I do not agree with you about our world and everyone in it being horrible, bad, killer, barbarians.

          There is no hiding my head in the sand, being complacent, or not getting your point, etc. I am very aware of the challenges we face in our world, and I believe there are many aware people who are facing those challenges. Do you understand that there is a difference between not "getting it" and disagreeing?
    • Apr 12 2013: May: Could "Roman times" happen again?! Where have you been:? We are doing it right now, and have been for some time. The last hundred years in particular. Vast slaughters, with much popular participation even, by people almost all of whom were "innocent" or ignorant. With the benefit of hindsight, we can confidently say they were all about nothing in particular.
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        Apr 12 2013: Shawn,

        I think we might have a confusion. There is a difference between the wars and massacres of the past hundred years and a gladiator fight. I don't know which "slaughters" you are referring to in particular, but all that I know of were for a specific cause or belief, such as the Holocaust. I am not saying the Holocaust is any "less bad" than the gladiators, but it is very different in intent. These slaughters are done by someone who has a set cause or belief - someone trying to eradicate or torture a certain group - whereas gladiator fights were entertainment. This is what I mean by "Roman times". If there is something similar to gladiators (on a large scale - I am perfectly aware of the horrible things that people have done at war), I would be very interested in hearing about it.

        May
        • Apr 12 2013: May: I was a history major, as well as a war vet. I think you are incredibly optimistic to believe that there is some fundamental difference between wars and massacres, other than the trivial one of excellent propaganda , and industrial class organization. As for the specific "cause", "belief", etc., on later investigation, it usually turns out to be quite fanciful and erroneous. The Holocaust is an excellent example. I know the official story, but actually WW2 was not about Jews or the Holocaust at all.. I was around at the time, even before the war, and I can tell you that the Holocaust was only discovered and confirmed many years after the war started. Incidentally, I think it is pretty accurate to say that in all these conflicts, the purported "goals" were almost never achieved.
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        Apr 12 2013: Shawn,

        When I referenced the Holocaust, I was referencing the Holocaust, not WW2. WW2 was a war, the Holocaust was a massacre. (I know that WW2 was not originally about the Holocaust - US History classes are not that poor and prejudiced yet.) War is the defense of a principle (or at least is purported as such), a massacre is the attempted obliteration of a group of people, often in defense or pursuit of some belief - that is how the definitions work in my mind, perhaps you feel differently.

        What I'm trying to say is that wars and massacres are not for entertainment, as with the gladiator fights. They have goals, perhaps beliefs and causes behind them. I'm not saying that the "goals" are good or achieved, but they exist. As far as I know, WW2 was not started on a whim because someone thought it would be fun to kill some people, or watch some people be killed. If you have a different take on that, I'm interested it hear it. I realize that you were around and I wasn't, so your information is more reliable.

        May
        • Apr 12 2013: Thanks for a reasoned reply. Perhaps I am now more cynical than I used to be, but I believe I am correct in saying that people's minds are a lot like icebergs: mostly out of sight and unknown even to the holder of the opinions. I was referring to the people who initiate the wars,, nothing personal After the memoirs are written, long after the war, then we find out something of what the holder of the opinion had in mind at the time.. Usually , it turns out to be the blind leading the blind. Remember what McNamara said about the Viet war? He was even more clueless than an astute reader of the NY Times at the time. In short, I see a pattern here of flaky rationales for mass slaughters, which I think are more like exciting,super-football games for the public . Those who really know what the wars are like are mostly dead or severely damaged , or don't like to talk about it. And a lot of them blame THEMSELVES. The attempt to make a fine distinction between massacres and wars is part of the propaganda for the war. People might rebel if they knew more about it.
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        Apr 12 2013: Shawn,

        I'm afraid I don't know what McNamara said - and I lament my ignorance. However, I completely agree that many are clueless in war, and certainly Vietnam is a prime example of war gone wrong (although they all start wrong, in my opinion). I still think the majority of the public would rebel against open killing for sport, though as I mentioned before with coercion and propaganda most things can be made to look moral. There are those who would go along, but the pure fact that wars must be justified by defense of principles or land - even falsely - shows that we are not quite there yet, in my opinion.

        I should have been more sensitive around the subject of war in my initial posts, because I know that horrible things happen as a result of war that blurs the distinction between fighting for a cause and fighting just to kill, and it is nothing to be glossed over. Your responses have made me think more deeply about the state of the world; I admit a tendency to skim over war in my mind. Every time I go too deep I just get depressed - and that's no good reason to not keep the horrors in mind and hold those serving/served/surviving in the light (if you'll pardon my Quaker-ness). Sadly I don't have my copy of The Things They Carried with me right now, but I'm putting it on my reader list for when I return home, to remind myself (I'm interested in your opinion of Tim O'Brien's portrayal of war, if you're interested in giving it).

        May
        • Apr 13 2013: May P:
          How interesting that you are some kind of Quaker. My family is strongly influenced by our Quaker relatives., One of them, however is known as the "Fighting Quaker" (in the Revolution)
          Perhaps it is a gender difference, but I never saw the purpose of the war that I was in as "killing people". It's like with the Police. Their job is NOT to "kill bad guys". I was a Medic anyway.
          I think the evolution of society has been to gradually increase the size and stability of groups within which killiing people is simply not thought of. There are probably more cities in the world larger than a great many of the "Nations". Mayors simply do not have the right to have people killed, whatever the reasons. Presidents still do, no matter what kind of Banana Republic they are representing.
          When the day comes that ordinary people agree that NO ONE should have the right to kill people , period, no matter what half-baked excuse they come up with, then we will find it easy to put an end to killing, I think, by using the tried and true methods that lower levels of organization have used already. Note that this does not contradict any idea of actual, physical self-defense, which is clear cut enough that a Jury could figure it out.
  • Apr 11 2013: I think the fact that its not allowed says something. but being illegal never stopped anything from happening. how hard is it to find underground deathmatches? Idk. I think if people really wanted to see people fight to the death it would be easy to find some under ground stuff. I think watching people fight the way they do now is bloody enough. i don't think people are that eager to want to see someone die in the ring due to a hatchet to the head.
  • Apr 10 2013: YEp, but the main diference is , in rome the audience was only the people who was at the coliseum or the arena, and today, this circus is in whole world , people fighting vs people, and the audience its everybody around it , everybody can watch and give you likes on facebook with the same finger that judge your development in this big fight of daily life. We are now a worst version of that rome circus. yesterday was lions versus humans, and now we have the big show of humans vs humans.
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      Apr 10 2013: G'day Arnoldo


      This has come up in recent comments which I didn't see until others started bringing this up that we all live in a Roman arena called Earth as we have our master we serve which are called multinationals & if we don't perform to their expectations we suffer & yes quite often die. The face book thing is but another angle, thanks Arnoldo.

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 10 2013: No. Today we like things prepackaged and sanitized. Just look at the high number of traumatized war 'heroes' .
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    Apr 10 2013: yes.
  • Apr 10 2013: In a word yes.

