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  • Nowadays, anyone putting forward a valued judgment -

    現今,任何人提出的評論

  • that is, anything other than a rock solid scientific fact,

    除了一板一眼的科學事實

  • is likely to come across the following complaint pretty soon after:

    很可能很快就會得到這樣的反駁:

  • "Who are you to say that?"

    「你憑甚麼這麼說?」

  • You might hear it if, for example,

    例如,你可能會聽到

  • you try to argue that Shakespeare is probably a lot more interesting as a writer than the guy who wrote prose on the back of the cereal packet.

    當你想要辯論:莎士比亞比在麥片盒背面上寫小散文的人有趣多了

  • Or if you say that Louis Kahn Salk Institute is for sure better looking than an average Holiday Inn.

    或者你說,路易.康沙克生物研究中心看起來肯定比一般的渡假飯店好看多了

  • Or that Bach's Mass in B Minor is more technically accomplished than Abba's Super Trouper.

    或者,巴哈的 B 小調彌撒曲造詣遠遠超出 ABBA 的主打歌

  • Or that The Economist is a better news source than the Daily Mirror.

    或者,經濟學人比起每日鏡報可靠許多

  • Quite early on in the discussion,

    在這一連串討論中

  • anyone who doesn't agree is simply likely to shut things down

    只要有人不同意你說的,他可能只是把話題就此打斷

  • by saying that no progress on these questions can ever be made,

    並表示這個問題沒有甚麼好進一步討論的

  • that no one knows how to settle such disputes,

    或是,沒有人能定奪這個議題

  • and that, therefore, anything goes and any further attempt to persuade is just bullying

    亦或是,任何試圖說服你的只是一種變相的霸凌

  • or those electrifying and awkward words "elitist" and "snobbish".

    或是那些令人悚然的尷尬字眼,像是「自視甚高」、「勢利眼」

  • And if you're not careful,

    如果你輕忽它

  • there might also quite quickly be a Twitter deluge coming your way.

    你很有可能成為推特上的眾矢之的

  • To understand why such responses are so common,

    若想要了解為何這樣的回覆層出不窮

  • we have to look back at history

    我們要回顧歷史

  • and some pretty unfortunate developments which have led to a collective trauma

    有一些非常不幸的歷史造成了眾人的集體創傷

  • from which we're still suffering.

    我們至今仍然從中受苦著

  • For most of the history of humanity,

    從我們人類的歷史上來看

  • we're intimidated by some pretty dodgy purveyors of half-baked valued judgments.

    因為眾口鑠金的奸商,他們膚淺、半生不熟的評論,讓我們退卻了

  • Religions used to sell us all sorts of nonsense under the notion that God told us it was so.

    宗教過去也曾以上帝之名向我們搬弄是非

  • Kings and dictators would justify their abuses by spurious notions of their inherent right to authority.

    國王與獨裁者,以與生俱來的權力這種詐欺言論,把濫權正當化

  • And members of elite groups,

    菁英份子

  • like doctors and academics or just wealthy people,

    例如,醫生、學者或是富有人士

  • would justify all manner of odd practices on the basis of their authority and fancy uniforms.

    以他們的權力與華而不實的衣著,把陋習正當化

  • As societies have gradually become more democratic,

    當社會漸漸民主化

  • and people have learned to stand tall in the face of authority,

    人們學習如何理直氣平地面對權勢

  • So too that patience for valued judgments has collapsed.

    也因此,上位者不可動搖的地位也隨之崩潰

  • So much so that now anyone who lays forth an idea with any kind of confidence

    所以,當有人以各種的信誓旦旦道出一個概念

  • or simply says anything about this or that being good or bad,

    或只是品頭論足、道長論短

  • can swiftly re-evoke the worst of the traumatic old days

    很快就會喚起人類過去不好的歷史

  • and will therefore stand to be shut down at once.

    會立刻被貼上住嘴的標籤

  • The only exception to this is science.

    唯一的例外是科學

  • Here, respect remains paramount.

    在這方面,尊重最為重要

  • We'll accept an idea if it's a scientific truth.

    只要一種概念是科學事實,我們就會接受

  • If it's come from a lab result,

    如果是實驗室所得到的結果

  • we'll take it on trust.

    我們會深信不疑地接受

  • But anything else when we're in the area of relativity

    不過,討論有關相對性的話題

  • and, who are you to say that is?

    那麼,你有什麼樣的立場說話呢?

  • Now, unfortunately, this is really problematic,

    可惜的是,這因此帶來諸多問題

  • as there are some very important questions out there

    因為在科學領域之外

  • that lie utterly outside the realm of science

    還有更重要的問題

  • and can't ever be settled with a formula or experiment.

    無法靠公式或實驗定奪

  • For example, you're always going to struggle to mount a scientific argument when trying to make progress with these sorts of questions:

    舉例來說,當你試圖討論這類問題時,你需要先和科學根據爭鬥:

  • What should children learn at school?

    孩童該在學校學什麼?

  • What's a good relationship?

    怎樣才是一段好的關係?

  • How should we build nice cities?

    我們該如何打造一座宜人的城市?

  • What's an attractive building?

    一座引人注意的建築,是怎樣的建築?

  • What should businesses concentrate on?

    商業應該注重那些地方?

  • How should bosses behave towards workers?

    勞資雙方應該如何互動?

  • Unfortunately,

    可惜的是

  • these are essential questions to try to reach intelligent conclusions on.

    這些都是要做出明智總結的重要問題

  • And yet, because by their very nature, these questions admit to doubt and disagreement,

    不過,這些問題的本質上,都開放質疑與不同意的各種聲音

  • it can seem as if nothing solid can ever be said around them.

    這些問題似乎無法得到單一的答案

  • But here's our line:

    不過我們有個準則:

  • That a question can't be answered definitively, with 100% accuracy,

    一個無法確切回答,沒有百分之百確切性的問題

  • shouldn't be a reason not to try and address it.

    並不代表我們就不能嘗試去解決這個問題,或不能去討論這個問題

  • There IS such a thing as a good and a bad argument outside of science.

    科學領域之外,優劣兩種爭辯並齊

  • One can speak better and worse answers to big questions.

    一個大問題,都會得到亦優亦劣的答案

  • No one's talking about trying to impose conclusions on anyone else in the way that the Pope or the emperor used to do.

    人們可不是在說要像過去教宗或帝王所做的一樣,將結論加諸他人思想之上

  • It's all about trying to make sound arguments, proceed logically,

    一切都只是為了和平地提出言論、有邏輯地進行討論、

  • and attempt to persuade others of your cause through reason and a bit of charm.

    然後透過理性,加上一點點感化人心的力量,用你的論點去說服他人

  • Rational, democratic discourse depends on people engaging with one another,

    理性、民主的交談取決於人們對彼此的投入

  • trying to figure out ideas and not running away from complex issues

    試著要理出法子,而不是迴避複雜的議題

  • by dogmatically shutting everything down with the insidious and slippery retort,

    獨斷地用這句奸詐狡猾的反駁終止所有言論:

  • "who are you to say that?"

    「你憑什麼這麼說?」

Nowadays, anyone putting forward a valued judgment -

現今,任何人提出的評論

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    Kristi Yang 發佈於 2016 年 07 月 03 日
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