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举止客气就是虚伪吗?

发布者: 千缘 | 发布时间: 2020-9-27 00:35| 查看数: 133| 评论数: 0|

文明到底是什么,它需要什么?在一场充满历史洞察力的演讲中,政治理论家特蕾莎·比扬(Teresa Bejan)解释了文明如何被用作宽容社会的基础,以及政治党派人士压制和驳斥反对意见的一种方式。贝扬建议,我们应该转而尝试“纯粹的礼貌”:能够在不破坏明天共同生活的可能性的情况下,从根本上与他人意见相左的美德。



Let s get this out of the way. I m here because I wrote a book about civility, and because that book came out right around the 2016 American presidential election, 我直说吧。我在此是因为我写了一本关于礼貌的书,也因为书正好在2016年米国总统大选期间出版,I started getting lots of invitations to come and talk about civility and why we need more of it in American politics. So great. The only problem was that I had written that book about civility because I was convinced that civility is ... bullshit. 我开始接到很多关于礼貌和为什么在美国政治中需要更多礼仪的演讲。太好了。我写那本关于礼貌的书的唯一原因是,我确信礼貌是…… 屁话。Now, that may sound like a highly uncivil thing to say, and lucky for you, and for my publisher, I did eventually come to change my mind. In the course of writing that book and studying the long history of civility and religious tolerance in the 17th century, 这样说听起来可能非常无礼,不过各位和我的出版商不用担心,我确实最终改变了我的主意。在写那本书的过程中,我研究了17世纪文明和宗教宽容的悠久历史,I came to discover that there is a virtue of civility, and far from being bullshit, it s actually absolutely essential, especially for tolerant societies, so societies like this one, that promise not only to protect diversity but also the heated and sometimes even hateful disagreements that that diversity inspires. 我开始发现礼貌的美德绝不是屁话,实际上是绝对必要的,尤其是对宽容的社会而言,像这样的社会,不仅承诺保障多样性,而且保护多样性引发的激烈,有时甚至可恨的分歧。 You see, the thing about disagreement is that there is a reason that "disagreeable" is a synonym for "unpleasant." As the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes pointed out all the way back in 1642, that s because the mere act of disagreement is offensive. 关于分歧,有个理由是“不友好”是“不愉快”的同义词。正如英国哲学家托马斯•霍布斯指出的那样,回到1642年,仅仅是意见不合就是无礼的。 And Hobbes is still right. It works like this: so, if you and I disagree, and I m right, because I always am, how am I to make sense of the fact that you are so very, very wrong? It couldn t possibly be that you ve just come to a different conclusion in good faith? No, you must be up to something, you must be stupid, bigoted, interested. 霍布斯仍然是对的,事情往往是这样:如果你和我意见不一,我当然是对的,因为我一直对,我怎么能理解你是如此错误的事实呢?不可能你碰巧出于善意得出不同的结论吧?不可能,一定没什么好事,你一定很傻,顽固不化,有成见。Maybe you re insane. And the same goes the other way. Right? So the mere fact of your disagreeing with me is implicitly an insult not only to my views, but to my intelligence, too. And things only get worse when the disagreements at stake are the ones that we somehow consider to be fundamental, whether to our worldviews or to our identities. 可能你根本不可理喻。反过来也一样,对吧?所以,仅仅不同意我的观点就暗含着侮辱我的观点,侮辱我的智商的事实。当那些分歧发生在对我们来说非常基础的事实上时,无论是世界观,还是我们的身份认同,事情往往会变得更糟。 You know the kinds of disagreement I mean. One doesn t discuss religion or politics or increasingly, the politics of popular culture, at the dinner table, because these are the disagreements, these are the things that people really, seriously disagree about, and they define themselves against their opponents in the controversy. 你们知道我指的哪些分歧。人们不会在餐桌上讨论宗教或政治或者越来越常见的,讨论流行文化的政治,因为这些分歧——这些真的是分歧很大的事情,在这些争论中,他们会与对手针锋相对。 But of course those fundamental disagreements are precisely the ones that tolerant societies like the United States propose to tolerate, which perhaps explains why, historically, at least, tolerant societies haven t been the happy-clappy communities of difference that you sometimes hear about. 但当然,这些根本分歧正是像米国那样,宽容的社会主张要宽容对待的,这也许也解释了为什么,至少在历史上,宽容的社会并不是你有时候听到的是那种充满差异的快乐社区。No, they tend to be places where people have to hold their noses and rub along together despite their mutual contempt. That s what I learned from studying religious tolerance in early modern England and America. 