fredag 29 augusti 2008

Ethics vs Morality - The Subjective Experience

Dear Ron

I believe that we need to make some distinctions here. Because I seriously doubt that any philosopher proper would use the terms "ethics" and "objective" in the same sentence.

Zarathushtra is indeed ethical but he is ethical precisely because ethics is in itself subjective (even a subjective EXPERIENCE to Zarathushtra, which is why I refer to him as an existentialist). Zarathushtra defines that good is good (tautological) but he never defines exactly WHAT is good. He is not moralizing. This is what is brilliant about Zoroastrian ethics: It does not moralize, it understands that VALUES are relative, deeply dependent on the circumstances. This is why we DON'T have commandments!

I understand if Jews, Christians and Muslims are upset about "the dissolution of morality" in contemporary society. But this dissolution has occured precisely because science has shown morality to be unfounded and defunct. This is where ethics comes in: Whereas morality always deals with a Judge-God who gets upset with us if we don't do what the Judge-God wants from time to time, ethics deals with OUR idea of who WE are. Ahura Mazda is not a judge, Ahura Mazda is a living phenomenon IN DIALOGUE with us as co-creators of existence. This is how radical Zarathushtra's religion is!!!

We are the thoughts we have. We are the words we say. And more than anything, we are the actions we take. That is exactly what pure ETHICS is!!! No wonder then that the ultimate anti-moralist ethicist in western thinking, Spinoza, has inspired us so much. Spinoza is the western Zarathushtra. And Sufi philosophy is the actual link between these two formidable thinkers! Ethics is great, but moralism we can do without. As Nietzsche also understood, and consequently used Zarathushtra as his model.

In summary: I don't think we disagree on this issue. But using the correct terms makes it easier for us to direct our anger where it should be directed. We are not for or against the current views in the American debate on values and valuations. We instead stand for a third alternative as Zoroastrians.


2008/8/29 ztheist

Dear Shahrooz & Friends

The denial of objective values, ethical or otherwise , is rampant in today's world, so it is understandable that many people hold to this belief. What I find appalling is the inference that Zarathushtra did not spouse objective values , specially ethical values.

In fact Zarathushtra defines what is good as what is Asha like and, thus, makes no less than an Aspect of God and the Order of the Cosmos the standard for Objective Ethics!

That is what bothers me about this whole issue. Any one has the right to choose to be an existentialist and define what that means or anything else and define what that means. What no one has the right to do, in my opinion is define what some one else said believed etc, without actually taking into account first hand evidence from the source, when it is plainly stated and taught and disagrees from the would be definer's point of view.

This argument, if given validity, could open the door to all sort of contradictory interpretations, not of inferences or questionable points but, of clearly stated and overwhelmingly well supported doctrinal points.

Ushta te

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