I believe you should all know Arthur and me well enough by now NOT to compare us with the idiocies of Catholicism and Islam. We should be way past such clumsy jumpings to conclusions. Don't you agree?
If Catholicism and Islam would have been serious about what they say, THIS is what they SHOULD have been serious about. But after saying that "God is infinite" they go on to turn God into a pathetic human replica anyway. It is the HYPOCRISY and even the idiocy of this turn that makes them so despicable.
It is not the Megatheism of Catholicism and Islam that is wrong with them and worthy of our contempt. It is the fact that they do NOT stick to it. Our response should therefore be: Since God is infinite, what is left to deal with is US and OUR lives and what WE are going to do with THAT. Allah and God are impossible precisely because of their infinity. They can and do not exist, they are fakes, even by Catholic and Islamic fundamental standards!
Which is precisely where Zoroastrianism is and always has been at. Our prayers are meditations, they are not begging rounds. That says it all, speaks volumes. Thuis is TRUE down-top-religion rather than top-down-religion. Because what Megatheism does, is that it ELIMINATES the top once and for all and leaves us only with the "down part".
I can't see what can possibly be wrong or untrue with that???
2009/10/15 Arthur Pearlstein
Thanks Rory. I don't have more on the megatheism site. That was just a quickie/freebie site that I put up for the fun of it and there was not room for any more words. Hence, also, the very short, inadequate explanation on that site that ended up leading to a misunderstanding here. When I included the megatheism link on my posting I was just doing it for sport and should have explained that. Sorry for the confusion.
My strongest interest in megatheism is as an antidote to the typical religion-mongers. An attempt to beat them at their own game rather than simply mounting a reactive challenge as the atheists have framed it. I'm still working on the concept, so thanks for your indulgence.
On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 2:31 PM, Rory
Thank you for this http://www.makingwonderful.com/ I wish I had seen this 20 years ago! It is excellent and I will refer others to it. Do you have something similar on Megatheism?
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "Rory"
> Dear Arthur,
> Please forgive me if I have misunderstood you. My mis/understanding on your concept of Megatheism is based on the following:
> 1. Your first message said that "God is so massive and endlessly complex that to describe it in qualitative human terms ("merciful" "compassionate" etc) is, in effect, sacreligious". Well, endlessly complex certainly means infinitely complex. Infinitely complex is part of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the "infinity of God" which is in turn part of the Catholic doctrine of the "Nature and attributes of God".
> 2. You gave a weblink http://www.megatheism.com/ The website has only one bit of text; "God is so massive and intensively complicated, it transcends all possible explanations" This is similar but infinitely different (please excuse the pun:-)) from the explanation above. I CAN now see that this can also be a "bottom up" rather than a top down explanation. However, because the phrase is presented on its own without another word on the entire website it does give the impression of being "stand alone" which is why I took it to be "pegged out there".
> 3. In your second message you said "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". Personally I find the idea that AH is so complex and vast as to be beyond our full understanding to be obvious but as Zoroastrians we believe all that exists is a part of God and therefore for us to progress we need to and do apply useful terms to ASPECTS of AH, atarting with marmalade and toast for example. The reason one can easily see this as a top down approach is because YOU ARE APPLYING ATTRIBUTES TO THE WHOLE in an attempt to do the opposite.
> I have to disagree with your accusation that I have used a straw man argument. This is what wikipedia says about a straw man argument:
> "To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position". It also says "Presenting and refuting a weakened form of an opponent's argument can be a part of a valid argument". Do you still believe I have used a straw man arument based on the information I got from your posts?
> --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Arthur Pearlstein
> > Rory,
> > You are making a straw man argument. That is you are ascribing to me an
> > argument I have not made and then you attack the argument and defeat it. I
> > actually agree with almost everything you say (below), including the failing
> > of the "top down" concept. But you have not understood me at all (perhaps it
> > is my fault, I do not know). Catholics do not teach anything of the kind I
> > have mentioned. God is very much personified in the Catholic tradition. The
> > claim of "we cannot understand God's ways because he is so complicated" is
> > only made as a retort to questions that are too hard to answer.
> > In any case, I am not talking about a "top down" God. I am not talking about
> > a man-in-the-sky, nor about something or someone to submit to. You are
> > mistaking a few overlapping words (e.g. "infinite") between megatheism and
> > catholocism for some kind of common understanding. Nothing could be further
> > from the truth. It would be as if you equated the Democratic Republic of
> > Korea (North Korea) with the U.S. because both emphsize the word
> > "democratic."
> > My view is that zoroastrianism is not a religion that is "about" God at all.
> > Rather that complexity and infinitude of "God" means that it is just an
> > aspiration and human interpretations are a fraud-- the focus must be on the
> > world we know and what we can come to understand about it. There is nothing
> > in human civilization that makes sense other than a bottom up approach.
> > For my view of what Ahura Mazda is about, check out www.makingwonderful.com My
> > thoughts have evolved a bit since then, and the concept of megatheism is as
> > much a semantic sleight of hand to answer the domineering dogma around us as
> > anything else.
> > Ushta,
> > Arthur
> > On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 8:09 AM, Rory
> > >
> > >
> > > This gives me the willies. Why? Because, although I can't speak for Parviz
> > > and how this realtes to Islam, I can tell you that this is EXACTLY what
> > > Catholicism teaches.
> > >
> > > They teach that God is so INFINITELY complicated, intelligent and all
> > > powerful that we puny humans cannot even begin to understand Him. This is
> > > defined as (again) a "holy mystery".
> > >
> > > What is the next step? Because he is infinitely complicated, intelligent
> > > and powerful he is able to do anything... and I'll just stop there because
> > > I'm already feeling queazy.
> > >
> > > This is a TOP DOWN approach and again the word that grows out of it is
> > > FAITH.
> > >
> > > I spend a lot of time ASKING what is Zoroastrianism and what is Mazdayasna
> > > and disciplining my mind to be malleable and open. I am very slowly adopting
> > > what I see clearly to be truth and shedding all the bs I've picked up over a
> > > lifetime. There are people in this group who have gone further over a long
> > > time and understood more and even started from a position of clearer
> > > understanding. For once I am going to be dogmatic (in a way) and I am going
> > > to say this (thanks Dino), BE TRUE TO YOURSELVES. What is special about the
> > > Zoroastrianian approach is that it IS BOTTOM UP. Science is sacred (thanks
> > > Alexander). We don't need to start pegging hypothetical infinites out there
> > > somewhere and then use pedantry to explain it to somehow be Zoroastrian.
> > >
> > > Forgive me if I am too candid.
> > >
> > > Ushta,
> > > Rory
> > >
> > > --- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> > >
> > > >
> > > > 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.
> > > > Ushta
> > > > Alexander