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谁更可能是连环杀手:宗教信徒还是无神论者?

更新时间:2017-8-9 19:10:02 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The Serial Killer Test: Biases Against Atheists Emerge in Study
谁更可能是连环杀手:宗教信徒还是无神论者?

Most people around the world, whether religious or not, presume that serial killers are more likely to be atheists than believers in any god, suggests a new study, which counters the common assumption that increasingly secular societies are equally tolerant of nonbelievers. Avowed atheists exhibited the same bias in judging sadistic criminals, the study found.

人们通常认为,世俗化程度越高的地方,对不信神的人包容度也高,但一项最新研究的发现情况并非如此,该研究显示,世界各地的大多数人,无论是否有宗教信仰,都认为连环杀手更有可能是无神论者而非神的信徒。研究发现,自称是无神论者的人,在判断凶残的罪犯时也表现出了同样的偏见。

The new report, appearing in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, included more than 3,000 people in 13 countries, both secular states like the Netherlands and Finland, and deeply religious ones like the United Arab Emirates and India. The findings suggest that, despite declining attendance at churches, mosques and temples in many communities, the cultural tenet that religion is a bulwark against immorality remains intact, experts said, even in those who deny it explicitly.

这份新报告发表在《自然-人类行为》(Nature Human Behaviour)上,它对13个国家的3000多人进行了调查,其中既有荷兰、芬兰这样的世俗国家,也有阿拉伯联合酋长国、印度这种宗教国家。研究结果表明,尽管在许多社区,去教堂、清真寺和寺庙的人数不断下降,但“宗教信仰可以阻止不道德行为”的文化信念仍然保持不变,专家们说,即使在那些明确否认这一点的社群也是如此。

Previous studies had found evidence of broad-based public suspicion of nonbelievers in smaller samples within religious countries, like the United States. The new survey suggests the findings may extend globally, and it finds that the same kinds of suspicion pervade even highly secular societies.

此前对美国这样的宗教国家曾有过样本较小的研究,发现公众对不信神的人存在根深蒂固的怀疑。而这项新调查显示,这种情况可能在全球各地都有,哪怕是高度世俗化的社会也有同样的怀疑。

“What’s exciting about the paper for me is that it’s a great first step,” said Richard Sosis, a professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut. “They’ve got a method that can be used to see how this bias plays out not just in judging a sociopath, but for many more mundane moral violations.”

“这篇论文令我激动的地方在于,它迈出了很好的第一步,”康涅狄格大学(University of Connecticut)人类学教授理查德·萨斯奇(Richard Sosis)表示:“他们采用了一种方法,可以用来查看这种偏见如何发挥,不仅仅是在判断一个人是否反社会的时候,也是在研究更多轻微背德行为的时候。”

The study was as simple as it was ambitious. Led by Will M. Gervais, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky, an international team of researchers recruited samples of about 100 or more adults in 13 countries, spanning North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the antipodes. The participants filled out a short questionnaire, providing their age, ethnicity and religious affiliation or lack thereof, with choices like “atheist,” “agnostic” or “none.”

这项研究目光远大,但也很简单。在肯塔基大学(University of Kentucky)心理学副教授威尔·M·杰维斯(Will M. Gervais)的领导下,一个国际研究团队在北美、欧洲、亚洲、中东的13个国家分别采集了100名以上成年人的样本。受访者填写了一份简短的问卷,提供年龄、种族等信息,其中宗教信仰的选项包括“无神论者”、“不可知论者”或“无”等。

One item on the questionnaire began with a description of a sociopath: a man who, having tortured animals when young, later began hurting people and “has killed five homeless people that he abducted from poor neighborhoods in his home city. Their dismembered bodies are currently buried in his basement.” A question followed. Half the participants in each country got one version of the question: “Which is more probable? 1) The man is a teacher; or 2) The man is a teacher and does not believe in any gods.”

调查表上一个题目的题干描述了一个反社会者:一个男人小时候就折磨动物,后来又开始害人,他杀死了五个流浪汉,这些人是他在家乡的贫民窟里绑架的,他们的尸体现在埋在地下室里。后面是一个问题。每个国家有一半的参与者看到的是这样的版本:“哪种情况更有可能?1)这个男人是老师,2)这个男人是老师,并且不信任何神明。”

The other half got another version: “Which is more probable? 1) The man is a teacher; or 2) The man is a teacher and a religious believer.” The questionnaire also included several brainteasers and other questions to distract from the purpose of the study.

