I completely agree with you, and on both accounts.
I would say that strong determinism (which teleology and eschatology require) is incompatible with any notions of freedom of choice. Teleology is a Judeo-Christian-Islamic idea which I find no basis for in Zoroastrianism. Zarathushtra of course presents many ethical IDEALS in The Gathas which he recommends that we follow, but he most of all insists on our ultimate freedom (and our identity as free entities and co-creators of existence) as the absolute essence of his non-moralizing ethics.
We need to understand the difference here between dogma and poetry. And see the grand overall picture.
- Dölj citerad text -
Maybe Zarathushtra believed in the perfection of the world at the end
of time, maybe he didn't. But let's see if teleology and eschatology
really make any sense in the light of modern science.
Teleology states that everything that has happened so far and
everything that is currently going on is directed at one final result.
Everything matters, everything has a purpose that is causally related
to the perfection of the world at the end of time. Just think of
something that is continually getting better. This is similar to
eschatology, which is a little more religious in nature and can be
found in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, the 17th century Enlightement
movement and even transhumanism. There's a linear progress towards a
goal set by God, nature, people's inner needs etc. So paradise is not
only a possibility, it's the future that we're heading into. Now some
of us think that this is also part of Zarathushtra's message, others
don't. I'm one of those who disagree in general with such
eschatological views, and I'd like to explain why.
Firstly, evolution is a non-directed process. There's coincidence
(variation and mutation) and necessity (selection), but there's no
goal, no purpose, no planning involved. Secondly, societies evolve
discontinuously. We never know in what kind of society our children
will be living in. We cannot anticipate the future of our society, we
can merely guess and discuss how plausible certain trends and
countertrends are. In this sense the world is creatively open. All we
have is a tangle of non-directed and interrelated changes and events.
It's a limitlessly creative process with no clear beginning and no
clear end. Any social theory that is saying otherwise has been
falsified in the past 20 years. So it seems that there are no
metaphysically predetermined or desired final events. All we have is
change, which is good in itself, because we're obliged to enjoy and
worship existence as such.
Dino // slowly waking up