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  • Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

    各位先生女士,晚安

  • So I have a question:

    我有一個問題:

  • who here remembers when they first realised they were going to die?

    在座的,有誰還記得自己第一次 意識到會死去是在什麼時候?

  • I do. I was a young boy and my Grandfather had just died.

    我記得,在我很小的時候, 我的祖父去世了

  • and I remember, a few days later,

    我記得,幾天之後

  • lying in bed at night trying to make sense of what had happened.

    我在晚上躺在床上, 試圖搞清楚究竟發生了什麼

  • What did it mean that he was dead?

    他死了,究竟是什麼意思?

  • Where had he gone?

    他去哪裡了?

  • It was like a hole in reality had opened up and swallowed him.

    就好像現實中的一個 黑洞打開,吞噬了他

  • But then the really shocking question occured to me,

    接下來,我想到了一個 令我更加惶恐的問題

  • if he could die, could it happen to me to?

    如果他會死去,我也會死嗎?

  • Could that hole in reality open up and swallow me?

    那個黑洞也會打開,吞噬掉我嗎?

  • Would it open up beneath my bed and swallow me as I slept?

    它會不會在我的床下打開, 在我睡覺的時候吞噬掉我?

  • Well, at some point all children become aware of death.

    孩子們都會在某個時期認識到死亡

  • It can happen in different ways, of course and usually comes in stages.

    瞭解到死亡的過程各異,當然, 通常是一點一滴地積累起相關的知識

  • Our idea of death develops as we grow older,

    隨著年齡的增長, 我們對死亡的理解逐漸發展

  • And if you reach back into the dark corners of your memory,

    如果你能重拾自己記憶中的黑暗角落

  • you might remember something like what I felt when my grandfather died

    你或許會回憶起,某些與 我祖父去世時相似的感覺

  • and when I realized it could happen to me too.

    也就是發現死亡也會發生在我的身上

  • That sense that behind all of this, the void is waiting.

    這種感覺的背後,是一片虛無

  • And this development in childhood reflects the development of our species.

    兒童時期的心路歷程, 反映出人類思想的發展過程

  • Just as there was a point in your development as a child,

    正如你在孩童時代有那麼一個時期

  • when you sense of self and of time became sophisticated enough

    你對自我和時間的理解達到一定的程度

  • for you to realize you were mortal.

    讓你明白自己也不免一死

  • So at some point in the evolution of our species

    在人類進化過程中的一個時期

  • some early humans' sense of self and of time became sophisticated enough

    早期的人類對自我和時間 的理解達到一定的程度

  • for them to become the first humans to realize: "I'm going to die".

    他們首次意識到「我將會死去。」

  • This is, if you like, our curse:

    也可以把它想成是我們的詛咒:

  • it's the price we pay for being so damn clever.

    這就是我們為變聰明所付出的代價

  • We have to live in the knowledge

    我們必須忍受這個知識

  • that the worst thing that can possibly happen, one day surely will.

    這件對人類來說或許是 最糟糕的事必將會發生

  • The end of all our projects, our hopes, our dreams, of our individual world.

    我們的一切計畫、希望、夢想 和個人世界全部都要結束

  • We each live in the shadow of a personal apocalypse.

    我們每個人都生活在個人的末日陰影之下

  • And that's frightening! It's terrifying, and so we look for a way out.

    這太可怕了,所以我們嘗試尋找出路

  • And in my case, as I was about five years old,

    拿我自己舉例,我當時只有5歲

  • this meant asking my Mum.

    出路就是問媽媽

  • Now when I first started asking, "what happens when we die?",

    當我第一次提出 「我們死去之後將會怎樣」的問題

  • the grown-ups around me at the time answered with a typical English mix

    周圍的大人都用一種標準的回答

  • of awkwardness and half-hearted christianity.

    混合著尷尬和敷衍了事的基督教信仰回答

  • And the phrase I heard most often was that Grandad was now

    我最常聽到的答案是:

  • 'up there looking down on us'.

    祖父正在「上面看著我們」

  • And if I should die too, which wouldn't happen of course,

    如果我也死去,當然這不會發生

  • then I too would go up there.

    我也會到上面去

  • Which made death sound a lot like an existential elevator.

    這讓死亡聽起來像是一個存在主義的電梯

  • Now this didn't sound very plausible.

    這聽起來並不怎麼合理

  • I used to watch a children's news programme at the time

    我當時經常收看兒童新聞節目

  • and this was the era of space exploration.

