1.24 Tolerence

1.24.1 The Tyranny of Ignorance

It follows that a society in which everything happens as the result of the direct personal interference on the part of an invisible being must depend for its continuted existence upon a strict obedience of such laws as seem to appease the wrath of the Gods. The word taboo is of Australian origin. [在一个社会中,如果任何事情都被认为是由看不见的生灵操纵的,那么社会要维持下去,就必须绝对服从能平息神灵怒火的律法。]

Hui: I wonder more about who is going to give the law and if God is the one, how are we supposed to know the laws we are given are really from God. I don’t want to worry about the necessity of laws.

Whether the taboo was an invention of the priests or the priesthood was created to maintain the taboo is a problem which had not yet been solved. As tradition is much older than religion, it seems more than likely that taboos existed long before the world had heard of sorcerers and witchdoctors. [究竟是祭司发明了禁忌,还是为了维护禁忌才产生了祭司,这是尚待解决的问题。由于传统比宗教更为源远流长,因此很可能早在男巫师和女巫婆问世之前禁忌就存在了。] Hui: According to the author, does he mean that the priesthood was created to maintain the taboo?

What we sometimes mistake for tolerance was merely indifference caused by ignorance. The struggle for tolerance did not begin until after the discovery of the individual. And the credit for this, the greatest of all modern revelations, belongs to the Greeks. [我们有时看到的宽容,实际上是由于无知导致的漠不关心。为宽容的斗争直到个性被发现后才开始,在现代最伟大的新发现中,个性发现这一荣誉应归功于希腊人。]

1.24.2 The Greeks [希腊人]

- According to the best knowledge of modern scientists, life (animate existence as differentiated from inanimate existence) began when for once all physical and chemical elements were present in the ideal proportion necessary for the creation of the first living cell. Translate this into terms of history and you get this: “A sudden and apparently spontaneous outbreak of a very high form of civilization is only possible when all the racial, climatic, economic and political conditions are present in an ideal proportion or in as nearly an ideal condition and proportion as they can be in this imperfect world.”

[根据现代科学家的研究成果:当所有物理和化学的成分都达到形成第一个细胞的理想比例时,生命便开始了。把上面的话应用到历史学的概念,就是:“只有当所有种族、气候、经济和政治条件在不健全的世界中都达到或接近一种理想比例时,高级形式的文明才会突然地貌似自发地脱颖而出。”]

- Those farfamed heros were still the product of an exceedingly primitive form of civilization. They were over-grown children who regarded life as one long, glorified rough-house, full of excitement and wrestling matches and running races and all the many things which we ourselves would dearly love to do if we were not forced to stick to the rountine jobs which provide us with bread and bananas.

[当时那些远近闻名的英雄不过是最初级文明的产物,他们犹如四肢过于发达的孩子,生命在他们眼里只是一场漫长而有关荣的搏斗,充满了刺激、角斗、赛跑,以及所有诸如此类的竞技。]

3.12 Why does the world exist? [世界为何存在]