Erenlai - New Ethical Challenges 全球化之下的倫理重建
New Ethical Challenges 全球化之下的倫理重建

New Ethical Challenges 全球化之下的倫理重建

Here are testimonies and analyses that explore business ethics, life technology ethics, and environmental ethics - all fields that determine the way we conceive our nature, monitor our social conducts and foresee our future.

全球化的浪潮也捲起一波波對倫理重建的討論。從跨國企業到生命科學,從教育體系到宗教與社會倫理,我們窺見不同區域中的反省力量可能帶來的轉變與啟示!

 

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The Many Faces of Justice

[...]

Justice is often depicted as a blindfolded woman with a balance scale in her hand. This is supposed to be a sign of her impartiality. She is not swayed by bribes nor by any consideration for personal advantage or connection with the litigants, but only by the facts in the case. It is the facts and only the facts that decide the issue. Thus, the resultant resolution is just. Each side gets what it deserves. Right?

Perhaps, if one could see very clearly all the facts as in a clear cut criminal case where the defendant is obviously and beyond doubt guilty, so the verdict of guilty is just and correct. But actually, the annals of justice record many, many instances where the judgments of the moment seemed just, but turned out to be wrong. Not all the facts had been discovered or those that were had been misinterpreted, so the wrong person was condemned or the accused culprit was declared not guilty.

A much better image of justice would not be a blindfold, but a magnifying glass through which the truth, the facts, are thoroughly examined together with a sieve through which the facts are impartially sorted into troughs that lead to their proper disposition free from any interference of prejudice, anger or self-interest.

[...]

(Photo by C.P.)
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Thursday, 26 April 2007

Sustainability, the Third Wave of the Taiwan Miracle

End of April 2007, Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration indicated that each Taiwanese produces about 12 metric tons of CO2 each year, for a world average of 4 tons. By comparison, each U.S. citizen produces 20 tons, while the figure in South Korea and Singapore is 11 tons. Other data show that global warming has resulted in the proportion of high-temperature days rising very fast during the last five years. Even more significant is the fact that Taiwan’s increase of carbon emission is the highest in the world. Other figures could be cited, that would show Taiwan’s lagging far behind Korea and Japan when it comes to treated urban sewage for instance.

It is to be hoped that such figures as well as the unfolding debate on global warming will convince Taiwan that shifting towards a more sustainable model of development is essential for its international standing. Sustainability is, first and foremost, a set of attitudes and policy that can greatly enhance Taiwan’s quality of life and economic strategy. It is also a way of mobilizing its considerable resources towards the well-being of the region and the world, reaching a new kind of moral status. Taiwan’s cultural diversity equips it with a variety in models of thought, inventiveness and technical assets that is to be mobilized in order to develop a strategy of sustainability anchored into grassroots realities.

During the sixties and seventies, Taiwan’s rapid growth constituted the country’s first wave of modernization and internationalization. In the eighties and nineties, democratization was Taiwan’s second wave of globalization. Since then, its growing diplomatic isolation makes it less sensitive to global trends and international pressure. Let us hope that the country finally understands that becoming leader in building an Asian model of sustainable development would be the third wave of the Taiwan’s miracle. And, as happened during the first and the second wave, the world would take notice.
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Thursday, 26 April 2007

Some Educated Guesses about Education

Today I was inspired to write about education because I rediscovered in my old papers an essay I wrote when I was twelve years old. It was submitted in an essay contest for six-graders. I don’t think I won, because I would probably remember if I had, but I am struck by how closely it describes what I still believe about education sixty-three years later after surviving twenty-four years of education.

Whenever I think to write about a topic, I often look it up first on the internet. Even a cursory look at what Google says about education shows that there are almost as many opinions and controversies about what education is as there are educators and critics. There are many ways of looking at education. It can be the process of learning or what is learned. There are arguments about what should be taught and about how it should be taught. It is praised and vilified. It depends upon one’s point of view and especially on one’s ideals.

Is the purpose of education just the accumulating of information? to build character? To cram the mind with facts that will soon be forgotten? to teach how to think forming people who can discern and think for themselves? to empower people with the skills they need to obtain a livelihood? to impart culture and appreciation for literature, art and music? to develop imagination and creativity? to equip people for independence and action? To indoctrinate and brainwash, propagating some ism? to control the masses? to pass on the treasures of the past or to go beyond them? to pass on opinions, theories or hypotheses as facts? to turn everyone into identical moulds or to develop and enhance their individuality?

In a sense everything above is true sometimes somewhere. Schools teach what their Boards of Directors dictate, teachers impart their own ideas and opinions. Fortunate the students with the opportunity to attend schools with sound curricula and enlightened teachers. Fortunate those who manage to educate themselves without those helps.

Education should transmit information, but even more importantly how to interpret the data. Education should give us the skills and tools necessary for meaningful, satisfying livelihoods, not as jacks of all trades but expert in what is important for each individual’s goals and success. Education should prepare us for enjoying our leisure time, instilling interest and appreciation for art, literature, music, sports, hobbies. Education should develop our imaginations and creativity and open our eyes to worlds and possibilities beyond us, so at least we won’t mind others going there though we don’t. Education teaches us how to recognize what is true and what isn’t, to discern what is important and what is unimportant, to discriminate what is fact and what opinion, and to judge properly what should be done and what should not. Education should be tailored to the capacities of the students, but always aim just a little higher. Not everyone has the ability to go all the way, but even those with the lowest I.Q.s can be taught something to make their lives more pleasant and meaningful.

Not the best education system in the world will succeed if the students will not listen or learn. The secret to good teaching is the teacher’s ability to instill the appetite for learning and to make the process pleasant and entertaining and memorable. As Educator Gail Goodwin once said: “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater.” Just as teachers have different ways of teaching, students have different ways of learning. Some rely primarily on what they hear, others on what the see, or what they read. The trick is to get them to think about what they are learning so it becomes part of them, because they have added something of themselves. Passive reception of what one is taught is not as effective as hands on participation and involvement and personal contribution. A goal of education should to enable the students to go on educating themselves the rest of their lives.