不,它们往往是那种人们尽管彼此相互轻视,但不得不硬着头皮一起生活的地方。这就是我在研究近代早期的英国和米国宗教宽容中了解到的。And I also learned that the virtue that makes that un-murderous coexistence, if you will, possible, is the virtue of civility, because civility makes our disagreements tolerable so that we can share a life together even if we don t share a faith -- religious, political or otherwise. 我也了解到使这种你可以称为“非致命的共存”成为可能的美德,可能就是礼貌的美德,因为礼貌让我们的分歧得到容忍,这样我们就可以相安无事的共同生活,尽管我们没有共同的信仰——无论是宗教,政治还是其他方面。 Still, I couldn t help but notice that when most people talk about civility today -- and boy, do they talk about civility a lot -- they seem to have something else in mind. So if civility is the virtue that makes it possible to tolerate disagreement so that we can actually engage with our opponents, talking about civility seems to be mainly a strategy of disengagement. 尽管如此,我还是忍不住注意到,当今天大多数人讨论礼貌时——哦,他们真的经常讨论礼貌吗——他们似乎还有别的想法。如果礼貌是让容忍分歧成为可能的美德,这样我们就可以切实与我们的对手互动,那么谈论礼貌似乎主要就是一种脱离接触的策略。 It s a little bit like threatening to take your ball and go home when the game isn t going your way. Because the funny thing about incivility is that it s always the sin of our opponents. It s funny. 这有点像当游戏不按自己意愿走时,我们就要退出游戏。因为无礼的有趣之处在于,这总是我们对手的罪过。这很有趣。When it comes to our own bad behavior, well, we seem to develop sudden-onset amnesia, or we can always justify it as an appropriate response to the latest outrage from our opponents. So, "How can I be civil to someone who is set out to destroy everything I stand for? And by the way, they started it." It s all terrifically convenient. 当涉及我们自己不好的行为时,我们似乎会突然失忆,或者我们总会把它看作我们对对手最近一次愤怒的恰当反应。那么,“我们怎么能够对那些想要摧毁我所代表的一切的人礼貌呢?顺便说一句,是他们挑起的。”这么做非常便利。 Also convenient is the fact that most of today s big civility talkers tend to be quite vague and fuzzy when it comes to what they think civility actually entails. We re told that civility is simply a synonym for respect, for good manners, for politeness, but at the same time, it s clear that to accuse someone of incivility is much,还有一个便利之处在于,今天大多数的礼仪演讲家在谈到他们认为礼貌的实际含义时,措辞往往是相当模棱两可的。我们被告知礼貌只是尊重、好脾气、友好的同义词,但与此同时,指责别人无礼比称呼他们粗鲁要更加,much worse than calling them impolite, because to be uncivil is to be potentially intolerable in a way that merely being rude isn t. So to call someone uncivil, to accuse them of incivility, is a way of communicating that they are somehow beyond the pale, that they re not worth engaging with at all. 更加糟糕,因为从潜在的意义上说,无礼是不可容忍的,粗鲁则不是。所以说某人无礼,指责他们不懂礼貌,是在传达他们超越界限,根本不值得交往的一种沟通方式。 So here s the thing: civility isn t bullshit, it s precious because it s the virtue that makes fundamental disagreement not only possible but even sometimes occasionally productive. It s precious, but it s also really, really difficult. 所以事情是这样的:礼貌不是废话,它非常宝贵,因为正是这种美德,使根本的分歧不仅成为可能,有时甚至会产生成效。这很珍贵,但也非常非常困难。 Civility talk, on the other hand, well, that s really easy, really easy, and it also is almost always complete bullshit, which makes things slightly awkward for me as I continue to talk to you about civility. 另一方面,礼节性交谈,很简单,真的很简单,而且几乎总是屁话,这对我来说有点尴尬,当我还在继续跟你们讲礼貌的时候。Anyway, we tend to forget it, but politicians and intellectuals have been warning us for decades now that the United States is facing a crisis of civility, and they ve tended to blame that crisis on technological developments, on things like cable TV, talk radio, social media. 总之,我们很容易忘记,但几十年来,政客和知识分子一直在警告我们米国正面临礼貌危机,他们倾向于把这个危机归咎于技术发展,如有线电视,脱口秀,社交媒体。 But any historian will tell you that there never was a golden age of disagreement, let alone good feelings, not in American politics. In my book, though, I argue that the first modern crisis of civility actually began about 500 years ago, 但任何历史学家会跟你说这是有史以来分歧的“黄金时代”,更不用说美好的感觉了,米国政治中根本不存在。