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    【媒库文选】宗教可能激励人类未来向太空扩张

    Religion May Motivate Humanity's Future Expansion into Space

    宗教可能激励人类未来向太空扩张

    Jesse Emspak

    杰西·埃姆斯帕克

    It's been more than 40 years since a human stepped on another world, and the usual motivators—national pride,scientific discovery and even profit—may not be enough. Instead, people may turn to religion, according to some experts.

    如今人类已经40多年没有踏足另一个星球了,寻常动力因素如国家荣誉、科学发现乃至金钱利益已经不足以激励人们探索宇宙。有专家认为,人们可能会求助于宗教。

    At the annual Mars Society convention in Washington, D.C. last week, four experts discussed the reasons human beings have explored outer space, including religious and social motivators.

    美国火星学会上周在华盛顿举行年会,四位专家讨论了一直以来人类探索外太空的原因,其中包括宗教和社会促进因素。

    The group noted that popular notions of the religion-science divide don't often hold up to scrutiny, and that the urge to go to remote places can be rooted in a fundamentally religious impulse.

    这几位专家指出,有关宗教和科学之分的流行观点往往经不起检验,奔赴远方的强烈愿望可能基于一种从根本上讲属于宗教性质的冲动。

    Paul Levinson,a science fiction writer and professor of communications and media studies at Fordham University, noted that human spaceflight to other worlds basically stopped in the 1970s, and that the motivations were clearly not powerful enough. “Since we got to the moon and we'd already beaten the Soviets that motive was gone,”he said. Science proved insufficient as well. “Science continues to be motivating factor,but it's a weak motivation, ”he said.“NASA has tried, and it hasn't ignited any real passion.”

    美国福德姆大学媒体传播学教授、科幻小说作家保罗·莱文森说,前往其他星球的载人航天在上世纪70年代就基本停止了,显然动力不足。他说:“自从我们先于苏联登上月球后,动力就没有了。”事实证明科学也力有不逮。他说:“科学探索始终是个激励因素,但力度不大。国家航空航天局做过努力,但没有激起任何真正的热情。”

    Profit hasn't proven very helpful, either. That led him to think that some religious motive,based on wonder, might be the way to go. “There's a motivation every sentient being has. Every person and, for all I know, dolphins, has wonder…We ask what is the meaning of our place in the universe. Science doesn't even scratch the deepest parts of that question.”

    事实证明金钱利益刺激也没有太大效果。由此他认为,基于好奇心的某种宗教动机也许不错。“有一种动机是每个有感知能力的生物都具备的。每个人,据我所知还有海豚,都有好奇心……我们会问我们在宇宙中的位置有何意义??蒲Ц净姑挥写ゼ罢飧鑫侍獾淖钌畈愦?。”

    Lance Strate, also a professor of communications at Fordham, said the whole enterprise of space travel was always about more than just the science. “Moses Maimonides came up with idea of planets as intermediary between angels and humans,” he said. “All of this suggests we are trying to look for something beyond ourselves.”

    同为福德姆大学媒体传播学教授的兰斯·斯特拉特说,整个太空旅行事业向来不仅仅与科学探索有关。他说:“(中世纪犹太哲学家)摩西·迈蒙尼德斯提出,行星是天使和人类之间的媒介。这一切表明,我们一直在努力寻找自身以外的事物。”

    “The space program is channeling all these resources and labor to send people to our conception of heaven,” he added.

    他补充说:“太空项目在汇聚所有资源和人力把人送上我们心目中的天堂。”

    Beyond motivation,religions are not automatically challenged by space travel, Levinson said. He noted that evangelicals are more likely to believe that aliens landed in Roswell, New Mexico. Also, many of the questions that govern ritual and practice would take a different meaning in space. “Where is Mecca if you're on Mars?” he said.

    莱文森说,除了给予动力,宗教也未必受到太空旅行的挑战。他说福音派信徒更可能相信外星人光顾过新墨西哥州的罗斯韦尔,而且许多与宗教仪式习俗相关的问题在太空中也会有不同意义:“如果是在火星上,那麦加圣地在哪里?”

    Michael Waltemathe, a theologian at Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany, added that space's challenges to religious observance have already been hashed out. “There was a fatwa put out by Malay Muslim authorities on how to do rituals on the International Space Station —all this has been thought through,” he said.

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