Passage two (Vicious and Dangerous Sports Should be Banned by Law)
When you think of the tremendous technological progress we have made, it’s amazing how little we have developed in other respects. We may speak contemptuously of the poor old Romans because they relished the orgies of slaughter that went on in their arenas. We may despise them because they mistook these goings on for entertainment. We may forgive them condescendingly because they lived 2000 years ago and obviously knew no better. But are our feelings of superiority really justified? Are we any less blood-thirsty? Why do boxing matches, for instance, attract such universal interest? Don’t the spectators who attend them hope they will see some violence? Human beings remains as bloodthirsty as ever they were. The only difference between ourselves and the Romans is that while they were honest enough to admit that they enjoyed watching hungey lions tearing people apart and eating them alive, we find all sorts of sophisticated arguments to defend sports which should have been banned long age; sports which are quite as barbarous as, say, public hangings or bearbaiting.
It really is incredible that in this day and age we should still allow hunting or bull-fighting, that we should be prepared to sit back and watch two men batter each other to pulp in a boxing ring, that we should be relatively unmoved by the sight of one or a number of racing cars crashing and bursting into flames. Let us not deceive ourselves. Any talk of ‘the sporting spirit’ is sheer hypocrisy. People take part in violent sports because of the high rewards they bring. Spectators are willing to pay vast sums of money to see violence. A world heavyweight championship match, for instance, is front page news. Millions of people are disappointed if a big fight is over in two rounds instead of fifteen. They feel disappointment because they have been deprived of the exquisite pleasure of witnessing prolonged torture and violence.
Why should we ban violent sports if people enjoy them so much? You may well ask. The answer is simple: they are uncivilized. For centuries man has been trying to improve himself spiritually and emotionally – admittedly with little success. But at least we no longer tolerate the sight madmen cooped up in cages, or public floggings of any of the countless other barbaric practices which were common in the past. Prisons are no longer the grim forbidding places they used to be. Social welfare systems are in operation in many parts of the world. Big efforts are being made to distribute wealth fairly. These changes have come about not because human beings have suddenly and unaccountably improved, but because positive steps were taken to change the law. The law is the biggest instrument of social change that we have and it may exert great civilizing influence. If we banned dangerous and violent sports, we would be moving one step further to improving mankind. We would recognize that violence is degrading and unworthy of human beings.
1. It can be inferred from the passage that the author’s opinion of nowadays’ human beings is
A. not very high. B. high.
C. contemptuous. D. critical.
2. The main idea of this passage is
A. vicious and dangerous sports should be banned by law.
B. people are willing to pay vast sums money to see violence.
C. to compare two different attitudes towards dangerous sports.
D. people are bloodthirsty in sports.
3. That the author mentions the old Romans is
A. To compare the old Romans with today’s people.
B. to give an example.
C. to show human beings in the past know nothing better.
D. to indicate human beings are used to bloodthirsty.
4. How many dangerous sports does the author mention in this passage?
A. Three. B. Five.
C. Six. D. Seven.
5. The purpose of the author in writing this passage is
A. that, by banning the violent sports, we human beings can improve our selves.
B. that, by banning the dangerous sports, we can improve the law.
C. that we must take positive steps to improve social welfare system.
D. to show law is the main instrument of social change.
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