As usual I turned to the internet for meaningful quotes. Some are very critical of what is taught or how it is taught. Some are more positive expressing the goals that education should ideally aim for. Some are wordy and boring. I prefer the witty ones that come right to the point, but one long one really moved me. It was the words of Helen Keller who was both blind and deaf.

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbor was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.

Education, however is not just the shedding of light, but in being able to know and follow where the light leads. That is why I like the following quote from George Savile , English Marquis of Halifax in the 17th century:

Education is what remains when we have forgotten all that we have been taught.

This echoed by Elbert Hubbard:

The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without a teacher.

As Alfred Lord Tennyson said:

Knowledge comes, but wisdom stays.

And by the poet William B. Yeats:

Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.

Finally in the same vein is a saying of Edmund S. Wilson who thinks one’s Q.Q. is more important than one’s I.Q.

Only the curious will learn and only the resolute will overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.

There are quite a number of interesting proverbs and sayings that deal with education and learning.
Tell me and I’ll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I’ll understand. (Native American saying)
Whatever is good to know is difficult to learn.
(Greek Proverb)
Learning is like rowing upstream: not to advance is to drop back. (Chinese Saying)
He who asks a question is a fool for a minute; he who does not remains a fool forever. (Chinese Proverb)
Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. (Lao-Tzu)
The final quote is my own, namely that essay I wrote when I was twelve. It was entitled “What Education Means to Me”.
Education should provide me with suitable instruction to fit me for the duties of adult life. It should cover such qualities as virtue, wisdom, good manners and knowledge.
Virtue is necessary for the true art of living. It should guide me in the right relation of things temporal as well as things spiritual. It should teach me courage and honesty.
Wisdom will give me understanding of truth and justice. A mind will give greater understanding of life and its problems.
The learning and practice of good manners will develop good behavior and consideration and kindness to others. Correct social forms are essential to be a part of good society.
Knowledge will help to perfect my natural abilities, so that they will provide me with a livelihood. The study of music and reading of good books will broaden my mind and help me to enjoy life to the fullest extent. Sports and recreation are essential for well being.
A good foundation based on the above should help me to carry out the duties of citizenship and to be a respected member of society. It will give me an appreciation of the better things of life.
I am amazed at how this still rings true today.

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Tuesday, 27 March 2007

In Between Right and Wrong

 

For some people life is like a succession of computer games. It is a constant state of war. The object is to kill the enemy before the enemy kills you. So long as you successfully eliminate the enemy the game goes on. If you are eliminated, then you start a new game. There is no peace, only the interval between games.

For some people life is just a confrontation between right and wrong. Right is what they believe is right. Wrong is whatever anyone else believes is right that is not the same as what they believe. There is no middle ground. There is no room for compromise, because compromise would mean either that you repudiate something you believe is right or accept as right what you believe is wrong. This means that life is a continual conflict. You must always defend what you think is right and attack what you think is wrong.

Some people don’t believe in either “right” or “wrong”. For them life is just a struggle between “mine” and “theirs”. The objective is to protect what is “mine” from becoming “theirs” and to increase what is “mine” by acquiring what is “theirs”. There is no middle ground that must be respected as off limits.

For some people peace is when they can do whatever they wish without anyone trying to stop them and war is permission to do whatever it takes to make others give them what they want. There is no middle ground where “I’ll let you do what you want” so long as “you let me do what I want without interference”. Life is an ever present battleground because it is impossible to move without stepping on someone else’s toes.

There are some people who see only part of the truth and believe that the little they see is all there is to know. And they denounce as frauds, liars or idiots anyone who sees any part of the truth that they missed, because they won’t admit they didn’t see everything. There can only be reconciliation when everyone is willing to take another look and appreciate the perspectives of others.

For some people there is no “live” and “let live”. There is only “let me prosper” and “let everyone else keep out of my way”. I only care what happens to me. I don’t care what happens to you, so long as it doesn’t affect me. There is no “me and you”. There is only “me”.

For some people there is “no me” only “you”. It is society, the community that matters; the preservation of the race or the good of all that counts. All else is selfishness. There is no middle ground where you can just enjoy what you have without concern for or sharing with those who have not. But fortunately there is the privileged ground where those who enforce the hardships on all for the common good are rewarded with the common goods taken from the common people.

Then there are all the middle people who don’t believe in anything, who have no idea what is right or what is wrong, all those who have nothing worth fighting for. There is no middle ground for them either. Theirs is the only ground.

Whatever happened to “in between”? Is there an “in between”? Should there be any “in between’? Is there any room for “compromise” or “moderation”?

Yes, because peace is not the absence of war, a momentary cessation of hostilities, but the absence of hostility. It is the condition where I am willing to acknowledge the limits of what is mine and willing to let you keep what is yours. I insist upon my rights, but I let you keep yours.

Yes, because right and wrong are not always right or wrong. I am right to defend my right but I am wrong sometimes about what is right. You are wrong to deny my right because it is not right to think my right is wrong just because it is not your right. When and only when I am willing to examine and possibly correct what I think is right and can calmly consider and tolerate what you think is wrong, then and then only am I standing on the “middle ground”, the only place where the whole truth can be found.

Yes, because even though I honestly believe that what I believe is right and honestly do not believe what you believe, I also honestly believe that you have the right to believe what you honestly believe and that we should respect each other’s beliefs and do our best to live together side by side in peace.

True peace is not just a temporary lull between hostilities, it is the absence of hostilities. It is when the things that divide us no longer impel us to hostile acts, when we agree that the things we don’t agree on will be mutually tolerated.

True peace can only be found on the middle ground between extremes. It is not a no man’s land where no one meets, but the vast “in between” where everyone is free to express his ideas and put forth his views in an atmosphere that reduces hostilities rather than incites to war.

(Photo: B.V.)

