【世事關心】政府的規模與人們信上帝的程度成反比

2019保守派政治行動大會特別報導

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【新唐人2019年03月19日訊】【世事關心】政府的規模與人們信上帝的程度成反比:美國的建立遵循了一個理念,在這個理念的帶動下,我們走過了2百多年的歷程,使自己的國家成為世界上最強大最繁榮的國家。但今天我們可能得重新審視這個理念,想想它是否真能引導我們實現人生的意義。如果它真的能,我們又將如何把它傳承下去?我希望你和我們以及那些美國最優秀的思想家一樣,關注這些問題。

美國依然是全球最強大的國家,但是美國是否已經和建立時不同了?

America is still the most powerful country on Earth, but does its very identity face extinction?

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席): 「不錯,因此我們必須反對社會主義,防止外部勢力,比如極端伊斯蘭恐怖分子擾亂社會秩序。」

“ Sure, if we embrace socialism or if we allow external elements like radical Islamic

terrorist of such to disrupt our society.”

美國建立在一個理念之上。這個理念是什麼?

America was founded on an idea. What is that idea all about?

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「這就帶來了有關人類意義的問題。什麼樣的政治秩序能夠讓人性得到發展。」

“It raises the question of what it means to be a human, what it means to have an order, a political order that is designed to allow the fulfilment of the human soul and liberty. ”

這個國家能回歸到她最初的設計軌道嗎?

Can the nation go back to its original design?

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「不是一切都要回到從前。我們離不開現代科技,生活方式已經改不回去了,不是要倒退,而是向上提升。」

Matt Spalding: “It is not about going back to the 18th century, it is not going about getting rid of the technology, and changing our lives. It is not going back at all. It is about looking up.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao): 「您覺得美國人能在沒有信仰的情況下實現真正的自由嗎?」

Simone:“ Do you think America can achieve true liberty without faith?”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「問得好。我覺得個人能在沒有信仰的情況下守住自由。但是從政府的角度出發,自由只能建立在天理的基礎上。對天理的認識只能來自傳統信仰。」

“ This is a great question. I think individuals can adhere liberty without faith. But I think for America, for the American government experience to really work,it has to be grounded on eternal truth. That emanates almost always from faith traditions. ”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「自由鐘是美國歷史和建國原則的象徵。上有一句取自聖經的銘文:『四海之內人人自由』。」

“which is the iconic figure of American history, of the founding of America, has one verse on it, one statement, and it’s from the Bible: ‘You shall proclaim liberty throughout your land to all its inhabitants’。”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao): 歡迎收看《世事關心》,我是蕭茗。《Zooming In》參加了本年度保守派政治運動大會,簡稱CPAC。我們會見了保守派活動家和意見領袖。他們正在為解決國家的一些重大問題而努力。這些問題包括:邊境危機、毒品氾濫、中共的威脅、中東的亂局等。這些問題都很難解決,我們必須審視自己,從美國價值觀中尋找答案。國家確實正面臨危機,但是真正的危險在於美國人可能會失去自己的特性。美國的建立遵循一個理念,在這個理念的帶動下,我們走過了兩百多年的歷程,使自己的國家成為世界上最強大,最繁榮的國家。但今天,我們可能得重新審視這個理念,想想它是否真能引導我們實現人生的意義。如果它真的能,我們又將如何把它傳承下去?我希望您和我們,以及那些美國最優秀的思想家一樣,關注這些問題。

This year, [Zooming In] went to the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, better known as CPAC. We met with conservative activists and opinion leaders who are tackling the nation’s biggest challenges: the border crisis, drug epidemic, China threat, turmoil in the Middle East and so on. None of these challenges are easy. But the solution to all these problems ultimately hinges on who we as Americans think we are and what we stand for. Yes, we have a crisis going on in this country, but the existential threat we truly face is the threat to our identity. America was founded on an idea. This idea has carried us for over a quarter of a millennium and made us the most powerful and prosperous nation on the planet. But today, we may need to re-examine whether this idea truly facilitates mankind’s ultimate purpose. If it does, how do we carry the torch forward? I hope you enjoy these conversations as much as we enjoyed engaging with some of the finest minds in the country.

