tisdag 18 november 2008

Asha and western philosophy

Hi Helen and Dino

I believe positivism is too strong of a word here.
Asha is the way the world works, according to Zarathushtra. Contrary to other beliefs which oppose or ignore asha, in Zoroastrianism asha is held as sacred. Searching and following asha is an ethical imperative. This is where the strong Zoroastrian dislike of superstitions and worship of science originates from.
Does this "going with the flow" ethics imply that we should be passive participants in a process outside of our control? No, quite to the contrary. Zoroastrianism is a MONIST and not a dualist faith. Consequently, we are as much a part of asha as the rest of the world. So part of our worship is devoted to our own fascinating participation in asha. This is why we are Mazdaysni (those celebrating The Mind).
So asha is far more than truth in a western sense. Asha is also often translated as righteousness (Ali Jafarey does so for example). The point is that truth is BOTH what is outside of us AND within us as a process within which we take part.
This is different from the western comcept of positivism which is basically a cartesian dualist take on the world, alien to Zoroastrian monist-holist thinking.
Spinoza and The Pragmatists are the western philosophers who are most alike Zarathushtra. David Hume is not too far off the hook either. Empiricism can be regarded as a proto-Zoroastrian philosophical school.


2008/11/18 Helen Gerth

Dear Dino,

As a cultural anthropologist I very much agree that our perspectives are often culturally constructed.

Actually :-), I would consider you a positivist in that you state there is an ultimate truth, a Real World....the reference to relativism was to the idea that justice is an individual experience....

Thank you for the reference, I will definitely take some time to look at Peirce's work.

in light and understanding

--- On Tue, 11/18/08, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The problem of justice
To: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Date: Tuesday, November 18, 2008, 5:57 AM

Dear Helen,

Let me please correct you: I'm far from being a relativist or a postmodernist. Zarathushtra wasn't a relativist, either. He was a pragmatist. Pragmatism is fallibilism without relativism.
There is only one truth. There is a REAL WORLD out there that is independent of our minds, yet we're living within social constructs. Our observations and interactions are always mediated and "culturally biased" in this sense. But we can sharpen our observation skills and continually refine our understanding of existence.
If you like to know more, please dig into Charles Sanders Peirce's philosophy.


--- Helen Gerth schrieb am Di, 18.11.2008:

Von: Helen Gerth
Betreff: Re: [Ushta] The problem of justice
An: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Datum: Dienstag, 18. November 2008, 14:17

Dear Alexander,

I agree with a vast part of what you say....but you completely remove Ahura Mazda from the equation then....or reduce him to an abstract metaphor.... there are many who do so with beings in the Vedas and the biblical tradition.

If justice "is an individual experience to ourselves, not an objective supreme fact." then there is no guiding benchmark for what is right and wrong it would seem. Everything is relative and my truth is not necessarily your truth....there is no ultimate truth and so how would one, as Dino has presented, pursue a truth as that implies that there is a single uncontested one there. So we move from positivist thinking to postmodernism.

I agree that it doesn't get us very far to continually engage in comparison to others.....what I do find is instead I set up a benchmark based on an ultimate ideal and strive to reach that.

If divine intervention is alien to Zoroastrianism then why would Zarathushtra pray?

may we all find the light of understanding we seek

--- On Mon, 11/17/08, Alexander Bard wrote:

From: Alexander Bard
Subject: Re: [Ushta] The problem of justice
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Monday, November 17, 2008, 10:32 PM

Dear Helen

I believe this is where Zoroastrianism differs from the moralistic religions:
Zoroastrianism is an ethical and not a moralistic faith. We are our own judges, we are the thoughts we think, we are the words we say, we are the actions we conduct, to ourselves, and therefore our own judges. But Zoroastrianism does not have an outside and superior judgmental god (and therefore no ten commandments) . So justice is an individual experience to ourselves, not an objective supreme fact.

It may not make much of a difference in real life, but it is a fundamental difference in our emotional experience of justice. Life is not a set of scales for us to compare ourselves with other human beings again and again. That is a childish and undignified concept. Life is rather what it is: Contingencies breaking into our life histories often beyond our own control (and beyond the control of anybody else as well, divine intervention is alien to Zoroastrianism) where what we do and how we deal with those contingencies determine how and who we become. Pure ethics, in other words, practiced by Zarathushtra 3,300 years before Spinoza discovered and presented the same idea to westerners.


2008/11/18 Helen Gerth

Dear Dino,

From personal experience.. ..it may take a while, but Divine Justice always does seem to catch up to people and I have to say I'm grateful for that, it just isn't always the way we think it should...and most people I've known always know at some point they are doing wrong, they just choose not to change but that doesn't mean they don't feel the guilt....

I suppose I just don't see any way to follow the teachings of Zarathushtra or another religious tradition and not believe in a supreme or divine justice. If nothing else, basic physics teaches for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction.... so behavior is not enacted in a vacuum without eventual consequences. ..

just my perhaps peculiar view :-)

Ushta te

--- On Mon, 11/17/08, Special Kain wrote:

From: Special Kain
Subject: [Ushta] The problem of justice
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Monday, November 17, 2008, 4:17 AM

Dear friends,

We have a conversation on the "Zoroastrian Friends" mailing list about justice and people always getting what they deserve. It all started with quoting "Best Wish" from the Gathas, with Ali Jafarey's interpretation that people committing horrible acts know exactly what they're doing and therefore suffer from a guilty conscience. And I just don't agree with that.
It is common knowledge in criminology that criminals usually justify their acts rationally via so-called 'neutralization techniques'. They know what they're doing, but they don't feel guilty at all.
On the other hand, I know lots of people who did some really horrible things, and they don't have to bear any consequences. They just keep on doing that kind of shit, because they can get away with it. They don't have to learn a new skill.
There is no supreme and sacred justice behind the curtain judging our actions, defending the betrayed and defeating "the evil guy". It's not Hollywood, it's reality. In other words, people do not get what they deserve. They get what they take.
Maybe I come across as a defeatist or a nihilist.


2 kommentarer:

liebera sa...

What are scientists Children of the knowledge Primal seed of cosmical machine Schemes and terms from sky laboratories Investigation‘s brought by Creator‘s wit
Physical aspect and lace of metaphysic
Supreme touch urges to create
Science wit knows sense of moving
But Divine can’t be proved by theme

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liebera sa...

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