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

2007文化多樣性與永續發展國際研討會

【文化多樣性與永續發展:歐洲與台灣的對話】國際研討會
◆活動時間:2007年5月25日(星期五)
◆活動地點:高雄市政府新聞處多媒體簡報室
◆參加對象:限大學校長、教授、公務人員、媒體記者等參加

【文化多樣性與永續發展:歐洲與台灣的對話】國際研討會
暨【生命永續獎】頒獎典禮
◆活動時間:2007年5月26日(星期六)
◆活動地點:高雄市國立中山大學國際會議廳
◆無限定對象

永續發展是全世界、亞洲以及台灣非走不可的路。群體的發展不能只滿足今日的需求,同時仍須顧及後代子孫的需要,並在經濟生產、生活水準與生態體系三方面尋求平衡點。
回顧過去,台灣創造了「經濟奇蹟」及「民主奇蹟」,並贏得世界的注目與國際輿論的肯定。繼經濟奇蹟、民主奇蹟之後,台灣是否能夠締造「第三波奇蹟」,成為「永續發展」的亞洲典範呢?
2007年五月二十六日,人籟/e人籟與外交部、文建會、高雄市政府、城市治理知識管理顧問公司、好事聯播網與港都電台共同籌辦【文化多樣性與永續發展:歐洲與台灣的對話】國際研討會,研討會中並設有【生命永續獎】頒獎典禮,地點選定在高雄市國立中山大學國際會議廳舉行。
來自歐洲的訪客將與台灣貴賓交流,同時我們將報導得獎者的具體事蹟,屆時歡迎您的蒞臨與參與。透過研討會的思想激盪與獎項的頒發,我們呈現了台灣對人類的多元發展與環境永續經營的貢獻。
你我同心協力,讓台灣成為文化多樣性和永續發展的典範!

【文化多樣性與永續發展】國際研討會
主辦單位
利氏學社 Ricci Institute

協辦單位
外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs
文建會 Council for Cultural Affairs
高雄市政府 Kaohsiung City Government

協助執行單位
城市治理知識管理顧問公司 CCDI

合作單位
好事聯播網與港都電台www.bestradio.com.tw

【生命永續獎】頒獎典禮
人籟論辨月刊/e人籟主辦
Renlai Monthly/eRenlai Magazine

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議程回顧

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Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Diversity

Entering the path of sustainable development is the primary imperative that Taiwan, Asia and the world presently face.

We must protect the rights of future generations to still have access to clean water, pure air, energy supply, biodiversity, climatic conditions that preserve coastlines and diminish the risks of extreme storms and droughts.

Sustainable development is also about the way we share our resources in order to meet the basic needs of all of us, while fostering values such as frugality and solidarity, as opposed to consumerism and individualism.

We need to mobilize cultural resources that help nations, international organizations, companies and civil societies to tackle evolving challenges with a more acute sense of the issues at stake, thus generating increased inventiveness, boldness and sense of cooperation.

Cultures help us to keep alive the memory of history and nurture creativity so as to better inhabit the world..

Cultural diversity is a necessary component of sustainable development.

A diversified natural environment is more prone to resist the effect of viruses thanks to its superior adaptability. Likewise, a diversified cultural environment can better adapt to new economic and social imperatives.

Today, cultural dialogue provides societies with accrued cultural resources. Never in the past has humankind been equipped with such scientific and cultural means for tackling the challenges that determine the course of its development.

Our cultural resources are the first thing we need to share, through a web of “knowledge networks” that will make our success stories known and replicated.

Taiwan can pave the way to a new model of global governance by mobilizing its rich cultural resources in order to become a beacon of sustainable development.

By fostering creative initiatives for sustainability Taiwan enters into a renewed dialogue with the world while changing for the better its current developmental model.

By helping itself, Taiwan helps the world. Reduced energy consumption, green businesses, preserved biodiversity, social equity and better corporate governance are exactly what all societies are striving for.

Together, let us make Taiwan a show case of cultural diversity and sustainable development…

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Thursday, 22 February 2007

Framing a New Value System in Taiwan

Excerpts of a Conference given in January 2000 at Taiwan’s National Library for the readers of United Daily News

The questions I want to discuss with you today are the following ones:
- What do we mean when we speak about “value” and “value system”?
- In which ways is a discussion on “values” relevant for understanding the cultural, social and political future of a society?
- What is especially striking about the dominant values and attitudes in today’s Taiwan?
- Are there certain values that are lacking and that we should try to promote for bettering Taiwan’s future prospects?

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Read the entire text

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Friday, 12 January 2007

The Heterogeneity of Chinese Tradition and Modern Chinese International Ethics

Paper presented at the Convention ‘Globalization and its Challenges in the 21st Century’
Hong Kong, July 26-28, 2001


Introduction
Are Chinese ethics compatible with “global ethics?” A response to this question heard from many scholars belonging to the realist perspective - in China or in the West - is that there is no such thing as global ethics. Claims to the contrary, the argument goes, are simply rhetorical devices buttressing institutions of global governance such as the United Nations and some of the practices that many of its members support. As such, global ethics are seen as a very thin veneer with which great powers want to cover their national interests. In the current context, for example, a practice associated with global ethics such as “humanitarian intervention” is viewed as a charade ignoring Chinese concerns, and as the expression of Western imperialism. This criticism receives approval in the West by scholars such as Samuel Huntington (1996), who argues that there exist irreconcilable differences between the “West” and “China.” This paper, however, takes a very different approach and questions the false dichotomy implied in this debate. It considers Western and Chinese ethics as discursive formation shaped historically by social and political factors, not as unchanging essences, and therefore argue for the possibility of achieving over time a “background consensus” on global ethics. In that respect, this paper acknowledges its debt to the ongoing dialogue between Jurgen Habermas and Chinese intellectuals on global ethics. (Xu 2001)
Read entire article in PDF


Friday, 24 November 2006

迎向新軸心時代

---魏明德新書《新軸心時代》序言

「軸心時代」一詞,是德國哲學家雅斯培用以解釋人類初步啟蒙的概念。依他所說,在公元前第七至第二世紀,中國、印度、希臘、伊朗等地,以及猶太民族圈,不約而同地出現了先知型人物,以其言行揭示人類精神所應該嚮往的高雅境界。

像這種宏觀的視野,既橫跨地理的區塊,又縱攝歷史的演變,既有依據又有創意,自然容易吸引知識份子的眼光,尤其是那些胸懷大志,想要找出人類未來走向的讀書人。我所知道的魏明德神父,就是我們身邊這樣的一位學者。依他所說,軸心時代的現象,應以雅斯培所描述者為第一次,並以西歐十七世紀以來的科學革命為第二次,到了二十一世紀的今日,則是第三次了。他的新書取名為《新軸心時代》,意在喚醒我們面對這個歷史上的重大時刻,並攜手參與塑造人類命運的新契機。