    If we look at what is popular in current sports and media, the only thing we are missing is the actual fighting. Well, not even that. American football is fighting with pads on where the "big hits" are highlighted and repeated for the public. Mixed martial arts is stopped before death occurs but is nearly at this point. Boxing as well. "Wrestling", not the sport but the television show, is about blood and combat. Especially with the rise of MMA, we are nearly there.

    There would be those "opposed" to it in theory, but let's be honest with ourselves, the right marketer and the right publicity, this would be a great event. Money would roll rin, the bookies would make out big, and it would corner a portion of the market that is not "being met".

    So yes, absolutely it would be popular by those same folks that watch car racing for the accidents and WWE for the big hits.
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      Apr 10 2013: G'day Everett

      Most of us seem to be saying the same thing, hypothetically if it was allowed the arenas would be packed & that is awfully sad or such a o called intelligent race f people to do. We looked at the Mayans some hundreds yrs later of being barbaric butchers, I'm just wondering what they will say about us in a few hundred yrs time as it won't have anything to do with being an intelligent civilised race of people that's for sure.

      Love
      Mathew

      PS Thank God for intelligent people such as us who denounce violence altogether!!
      • Apr 11 2013: I agree that the arenas would be packed and the "audience" would be a sellout consistently. Television/media would also make massive amounts from it.

        Where I break from your line of thinking is that intelligent people do not necessarily denounce violence. Mindless, gladiatorial violence as you discuss from the start of this thread, yes, that is abhorrent. The loss of life simply for sport, or any other reason is horrid.

        Violence, when it occurs in the protection of others, such as war, self-defense, etc. is a different category/level of it. And something that I would separate from this conversation. Sometimes, the threat of violence, through military force, is the thing that limits the violence itself.
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          Apr 11 2013: G’day Everett

          In a sense you are breaking from my line of thinking, I agree that intelligent people can also intensify violence look at the splitting of the atom & the ensuing atom bomb for staters. Don’t get intelligence mixed up with deviousness, these devises people use intelligent people for their own devious ends that make them look clever but they aren’t the ones with the real brains behind their deviousness I believe!!

          Yes war & other related conflicts are needed at time like with the Coral Sea battle in WWII, if it wasn’t for so many Americans giving up their live in this one battle we Australians just might not be here now because it was that close however if we could rid ourselves of such violence the world of course would be a far better place.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 11 2013: With all due respect and love Mathew, I wish to remind you that several people, including me, have expressed the idea that if it was allowed the arenas would NOT be packed, so I do not agree that "Most of us seem to be saying the same thing". The fact that it is NOT allowed tells us something about how we, as thinking, feeling intelligent humans MAY be changing:>)
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          Apr 11 2013: The thought that came to me in reading the question was that we are probably much better able to predict what people we actually know would do than people we do not know. In fact, people are, I think, much more likely to make negative assumptions about people they don't know.

          So what people predict tells us mostly about how they view others.

          I know this is not the question, but I think it is important for anyone to ask why he might view others more negatively than he tends to view those he knows well.
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          Apr 11 2013: G'day Colleen

          I went through the yay's & nay's a couple of days ago & the yay's were ahead, do a count your self I don't think it's changed that much any it's never really worried me being a part of the minority.

          Your still missing the point Colleen, it's a hypothetical question because I know it wouldn't be allowed in most countries in the world but what if it was?

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 11 2013: I agree Fritzie, with the idea that we may be better able to predict what people we actually know might do. The more information we have about a person, including ourselves, probably influences our own worldview.

        You think/feel "what people predict tells us mostly about how they view others"? Or could it be they are predicting based on their own worldview? Both?
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          Apr 11 2013: If you mean do people who think others would enjoy watching brutal killing probably enjoy it themselves at some level and therefore assume others would, I doubt this is particularly true in this case.

          A couple of days ago I read an article by an evolutionary biologist who argued that humans have evolved with the protective trait of being suspicious of strangers, a trait not refined by evolution at this point to be more discerning. Of course people vary in how generally wary they are of strangers, just as we vary in our other traits.

          I think the default of suspicious and negative views of strangers may be connected to this evolutionary explanation.
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        Apr 11 2013: Fritzie,
        No, I wasn't thinking of the idea that people who think others would enjoy something, would enjoy it themselves. Although, there is the idea of a "mob mentality", whereby energy builds within a group of people toward a certain goal. That is why I firmly believe that what we focus on expands. We can share energy that will lead to more beneficial outcomes when we focus on that.

        I was thinking more on the line of a worldview based on fear (suspicious). I agree that we vary regarding our feelings of being suspicious and it may be based on our experiences.
        • Apr 11 2013: could it be partially learned behaviors or an ingram that sticks with us from childhood when our parents told us not to talk to strangers?
        • Apr 12 2013: Hi everyone, I know this is a little off topic, but I live in KL, Malaysia. Apparently it is 'unsafe' here, if you asks the locals. The radio (I listen to a declared femiinst station) is always offering tidbits of advice like' ladies, always check your vehicle before entering' and 'never take you eyes off your kids, even for a moment'.
          I don't subscribe to the 'fear'. I have not educated my children about 'stranger danger', or indoctrinated them with any other sort of bias towards humanity, and unfortunately that means mostly men- just look at your local airline unaccompanied minor policy. I bet it states the child cannot be sat next to a male. his doesn't mean I don't want them to be mindful of there safety, or responsible for their belongings, it just means I don't put a human face to the reasons. Ie. don't leave your bike out the front because the garbage man might take it. There will be base, opportunistic people everywhere, and that will never change. Reporting EVERY SINGLE EVENT on mass media doesn't mean it is worse than it ever was.
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        Apr 11 2013: Could be Nathan. I suppose it depends on how strong that advice was, and how it impacted us as individuals?
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        Apr 11 2013: Hi Mathew,
        Regarding your comment for which there is no reply option.....

        "Mathew Naismith
        5 minutes ago: G'day Colleen
        I went through the yay's & nay's a couple of days ago & the yay's were ahead, do a count your self I don't think it's changed that much any it's never really worried me being a part of the minority.

        Your still missing the point Colleen, it's a hypothetical question because I know it wouldn't be allowed in most countries in the world but what if it was?
        Love
        Mathew"

        I'm not missing anything Mathew....I've read all the comments. I do not agree with your conclusion, and that's ok,......I agree to disagree:>)
        Love you too Mathew:>)
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      Apr 11 2013: Everett,
      Do you really think that those people who enjoy boxing or football would condone a fight to the death? I can stomach boxing no more than you seem to be able to, and its focus on blood and pain disturbs me, but it is not a fight to the death. The gladiators went into the arena with the understanding that one would die. A death in boxing is mourned, and an intentional killing is certainly punished. While I see the similarities, I am not convinced that gladiator fighting would be taken without an outcry.
      • Apr 12 2013: Yes and no.

        Folks who enjoy the sports for the sport aspect of it would probably not be immediately excited about watching a heightened violent event. However, a portion of the population absolutely would. Take MMA as an example. A portion of the population loves the MMA events for the violence. A portion of the population loves the violence in any sport. Take for example any injury or crash in a sport. They are replayed constantly to show the break or crash to the population.

