tisdag 2 september 2008

Tolerance and intolerance in the age of religious diversity

Dear Osred

Not to oppose you in any way, but...
The intellectaul challenge is that this TOLERANT attitude is in itself intolerant towards intolerance. So we can not logically propose that all religions that exist should keep existing as if we are running some sort of ideological zoo where variety is more important than quality. After all, we have to deal with what is true and enlightened versus what is bigotted and limited. Not all ideas are of equal value to humanity. There is for example no reason why we should keep religious beliefs alive which discriminate against women, gays and people of other races than our own. So in this sense, we have to maintain the requirement that a religion has to be at least minimally tolerant to be accepted by us as a credible alternative. And westerners converting to Zoroastrianism is in many ways not so much as a conversion as a renaissance, As I've said many times before, if only Zarathushtra had been a Scandinavian rather than an Iranian, I would not have been the one who would have had to convert. ;-) I believe you agree with me on this, right?


2008/9/1 osred90


My inclination is to see something of value in most of the different
religious stances. Whether this is rationalism or ritualism ,
radicalism or conservativism, ethno-specificity or universalism.

I don't want to say absolutely one path is right and one is wrong.
Each path/stance/outlook/practice can have some value. Let them all
co-exist to some degree all the time - i.e. let there always be some
people keeping all these different positions alive.

So yes I think Zoroastrianism must ALLOW FOR differences of opinion -
and the development of new ideas. However I am wary of the dangers of
this going too far - if everybody bends the religion to fit their
personal preconceptions and never let the religion challenge them.

I've mixed feelings on Westerners taking up traditional

On the one hand it is a priority to keep the traditional Zoroastrian
religion alive and to spread knowledge of it. So it would be good
for some Westerners to take it up wholeheartedly.

On the other hand you might expect the Iranians and Parsis to fit
into traditional Zoroastrian culture better than outsiders.

So it would be better for the majority of Anglo-Saxons (like myself)
to look at developing a more Anglicized variety of Zoroastrianism -
one that mixes Germanic and European culture with the Iranian to
create something that fits them more naturally.


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, "Alexander Bard" wrote:
> Dear Osred
> Exactly!!!
> Please note that there is also a THIRD option available:
> This version is to endorse the Zoroastrian religion, tradition,
culture and
> rituals as a WHOLE and still be pro both conversions and change
> (relativism). Its is for example not only the Gathas-only camp
which is for
> conversions.
> Actually this third option is probably the most popular and
widespread in
> the Zoroastrian global community today. This view has for example
> endorsed by the Council of Mobeds in Tehran and I have myself had
my navjote
> (sudreh kushti) performed accordingly by mobed Kamran Jamshidi,
> more or less the full rituals according to the Yasna while still
> accepted fully by the Zoroastrian community as a convert.
> If I read you correctly, you yourself subscribe to this third
option too.
> The thing is that Zoroastrianism has always been a RITUALISTIC and
> relativistic religion rather than a "protestant faith of the book".
> practice rather than a dogma. It is a culture and a way of life
allowing for
> personal interpretation and disparate beliefs rather than a dogma
set in
> stone. Do I understand you correctly if you've come to this
conclusion too?
> Ushta
> Alexander

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