說「人類」,也許太沉重也太空泛,還不如從我們周遭的世界著手省思。魏神父是出生於北非阿爾及利亞的法國人,在中國山東做過研究,再來到台灣。他有能力從世界看台灣,也有意願從台灣看世界。他不但喜歡沉思冥想,也勤於動筆寫作,還創立了《人籟論辨月刊》。從他為月刊的取名上,可以猜測他對莊子的愛好。但是他明知莊子還有「地籟」、「天籟」之說,卻還是安於自己的角色,要由人的角度去拓展一個開闊的精神領域。

台灣的處境眾所周知,政治力量主導了全局,那麼,何不由此入手?我們無不同意社會應該更公義、更包容、更適合人性發展;我們也觸目所見,可以隨手舉出讓人沮喪的例子。魏神父的觀察並無顯著的差異,但是他的反思卻有不同的參考背景,亦即國際社會的全球觀點。他知道「全球化」是大勢所趨,但是卻不能因而忽略台灣自身的獨特性以及可能的貢獻。看到一位外國學者對台灣的狀況如此熟悉,又如此剴切地建言,我們能不仔細傾聽並且由之受益嗎?

作者提出「新人文教育」一詞,並且強調四項原則,就是:認識自己、認識他人、重新創造文化,以及鼓勵跨學科和宏觀的視野。他的新書,其實正是這四項原則的具體例證。他所謂的「重新創造文化」,用意是要保存文化的傳統,再作配合時代條件的新詮釋與新體驗。這個目標無疑是可欲的,但是需要學者精心的研究與民眾熱情的支持,並且沒有人可以預先規定某種理想型態,亦即它是開放的,不斷在挑戰與回應之中成長的。

作者沒有忽略宗教對人類心靈的重大意義。宗教在世間是多元化的,各大宗教除了互相尊重之外,也須彼此學習,認清自身對人類所負的責任。這些觀念看似平常,但是作者在新書相關部分的討論卻是最為深刻的。他認為,「安息日」(每周固定的宗教節日,亦即我們所知的星期日)應該停下工作,至少要「無為」(他採用了道家的觀念),使自己得以肯定自由人的身分,讓心靈歸向信仰的世界,與神明維繫及改善關係。

除了探討人間的安頓與信仰的不可或缺之外,作者並未忽略自然生態的問題,由此而使本書的涵蓋面更為完整。《易經》談到乾卦「九四」這一爻時,描述它是「上不在天,下不在田,中不在人」。現代人往上看,宗教情操日益淡漠;往下看,自然環境明顯惡化;往中間看,人際關係又疏離異化,這時還能心不在焉嗎?因此,「新軸心時代」所代表的是轉機也是危機,是我們必須正視並且採取適當態度的時候了。

本書是魏博士五年來文章的總集,其中的思路是一貫的,表達的方式則頗為多樣。全書並非論文式的系統探討,但是深具可讀性,也頗有啟發性。只要耐心念完全書,一定會有可觀的收穫,並且將有勇氣迎向新軸心時代。

新書相關資訊
【魏明德,新軸心時代,利氏文化有限公司,2006年7月】

相關連結
傅佩榮的部落格
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我要買《新軸心時代》

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Tuesday, 21 November 2006

和諧的依戀與基因食物

談到吃,事實上談到的是一個文化如何面對身體與精神的問題。

從高雄到北京,四處林立的摩天大樓每每讓人想起紐約的曼哈頓,麥當勞的看板也成了各個城市的標誌。台北人可以享受川菜、溫州餛飩、日本生魚片、法式烤蝸牛、韓國石鍋拌飯。今日飲食已經全球化。然而,吃是文化的要素,歸屬感的一部分,也是情感的依戀。談到吃,事實上談到的是一個文化如何面對身體與精神的問題。
華人社會看待身體和畫山水的態度是相通的。約在西元五百多年的時候,南齊謝赫在《古畫品錄》提出欣賞人物畫的六個方法,其中占第一個準則就是「氣韻生動」,後來謝赫六法廣泛運用在山水、花鳥等題材上。唐朝畫家張璪說道:「外師造化,中得心源。」畫家感應整個宇宙的真氣,畫出一個自己創造的小宇宙。
傳統中國醫學也把身體看成一個自給自足的小宇宙,就像畫家創造一個可臥可遊的山水天地:兩者都重視陰陽、虛實以及氣的流動。若要談國畫與人體的關係,也許可用鍾嶸在《詩品》所談到的:「氣之動物,物之感人,故搖蕩性情,形諸舞詠。」由外而內,人感悟到外在環境的真氣,因此搖晃自己的身體、跳起舞來,就像畫家在紙上畫出氣韻的流動。面對真氣的源源不絕,畫家以「靜」來體悟,而我們的身體也希望隨時回到氣的平和狀態。
陳九如編著《黃帝內經今義》,編者在其中下了一段小結:「人體在正常的情況下,機體機能不但保持內部的平衡,也與外在環境取得協調統一,所以疾病的產生簡單的說就是由於陰陽失調。」實際上,這些論述不只是書中的理論,更是我們的生活習慣與面對生活的態度。我們常說:「我心情不好。」意思是說,我因為某個外在事件,失去了內在的平衡,而且我目前找不回自己的平衡。讀者若接觸過國外的文化,遇到過外國老師或是朋友,難免總是會被問道:「你最喜歡的嗜好或是休閒活動是什麼?」許多台灣朋友往往很直覺地回答:「睡覺。」然而,這個答案卻讓台上教授外國語的老師或是身邊友人的臉上寫滿錯愕,他們無法理解為什麼睡覺這般無益於知性成長的活動,竟然可以成為一種休閒。對我們來說,睡覺是找回自己身體平衡的方式,因此在正常的活動如工作、讀書、整理家務之外,那是把累補回來的活動。同樣的,我們也很怕人「哭」,哭與個人自我實現比較搭不上關係,「哭」多半是心亂的表現,也是感受是否深刻的指標。
就這樣,我們不斷希望找回內在的氣的和諧。傳統國畫中的和諧之氣若用造型藝術來表達,那應該就是中央有孔的圓形玉器,我們稱之為「璧」,我們看到就會忍不住走近欣賞,對我們來說這樣的圓滿光澤是最美的。
只要有一點點不飽,我們就會感到不安,因為那就像一個圓有了缺陷。於是,我們就會想要吃點東西,回到「飽」的狀態。當我們說:「我好餓。」時,可能只是沒吃零食而已。當然,日積月累,肚子也就越來越圓。過度彌補缺陷反而造成暴力。
我們要小心「吃得過飽」給自己身體所造成的暴力。此外,我們在這一期探討吃對社會、自然環境造成的暴力。再者,我們希望與大家分享基因食物究竟帶來了哪些問題與挑戰。在新的世紀,傳統疾病帶著強大的抗藥性捲土重來,人類必須重新面對沈寂已久的疾病如肺結核、鼠疫。當基因食物這般看似完美的食物逐漸攻占人們的餐盤時,華人社會實在必須冷靜以對。