    那是太空探索的時代

  • There were always rockets going up into the sky,

    經常有火箭被發射到天空

  • up into space, going 'up there'.

    到太空,到「上面」

  • But none of the astronauts when they came back

    但是太空人回來的時候

  • ever mentioned having met my grandad.

    從未提到過遇到我的祖父

  • Or any other dead people. But I was scared.

    或者其他死去的人,但當時我很害怕

  • And the idea of taking the existential elevator

    搭乘存在主義電梯去見祖父的想法

  • to see my Grandad sounded a lot better

    聽起來比睡覺時被黑洞吞噬要好得多

  • than being swallowed by the void while I slept.

    因此我相信了,儘管這不合乎情理

  • And so I believed it anyway, even though it didn't make much sense.

    我在兒童時期經歷的這種思維過程

  • And this thought process that I went through as a child,

    包括成年後多次經歷的思維過程

  • and have been through many times since including as a grown-up,

    是心理學家的所謂「偏見」造成的

  • is a product of what psychologists call a 'bias'.

    偏見,就是我們有系統 地錯誤理解事情的過程

  • Now a bias is a way in which we systematically get things wrong,

    我們誤判、扭曲事實的過程

  • ways in which we miscalculate, misjudge, distort reality

    或者看那些我們想看到的東西

  • or see what we want to see.

    我所說的偏見是這樣的:

  • And the bias I am talking about works like this:

    告訴隨便一個人他會死去

  • confront someone with the fact that they are going to die

    他們會願意相信任何 能否定這個現實的理論

  • and they will believe just about any story that tells them it isn't true

    這樣才可以長生不死

  • and then can instead live for ever.

    即使是存在主義電梯這樣的理論

  • Even if it means taking the existential elevator.

    我們能將之視為迄今為止最大的偏見

  • Now, we can see this as the biggest bias of all.

    400多項實例研究證實了這一點

  • It has been demonstrated in over 400 empirical studies.

    這些研究設計巧妙且很簡單, 研究的過程是這樣的

  • Now these studies are ingenious but they're simple, they work like this:

    首先選擇各方面條件相似的兩組人

  • you take two groups of people who are similar in all relevant respects

    告訴一組人,他們將會死去, 對另一組人不做這樣的表態

  • and you remind one group that they're going to die but not the other;

    然後比較他們的行為

  • and then you compare their behaviour.

    你可以觀察到這個資訊 在多大程度上影響了

  • So you're observing how it biases behaviour

    當人們意識到自己難逃一死時的行為

  • when people become aware of their mortality.

    每一次你都會得到相同的結果:

  • And every time, you get the same result:

    意識到死亡即將降臨的人

  • people who are made aware of their mortality

    更願意相信那些 告訴他們可以逃避死亡

  • are more willing to believe stories that tell then that they came escape death

    獲得永生的故事

  • and live forever.

    這裡有個實例:最近一項研究 挑選了兩組不可知論者 (agnostics)

  • So here's an example: one recent study took two groups of agnostics,

    也就是沒有固定宗教信仰的人

  • that is people who are undecided in their religious beliefs.

    一組人被要求思考死亡

  • Now one group was asked to think about being dead,

    另一組人被要求思考孤獨

  • the other group was asked to think about being lonely.

    然後他們再次被要求 表明自己的宗教信仰

  • They were then again asked about their religious beliefs:

    那些被要求思考死亡的人

  • those who had been asked to think about being dead

    信奉上帝和耶穌的人數 是實驗前的兩倍

  • were afterwards twice as likely to express faith in God and Jesus.

    差不多是兩倍

  • Twice as likely.

    當然每個人的不可知論程度不完全一致

  • Even though before they were equally agnostic.

    當給他們施加了死亡的恐怖之後, 便紛紛轉投耶穌的懷抱

  • But put the fear of death in them and they run to Jesus.

    這個實驗說明,讓人們意識到死亡 使他們傾向於信奉宗教

  • Now, this shows that reminding people of death biases them to believe,

    不論事實證據如何

  • regardless of the evidence.

    不僅僅是宗教,

  • And it works not just for religion but for any kind of belief system

    只要任何主張某種形式 永生的信仰皆如此

  • that promises immortality in some form,

    無論這些形式是出人頭地、 繁衍子嗣,甚至愛國主義

  • whether it's becoming famous, or having children, or even nationalism

    只要是那些承諾給你可以在一個 更宏觀的環境中繼續生存的理論

  • which promises you can live on as part of a greater whole.

    這種偏見影響了人類歷史的軌跡

  • This is a bias that has shaped the course of human history.

