It is precisely Christ's introduction of the ethics of intentions which is the ETHICAL aspect of Christianity.
Please note that Nietzsche LOVED Christ and HATED St Paul!!! And Nietzsche and Lacan understand ethics far better than Weber (who is a decent sociologist but a crappy philosopher).
Christ got this ETHICAL approach from Zoroastrianism (possibly the schools and sects he attended before he began preaching) which was the ethical religion par excellence in the Middle East at the time of Christ.
What St Paul later did was to REINTRODUCE moralism to Christianity from Judaism. Moralism has since THEN dominated both Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahai, the four Abrahamic faiths.
Ethics is the ethics of IDENTITY. It is values originating from and reflecting back on OURSELVES as existential creatures. This was Zarathushtra's point, this was Spinoza's point, this was Nietzsche's point, this was Lacan's point, this has been the point of ethics all along. Nothing else.
We are ONLY reponsible to ourselves for the decisions we make ourselves. So we decide both what is RIGHT for us and what IS us at the same time. We identify with our actions (and our words and our thoughts) according to Zarathushtra, NOT with any outcomes. Zarathushtra never states any such thing in The Gathas.
The thing is that there is NO external reponsibility (because there is no extrernal judge to whom we are responsible). Ahura Mazda is our point of REFERENCE in existence but not our point of judgment. This is a DRAMATIC difference between Zoroastrianism and the Abrahamic faiths.
Christ wasn't bad at all. It is the storytelling surrounding him (his resurrection etc) which is disturbing. But there is a lot about Christ's teachings which is very much in sync with the teachings of Zarathushtra. He clearkly had good teachers. Unfortunately St Paul never did and HE shaped the church and the faith with his letters and other texts.
2008/10/16 Special Kain
Yes, I can easily follow your explanation. :-)
But there's one thing that is really disturbing me. You differentiate between our intentions - with Zoroastrianism as an ethics of our intentions and identities - and the outcome of our actions, the latter being moralistic of some sort. This is exactly opposite to Max Weber's concept of ethics: the ethic of intentions being moralistic and perfectly in tune with Christian morals, the ethic of responsibility being entirely different from that and undeniably Machiavellian. I am a supporter and defender of the latter, because things mean what they cause.
But, of course, I can't be held responsible for the outcome of my actions. An artist can't be held responsible for how people react to his works. If a kid chooses to shoot his classmates, and the religious right put the blame on Marilyn Manson, I would most certainly defend Marilyn Manson. On the other hand, reactions are part of that particular work of art. People's interpretations and misconceptions contribute to its meaning and artistic value, for better or worse.
So where did I get completely wrong? Please let me know, I'm DESPERATELY eager to learn more! :-)