採訪Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager是一位保守派電臺主播,他的節目在全國播放。他還是保守派非營利媒體PragerU的創辦人。

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host. He also founded PragerU.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「自由這個概念的哲學和信仰上的來源是什麼?」

Simone: “What is the philosophical and theological origin of the concept of liberty?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「美國有一個自由鐘,很可能大多數美國的年輕人都沒有聽說過了。因為他們沒有被教過美國歷史,除了一大堆奴隸、偏執狂和種族屠殺的瘋子。但是自由鐘,這個美國建國歷史的重要象征,上面有一段話,摘錄自《聖經》的第三部『利未記』:『你們要在你們的地上向所有的居民宣告自由』。 美國的創建者們知道自由依賴於神, 神想讓我們自由。換句話說,這有點點復雜。但是你的問題非常關鍵。他們知道人不是天生就好,造就好人是非常困難的。任何否定這一點的人肯定是上了大學的,在大學裏學了蠢東西。人們不是天生就相信蠢東西,20世紀的大屠殺和奧斯維辛集中營的事情發生了之後,只有笨蛋才會相信人天生就是好的。國父們知道我們不是天生就好。他們是深受聖經影響的人。所以他們說,看,我們有兩個選擇:人們要麼要對政府負責,要麼對神負責。為了擁有自由,我們需要有小政府,所以,人們要在道德上對上帝負責,這就是在美國歷史上自由和神是怎麼不可分割的。」

“ Sure. There’s a Liberty Bell in America which probably the great majority of young people in America never heard of because they’re not taught American history except that it’s a bunch of slaves and bigots and genocidal maniacs. But the Liberty Bell, which is the iconic figure of American history, of the founding of America, has one verse on it, one statement, and it’s from the Bible: “You shall proclaim liberty throughout your land to all its inhabitants,” from the third book of the Bible, Leviticus. They knew that freedom is dependent upon a God who wants us to be free. In other words, it’s a tiny bit complex, but it’s critically important what you asked. They knew that human beings are not basically good, that it’s very hard to make good people. And anyone who denies that obviously went to college because you have to learn something foolish. It doesn’t normally exist in people to believe silly things. After the 20th century’s genocides and Auschwitz to believe people were basically good is to be a fool. And they knew we’re not basically good. These were people drenched in biblical outlook. So they said, look, we have two choices: people will either be accountable to the government or to God. In order to be free, we have to have small government. So, therefore, they have to be morally accountable to God. That’s how freedom and God are utterly interrelated in American history.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「為什麽神想要我們自由?」

Simone: “Why does God want us to be free?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「這個你要問神。我的回答是,當然我不是神,神想要給我們對我們最好的東西。如果神不想要我們自由,他就不會給我們自由意志。」

Dennis Prager: “You’ll have to ask God. My answer, but I’m not God, is that God wants what is best for us. If God didn’t want us to be free, he wouldn’t have given us free will. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「沒有信仰的話,美國會達到真正的自由嗎?」

Simone: “Can America achieve true freedom without faith?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「沒可能。沒有信仰什麼都不會達成。美國會成為任何其他猶太-基督價值觀衰落的地方的樣子,那就是左派想要的。他們想要我們成為任何別的地方的樣子,他們想要美國成為加拿大和墨西哥之間的比利時,那是我努力工作來對抗的噩夢,就是美國會成為別的國家的樣子。」

Dennis Prager:“ It’s impossible. It won’t achieve anything. America will be like every other place with the decline of God, of Judeo-Christian values, and the Bible. And that’s what the left wants, it wants us to be like every other place. They want this to be Belgium between Canada and Mexico. That’s the nightmare that I work against, that America will be like other countries. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「沒有信仰,美國不會達成真正的自由,能不能請你在哲學層面再說說?」

