söndag 27 februari 2011

Monism vs dualism, monotheism vs polytheism - a clarification! Part 3

Dear Peter

The alternative to pantheism (montheism with a monist worldview) is dualism but there is not a single trace of dualism in any culture on this planet before the arrival of organised feudalism (likely Egypt but could also be Babylon). So the question is not whether Zarathushtra contemplated monism versus dualism, dualism was simply unheard of in his culture and at his time in history.

That means that the burden of evidence does not lie with me when I claim that Zarathushtra is a monist monotheist (the world is one substance and this substance is Ahura, to which Mazda is added as the expression of Ahura; the same as Indian Brahmanism by the way, which no Indian intellectual would ever dream of regarding as dualist), the burden lies with those who claim that Zarathushtra for some strange reason was a dualist a thousand years before any feudalist culture takes off. It makes absolutely no sense to refer to Zarathushtra as a dualist. The only reason I can find to do so is when people try to make Zarathushtra an Abrahamist long before Abrahamistic faiths even existed. Which is of course utter nonsense.

Zoroastrianism is an Indo-European belief system and not a Semitic one. It is also at least 700 years older than Judaism.


2011/2/27 Peter Schogol

I have been away from the universe of Zoroastrian discourse for several years, and while I am aware of your conviction, Alexander, that Zoroastrianism is or could be reckoned to be pantheistic I don't recall how you arrived at that belief. I am not saying it's implausible -- far from it. But if the Gathas are where the buck stops it would seem that the Gathas should be able to provide a grounding for a pantheistic interpretation. In my ignorance I can't make out that connection.

Rather than ask you to sum up your conviction (unless you wouldn't mind doing that), I would ask to be directed to the most salient post to this group where the ground for a pantheistic interpretation may be read.

Peter (Skye) Schogol
Lexington, KY

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