        There would be an uproar at first in the heightened violence. There are those who would not support the events and protest against them. But, there are also those who would pay to attend. Just like there is a segment of our population that loves violent movies, many would love to attend violent sports. They would catch on, but probably not immediately go mainstream.

        There would be an outcry, but ultimately yes, it would take on in a certain portion of the population.
  • Apr 10 2013: Not sure it would go down well in Bhutan.
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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!!!

      Love
      Mathew
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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 :
        http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

        - The luficer effect by philip Zimbardo
        His TED Talk on this subject :
        Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of evil :
        http://www.ted.com/talks/philip_zimbardo_on_the_psychology_of_evil.html

        - The Honest Truth about Dishonest by Dan Ariely.
        His TED Talk(s) on this subject :
        Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code :
        http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_on_our_buggy_moral_code.html
        And
        Dan Ariely : Beware conflicts of Interest :
        http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_beware_conflicts_of_interest.html

        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.
          Love
          Mathew
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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!!

          Love
          Mathew
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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.
        Thanks
        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.

          Love
          Mathew
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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.

          Love
          Mathew
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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!!!

          Love
          Mathew
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    Apr 9 2013: I think we already have! with a little bending the rules, WWE fights, illegal boxing and such are the same concept. they don't finish in deaths but that's not the point. violence is something that many people enjoy nowadays ! they are so popular even in teens.
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    Apr 9 2013: Well, weapons are much more sophisticated now, and the "fights to the death" are being done overseas, and there is a huge global budget that is put into not only the creation of these fights to death, but also the marketing of them through the news. Although we don't see the hand to hand combat, of war, we do see similar adrenaline rush fighting through the UFC and other MMA fighting.

    Overall, the just of what I am thinking about this is that we popularize murder both in war and in crime. Instead of using prisoners in a sanctioned entertainment based battle, we turn the perpetrators into prisoners or heroes, depending on the circumstances of the murder.
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      Apr 9 2013: G'day Matt

      Interesting points Matt......In actual fact we are all living in a Roman arena called Earth it's just most of us don't want to fight to the death or die but of course death is inedible. The Roman arenas where built to entertain as they displayed all sorts of entertainment not just gladiators fighting to the death or people being fed to wild animals but of course the latter became more popular. As we enter into world wars the Earth as a whole is diffidently becomes a part of the arena which of course includes women & children & even babies put the death. My God aren't we civilised!!!!

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 9 2013: You'd need huge numbers of prisoners of war and if it was known that's how we treated captives they wouldn't want to be taken alive. Unless you used regular prisoners America got a lot of them ya think we put three crip, three blood, shanks all around. Would the BGF have the courage to bro-hug it out with the black gang after mauling a handful of Latino gangs. Would you tune in? I think now a days you can't say Westerners anymore the guy who started this post Aussie etc, a limited market faces of death videos sold in the states is people dying, execution videos sold middle east, I've even heard of high stakes Russian roulette involving soundproof booths, I think some people would join of their own sick volition.
  • Apr 9 2013: Unfortunately, I would have to say yes it would be popular. Just look at the popularity of all the "Reality TV Shows". I don't watch any Reality TV Shows. It seems I have more than enough reality in my own life.
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    Apr 9 2013: No doubt it would be popular and in fact it is still going on. Search for "300" in various Eastern European countries to see actual video. How many readers here will look that up?. But I do not think we have deteriorated. I think we never changed.
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      Apr 9 2013: G'day Danger Lampost

      Yes your probably right that we have never truly changed only the way we do it!!

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 7 2013: G'day Greg

    Not too recently we had a platoon arrive back from Afghanistan & they all seemed to say the same thing "why were we over there", this has happened in many conflicts except for the world wars. In saying about the world wars however many people profited big time during & especially after these wars, all wars are profit driven in one sense or another. Did they feel suckered in? It certainly seemed so!!

    Sports: Have you heard of foot stopping & eye gouging for starters, certain team members are picked out to rid the opposition of a certain team member & this goes on in all contact sport in one way or another which of course would have probably occurred in the Roman arenas as well but maybe they were more ethical not to do such things. In actual fact in any of the literature I have read on the Roman Empire have they mentioned this sort of immoral action taking place not saying it didn’t occur however.

    Sports has a kill factor not that most sports people want to kill of course but it's a psychological factor of winning as it is in the Roman arenas of course. You can't see a similarity Greg? I'm not saying most sports people want to kill these days but it does happen because of the winning factor & again these days it's spurred on by financial gain for the club & it’s members.

    It’s sort of really strange that Kate & I are the only ones who can see a similarity with modern day sports & Roman arenas, maybe it’s because we are Aussies, maybe that has something to do with it, AY!!!

    Love
    Mathew
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      Apr 8 2013: Well, Mat, when I've read about our American soldiers, they say they get a lot of meaning out of what they do, they feel good and high purpose about being in Afghanistan. Wonder why the Aussie soldiers feel differently?

      In the U.S. if you are deliberately being too violent and breaking the rules in a sports game you will be penalized or ejected from the game.

      Mat, everything has a kill factor! Even the most gentle vegetarian is killing plants! It must be a matter of degree, in sports competition it is something like killing but not so extreme to be unacceptable. I'm not so sure all athletes love beating their competition as they just love doing their best, being pushed to excel.

      I have been going to many somewhat violent movies, or they are crime stories anyway, such as "Jack Reacher" starring Tom Cruise, or "Gangster Squad," starring Ryan Gosling. Maybe you will have an influence on me not to go to them, I can't say yet. If you did, that would be good!

      lovegreg
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        Apr 9 2013: G’day Greg
        Pt.1
        The reason the Aussie diggers feel differently is maybe because they actually think about what they are doing in places like Afghanistan where’s the US soldiers don’t, the US soldiers are well known to be gung-ho without giving a thought to why they are killing they just seemingly carry out any order without question which sounds a little like brain washy to me & this is probably why other countries soldiers would rather fight beside an Aussie digger than a yank soldier.

        In Vietnam the yanks where well known to tramp through the bush smoking cigars &/or dope where’s the Aussies diggers where more aware of the consequences of such foolish action. The Aussie digger needs a reason to kill where’s the yank soldier just does what he’s told without thinking which is probably what the Aussie diggers should be doing, kill without question, sounds awfully Roman to me.

        Why has the US had so many shootings on mass? Don’t think just do gung-ho attitude. I have to admit most of us Aussies certainly think differently to yanks & maybe that’s the biggest difference we think yanks just do. You would have to admit we do think differently even though we are being influenced by this non-thinking gung-ho attitude these days which is changing the way we think obviously.
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          Apr 9 2013: Well, you're the first person who's ever said to me that U.S. soldiers are known to be gung-ho and unthinking. I don't see why they would be, when your life is at stake you're going to be thinking. Americans should be just as intelligent as Aussies, no, to some degree America has led the world in creativity and inventions, which means thinking.
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        Apr 9 2013: Pt.2
        Your saying that sports is more buddy like looking out for each other type thing, have you heard of spear tackling? It’s when two blokes grab a hold of an opposition player turn him upside down quite quickly & ram he’s head into the ground with dire consequences at times as you could imagine. In cricket the bowler will deliberately bowl a bouncer to the batsman knowing it could cause serious injury & possible death especially if there not wearing a helmet. Yes they are clamping down on this kind of sportsmanship but sport people are still being injured & at times like recently again killed, that doesn’t seem to buddy like to me in actual fact it’s awfully much like the Roman arenas except the deaths caused aren’t supposed to be deliberate.