Simone: “Can you elaborate from maybe a more philosophical perspective on why America cannot achieve true liberty without faith?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「首先,因為如果沒有神,也就沒有自由意志。如果沒有神,我只不過就是物質。物質是沒有自由意志的,我就是星際物質制造的,我和星星是同樣的物質制造的,星體是沒有自由意志的。(沒有神)我也就沒有自由意志,沒有世俗型的哲學家相信我們有自由意志,如果他相信,他就是不是世俗型的。他們認為是神經的放電讓我們做出決定,沒有自由意志一說。只有信神的人,才會相信有一個自由意志的存在,是因為有我,Dennis,和我的物質不相關的我。所以第一,自由本身、自由意志,取決於神的存在。第二點,就是建國之父們理解的。只有政府縮小了,人民才會自由。但是只有人們道德上為神負責,政府才會縮小。」

Dennis Prager: “Because I am—well, first of all, we can’t achieve true freedom without faith because if there is no God, there is no free will. If there is no God, then all I am is matter. Matter has no free will. I am made out of stellar matter. Stars and I are made out of the same thing. Stars don’t have free will. I don’t have free will. There is no secular philosopher who believes we have free will, and if he does, he’s not secular. They acknowledge that it’s just a bunch of neurons that are firing that make any decision. There is no free will. Only those who believe in God believe that there is free will because there is a me, a Dennis, independent of my chemistry. So number one, to answer you, freedom itself, free will, is dependent upon there being a God. And number two is the one that the Founding Fathers understood. People can only be free as the government shrinks. But the government can only shrink if people feel morally accountable to God. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「你認為美國的身份認同現在有生存性的危機嗎?我是說讓美國成為美國的特性的危機?」

Simone: “Do you think there is an existential threat to America’s identity? I mean a threat to what makes America, America?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「完全有。左派擔憂全球變暖這樣的生存危機,我現在擔心左派的生存危機。」

Dennis Prager: “Completely. The Left is worried about the existential threat of global warming, and I am worried about the existential threat of the Left.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):「你是否認為今天的美國仍然能回到國父們定下的路子上去嗎 ?」

Simone: “Do you think today’s America can still go back to the path our Founding Fathers.”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「是的,我相信。但就是現在我個人做的事情。我的聖經的五卷本評論,讓沒有信仰的人們能意識到聖經的偉大。叫做《理性的聖經》,聽起來像廣告,但是我不在乎。沒有人通過寫聖經評論致富,所以我有信心說,如果人們讀了《理性的聖經》,有很大可能他們會說,嗯,也許真的有上帝。」

Dennis Prager: “Yes, I do believe that. And that’s what my life’s work at this time, just personally, is involved in. My five-volume commentary on the Bible, to make people who have no religious background aware of how great a work it is. It’s called the ‘Rational Bible’, I know this sounds like an ad, I don’t care. Nobody writes a Bible commentary to get rich, so I have no problem in stating that people, if they read the‘Rational Bible’, there’s a good chance they will say, hmm, maybe there really is a God.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「所以你這樣想?」

Simone: “So you think that’s the way?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「這是唯一的辦法,我們必須這樣做,而且我們必須講出道理。因為我們不能只講信,我們必須說明為什麼要信,離開信仰談論理和離開論理談信仰都是錯誤的。上帝希望我們做理性推理,在《聖經》裏專門提到過。上帝希望我們做理性推理,做理性推理必然帶來對上帝的信仰。我是通過理性推理獲得了對上帝的信仰,我的信仰是建立在理性推理的基礎上。」

Dennis Prager: “That’s the only way. We have to. And we have to use reason because we can’t just say believe, believe, believe. We have to say there is reason to believe. Reason without God is as useless as God without reason. God wants us to use reason, God wants us to use reason, and reason necessitates God.I come to God 100 percent through reason. My faith is completely dependent upon reason. I admit it. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「您能解釋一下嗎?」

Simone: “Can you explain that?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「我不是隨隨便便就信什麼。我需要證據,我要眼見為實,而上帝存在的證據不容置疑。我多次採訪過已故保守派政論家Charles Krauthammer。不是有關政治的採訪,他完全是不可知論者,徹底世俗的人。他說無神論是最愚昧的,最愚昧的是相信萬事萬物都來自虛無。他的說法讓我感到驚奇,他是完全沒有信仰的人。他從未談到過,我也從未聽說過他信什麼教,但他懂得,即使從理性推理的角度出發,有神論也比無神論來得更有道理。」

