• Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Ask Us About Zoroastrianism

InquisitiveScholar

Wanting to learn it all..
Hello all,

Not gonna lie, being stuck here in the Midwest USA, and only have a very small Zoroastrian Temple about six hours away from me to the north, it is tough not having a solid community to talk to. I do have a question for you Corthos, I see that you are a Gathic Zoroastrian. What, if any, difference is that to just general Zoroastrian?
 

Rival

Si m'ait Dieus
Staff member
Premium Member
Hello all,

Not gonna lie, being stuck here in the Midwest USA, and only have a very small Zoroastrian Temple about six hours away from me to the north, it is tough not having a solid community to talk to. I do have a question for you Corthos, I see that you are a Gathic Zoroastrian. What, if any, difference is that to just general Zoroastrian?
Corthos hasn't been on in a while but it was I who talked to him about the faith a lot when he first arrived, being then a Zoroastrian myself. I think he means that he rejects the Avesta and is a reform Zoroastrian.
 

InquisitiveScholar

Wanting to learn it all..
Corthos hasn't been on in a while but it was I who talked to him about the faith a lot when he first arrived, being then a Zoroastrian myself. I think he means that he rejects the Avesta and is a reform Zoroastrian.
Hmm, well what does that mean? As you are aware, I am still a recent convert so I have much to learn.
 

Rival

Si m'ait Dieus
Staff member
Premium Member
Hmm, well what does that mean? As you are aware, I am still a recent convert so I have much to learn.
He believes that the only scriptures are the Gathas and rejects later beliefs that made it into Zoroastrianism. I'm on a phone atm so I can't type a great deal.

@MD
 
  • Like
Reactions: MD

MD

qualiaphile
Hmm, well what does that mean? As you are aware, I am still a recent convert so I have much to learn.

Hi Inquisitive scholar, we have spoken before, I was known as shahz in the past here.

The Avesta is a collection of various texts, including the Gathas. As a Zoroastrian who seems to be more philosophically inclined, I feel the Gathas are philosophically satisfying. I try to pray sometimes, but my focus is more so on the philosophy of the faith.
 

InquisitiveScholar

Wanting to learn it all..
Hi Inquisitive scholar, we have spoken before, I was known as shahz in the past here.

The Avesta is a collection of various texts, including the Gathas. As a Zoroastrian who seems to be more philosophically inclined, I feel the Gathas are philosophically satisfying. I try to pray sometimes, but my focus is more so on the philosophy of the faith.
Oh I see, so after Alexander burned the city of Pasargadae, the scriptures created later are the ones he ignores?

By the way @MD I just wanted to say that, I went back and re-read an old post you made saying you were happy to hear about my conversion. I just wanted to say that reading that again, it made my heart skip a beat a little. Reading that reminded me that I really did make the right choice when I decided to convert, thank you for being a willing participant in helping me learn.
 

MD

qualiaphile
Oh I see, so after Alexander burned the city of Pasargadae, the scriptures created later are the ones he ignores?

By the way @MD I just wanted to say that, I went back and re-read an old post you made saying you were happy to hear about my conversion. I just wanted to say that reading that again, it made my heart skip a beat a little. Reading that reminded me that I really did make the right choice when I decided to convert, thank you for being a willing participant in helping me learn.

A lot of scriptures I feel were lost. A lot of them are also clerical interpretations of texts and ideas expressed in the Gathas. And a lot of them are based on cultural practices that are ancient.

To me the Gathas are philosophically sound. Free will, choice and good vs evil are not expressed better in any religious texts than the Gathas. The idea that we must dedicate our lives towards creating Asha is a noble one, and one that I work everyday towards.

It is good to have another Zoroastrian on the forums :).
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member
@shahz and I are willing to answer any questions you may have about our Religion. Since it doesn't seem to be very well understood outside of certain circles we've decided to open this thread to enlighten and spark interest.

Thanks!

Hello. What does the Zoroastrian Faith say about the future?
 

MD

qualiaphile
Hello. What does the Zoroastrian Faith say about the future?

