Yes, well, it's great that we can sort this out, because actually I DO object strongly to this. As would Zarathushtra.
His whole point is that you can NOT in advance say what is right or wrong for everybody given an isolated situation, for TWO reasons: 1. There are no isolated situations, all situations are interdependent of each other (a holistic rather than linear worldview). 2. CHOICE is fundamental to Zarathushtra, it is through choice that we define who we are. When Zarathushtra says that we should do what is good, he literally means what is good for us, what makes us WHO WE ARE, unique and not standardised. Find your own way, define yoursekf through your own truth, do NOT follow a pattern taught to you!
I believe you have some Christian thinking here to get rid of before approaching Zarathushtra's philosophy. Not meant to degrade you in any way, but just to get at what Zarathushtra is actually SAYING. That desire for a universal formula has to go. It is alien to Zarathushtra and his worldview.
So he is very much a relativist. Not even an intersubjectivist, but a true relativist. The only credible asnwer from a Zoroastrian to the question: "What is the right to do, given..." is "That still depends on, because there is no such thing as a given situation, and each situation is confronted by a NEW human being, unique in his or her own being."
Now, THAT is what Zoroastrian ethics is all about, and what a Zoroastrian ETHOS of what it means to be human is all about.
- Dölj citerad text -
There is nothing wrong with what you write. To your phrase "Only that our minds etc must be constructive TO US" I would also add "and to our environment and fellow humans", which is what Mehr writes.
Now, please follow my steps :-)
I think you just confuse relativistic and dynamic. I believe that, for a GIVEN circumstance and by Zoroastrian ethics, we should be able to judge if an action is good or not, constructive or destructive, for that SPECIFIC action and there is nothing subjective about this judgment. This does not mean that our judgment will be valid forever, everyone or everywhere, as circumstances change (they are dynamic and so are our judgments). Do you have any objection to that?
I think we have similar beliefs, using different words. If you prefer "relativistic" it's OK with me, I would personally prefer "dynamic". The two concepts are not identical though.
PS If you think this is getting us nowhere, we can drop this here and move on.
--- In Ushta@yahoogroups.com, Alexander Bard
> Dear George
> I'm very glad that we agree. You're a clever guy too. Now follow me for a
> while, let's do the tango...
> Zarathushtra says that we should think constructively as to speak
> constructively as to act constructively. Furthermore, he says that we ARE
> what we think, we ARE what we speak, we ARE what we act, so we should
> identify ourselves with our thoughts, words and actions. And that's it. He
> leaves it exactly at that.
> Please note that nowhere does Zarathushtra say WHAT is constructive. Only
> that our minds etc must be constructive TO US. Consequently, the
> constructive mentality is dynamic and ever-changing depending on the
> circumstances. More to the point, it is constructive in a SUBJETIVE sense
> and a subjective sense only.
> Now, values are either absolute (objectively always valid for all times and
> environments, such as The Ten Commandments) or relativistic (subjectively
> valid only, and not for all times or for all environments, only for a
> specific person here and now). The whole point with Zarathushtra's ethics -
> which does not deal with any values at all, but only with meta-values - is
> of course that values are subjective precisely so that we can identify with
> them. We create ourselves!
> So what is it about Zoroastrianism being relativistic that you don't