Dennis Prager: “Yeah. I’m not prepared to take anything just on faith. I want to see the evidence. I want to see—the evidence for God’s existence is overwhelming. Charles Krauthammer, may he rest in peace, I interviewed him a number of times, and I didn’t interview him on politics. He was an agnostic, total agnostic, totally secular man, and he said the only stupid idea is atheism. The idea that everything came from nothing is just stupid. I mean, it was amazing the way he put it down, and the guy was a completely secular man, no religion in his life that I knew of or that he spoke of, but he understood that on rational grounds alone, the case for God is much stronger than the case for atheism. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「您是在說上帝存在的證據?比如奇蹟?」

Simone: “Are you talking about the existence of God, like miracles?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「奇蹟屬於信仰的範疇,我完全認為奇蹟是信仰的產物。但是對世界起源問題的思考就不屬於信仰的範疇,這是理性推理。我承認基督行走於水上是人們的信仰,摩西分開紅海也是人們的信仰,這我懂,我明白。但是理性推理的結論是,世界不是偶然產生的,造物主是存在的。」

Dennis Prager: “Miracles are faith. I fully acknowledge miracles are faith. But whether or not the world came about on its own or there was a first cause, that’s not faith. That’s reason. I agree, yes. Jesus walking on water is a statement of faith. Moses splitting the sea is a statement of faith. I get it. I understand that. But that there is a Creator and it didn’t all come by itself, that’s reason. ”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「您為什麼認為有反猶主義?」

Simone: “Why do you think there is anti-Semitism?”

Dennis Prager(保守派媒體PragerU創始人):「我對此寫過一本書,名為《為什麼猶太人招人嫉恨?》。 你的問題很好也很重要。出現反猶主義是因為有人不承認世上有絕對的真理。有人只想為所欲為,而猶太人帶來了一位超然的主。這不是猶太人說的,這是基督徒在討論反猶主義時說的。即使大多數猶太人不相信這一點也沒有關係,這是反猶主義出現的根源,反猶是一種獨特的現象。世界上有215個國家,只有一個成為了他人消滅的對象,只有一個。猶太國的面積只有新澤西州那麼大,這個問題沒有人可以迴避。許多國家之間矛盾重重,比如印度和巴基斯坦,但是印度人也沒有要消滅巴基斯坦,巴基斯坦也沒有鼓吹要消滅印度。但是以色列的敵人們,比如伊朗就叫囂要消滅以色列,原因是什麼?反猶是一種獨一無二的現象。我書中有答案。」

Dennis Prager:“ Well, I wrote a book explaining anti-Semitism. It’s called “Why the Jews.” It’s—you ask very good and very big questions I might ask. There is anti-Semitism because people hate the fact that Jews brought in a judge into the world. People want to do what they want, and the Jews brought in a transcendent judge. This is not being as a Jew saying it. This is what Christians who have written on anti-Semitism have said. And even though most Jews don’t believe this, it’s irrelevant. This is at the root of it. Jew hatred is unique. There are 215 countries or so in the world. Only one is targeted for extinction. Only one. The Jewish state the size of New Jersey. People have to explain that. You know, a lot of countries hate each other. India and Pakistan hate each other. No Indian is advocating the eradication of Pakistanis. No Pakistani is advocating the eradication of Indians. But the enemies of Israel—look, Iran admits it, we want to exterminate Israel. And there’s got to be a reason. Jew hatred is unique. I explain it in the book. ”

採訪Matt Schlapp

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「美國的核心價值是自由(liberty)。告訴我自由(liberty)對你意味著什麽?」

“At the center of American values is liberty. Tell me what liberty means to you.”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「 (Liberty)對我來說這意味著神給了我們能力,在我們各自的生活中做出選擇。」

“ Liberty to me is a synonym of freedom. And to me that means that God gives us the ability to make choices for our own individual life.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「你認為美國能在沒有信仰的情況下達到自由嗎?」

“ And do you think America can achieve true liberty without faith?”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「好問題。我認為個體的人可以沒有信仰而保持自由,但是我認為對美國整體來說,為了美國的政府系統真正的能運作,它需要根基於永恒的事實,而這個總是萌發於信仰的傳統。」

