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来自theconversation网站英国站
Why religions of the world condemn suicide

为什么全世界的宗教都谴责自杀?



The recent suicides of fashion designerKate Spade and celebrity chef and writer Anthony Bourdain have reminded all ofus that, even for the wealthy, life can become too painful to bear.

最近,时装设计师凯特·丝蓓、知名大厨和作家安东尼·伯尔顿已经提醒了我们所有人,即使对有钱人来说,生命也会痛苦到难以承受。
(译注:2018年6月5日,凯特·丝蓓被发现在其公寓内自杀身亡,终年55岁;安东尼·伯尔顿的美食旅游节目《伯尔顿不设限》曾获得2007年艾美奖提名,于2018年6月8日死于自杀,享年61岁)

The sad truth is that suicide rates havebeen increasing in the United States. In the last decade, the suicide rateincreased by nearly 30 percent, with women and teens particularly affected.

让人悲伤的真相是美国的自杀率一直在升高。在过去十年中,自杀率升高了约30个百分点,女性和青少年尤受影响。

And it’s not just the United States.Suicide is increasingly taking a toll on individuals and families throughoutthe world.

然而这种趋势不只发生在美国。自杀在世界范围内,对个体和家庭都产生了严重的不良影响。

The ethics of self-inflicted death havehistorically been an important area of reflection for the world’s religions.

这种由自己造成的死亡,其伦理在历史上一直是世界宗教反思的重要领域。

Whose life is it?

生命是属于谁的?

Many of the world’s religions havetraditionally condemned suicide because, as they believe, human lifefundamentally belongs to God.

世界上的许多宗教传统上一贯谴责自杀,因为他们相信:人类的生命从根本上说属于神。


 
Many of world’s religions have beliefs thatcondemn suicide.  

(图解:世界上许多宗教有谴责自杀的信仰)

In the Jewish tradition, the prohibitionagainst suicide originated in Genesis 9:5, which says, “And for your lifebloodI will require a reckoning.” This means that humans are accountable to God forthe choices they make. From this perspective, life belongs to God and is notyours to take. Jewish civil and religious law, the Talmud, withheld from asuicide the rituals and treatment that were given to the body in the case ofother deaths, such as burial in a Jewish cemetery, though this is not the casetoday.

在犹太传统里,针对自杀的禁令发端于《创世纪9:5》,里面说到,“流你们的血、害你们生命的,我必向他们追偿”。这意味着人类在作出选择时,对神是负有责任的。从这个角度来看,生命属于神,不是你能主宰的。犹太人的民法和宗教法《塔木德》,在其他类型死亡的情况下针对遗体的仪式和待遇,是不提供给自杀者的,比如在一个犹太墓地中举行葬礼的时候,虽然今天的情况已非如此。

A similar perspective shaped Catholicteachings about suicide. St. Augustine of Hippo, an early Christian bishop andphilosopher, wrote that “he who kills himself is a homicide.” In fact,according the Catechism of St. Pius X, an early 20th-century compendium ofCatholic beliefs, someone who died by suicide should be denied Christian burial– a prohibition that is no longer observed.

类似的视角也形成了天主教对于自杀的训教。希波城的圣奥古斯丁是早期基督主教和哲学家,他曾写下“自杀的人是杀人犯。”事实上,根据20世纪初的一份天主教信仰纲要《圣皮乌斯的教理回答》,一个因自杀而死的人应拒绝给予TA基督教葬礼,这项禁令不再能看到了。

The Italian poet Dante Aligheri, in “TheInferno,” extrapolated from traditional Catholic beliefs and placed those whohad committed the sin of suicide on the seventh level of hell, where they existin the form of trees that painfully bleed when cut or pruned.

意大利诗人但丁·阿利基耶里在从传统天主教信仰中演绎而成的《地狱篇》中,将那些犯了自杀罪的人放在地狱第七层,在那里他们以树的形式存在,在被砍或修剪时痛苦地流着血。

According to traditional Islamicunderstandings, the fate of those who die by suicide is similarlydreadful.  Hadiths, or sayings,attributed to the Prophet Muhammad warn Muslims against committing suicide. Thehadiths say that those who kill themselves suffer hellfire. And in hell, theywill continue to inflict pain on themselves, according to the method of theirsuicide.

按照伊斯兰教的传统认知,那些自杀者的命运也同样可怕。一些圣训或语录,是先知默罕默德警告穆斯林不得自杀才产生的。《圣训》中说那些自杀的人会遭受地狱之火。而在地狱中,他们将会继续把伤害加诸自身,具体做法依照他们自杀的方式。

In Hinduism, suicide is referred to by theSanskrit word “atmahatya,” literally meaning “soul-murder.” “Soul-murder” issaid to produce a string of karmic reactions that prevent the soul fromobtaining liberation. In fact, Indian folklore has numerous stories about thosewho commit suicide. According to the Hindu philosophy of birth and rebirth, innot being reincarnated, souls linger on the earth, and at times, trouble theliving.

