It is important to keep the distinction between "wrongdoing" and "sin", especially as both Christianity, Judaism and Islam also firmly keep this distinction.
If Zoroastrianism is to be understood correctly to westerners with their Judeo-Christian background and in the Middle East with its dominance of Islamic values and culture, we must stress that as Zoroastrians we are against unethical wrongdoing but do not believe in the existence of immoral sin.
This has been my whole point all along. Ahura Mazda wants a relationship with a CURIOUS and CO-CREATING kindful human being, the Abrahamic God is merely looking for obedience, even blind obedience (Moses was blindly obedient, Christ was blindly obedient, Muhammed was blindly obedient etc).
Islam even deals with this obsession wth obedience literally, the word "Islam" means "Obedience". Nothing could be less Zoroastrian than that.
Zarathushtra asks questions and finds out for himself how to live his own life. That is ethics and not moralism, that is independence of mind and not obedience. The very opposite of Abrahamic religion!
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Thanks for your post.., you just made me post something about this story in the book of Genesis which may help us to figure out how far the concept of god in Zoroastrianism is to the one in Semitism.., I can prove in only a few paragraphs that the God of Abrahamic religions is Discriminate, Fearful, Unknowing and most important of all a naughty Lier;
Let's start with Genesis 2;
"18 Then the Lord God said it is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner... ... ...21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man."
In here we realize that God has made a great discrimination between the two sexes, firstly why he didn't create man and woman both at the same time, secondly why he created woman from man's rib and not from the same material as he created Man with, which would be Mud? This I believe has been a canon for discriminations against women for generations to come since 700 BCE.
Now let's have a look at this one in Genesis 3;
"...2 the woman said to the serpent, `We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, "You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die." ' 4 But the serpent said to the woman, `You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God,* knowing good and evil.' ... ... ...she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves."
In this sequence we see that God has LIED to Adam and Eve..., He told them if they eat the fruit they will die but it just a lie only to put them away from the tree of knowledge.., because they ate and they didn't die.., some may even trace a bit of jealousy in God as well that he didn't want humans be as knowledgeable as him... Wow.., so who has made the original sin humans or God himself?
OK.., here God goes off at humans still in Genesis 3;
"8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, `Where are you?' 10 He said, `I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.' 11 He said, `Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?' 12The man said, `The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.' 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, `What is this that you have done?' The woman said, `The serpent tricked me, and I ate.'..."
In this paragraph alone as God is doing his daily walk in the gardens he proves his unawareness of what's going on, even in his nearest territories, in the Heavens! He asks four questions from Adam and Eve and waits for them to let him know what has happened!!! So where is that All-knowing, Omniscient, Omnipresent God..?
Finally we get to last paragraph of Genesis 3;
"22 Then the Lord God said, `See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever' 23 therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the Garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man; and at the east of the Garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life."
There we can hear what God whispering to himself and shows his FEAR that if man reaches the tree of life, then God will have to kiss everything goodbye, so he just kicked the guys out...
There are lots of other malice that you can find in Abrahamic God only in this small portion of the Old Testament like Vengefulness, Grumpiness and introducing Earth as a nasty place of exile and so on.
Quran is a certified copy of the Old Testament just some nomadic Arab rules added to it. And such factors have all been like great motives for me to abandon Islam and find Zoroastrianism as perfect and logical as it sounds.
But I gotta say that I always respect those who still believe in these stories as verses from above.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, DINAMCI@... wrote:
> Dear Helen, Alexander and Friends,
> I agree that there is no concept of original sin in the Gathas.Â In other words, (as I understand the concept of original sin), in Christianity, Adam and Eve's act of eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of of good and evil was considered an act of disobedience against God, who had commanded them to not eat of that fruit.Â In Genesis, Chapter 2, verses 16 and 17, it is written:
> "And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat.Â But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it;Â for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."
> And when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from that tree, that act of disobedience not only resulted in their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, it also stained them and all their progeny with that original sin of disobedience.Â
> Now, Zarathushtra's teachings are very different to the foregoing inÂ several respects.Â Here are at least three:Â
> First, Zarathushtra does not see "God" as requiring unquestioning obedience from us.Â Â He wants us to think for ourselves,Â make good choices,Â and experience the consequences of our choices -- not as punishment, but as part of an on-going process of acquiring wisdom (an understanding of truth).Â
> The search for knowledge is a fundament of Zarathushtra's teaching, not something that is forbidden fruit.Â We can have no way of knowing if something20is good or bad until we understand it.Â
> Second, there is no concept in Zarathushtra's thought of being condemned, judged or punished for someone else's actions, even if we assume (for the sake of argument) that what Adam and Eve did wasÂ "wrong".Â So the whole concept of theÂ progeny of Adam and Eve being born with the originalÂ "sin" of their ancestors is totally alien to Zarathushtra's thought.Â Even today, most folks would agree that the child of a murderer is not guilty of the sin of murder committed by his parent.Â Well, under the concept of original sin, the child of a murderer would indeed be branded with the sin of the murder committed by his ancestor.Â By contrast, Zarathushtra teaches individual responsibility.Â We are each of us responsible for our own thoughts, words and actions.Â
> And third, according to Zarathushtra, primordially, we have within us the capacity for the divine, and the capacity for evil.Â There is no state of unknowing innocence, such as the Garden of Eden represents, and there is no concept of being banished from that state of unknowing innocence, as a punishment for failing to give unquestioning disobedience.Â That is a "father-child" paradigm (which is the paradigm of man-God in Christianity) rather than a friend-to-friend paradigm (which is the paradigm of man-God in Zarathushtra's thought).
> On the other hand,Â if by sin we mean wrongdoing, there are many instances of wrongdoing that are condemned in the Gathas -- corruption,=2
> 0cruelty, fury, tyranny, bondage, theft, murder, deceit, et cetera.Â In a nutshell, harming or injuring others (or ourselves) is considered wrong in the Gathas.Â Whether you want to call this "sin" may be a matter of semantics.Â But there is no concept of being damned for suchÂ sins in Zarathushtra's thought, as there is in Christianity.Â There is the law of consequences -- that we reap what we sow -- but that is for enlightenment, not punishment.
> The whole concept of "sin" became very complex in Christian theology, as to what is a sin.Â Many things that are not inherently "bad" were deemedÂ "sins" (such as eatingÂ meat on Friday many years ago).Â There are no such "sins" in Zarathushtra's thought.Â The only things that are "wrong" are things that are inherently unethical or "bad".Â Â Then too,Â is a bad thought, that you do notÂ translate into words and actionsÂ a "sin"?Â In some schools of thought in Christianity, it is.Â But not in Zarathushtra's thought, which tells us that we are born with both preferences -- good and bad (positive and negative, constructive and destructive).Â It is only what we do with our innate preferences that is right or wrong, good or bad.Â
> Wishing us the best,
> Dina G. McIntyre