        Yes I would agree a certain percentage of sport people just want to perform at their peak however even if it means seriously injuring someone in the process. Do you think a sports person isn’t going to perform at their peak if it meant hurting someone in the opposite team? If they think like this they shouldn’t be playing contact sports.

        No I don’t want to influence you as you must do that yourself, what I am trying to do is make people who are unaware aware of the influences of watching violent acts could have on the psyche.
        Love
        Mathew
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          Apr 9 2013: I don't know, Mat, the folks who make the written rules for sports are going to be careful to make rules where people aren't too much at risk, aren't they? So if people get hurt, maybe someone broke the rules and the refs and the league must punish them. It certainly happens in the States, people rarely get seriously hurt from someone else being too rough.
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    Apr 7 2013: Mathew,
    I cannot get a response anywhere near your recent comment.

    Thank you for your note. I did not choose to be offended....I simply wanted to clarify that I am not complacent, and I have taken many steps toward change in our world:>)

    Love to you Mathew:>)
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      Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

      Your right I do get carried away not quite in the sense of sensationalising something but I do get over passionate with certain topics like this, sorry Colleen for my indiscretion.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 6 2013: No. But betting online on who has the better chances to win can very well be. I am not sure but if you declare tax relief for buying tickets for such a game, it can still pull a crowd. Who knows?
    I think our world is changing towards better like Colleen does. But it's our kind of better in our time. We do not like bloodshed and violence close to us. It is ok if we have televised wars, drone attacks, tsunamis in far away countries. More deaths, more viewership.
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      Apr 6 2013: Pabitra,
      That is NOT how I believe/think/feel our world is changing for the better. I do not agree with including me in your statement that "we do not like bloodshed and violence close to us and it's ok if we have televised wars, drone attacks, tsunamis in far away countries". That is NOT at all what I said in my comment on this thread, and it puzzles me that you would say that!
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        Apr 7 2013: Colleen, I have not included you in the 'we' and that is simply because you explained your stand and belief in no uncertain terms.
        I cannot say for honesty's sake I am excluded from the 'we', willingly or unwillingly.
        Nature and all natural things have no label of good/bad, so they cannot get better/worse. All they can get is changed. Changed to something different. Constructs like society, values, morality are thought to get better. And each epoch is better compared to previous.
        I lose my peace on a daily basis thinking how am I happy amidst so much suffering. I am irreligious and have no salvation you know.
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          Apr 7 2013: Pabitra,
          It feels like you are including me in your statement, which I do not agree with...my name is there, and you go on to refer to "we"...

          "I think our world is changing towards better like Colleen does. But it's our kind of better in our time. We do not like bloodshed and violence close to us. It is ok if we have televised wars, drone attacks, tsunamis in far away countries. More deaths, more viewership."

          Yes....I thought I was clear with my thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs on this topic, and what you express with your previous comment is not my feeling.
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        Apr 8 2013: I cannot argue with your feelings friend. My apologies if I hurt your feelings.
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          Apr 8 2013: My feelings are not hurt Pabitra, I simply like to clarify.
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      Apr 7 2013: G'day Pabitra

      It is alarming how many people stand around watching someone being raped &/or bashed & watch with glee, what's the difference between this & the Roman arenas? One is lawful one isn't at this stage remembering sensationalism sells.

      If you take a look at the Roman arenas the slaughter actually got worse & worse because it sold & these same people going to the arenas to watch this were at that time looked at themselves as being more civilised than the rest of the known world, don't we also think the same in the west compared to some eastern counties & cultures but it's alright to invade another country for oil & kill off parts of the civilian population in the process which include women & children? Are we that civilised after all?

      I think in a few hundred years’ time people will look at us & call us barbarian as well I'm quite sure on that & this is my point. There is very little difference shown today between being barbaric & civilised & it wouldn’t take much for a so called civilised person to become barbaric like watching someone being raped for instance, we need to be aware of this is all I’m saying.

      Love
      Mathew
  • Apr 6 2013: Since you asked, this is what I think:

    "If it was allowed" puts this into the area of pure speculation.

    The reason this is not allowed is because so many people (I suspect a huge majority) consider it outrageously repugnant.

    But if it was allowed, the minority who are entertained by violence would turn out in large numbers.

    I do not think this reflects so badly on our intellectual & moral selves. First, because it is not allowed. Second, because our populations are so large today that it takes only a tiny percentage of the population to fill any arena.

    If you are looking for reasons to "show how bad our intellectual & moral selves have deteriorated", there are many real life examples: destroying the environment, politics, casinos, obesity/hunger, brawling about sports. Even so, you would have a difficult time making the case that humans have deteriorated; we were never any better.
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      Apr 6 2013: G'day Barry

      Yes it's just speculative however in recent times there have been a few rapes that have had observers or people joining in, to me this raises alarm bells because this is being splashed all over the net. Take a look at the net & see what's most popular & it would shock your pants off.

      Theoretically if an arena was allowed to be built for the sole purpose of people fighting to the death it would be packed no matter how big the arena was. How many people die in sports? I know they are not deliberately trying to win in this way but if no one was trying to win so much as to put someone else's life in danger deaths in sport wouldn't happen & yes there are people who only go to certain sport events to see people hurt.

      My point isn't saying that most people would attend but that these arenas would be packed out which says something about our intellect & morality these days. Sensationalism is becoming big business just like the arenas were in the Roman times, we need to be wary is all I'm saying because all it would need is the one little thing to spark off immoral behaviour which is seen right throughout the world of today in wars & even demonstration that get out of hand.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 6 2013: Judging by the popularity of certain films, TV programs, gaming, bloodsports, and hunger for sensationalism in newspapers then I would have to say yes.

    I guess those lusts represent the primal winning out over the moral. And maybe even the body winning out over the mind.
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    Apr 20 2013: G'day TED Followers

    I wish to thank everyone for their opinion even though I didn't agree with them all which is just as well because how would one learn about oneself if we all agreed all the time?

    Love
    Mathew
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    Apr 19 2013: In the USA, I look upon our present-day politics and the norm of present-day capitalism as very much related to the coliseum activities of ancient Rome. Sometimes actual death occurs; sometimes it's just rejoicing over the economic and social destruction of one's opponents. Australia showed some growth in moral fortitude when it banned guns. The USA is not that evolved and, sad to say, may never be so. To answer specifically this hypothetical, I'm afraid there would be way too many who would enjoy watching such carnage... They may protect themselves by watching on television or online or in the underground venues where they'd most likely be held in today's world. But they'd be there. ... What a sad thought!

    No matter what advances humans have made over time, it is becoming clear in the last decade or so that we are regressing in many, many ways. In spite of some growth in human rights issues, we seem to spend just as much time as ever in destructive activities. Strange juxtapositions, in my view. Interesting question, Matthew.
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      Apr 19 2013: G'day Catya

      The type of arena used ,as you have said here, has changed that's all as we are just as aggressive & blood thirsty as ever, in actual fact I think it's more blood thirsty, how many people have actually died because of the financial arena even excluding the great depression which was a blood bath in one way or another? As I have stated by supplying facts that the Roman arenas weren't as blood thirsty as some people thought or obviously want to think but I can't say the same with the financial arena.