【人籟論辨月刊第4期,2004月4日】

附加的多媒體:
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Monday, 09 October 2006

Ethics and Finance in a Globalizing World

Beijing, November 2005

I - A few lessons from 13 years at the IMF

My three mandates in the IMF (1992-2000) have coincided with the time when globalization has accelerated its pace and became the dominant feature of the time.

What was taking place was -at its beginning- difficult to identify as the major phenomenon now well analyzed. The only evidence was that something was taking place which was very different from what the founding fathers of the Bretton Woods institutions in 1944-1945 had foreseen. Things were moving so rapidly nevertheless and affecting so deeply the international community that international institutions had to move, to adapt themselves and to suggest new orientations to the membership. Globalized finance was one of the features of the change going on, but not the only one by far.

One of the first things I had to perceive was that in this new world, problems became so complex and intertwined that no institution -and even the IMF, in spite of the high technicality of the problems it had to address- could remain strictly technical, trusting the markets automatism to solve the human problems of our world and in particular the “ultimate systemic threat facing humanity ”, poverty. As an unacceptable level of poverty was to my judgment also the ultimate market failure, we had to obey an ethical sense of solidarity to find the way to assist the countries in need.

A second lesson derived from the uneven success of our programs for stabilization, growth and reduction of poverty in developing countries; it became crystal clear that their effective implementation and lasting success was tightly linked to the quality of the participation of all segments of the population to their preparation, adoption and implementation. This new ethical dimension had then to be introduced in the strategies of the IMF, and indeed it was, at least each time governments accepted to go that far.

Then came the Mexican and Asian crisis -the true first crisis of the XXI century- as they were so different from the crisis of the first 40 years of existence of the IMF which were mainly external payment crisis, often exacerbated by unsustainable debt. The Mexican crisis and much more evidently the Asian crisis were unlike any seen before. Crises of this new type explode on the open capital markets, arise from complex dysfunctions, particularly in the financial markets, and are much less exclusively macroeconomic in nature. They quickly take on systemic proportions, and can be checked only through the immediate mobilization of massive financing. Take the three major Asian crises, for example: Thailand, Indonesia and Korea. Dealing with them meant dealing with a three-dimensional problem: a dimension, obviously, of macroeconomic imbalances, along with massive outflows of short-term capital; an acute crisis in the financial sector, reflecting institutional and banking practice weaknesses; and a much more fundamental crisis in the prevailing economic management model. I am thinking here of unhealthy – I would even say incestuous – relations among corporations, banks, and government. This third dimension of corruption, collusion, and nepotism was making obvious that un-ethical behaviors in such a great scale could have dramatic systemic consequences and implied that fundamental reforms were immediately required. The financial universe could no more think, at least from that very moment, that there is such a thing as sound economics and finance, without solid ethical behaviors of the main actors in the public and private sectors.

But there is more. We had soon to acknowledge that -important as they may be- there is not such a thing as financial ethics in isolation. At the moment we were discovering the importance of ethics for finance, we were de facto invited to turn our attention to global ethics for the sustainability of a world were finances were leading the globalization.

Taken together these four lessons have contributed to the progressive emergence of a new paradigm of development. Let me emphasize two of its key features.

First, a progressive humanization of basic economic concepts. It is now recognized that the market can have major failures, that growth alone is not enough and can even be destructive of the natural environment or precious social goods and cultural values. Only the pursuit of high-quality growth is worth the effort. What is such growth?

• growth that can be sustained over time without causing domestic and external financial imbalance;

• growth that has the human person at its center, that is accompanied by adequate investment, particularly in education and health, to take full advantage of the tremendous leverage of human capital for future growth;

• growth that, to be sustainable, is based on a continuous effort for more equity, poverty and inequalities reduction, and empowerment of poor people; and

• growth that promotes protection of the environment, and respect for national cultural values.

Second, at a deeper level, we observe in recent approaches a striking and promising recognition of a convergence between a respect for fundamental ethical values and the search for efficiency required by market competition. Yes, you can see now a far wider recognition:

• that participatory democracy – that major conquest of the 20th century – can maximize the effectiveness of sound economies;

• that transparency, openness, and accountability are basic requirements for economic success;

• that combating collusion, corruption, and nepotism must be a major concern for the international financial institutions;

• that systematically dismantling the state is not the way to respond to the problems of modern economies; rather we must aim for a slimmer yet more effective state, able to provide the private sector with a solid framework in which the rule of law could prevail, on a level playing field; and

• that there is a mutually reinforcing relationship between macroeconomic stability and structural reform on one hand, and growth and the reduction of poverty and inequality on the other.

Stability and strong institutions are clearly essential for growth, and hence for poverty alleviation. But the converse is also true: popular support for stabilization and reform cannot be counted upon, unless the whole population, including the poorest—and by the poorest I mean those that not only are out of the loop, but even more are unable to contribute their experience—is able to participate in the formulation of the policies and, of course, in the benefits from those policies.

