Category Archives: Freedom

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我的世界观-爱因斯坦

人并不自由,也不独立,但人生并不在终点结束。个人只是时间洪流中的一粒尘埃,其存在依赖于无数的其他人,并受到这些人的影响。这些人有可能是同时代的人,也可能是很久以前的古人。他们的思想,他们的行动,影响了今天的我们。而我们今天的思想与行为,也将影响无数人,包括已出生和尚未出生的人。人可以没有信仰,可以不相信因果报应,可以不相信来世,但人们今天的言行必将影响未来无数代人的命运。一个人,尤其是公众人物,其历史地位不取决于精心编织的公关形象,而是取决于其言行对未来的影响。在我看来,今天很多人的言行,是在透支未来无数代人的幸福。从这个意义上讲,因果报应是切切实实存在的。无需来世,今后的人们将做出判断。

(注:以下只是根据我的理解所翻译,一切以原文为准。)

我的世界观

爱因斯坦

我们这些终有一死的凡人是如此奇特。我们每个人都只在这世界做短暂的停留,却从不知停留的目的,尽管有时会自认为领会了人生的真谛。无需更深的思考,一个人从日常生活可知,我们是为了他人而存在。首先,为了那些亲近的人活着,因为我们的幸福完全有赖于他们的欢笑和福祉。其次,为了众多陌生的人活着,因为他们的命运牵动我们的同情心,把我们和他们联系在一起。每天我都无数次提醒自己,我内在和外在的生命倚赖他人的劳动,那些活着和死去的人们的劳动。因此,我必须发挥自己的努力,做出与我已经得到和正在得到的一样多的贡献。简朴的生活对我有强烈的吸引力。我常常因意识到过分占有了同胞们的劳动而感到压力。我认为阶级差别是不公正的, 终究还是凭借暴力维持。我还认为简单低调的生活对所有人都有益,无论在物质上还是精神上。

我根本不相信哲学意义上的人类自由。每个人的行为不仅是外部所迫,更是内心所驱。叔本华说“人可以做他想要的,但无法决定他想要什么。”这句话从青年时代起就一直对我是个非常真切的启示。在我自己和他人的生活中遇到挫折时,这一直是我心灵的慰籍。这同时也是我宽容之心的无尽源泉。这种领悟幸而减缓了容易让人感到无助的责任感,也避免了我们对自己和他人过分认真。这尤其有助于形成一种给幽默其应有地位的人生观。

我总认为从客观的角度看,探寻一个人自身或所有生物存在的意义或目的是荒谬的。但每个人总有一些理想来决定他努力的方向与个人判断。从这个意义上讲,我从来不把安逸享乐本身看作目的。我把这种以安逸享乐为目标的伦理基础称作猪栏理想。一直以来,有一些理想在我人生路上一次又一次启发了我,给了我新的勇气去乐观面对生活,这些就是:真、善、美。如果没有志同道合者的惺惺相惜,没有对客观世界的全神贯注,没有永无止境的在艺术与科学领域的探索,对我来说,生活就会是空虚的。人类通常为之努力的庸俗目标:财产、功名、奢华,在我看来毫无价值。

我强烈的社会正义与社会责任感,总是与我突出的避免直接与人及社会接触的倾向形成奇怪的对比。我特立独行,从没有全心全意地属于我的国家,我的家,我的朋友,甚至我的直系亲属。在面对所有这些联系时,我从没有放弃距离感与对孤独的渴望,而且这种感觉随着年龄与日俱增。一个人清楚地意识到,与他人的相互理解与共鸣是有限的,却并不因此而感到遗憾。这样一个人,毫无疑问,会失去一些天真和无忧。但另一方面,他能在很大程度上独立于他人的意见、习惯与判断,避免把自己内心的平衡建立在这些脆弱的基础之上。

我的政治理念是民主。让每个人作为个体受到尊重而不让任何人作为偶像受到崇拜。我自己一直受到了过分的赞美与崇敬,这并不是因为我自己的过错,也不是我自己的功劳,而只是命运的嘲弄。造成这种情况的原因可能是由于很多人无法实现的渴望。他们渴望理解一些理念,而我凭借微薄的力量与不懈的努力得到了这些理念。我非常清楚,一个组织要实现其目标,就必须有一个人进行思考与指令,并承担总的责任。但是,这种领导方式决不能是强迫的。人们必须能选择他们的领袖。在我看来,依靠压迫的专制制度会很快腐化堕落。因为暴力总是招引品德低下的人。我相信这是一个亘古不变的道理,天才的暴君总是由恶棍来继承。由于这个原因,我一直强烈反对目前在意大利和俄国所见的政治制度。今天欧洲存在的问题让民主制度受到怀疑。但这不应归咎于民主的原则本身,而是由于缺乏稳定的政府及选举系统的客观因素。我认为从这点来说,美国找到了正确的道路。他们的总统由选举产生,而且有足够长的任期与充分的权力去真正履行他的职责。另一方面,我对德国政治系统中最赞赏的是,在个人遇到疾病或者急需的情况下,政府给个人提供更广泛的支持。在我看来,人类生命中壮丽多彩的篇章中,最有价值的不是政治上的国家,而是有着创造性,感觉敏锐的个体,以及他们鲜明的个性。只有这些个体才创造出高尚与崇高。而广大庸众则既不善思也不善感。

