I believe this is where Zoroastrianism differs from the moralistic religions:
Zoroastrianism is an ethical and not a moralistic faith. We are our own judges, we are the thoughts we think, we are the words we say, we are the actions we conduct, to ourselves, and therefore our own judges. But Zoroastrianism does not have an outside and superior judgmental god (and therefore no ten commandments). So justice is an individual experience to ourselves, not an objective supreme fact.
It may not make much of a difference in real life, but it is a fundamental difference in our emotional experience of justice. Life is not a set of scales for us to compare ourselves with other human beings again and again. That is a childish and undignified concept. Life is rather what it is: Contingencies breaking into our life histories often beyond our own control (and beyond the control of anybody else as well, divine intervention is alien to Zoroastrianism) where what we do and how we deal with those contingencies determine how and who we become. Pure ethics, in other words, practiced by Zarathushtra 3,300 years before Spinoza discovered and presented the same idea to westerners.
2008/11/18 Helen Gerth
From personal experience....it may take a while, but Divine Justice always does seem to catch up to people and I have to say I'm grateful for that, it just isn't always the way we think it should...and most people I've known always know at some point they are doing wrong, they just choose not to change but that doesn't mean they don't feel the guilt....
I suppose I just don't see any way to follow the teachings of Zarathushtra or another religious tradition and not believe in a supreme or divine justice. If nothing else, basic physics teaches for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction....so behavior is not enacted in a vacuum without eventual consequences...
just my perhaps peculiar view :-)
--- On Mon, 11/17/08, Special Kain
From: Special Kain
Subject: [Ushta] The problem of justice
Date: Monday, November 17, 2008, 4:17 AM
We have a conversation on the "Zoroastrian Friends" mailing list about justice and people always getting what they deserve. It all started with quoting "Best Wish" from the Gathas, with Ali Jafarey's interpretation that people committing horrible acts know exactly what they're doing and therefore suffer from a guilty conscience. And I just don't agree with that.
It is common knowledge in criminology that criminals usually justify their acts rationally via so-called 'neutralization techniques'. They know what they're doing, but they don't feel guilty at all.
On the other hand, I know lots of people who did some really horrible things, and they don't have to bear any consequences. They just keep on doing that kind of shit, because they can get away with it. They don't have to learn a new skill.
There is no supreme and sacred justice behind the curtain judging our actions, defending the betrayed and defeating "the evil guy". It's not Hollywood, it's reality. In other words, people do not get what they deserve. They get what they take.
Maybe I come across as a defeatist or a nihilist.