15
六月

人權天賦?

作者 : 海遠   在 邁向現代 Road to Modernity

自由、民主…等人權,是否「天賦」?這是一個深層次的哲學問題,其深度直達「人類的歷史」。

對於「人類的來源」,說法有兩大門派:《創造論》(Creationism) 和《進化論》 (Evolution)。若用《創造論》來解釋「人權天賦」相當容易,祇要說是「神賜的」就可以了;「在主之前,人人平等」這一原則,簡單易明。

美國是一個基督教國家,它最重要的建國文件《獨立宣言》(Declaration of Independence) 第一段就如此說:

「We hold these truths to be self-evident;that all men are created equal;that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights;that among these are Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness。」(我們堅持下述不證自明的真理:人人生而平等,秉造物主所賦予他們擁有不可分割之權利,包含生存權、自由權、和追求幸福的權利。)

根據統計,《獨立宣言》的第一段,在英語世界裏是最多被引用的英文句子。

《獨立宣言》是美國「大陸議會」(Continental Congress) 在 1776年7月4日(該日成為美國的獨立紀念日)於費城 (Philadelphia) 發表,作為聯合英國集中在北美東岸的13個殖民區,並支持當地「抗英反殖戰爭」 — 史稱美國獨立戰爭 (American War of Independence;1775年–1783年) — 的理論依據。宣言主筆人是其後成為美國第三任總統的湯瑪斯.傑佛遜 (Thomas Jefferson;總統任期:1801年– 1809年),他深受英國哲學家約翰.洛克 (John Locke) 所倡導「人類擁有天賦人權」的思想影響,據而寫出上述名句。

當時美軍在戰場上處於下風,美軍統帥喬治.華盛頓 (George Washington) 便向軍隊宣讀該宣言以鼓舞士氣。戰爭拉鋸了八年,最後在外國勢力(法國和西班牙)的介入下,英國於1783年承認失敗,准許13個殖民地獨立而組成「美國」,那些仍效忠英國的殖民地則組成「加拿大」。

美國國旗 — 星條旗(Stars and Stripes) — 包含:

(一) 固定數目的13條紅白相間橫條,就是代表了最初建國的「北美13州」;
(二) 容許變數的星星,則代表了適時更新的州份數目。

美國獨立後,13個州(前殖民地)各派代表商討如何籌組「中央政府」,最後採用當代法國「啓蒙運動」學者如:盧梭 (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)、伏爾泰 (Voltaire)、孟德斯鳩 (Baron de Montesquieu) ‥‥等人的哲學思想,實行「三權分立」,互相制約,並以「定期選舉更換」的方式來定下「聯邦」(Federation) 政治的規格,防止政府走上「絕對權力」的道路。

美國立國後,《獨立宣言》的精神就被寫入《美國憲法》(the US Constitution),而《美國憲法》的第一句就強調「We the people」,並如此開始:

「We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.」。(我們美利堅合眾國的人民,為建立更完善的聯邦,樹立正義,保障國內安寧,提供共同防務,促進公共福利,並使我們自己和後代得享自由的福蔭,特為美利堅合眾國制定本憲法。)

無論是《獨立宣言》的「人權」(Human rights),或是《美國憲法》的「民權」(Civil rights),都是透過最明確的國家級文字宣言,在世界歷史上第一次發表。

從美國的《獨立宣言》,看到「天賦人權」的理念其實帶有宗教色彩,「自由」亦復如是。「自由」的本意是:人們必須為自己的行為負責(對上帝而言),即使是全能的上帝,亦給予人們一個「自由意志」(free will) 的選擇,故此人們亦不應剝奪他人的「自由抉擇」,否則要為其行為接受上帝的終極裁決。任何「天賦」的事物,其實都帶有終極的「宗教」意念。

但「民主」是一種政治制度,不在「天賦」之列,「美國式民主」其實帶有古羅馬「共和國」的軍事色彩,或希臘的「城邦」歷史,此點容後再說。「民主」是一種用「理性」設計的制度,可以用各種「理性」的觀點討論;海遠嘗試從「歷史」和「人類文明史」的角度,檢視「民主」的發展。

中國文化和西方文化的最大分別,是中國幾千年來都信奉「成王敗寇,勝者全取」的原則,亦是「弱肉強食 / 森林定律」的另一版本。《詩經.小雅.北山》有云:「普天之下,莫非皇土;率土之濱,莫非皇臣。」皇帝的權力和利益無限,個人極為卑微。古語又云:「君要臣死,臣不死不忠」,但說到底誰是「君主」?其實是「槍桿子裏出政權」的家族。「西方文化」卻有「在主之前,人人平等」的宗教理論,平衡著世俗利益,防止權力的絕對集中,因而發展出帶有濃厚宗教色彩的「個人主義、平均主義」哲學。