      If you take into consideration the drug companies in how they want to keep us sick even though it kills some of us I think we are actually less civilised & moral not more. Also I think Doctors being able to invest in drug companies is a sham to say the least as I know of a number of people who have died from taking too many pills at one given time.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 14 2013: G’day TED Followers

    I’m not sure why but some people here think gladiators came from main stream Roman society but more often than not they were criminals & slaves that were unruly & forced into becoming gladiators, no wonder the games were popular.

    Below is an extract from the first link shown below that again.

    Actually, relatively few arena bouts ended in death for one of the combatants. Roman scholar Georges Ville recently conducted a study of ancient writings which recorded arena deaths during a short period of the 1st Century AD. He discovered that, of the 200 gladiators involved in the documented fights, only 19 of them died.

    More people today die in riots & gang warfare throughout the world today; you must remember gang warfare that endangers other people on the streets is done by free will & this happens today in our modern day civilised world but in the so called Roman barbaric arenas no one else was hurt but the gladiators & a few Christians latter on in time of the Roman empire, what's more barbaric the arenas or modern day gang warfare?

    http://legvi.tripod.com/gladiators/id2.html
    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_did_roman_gladiators_come_from

    Sorry but this just validates my argument here.

    Love
    Mathew

    PS It wasn't too long ago we hung & electrocuted people to death & of course we still legally kill people today in the wold in various ways, what is more humane (civilised) just killing criminals without a chance of redeeming themselves or letting them at it in the arena with at least a 50/50 chance of redemption? Are we really civilised compared to Roman times after all? I wonder!!
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    Apr 14 2013: G’day TED Followers

    This is awfully funny because I have changed my stance on this, let anyone or anyone people who want to have it out have it out in these arena’s & leave the rest of the people alone who don’t want to be involved, too many civilians in my mind get hurt which of course include women, children & babies because of mindless Neanderthals, I can’t think of anything more civilised other than stop conflicting all together & where not going to do that obviously.

    I find it personally very scary how many people here have no idea of the human emotional makeup & what it is capable of, look at how the churches in the dark ages used & abused its followers in total blind faith, this is obvious this can happen again going by some of the blind faith responses we have here in my mind.

    Sorry if I’m blunt & to the point as I came from the bush quite feral because the way us kids where treated & ended up on the wrong side of the track latter on, what I am is a product of a so called civilised civilisation who still believes in blind faith, I’m flabbergasted to say the least!!

    Love
    Mathew
  • Comment deleted

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      Apr 12 2013: Hello Mathew,
      I have not accused you of anything, and I'm sorry you perceive that. Yes, I can look at myself honestly Mathew.

      People can laugh at me all they want Mathew. I have had challenges and lived on the "dark side" for quite awhile as a child, being constantly frightened in my home by a father who was a violent, abusive person, and who often beat his wife and children. I have seen my mother beaten unconscious.....my brothers almost killed by our father.

      I do not choose to allow that experience to color my perception of the whole world Mathew. You told us about your "dark side" in this comment thread....drug running.....seeing people killed, etc. That is certainly a segment of our society Mathew, and it is NOT ALL people in our society.

      I am not putting any "emphasis" on you Mathew. I am responding to your comments with respect, and genuine caring in my heart. In my perception, you seem to be interpreting any disagreement with you at all, as "offensive & immoral", which it is not Mathew.
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    Apr 11 2013: G’day Fritzie

    Not knowing me personally you’re sure judging me negatively yourself, this is sort of the pot calling the kettle black here Fritzie.

    I’ve been literally on the dark side of life & been with many people who would kill at the drop of a hat especially if they could get away with it like a lot of people would especially when they are angered or hurt by others, LEGALISE KILLING & SEE WHAT HAPPENS & then tell me how wrong or negative I am towards others.

    Yes I think most people wouldn't kill but I'm only presuming this but if killing was legalised the non-violent ones would be put in a situation that they would have to kill to save themselves, violence attracts violence one way or another & is one better or more accepted than the other than the other? It shouldn't be you know.

    Love
    Mathew
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      Apr 12 2013: I wasn't judging you negatively at all, Matthew. All I was saying was that we can judge what we and those we know would do better than those we don't know and that evolution has built into humans a tendency to be suspicious of or negative about what strangers might do.

      I don't read everything everyone writes on the site, but what I had read of yours always has seemed authentic and civil.
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        Apr 12 2013: G'day Fritzie

        It sounded like it Fritzie but maybe I was just sensationalising again so I'm genuinely sorry if I got you wrong.

        I tried to post something about people who have just lived on the right side of the tracks to some one who has lived on both sides of the track & the different perspectives they have about life, the ones who have lived on both sides or even the wrong side of the track, I think, can see things a lot clearly than those who have just lived on the right side of the track which of course makes sense however this wasn't obviously permitted as I got no reply back at all, I found this relative to what you said earlier.

        What happened to Raimo Kangasniemi post, I was itching to reply, it was over the top however I could have genuinely turned it around on him some what but probably to no avail.

        Love
        Mathew
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          Apr 12 2013: That's okay, Matthew. Apology accepted. I was just reflecting on conclusions one can draw, and can't draw, from informal survey data. It's a subject I have thought a lot about and taught a lot about over the years.

          While I haven't been following this thread, really, I do agree that the more varied the situations and contexts in which you have lived, the better you know about how people in different situations may think and choose. But there will always be more opportunities for variation than any of us has typically experienced close up.
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    Apr 11 2013: Considering how the majority of our community is today, I would say it would be extremely popular. Kids stay inside and play video games all day and are not as active and caring as they were before. Society is always changing and currently it is in the state where there is a lot of violence and every boy and girl is exposed to it.
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      Apr 11 2013: G'day Ajay

      The thought of dying & leaving the world the way it is irks me because it's the people born after us who have got to try to clean up the mess, it's a sad thing to realise that the arenas would be packed even today but of course on the other hand we would have more people speaking out about it now than they did in Roman times which is something but not good enough for a so called intelligent civilised world.

      It's really people like you & I who denounce & notice such things in human nature that will change the world eventually & yes it is happening as depicted in the videos that Bernard supplied, these people who sit on their hands saying we are too civilised for such things are only prolonging our suffering & delaying our freedom from violence altogether, we must be aware of all possibilities no matter what & stop being so complacent. We are the ones who are going to help make a true civilised race of people not the fence sitters.

      Love
      Mathew
    • Apr 12 2013: Geez Ajay, I'm not sure the 'children of today' are any different than 100 years ago. I distinctly remember being asked to 'get my head out of that book and go outside'. Substitute a computer and you've got the kids of today.
      Same as it ever was...or 'you can't put an old head on new shoulders'
      Mathew, I'm quite sure the reality of what people would be seeing would appeal to a chosen few, but not the majority.
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    Apr 11 2013: Probably.