    400項研究中有關偏見的理論是

  • Now the theory behind this bias in nearly 400 studies is called

    恐懼管理理論,其內容很簡單:

  • terror management theory. And the idea is simple, it's just this:

    我們營造自己的世界觀, 這是我們講給自己聽的一個故事

  • we develop our world views, that is the stories we tell ourselves

    有關整個世界,和我們對它的觀點

  • about the world and our place in it,

    目的是説明我們應對死亡的恐懼

  • in order to help us manage the terror of death.

    這種推崇不朽的故事有各種各樣的表達形式

  • And these immortality stories have thousands of different manifestations.

    但是我認為在這種多樣化的形式背後

  • But I believe that behind the apparent diversity, there are actually

    實際上只有四種基礎的模式 被這些永生的故事所採納

  • just four basic forms that these immortality stories can take.

    縱觀歷史,這幾種形式在不斷地重複

  • And we can see them repeating themselves throughout history.

    只是一些微小的改變 或者使用更現代化的詞彙

  • Just with slight variations to reflect the vocabulary of the day.

    我來簡要介紹一下這四種永生故事的模版

  • Now I am going to briefly introduce these four basic forms of immortality story

    我會試圖讓你們瞭解

  • and I want to try to give you some sense of the way in which they're retold

    這些故事在各種文化和年代中

  • by each culture or generation,

    用符合時宜的語言重複傳誦著

  • using the vocabulary of their day.

    第一個故事最簡單:我們希望迴避死亡

  • Now, the first story is the simplest: we want to avoid death.

    以及希望賦予這副皮囊、 這個世界永遠迴避死亡的能力

  • And the dream of doing that in this body, in this world, forever,

    這是最簡單的永生故事主題

  • is the first and simplest kind of immortality story.

    這個主題聽起來並不可信

  • And it might at first sound implausible,

    但實際上,人類歷史上幾乎所有的文化

  • but actually almost every culture in human history

    都有一些長生不老的神化和傳說

  • has had some myth or legend of a elixir of life,

    包括不老泉和其它那些

  • or a fountain of youth or something that promises

    能讓我們長生不老的東西

  • to keep us going forever.

    古埃及有這樣的神話, 古代巴比倫、古代印度

  • Ancient Egypt had such myths, ancient Babylon, ancient India,

    以及整個歐洲的歷史中,我們都在 煉金術士的文獻中找到了這些故事

  • throughout European history, we find them in the work of the alchemists

    當然,我們現在依然相信

  • and of course we still believe this today.

    只不過給它披上了科學的外衣

  • Only we tell this story using the vocabulary of science.

    一百年前,人們發現了荷爾蒙

  • So a hundred years ago, hormones had just been discovered,

    人們希望,針對荷爾蒙的治 療方案可以應對衰老和疾病

  • and people hoped that hormone treatments were going to cure aging and disease.

    現在,我們把希望寄託在 幹細胞、遺傳工程

  • And now instead we set our hopes on stem cells, genetic engineering

    和奈米科技上

  • and nanotechnology.

    但是科學可以扭轉死亡的理論

  • But the idea that science can cure death

    只不過是魔法煉金術 文獻中的一個章節

  • is just one more chapter in the story of the magical elixir,

    像人類文明的起源一樣古老

  • a story that is as old as civilization.

    但是把希望全部寄託在 找到長生不老的藥方上

  • But betting everything on the idea of finding the elixir

    並獲得永生,是一個冒險的策略

  • and staying alive forever is a risky strategy.

    當我們回顧歷史

  • When we look back through history

    看看那些曾經追尋長生不老術的人們

  • at all those who have sought an elixir in the past,

    他們的共同之處就是,都已經死了

  • the one thing that they now have in common is that they're all dead.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    因此我們需要一個替代方案,這種替代方案

  • So we need a back up plan, and exactly this type of plan B

    就是第二種永生故事的主題

  • is what the second kind of immortality story offers,

    也就是復活

  • and that's resurrection.

    這種理論的內容是:這個身體就是我

  • And it's staged with the idea that I am this body,

    我是這個實體組織

  • I am this physical organism,

    這個理論認可人會死去這個事實

  • it accepts that I am going to have to die,

    但是說,你還可以再站起來,繼續活下去

  • but says despite that, I can rise up and I can live again.

    換句話說,耶穌能做到的,我也能做到

  • In other words, I can do what Jesus did.

    耶穌死後,在墳墓中 被埋了三天,然後又復活了

  • Jesus died, he was three days in the tomb and he rose up and lived again.

