söndag 20 september 2009

Zoroastrianism and Process Philosophy

The connection actually starts with Heraclitus.
Heraclitus was the original thinker of process rather than substance in western thought, anti-Platonism begins with Heraclitus who was CLEARLY inspired by Persian rather than Babylonian or Egyptian thinking.
Both Nietzsche, Heidegger and Rorty celebrate Heraclitus and define themselves both as anti-Platonists and porcess thinkers. Dewey and William James is even more so.
Kant was a philosopher of substance and the last major thinker of substance was Hegel.
Wittgenstein is interestingly both. He began as a thinker of substance ("Tractatus") and then spent his mature age reacting against his youtful writings (which is why the older Wittgenstein is the formidable thinker of process).
Zarathushtra is a process and not a substance thinker. The world is in constant flux according to the author of The Gathas, and this flux should be embarced, should be CELEBRATED.
This is summarized in the very term Mazdayasna.

2009/9/20 Special Kain

If I will ever have the time to do so, I won't hesitate to do so. Right now I'm terribly busy graduating at the University of Zurich. There is only little time left to pursue anything other than my studies.

--- Rory schrieb am So, 20.9.2009:

Von: Rory
Betreff: [Ushta] Re: Zoroastrian thinkers
An: Ushta@yahoogroups.com
Datum: Sonntag, 20. September 2009, 12:56

Dear Dino,

Have you considered putting together an "apology" of Zoroastrianism using the writings of these western philosophers to explain Z to western minds?


--- In Ushta@yahoogroups. com, Special Kain wrote:
> Dear friends,
> If we are to explain Zoroastrian thought in terms of western philosophy, I'd say that Baruch Spinoza, Alfred North Whitehead, John Dewey and - to a lesser extent - Richard Rorty and Friedrich Nietzsche are very close to what Zoroastrian thought is containing.
> Ushta, Dino

2 kommentarer:

Judy Weismonger sa...

And...may I add Ayn Rand...whose works are about the respect for "individualism"...and attempts by the state, church, and other political movements to control the individual "mind."

Rand speaks much about the cooperation between the "mystics" and the "Atillas" (...The Hun) types, who both speak and preach in terms of "utopianism." All forms of "utopian" dogma demand that the individual subject his/her "will" (mind and mental processes that examine reality) into an ideology...often in acts of martyrdom, suffering, and self-crucifiction for _______ fill in the blank (usually defined as "humanity.) In such utopian beliefs, some how giving up, or subsuming one's realism is predefined.

However, this process of subsumation of the individual mind is often a one-way street, in which for example...nothing is asked of the "poor" (i.e. humanity), and magically, it is one's actions on behalf of the "poor" that save the "poor" from themselves. And as a further belief in neoreligious magic, it is promoted that if one gives up control of one's mind, sense of reality, property and intellectual rights...then "humanity" will benefit. Of course, this is the concept of "state socialism."

Furthermore, such ideology produces schizoid thought processes, in which on one hand the individual is given a sense of "arrogant" and unrealistic beliefs that they can "Change the World,"...by giving up control of the individual process of reality, and engaging in a pre-packaged "belief system."

And worse, most of these belief systems attempt to force conversions on all others, and shoe-horn them into the same narrow ideology...and "shame" on you if you seek to examine either the consequences of such belief systems, or "think for yourself."

Nearly all religions and political movements state nearly the same thing. What's missing in my POV, is a realistic consideration of the "consequences" of all belief systems that promise utopia. Although narrowly trained in the subject of ethics, I find that ethics is often created by how groups or individuals perceive the potential "consequences" of behavior by groups and individuals. The operative word here is "potential"...as its often such potential that serves as a focus, goal and a selling point of various utopian ideologies.

Judy Weismonger sa...

Part II: Rand states, that all consideration of "ethics" demands respect for the individual...who also have no right to harm others, except in defense of one's self or others who are vulnerable. Entire treaties on the subject of "social justice," however, have come to be ethically interpreted as the "struggle" against the "rich" ...to the point that in many schools of thought, especially social work, government, civil service, and journalism/media...it has become unethical for anyone to be "rich" or own property...and the only ethical management of such "injustice" is to "kill and eat the rich." Nowhere are the past, present, or future "consequences" discussed as to what actually happens when you "kill and eat the rich." The "rich" in this sense, have become the "New Jews" and are now in line to be just as persecuted. The "rich" have become identified as some kind of monolithic enemy, which those who promote utopian idealism use as a target.

Now where is modern Zoroastrianism in all of this, in relationship to traditional or "genetic" Zoroastrianism? Again in my point of view...I see some elements of modern Zoroastrianism using the terms "good words, thoughts, and deeds"...as a process toward conditioning its "acolytes" toward "utopian" thinking...in which there is an end goal of "perfection" if we just ___________. But, in my own personal studies of Zism, I agree with some in this forum, along with Ayn Rand, that first, one must recognize, and respect one's own existence first, and the individual existence of others...and the consequences of actions, both of which can be described as the process of "good" science and of a "good mind"...to then determine what are "good deeds."

For example: It is believed that "feeding the poor," and "redistribution of wealth" are good deeds. But are they? Feeding the poor in Africa without birth control and education...has resulted in ever-increasing levels of over population and poverty which is devastating the continent. Handing out welfare checks to the "poor" in the US has not changed the poverty rates since the 1960s, and has resulted often in poor women being paid to bear children without fathers as a form of "cottage industry," who they could not educate or civilize properly, which has resulted in the inner cities of the US being degraded into rat warrens of crime, drugs, violence, and more poverty.

Ergo...if Zoroastrianism is to lay claim to "good thinking" which will result in good deeds, and go on an international campaign to enlarge its influence, which would make me happy...someone, or a group of true Zoroastrian "thinkers" will have to be in charge as an authority of what Zoroastrianism is, including training and authhorizing/annointing "priests," etc. or the message will be diluted into it being just another "New Age" crystal-waving "Feel your Bliss" cult...used as a forum for selling political and religious utopianism.