In short, a new economic paradigm is emerging. The new opportunities for growth created by the revolution in information technology and the opening of markets, combined with more resolute efforts to promote opportunities for all to share in the benefits of growth, will amplify the positive effects of macroeconomic and monetary stability. All of this together can transform globalization in a great opportunity for humanity provided that the emerging new paradigm is firmly rooted in fundamental human values and ethics, and here is where the contribution of the Chinese world will be essential.
(Image: C.P.)


II - What are these basic ethical values for a world of financial globalization?

Which values must we promote if we are determined to make sense of our history? Which values to guide us as the new century unfolds? This question has been with me all along these thirteen years in the IMF and I raised it with many interlocutors. When trying to draw the conclusions of so many conversations. I end up with three values: a sense of global responsibility, solidarity and of worldwide citizenship:

- a sense of global responsibility for each countries and for all including us as enterprises or us as simple citizens, to contribute to the human success of globalization;
- solidarity to alleviate and ultimately eradicate poverty; and
- a new sense of citizenship to back a new global governance.

1. Sense of responsibility

In our globalized financial world, whether a country is large or small, any crisis can now become systemic through contagion on the globalized markets. Domestic economic policy therefore must, now more than ever, take into account its potential worldwide impact; a duty of universal responsibility is incumbent upon all. Every country, large or small, is responsible for the stability and quality of world growth. When I say large, I must add that the responsibility is in some way in proportion with the size.

This adds a new dimension to the duty of excellence that is required of every government in the management of its economy. I use the word “excellence”; I could also say “absolute rectitude”. Globalization is a prodigious factor in accelerating and spreading the international repercussions of domestic policies – for better or worse. No country can escape, and all should be fully aware of the central importance of:

- rigor and transparency in overall economic management;
- growth that is centered on human development, social justice and respect of the environment; and
- government reform, seeking public sector efficiency, appropriate regulations, emphasis on the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, anticorruption measures, etc.

All of that is tantamount to recognize that economic progress is strongly dependant on the basic value of responsibility: the sense that each is responsible for the advancement of all, and on the harmony of social relations at national level and peace internationally. This should, in the end, allow each country to play a greater positive role for the prosperity of the global economy and to accept also the responsibility to contribute to the correction of what goes wrong in the working of the international financial system, and to start with, the inadequacy of financial information, and the failure to respect the rules of transparency so central for policy credibility and market stability.

In the face of a proliferation of increasingly sophisticated forms of financial intermediation, the delays in imposing the required discipline on international markets, which have been kept at the anarchic stage that the domestic markets of the industrial countries were at a century ago, has been particularly detrimental. Reforms of course have been adopted, but here we are in a field where, beyond the initiatives of governments and regulators, the ethical sense of individual actors and private companies can and must make a major difference. They must understand that in a medium to long term perspective, there is not any better way to care for their business than to care also for society and the common good. Yes this role of other actors -frequently from the private sector: enterprises, financial institutions and all components of civil society: labor unions, NGOs, religious organizations, etc. can be decisive. All of them, by their responsible behavior, can play an important role for the success of the newly emerging paradigm in humanizing globalization.

Here I would like to mention the growing conviction in the business community -exemplified by the “global compact” of the UN- that business has the ability to contribute more and more to building a better world. A new generation of globally responsible leaders is emerging whose decisions rely both on their awareness of principles and regulations and on their determination to follow guiding principles such as fairness, freedom, honesty, humanity, tolerance, transparency and of course, embracing all the previous ones: responsibility and sustainability.

These people as good businessmen are result oriented and so attach the highest importance to key action areas through which corporate global responsibility can be nurtured and developed. They include:

- tuning into societal and environmental business context,
- overcoming key organizational, regulatory and societal barriers to change,
- developing stakeholder engagement skills such as careful listening and the ability to engage in dialogue,
- transforming the culture of the firm by changing attitudes and behaviours,
- understanding the purpose of change,
- designing change management processes, and,
- rewarding globally responsible behaviour through improved performance measures and systems.

Under such an inspiration, they see as of the highest importance every effort to initiate to business ethics of the students of business schools around the world.

2. Solidarity to fight poverty

When considering all the positive dynamics at work in our world, the slowness of progress in reducing poverty appears all the more unacceptable. I need not describe in graphic terms the extent of present human deprivation-you know them at least as well as I.
The widening gaps between regions and rich and poor within nations, and the gulf between the most affluent and most impoverish nations, are morally outrageous, economically wasteful, and potentially socially explosive. Now we know that it is not enough to increase the size of the cake; the way it is shared is deeply relevant to the dynamism of development. If the poor are left hopeless, poverty will undermine the fabric of our societies though confrontation, violence and civil disorder. If we are committed to the promotion of human dignity and peace, we cannot afford to ignore poverty and the risks it entails for peace. We all must work together to relieve all this human suffering. This is what solidarity means as an obvious central value for a unifying world. But the fight for peace in the world and solidarity must go hand in hand as peace is an inescapable precondition for durable economic progress. When considering the tragic situation of an impressive part of Africa, where so many countries are directly or indirectly involved in military or civil or ethnic tribes conflicts, how could we entertain any illusion that progress in human conditions is achievable if these conflicts are not brought to an end? At least there must be a major effort – well beyond what we see today –to reduce tensions and to prevent new wars from being started. If through a diversity of initiatives better prospects for peace can emerge, then good windows of opportunity for development could appear. But many other conditions will have to be put in place for its process to become effective.

Here, the poor countries themselves are on the front line, and we have learn that their success on the fight against poverty depend crucially on their own sense of responsibility in promoting good governance and sound policies, in making poverty alleviation the centerpiece of economic policy, together with a renewed emphasis on rapid growth led by the private sector. But for them, also, success lies in national “ownership” of the policies, through a participatory approach that engages civil society in a constructive dialogue. If this is the case, the rest of the world should then be ready to move promptly when these countries indicate that they need support. But then, how can development partners support the efforts of the poorest countries? Let me point to four areas.

First, on the trade front, by assigning the highest priority to providing unrestricted market access for all exports from the poorest countries, including the heavily indebted poor countries, so that these countries can begin to benefit more deeply from integration into the global trading system.

