And this is what Zoroastrian society is all about:
A strong society with strong and self-confident individuals!!!
Precisely what I SAW when I first met Zoroastrians in the 1980s and gradually became fascinated with their ATTITUDE towards life and finally converted. I discovered a society which already had implemented all those values I had been searching for but never seen implemented in Western society. And done so very successfully!
The whole tiresome debate of Individual vs Collective as if they are opposites in a constant struggle is IRRELEVANT to Zoroastrian discourse. It is a Western/American/European conflict that has little or no bearing HERE.
So let's not waste our time with this chatter within THIS forum. Judy will find a stronger, healthier and more robust individualism here than anywhere else. So why does she go on and on with all her Randian sectarian ramblings? Throwing accusations around against her co-Zoroastrians which are blatantly untrue??? It makes no sense.
It's time to live and let live.
2009/10/22 Special Kain
Dina, Arthur, Alexander and I agree that Zoroastrianism as a faith promoting inclusion, solidarity and the overcoming of social injustice and cruelty is based on a community-minded attitude. In this respect Zoroastrians are concerned with building, maintaining and expanding communities - that is, interacting with people we've previously ignored or excluded or discriminated. Zoroastrianism is a liberal and brutally tolerant religion: religious tolerance, gender equality, protecting the environment, having a constructive mentality and basically doing good things. This is where Zarathushtra and sociology meet: the matter of SOCIATION in a sociological sense. How do communities rise out of our daily interactions? And how do they dissolve? You can take different approaches, either top-down (macro-theories, see Niklas Luhmann) or bottom-up (micro-theories, see Erving Goffman). Just to give you a few examples.
Remember that identities always are social identities. You can't have subjectivity without intersubjectivity. And, of course, you can't have intersubjectivity without subjectivity. The social worlds we're part of are the hosts of meaning, as we're continually shaping the world together and giving meaning to our thoughts, words and deeds. An isolated nomad can't come up with anything "meaningful", because the symbols we're using borrow their meanings from social uses and their actual effects: things mean what they cause. Meaning therefore is an open-ended and social learning experience that is utterly creative!
So there's the social world as the host of meaning and we're all a part of it as co-creators: we are Mazda! Because Zarathushtra was a social reformer and civilizationist, after all. And as we all know it is possible to cherish Zarathushtra's civilizationist ethics without becoming evil socialists. Actually, Zoroastrianism is combining liberal hopes with a community-minded attitude WITHOUT falling into the individualist trap: it's not someone's petty ego versus the rest of humanity, it's us as individuals with partly distinct identities within the global community! Subjectivities give rise to intersubjectivity (sociation) and intersubjectivity gives rise to different subjectivites (social integration). Our thoughts, words and deeds are embedded within socially shared and interacting flows and both individual and social at the same time. Why is that? Because things mean what they cause, because meaning is an open-ended and liberating and social learning experience.
My ten cents,