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  • December 30, 1954

    I am speaking not as a Briton, not as a European, not as a member of a western democracy, but as a human being, a member of the species Man, whose continued existence is in doubt. The world is full of conflicts: Jews and Arabs; Indians and Pakistanis; white men and Negroes in Africa; and, overshadowing all minor1 conflicts, the titanic2 struggle between communism and anticommunism.

    Almost everybody who is politically conscious has strong feelings about one or more of these issues; but I want you, if you can, to set aside such feelings for the moment and consider yourself only as a member of a biological species which has had a remarkable3 history and whose disappearance4 none of us can desire. I shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril5, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert6 it. We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever group we prefer, for there no longer are such steps. The question we have to ask ourselves is: What steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous7 to all sides?

    The general public, and even many men in positions of authority, have not realized what would be involved in a war with hydrogen bombs. The general public still thinks in terms of the obliteration8 of cities. It is understood that the new bombs are more powerful than the old and that, while one atomic bomb could obliterate9 Hiroshima, one hydrogen bomb could obliterate the largest cities such as London, New York, and Moscow. No doubt in a hydrogen-bomb war great cities would be obliterated10. But this is one of the minor disasters that would have to be faced. If everybody in London, New York, and Moscow were exterminated11, the world might, in the course of a few centuries, recover from the blow. But we now know, especially since the Bikini test, that hydrogen bombs can gradually spread destruction over a much wider area than had been supposed. It is stated on very good authority that a bomb can now be manufactured which will be 25,000 times as powerful as that which destroyed Hiroshima. Such a bomb, if exploded near the ground or under water, sends radioactive particles into the upper air. They sink gradually and reach the surface of the earth in the form of a deadly dust or rain. It was this dust which infected the Japanese fishermen and their catch of fish although they were outside what American experts believed to be the danger zone. No one knows how widely such lethal12 radioactive particles might be diffused13, but the best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with hydrogen bombs is quite likely to put an end to the human race. It is feared that if many hydrogen bombs are used there will be universal death - sudden only for a fortunate minority, but for the majority a slow torture of disease and disintegration14...

    Here, then, is the problem which I present to you, stark15 and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race1 or shall mankind renounce16 war? People will not face this alternative because it is so difficult to abolish war. The abolition17 of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty. But what perhaps impedes18 understanding of the situation more than anything else is that the term 'mankind' feels vague and abstract. People scarcely realize in imagination that the danger is to themselves and their children and their grandchildren, and not only to a dimly apprehended19 humanity' And so they hope that perhaps war may be allowed to continue provided modern weapons are prohibited. I am afraid this hope is illusory. Whatever agreements not to use hydrogen bombs had been reached in time of peace, they would no longer be considered binding20 in time of war, and both sides would set to work to manufacture hydrogen bombs as soon as war broke out, for if one side manufactured the bombs and the other did not, the side that manufactured them would inevitably21 be victorious22...

    As geological time is reckoned, Man has so far existed only for a very short period one million years at the most. What he has achieved, especially during the last 6,000 years, is something utterly23 new in the history of the Cosmos24, so far at least as we are acquainted with it. For countless25 ages the sun rose and set, the moon waxed and waned26, the stars shone in the night, but it was only with the coming of Man that these things were understood. In the great world of astronomy and in the little world of the atom, Man has unveiled secrets which might have been thought undiscoverable. In art and literature and religion, some men have shown a sublimity27 of feeling which makes the species worth preserving. Is all this to end in trivial horror because so few are able to think of Man rather than of this or that group of men? Is our race so destitute28 of wisdom, so incapable29 of impartial30 love, so blind even to the simplest dictates31 of self-preservation, that the last proof of its silly cleverness is to be the extermination32 of all life on our planet? - for it will be not only men who will perish, but also the animals, whom no one can accuse of communism or anticommunism.

    I cannot believe that this is to be the end. I would have men forget their quarrels for a moment and reflect that, if they will allow themselves to survive, there is every reason to expect the triumphs of the future to exceed immeasurably the triumphs of the past. There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? I appeal, as a human being to human beings: remember your humanity, and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, nothing lies before you but universal death.