在我的书中,我倒认为首个现代的礼貌危机其实开始于500年前, when a certain professor of theology named Martin Luther took advantage of a recent advancement in communications technology, the printing press, to call the Pope the Antichrist, and thus inadvertently launch the Protestant Reformation. 当时一位叫马丁·路德的神学教授利用了最近通信技术的进步,即印刷技术,称教皇为反基督者,无意中引发了新教改革。 So think of the press, if you will, as the Twitter of the 16th century, and Martin Luther as the original troll. And I m not exaggerating here. He once declared himself unable to pray without at the same time cursing his "anti-Christian," i.e. Catholic, opponents. 你可以把印刷技术想像成16世纪的Twitter,马丁·路德饰演最初的喷子。我并没有夸大其词。他曾宣称,如果不同时诅咒他的“反基督徒”,比如天主教反对者他就没法祈祷。 And of course, those Catholic opponents clutched their pearls and called for civility then, too, but all the while, they gave as good as they got with traditional slurs like "heretic," and, worst of all, "Protestant," which began in the 16th century as an insult. The thing about civility talk, then as now, was that you could call out your opponent for going low, 当然,那些天主教反对者也抓住他们的念珠,呼吁礼貌,但同时,他们也尽一切可能使用了“异教徒”这样侮辱的语言,或者更甚的,用“新教徒”, 这种始于16世纪的侮辱性语言。关于礼貌的交谈,跟现在一样,你可以指责你的对手手段太低劣,and then take advantage of the moral high ground to go as low or lower, because calling for civility sets up the speaker as a model of decorum while implicitly, subtly stigmatizing anyone with the temerity to disagree as uncivil. And so civility talk in the 17th century becomes a really effective way for members of the religious establishment to silence, suppress,然后利用道德制高点去变低或者更低,因为呼吁文明礼貌把说话者塑造成礼仪的典范, 同时含蓄,巧妙地侮辱那些胆敢不同意的人是无礼的。因此,在17世纪,礼貌性的谈话成为了宗教团体成员保持沉默,压制,exclude dissenters outside of the established church, especially when they spoke out against the status quo. So Anglican ministers could lecture atheists on the offensiveness of their discourse. Everyone could complain about the Quakers for refusing to doff and don their hats or their "uncouth" practice of shaking hands. But those accusations of incivility pretty soon became pretexts for persecution. 排除异己的有效方式,尤其是当他们公开反对现状的时候。因此,英国国教的牧师可以向无神论者宣讲他们的言论的冒犯性。每个人都可以抱怨贵格会教友会拒绝脱下他们的帽子或他们“粗鲁”的握手习惯。但这些无礼的指责很快就成了迫害的借口。 So far, so familiar, right? We see that strategy again and again. It s used to silence civil rights protesters in the 20th century. And I think it explains why partisans on both sides of the aisle keep reaching for this, frankly,目前为止,听上去很耳熟,对吧?我们一遍又遍的目睹这一策略。它在20世纪被用来压制民权抗议者。我想这也解释了为什么两党都在追求这个,坦率的说,antiquated, early modern language of civility precisely when they want to communicate that certain people and certain views are beyond the pale, but they want to save themselves the trouble of actually making an argument. 是这个过时的,早期现代文明的语言,当他们想要表明某些人,某些观点是不可理喻的时候,但他们想省掉争论的麻烦。 So no wonder skeptics like me tend to roll our eyes when the calls for conversational virtue begin, because instead of healing our social and political divisions, it seems like so much civility talk is actually making the problem worse. 因此,难怪当倡导对话美德的呼声开始响起时,像我这样的怀疑论者往往会翻白眼,因为与治愈我们的社会和政治分歧相比,似乎很多礼貌性的交谈其实上是火上浇油。It s saving us the trouble of actually speaking to each other, allowing us to speak past each other or at each other while signaling our superior virtue and letting the audience know which side we re on. 它让我们省了彼此切实交谈的麻烦,让我们不跟谁交谈,又跟谁交谈,同时显示了我们优雅的美德,并让观众知道我们站哪边。 And given this, I think one might be forgiven, as I did, for assuming that because so much civility talk is bullshit, well then, the virtue of civility must be bullshit, too. But here, again, I think a little historical perspective goes a long way. 考虑到这一点,我认为有人可能会被原谅,就如我做的,因为这么多客套话都是废话,那么,礼貌的美德也是胡扯。但再次声明,我认为一个小小的历史视角要走很长的路。