Zoroaster basically said that the future is in our hands, we must work with Ahura Mazda towards creating a better future. The Avesta has a lot of stuff about prophecies and what not but I follow mostly the Gathas. The future is in our hand, and with help from God, we make our own fate.
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member
Zoroaster basically said that the future is in our hands, we must work with Ahura Mazda towards creating a better future. The Avesta has a lot of stuff about prophecies and what not but I follow mostly the Gathas. The future is in our hand, and with help from God, we make our own fate.

Yes I agree. But what are we supposed to do to create a better future? If there is no plan or blueprint how are we to proceed?
 

MD

qualiaphile
Yes I agree. But what are we supposed to do to create a better future? If there is no plan or blueprint how are we to proceed?

There is a blueprint, we intrinsically know what is good. Order, honor, truth, justice are all extensions that improve social cohesion. Deceit, lies, corruption and theft all destroy social cohesion, leading to chaos.

We don't need some ancient book to tell us what is good and what is bad. We kinda know, on a subconscious level. The Gathas simply reaffirm that.
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member
There is a blueprint, we intrinsically know what is good. Order, honor, truth, justice are all extensions that improve social cohesion. Deceit, lies, corruption and theft all destroy social cohesion, leading to chaos.

We don't need some ancient book to tell us what is good and what is bad. We kinda know, on a subconscious level. The Gathas simply reaffirm that.

Which is the best translation of the Avesta in English and the Gathas? I'd like to get the digital copy of some of these Books.
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member

Many thanks for this. Also, I've read that Zoroastrianism had a very significant influence upon other Faiths such as Christianity and Islam.
Is there a book available that goes into this?

My understanding is the Zoroastrian Faith believes in only one God. Is that accepted by all Zoroastrians? Ahura Mazda right?

My understanding also is that the Zoroastrian Faith is on par with the other great religions such as Christianity and Islam is that correct in your view?
 

MD

qualiaphile
Many thanks for this. Also, I've read that Zoroastrianism had a very significant influence upon other Faiths such as Christianity and Islam.
Is there a book available that goes into this?

I've just read stuff on wiki about religious influences, no books, but it is commonly believed it had a large influence.

My understanding is the Zoroastrian Faith believes in only one God. Is that accepted by all Zoroastrians? Ahura Mazda right?

We worship one God, which is Ahura Mazda. However Ahura Mazda is not omnipotent, but omnibenevolent. It sidesteps the problem of evil this way. Some people like myself see Ahura Mazda as a metaphysical force for good rather than an actual being. Evil is separate from God, rather than being created by God, according to Zoroastrian philosophy.

My understanding also is that the Zoroastrian Faith is on par with the other great religions such as Christianity and Islam is that correct in your view?

I think Christianity and Islam are deeply confused faiths, as they have a mix of Zoroastrianism and Judaism in them. Both Zoroastrianism and Judaism are philosophically different, and the problem of evil as well as free will vs predestination are logically incompatible in Christianity and Islam.

I think they are large religions but I don't believe in them at all, so I wouldn't say they're great simply due to their size. I would say Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism are great as they can hold their own philosophically and do so in a beautiful way.
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member
I've just read stuff on wiki about religious influences, no books, but it is commonly believed it had a large influence.



We worship one God, which is Ahura Mazda. However Ahura Mazda is not omnipotent, but omnibenevolent. It sidesteps the problem of evil this way. Some people like myself see Ahura Mazda as a metaphysical force for good rather than an actual being. Evil is separate from God, rather than being created by God, according to Zoroastrian philosophy.



I think Christianity and Islam are deeply confused faiths, as they have a mix of Zoroastrianism and Judaism in them. Both Zoroastrianism and Judaism are philosophically different, and the problem of evil as well as free will vs predestination are logically incompatible in Christianity and Islam.

I think they are large religions but I don't believe in them at all, so I wouldn't say they're great simply due to their philosophical inconsistencies. I would say Hinduism, Judaism and Buddhism are great as they can hold their own philosophically and do so in a beautiful way.

Very happy to have your reply. I always thought you believed in one God Ahura Mazda but why do people speak about dualism?

I don't believe evil exists. The same as darkness is the absence of light. So I don't believe God or this force for good you mention, created evil, as evil to me is the absence of good not an actual positive existence.

I found the book listed on the website you gave in your link quoting Mary Boyce.

http://www.dnzt.org/images/BOOKS-PH...Religious-Beliefs-and-Practices-MaryBoyce.pdf

Much appreciate you time and answering my questions.