在印度教中,自杀由梵语词汇“阿特玛哈蒂亚”(atmahatya)所指称,字面意思是“灵魂谋杀”。灵魂谋杀据说会产生一系列的业力反应,会阻止灵魂得到解脱。事实上在印度民间传说里,有数不清的故事都和自杀者有关。按照印度教诞生和重生的哲学,如果不能转世,魂灵会在大地上苟延,偶尔还会骚扰活着的人。

Buddhism also prohibits suicide, or aidingand abetting the act, because such self-harm causes more suffering rather thanalleviating it. And most basically, suicide violates a fundamental Buddhistmoral precept: to abstain from taking life.

佛教也禁止自杀,或是禁止支持和唆使这种行为,因为这种自戕会导致更多的苦难,而不是减轻。而且最主要的是,自杀违背了佛教的基本道德律条:杀戒。

Altruistic suicide

利他性的自杀

While many religions have traditionallyprohibited suicide when motivated by despair, certain forms of suicide, for thecommunity or for a greater good, are permitted, and at times, even celebrated.

当许多宗教在传统上禁止绝望驱使的自杀时,为了某个社群或是为了更广大的福祉而采取特定形式的自杀是被允许的,在有些时候甚至会被庆祝。

In his classic work “On Suicide,” Frenchsociologist Emile Durkheim used the term “altruistic suicide” to describe theact of killing oneself in the service of a higher principle or the greatercommunity. And consciously sacrificing one’s life for God, or for otherreligious ends, has historically been the most prominent form of “altruisticsuicide.”

在其经典作品《自杀论》中,法国社会学家迪尔凯姆使用术语“利他性自杀”来描述为造福更高的道义或更大的社群而杀死自己的行为。为了神或是宗教目的,有意识地牺牲某人的生命在历史上一直是“利他性自杀”最重要的形式。

Recently, Pope Francis has added anothercategory for sainthood, that of  givingup one’s life for another, called “oblatio vitae.” Of course, both Christianityand Islam have strong conceptions of martyrdom, which also extend to intentionallygiving one’s life in battle. For example, the Crusader Hugh the Insaneself-destructively leapt out of the tower of a besieged castle in order tocrush and kill Turkish soldiers below.

最近,弗朗西斯一世教皇在圣徒中又加入了一个分类,就是为别人献出自己的生命,这被称之为“生命的祭品”。当然了,基督教和伊斯兰教有着很强烈的殉道观念,这也适用于在战场上主动献出自己的生命。例如,十字军中的疯人休米为了压碎并杀死下方的土耳其士兵,从被围困的城堡塔楼里自杀式地举身跃出。
(译注:休米即维尔曼多伯爵休米(Hugh,Count of Vermandois),)

Buddhist monks have burned themselves todeath, most famously in Vietnam, but also in Tibet, to draw attention toviolence and oppression. And within Hinduism, there is a tradition of asceticsfasting to death after they gained enlightenment. Then there are the ancientHindu traditions of “sati”, where the wife dies on her husband’s funeral pyre,and “jauhar”, the ritual self-immolation of an entire community of women whenthey were certain of defeat in war and consequent enslavement.

佛教僧人会让自己自焚而死,这是为了引起对暴力和压迫的关注,   最著名的是在越南。而在印度教中,有苦行者在开悟之后绝食致死的传统。古代印度教还有“殉葬”的传统,即妻子会死在她丈夫火葬的柴堆之上,还有“乔哈尔”,即一整群女性的自焚仪式,发生在她们确定会输掉战争并会在之后沦为奴隶时。

What unifies all these examples is the ideathat there are principles or goals that are more important than life itself.And so, self-sacrifice is not suicide: letting go of life because of faith isdifferent, from letting go of life because of lack of hope.

所有这些例子一致认为存在比生命本身更重要的道义或目标。于是,自我牺牲就不是自杀:因为信念而放弃生命,和因为失去希望而放弃生命是不同的。

Rethinking suicide

对自杀的反思

While striving to emphasizing thesacredness of life, it’s most certainly the case that traditional religiousprohibitions against suicide provide little comfort to those who contemplatetaking their own life, not to mention to the loved ones who will be leftbehind.

虽然努力强调生命的神圣,最能确定的情况是:传统上宗教对自杀的禁令没能给那些盘算着自杀的人提供多少安慰,更不用说被抛下的心爱之人。

The good news is that today, there are moreand more resources for talking about and preventing suicide. In particular,world religions have become more sympathetic and nuanced in theirunderstanding. Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus have allestablished extensive outreach programs to those who suffer from suicidalthoughts.

好消息是在当今,越来越多的资源被用作探讨和防止自杀。特别是,世界宗教在他们的理解中对自杀已经变得更有同情心,也有了更加微妙的差异。犹太人、天主教徒、穆斯林、佛教徒和印度教徒都已经针对那些遭受自杀想法折磨的人们建立了大量的延伸计划。

Such efforts recognize that God especiallyloves those who suffer in the darkness of depression. Suicide then is not anact that calls for divine punishment, but an all-too-common threat that callsus to reaffirm hope in life as a precious gift given by God.

这些努力让我们认识到:神尤其爱那些在绝望的黑暗中受苦的人。那么自杀也就不是一种需要神罚的行为,而是一种司空见惯的威胁,号召我们重新肯定,生命中的希望是神赠予的珍贵礼物。