    But I personally don't even like the idea of Bull fights, killing animals for sport, or boxing.
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      Apr 11 2013: Why not?
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      Apr 11 2013: G'day Obey

      I agree. I watched an old movie titled The Magnificent Matador, the movie itself was great until it came down to the actual bull fighting at the end of the movie, I just couldn't watch it out.

      Why not? Maybe because I've got a thought process that has a better reasoning process than a Neanderthal, why kill when one can love!!

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 10 2013: G’day TED Followers

    Who thinks we all live in a Roman arena today taking into account we are all serving our masters the multinationals & if we fight hard enough we live to serve but if we don’t we die? This also includes wars that are funded by multinationals for a profit, what would the world be like without violence? We would certainly have a different mode of thought that’s for sure because our mind have always been influenced by violence in one way or another right through human history.

    Love
    Mathew
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    Apr 9 2013: G'day Greg

    I've known a number of Vietnam vets in actual fact we have two of them right across the road from us right now that I chat with now & again & they all seem to say the same thing however I am just talking about the Vietnam war as I don't know anyone personally who has served in recent wars, it could be quite different now.

    I'm not saying that Aussie diggers a smarter but they do seem to be better trained at times.

    You bring up creativity & inventions, where do you think most of the creativity & inventions come from Greg, I know for a fact that a number of Aussie ideas & invention where sold to various corporations & manufacturers over in the US because that is where the money is. Who invented the rotary cloths line & the rotary lawn mower for starters & this is only from a small populated country what about the rest of the world?

    You didn't go to the moon on your own, I know other countries people's where involved as well like with many things a large populated country as the US can attract. This is what pees the rest of the world off, you take everything as yours because you can buy it but it's not.


    This is funny, our rugby league & union is more brutal than your grid iron because rugby players aren't raped up in cotton wool so you could call Aussies more brutal & uncivilised compared to people in the US & you would probably have a point there. Are American stupid & Aussies barbaric? It has it points however not as a whole, if all American were thoughtless & gung-ho & all Aussies barbaric & brutal yes but we know that not to be the case!!

    Love
    Mathew
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    Apr 8 2013: G’day TED Followers

    I don’t usually watch the news in actual fact I watch very little TV altogether but I did today & what came on was yet another young person’s life has been cut short playing contact sport & straight after that was about two nurses being raped & killed by seven men forty years ago which is about to go to trial, what can I say!!


    Am I over dramatizing this or sensationalizing this issue of sensationalist violence? Hmmmm
    Love
    Mathew
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    Apr 7 2013: What if this actually happened and you just took everyone who is on death row and created a big event out of it? It would definitely be barbaric and inhumane. I'm not saying I would support it, but I'm positive that there are millions of people who enjoy seeing a sort of "survival of the fittest" live show. UFC is the closest thing we have to gladiator fighting and that organization has been growing a ton in recent years so if this sort of thing every did workout, I do think there would be a large audience for it. Again I don't think I would be part of that audience.
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      Apr 7 2013: G'day Aidan

      Good point Aidan.......Would we go if it was all the rapists & killers having it out with each other in the arena, the crowd in this case would be some what bigger however I'm like you I wouldn't attend myself but I know a lot would in this case.

      Love
      Mathew
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    Apr 6 2013: Yes
  • Apr 6 2013: i dont think they would ever be packed like a boxing match. not even close.watching people die is not that entertaining.
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    Apr 6 2013: Well, it's an interesting question but also a strange and unrealistic one. Because our society works mightily to be humane, gentle, sensitive. We have a million laws to protect people from crime, we have laws to protect people from the emotional bruises of racism, we struggle immensely with the question of whether to have a death penalty, and many countries have banned it. I can't imagine that the same countries that do all this would then allow gladiator fights, it doesn't add up, it doesn't cohere.

    If, theoretically, this was allowed, many would want to attend, but many would mount protests, protests outside the stadium, I'm sure that many who hated the gladiator fights would refuse to socialize with the people who attended and by so doing would make it socially reprehensible to attend.
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      Apr 6 2013: G'day Greg

      Have you been in the presence of a cold blooded killer, there are more of these kind of people out there than one would want to know. So many people are anti-cop but they have no idea what the police are actually stopping from happening in the first place, take away our protection either in the police force or armed forces & you would then see how many of these cold blooded killers there are walking the streets right beside us & how many more would-be killers joining them.

      Take away one thing like human rights what do you have? Anarchy, take away any more than this & you have a slaughter house, one huge Roman arena. Yes I agree there are a lot of nice people out there but if we took a close look at what’s most popular through the media it would be violent sensationism & this is growing not diminishing.

      Love
      Mathew
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        Apr 6 2013: Mathew,
        Has there been a suggestion to "take away our protection either in the police force or armed forces"? Has there been a suggestion to "take away human rights"? I don't think so....why do you bring this into the discussion?

        Honestly my friend, it feels like you are expressing a lot of fear and maybe a wee bit of sensationalism? Why do you want to do that?

        Yes, I have met people who have killed other people, when volunteering with the dept. of corrections for 6 years. Have you?
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          I was drug running at one stage of my life, one of my best mates was pumped full of battery acid & cut up with a chainsaw while still alive & if I was there & asked to assist in this I would have at that stage because of fear. I latter on worked in the welfare arena twice over in my 49 yrs , I think I might now what I am talking about Colleen, OK!!

          If the world economy collapsed altogether Colleen so would our protection & that could happen just like that in a blink of an eye. What would happen if a sizable meteorite hit Earth, do you really think everyone wouldn't be scrambling for food & doing anything immoral & barbarous to obtain & keep that food? This is utter complacency thinking that our protection is always going to be there & that most of us couldn’t ever be barbarous in any circumstance when we are showing so much barbarous tendencies in days of relative peace, harmony & protection.

          The thing is we think we are invulnerable & have become complacent because we are supposed to be more intelligent or civilised these days but the Romans thought the exact same thing in there days, all I am doing is pointing out is there is very little difference between us & them but we think there is.

          It is funny you accuse me of scare mongering & sensationalism when all I’m doing is pointing out the obvious that we are complacent within our idealisms & modes of thought. People like you Colleen annoy me because you complacently do nothing about the obvious but you will have ago at people like myself who wish to point out the obvious that others know little about because of their complacency.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 7 2013: I am not complacent Mathew....never have been. Sorry you feel annoyed because I do not follow your script.
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          Well I'm not just scare mongering or sensationalising either Colleen just because you can't follow my script, you seemed to be trying to make out I didn't know what I was talking about here when you had no idea of my past history, I would say I would know more than you do of the nitty gritty parts of the more darker side of life.

          Don't use your own experiences against others without knowing what they have experienced themselves first, it's not a very smart move, I should know I've done it myself.


          Love
          Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Kate

          Yes but am I right in showing people their own complacency especially to do with something that might not happen but of course could happen at anytime? We live in these modern times & we really think we are so distant from committing barbarous acts ourselves but were not especially when you take into consideration that there are the barbarous acts acted out everyday by people at present in our time.

          I do go a little over the top with discussion like this but I suppose I can see what's happening because of my past experiences where's others who haven't had the same experiences never will, we know what we experience & learn nothing more.