     11级    双语 


    1 minor [ˈmaɪnə(r)] e7fzR   第7级
    • The young actor was given a minor part in the new play. 年轻的男演员在这出新戏里被分派担任一个小角色。
    • I gave him a minor share of my wealth. 我把小部分财产给了他。
    2 titanic [taɪˈtænɪk] NoJwR   第8级
    • We have been making titanic effort to achieve our purpose. 我们一直在作极大的努力,以达到我们的目的。
    • The island was created by titanic powers and they are still at work today. 台湾岛是由一个至今仍然在运作的巨大力量塑造出来的。
    3 remarkable [rɪˈmɑ:kəbl] 8Vbx6   第7级
    • She has made remarkable headway in her writing skills. 她在写作技巧方面有了长足进步。
    • These cars are remarkable for the quietness of their engines. 这些汽车因发动机没有噪音而不同凡响。
    4 disappearance [ˌdɪsə'pɪərəns] ouEx5   第8级
    • He was hard put to it to explain her disappearance. 他难以说明她为什么不见了。
    • Her disappearance gave rise to the wildest rumours. 她失踪一事引起了各种流言蜚语。
    5 peril [ˈperəl] l3Dz6   第9级
    • The refugees were in peril of death from hunger. 难民有饿死的危险。
    • The embankment is in great peril. 河堤岌岌可危。
    6 avert [əˈvɜ:t] 7u4zj   第7级
    • He managed to avert suspicion. 他设法避嫌。
    • I would do what I could to avert it. 我会尽力去避免发生这种情况。
    7 disastrous [dɪˈzɑ:strəs] 2ujx0   第7级
    • The heavy rainstorm caused a disastrous flood. 暴雨成灾。
    • Her investment had disastrous consequences. She lost everything she owned. 她的投资结果很惨,血本无归。
    8 obliteration [əˌblɪtə'reɪʃn] fa5c1be17294002437ef1b591b803f9e   第8级
    • The policy is obliteration, openly acknowledged. 政策是彻底毁灭,公开承认的政策。 来自演讲部分
    • "Obliteration is not a justifiable act of war" “彻底消灭并不是有理的战争行为” 来自演讲部分
    9 obliterate [əˈblɪtəreɪt] 35QzF   第8级
    • Whole villages were obliterated by fire. 整座整座的村庄都被大火所吞噬。
    • There was time enough to obliterate memories of how things once were for him. 时间足以抹去他对过去经历的记忆。
    10 obliterated [ə'blɪtəreɪtɪd] 5b21c854b61847047948152f774a0c94   第8级
    v.除去( obliterate的过去式和过去分词 );涂去;擦掉;彻底破坏或毁灭
    • The building was completely obliterated by the bomb. 炸弹把那座建筑物彻底摧毁了。
    • He began to drink, drank himself to intoxication, till he slept obliterated. 他一直喝,喝到他快要迷糊地睡着了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    11 exterminated [ɪkˈstɜ:məˌneɪtid] 26d6c11b25ea1007021683e86730eb44   第10级
    v.消灭,根绝( exterminate的过去式和过去分词 )
    • It was exterminated root and branch. 它被彻底剪除了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
    • The insects can be exterminated by spraying DDT. 可以用喷撒滴滴涕的方法大量杀死这种昆虫。 来自《用法词典》
    12 lethal [ˈli:θl] D3LyB   第9级
    • A hammer can be a lethal weapon. 铁锤可以是致命的武器。
    • She took a lethal amount of poison and died. 她服了致命剂量的毒药死了。
    13 diffused [dɪ'fju:zd] 5aa05ed088f24537ef05f482af006de0   第7级
    • A drop of milk diffused in the water. 一滴牛奶在水中扩散开来。
    • Gases and liquids diffused. 气体和液体慢慢混合了。
    14 disintegration [dɪsˌɪntɪ'ɡreɪʃn] TtJxi   第10级
    • This defeat led to the disintegration of the empire. 这次战败道致了帝国的瓦解。
    • The incident has hastened the disintegration of the club. 这一事件加速了该俱乐部的解体。
    15 stark [stɑ:k] lGszd   第10级
    • The young man is faced with a stark choice. 这位年轻人面临严峻的抉择。
    • He gave a stark denial to the rumor. 他对谣言加以完全的否认。
    16 renounce [rɪˈnaʊns] 8BNzi   第9级
    • She decided to renounce the world and enter a convent. 她决定弃绝尘世去当修女。
    • It was painful for him to renounce his son. 宣布与儿子脱离关系对他来说是很痛苦的。
    17 abolition [ˌæbəˈlɪʃn] PIpyA   第8级
    • They declared for the abolition of slavery. 他们声明赞成废除奴隶制度。
    • The abolition of the monarchy was part of their price. 废除君主制是他们的其中一部分条件。
