Zoroastrianism

Discussion in 'Comparative Religion' started by sculptor, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,951
    I see that there are still a few zoroastrian enclaves in eastern Iran.
    How much influence has that religion had on the culture and current religions and religious practices?
    How much influence do the teachings of Zoroaster have on current practices?
    .....................................
    (edit---confession) a lot of what I think I know about zoroastrianism was predicated by reading Nietzsche (which may have biased understandings from further readings)
    Followed by looking at the religion as practiced by roman legionnaires.
    Would you consider his book on the subject reasonably accurate?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    I believe Zoroaster Had some influence over Judaism and Christianity, That is my personal believe . It is believed also Cyrus the Great was a Zoroastrian follower.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,951
    Yeh seems a core principle
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,419
    I wonder how well they are doing in the Islamic Republic. The most prominent group of Zoroastrians surviving in the world are the 100,000 or so 'Parsis' in Mumbai, India. They are descended from medieval-era refugees from Islamic rule in Persia. But their religion has changed considerably over the years and probably differs in many points from ancient Zoroastrianism.

    Scholars aren't even totally agreed on what ancient Zoroastrians believed. It's still kind of mysterious.

    Lots. Zoroaster was apparently a religious reformer, rejecting the many early Vedic-style gods of the early Iranians/Aryans in favor of a single monotheistic god of goodness and cosmic order (dharma/daena/din). Depending on how he is dated (there's a huge range of proposed dates for his life), Zoroaster might be the first major world-historical monotheist.

    At least one tendency in ancient Zoroastrianism (probably not the only one) was towards dualism, imagining the good god in cosmic battle against an evil god personifying disorder, chaos, non-being and "the Lie".

    There appear to have been different varieties of Zoroastrianism that conceived of this in different ways. Zurvanism apparently imagined a primordial deity called Zurvan that split into the good god and the bad god. Mazdaism seems to have imagined the good god and the bad god as primordial. And there were those who tried to preserve monotheism in this dualistic scheme, arguing that since reality was order and chaos supposedly non-being, the good god was still arguably the cosmic creator god and god of all that is real and true.

    Mankind's job in this scheme was to side with the good god against the evil one so as to help ensure the victory of everything right, good and true at the end of time.

    The dualistic idea spread into intertestamental Judaism, with the rise of the idea of Satan, the Devil. We see it in Christianity and in Islam too, which are ostensibly monotheistic, but still retain the myth of this evil supernatural power doing his best to subvert God.

    It might influence apocalypticism and the idea of a great end-times battle. ISIS is very into that in the Middle East. They think that they are acting out that last final confrontation between Islam and evil (us). We probably see hints of it in Revelations in the Christian Bible.

    Nietzsche's 'Zarathustra' served as Nietzsche's mouthpiece, preaching Nietzsche's ideas, which don't seem to have much to do with those of the historical Zoroastrians.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2016
  8. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,460
    I thought Zoroastrianism envisioned a god of goodness & light (Ahura Mazda) in a struggle with a god of evil & darkness (Ahriman) , with a possibility of the evil god winning & punishing followers of the other god.

    The outcome of the struggle (I think) depended on the number & fervor of the humans who chose each side.

    I liked the concept of being possibly being punished for choosing goodness & light, What is the big deal about choosing the good side if it is guaranteed to win as it is in Christianity & almost all other religions.
     
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,627
    Why do you think that anyone on SciForums would be able to answer questions about something as arcane as Zoroastrianism???
     
  10. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,951
    Ofttimes, one never knows if others can help find the answer until the question is posed.
     
  11. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    To my understanding Cyrus the great was a Zoroastrian at the time when Persian give freedom to the Jews which were exiled to Babylon abou 500 BC
     
  12. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,627
    Cyrus lived around 500BCE, and Wikipedia (for what it's worth) says that this is about when the first historical records of Zoroastrianism are found. Today there are about two and a half million Zoroastrians, most of whom live in Iran and India. It is a monotheistic religion, but not a spinoff from Judaism like Christianity, Islam, Baha'i and Rastafarianism--although they share some of its memes.
     
  13. timojin Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    I understand you are a Jewish pagan. ha ha . I believe when Judah was exiled to Babylon , they went into as idolaters , after they come out back to Israel they comet out not as idolaters according to the book of Ezra
    I would not be surprised if they were not influenced by Zoroastrianism, since Cyrus provided them goods and equipment to rebuild the temple .
     
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,627
    No. I'm a third-generation atheist. Some of my ancestors were Jewish by blood, but they were in my paternal grandfather's lineage. According to Jewish law, you're only Jewish if your mother was Jewish, and mine was not. Obviously this is because so many Jewish women were raped so fatherhood was not easy to determine.

    The only other way to be Jewish is to convert, which is not easy. You have to be circumcised (which, admittedly, isn't much of a problem in the USA because most of us already are), you have to be accepted by the local Jewish community, and you have to have a bar mitzvah, a ceremony that requires intense study, the performance of a civic duty (such as feeding the poor or working in an animal shelter), and the ability to read and understand passages from the Torah in the original Hebrew.

    It's even more difficult for women, because the Jews don't want their sons to marry gentiles and dilute the tribe's DNA. But it is possible.
     
  15. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,460
    I think Fraggle's reply is from a context of the more orthodox Jewish views. I think there are three types of Jews: Orthodox, Conservative, & Reformed (Not really certain of the latter two terms).

    Converting to the last of the three is much easier than converting to orthodox, with conservative being between the other two in difficulty/requirements.
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,627
    Even the Conservative and Reform temples establish a few requirements for conversion. You have to be circumcised. A few respected people in the community have to vouch for you. You need to know enough about the holiday rituals to participate in them, even if you don't quite know why. You need to know the most common Hebrew phrases like "Shalom aleichem." You have to have a bar mitzvah, which will cover all of those items, and in addition you will have to actually perform a mitzvah or "good deed" that satisfies the rabbi. As I said earlier, simply volunteering in an animal shelter is good enough for most congregations.
    The Orthodox temples are the most conservative. Only Hebrew is spoken during the ceremonies, and you're expected to abide by all the rules, such as eating only kosher food, not working on the Sabbath (not even flipping a light switch, so you leave your lights on when you go to bed on Friday night), and never using a blade to trim your facial hair.

    The Reform Temples are at the other extreme. You don't have to believe in God, you don't have to know more than a handful of Hebrew words, your bar mitzvah is pretty easy to pass, and of all the holidays, you can get by with celebrating only Passover.

    The Conservatives fall somewhere in between. I've never met a member of one of those temples so I can't say anything about them.
     

Share This Page