onsdag 11 november 2009

Zoroastrianism and Free Will

Excellent postings!!! Very very very interesting topic...

My point is that we must understand that the concept of "free will" was developed in the early first human permanent settlements AS TO KEEP PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, not to make people free or happy. If you are going to take a person before a court of law and judge them morally (rather than ethically) for their actions, then you need to first ASSUME that they had some kind of choice to begin with and that they were FREE to CHOOSE what they did. In other words: To be able to control people you need to apply free will to their actions, you need to separate their soul (that which wills) from their bodies (that which wants). Therefore, we have the arrival of dualism in human history. This is how Egyptian pharaohs controlled their slaves etc.

What we need to do, especially as Zoroastrians, is to question the very premise of this logic. I would say that Zarathushtra understood (he was not corrupted with the logic of controlling settlements, he was not into the concept of exploitation but into the concept of creative collaboration) that humans consist of drives and desires and that making drives and desires work in unison ENABLES humans to fulfill exactly those drives and desires. So it is a Zoroastrian/Spinozist FREEDOM of DRIVES and DESIRES that we are interested in, the enabling of human beings to be one with their actions. Any WILL separate from drive and desire is of no interest to us whatsoever, it is even alien to Zoroastrian thought. This is precisely why we are ETHICAL people and actually amoral. Freedom is to be able to define who you are and then to do what you are supposed to do AS being that which you have just defined. It is a freedom FROM oppression to be able to obey your drives and desires which in turn control "you". A you which is only fulfilled as a you precisely by IDENTIFYING ITSELF with the body of drives and desires which it habitates. In other words: Zarathushtra did not even in his wildest dreams imagine a "will" which wanted to be "free". Hed would have asked what we should ask: Who came up with such an idea? And why? Answer: The pharaohs. And guess why?


2009/11/11 Rory
- Dölj citerad text -

Dear Dino (and Parviz, Alexander and Sharooz),

I find this VERY interesting and enlightening and I believe an absolutely critical discussion for Westerners especially but also the world as a whole considering how the concept of "free will" has been a "pillar" of law and society for centuries. Western society has developed with the belief that we always have the FREE choice between "right" and "wrong" whether that be religious or legal, unless we are loopy. The impact of what you are saying is enormous. I for example live in a society which has a very simplistic view of right and wrong further hammered into what is "good" and "bad" by Dualist(Christian and Muslim) zealots and of course impartial colonial British law. I agree entirely that a simplistic absolutist definition is both dangerous and primitive and although it may be a necessity for primitive societies it is only that when compared to the sophisticated, more advanced concept of choice/freedom of Zoroastrianism. This simplistic version of choice pervades everything from law to education and is backward and leads to, as you put it, "static absolutes". In my view, the effect of a "static absolute" is actually decline rather than a static situation which is almost impossible which is what we see in Africa and a lot of third-world countries.


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Special Kain wrote:
> The problem with "free will" is that such a philosophy begins with an absolute: there is free will, and it's totally and so overwhelmingly absolutely free right from the start. But anyone with any bit of awareness or intelligence already knows that "free will" is what we achieve to create out of our drives and energies. It can only mean a temporary alliance between different drives - combined and orchestrated, to give ourselves style as Nietzsche put it in "The Gay Science". It's a powerful, beautiful and aesthetic phenomenon, but not a given fact that we should take for granted.
> Freedom is something we DO, something we CREATE and PRACTICE. It also means that we're continually liberating ourselves together within interactive learning experiences and new kicks and new social identities - just think of John Dewey's GROWTH as an ethical ideal that is its own goal. Growth hopefully (and hopefully beautifully) entails further growth.
> This is where INTELLIGENCE (and Mazdayasna) comes into play: only through increasing intelligence - the ability to deal with existence more intelligently over time - can we truly liberate ourselves and increase our very freedom of choice and, furthermore, create new choices and possibilities.
> Let's look at "free will" as a PROCESS (an upward spiral) and a CHOICE rather than a static absolute.
> Ushta,
> Dino
> --- Alexander Bard schrieb am Di, 10.11.2009:
> Von: Alexander Bard

> Betreff: [Ushta] The Concept of Freedom
> An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
> CC: zoroastrians@yahoogroups.com
> Datum: Dienstag, 10. November 2009, 13:11
> Dear Parviz and Shahrooz
> But in what sense is "free will" a privilege?
> Why would we as Mazdayasni be interested in defending such a typically Christian concept?
> Is it really the will that ought to be free? Is is not the human body that should be free to act according to its drives and desires (as long as these interests do not override the interests of another human body)?
> In that case, let's leave Free Will to the Christians and other dualists.
> While we pursue the freedom of the human body, the body as one unified whole?
> Ushta
> Alexander

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