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2015考研必背36篇新概念经典作文:Knowledge and progress

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2014-07-24 10:59:57

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2015考研必背36篇新概念经典作文

  Lesson 22 Knowledge and progress知识和进步

  In what two areas have people made no 'progress' at all?

  Why does the idea of progress loom so large in the modern world? Surely progress of a particular kind is actually taking place around us and is becoming more and more manifest. Although mankind has undergone no general improvement in intelligence or morality, it has made extraordinary progress in the accumulation of knowledge. Knowledge began to increase as soon as the thoughts of one individual could be communicated to another by means of speech. With the invention of writing, a great advance was made, for knowledge could then be not only communicated but also stored. Libraries made education possible, and education in its turn added to libraries: the growth of knowledge followed a kind of compound interest law, which was greatly enhanced by the invention of printing. All this was comparatively slow until, with the coming of science, the tempo was suddenly raised. Then knowledge began to be accumulated according to a systematic plan. The trickle became a stream; the stream has now become a torrent. Moreover, as soon as new knowledge is acquired, it is now turned to practical account. What is called 'modern civilization' is not the result of a balanced development of all man's nature. but of accumulated knowledge applied to practical life. The problem now facing humanity is: What is going to be done with all this knowledge? As is so often pointed out, knowledge is a two-edged weapon which can be used equally for good or evil. It is now being used indifferently for both. Could any spectacle, for instance, be more grimly whimsical than that of gunners ourselves very seriously what will happen if this twofold use of knowledge, with its ever-increasing power, continues.

  G.N.M.TYRRELL The Personality of Man

  参考译文

  为什么进步这个概念在现代世界显得如此突出?无疑是因为有一种特殊的进步实际上正在我们周围发生,而且变得越来越明显。虽然人类有智力和道德上没有得到普遍提高,但在知识积累方面却取得了巨大的进步。人一旦能用语言同别人交流思想,知识的积累便开始了。随着书写的发明,又迈进了一大步,因为这样一来,知识不仅能交流,而且能储存了。藏书使教育成为可能,而教育反过来又丰富了藏书,因为知识的增长遵循着一种“滚雪球”的规律。印刷术的发明又大大提高了知识增长的速度。所有这些发展都比较缓慢,而随着科学的到来,增长的速度才突然加快。于是,知识便开始有系统有计划地积累起来。涓涓细流汇成小溪,小溪现已变成了奔腾的江河。而且,新知识一旦获得,便得到实际应用。所谓“现代文明”并不是人的天性平衡发展的结果,而是积累起来的知识应用到实际生活中的结果。现在人类面临的问题是:用这些知识去做什么?正像人们常常指出的,知识是一把双刃刀,可以用于造福,也可以用来为害。人们现在正漫不经心地把知识用于这两个方面,例如:炮兵利用科学毁坏人的身体、而外科医生就在附近用科学抢救被炮兵毁坏的人体,还有什么情景比这更可怕、更怪诞的吗?我们不得不严肃地问问我们自己:随着日益增长的知识的力量,如果我们继续利用知识的这种双重性,将会发生什么样的情况呢?

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