文明的会谈

巴黎——“文明”究竟意味着什么?显而易见,受过高等教育、打领带、用刀叉吃饭或者每周修剪指甲并不意味着文明。这种中规中矩的文明并不能阻止人们做出野蛮无理的举动,这一点我们都心知肚明。无论在何时何地,文明意味着能够认可和接受其他人的人性,尽管其他人的生活方式与我们迥然不同。

这一点似乎再清楚不过,但却并没有得到所有人的认可。不同文明之间的对话通常会受到人们的欢迎,但有时也会遭到耻笑。埃利·巴尔纳维在最近一篇评论文章 Les religions meurtrières (“致命的宗教”)中得出了“反对文明之间对话”的结论。他的观点一针见血:“文明和野蛮在我们的身边并存,这两者之间根本不可能进行对话。”

可如果你更仔细地研究一下诸如此类的观点,巴尔纳维的破绽就立刻暴露无遗。 文明 文化 在以单数和复数形式使用时其含意迥然不同。 文化 (复数)是指不同人类群体所采用的生活方式,由团体成员所有的共同特点组成:语言、宗教、家庭结构、饮食、衣着、以及诸如此类。从这个意义上讲,“文化”属于形容词一类,其中并未包含任何价值判断的内容。

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