Matt Schlapp: “That’s a great question. I think individuals can adhere to liberty without faith, but I think for America, for the American government experience to really work, it has to be grounded on eternal truths that emanate almost always from faith traditions.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「美國保守聯盟這個組織是極力鼓吹小政府的。告訴我為什麽一個不斷增長,不斷搞收入再分配的政府和美國的目的是相左的。」

“ACU is all about small government. Tell me why an ever-more growing, ever-more redistributive government defeats the purpose of America.”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「你在問關於社會主義的問題。社會主義和美國精神不搭調,美國建立的首要目的是允許個人支配自己的生活,不是允許政府支配個人的生活。我認為後一種理念在任何有過嘗試的地方都失敗了,它傷害人民、傷害窮人、傷害中產階級,我真的希望美國拒絕社會主義。」

Matt Schlapp: “Well, I mean, eventually—you’re asking a question about socialism. And socialism is not consistent with Americanism. America was established primarily to allow individuals to chart their life and not to have government chart our lives. So I think that type of ideology fails everywhere it’s tried. It hurts people. It hurts the poor. It hurts the middle class, and I really hope America will reject it.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「你認為那些定義美國的關鍵價值是不是正面臨生存危機?」

“Do you think America faces an existential threat as to what makes America, America?”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「是的。如果我們擁抱社會主義,或是我們允許外來的東西,像是極端伊斯蘭恐怖分子之類的擾亂我們的社會。是的, 我們面臨很多挑戰,我們還要擔心中國,要擔心全世界那些和我們的價值觀不一樣的人。但是,再說一次,我對我們國家的未來還是有希望的。」

Matt Schlapp: “Sure, if we embrace socialism or if we allow external elements like radical Islamic terrorists and such to disrupt our society. So, yeah, we have a lot of challenges. We have to worry about China. We have to worry about people around the globe that simply just don’t share our values. But, once again, I’m hopeful about the future of our country. And now I’m going to church.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「川普總統說我們絕不會成為一個社會主義國家。但是一些左派的人爭論說只要我們還有自由的企業,我們就不會成為社會主義國家。你同意嗎?」

“ President Trump pledged that we will never become a socialist country, but some people on the Left argue that as long as we have free enterprises, we aren’t going to be a socialist country. Do you agree?”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「不同意。社會主義不是只關於經濟。社會主義是關於政府控制你的生活。你要自由市場,但是也要自由思想。」

Matt Schlapp: “No, I don’t agree. Socialism is not just about economics. Socialism is about the government controlling your life. So you want to have free markets, but you also want to have free minds.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「中國是朋友還是敵手?」

“ Is China a friend or foe?”

Matt Schlapp(美國保守聯盟主席):「他們是我們的第一號國家安全敵人。沒得說。」

Matt Schlapp: “They’re our number one national security threat on the globe. No question.”

採訪Matthew Spalding

An Interview with Matthew Spalding

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「能不能解釋一下自由這個概念的哲學和神學起源?」

“ Can you explain the philosophical and theological origins of the concept of freedom?”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「這個問題很大。但是今早上我在論壇裏說的,我認為關鍵是我們很多時候談論自由都是在談論自由本身。但是其實這個概念背後的東西才是賦予它生命的。西方傳統中關於自由的討論可以回溯到希臘和羅馬時代,最後到美國建國,它的概念的發展是基於對人的本質或是人性的本質的思考。你是否認為人性是神造的,人是被創世主佑護的,像是獨立宣言裏說的那樣,哲學角度說我們人有人的本質,人的本質是不同於動物或是物體的。這就引導你思考,成為完整的人,有什麽條件。很重要的一點就是自由,有自由去做事,去選擇一個人的生活,但是還有,非常重要的,更高層的表達的自由,無論是學術界的思想自由,還是信仰自由,來追求最高,最重要的東西。但是從一般意義上來說,我們也要認識到,真的實現自由,是一種超越的意義,一種超越於我們自己的意義。在我們自己之外, 比我們更完美。如果你能擁有它,就超過了對於自我的熱情,超越了私。我認為這還只是旅行的起點,這會引導你認識更高的,信仰告訴我們的那些東西。」