Second, by supporting policies that encourage the inflows of private capital, especially foreign direct investment with its twin benefits of new finance and technology transfers.

Third, by contributing financially. Here we are dealing with an issue which goes beyond – important as it may be – the simple provision of badly needed financing. It is an issue closely related to the basic fabric of a unifying world community: the mutual trust among its members which implies that giving one’s word means just that. Over the past decade, we have witnessed two rather paradoxical phenomena. On the one hand, while the industrial countries have happily been collecting their peace dividends, they have steadily reduced their official development assistance, falling further and further short of the target of 0.70 percent of GDP which all – with the exception of the United States – had pledged to achieve for the year 2000. At the same time, at one world conference after another, they committed themselves, along with developing and transition countries, to promote measurable and achievable human development objectives now encapsulated in the MDG.

Fourth, by being faithful to our pledge, in the occasion of the Monterrey (Mexico) Finance for Development Conference in 2002 to establish, from now on, our cooperation for development on the basis of partnership.

But what does such a substitution should entail: words or substance? A major change indeed. Partnership is dialogue among equals. It implies that your partner in that dialogue makes himself his own choices and defines his own priorities. It implies also total frankness on both sides and full acceptation of the critical judgment of your counterpart on your own policies; and equally a deep respect for the ethical demands, the culture and the traditions of the other, including in the organization of the public life. It requires that no one beg his neighbour and fulfill his full share of responsibilities. It means full acceptation of a join walk on the new trails of globalization, each taking care of adapting his steps to the walk of the other… Partnership as understood in Monterrey doesn’t limit itself to government’s policies. It is a multidimensional concept associating on both sides, enterprises, financial institutions and civil societies, all being invited to enter into this new kind of relations beyond their national borders.

Imagine for a moment that these pledges were actually fulfilled: what a giant step this could be toward a better world, what a giant step it would be toward improving the lot of the most disadvantaged among the poor – women and children! But many of the world’s top leaders have been losing sight of these pledges. Let’s use all our influence including as private citizens to make sure that, particularly after the New York Summit of last September, the OMD are given the highest priorities by our governments. This worldwide mobilization of public opinion will be only a small step, but it is important in view of the fragility of our collective commitments. We must make the first decade of the new century one of fulfillment of past pledges. If we allow cynicism to prevail in this area, we may as well give up the dream of progressing to a more fraternal global society. This is a matter of great urgency. Yes, we need a jolt of responsibility and solidarity.

Having touched upon the key aspects of a poverty reduction strategy, let me underline that what I am referring to here is not our obligation of generosity toward a world much poorer than ours, but our contribution to strengthening the very fabric of a world which is now one; a fabric the solidity of which is crucially dependent on the elimination of war, the respect for pledges and the active support for those who want to stand on their own feet.



3. Participatory democracy and subsidiarity in world governance

This being said and beyond the poverty problem, we know only too well that in today’s world, many people suffer from a lack of control over their own destiny and fear that there is no legitimate authority to deal with problems that are increasingly taking on worldwide dimensions, such as threats to the environment, increases in the use of drugs, widespread corruption, crime, money laundering, etc. For all these issues as for poverty, I fail to see any satisfactory solution without introducing in all places where human issues are addressed more democratic participatory governance.

In the context of globalization, the whole issue of governance must be revisited not with the view of setting up some sort of world economic government; but with two more limited ambitions:

- in the one hand, to offer to all human beings a say on their own destiny, and
- on the other, to find a global response to inescapable problems of worldly dimension.

The task is, nevertheless, formidable. We are the first generation in history to be confronted with the need to organize and to manage the world, not from a position of power such as Alexander’s, or Caesar’s, or the Allies’ at the end of World War II, but through a recognition of the universal responsibilities of all peoples and citizens and of a universal duty of solidarity and cooperation through partnership.

The challenge is, of course, primarily to introduce more and more citizens participation at all levels of national governance. It is also to find mechanisms for managing the international economy, which would at the same time (1) preserve the sovereignty of national governments; (2) help smooth the effective working of markets; (3) ensure international financial stability; and (4) offer solutions to problems which transcend the boundaries of the nation-state, and to which we are responding unsatisfactorily now by over-stretching existing institutions. A tall order indeed! To understand this, we need merely compare our world to the world in 1945. Each country has now achieved sovereignty, each wants to shoulder its full responsibility in the face of global problems, and we know that the effective participation of each country in managing the “global village” is key to the future of the village. Furthermore, while globalization has until now operated at the whim of more or less autonomous financial and technological forces, it is high time that we put in place the appropriate mechanism so that progress towards world unity can be made consistently and in the service of humankind. What is required are institutions which can facilitate joint reflection at the highest levels, whenever needed, and which are capable of ensuring that globalized strategies are adopted and implemented when it appears that those problems can be dealt with effectively at the global level. The problems are serious and many. I would like to point out just three of them: (1) lack of appropriate institutions in new fields of major global concern; (2) respect for the old principle of subsidiarity; (3) fair representation in international economic decision-making.

The founding fathers of the United Nations system made a good job in 1944-1945 to solve the problems they were foreseeing. But of course, sixty years later, we must confront issues at that time unexpected, such as environment and migrations. This calls for the creation of institutions properly equipped to help governments to face them in a proper multilateral spirit.

Whatever our reluctance to add to the bureaucratic apparatus of the UN, it is crystal clear that the world will have – the sooner the better – to face this unjustifiable lacuna, a lacuna on which public voices remain generally silent and which is only brought to our minds, but so far to no avail, when a major environmental catastrophe takes place.

Together with the environment, anti-trust and migrant-worker issues would also justify the creation of freestanding bodies at a global level. Needless to say that the cost of establishing such institutions could be offset at least partly by further streamlining the system in other fields.