海遠嘗試擺脫宗教的觀點,單從「人類文明史 / 進化論」的角度,向「槍桿子」政權解釋「自由、民主」制度的好處,這是一個「高難度」的動作。

〔附註:北美13州包括:新罕布夏州 (State of New Hampshire);麻薩諸塞州 (State of Massachusetts);羅德島與普洛威頓斯莊園州(State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations);康涅狄格州 (State of Connecticut);紐約州 (State of New York);新澤西州 (State of New Jersey);賓夕法尼亞州(State of Pennsylvania);特拉華州 (State of Delaware);馬里蘭州 State of Maryland);維珍尼亞州 (State of Virginia);北卡羅來納州 (State of North Carolina);南卡羅來納州 (State of South Carolina);喬治亞州 (State of Georgia)。〕

這篇文章發表 於 星期一, 六月 15th, 2009 12:03 上午 在 邁向現代 Road to Modernity. 你可以回應這篇文章透過 RSS 2.0 feed. 你可以 留下回覆, 或 引用 從你的個人網站.

4 comments so far

子N
 1 

Hi 海遠,

I accidentally ran into your blog. Very much like all your writings, particularly those about self-guide tours in Japan and Europe cities, and history, etc. Your insights into many subjects are just refreshing.

However, at reading your post no 285, I would like to clarify something—that is “美國是一個基督教國家". Your originally is here:


美國是一個基督教國家,它最重要的建國文件《獨立宣言》(Declaration of Independence) 第一段就如此說:

「We hold these truths to be self-evident;that all men are created equal;that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights;that among these are Life,Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness。」(我們堅持下述不證自明的真理:人人生而平等,秉造物主所賦予他們擁有不可分割之權利,包含生存權、自由權、和追求幸福的權利。)

America has many religions, not just Christianity. By saying “美國是一個基督教國家", it implies that Christianity is the ONLY religion in America—which is utterly WRONG.

Furthermore, by saying “美國是一個基督教國家", you MAY even imply that America was founded on Christian belief—which is also 100% FALSE. Many Christians want us to believe, their purpose is obvious, that America was founded on Christian belief by the proof, just like you, of the wordings in《獨立宣言》(Declaration of Independence). I encourage you to go to following links to see for yourself that Christian claim is False.

“http://nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm";
“http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html";
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli";
“http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/living/america-christian-nation/".

In short, in no uncertain terms, 白紙黑字, “…the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion…" from Treaty of Tripoli (Nov, 1796).

So the saying “美國是一個基督教國家" is not the right one, misleading at the best. The better way to say it is “美國是一個政教分離,宗教自由國家"。

Best Regards,

子N

七月 25th, 2015 at 8:07 上午
海遠
 2 

感謝子N君的回應。

You commented:「So the saying “美國是一個基督教國家" is not the right one, misleading at the best. The better way to say it is “美國是一個政教分離,宗教自由國家"。」And you also put forward 4 links –

“http://nobeliefs.com/Tripoli.htm";
“http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/summer97/secular.html";
“http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli";
“http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/02/living/america-christian-nation/".

After looking into the links, I must say that 子N’s comment is correct. This issue is also hotly debated among the US intellectuals. My new thoughts (controversial) would be as follow:

(1) The colonial European migrants had only one religion then – Christianity. So the US Founding Fathers must have been Christians. Some might be more pious, some less, but no other choices.

(2) Many of the US Founding Fathers were members of a secret group, called the “Freemasonry”. Their idea of God might be somewhat different from the fundamentalist Christians nowadays.

(3) The theme of the 1776 US Declaration of Independence “all man created equal” might have the ideas derived from the British philosopher John Locke’s “Two Treatises of Government”, published in 1689.

(4) The US Founding Fathers were well aware of the danger of a state religion. So in the US Constitution they emphasized the separation of the State and Religion.

But there are other observations that point to a strong Christianity influence. In the American culture and philosophy –

(1) The US coins and dollar notes have the phrase printed:“In God we trust”.

(2) The US Presidents were usually sworn into office with his hand on the Bible and add the words “So help me God" at the end of the oath. Both were not required by law, but the use of the gesture and phrase implies a greater degree of seriousness and obligation, easier to win the trust of the American people.

So, in summary, the USA is NOT a Christian state. Its Constitution emphasizes the separation of state and religion. The “Declaration of Independence “is more a philosophical statement, respectable and inspiring, but not legally binding. It is undeniable that the majority of the American people are Christians, and so Christianity have a strong influence in their culture and philosophy. But the clever Americans understand that the “Freedom of Speech” is more important than blind faith and piety. The delicate balance between the spiritual and the secular philosophy makes the USA a very reasonable and respectable country in the world.

再次感謝子N君的回應。

海遠

七月 29th, 2015 at 3:02 上午
子N
 3 

Hi 海遠:

Appreciate your reply. I concur what you said.

Best,

子N

八月 29th, 2015 at 3:51 上午
子N
 4 

Hi 海遠:

Not to “beat the subject to death," but would like to, if I may, recommend you a well written article on the subject: “http://bit.ly/1NWTRPP".

Best,

子N

九月 25th, 2015 at 5:27 上午

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