    我們所有人都可以復活的理 論是一個被普遍接受的信仰

  • And the idea that we can all be resurrected to live again is orthodox belief,

    不僅僅是基督教,也包括猶太教和穆斯林

  • not just for Christians but also Jews and Muslims.

    我們對這個理論深信不疑

  • But our desire to believe this story is so deeply embedded

    以至於在科學的年代,我們把它稍作改造

  • that we are reinventing it again for the scientific age.

    比如人體冷凍法

  • For example with the idea of cryonics.

    你死去之後,可以把自己凍起來

  • That's the idea that when you die, you can have yourself frozen,

    然後等待科技的進步

  • and then at some point when technology is advanced enough,

    你可以被解凍、治療、修復,然後復活

  • you can be thawed out and repaired and revived and so ressurrected.

    有些人相信一個全能的上帝會讓他們復活

  • So some people believe an omnipotent God will ressurect them to live again

    另一些人更相信某個全能的科學家

  • and other people believe an omnipotent scientist will do it.

    但還有一些人,他們覺得從墳墓裡爬出來

  • But for others, the whole idea of ressurection,

    復活的想法,有點像一個蹩腳的僵屍電影

  • of climbing out of the grave, is just too much like a bad zombie movie.

    他們覺得身體已經腐爛得不成樣子, 用它來長生不老似乎不大可靠

  • They find the body too messy, too unreliable to guarantee eternal life.

    於是他們把希望寄託在第三個 較精神層面的永生理論上

  • And so they set their hopes on the third more spiritual immortality story,

    也就是我們可以離開身體, 以靈魂的方式生存

  • the idea we can leave our body behind and live on as a soul.

    世界上大部分人都相信有靈魂存在

  • Now the majority of people on Earth believe they have a soul

    這也是很多宗教的核心教義

  • and the idea is central to many religions.

    無論是現代方式還是傳統方式

  • But even though in its current form and its traditional form,

    靈魂理論極受歡迎

  • the idea of the soul is still hugely popular,

    我們甚至在數位化的年代, 還在延續這個信仰

  • nonetheless we are again reinventing it for the digital age.

    例如,有理論說你可以離開自己的身體

  • For example, with the idea that you can leave your body behind

    把你的思想、頭腦中的精華、 真正的你上傳到電腦中

  • by uploading your mind, your essence, the real you, onto a computer.

    像阿凡達一樣在虛擬空間中生存

  • and so live on as an avatar in the ether.

    但是當然,有懷疑者說, 如果我們收集有關的科學證據

  • But of course there are skeptics who say if we look at the evidence of science,

    尤其是神經學,其理論是你的思想、 你頭腦中的精華、真正的你

  • particularly neuroscience, it suggests that your mind, your essence, the real you,

    在很大程度上依賴於你身體的某個部分

  • is very much dependant on a particular part of your body

    就是你的大腦

  • that is your brain.

    這些懷疑論者在第四類 長生不老的故事中找到了歸宿

  • And such skeptics can find comfort in the fourth kind of immortality story,

    那就是名留千古

  • and that is legacy.

    這個理論說,你可以透過 留在這世界上的事物永遠活下去

  • The idea that you can live on through the echo you leave in the world.

    比如偉大的希臘勇士阿基里斯, 他在特洛伊戰爭中犧牲

  • Like the great Greek warrior Achilies, who sacrificed his life fighting at Troy

    但獲得了不朽的名望

  • so that he might win immortal fame.

    對名望的追求,當今年代要比以前

  • And the pursuit of fame is as widespread and popular now

    更加被人追捧

  • as it ever was.

    在數位化的年代,獲得名望也更加容易

  • And in our digital age, it's even easier to achieve.

    你不需要是個像阿基里斯一樣的 偉大戰士,也不需要是個國王或個英雄

  • You don't need to be a great warrior like Achilies or a great king or hero,

    你需要的僅僅是連上網路, 再有一隻搞笑的貓就夠了

  • all you need is an internet connection and a funny cat.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    但有的人更希望留下一些具有 實體形態的,生物學上的傳承

  • But some people prefer to leave a more tangible, biological legacy,

    比如,孩子

  • children for example.

    或者他們希望能成為 更大群體的一份子

  • Or they like, they hope, to live on as part of some greater whole

    例如國家、家庭、部落, 又或是他們的基因庫

  • a nation, or family, or tribe, their gene pool.

    但依然還有一些懷疑論者, 質疑這些傳承是否真的可以永生

  • But again there are skeptics, who doubt whether legacy really is immortality.

