道德關懷:多數人暴政與迫害

上星期去出席了周保松搞的「左翼自由主義」研討會,席間錢永祥老師談到他對道德意識的期許,大概也是他認為自由主義的道德意識的關注。他認為,一般人的道德意識太強調成就,卻缺乏了對苦難的關注,尤其是減少痛苦方面(錢永祥,2014:頁16)。

這方面我第一個想到的是密爾(John Stuart Mill),可是,偏偏錢老師卻在書中也談到密爾,而在他筆下,密爾是一位接近「至善主義」的哲學家(錢永祥,2014:頁36)。可是,不知是我讀得不夠,還是解讀上的問題,我在On Liberty裡讀出來的密爾卻明顯是關注痛苦多於其他。

密爾身處19世紀的英國,On Liberty出版於1859年,當時的密爾肯定已思考到普選權擴張的後果,甚至預想到它持續普及到其他階層。1832年的大改革法(Great Reform Act),令城市中產者可以投票,1867年的第二改革法,則擴展至城市男性工人階級。至於英國政府,用今天民主國家的標準看,還不合格,但也距離專制政府很遠了。因此,他的自由主義思想並不在於反專制,而是思考在這種政治處境下我們如何有更好的生活。他的「傷害原則」,對政府限權與權利的想法等等,也是在這個背景下發展的。

錢老師對的密爾的描述,大概來自柏林(Isaiah Berlin)的文章。但是,他也承認,自己沒有考慮太多密爾的功利主義(utilitarianism)的想法。功利主義有許多關注減少痛苦,增進幸福快樂的想法。密爾在論證限權與權利時,固然有增進幸福的理想目的論(teleology),例如,言論及討論自由讓人發展理性及道德的人格與生活,然而,他論述痛苦及減少痛苦時,其論述則更為實在。

在我看來,密爾的限權想法,並不是一個理想化論述,更非為了構想理想的政體,而是基於實際的關懷。他反覆強調,大多數人的暴政(tyranny of the majority)是比政治專制更值得提防,限權並不獨指政府的權力,也包括限制集體輿論的正當性干預(limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion),他說的輿論不單是意見,也是感覺與情緒(Mill, 1998〔1859〕:頁9)。而集體輿論與政府權力的連結,多數人暴政的可能,明顯就是普選權擴張下的結果,因此,有理由相信,他這個觀點是有特定所指的。他提及1857年,一位政務次官(under-Secretary of State)曾公開說,包容只限基督教內,而不應「濫用」至基督教以外,那些不信奉基督的人是包容以外。他認為,宗教迫害並非沒有可能(頁36)。而且,他回顧歷史,包括羅馬帝國早年對基督教的迫害,宗教改革也受天主教逼迫等等,並下了一個判斷,迫害(persecution)往往成功壓制真理,而非真理戰勝迫害(頁33)。

Mill, John Stuart. 1998(1859). On Liberty and Other Essays. New York: Oxford University Press.

錢永祥,2014,《動情的理性:政治哲學作為道德實踐》,台北:聯經。

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “道德關懷:多數人暴政與迫害

  1. Here are some insightful quotes I like… Lemme kknow if
    you like them:

    “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

    “I, at any rate, am convinced that He (God) does not throw dice.”

    “The significant matter is not to stop questioning; interest has its own reason for existing.”

    “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”

    “Falling in love is not at all the most ignorant thing that people do — but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.”

    “The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious.

    “Anyone who has never madfe a mistake has never tried anyuthing new.”

    “Strive not to become a man of success, but rather attempt to become a man of
    worth”

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