          If people knew what was out there they wouldn't be so complacent however Colleen might be right about me because if they knew they would become paranoid so maybe I am going over the top a little too much on this but I think on TED we all have enough sense not to allow ourselves to become paranoid, I certainly wouldn't have brought this up with my disability clients!!

          Love
          Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: Mathew,
          I don't feel I am "right" about anything, as you have stated in the comment above. I am aware of quite a bit that is "out there" and again, I am not complacent, nor am I afraid to address the issues.

          My preference is to not focus on everything that is horrible in our world, because I agree with you that it sometimes causes people to become paranoid. I DO wholeheartedly agree that there are some issues we need to face as a global community. I have done my best to face some of those issues on a local level, and I have clearly stated that.
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        Apr 7 2013: Mathew,
        I have not used anything "against" you. I tried to have a conversation with you. I do not believe that everyone is complacent. There are people who are complacent, and many of us are not.
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          Your putting words in my mouth, I didn't say everyone was complacent, you replied to a response that I made to another person which had nothing to do with you but it seemed you took this personally to me anyway by the response I got from you accusing me of being this that & the other.

          You are wrong in saying what you initially said to me obviously Colleen as I am in responding to you about such unwarranted comments made towards myself in the first place which you need to be made aware of, I took offence as I feel you worded your response towards me badly & needed correcting in my mind but you obviously don't think so, let's leave it at that please.

          Love
          Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Kate

          Yes Pabitra nailed it & so did Carolyn saying we never left Roman ideologies behind as they are very much a part of our makeup & yes we should be aware of this without harping on about it.

          Is watching lizards fighting a part of that Roman ideology I wonder but of course I don't exactly like watching them fight just the rest of the antics they get up too. Jailed or fined for watching lizard fights now that's a new one & it shows how far the other way we could go with this. We are definitely funny creatures ourselves I just wonder who’s watching us, boy what a laugh a minute we would be!!

          Love
          Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Kate

          I look at myself after an altercation with someone & I usually shake my head not at them but at myself in how I am so easily roped into such altercations & how wrong I can be within myself & how I conducted myself.....Life's a joke depending in how you are looking at it as you have said here!!

          Look, we know better so how come we still do dopey things, is it a subconscious thing like we subconsciously know it to be a joke but our conscious doesn’t? Is the subconscious getting a laugh out of the conscious reaction to the joke I wonder or do we really take life too seriously?

          Love
          Mathew

          Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: Well, it's a good question, Kate, how is war different from gladiators fighting to the death? I would say because it's less controlled, if gladiators were fighting to the death one thinks they would have no real grudge against each other, it would just be cold spectacle, whereas in war real emotions are involved, each side feels aggrieved. But we certainly as a planet protest war, when a nation becomes aggressive, we often embargo it, etc.

          I would say we all protest against the things that affect us most directly, most locally. I fight pretty hard on a lot of local issues here in Glendale, California.

          Actually, I think there is lot of self-interest whenever a person tries to "make something better." For instance, I fight litter on my street, often picking up trash with my bare hands and putting it in the nearest trashcan. First and foremost, this is for my own benefit, but it happens to benefit everyone else on the street as well.

          What human rights abuses are you talking about in China? I think it must be a question of degree, that some abuses are so over the top that we embargo, and some aren't as over the top. Also it can be hard to get information about what is going on in another country. Also we may have the sense that what we consider abuse "feels" different in another culture. There is also a problem that if you punish people with protests and embargo, you may make abuses worse rather than better.
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        Apr 7 2013: Mathew,
        This is a response to your comment which begins...
        "Your putting words in my mouth, I didn't say everyone was complacent, you replied to a response that I made to another person which had nothing to do with you but it seemed you took this personally to me anyway by the response I got from you accusing me of being this that & the other."

        Mathew, you clearly stated to me and about me:
        "People like you Colleen annoy me because you complacently do nothing about the obvious but you will have ago at people like myself who wish to point out the obvious that others know little about because of their complacency."

        Mathew, I will say again....I am not complacent, and never have been. I do not take your comment personally, I simply clarified that I am not complacent. I have not accused you of anything Mathew. I'm sorry you feel offended because I clarified my perspective.
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Colleen

          Sorry if I have offended you as it's obvious I have.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 7 2013: Well, Mat, I'm sure there are many angry people who would kill if it were allowed. But it seems to me the masses, and the governments, would not allow gladiators fighting to the death any more. It just feels too wrong to allow that, and they would have to endure huge criticism from all over the world. In fact, I believe any country would embargo another country that allowed gladiator fights to the death, would not do trade with it. Even ruthless dictators would not have gladiator fights to the death.

        I'm not sure media sensationalizes violence. When violence happens in real life, the media reports it. And then there is a lot of fictional violence, but that's very different from letting people fight to the death in real life. The mass of people can differentiate between fantasy violence and real violence.

        Love
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          Apr 7 2013: G’day Greg

          Greg my friend I was only hypothesising, if it was allowed the arenas even today would be packed however like you said there would be in an uproar unlike in the Roman days but I’m not sure people didn’t voice out about it then either.

          My point is if people look on while someone is being raped &/or bashed in glee or even join in & then share this on the net but not only that for it to get numerous hits just shows you where people’s mentality & immorality is at is all I’m saying.

          With the media in my days growing up, I am now 49 yrs old, we had real family shows to watch, they weren’t explicit in any way which includes sexuality & violence, sure people died & made love but this wasn’t shown explicitly as it was left up to your imagination but these days we need more sensationalism to excite the senses of the populous to watch a particular show or movie which of course is connected to making a profit .Take away the profit from entertainment & entertainment itself would change in time because you wouldn’t have competition between events & shows for profitable gain.

          If you hammer the populous with continues violence the mentality of that populous changes because it affects the psyche subconsciously as it would if we went back to showing real family oriented shows & movies & games are the same. We didn’t hear of shootings back when I was a kid, there has to be a reason for this today taking in consideration I also grew up in war time.

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 7 2013: Well, true, some people look on while someone is raped, but many do not. I don't think you can say that such incidents reflect on everybody's mentality, or even most people's mentality. True, they can get posted on the net and get hits while they are obscure and not many people have seen them, but once they get discovered then they are quickly taken off the net and the people are looked for and arrested if found.

        Well, it may be that TV and movies are more sensational at times, but isn't there a natural tendency to get bored with one thing and go on to another? So if you do family shows for a while, after a while you may move on to risque shows just for a change. But if you watch the risque shows, they still have pretty good values, the good guy usually wins in the end, love wins out in the romantic stories. I'm afraid if you take away the profit you will have extremely boring, low-quality TV, you might get TV like you get in China, don't you imagine TV in China is kind of bad, only two channels and both are run by the government.

