兵者凶器,争者逆德 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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bīng zhě xiōngqì, zhēng zhě nì dé 兵者凶器,争者逆德

Weapons Kill; War Is Immoral.

兵器是杀人的工具,战争是违背道德的恶行。“兵”本义是兵器,引申指军队;“争”指冲突、争斗,在此指战争;“逆德”即违反人性,背弃仁爱之德。中国古人,即便是兵家,也都将武力、战争视为凶事,是不到万不得已才采取的非正常手段;即便采取了这种手段,也主张坚持仁义原则。这是中国人崇尚仁爱和平的“文”的精神的又一表达式。

Weapons are tools of death; war is wicked and against morality. The original meaning of bing (兵) is “weapon” and is extended to mean “army”; zheng (争) means “conflict” and “struggle” and here means “war”; nide (逆德) means inhuman, contrary to benevolence and compassion. The ancient Chinese, including military strategists, all considered the use of force and war fearsome, only to be employed as a last resort, and that even if military force was deployed, the principles of benevolence and righteousness should be adhered to. This is another expression of high respect Chinese have for benevolence and enlightenment in the spirit of upholding peace as embodied in the idea of wen.

引例 Citation:

◎兵者,凶器也;争者,逆德也。事必有本,故王者伐暴乱,本仁义焉。(《尉缭子·兵令上》)

(兵器是杀人的工具,战争是违背道德的行为。凡事必有其根源,所以贤明的君王讨伐暴乱,是为了伸张仁义。)

Weapons are tools to kill; war is counter to morality. All things have a cause. So when a wise ruler punishes violence, it is to uphold morality and compassion. (Yuliaozi)

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