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英语长句学英语翻译 9.13

1已有 148 次阅读  2015-09-13 14:59   标签英语长句  英语翻译 
“电车难题”(Trolley problem) 也叫(trolleyology) 是伦理学领域最为知名的思想实验之一.
图片 

其经典场景是这样的:

Version 1:

You are watching a trolley speeding down a track that will kill five unsuspecting people. There is a switch that would divert the trolley on to another track where it will kill only one person. Would you throw this switch?

经济学人给出了另外的一个版本:

Version 2:

Alter the scenario a bit. There is no switch. But you can push a fat man over the bridge onto the tracks to save the five. (You cannot stop the trolley by jumping yourself, only the fat man is heavy enough.) Would you do it?

研究表明:

The physical and emotional distance from the killing makes throwing the switch much more popular than throwing the man.


参考译文:与杀戮之间的生理和情感的距离使得“扳动一个开关”比“推一个人下去”更让人容易接受。

毕竟:Most people quail at the idea of shoving the man to his death.

文章借以上场景作为引入:

提出文章的核心观点:

When moral dilemmas are posed in a foreign language, people become more coolly utilitarian;

(utilitarian实用主义)

Specifically, when people are asked the fat man question in a foreign language, they are more likely to kill him for others’ sake.

文章在最后还提出:

Meetings of international organisations like the United Nations or the European Union are often conducted in languages that are not the preferred ones of most of those attending.

国际会议,比如联合国和欧盟的会议,经常是通过大多数与会者不擅长的语言(非母语)来进行的。

Perhaps it is reassuring to think they may be more coolly rational than meetings of monoglots—unless, that is, you are the metaphorical fat man about to be pushed under a train.


可能,能让人感到安慰的(reassuring)是,这些会议将比那些用单一语言(monoglots)来进行的会议要更加冷静和理性。当然,除非你是那个在比喻场景中的那个即将被推下去的胖子。

解释:(对大多数人来讲,理性总是好的吧,但是如果你是哪个胖子,在这种理性的会议上,你就会被推下去,你就不会觉得安慰了啊。所以用了unless.)

(that is 没有实际意义,就是一种习惯用法,相当于说话时候的,额,额...

所以文章的标题是:

Gained in translation

背景介绍:

功利主义提出的观点是,大部分道德决策都是根据“为最多的人提供最大的利益”的原则做出的。从一个功利主义者的观点来看,明显的选择应该是拉拉杆,拯救五个人只杀死一个人。但是功利主义的批判者认为,一旦拉了拉杆,你就成为一个不道德行为的同谋——你要为另一条轨道上单独的一个人的死负部分责任。然而,其他人认为,你身处这种状况下就要求你要有所作为,你的不作为将会是同等的不道德。总之,不存在完全的道德行为,这就是重点所在。许多哲学家都用电车难题作为例子来表示现实生活中的状况经常强迫一个人违背他自己的道德准则,并且还存在着没有完全道德做法的情况。

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