Matthew Spalding: “That’s a very large question. But the way I put it in my panel this morning, and I think the key thing to it is oftentimes we speak of freedom or liberty as a thing in and of itself, but it’s really—what’s the grounding behind it that really gives it life. And the argument really of the Western tradition going back to the Greeks and the Romans, and eventually up to and including the American founding, was that the development of liberty is based on as assumption of what man is or what it means to be human grounded in human nature, whether you understand that nature to be theological creation and we are endowed by our creator, as it says in the Declaration of Independence or if you understand it in a philosophical sense that we have a nature, and the nature of being human is different from the nature of being an animal or being a table, right? And that puts you on this other road to, well, what is required to fulfill that nature to be fully human. And a crucial aspect of that is freedom, freedom of being able to do things, to choose one’s life, but also, crucially, to have freedom of higher expressions, whether it’s intellectual freedom in the academic sense or especially religious freedom to pursue an understanding of the highest and most important things. But even in the general sense that I think we must understand it, what we must have for it to be truly liberty at all is a sense of the transcendence, that there is something—setting aside for a moment what it might be—but there’s something larger than us. There’s something outside of us. There’s something that is more perfect than us. And if you have that, that has the effect of kind of moderating your individual passions and your sense of it’s all about me. And that–I think that’s the beginning of the journey, if you will. And the fulfillment of that then takes you down that path, I think, towards higher understandings of what revealed religion tells us.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「你認為沒有信仰能實現真正的自由嗎?」

“ Do you think we can achieve true liberty or freedom without faith?”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「不能。我認為問題是多大程度上,多具體的範圍內,我們需要自由。但是即使是在最基本的意義上,比如說,看看獨立宣言,它就可以看成是非常神學化的文獻。造物主造的所有人都平等,人生來被賦予的自由,這文獻講的是神的眷顧。但是你也可以解讀它是非常普遍意義的,不一定是基督教意義的。」

Matthew Spalding: “No, I don’t think you can. I think the question is how much and to what specificity do we need it. But even at the most basic sense, for instance, if you take the Declaration of Independence, you can read that as a very theological document. We are all created equal, man in endowed with rights, it speaks of divine providence. But you can also read it in a very general sense of a creator, theological understanding that’s not specifically, say, Christian.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「一種自然法則類型的東西。」

“ A natural law type kind of thing.”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「是的,是一種自然法則,自然神學。但我想說的是,你不能讀那份文件,在任何有意義的意義上從它中解脫出來,而不能有一個我們所要做的基本的外表,我們稱之為信念,神是真實存在的。我們之外還有比我們更偉大的東西超越我們。如果不是這樣,如果沒有這種可能性的話——就變成了人對人的力量的較量,只是人的較量。這非常令人沮喪,但它也不利於實現我的想法,即使是在自然的意義上,它意味著只有人類。只有人類還不完整。這是一個非常小,非常自私的自由的概念,我認為自由的概念根本不是它在幾千年前的希臘和羅馬時期發展起來的。自由確實失去了其內涵。現在,你可能會做什麼——這種信仰可能會具體要求什麼,或者它可能意味著什麼,或者它的內容的細節,這實際上是脫離了是政治領域,教會和國家分離的方式實際上是一個好的概念。它創造了我們必須認識到這種普遍信念的框架。但這些細節留給你和你的教會,以及你的信仰。政府和政治的工作僅僅是保護這一點,同時也是看到它蓬勃發展。從這個意義上說,它非常友好,尤其是基督教,它對每個人都如此吸引。在上帝的眼中,每個人都是平等的,每個人都有同樣的希望和機會來實現他們的信念。」

Matthew Spalding: Yeah, kind of a natural law, natural theology. But my point is you really can’t read that document and get liberty out of it in any meaningful sense without having a basic semblance of what we would call faith. Right? There is a God. There is something outside of us that’s greater than us that transcends us. And if you don’t have that, not only do you have the possibility of—well, it’s kind of man versus man and force. But it’s also just you. It’s very disheartening, but also it’s not conducive to fulfilling what I think, even in just a natural sense, what it means to be human. You’re not complete. And it’s a very small, a very selfish notion of freedom and liberty, which I don’t think was at all the idea of liberty intended as it’s developed over all these thousands of years back to the Greeks and Romans. It really loses its content. Now, what you might—what that faith might specifically require or what it might mean or the details of its content, that’s actually left, not to the political realm, this is the way in which the separation of church and state is actually a good concept. It kind of creates the framework by which we have to recognize that general sense of faith. But then the particulars of that are left to you and your church and your faith. And the job of government and politics is merely to protect that but also to see it flourish. And in that sense, it’s extremely friendly, especially to Christianity, which is so much drawn towards every individual. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God, and everyone has the same hopes and opportunities in fulfillment of their faith.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「您覺得美國價值觀,或者說美國的基本建國理念,面臨生存危機嗎?」

