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現代時空下談道德教育
Virtue in a Modern Context

鮑果勒講於1997年12月2日萬佛聖城男校會議
A talk given by Doug Powers at the Boys School Meeting on December 2, 1997
文正後 中譯 Chinese translation by Wen Zheng-hou

問:您是比如說在歷史課上講這些東西嗎?

答:在任何一堂課都可以教,如歷史、英文等等。如果是英文課的話,那麼每一篇你所學習的文學作品都是一個對道德理想的證明。你可以將我講的應用到每一門課。對於這個學校來說,你可以以道德教育貫穿所有的課程,在別的學校則是科學與哲學貫穿課課程的整體。實際上德育唯一行之有效的條件就是將其溶入在每一門課裡,原因是通過每一篇文學作品都可以進行褒貶善惡。莎士比亞的作品就是絕好的例子。我不知道你們是否教莎翁的作品,因為他的每一部作品都是一則道德故事,都是因果業緣的證明。如果你要看「業」的運作,那就讀莎翁的作品。你可以教孩子一些道德典範如忠;但如果你是因忠而殺,那就是業。業的痕跡在莎劇中明顯地比任何一部現代作品都還要多。在他的作品中即便是為一正義事業而去犯一小錯誤,也都在演說這個因果業律,更何況去為一個非正義事業而去犯大錯誤呢!在莎翁的作品中所有的業債最終都是要償還的。所以我們教文學要有所選擇,而偉大的文學作品也都有道德的內涵。所以道德根本不需要你去向外面找尋的東西。杜斯妥也夫斯基及大多數的偉大的歐美文學作品都教這些道德。

(三)教學準則

在教道德的時候,有兩項準則你必須採用,第一項是幫助學生領悟到一個人謹守德操,他的生活品質會更良好。

既然談到生活的品質,就讓我們從生活的一些最基本的原則,如五戒,談起。道德的內涵不僅是謹守五戒而已。道德教育的一個目標,是讓學生明白,一旦這些生活準則變成你的生活習慣的時候,它能給你帶來內在與外在的充實與幸福。另外,這種基於佛教五戒的生活方式有一種提升生命出離俗世的潛能,但是你不應該在一開始就跟學生講這些東西,講得太早,學生還沒法子接受。一個人謹守操守最終會令他開悟,這個道理很抽象,太早講他們會接受不了,不會明白,或許將來他們自己會明白。佛教五戒給他們指出一條道路,而今後他們會找尋到自己人生的方向。

道德又影響到是我們的社會關係。道德是我們社會關係中的「道」。為什麼?因為,如果人人以道立命,那就不需要什麼權威,社會也就會獲得真正的自由。當一個人的生活是牢牢地建立在道德之上,他即無須求助於任何別的東西,他的社會關係的問題就自然而然地解決了。如果人人以道立命,那麼社會就會取得一個和諧圓滿的社會關係體系。

(四)教法:身教——永恆的真理

道德教育的教學方法很重要。以五戒為例,你如何教五戒呢?可以綜合使用多種方法。但是第一條,也是最重要的一條,就是老師的身教。學生的眼光是十分敏銳的,老師的任何虛偽之處他們都是會看得一清二楚。就好像他他們像頭上安了天線一樣,能夠洞悉老師的虛假不實。如果你言行不符,他們也會很快逮到你的這個缺點;一旦被逮到,你以後再說什麼話都沒有意義了。(家長對這一點也是很快就領教得到的。)所以說,無論你教什麼道德,你自己一定要先做好;如果老師自己沒有道德,再怎樣教學生道德,都會空無所成。其關鍵在於你的所做所行,不在於你的言說。學生們頭一樣要看的是你自己怎樣生活;不僅你的生活如何,他們更要看你是否有他們所要模仿的道德生活的一些品質。如果你自己都不能活得好的話,那麼學生為什麼要模仿你呢?青少年所要檢驗的是:那個人生活上有些什麼成功之點?

待續

編按:本文講於1997年,上期標題處誤刊為1998年。謹向讀者致歉。

Question: Are you talking about doing this in a history class, for instance?

Answer: It can be done in any class—history, English, etc. If it is an English class, then every piece of literature that you work on is a demonstration of that—you need to relate what I'm dis­cussing to every class. For this school, you could hold the whole curriculum together by means of virtue whereas in most schools you hold the whole curriculum together with science or philosophy. Actually, the only way that virtue works is if it is taught in all classes and the reason is that every piece of litera­ture then becomes a demonstration of the pros and cons. Shakespeare is perfect. I don't know if you use Shakespeare now, but Shakespeare is perfect because it is always a moral story. Shakespeare has the workings of karma evident in every play. If you want to see the workings of karma, then just read Shakespeare. You can teach a kid ideals—even something like loyalty—but when you kill out of loyalty, there is karma. The evidence of karma in Shakespeare is greater than in any modern writings. There is no modern piece that demonstrates karma in the way that Shakespeare does. In Shakespeare, even the smallest mistake, even a deed done for a good cause—how much the more a bigger wrong one—must be paid for, ultimately. And so, we need to choose the literature that we are doing. The great pieces of litera­ture teach this. All great pieces of literature teach those things so that it is not something outside that you have to stretch for at all. Dostoyevsky and most great European and American literature teach ultimate values.

( 3 ) Teaching Criteria

In teaching virtue there are two criteria that you need to apply. The first is to help students recognize and see that the quality of life changes when they live a virtuous life.

Since the quality of life is mentioned, let us start from some basic principles of life. Just take the Five Precepts as an example. There is more to virtue than adhering to these principles. The goal in your teaching is to get across to students that these principles of virtue, when they become a way of life, will pro­vide fulfillment and happiness for their life both internally and externally. Moreover this way of life based on the Five Pre­cepts has the potential of transcendence, but you shouldn't mention this in the beginning; that would be too early for the students to accept. However, in Buddhism there is a definite move—from the life of virtue to the life of enlightenment. That virtue is leading to enlightenment is too abstract a concept to present early on. It will not be understood. This truth may be discovered by them later on. The Five Precepts set a course and they will then discover the directions of their own lives. 

The other factor is that virtue affects our social relationships. Virtue is the Dao (the Way) of social relationships. Why? If people live in virtue, you need no authority, and so the society gains freedom. When a person's life is firmly grounded in virtue, his social relations are taken care of naturally without any reference to anything else. If everyone is existing in virtue, then society will attain a perfect and harmonious system of social relations.

( 4 ) Methodology

1. A Principle for All Times —Teach by Living Example

Methodology in teaching is very important. Take the Five Pre­cepts for instance. How should you go about teaching them? You may use a combination of methods. The first teaching method is teaching by the teachers' own conduct and virtue, which is the most important in all virtue teachings. Students are very intuitive. They can perceive anything phony in their teachers. It is like they have a great antenna that can detect everything false and dishonest. Also, if you are ever inconsis­tent in terms of what you say or do, they will pick up on that and everything you say after that will be meaningless. (Parents learn this pretty quickly too!) So the first prerequisite in your teaching is that you live up to the very standards you are trying to teach students; if teachers themselves are not virtuous, then nothing can be achieved in teaching virtue. What really counts is what you do, not what you say. The first thing they are go­ing to look for is how you are living your life. Not only how you are living your life, but whether you have a quality of life based on that virtue that they would want to emulate. Why would they want to emulate a life that doesn't work? Teenag­ers examine just that: What do I see about that person's life that works?

To be continued

Editor's note:This talk was given in 1997 instead of 1998 as printed under the title in the last issue.

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