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關於真理 ‧Francis Bacon著/胡瀚平譯
by liuhp, 2009-12-20 22:05:30, 人氣(2966)

OF TRUTH 
  Sir Francis Bacon

What is truth? said jesting Pilate; and would not stay for an answer.

喜好嘲謔的彼拉多Pilate〈見《聖經·新約·約翰音》第18章。彼拉多(Pontius Pilate)是羅馬委任的猶太國總督。他審訊耶穌,當耶穌說,我來到世間是為了傳播真理時,他嘲笑地說了這樣一句話。)曾說:真理是什麼呢?丟下話後沒指望要答案,不顧而去

Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness; and count it a bondage, to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. 隨心所欲慣了的人,認為僵固了的一種信仰等於帶上了枷鎖;在思想上和在行為上他們都徹底地要求意志底自由。

And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in these of the ancients.  這一派哲人〈指古希臘的智者派,古羅馬的懷疑派哲學雖已作古,然浮泛枝蔓、與之一脈相承者,所在多是,唯其脈中之血幾乎所剩無多矣。

But it is not only the difficulty and labour, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposes upon men’s thoughts, that doth bring lies in favour; but a natural, though corrupt love, of the lie itself. 謊言所以大行其道者,非惟「真」之難求,「理之」難得也,抑或求得之真理,將禁錮人之心理也。蓋愛假之心,人皆天生有之。

One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie’s sake. 希臘晚期有一哲人〈指古希臘哲學家盧西恩(Lucian,125180)。晚期希臘哲學中懷疑主義的批判者〉,對此百思不得其解,曰:謊言既不能予人以樂,如詩之于詩人,又不能予人以利,如商之于商人,世人何以愛之如此之深邪。 But I cannot tell; this same truth, is a naked, and open day-light, that doth not show the masques, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. 我也說不上來這是什麼緣故:可是真理這件東西可說是一種無隱無飾的白晝之光,世間的那些歌劇、扮演、慶典在這種光之下所彰顯的,遠不及燈燭之光所顯露的莊嚴美麗Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that shows best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that shows best in varied lights. 真理在世人眼中其價值也許等於一顆珍珠,在日光之下看起來最好;但是它決搆不上那在各種不同的光線下顯得最美的鑽石和紅玉底價值。A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Does any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men’s minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves? 攙上一點謊言的道理總是給人添樂趣的。要是從人們底心中取去了虛妄的自是,自諛的希望,錯誤的評價,武斷的想像,就會使許多人底心變成一種可憐的、縮小的東西,充滿憂鬱和疾病,自己看起來也討厭。對於這一點會有人懷疑過麼? One of the fathers, in great severity, called poesy, vinum daemonum, because it filleth the imagination; and yet it is, but with the shadow of a lie. 早期的耶教著作家中有一位曾經很嚴苛地把詩叫做“魔漿鬼液”〈此語源于柏拉圖(St Jerome,347420)、聖奧古斯丁(354430)亦責備詩歌是“魔鬼之誘餌”、“藥酒”等〉,蓋因詩能誘發靈思,猶魔鬼之能誘惑靈魂,能佔據人底想像,然而詩不過是謊言底影子罷了But it is not the lie, that passeth through the mind, but the lie that sinketh in, and settleth in it, that doth the hurt; such as we spake of before. 但其實詩又怎能比謬誤更為誘惑人呢?真正可怕的,還不是那種人人難免的一念之差,不是那從心中經過的謊言,而是那種深入習俗沉入心中,盤據心中的虛矯,如前所言者是也。But howsoever these things are thus, in men’s depraved judgments, and affections, yet truth, which only doth judge itself, teacheth, that the inquiry of truth, which is the love-making, or wooing of it; the knowledge of truth, which is the presence of it; and the belief of truth, which is the enjoying of it; is the sovereign good of human nature. 然而這些事情,無論其在人們墮落的判斷力及好尚中是如何,真理(它是只受本身底評判的)卻教給我們說研究真理(就是向它求愛求婚),認識真理(就是與之同處),和相信真理(就是享受它)乃是人性中最高的美德。The first creature of God, in the works of the days, was the light of the sense; the last, was the light of reason; and his Sabbath work, ever since, is the illumination of his spirit. 當上帝創造宇宙的那幾日中〈見《聖經·舊約·創世紀》第1,他所創造的頭一件東西就是感官底光明;他所創造的末一件東西就是理智底光明;從那以後直到如今在他工作完畢而休息的期間內,他底作為全是以他底聖靈昭示世人。 First he breathed light, upon the face, of the matter or chaos; then he breathed light, into the face of man; and still he breatheth and inspireth light, into the face of his chosen. 起初他在物或渾沌底面上吹吐光明;然後他由人底面目中吹入光明;到如今他還在往他的選民面目之中吐射光明。The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, said yet excellently well: ‘it is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth:’ (a hill not to be commanded, and where the air is always clear and serene;) ‘and to see the errors, and wanderings, and mists, and tempests, in the vale below;’ so always, that this prospect be with pity, and not with swelling, or pride. 有一派感性主義哲學指伊璧鳩魯派哲學家克萊修(Lucretius,羅馬人,約前99—約前55)。名著有《特質論》。認為感覺是一切的尺度在許多方面是膚淺的,但其中一位詩人卻由於嚮往真理而流芳於世。他曾說過:“居高臨下遙看顛簸于大海中的航船是愉快的,站在堡壘中遙看激戰中的戰場也是愉快的,但是沒有能比攀登于真理的高峰之上(一座高出一切的山陵,在那裏的空氣永遠是澄清而寧靜的),俯視塵世中的種種謬誤與迷障、迷霧和風暴之變更愉快了!”——只要作這種俯看者不自傲自滿,那麼這些話的確說得好極了 Certainly, it is heaven upon earth, to have a man’s mind move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth. 當然,人心果能行愛心,安天命,以天意為歸宿,並且以真理為地軸而運行,那這人的生活可真是在地如同天堂了

