除了許多人都了解的觀念外，評估一個人，或一個社會是「原始」或「文明」的觀察重點，還有一個重要指標：以它(他或她)「將自己的最高領會付諸實踐」的程度多少而定(the degree to which it implements its own highest understanding)。這點可能跟許多人所認為的不一樣...
沒錯。還有其他的文化比你們更原始(there are other cultures more primitive than yours)。
尼爾：稱一個社會是「原始」或「文明先進」的指標還有什麼？(What else marks a society as either "primitive" or "advanced"?)
以它「將自己的最高領會付諸實踐」的程度多少而定。(The degree to which it implements its own highest understanding.)
Neale: So far what the human race has been doing on this planet is not very smart. In fact, throughout this dialogue You have described our species as "primitive." Ever since You first made that remark I've been wondering what it must be like living in a non-primitive culture. You say there are many such societies or cultures in the universe.
Neale: How many?
A great many.
Neale: Dozens? Hundreds?
Neale: Thousands? There are thousands of advanced civilizations?
The degree to which it implements its own highest understandings.
This is different from what you believe. You believe that a society should be called primitive or advanced based on how high its understandings are. But what good are the highest understandings if you do not implement them?
The answer is, they are no good at all. Indeed, they are dangerous.
It is the mark of a primitive society to call regression progress. Your society has moved backward, not forward. Much of your world demonstrated more compassion seventy years ago than it does today.