    例如,伍迪艾倫曾經說:

  • Woody Allen for example, who said,

    「我不想活在同胞們的心中

  • "I dont want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen,

    我想活在我的房子裡。」

  • I want to live on in my apartment".

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    如果你想在自己的房子裡永生

  • And if you want to live on in your apartment

    你無論如何就需要長生不老藥了

  • you need a elixir of course.

    這是我們第一類的永生故事

  • Which was our first kind of immortality story.

    所以,這就是四種類型的永生故事

  • So those are the four basic kinds of immortality stories

    我只是想稍作介紹,讓你們了解 這些故事是如何傳承下來的

  • and I've tried to give just some sense of how they're retold by each generation,

    微小的變化僅僅是為了迎合某個時代的潮流

  • with just slight variations to fit the fashions of the day.

    它們以相似的形式反覆出現

  • And the fact that they reccur in this way, in such a similar form

    在各類信仰中,我覺得這說明

  • but in such different belief systems, suggests I think

    我們應該對這類故事

  • that we should be skeptical

    尤其是某些特定版本的 真實性,持懷疑的態度

  • of the truth of any particular version of these stories.

    有些人相信

  • The fact that some people believe

    一個全能的上帝可以讓他們復活

  • an omnipotent God will ressurrect them to live again,

    另外一些人相信全能的 科學家可以讓他們復活

  • and others believe an omnipotent scientist will do it,

    這說明他們的信仰 都不是根據有力的實證

  • suggests that neither are really believing this on the strength of the evidence.

    我們之所以相信這些故事, 是因為我們的偏見讓我們去相信

  • Rather we believe these stories because we are biased to believe them,

    我們被偏見所影響去相信, 是因為我們害怕死亡

  • and we are bias to believe them because we are so afraid of death.

    所以,問題就是, 我們難道註定要度過一個

  • So the question is, are we doomed to lead the one life we have

    被恐懼和迴避所支配的生命嗎?

  • in a way that is shaped by fear and denial?

    或者我們來克服這種偏見?

  • Or can we overcome this bias?

    希臘哲學家伊比鳩魯認為我們可以做到

  • Well the Greek philosopher Epicurus thought we could.

    他認為,對死亡的恐懼很自然,但不理性

  • He argued that the fear of death is natural but it is not rational.

    他說,死亡對我們來說毫無意義

  • Death, he said, is nothing to us,

    因為只要我們活著,就沒有死亡

  • because when we are here, death is not,

    死亡來了,我們也不存在了

  • and when death is here, we are gone.

    這句話經常被引用,但很難 真正理解,更難得自身體會

  • Now this is often quoted but it's difficult to really grasp, to really internalise,

    因為所謂的「不存在」就很難設想

  • because exactly this idea of being gone is so difficult to imagine.

    兩千年之後,另一位哲學家 路德維希維特根斯坦

  • So two thousand years later another philosopher, Ludovic Wittgenstein,

    這樣說:

  • put it like this:

    死亡並不是生命中的一個經歷

  • death is not an event in life,

    我們生存的目的不是為了體驗死亡

  • we do not live to experience death.

    他接著說,從這個意義上講, 生命沒有盡頭

  • And so he added, in this sense life has no end.

    所以,我小時候害怕被黑洞吞沒是很正常的

  • So it was natural for me as a child to fear being swallowed by the void,

    但並不理智,因為被黑洞吞沒

  • but it wasn't rational, because being swallowed by the void

    並不是我們生命中可以體驗到的事情

  • is not something that any of us will ever live to experience.

    克服這些偏見並不簡單

  • Now overcoming this bias is not easy

    因為對死亡的恐懼深植於我們的內心

  • because the fear of death is so deeply embedded in us.

    但是當我們瞭解到恐懼並非理性

  • Yet when we see that the fear itself is not rational

    當我們勇敢地把恐懼公開

  • and when we bring out into the open

    正如它在潛意識中給我們帶來的偏見

  • the ways in which it can unconsciously bias us,

    那麼我們至少可以試圖

  • then we can at least start to try

    減少它給我們帶來的影響

  • to minimize the influence it has on our lives.

    我認為,可以把人生看作是一本書

  • Now, I find it helps to see life as being like a book.

    一本書受限於它的封面和封底、開始和結束

  • Just as a book is bounded by its covers, by beginning and end,

    我們的生命也受限於出生和死亡

  • so our lives are bounded by birth and death.

    儘管開始和結束限制了一本書