To pass from theological, and philosophical truth, to the truth of civil business; it will be acknowledged, even by those that practise it not, that clear, and round dealing, is the honour of man’s nature; and that mixture of falsehood, is like alloy in coin of gold and silver, which may make the metal work the better, but it embaseth it. 以上從神學和哲學中的真理再說到世事上的真理。談了神學和哲學方面的真理,即使那些行為並不坦白正直的人也會承認坦白正直地待人是人性底光榮,而真假相混則有如金銀幣中雜以合金一樣,也許可以使那金銀用起來方便一點,但是把它們底品質卻弄賤了。For these winding, and crooked courses, are the goings of the serpent; which goes basely upon the belly, and not upon the feet. 因為這些曲曲折折的行為可說是蛇走路的方法,蛇是不能立足而是很卑賤地用肚子走路的〈《聖經》中的故事,說蛇引誘亞當、夏娃犯罪,於是神詛咒蛇:“你必用肚子行走,終生吃土”〉There is no vice, that doth so cover a man with shame, as to be found false, and perfidious. 沒有一件惡德能和被人發現是虛偽欺詐一般使人蒙羞的And therefore Mountaigny saith prettily, when he enquired the reason, why the word of the lie should be such a disgrace, and such an odious charge? 是故,蒙田Michelde Montaigne15331592,法國名作家,著有《散文集》,引文見該書卷二《論謊言》〉嘗好奇自問:撒謊何以可恥可憎若是哉?其有至理名言曰: saith he, ‘If it be well weighed, to lay that a man lieth, is as much to say, as that he is brave towards God, and a coward towards men.’ For a lie faces God, and shrinks from man. 仔細考慮起來,要是說某人說謊就等於說他對上帝很大膽,對世人很怯懦。因為謊言是直對著上帝而躲避著世人的。Surely the wickedness of falsehoods, and breach of faith, cannot possibly be so highly expressed, as in that it shall be the last peal, to call the judgements of God upon the generations of men, it being foretold, that when Christ cometh, He shall not find faith upon the earth. 曾經有個預言,說基督再臨的時候,他將在地上找不到信實;所以謊言可說是請上帝來裁判人類全體的最後的鐘聲。對於虛假和背信底罪惡再不能比這個說法揭露得更高明了。

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