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迷信从何而来

Where do superstitions come from? - Stuart Vyse

启点字幕组
Light up the world
你会害怕黑色的猫吗
Are you afraid of black cats?
你会在屋里撑伞吗
Would you open an umbrella indoors?
你对13这个数字有何感想
And how do you feel about the number thirteen?
不管你信不信
Whether or not you believe in them,
或多或少你都对这些迷信有所耳闻
you’re probably familiar with a few of these superstitions.
为什么世界上的人们
So how did it happen that people all over the world
都会敲敲木头
knock on wood,
或者都避免踩到人行道的裂缝呢
or avoid stepping on sidewalk cracks?
尽管没有科学依据
Well, although they have no basis in science,
但这些奇奇怪怪的信念和做法
many of these weirdly specific beliefs and practices
都有着同样奇怪而又具体的由来
do have equally weird and specific origins.
因为它们跟超自然因素有关
Because they involve supernatural causes,
因此许多迷信都基于宗教也就不足为奇了
it’s no surprise that many superstitions are based in religion.
举个例子 数字13跟圣经里最后的晚餐有关联
For example. the number thirteen was associated with the biblical Last Supper,
据圣经记载 耶稣在被逮捕钉死之前
where Jesus Christ dined with his twelve disciples
跟他的12个门徒共进晚餐
just before being arrested and crucified.
于是人们认为13个人坐在一张桌子前就会倒霉
The resulting idea that having thirteen people at a table was bad luck
最终 13成了一个不吉利的数字
eventually expanded into thirteen being an unlucky number in general.
这种对于13的恐惧叫作十三恐惧症
Now, this fear of the number thirteen, called triskaidekaphobia,
这种恐惧症非常普遍 世界上许多建筑都忽略掉13层楼
is so common that many buildings around the world skip the thirteenth floor,
直接从12层跳到14层
with the numbers going straight from twelve to fourteen.
当然啦 许多人认为最后的晚餐这个故事是真实的
Of course, many people consider the story of the Last Supper to be true
但有的迷信来自于宗教传统
but other superstitions come from religious traditions
很少有人会相信 甚至记得
that few people believe in or even remember.
有人认为敲敲木头来自于古印欧人的民间传说
Knocking on wood is thought to come from the folklore of the ancient Indo-Europeans
或者也许是在古印欧人更早之前的传说
or possibly people who predated them
人们认为树是各种神灵的来源
who believed that trees were home to various spirits.
触碰树会得到
Touching a tree would invoke the protection
里面的神灵的庇佑和祝福
or blessing of the spirit within.
但不知为何
And somehow,
这种传统在这些神灵的信仰消失了很久之后依旧存在
this tradition survived long after belief in these spirits had faded away.
如今 从俄罗斯到爱尔兰有许多常见的迷信
Many superstitions common today in countries from Russia to Ireland
被认为是被基督教取代的异教的残余
are thought to be remnants of the pagan religions that Christianity replaced.
但是并不是所有的迷信都是宗教性的
But not all superstitions are religious.
有的只是基于不幸的巧合
Some are just based on unfortunate coincidences and associations.
比如 许多意大利人害怕数字17
For example, many Italians fear the number 17
因为罗马数字17的写法XVII可以重新排列成vixi这个词
because the Roman numeral XVII can be rearranged to form the word vixi,
意思是一命呜呼
meaning my life had ended.
同样的 数字4
Similarly, the word for the number four
听起来跟广东话的“死”字
sounds almost identical to the word for death
发音相同
in Cantonese,
还有借用中文数字的
as well as languages like Japanese
日语和韩语也有同样的情况
and Korean that have borrowed Chinese numerals.
数字1听起来像必须这个词
And since the number one also sounds like the word for must,
数字14听起来像必死无疑
the number fourteen sounds like the phrase must die.
电梯和国际酒店都会避免出现这些数字
That’s a lot of numbers for elevators and international hotels to avoid.
不管你相信与否
And believe it or not,
有的迷信其实是有道理的
some superstitions actually make sense,
或者至少在我们忘了那些迷信的最初目的之前
or at least they did until we forgot their original purpose.
比如 以前的剧院都有巨大的绘画背景幕
For example, theater scenery used to consist of large painted backdrops,
背景由舞台工作人员通过吹口哨来互相通知上升和下降
raised and lowered by stagehands who would whistle to signal each other.
他人无意的口哨就会导致事故
Absentminded whistles from other people could cause an accident.
而后台禁止吹口哨这个规矩保留到了现在
But the taboo against whistling backstage still exists today,
在舞台工作人员开始使用无线耳机之后还保留着这一规定
long after the stagehands started using radio headsets.
同样的道理 如果你是一个在避弹坑里的士兵
Along the same lines, lighting three cigarettes from the same match
用同一根火柴点三支烟就会带来厄运
really could cause bad luck if you were a soldier in a foxhole
火柴燃的时间太长会引起敌方狙击手的注意
where keeping a match lit too long could draw attention from an enemy sniper.
现在大多数吸烟的人再没必要担心狙击手
Most smokers no longer have to worry about snipers,
但是这一迷信仍然存在
but the superstition lives on.
那么人们为什么还坚信着这些被遗忘的宗教禁忌
So why do people cling to these bits of forgotten religions,
是巧合
coincidences,
还是过时的忠告
and outdated advice?
他们的做法不是完全毫无道理的对吗
Aren’t they being totally irrational?
是的 但是对许多人来说
Well, yes, but for many people,
比起信仰 迷信更多的是基于文化习惯
superstitions are based more on cultural habit than conscious belief.
总之 没人天生就知道不能在梯子下走路
After all, no one is born knowing to avoid walking under ladders
或者在屋里吹口哨
or whistling indoors,
但是如果你从小就被家人告诉说不要这样做
but if you grow up being told by your family to avoid these things,
那样做很可能会倒霉
chances are they’ll make you uncomfortable,
即使你明白什么也不会发生
even after you logically understand that nothing bad will happen.
因为像敲敲木头这种事又不费力
And since doing something like knocking on wood doesn’t require much effort,
相信迷信通常比抵触迷信更容易
following the superstition is often easier than consciously resisting it.
而且 迷信似乎常常成真
Besides, superstitions often do seem to work.
也许你还记得击中本垒打的时候穿着你的幸运袜
Maybe you remember hitting a home run while wearing your lucky socks.
其实是我们的心理作用
This is just our psychological bias at work.
你只是不记得失手的时候
You’re far less likely to remember all the times you struck out
其实穿的是同样的袜子
while wearing the same socks.
但是相信迷信会给你带来掌握权局的幻觉
But believing that they work could actually make you play better
从而使你表现更好
by giving you the illusion of having greater control over events.
因此在一定情况下信心会起积极作用 比如在运动比赛中
So in situations where that confidence can make a difference, like sports,
因此那些奇怪的迷信也许并没有那么神奇
those crazy superstitions might not be so crazy after all.

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视频概述

我们在生活中或多或少都听到过一些迷信的说法,有的人对迷信嗤之以鼻,有的却奉若神灵。到底那些迷信是从何而来的呢?是有科学依据还是纯粹的封建陋习呢?

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quOdF1CAPXs

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