I actually think that the deterministic reading of Spinoza is a vulgar one.
Spinoza is far less deterministic than the paper in question admits. Spinoza allows for determinism to leak in many areas. But what is important to stress is that both Zarathushtra and Spinoza question the concept of "freedom".
They both agree that will is what exists. But a "freedom" of this will assumes that the will is internally divided. I don't see any such division within the will of Zarathushtra or Spinoza. There is NO CONFLICT between body and soul in Zarathushtra (as there is in Judaism, Christianity and Islam). There is NO SIN!
And why is that? Well, first of all, Zarathushtra does not recognize a soul separate from the body (the soul is merely a different attribute of the body, not a separate entity as in the Abrahamic faiths).
And the concept of "freedom" is completely meaningless when there is no concept of sin (as in a division between the will of God and the will of man).
Ahura Mazda wills through us, as we are manifestations of Ahura Mazda. So will is just pure will. And that's the beauty of will. Another word for will is namely: Asha!
2008/9/21 Special Kain
That's exactly what's written in Khan's essay. :)
I think that Zarathushtra's ethics is a little more activist in nature than Spinoza's, because in Spinozist philosophy there's only one logical necessity after another while Zarathushtra highlighted freedom of choice not only in terms of attribution, but also in terms of action.
Kind regards, Dino
--- Alexander Bard
Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Spinozism and existentialism
Datum: Sonntag, 21. September 2008, 1:46
The important thing to stress is that Spinoza RELIEVES westerners from the angest and the guilt of Judaism and Christianity. To us as Mazdayasni there is no such angest and guilt to begin with. We have an amoral religion already - as proposed by Spinoza - with an ethics which is just as hard and relentless but also beautiful and realistic as the ethics of Spinoza. To Spinoza, this is an ethics of attribution. And this is almost identical to Zarathushtra's radical proposal that thoughts PREDATE words which in turn PREDATE actions. Zarathushtra therefore reminds us that while direct actions are NOT within our control, the thoughts that predates the words that predates the actions ARE within our control. Identifying ourselves with our thoughts is then an identical ETHICAL rather than moralizing position within Mazdayasna and Spinozism. If we then apply this combination of thoughts (attribution) and identity to our experience of existence, I guess we arrive at a Zoroastrian form of existentialism. Although to me, Sartre and Camus are of little or no interest, since they still dwell within the post-Christian experience of nihilism. Spinoza was already beyond that, way ahead of his time, only being fully applied with the arrival of Gilles Deleuze in the late 20th century. So let's use the term existentialism here with a bit caution.