If you do not remember anything from a past experience, then frankly the YOU that is now was not there. It was another "you".
Modern neuroscience has actually proven one thing once and for all and that is that the subject is an UTTER ILLUSION.
There is only a body. No subject outside of the self-deception of the body.
So since there is no soul that can reincarnate to begin with, neuroscience has proven not only that souls do not exist (only brain-chemicals exist) but it has consequently proven that reincarnation is pure nonsense. THERE IS NOTHING THERE TO RE-INCARNATE to begin with!
The fact that Zarathustra was clever enough to not even mention this sort of nonsense is even further evidence that Zoroastrianism is completely and utterly incompatible with these, for lack of a more appropriate word, crap!
Alexander/suggests the reincarnators here go and start some old ladies´ tea gossip club somwhere, why don't you just call Shirley MacLaine and hang out with her instead?
2011/2/10 mehrdad farahmand
The argument from having a memory of a past life does not prove or disprove reincarnation and it has nothing to do with the question here: whether Zoroastrian religion rejects it or accept.
I do not have any memory of when I was 2 yrs old. Does that prove that my second life year did not exist. How about if I get into an accident and get global amnesia. Does that mean that my life before the accident was fantasy? Of course not. So continuity of memory is no criteria. In modern neuroscience, we know that remembering is not an act of recollection but reconstruction. Meaning how I remember something today is directly informed, if not determined, by my present attitudes, emotions, and belief system.
Again Zoroastrianism does not explicitly accept reincarnation, but it does not explicitly address it to reject it. It simply ignores it and focuses on something else that deems to be more important.
Also, the fact that most Zoroastrians do believe something or not is sociologically interesting but philosophically irrelevant. Truth is not a democratic thing...unfortunately.
On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 4:14 PM, Alexander Bard
Well, I strongly disagree and the vast majority of Zoroastrians with me.
Unless you can tell where and when you lived any past life, Syn, this is nothing more than superstitious rubbish and exactly the sort of meaningless fodder Zarathushtra was vehemently and correctly against.
Zoroastrianism is not just open to any rubbish idea coming from anywhere. Especailly one not grounded in facts but just in pure fantasy lalaland.
Extremely interesting post MF, thank you for your contribution. I particularly like your assertion that Behdin is agnostic on this issue, which though I do personaly believe in reincarnation myself, I would much prefer there to be open debate on the issue rather than any dogmatic closure. For me reincarnation makes perfect sense from not only a philosophical perspective, but also a Behdin perspective which itself can fully embrace both the Buddhistic and Vedantic approach. However the concept of a one off physical ressurection, as found in Judaism and Xianity, which places so much importance on the temporal body just makes no sense to me and based as you quite rightly mention on a dualistic set of socio-political concepts. However I would like to meditate further on your contribution before replying in any greater depth.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, mehrdad farahmand
> One should be very careful about rejecting or embracing the notion of
> reincarnation right off the bat, because the reasons for assuming or
> rejecting this view is more important than the actual belief. Religions
> usually assume two approaches to a more fundamental question of finality and
> purpose of existence. Either they assume resurrection, or they accept
> reincarnation. The reason for assuming each is simply to make sense of
> seemingly nonsensical world. There must be a point to all this, which
> transcends this and informs this. Here, you have a division between ethical
> and metaphysical religions. Abrahamic religions are primarily ethical in
> nature. They care about crime and punishment, vice and virtue. Hence, they
> are deeply dualistic. Accordingly, they all assume a resurrection that is
> intimately judicial in nature and leads to reward and punishment. These
> religions have no metaphysical concerns. All ontological questions are
> answered for them. Consequently, they are not philosophies at all, but
> elaborate eschatological, ehtica, systems of conduct.
> Vedanta and Buddhism are philosophical religions on other hand. They have
> ethics and eschatology, but their primary concern is a metaphysical one.
> Buddhism assumes a process ontology and Vedanta assumes a substance
> ontology. Hence their views of personal identity differs too. For Buddhist,
> there is no substantial self, but there is a process and personal identity
> is defined by connectivity based on a causal chain. The Vedanta assumes a
> substantial self, which hides a non-dual self of pure consciousness that is
> atman. Hence, in Vedanta personal identity is based on continuity rather
> than connectivity. The question of finality is, however, central to both
> religions. Why am I here? The Buddhist assume that we are self-actualizing
> process guided by the principle of dharma and karma. Hence, they use the
> metaphor of a lotus. The point of reincarnation is not punishment or reward,
> since these are dualism specific to samsara and not the non-dual nirvana. In
> nirvana, these concepts impressed by dualism have no meaning and existence.
> Hence, the point of reincarnation and existence is self-actualization. I am
> not punished in the next life, but in each life I assume different roles and
> live them till I understand all and this understanding, prajna and vidya,
> leads to salvation. It is like an actor choosing to play different roles in
> different films in order to become a better actor. The next role is not the
> punishment for the last role. It is all about perfecting your craft.
> In Vedanta, the same notion of moksa exists and it is present in the Vedas
> and Upanishads and it has nothing to do with Dravidans. Here, however, the
> goal of evolution is not to be reached in an evolutionary process but to be
> realized in an revolutionary event, since the Brahman is Atman and Atman is
> in us all. Hence, the different lives are assumed to find that revolutionary
> event. In each life we assume new roles and learn and when this knowledge
> reaches a critical mass, then that evolution happens.
> Zoroastrianism is a metaphysical religion as well and in that it assumes a
> process ontology like Buddhism. Hence, it does assert all existence as a
> self-actualizing of a lawful process. Arsha is the lawfulness aspect of the
> ultimate reality and mazda is its creative aspect. As far as the last
> station of existence, it does agree with Buddhism and Vedanta in that it
> assumes a unifcation with the ultimate ground of existence. The terminology
> is really secondary since the the root of the traditions seems to be very
> similar if not identical. Call it paradise, or moksha, nirvana. Call it
> Brahman, Shunyata, or Ahura Mazda. Now, the question is what happens in the
> time this ultimate goal is not achieved. Here, Zoroastrianism does not
> openly advocate reincarnation, but in some cases it can be implied or
> inferred. On the other hand, the resurrection is also not embraced the way
> of Abrahamic religions. This is, however, a secondary question. The primary
> question is the matter of ultimate salvation. So, I think Zoroastrianism is
> more agnostic about it than anything else. Buddha was agnostic about these
> questions as well, since they can become distractions on the path with most
> important goal, as it was proved to be in the Christian Middle Ages.
> Now there is Sherlie Maclain version of reincarnation found on the streets,
> from Mumbai to Los Angeles, and any New Age bookshop. That constitutes the
> majority of believers, but this is matter of quantity and not quality that
> can be philosophically be taken seriously.