“ Do you think there’s an existential threat to America’s principles, like what makes America, America?”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「確實,這個危機早就存在了。說到這個問題。林肯在他的早期演講中做過論述。他說外部力量不可能擊敗美國。哪怕當時的歐洲強國也做不到,生存危機不會以外敵入侵的形式出現。林肯說,摧毀國家的力量只會來自內部。民主的共和國的生存,我們國家的永續存在取決於我們的信仰。如果我們不再有正的信仰,如果我們不再尊從正的信仰,國勢就會衰弱下去,國力會下降,國家可能還會存在,但會變得衰弱,會變得名不副實。我們的威脅來自道德層面、學術層面。 美國的傳統價值觀正越來越多的被一種道德相對論取代,不承認普遍真理,只講個人的,主觀的道德標準。用歷史相對主義厚今薄古,否定傳統價值觀對現代社會的指導意義。現代學術、現代文化和媒體都在蠶食這些思想,如果你認為,如果我們的文化氛圍中,一直在爭論《憲法》到底如何,這其實並不重要,真正的問題是,如果我們認為有些事情是我們所知的,比如所有的人生來平等,我們做不到這一點,這就是真正的問題所在。如果不了解那些基本的東西,就像失去了輪子的汽車一樣。如果是這樣的話,我們的社會,我們的政治文化都將面臨危機。」

Matthew Spalding: There is, there definitely is. It’s been developing for some time. And the threat here is not—let me use a quote. Abraham Lincoln, in one of his early, famous speeches said that no other country will defeat us. No country in Europe could come here and take a drink out of the Mississippi. That’s not how it’s going to happen. If we’re going to die, Lincoln said, we will die by suicide, which is there’s something about a Democratic Republic in that sense that our continued existence, our continued survival depends upon what we believe. And if we come to the point where we no longer believe these truths and we don’t live by them, then, yes, we will decline and this great nation will be something less that might exist, but it won’t be the same thing. And so the threat here is an intellectual, moral threat. More and more, a deeper understanding of our ideas has been replaced by a sense of relativism that there’s no truth, it’s merely relative what you think, what I think, and historicism, that ideas are—what we think today and what we think in the past, well, those are old ideas and we don’t need to believe those anymore. The modern academy, the modern culture and the media have really eaten away at these ideas to the point where if you think there’s—if we as a culture believe there’s—well, the Constitution, that’s always debated, that’s not important, but the real problem is if it goes behind that to say that the idea that there are things we can know, like all men are created equal or if we can’t know those fundamental things, then it’s like losing the wheels on your car. You’re in an extremely dangerous spot as a political culture, but also as a society.

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「因為美國的建立是基於一個理念。如果人們不再堅持這一理念?」

“ Right. Because America is founded on an idea. If that idea is no longer believed?」

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「確實有可能。 而且這一理念還有可能被歪曲。我認為人性中包含對真理的渴求。但這種渴求往往被壓制。或者不見容於學界,或者於某種文化相悖,人們沒有追求真理的意願。人們只關注流行文化,幹他們自己的事業,或者做其它的事情。」

Matthew Spalding: “Well that, but also if the idea becomes something else. So I believe there is a natural yearning in the human soul to know the truth of things. But more and more that that’s suppressed or the academy doesn’t teach that or our culture doesn’t uphold that, people look elsewhere. And they look to pop culture, they look to some cause or whatever it might be.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「您相信建國原則能促進人類福祉嗎?」