Because remember, the same early modern crisis of civility that launched the Reformation also gave birth to tolerant societies, places like Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and indeed, eventually the United States, places that at least aspired to protect disagreement as well as diversity, and what made that possible was the virtue of civility. 因为要记住,同样是早期的现代礼貌危机引发了宗教改革,也孕育了宽容的社会,比如宾夕法尼亚州的罗德岛,的确,最终轮到了米国,那些至少希望保护分歧和多样性的地方,让这一切成为可能的是礼貌的美德。What made disagreement tolerable, what it made it possible for us to share a life, even when we didn t share a faith, was a virtue, but one, I think, that is perhaps less aspirational and a lot more confrontational than the one that people who talk about civility a lot today tend to have in mind. 让分歧变得可以容忍,让我们能够共享生活,即使我们没有共同信仰的是美德,但这种美德,在我看来跟今天那些经常谈论礼貌的人所想的那种方式相比,可能没有那么令人振奋,也更具对抗性。 So I like to call that virtue "mere civility." You may know it as the virtue that allows us to get through our relations with an ex-spouse, or a bad neighbor, not to mention a member of the other party. 所以我喜欢称这种美德为纯粹的礼貌。你可能知道,正是这种美德让我们可以接受我们与前配偶或一位坏邻居相处下去,更不用说另一个党派的成员。Because to be merely civil is to meet a low bar grudgingly, and that, again, makes sense, because civility is a virtue that s meant to help us disagree, and as Hobbes told us all those centuries ago, disagreeable means unpleasant for a reason. 因为纯粹的礼貌只是达到了一个低的门槛,这很合理,因为礼貌是一种美德,它能帮助我们提出异议,正如霍布斯在几个世纪前告诉我们的那样。不友好意味着不愉快是有原因的。 But if it isn t bullshit, what exactly is civility or mere civility? What does it require? Well, to start, it is not and cannot be the same thing as being respectful or polite, because we need civility precisely when we re dealing with those people that we find it the most difficult, or maybe even impossible, to respect. 但如果这不是屁话,那么究竟什么是礼貌或纯粹礼貌呢?它要求什么?首先,它不是,也不能等同于尊重或客气,因为当我们与那些我们觉得最难、甚至不可能尊重的人打交道时,我们需要的正是礼貌。 Similarly, being civil can t be the same as being nice, because being nice means not telling people what you really think about them or their wrong, wrong views. No, being civil means speaking your mind, but to your opponent s face, not behind her back. Being merely civil means not pulling our punches, but at the same time, it means maybe not landing all those punches all at once, 同样,礼貌也不能等同于好好先生,因为好好先生等于不告诉别人你对他们错误的观点的真正的想法。不是,礼貌就是说出你的想法,但要在反对者面前,而非在背后。纯粹礼貌不是撸起拳头,但同时,也不意味着 一下子打完所有这些拳头,because the point of mere civility is to allow us to disagree, to disagree fundamentally, but to do so without denying or destroying the possibility of a common life tomorrow with the people that we think are standing in our way today. And in that sense, I think civility is actually closely related to another virtue, the virtue of courage. 因为纯粹礼貌的意义在于允许我们从根本上不同意,但同时也不拒绝或破坏明天与那些挡我们路的人共同生活的可能性,从这个意义上说,我认为礼貌实际上与另一种美德密切相关,那就是勇气。 So mere civility is having the courage to make yourself disagreeable, and to stay that way, but to do so while staying in the room and staying present to your opponents. And it also means that, sometimes, calling bullshit on people s civility talk is really the only civil thing to do. At least that s what I think. 纯粹的礼貌就意味着有勇气让自己变得令人讨厌,并保持这种状态,但这样做的同时,要留在原地,并且要面对你的对手。这也意味着,有时候把别人礼貌性的谈话叫做屁话是唯一文明的行为。至少我是这样认为的。 But look, if I ve learned anything from studying the long history of religious tolerance in the 17th century, it s this: if you re talking about civility as a way to avoid an argument, to isolate yourself in the more agreeable company of the like-minded who already agree with you, 但是,如果说我在研究17世纪漫长的宗教容忍史中学到了什么,那就是:如果你说礼貌是避免争吵的一种方法,让自己置身于那些惬意的同意你的观点的人的环境中,if you find yourself never actually speaking to anyone who really, truly, fundamentally disagrees with you, well, you re doing civility wrong. 如果你发现自己从没有切实跟真正的,从骨子里,从根儿上不同意你的人聊聊,那么,你表达礼貌的方式就错了。 Thank you. 谢谢。


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