onsdagen den 9:e december 2009

Zoroastrianism and Probabilism (was: Zoroastrian ethics vs Zoroastrian cosmology)

Dear Dino

I could not agree with you more. Probabilism is the word here!
And we should also agree that while Baruch Spinoza was a formidable thinker in the 17th century he did make two major mistakes which are interwoven with each other: The first one was to assume that the world was deterministic which physics has proved utterly wrong), and the second mistake was to assume that our ratio (Spinoza's hardcore rationalism) would be sufficient for us to understand the world (the one thing we have learned from Nietzsche and Freud about our drives and desires and from physics about how our intuition constantly fools us is that there is a definite LIMIT to the capacity of ratio; therefore postmodernism and the end of the modernist project as founded by Immanuel Kant).
So I really could not agree with you more. Zarathushtra was very smart to avoid these topics altogether and focus on that which is truly timeless: The human condition and how we create ourselves and our mind-world by interacting with the world and each other. Ethics! Without any assumptions other than that ethics is a requirement for the mind itself.
Mind creates/affects language creates/affects actions. Just add a small dose of chance to that (make the world fundamentally indetermined) and you have voila: LIFE!


2009/12/9 Special Kain

Well, that's not quite the opposite of what I said, dear Alexander!

I made perfectly clear that the creation of the world must be understood ethically rather than cosmologically, even though some translations suggest to read certain passages as cosmological speculations and, if one chooses to take such passages as cosmological speculations, we'd end up with objective idealism.

But since I've already said that the universe is essentially indeterministic - a statement that didn't get that much support when some people still wanted to drown everything in Spinoza's ultra-determinism which doesn't leave much room for us to do something about the course of the world -, the only plausible understanding is purely ethical and not cosmological at all.

It is our thoughts leading to certain words leading to certain deeds that co-create the world. And that's exactly what I said about two years ago already. Anything that enters a situation DOES act upon the situation and all other players involved.

This is probabilism, simply because there are probabilities only - and probabilism is totally different from determinism.

Ushta, Dino

--- Alexander Bard schrieb am Mi, 9.12.2009:

Von: Alexander Bard
Betreff: [Ushta] Zoroastrian ethics vs Zoroastrian cosmology
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Mittwoch, 9. Dezember 2009, 19:24

Zarathushtra is not the slighest bit concerned with cosmology, dear Dino!
It is precisely the lack of cosmological speculation - which for example the Bible is embarrassingly full of - which makes The Gathas such a fresh and modern read still today 3,700 years after it was authored. For cosmology, we shold instead read books on quantum physics and superstring theory and the like! ;-)
Zarathushtra is concerned with ETHICS and how ethics must be constructed. And if Ethics can not be based on some ULTERIOR divinity's mischiefs, such as Abrahamic religion, it MUST be based on THE INTERIOR EXPERIENCE, on Mind and on how Mind sees itself. The world of Minoo!
This has nothing to do with cosmology, it does not even have anything to do with ontology or phenomenology, other areas of thought which Zarathushtra completely ignores.
His interest is ETHICS and the self-identity of ETHICAL BEING: How we become one with asha and manifest Ahura Mazda in our lives. This starts with how the mind sees itself, as mind, the same question Hegel (another "idealist" who was not really an idealist at all but rather a good speculative dialectician) addressed in Germany in the early 19th century. Zarathushtra had already done so and done so superbly well.

2009/12/9 Special Kain

Dear friends,

According to the Gathas, it all starts with the mind. Ethically speaking, the thoughts we think this morning determine which words we will speak and what exactly we will do in the afternoon. But cosmologically speaking this is objective idealism.

Objective idealism states that the mind constitutes the fundamental reality and that solid objects are nothing but «dead thoughts», while subjective idealism denies the existence of solid objects as existing independently of one's mind. The thoughts I have create the world I live in. But objective idealism isn't the opposite of realism, simply because objective idealists take such solid and independently existing objects for granted.

See Charles Sanders Peirce who was ahead of his time and provided an organic and indeterministic understanding of the universe at a time when everybody else took the universe for a big machine that's based on necessity and determinism: «The one intelligible theory of the universe is that of objective idealism, that matter is effete mind, inveterate habits becoming physical laws.»

But if we look closely at the Gathas, it's all about the natural world, and it's a world that constantly changes and is affected by the thoughts we think, the words we speak and the actions we undertake. In this sense all Gathic talk about the creation of our world must be understood ethically and not cosmologically.

Any feedback?

Ushta, Dino

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