“ So do you think, fundamentally, the founding principles of this country facilitate humanity’s ultimate purpose?”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「 愛國有種種理由,或者出於愛某一個事物,或者出於鄉土情懷。但美國的偉大在於她超越歷史的建國理念。美國的出現是建國理念的勝利。 南北戰爭的勝利也要歸功於對建國理念的堅持。這些理念直到今天都沒有過時。在這個問題上沒有模糊的空間。如果建國理念不對的話,一切就失去了根本。連建國以前的歷史都要被否定了。建國理念是對的,不僅僅是從歷史的角度上看。建國理念是有關人生的某些基本問題的答案。它講了在什麼樣的政治秩序下,人才能實現人性和自由。我認為這一點直到今天也沒有改變。問題只在於今天的人們如何去復興傳統。」

Matthew Spalding: “There’s—on the one hand we can say we love America because of this particular thing, or I’m from here, or I live here, but what’s really great about it is the sense in which it transcends history. It makes a claim that these things are true, they were true in 1776. They were true at the Civil War. They’re true today. Either that’s true or it’s not. If it’s not true, then where are we? It wasn’t true before either. But if it is true, it’s not merely historically true. It raises the question about what does it mean to be human. What does it mean to have an order, a political order that’s designed to allow for the fulfillment of the human soul and liberty. I think those truths are still true today as much as they were then. And the question is how do we revive and rekindle all that.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):  「美國還能回到國父們定下的正軌嗎?」

“ Can today’s America still go back to what our Founding Fathers set up?”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「我相信能,但不是完全回到從前。有人可能會誤以為一切都要回到過去,那就是一種錯誤認識了。不是要整個回到18世紀。不是要放棄現代的科技,或者改變今天的生活方式。不是在物質形式上回到過去。而是在精神實質上向上提升。人的天性中就包含著自決,自主、和自由等精神內涵。我相信是這樣。國父們只不過是在政治文件中,表達了他們自己對這些精神內涵的認識。人們當然有可能回歸到自己的本性上去。問題只在於具體的作法,或者說如何喚醒人們的天性。對某一個具體事的辯論往往會變得政治化。或許某些事件會成為喚醒人們宗教意識的契機,我認為這是絕對可能的。我們身處亂世,人們生計艱困,政治上的對立日益加深,政治鬥爭日漸激烈,我認為,這個大環境給回歸傳統理念創造了條件。」

Matthew Spalding:“ Well, I think the answer is yes. But it’s not going back is my point. Because when we say go back, people—it means historically going back. Well, no, that’s not what we

mean. It’s not about going back to the 18th century. It’s not going about getting rid of technology and changing our lives. It’s not going back at all. It’s about looking up. If there’s a natural sense in the human soul to know those things, which means to rule ourselves, to self-govern, to make our own decisions about the most important things. If that is true, and I think it is true, I think the Founders were right about that because it was true a long time before they wrote about them, then there’s always a possibility of recovery. And the question is where do you go or what taps into that. It often becomes a political debate or debates over a particular thing. But also something that—but also revives a religious sense, an awakening, there might be events that shape that. But those things I think are always possible. And in a time of turmoil, which we have today, things are getting more difficult, the battles are getting more intense and more divisive, that I actually would argue, oddly enough, is a fertile ground for having a serious recovery of the most important ideas.”

蕭茗(Host/Simone Gao):   「我們節目的時間有限。謝謝。我們以後再敘。」

“ I want to know about that later, but today we probably don’t have time.”

Matthew Spalding(Hillsdale學院教育系主任):「謝謝!」

Matthew Spalding: “Thanks so much.”

end

==================================================

Producer:Simone Gao

Writer:Joel Slaughter,  Simone Gao

Editors:Julian Kuo, Bonnie Yu, Frank Lin, Bin Tang, Melodie Von, York Du

Cameraman: York Du, Teddy Lin, Ken Li

Narrator: Rich Crankshaw

Transcription: Jess Beatty

Translation:Greg Yang,  Juan Li, Xiaofeng Zhang, Frank Yue

Cameraman:York Du,  Jimmy Xie

Special Effects:Harrison Sun

Assistant producer: Bin Tang,  Merry Jiang

Feedback:ssgx@ntdtv.com

Host accessories are sponsored by Yun Boutique

New Tang Dynasty Television

《Zooming In》

March,2019

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