måndag 16 november 2009

Wise words from Dino Demarchi - on the issue of "free will" in Zoroastrianism

Dear Rory,

I don't think that Ahura and Mazda are absolutes in any philosophical sense. Much like probably any decent pragmatist I seriously believe that things are what we make of them, so Zoroastrianism is what Zoroastrians as Zoroastrians make of it. And the same applies to Ahura (existence) and Mazda (wisdom). Mazda isn't just there, it's people who make or learn to make wise choices and refine their understanding of nature, how things work and how to manipulate them. And it's obviously true that there is something rather than nothing. But still it's not about absolutes, because I honestly don't know what that term is supposed to mean in our post-pragmatist world.

Also I don't think that we should drop the term «will» only because it's rooted in Christian theology. We shoud not forget that freedom of choice is key in Zoroastrian philosophy. We can choose in accordance with our desires, drives and rationality. There is this moment of self-control and awareness, so I just don't buy into that «man as bio-robot» story. It's true that we're bio-robots, but we can actually program ourselves to a certain extent. What you're going to study later in your life is not pre-programmed in your genes, because you're able to learn. Our decisions are contingent: We could have chosen something else.

So, if anything, the freedom of «free will» is contingent: Harry is a lot freer in his choices than Robert, because Harry is much smarter and more creative.

Ushta, Dino

--- Rory schrieb am Mo, 16.11.2009:

Von: Rory
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: The Concept of Freedom
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Montag, 16. November 2009, 14:24

So the "absolutes" are Ahura and Mazda, the rest is always in flux and our "tools" are the Amesha Spentas?

Regarding "will", it exists but the word again has a few thousand years of Abrahamic connotation so we need something else that describes this "positive intention"?



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