    18 impedes [imˈpi:dz] c8c92d3198ba71918f3f4f2d50bb7bab   第8级
    阻碍,妨碍,阻止( impede的第三人称单数 )
    • High packing density greatly impedes the cooling of the array. 高存贮密度很不利于阵列的散热。
    • The inflexibility of the country's labor market seriously impedes its economic recovery. 该国劳工市场缺乏灵活性,这严重阻碍了它的经济恢复。
    19 apprehended [ˌæpriˈhendid] a58714d8af72af24c9ef953885c38a66   第8级
    逮捕,拘押( apprehend的过去式和过去分词 ); 理解
    • She apprehended the complicated law very quickly. 她很快理解了复杂的法律。
    • The police apprehended the criminal. 警察逮捕了罪犯。
    20 binding ['baindiŋ] 2yEzWb   第7级
    • The contract was not signed and has no binding force. 合同没有签署因而没有约束力。
    • Both sides have agreed that the arbitration will be binding. 双方都赞同仲裁具有约束力。
    21 inevitably [ɪnˈevɪtəbli] x7axc   第7级
    • In the way you go on, you are inevitably coming apart. 照你们这样下去,毫无疑问是会散伙的。
    • Technological changes will inevitably lead to unemployment. 技术变革必然会导致失业。
    22 victorious [vɪkˈtɔ:riəs] hhjwv   第7级
    • We are certain to be victorious. 我们定会胜利。
    • The victorious army returned in triumph. 获胜的部队凯旋而归。
    23 utterly ['ʌtəli:] ZfpzM1   第9级
    • Utterly devoted to the people, he gave his life in saving his patients. 他忠于人民,把毕生精力用于挽救患者的生命。
    • I was utterly ravished by the way she smiled. 她的微笑使我完全陶醉了。
    24 cosmos [ˈkɒzmɒs] pn2yT   第7级
    • Our world is but a small part of the cosmos. 我们的世界仅仅是宇宙的一小部分而已。
    • Is there any other intelligent life elsewhere in the cosmos? 在宇宙的其他星球上还存在别的有智慧的生物吗?
    25 countless [ˈkaʊntləs] 7vqz9L   第7级
    • In the war countless innocent people lost their lives. 在这场战争中无数无辜的人丧失了性命。
    • I've told you countless times. 我已经告诉你无数遍了。
    26 waned [weɪnd] 8caaa77f3543242d84956fa53609f27c   第8级
    v.衰落( wane的过去式和过去分词 );(月)亏;变小;变暗淡
    • However,my enthusiasm waned.The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. 然而,我的热情减退了。我在做操上花的时间逐渐减少了。 来自《用法词典》
    • The bicycle craze has waned. 自行车热已冷下去了。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
    27 sublimity [sə'blɪmətɪ] bea9f6f3906788d411469278c1b62ee8   第10级
    • It'suggests no crystal waters, no picturesque shores, no sublimity. 这决不会叫人联想到晶莹的清水,如画的两岸,雄壮的气势。
    • Huckleberry was filled with admiration of Tom's facility in writing, and the sublimity of his language. 对汤姆流利的书写、响亮的内容,哈克贝利心悦诚服。
    28 destitute [ˈdestɪtju:t] 4vOxu   第9级
    • They were destitute of necessaries of life. 他们缺少生活必需品。
    • They are destitute of common sense. 他们缺乏常识。
    29 incapable [ɪnˈkeɪpəbl] w9ZxK   第8级
    • He would be incapable of committing such a cruel deed. 他不会做出这么残忍的事。
    • Computers are incapable of creative thought. 计算机不会创造性地思维。
    30 impartial [ɪmˈpɑ:ʃl] eykyR   第7级
    • He gave an impartial view of the state of affairs in Ireland. 他对爱尔兰的事态发表了公正的看法。
    • Careers officers offer impartial advice to all pupils. 就业指导员向所有学生提供公正无私的建议。
    31 dictates [dikˈteits] d2524bb575c815758f62583cd796af09   第7级
    n.命令,规定,要求( dictate的名词复数 )v.大声讲或读( dictate的第三人称单数 );口授;支配;摆布
    • Convention dictates that a minister should resign in such a situation. 依照常规部长在这种情况下应该辞职。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    • He always follows the dictates of common sense. 他总是按常识行事。 来自《简明英汉词典》
    32 extermination [ɪkˌstɜ:mɪ'neɪʃn] 46ce066e1bd2424a1ebab0da135b8ac6   第10级
    • All door and window is sealed for the extermination of mosquito. 为了消灭蚊子,所有的门窗都被封闭起来了。 来自辞典例句
    • In doing so they were saved from extermination. 这样一来却使它们免于绝灭。 来自辞典例句

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