另一半人看到的是另一个版本:“哪种情况更有可能?1) 这个男人是老师,2) 这个男人是老师,并且信仰宗教。”问卷还包括几个智力题和其他问题,用以掩盖研究目的。

“We used this psychopathic serial killer because we thought that, even if people didn’t trust atheists enough to let them babysit their children, they wouldn’t necessarily assume them to be serial killers,” Dr. Gervais said.

“我们使用这个变态连环杀手的例子,是因为我们认为,即便人们不信任无神论者,不会让他们照顾自己的孩子,但他们不一定会认为无神论者更有可能是连环杀手,”杰维斯说。

But they did — overwhelmingly. About 60 percent of the people who had the option to flag the teacher as an atheist did so; just 30 percent of those who had the option to flag the teacher as a religious believer did so. Self-identified nonbelievers were less biased than the average, but not by much, the study found.

但人们的确是这样认为的——占绝大多数。有无神论选项的问卷中,约有60%的人选择杀手是信仰无神论的老师;而在有信仰宗教这个选项的问卷中,只有30%的人选择杀手是有宗教信仰的老师。这项研究还发现,自认为没有宗教信仰的人的偏见程度低于平均水平,但也没有低很多。

As expected, the bias was stronger in highly religious countries, like the United Arab Emirates, than in more secular ones, like New Zealand. Dr. Gervais, whose work explores bias against nonbelievers, had publicly backed off some of his own earlier studies, finding them too small to be convincing. “This time we got the numbers, and the effect was clear,” he said.

和预期的一样,和新西兰等更世俗的国家相比,阿联酋等宗教信仰气息浓厚的国家偏见更深。杰维斯的研究方向是针对无神论者的偏见,他公开否定了自己之前的一些研究,认为它们的规模太小,没有说服力。“这一次,我们得到了足够多的样本,结果很明显,”他说。

The relationship between religious belief and moral behavior is, in fact, not well understood. Some studies find that devout believers live more morally upright lives, compared with nonbelievers; others find no differences at all. The research is plagued by differing definitions of what moral behavior is and what constitutes true religious devotion (e.g., self-identification, or daily ritual?). Even the definition of nonbelief is a moving target: A person may identify as atheist, agnostic, “lapsed” or merely indifferent depending on his or her mood and understanding of those terms.

实际上,宗教信仰和道德行为之间的关系没有被很好地理解。有些研究发现,同没有宗教信仰的人相比,虔诚的宗教信徒过着更有道德的生活,但也有些研究完全没有发现任何差别。这项研究的难点在于弄清道德行为的各种不同定义,以及真正的宗教虔诚究竟由哪些元素构成(比如,自我认同,还是日常仪式?)。甚至连“无宗教信仰者”这个定义也无法确定:一个人可能会根据自己的心情或者对这些术语的理解,声称自己是无神论者、不可知论者、“已停止信教”,或者仅仅是对此漠不关心。

The urge to impute beliefs, motives and mental states to mass murderers, moreover, is often misplaced, experts said. Some mass killers clearly commit atrocities because of their professed religious beliefs, like terrorists. But modern history’s register of assorted serial killers, spree shooters and other mortal predators is a rogue’s gallery of mostly male, aggrieved actors who are sometimes believers, sometimes not, and who half the time do not qualify for any specific psychiatric diagnosis, as disturbed as they are, according to an analysis of more than 200 such killers by Dr. Michael Stone, a New York forensic psychiatrist.

另外,专家表示,从信仰、动机和精神状态的角度去分析大规模屠杀者往往是不合适的。有些大规模屠杀者做出那些暴行显然是因为他们自称的宗教信仰,比如恐怖分子。但是根据纽约司法精神病学家迈克尔·斯通博士(Michael Stone)对200多名连环杀手、大规模枪击杀手以及其他杀人成性者的分析,现代历史上对此类杀手的记录就像一个暴徒展览馆,其中大多是愤愤不平的男性,他们有很多层面,有时信仰宗教,有时又不信,有一半的时间不符合任何具体的精神病诊断,因为他们的精神状况很混乱。

A large number — perhaps 25 percent, in Dr. Stone’s estimation — showed evidence of paranoid schizophrenia, which is characterized by delusional thinking. Those delusions, often enough, are infused with religious symbolism.

很多大规模杀手——据斯通估计,大约有25%——表现出妄想型精神分裂症的症状,其特点就是会产生妄想。而那些妄想经常充满宗教象征意义。

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