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自私的正面意义

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小编摘要:自私是个贬义词,但是所有以自私为动机的事都是坏事吗?也不尽然。作者就为你诠释了自私的正面意义。

你可能会觉得,我所提到的都是不好的动机,或者至少是不好不坏的动机。从整体来看,那些动机比出于无私之心的动机要影响更大,但我并不是否认存在出于无私的动机,并且不时的影响着这个世界。在19世纪早期发生在英格兰的废奴运动无疑是无私的,并且深刻的影响着世界。
You may have been feeling that I have allowed only for bad motives, or, at best, such as are ethically neutral. I am afraid they are, as a rule, more powerful than more altruistic motives, but I do not deny that altruistic motives exist, and may, on occasion, be effective. The agitation against slavery in England in the early nineteenth century was indubitably altruistic, and was thoroughly effective.
它之所以无私的证据在于:1833年英国的纳税人花费数以百万记的金钱从牙买加农场主手里赎回了奴隶。而且在维也纳的大会上,英国政府预备实施一项重要承诺,以鼓励其他民族放弃奴隶交易。这是过去的例子,而现在的例子,美国也同样向世人展现了它的担当。然而今天,为了避免陷入争议中,我不想继续深入这个话题。
Its altruism was proved by the fact that in 1833 British taxpayers paid many millions in compensation to Jamaican landowners for the liberation of their slaves, and also by the fact that at the Congress of Vienna the British Government was prepared to make important concessions with a view to inducing other nations to abandon the slave trade. This is an instance from the past, but present-day America has afforded instances equally remarkable. I will not, however, go into these, as I do not wish to become embarked in current controversies.
我认为同情心作为一种真诚的动机之存在是无可置疑的。若他人遭受痛苦,某些人在某些时候,会感到某种程度上的心理不适。是同情心让上个世纪的人道主义得到了长足发展。每每听到精神病人遭受非人虐待,都会让我们震惊,而现在我们有了很多精神病医院,在那里他们不会再受虐待。
I do not think it can be questioned that sympathy is a genuine motive, and that some people at some times are made somewhat uncomfortable by the sufferings of some other people. It is sympathy that has produced the many humanitarian advances of the last hundred years. We are shocked when we hear stories ofthe ill-treatment of lunatics, and there are now quite a number of asylums in which they are not ill-treated.
西方国家的犯人一般来说不会被折磨。如果对他们的折磨为外界所获悉,会有人奔走呼告。我们不支持像《雾都孤儿》里一样对待孤儿。新教徒国家中反对虐待动物。所有这些,都证明了同情心的政治作用。如果人们对战争的恐惧心理不存在了,同情心的效用会变得更大。
Prisoners in Western countries are not supposed to be tortured, and when they are, there is an outcry if the facts are discovered. We do not approve of treating orphans as they are treated in Oliver Twist. Protestant countries disapprove of cruelty to animals. In all these ways sympathy has been politically effective. If the fear of war were removed, its effectiveness would become much greater.
或许对人类未来最好的期望是发现一条增加人与人之间同情心的深度和广度的办法。现在已经到了该总结我们这些念头的时候了。政治活动更多是关注群体,而非个体。因此,对于政治上重要的激情,对任何一个群体而言,都会有相同的感觉。政治活动启发出来的大部分人之本能都是建立在党同伐异上。群体之间的合作从来没多好过。
Perhaps the best hope for the future of mankind is that ways will be found of increasing the scope and intensity of sympathy. The time has come to sum up our discussion. Politics is concerned with herds rather than with individuals, and the passions which are important in politics are, therefore, those in which the various members of a given herd can feel alike. The broad instinctive mechanism upon which political edifices have to be built is one of cooperation within the herd and hostility towards other herds. The co-operation within the herd is never perfect.
也有一些人不符合这一点,从词义上讲就是他们与常人有异。他们的道德要么是低于平均水平,要么是高于平均水平。有可能是蠢蛋,罪犯,也有可能是先知和探索者。聪明的群体会学会宽容这些高于平均道德者的反常行为,而对那些低于平均道德的人,也不会过于残暴。对于与其他群体的关系,现代技术使得自利和本能产生了冲突。在古代,当两个部落开战后,一方消灭另一方,吞并它的土地。从胜利者的角度看来,整个过程非常令人满意。
There are members who do not conform, who are, in the etymological sense, ?egregious?, that is to say, outside the flock. These members are those who have fallen below, or risen above, the ordinary level. They are: idiots, criminals, prophets, and discoverers. A wise herd will learn to tolerate the eccentricity of those who rise above the average, and to treat with a minimum of ferocity those who fall below it. As regards relations to other herds, modern technique has produced a conflict between self-interest and instinct. In old days, when two tribes went to war, one of them exterminated the other, and annexed its territory. From the point of view of the victor, the whole operation was thoroughly satisfactory.
