I will be happy to surrender to Allah Akbar, as long as he is not presented by a small bigot called Muhammed.
There is nothing wrong with "There is only one god and that god is Allah", that line is actually just a tautology and no different than "There is only one world and that world is The World".
The problem with Islam is instead the silly second phrase: "And his prophet is Muhammed".
To which we should respond to the one billion or so Muslims: REALLY??? On What Grounds???
Because THAT is where Islam flops. Always did.
Our response is: There is only one god and that god is Allah, and he HAS SIX BILLION PROPHETS. Now, learn to live with that, because that is the truth!
Or rather: There is one god and one god only and that god is Ahura and Ahura has six billion or so manifestiations which together form Mazda. TOGETHER they make Ahura Mazda.
2009/10/15 Parviz Varjavand
I demand sophistication and high level intellectual answers from you and Arthur; please do not disappoint me. It is always simple to reduce somone to the level of a cartoon character, and then win an argument with them. There are XX00000000000 Moslems in this world, which one of them should I ask your questions from?
If you want to understand Allaho Akbar and what surender to this consept means, hold your breath and decide that you are not going to breath again. You can not, and you will be forced to breath in order to live on. You have to surender to Allah for He is Akbar, if you want to live. If you die and win the bet, you still melt into Allah, for again "Allaho Akbar". This is how I had Allaho Akbar explained to me by my Moslem friends that I respect. The others cartoon Moslems or Christians, why bother with them, I can show you cartoon Zoroastrians as much as you want me to, some of them on this site even.
--- On Thu, 10/15/09, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Megatheism
Date: Thursday, October 15, 2009, 12:17 AM
In other words: We should ask the Muslims:
If God is sooo great, how come YOU have reduced God to an imbecille little narcissistic boy from the western tip of the Arab Peninsula?
What is wrong is not the concept of Allah as infinitely great. What is wrong is the following REDUCTION of God into an imbecille little narcissistic boy from the western tip of the Arab Peninsula who WE MUST OBEY. Megatheism allows nothing of this sort. So Islam is NOT Megatheism but rather MICROTHEISM, the reduction of God into something infinitely small and pathetic.
If God really is infinitely great, then God has no need whatsoever for our obedience. God is ONLY and ALWAYS Allaho Akbar but never Allah without the akbar part.
Like Arthur says, it is actually the other way round! There is no obedience involved at all, we are CLEARLY left to our own devices (for example, deciding as a humanity whether we want to save our own planet or not). God is too great to ever interfere!
This is of course the divinity of Ahura and not the divinity of Allah. Where we add the Mazda part of Ahura Mazda. The God before which we stand in awe and ask questions that we have to answer ourselves. In other words: The divinity of The Gathas. I'm beginning to think that Zarathushtra was the ONLY founder of a religion ever who actually BELIEVED in a God for real! All the alternatives just seem to be psychopathic speculations.
2009/10/15 Arthur Pearlstein
I am responding to your two emails on the subject here because the heading is more relevant. The concept of megatheism and Allaho Akbar are completely different. I will, in another email, attempt to delve more deeply into megatheism itself, but for now I want to underscore a few of the most glaring contrasts.
Islam is about submission to Allah; megatheism is nothing of the sort--indeed, it is about avoiding submission-- not allowing ourselves to be dominated by the power play that is inherent in the human attempt to construct a God figure that gives us orders and enslaves us.
The "greatness" of Allah refers to human characteristics ("the most merciful", the most compassionate, the avenger, etc.). This is a man-in-the-sky notion of God--completely supernatural and unscientifc, completely at odds with all we know. It would be as if we were to describe God as "the most blonde" or "the most well hung" or "the best football player" --these characteristics are no more absurd as descriptions than the other qualitative ones, they just seem so because they happen to be physical traits rather than other kinds of very human traits.
Allaho Akbar is about explaining why we need to follow certain rules and why we must not doubt all the stories in the holy book and why we must fear, etc. Megatheism is essentially the opposite. It is about why the God concept transcends all possible explanations; why we must constantly doubt and constantly question; it is about transcendence of fear in dealing with philosophical issues. It is about change rather than stasis.
The adonai concept in Judaism is also very much a man-in-the-sky God, though the depiction of that God changes within the Old Testament as Judaism came to be influcenced by (but still very different from) Zoroastrianism. Adonai has very human characteristics, performs miracles, chooses a people as his own--all a complete contrast to the megatheist concept of "God" (I use quotes because the concept is really so different that some would deny that such a term is appropriate) .
The Abrahamic religions have all seized upon the concept of God to monopolize an ultimate greatness in a very small, narrow, manipulative way that actually is designed to bestow more power on particular human beings. Megatheism involves a declaration that it is time to steal this concept back--to identify as sacreligious all the thinking that attempts to so limit the concept.
In truth, the Abrahamic God is no more fanciful or unscientifc than the Greek or Roman or Norse Gods which were fundamentally a more honest human creation.
As I understand it, much of what Zoroaster reacted to was the very false and manipulative constructs of the day that were used to dominate, enslave, and rob, in much the same way as more modern religious charlatans. Ahura Mazda is, I believe, a timeless megatheistic concept that, like "the Tao" cannot be directly told or explained or described other than to realize it transcends explanation and merely is.
Arthur, wondering if Parviz can give an example of how Alexander's every word "has been said about Allaho Akbar"
On Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 7:43 PM, Parviz Varjavand
Every word you say, has been said about Allaho Akbar. Thousands of years of scholarship of very polished religious minds has gone into this; so what is it that Arthur has discovered?
I never got it why your Megatheism was any different from Allaho Akbar in Islam (many times written as ... o Akbar, for even to write the name of Allah would be considered blasphemy) or when fundamentalist Jews do not even use the name of the Lord. To be BIG, you need something Small to compare the Big to! That in itself separates the Big from the Small.
--- On Wed, 10/14/09, Alexander Bard
From: Alexander Bard
Subject: [Ushta] Megatheism
To: Ushta@yahoogroups. com
Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2009, 11:39 AM
As for the wonderful and most interesting concept of megatheism:
In Lacanian psychoanalysis The Subject is precisely that which is undescribable.
That means that whatever is "me" and "you" in us is always something that transcendens all descriptions, all obsession with detail. It is always that which is "left" after all descriptions that is the true "me" and "you".
Just like the "love" in a love relationship is always that which can NOT be described. This is why when we truly love somebody, we can not say WHY we love, only state that we do.
I believe this is an important point: It is not only that The Universe (and whatever force is behind the fact that there is a universe to begin with) is so overwhelmingly enormous in size and scope that it can never be encompassed. It is also the other way round: The concept of God as our ultmiate horizon of existence is so vast in itself that it transcends all description. This certainly speaks LOGICALLY in favor of the concept of megatheism even beyond what we know from modern science etc.
2009/10/14 Arthur Pearlstein
Thanks indeed for your kind words. I am very much here, even though I do not post so often (I did post just a few weeks ago). In the past year, I have been lurking and taking in a lot and learning a considerable amount from a number of people such as you and Alexander as always but also from some of the newer members of the list. Most of the time, I have felt that I do not have much to add but I will do anything I can for "Project Mazdayasna."
Meanwhile, I have become more and more convinced of what I have called "megatheism": the idea that "God" is so massive and endlessly complex that to describe it in qualitative human terms ("merciful" "compassionate" etc) is, in effect, sacreligious. http://www.megathei sm.com/
But I will try to contribute more--please feel free to ask me to weigh in on any particular issue on which you think I might have something valuable to say.
Warmest regards and mucha ushta,