This being said, multilateral institutions must be exemplary in their respect of the subsidiarity principle, formulated centuries ago we are now rediscovering. It means that the worldwide institutions must tackle and solve problems of an economic, social, political or cultural character, which are posed by the universal common good. But without intending to limit the sphere of action of the public authority of the individual state, much less to take its place. On the contrary, its purpose is to create, on a world basis, an environment in which the public authorities of each state, its citizens and intermediate associations, can carry out their tasks, fulfill their duties and exercise their rights with greater security. This suggests that the more we see the need to consolidate or to grant new responsibilities in world bodies, the more it is also necessary to let them know that their contribution can only be subsidiary. Everyone must understand that nothing can be accomplished at the global level unless it has been taken up at the grassroots level and supported by initiatives of the entire institutional chain from the local to the global level. Responsible citizenship at all levels must be one of the key values of the 21st century.

The more we recognize we must give more leverage to global and regional institutions to tackle worldwide problems, the more we must promote fair representation in their decisions-making bodies. The situation, at this stage, is unsatisfactory. Talking about the financial institutions, I would insist on the following.

The legitimacy of the Bretton Woods Institutions is increasingly questioned. The mounting universal demands for more participatory governance at all levels of governance in society, apply of course also to them and particularly to the way in which they must accommodate the growing role of new players, particularly from Asia. A lot is at stake for the international climate of the next decades, depending on whether they will be invited soon to share global responsibilities or they will have to fight for them. Progress so far has been slow, to say the least. Knowing pretty well the hesitations, I suggest four measures that could distinctly strengthen world governance in a participatory direction.

1/ Make more explicit who does bear the real political responsibilities in these institutions

2/ Reopen the debate on the size and composition of their Executive Boards

This reform would simultaneously respond to the situation newly created by the progress of the European Union toward its integration, the growing importance in world economic terms of the emerging markets and the difficult issue of “voice” for Africa which still awaits a convincing response.

3/ Reform the procedures for the selection of management

The rules and practices for the appointment of the Managing Director of the IMF and the President of the World Bank should also be changed and the new system enacted on the next relevant occasion. Both Europe and the United States should renounce their present “privileges” in 2004.


4/ Contribute to a more participatory world governance

To gain increased relevance, the G8 must continue opening itself up. Drawing the lessons of the experiences of recent years, we could propose, in this regard, that each G8 summit be coupled with an “extended meeting” to which all heads of State and Governments from the countries represented in the new Council should be invited. This would be a way to put in place a “global governance group”, whose orientations would carry much more credibility, legitimacy and influence than the G8 and G-20 today.

These few remarks on participatory governance, including at world level, are in my view another illustration of the mutually reinforcing character of the initiatives for making ethical principles to prevail and of the efforts to make national and international institutions more efficient, while promoting a needed climate of partnership.



Ethics in a globalizing world where international finances are gaining so much importance: what is needed is to identify the values that men and women today can use to make sense of their history. Our history has not yet been fully written -it is still in our hands- and notwithstanding its risks, globalization is an opportunity to move toward a world economy that is more worthy of the human race. This implies that we take action on the three values to which I have been referring and that many around the world can recognize: responsibility, solidarity and at all levels, participatory citizenship. Thanks to them we could go a long way:

- from disorderly and instable markets to better regulated ones,
- from a world dominated by self-interest to one where gratuitousness would be recognized,
- from a world exclusively nations-centered to a multilaterally-oriented one,
- from a world where governments see themselves as exclusively in charge of the common good to one where a dense network of partnerships would associate enterprises and civil society to the common objective of the humanization of the world.


Sunday, 08 October 2006

新夢考驗科學想像力

複製人快來了?聽起來好像很誇張,但是就目前科技的發展來講,那也只是時間的問題。人複製了羊,複製了小動物,什麼時候會複製人類呢?一旦我們真的可以複製人,那麼到時會引發什麼樣的道德錯亂、文化問題、人類學領域的爭議以及科學精神的質疑?每個文化藉以定義人文、本性、婚姻與家庭的方式是不是就要跟著改變?我們要怎樣重新思考生命?
我們不要忙著被嚇壞。大家都知道第一隻被複製的動物桃麗(Dolly)一九九七年在英國愛丁堡的實驗室誕生,活了六年七個月。這個實驗室採用成熟的體細胞複製哺乳動物,也就是說從一隻成年母綿羊的乳房提取乳腺細胞,將細胞核植入一個剔除細胞核的空卵子,經過融合、分裂、發育成胚胎,再移植到另外一隻羊的子宮內發育成羊。因此,桃麗細胞核的染色體和桃麗媽媽細胞核的染色體是一模一樣的。當然,如果成熟的體細胞取自雄性動物,或者取自其他類別的動物如老鼠、豬、牛等,也會產生同樣的結果。
所謂複製就是將成熟個體做到單性生殖,植物的複製在植物界來說是司空見慣的,然而動物呢?人呢?如果動物的複製能夠做到成功,是不是我們就可以進入「複製人」的階段?事實上,複製動物所遭遇的困難與挫敗,給予複製人的議題帶來了許多省思。目前我們仍然沒有國際法來規範生命倫理的諸項事宜,也沒有國際法來限制各國家單位及私人企業的資金投注。在此我們就複製人類舉出三個值得注意的警訊:
第一、談到複製,有一個重要的條件,那就是必須把大量的卵子植入子宮,目前桃麗羊的成功比是一比兩百七十七。若要人體實驗成功,不是讓很多人淪為代理孕母嗎?這樣算是尊重人的表現嗎?
第二、如果真的可以複製人,是不是只有所謂的菁英能夠被複製呢?還是要根據什麼樣的法則來作為複製的標準?
第三、第一隻複製羊桃麗英文名字的字面意思是布娃娃,那些創造者有沒有想過,被複製者不就是被當成布娃娃或是布偶一樣受人擺弄。複製人若出現,他或她還會是一個自由的人嗎?
以上提出的問題幫助我們落實這一期的專輯內容。從這些問題開始我們可以繼續追究:活體的基因控制是否有公共倫理的法則來加以規範?面對新科技,我們需要的是生命倫理上的反省與創見,而不是一味反對或是恐懼,這樣人類才能夠順利地掌握命運,成功跨越每一個新階段。然而,如果我們任憑科學自大及利益投機任意妄為,我們就會失去人性及自己的本性。談到複製不免會觸及許多技術問題,而且往往令人感到震驚與錯愕,但是這個問題與每一個人息息相關,誰也無法置身事外。

【人籟論辨月刊第6期,2004年6月】

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