杀戮根本不用费太多劲,而带来的兴奋又很可观。在那种环境下,也根本不用考虑长期处于战争状态的事。不幸的是,我们今天仍然有这种原始战争的冲动,而实际上战争的模式已经彻底改变了。在现代战争中,杀死一个敌人的代价太大了。如果你考虑一下,在二战中有多少德国人被杀死人了,而胜利者又为此付出了多大代价,用总花费除以个数,你会发现每消灭一个德国人,需要付出的代价有多大,那个数字会让你大吃一惊。
The killing was not at all expensive, and the excitement was agreeable. It is not to be wondered at that, in such circumstances, war persisted. Unfortunately, we still have the emotions appropriate to such primitive warfare, while the actual operations of war have changed completely. Killing an enemy in a modern war is a very expensive operation. If you consider how many Germans were killed in the late war, and how much the victors are paying in income tax, you can, by a sum in long division, discover the cost of a dead German, and you will find it considerable.
来自东方的德国的敌人可以通过压制德国人的人口数量并占领他们的土地来确保优势。然而西方的胜利者却无此优势可占。从经济的角度来看,现代战争明显不是一桩合算的买卖。尽管我们赢得了两场世界大战,但如果这两次大战没有发生的话,我们现在肯定更富有。如果人们都为自利所驱动而不是像现在这样为少数几个‘伟人’所煽动,那么整个人类就可以团结起来。然后这个世界,不再有战争,也不再有军队,不需要海军,也不需要原子弹。没有煽动和鼓吹,民族与民族之间,也不再会互相敌视仇恨。在边境线上,也不再会如现在一样,用军队来阻挡其他国家的优秀书籍和思想。保护国内落后生产力,限制国外先进技术和企业的海关,也将不复存在。
In the East, it is true, the enemies of the Germans have secured the ancient advantages of turning out the defeated population and occupying their lands. The Western victors, however, have secured no such advantages. It is obvious that modern war is not good business from a financial point of view. Although we won both the world wars, we should now be much richer if they had not occured. If men were actuated by self-interest, which they are not - except in the case of a few saints - the whole human race would cooperate. There would be no more wars, no more armies, no more navies, no more atom bombs. There would not be armies of propagandists employed in poisoning the minds of Nation A against Nation B, and reciprocally of Nation B against Nation A. There would not be armies of officials at frontiers to prevent the entry of foreign books and foreign ideas, however excellent in themselves. There would not be customs barriers to ensure the existence of many small enterprises where one big enterprise would be more economic.
如果人们希望自己获得幸福的心理有比希望别人遭遇不幸的心理那么强的话,上述的一切美好现象将能很快成为现实。但是,你或许会说,这种乌托邦式的梦想,有什么用呢?道德家们会说,人们不会变得完全自私,只有到千禧年之后,这个世界才有可能发生变化。我不希望自己在这场演讲快结束时表现的很愤世嫉俗。我也并非否认人性中有比自私更美好的东西,并且有些人展现出来了。
All this would happen very quickly if men desired their own happiness as ardently as they desired the misery of their neighbours. But, you will tell me, what is the use of these utopian dreams ? Moralists will see to it that we do not become wholly selfish, and until we do the millenium will be impossible. I do not wish to seem to end upon a note of cynicism. I do not deny that there are better things than selfishness, and that some people achieve these things.
然而,我始终认为,一方面,很少会有那种时刻:群体中的大部分人——正如政治活动所关注的——都超越了自私心;另一方面,非常多的情况下,人们的道德会比自私更低下——如果说自私的意思只是为了自利,不包括害人的话。人们的道德比自私更不堪时,往往都是被所谓的美好动机所驱使。
I maintain, however, on the one hand, that there are few occasions upon which large bodies of men, such as politics is concerned with, can rise above selfishness, while, on the other hand, there are a very great many circumstances in which populations will fall below selfishness, if selfishness is interpreted as enlightened self-interest. And among those occasions on which people fall below self-interest are most of the occasions on which they are convinced that they are acting from idealistic motives.
很多理想主义只不过是掩饰了人们对权力的憎恨和向往。当你看到很多人为高尚的动机所驱使时,也试着静下心来,问问自己,那些高尚之下,到底掩藏着什么。部分原因是因为高尚是最好的幌子。个中心理是非常值得探究的。以我刚才所做的尝试来看,我敢推定,如果我说的没错,要使得整个世界变得幸福,最重要的是每个人都拥有不为他人所愚弄的智慧。当然,这是一种很乐观的推断,因为智慧是可以通过教育的方式培养的。
Much that passes as idealism is disguised hatred or disguised love of power. When you see large masses of men swayed by what appear to be noble motives, it is as well to look below the surface and ask yourself what it is that makes these motives effective. It is partly because it is so easy to be taken in by a facade of nobility that a psychological inquiry, such as I have been attempting, is worth making. I would say, in conclusion, that if what I have said is right, the main thing needed to make the world happy is intelligence. And this, after all, is an optimistic conclusion, because intelligence is a thing that can be fostered by known methods of education.
标签:自私 正面
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2011-01-14 16:10 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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