        I don't know that the populace is hammered with continuous violence. There are many choices in what one watches, and there are many gentle, relatively loving stories on TV and in movies. I believe you could easily avoid violent shows if you wanted. Can you not find gentle shows, Mat? I'm thinking of the movie "E.T.," for example. If you've never seen that, it's fairly gentle. But you know, when I studied literature, they said every story is built around a conflict, it's what they call dramatic arc, the story starts low-key, builds to a conflict, the conflict is resolved somehow, and the story ends. Even "E.T." has conflict in it. Now, as I write this answer, I'm wondering if you can avoid conflict in life? Even if you turn off the TV and movies, can you ever get away from conflict? Even when we eat we're going to kill something, I believe plants have personality and vegetarians are killers, too.What to do, not eat and die?
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          Apr 7 2013: G'day Greg

          My point is Greg violence is getting worse but why? Most people aren't violent but they will watch/read violent media but this doesn't make all these people into violent killers as was the same of the gladiators before being captured & forcefully trained as killers. The media can & has captured a certain amount of people within it's violent content & made them into killers for which they wouldn't have been if it wasn't for certain media influences. Why not rid ourselves completely of such influences in the first place instead of taking such stupid unnecessary risks.

          I can't find the link but there are some people high up in the US music industry that have invested in private prisons, to keep them full they deliberately changed the style of rap music to incite violence & this is only one of many things that have done on around the world just through the media, the media is a powerful tool that is & has been used to change people’s psyche without them knowing it. What has spurred on consumerist materialism? We all know it’s destroying our environment we rely on for our existence but we continue blindly with this kind ideology.

          I’m not saying nor have I ever said that all people are perceptible to violence intent through different influences to the point of accepting killing arenas but a good number are for the main reason of our modern day influences & it does seem that the number is growing which is disconcerting.

          Are there enough moral people out there to stop an over flow of violent oriented people acting out such violent act? We have a lot more violence on the streets than when I was growing up so the answer is no.
          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 8 2013: I don't know if violence is getting worse, Mat. I want to be optimistic that it isn't, do you think you are being too much of a pessimist on this one? Maybe you should research the numbers. Look first at how many people are born in a year, for example, and then see how many die an unnatural death due to violence at some point in their lives. I would think it will be a tiny percentage, less than 1%.

        I probably don't think fantasy violence in TV and movies encourages real-life violence. As I said before, if you control media too much you will end up with very boring media.

        I guess the first thing is to control one's own actions. For instance, you mention above watching a violent sports competition, and then a report about a real-life rape. The question might be why you didn't turn off the TV when you saw the competition, and not listen to the report about the rape.
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          Apr 9 2013: G’day Greg

          All I am doing Greg is going by what I once was able to do & what I can do now in comfort. Once upon a time not too long ago we used to be able to leave our cars engines running in the street while we went to the corner shop or leave our house unlocked but we can’t anymore. Once upon a time we used to be able to walk down any street & have no fear of being bashed of molested in any way so do I need hard facts in figures t0 figure out that violence & crime have escalated since I was born? I don’t think so because the facts speak for themselves.

          Am I being a little too much of a pessimist? Maybe but it’s far better than ignoring the situation & do nothing about the obvious, I see the obvious & I can’t sit on my hands & do nothing, I couldn’t think of anything worse than to deliberately act out what the supposed three wise monkeys portray but of course many can.

          There is a huge difference to watching the newscaster telling you about what has happened to actually witnessing what has happened, media these days don’t give you that choice of leaving it up to one’s imagination, maybe that’s why we are so lame & deliberately ignorant to the obvious .

          Love
          Mathew
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        Apr 9 2013: Well, I never could leave a door unlocked, Mat, or a car engine running. So things haven't changed for me that much. Never could walk down a street without thinking one might be attacked.

        I wonder how much the world population has grown since we were kids? Population pressure makes for less security, more people, more potential crime.

        Technology getting better may have made us more aware of crime. Now you can go on the Net and read about any crime, anywhere, probably watch film on it.

        Might be good to research and see if there is more crime per person now than 40 years ago.
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          Apr 9 2013: G'day Greg

          Yes this is a point which I thought of & yes of course crime is going to seem more prevalent as the population grows & yes the media output is more wide spread however for a supposed more intelligent & civilised people from the Romans which were civilised in their days from the rest of the known world, crime seems, per populous, just as prevalent.

          My point is we are not that more civilised than the Romans, OK we don't nail people to the cross or feed them to the lions but if you look at the atrocities being played out in the world like people being handcuffed & fed to crocodiles, lowered in big mulchers feet first & so on.

          OK that doesn't pertain to us more civilised cultures, not so sure on that. We have weapons that can kill horrifically on mass unlike a cross & we are being fed plastic & modified foods which make us ill so we have to go to doctors & take pills to make ourselves better from all the toxins we are being fed & that are strewn all around us for the sake of a dollar or two. These people who are doing this for a few dollars more know it’s killing us slowly, that to me sounds a hell of a lot worse than any Roman arena & we have the audacity to call ourselves civilised????

          In actual fact we all have & still do live in the arena but it is our choice if we want to fight to the death in our toxic environment which is spurred on by greed or not, we obviously chosen to fight to the death in this huge arena called Earth instead of dying in peace & harmony which doesn’t sound too civilised or intelligent to me.

          Love
          Mathew
  • Apr 6 2013: You're right - It would be packed. In fact, we come close even now. Look at some of the old fighters and American football players.
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      Apr 6 2013: Big difference between football and fighting to the death.
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        Apr 6 2013: G'day Greg

        Yes your right to a certain extent because anything that entails winning has a kill factor however it's not to the point of actually killing but it is still a kill factor so do we band all sports that has this kill/winning factor because it could lead to actually killing? Of course not but we do need to be wary of how we conduct ourselves in this sensationalism as sensationalism was the same force that drove Romans to going to these arenas to see humans & animal actually killed.

        Arenas didn’t start off with animals or humans fighting to the death that came latter I believe but you could also see our stadiums in the same way, we need to be wary remembering the Romans thought themselves to be civilised as well to the rest of the world as we do in the west.

        Love
        Mathew
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          Apr 7 2013: Well, Mat, I think there is a huge difference between people playing basketball, tennis, or football, and people fighting to the death. Our culture allows the first set of activity, but I cannot see any country allowing the second. Can you imagine the world outcry if any country began allowing people to fight to the death in stadiums? No country would want that bad press and disapproval.

          Here in the U.S. we get very angry if people even fight dogs or chickens to the death, and it is a crime. One of our famous pro athletes, Michael Vick, was caught fighting dogs, and went to prison and endured much criticism.

          I will say I don't even understand pro athletes, do you? Why someone would want to push their body so hard that they get knee injuries and such that require surgery is beyond me. Some say they just love to compete. How do you explain it?

          Love
      • Apr 7 2013: Yes, there is. I was only extrapolating, and I am not sure it is as extreme as it seems.
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          Apr 7 2013: Yes, george, I think the athletes in a pro football game watch out for each other to some degree, pull their punches but make it look harsh.
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          Apr 7 2013: So you're saying all the soldiers who gave their life for a cause were so dumb that they were hoodwinked, conned, used for profit? Sorry, I don't believe it, I believe they were noble people who gave their lives for noble reasons.

          However, there are many facets to any event. I think we could both be right, people can be noble and yet to some extent be used.
      • Apr 8 2013: Thanks for the comment on the players in American football - I believe that you are right. I was only focused on the fans. They weren't the ones who pushed to reduce head injuries.