这个话题触及了我痛恨的庸众生活中最丑陋的一面,军队制度。一个人居然对四人一组随着军乐队的节奏列队前行而感到欢乐,这简直让我鄙视。给他一个大大的头脑简直是错误。没有保护的简单反射的脊髓对他就足够了。军队制度这一人类文明罪恶的根源应该尽快被清除。英雄主义的命令,冷血的暴力,和以爱国主义为名的可恶蠢行,我强烈憎恨这些!对我来说,战争是卑劣而肮脏的。我宁愿被千刀万剐,也不愿参与这种可恨的事情。我人类的看法甚高,如果人民的良知不被商业和政治利益通过学校与媒体系统化的腐蚀,战争这一人类社会的怪胎早就消失了。

我们所能拥有的最美的体验是神秘感。真正的艺术与真正的科学发源于这种基本的情感。体验不到神秘感的人,他不再好奇,不再惊叹,如行尸走肉,双目暗淡。正是这种对神秘的体验,甚至掺杂了恐惧的情感,才催生了宗教。我们知道存在一些我们无法洞察的东西,我们所感受到的最深奥的理性和最绚丽的美,也只能以其最原始的形式而被我们的心智所理解。这种认知和情感构成了真正意义上的宗教信仰。从这个意义上说,而且只是从这个意义上说,我是个虔诚的信教者。我无法设想一个奖惩他所创造之物的上帝,或者上帝也有着我们自己所体会的那种意志。我不能,也不愿设想一个人能逃脱他身体的死亡。让那些脆弱的灵魂,无论是出于恐惧还是愚蠢的利己思想,去珍视如此的想法。我满足于生命的永恒之神秘,满足于觉察并窥视现存世界的奇妙结构。我全心致力于领悟那种在自然界中所展现出的深奥理性的一部分,即便是沧海一粟,我也心满意足。

The World As I See It

Albert Einstein

How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people – first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. I am strongly drawn to a frugal life and am often oppressively aware that I am engrossing an undue amount of the labor of my fellow-men. I regard class distinctions as unjustified and, in the last resort, based on force. I also believe that a simple and unassuming life is good for everybody, physically and mentally.

I do not at all believe in human freedom in the philosophical sense. Everybody acts not only under external compulsion but also in accordance with inner necessity. Schopenhauer’s saying, “A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants,” has been a very real inspiration to me since my youth; it has been a continual consolation in the face of life’s hardships, my own and others’, and an unfailing well-spring of tolerance. This realization mercifully mitigates the easily paralyzing sense of responsibility and prevents us from taking ourselves and other people all too seriously; it is conducive to a view of life which, in particular, gives humor its due.

To inquire after the meaning or object of one’s own existence or that of all creatures has always seemed to me absurd from an objective point of view. And yet everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavors and his judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves–thisethical basis I call the ideal of a pigsty.The ideals which have lighted my way and time after time have given me new courage to face lifecheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without theoccupation with the objectiveworld, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed to me empty. The triteobjects of human efforts–possessions, outward success, luxury–have always seemed to me contemptible.      

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a “lone traveler” and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties,I have never lost asense of distance and a need forsolitude–feelingswhich increase with the years. One becomes sharply aware, but without regret, of the limits of mutual understanding and consonance with other people. No doubt, such a person loses some his innocence and unconcern; on the other hand, he is largely independent of the opinions, habits, and judgments of his fellows and avoids the temptation tobuild his inner equilibrium uponsuch insecure foundations.      

My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized. It is an irony of fate that I myself have been the recipient of excessive admiration and reverencefrom my fellow-beings,through no fault, and no merit, of my own. The cause of this may well be the desire, unattainable for many, to understand the fewideas to which I have with my feeble powers attained through ceaseless struggle. I am quite aware that it is necessary for the achievementof the objective of an organization that one man should do the thinking and directing and generally bear the responsibility.But the led must not be coerced, they must be able to choose their leader. An autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates. For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels. For this reason I have always been passionately opposed to systems such as we see in Italy and Russia today. The thing that has brought discredit upon the form of democracy as it exists in Europe today is not to be laid to the door of the democratic principleas such, but to the lack of stability of governments and to the impersonal character of the electoral system. I believe that in this respect the United States of America have found the right way. They have a President who is elected for a sufficiently long period and has sufficient powers really to exercise his responsibility.What I value, on the other hand, in the Germanpolitical system is the more extensive provision that it makes for the individual in case of illness or need. The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state,but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.      

This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd life, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in fours to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; unprotected spinal marrow was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilization ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism–how passionately I hate them!How vile and despicable seems war to me! I would rather be hacked in pieces than take part in such an abominable business. My opinion of the human race is high enough that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the peoples not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting through the schools and the Press.      

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. It was the experience of mystery–even if mixed with fear–that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate,our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds–it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute true religiosity; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to conceive of an individual that survives his physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature.


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