In discussions with others about Zoroastrianism I want to have my facts correct.

So - one God - good thoughts, good words and good deeds.
 

MD

qualiaphile
Very happy to have your reply. I always thought you believed in one God Ahura Mazda but why do people speak about dualism?

I don't believe evil exists. The same as darkness is the absence of light. So I don't believe God or this force for good you mention, created evil, as evil to me is the absence of good not an actual positive existence.

I found the book listed on the website you gave in your link quoting Mary Boyce.

http://www.dnzt.org/images/BOOKS-PHOTOS/ENGLISH BOOKS/Zoroastrians-Their-Religious-Beliefs-and-Practices-MaryBoyce.pdf

Much appreciate you time and answering my questions.

In discussions with others about Zoroastrianism I want to have my facts correct.

So - one God - good thoughts, good words and good deeds.

We believe evil exists, and comes from another source outside of God. That's why it's dualistic, we don't believe good and evil both come from God. We worship one God, but recognize there is another force that works against Ahura Mazda.

If God is everywhere, then there should be no darkness. If there is darkness, then there are things outside God, nullifying omnipotence.

I'm glad I was able to help.
 

The Emperor of Mankind

Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic
Yes I agree. But what are we supposed to do to create a better future? If there is no plan or blueprint how are we to proceed?

There is a blueprint, we intrinsically know what is good. Order, honor, truth, justice are all extensions that improve social cohesion. Deceit, lies, corruption and theft all destroy social cohesion, leading to chaos.

We don't need some ancient book to tell us what is good and what is bad. We kinda know, on a subconscious level. The Gathas simply reaffirm that.

This is where Zoroastrianism differs substantially from other monotheisms - the concept of choice and how we were created. The Abrahamic faiths (most, if not all) portray our relationship with God as akin to servants in bondage to a master. The master lays out the plan for how we are to comport ourselves in action & in thought on Earth and we must not deviate!! If we do then we are sinners and we must beg for God's forgiveness! Further, the omniscience of the Abrahamic deity nullifies free choice because omniscience leads inexorably to a determinist Universe.

On the opposite side of the coin, Mazda is believed to be smart enough to understand that there's no point in giving us freedom of choice if he's going to have to keep spoon-feeding us moral instructions backed by a threat every half a dozen centuries or so. He creates us and instils in us a basic knowledge of what helps promote Good in the world - allowing enough knowledge to make communion with him possible to the right person - basically, he who asks as in the case of Zoroaster.


We believe evil exists, and comes from another source outside of God. That's why it's dualistic, we don't believe good and evil both come from God. We worship one God, but recognize there is another force that works against Ahura Mazda.

If God is everywhere, then there should be no darkness. If there is darkness, then there are things outside God, nullifying omnipotence.

I'm glad I was able to help.

Technically that nullifies omnipresence. Omnipotence can still be wedged in if you explain that God permits evil to exist but that would nullify Mazda's omnibenevolence, perfect Goodness, supreme moral authority, whatever you want to call it.
 

The Emperor of Mankind

Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic
Very happy to have your reply. I always thought you believed in one God Ahura Mazda but why do people speak about dualism?

Dualism is the approach where one believes in two conflicting forces at work in the Universe; most often these are good & evil but there can be others. For some reason the description of dualism is very often used as an accusation against Zoroastrianism as if the forces behind Good & Evil - Mazda & Ahriman respectively - are held in equal regard, both are viewed as gods and both are worshipped. This couldn't be further from the truth and, frankly, is an asinine claim when you realise that Christianity & Islam are also dualistic, as are other faiths yet members of these faiths are never accused of believing God and Satan are on a level footing.
 

loverofhumanity

We are all the leaves of one tree
Premium Member
Dualism is the approach where one believes in two conflicting forces at work in the Universe; most often these are good & evil but there can be others. For some reason the description of dualism is very often used as an accusation against Zoroastrianism as if the forces behind Good & Evil - Mazda & Ahriman respectively - are held in equal regard, both are viewed as gods and both are worshipped. This couldn't be further from the truth and, frankly, is an asinine claim when you realise that Christianity & Islam are also dualistic, as are other faiths yet members of these faiths are never accused of believing God and Satan are on a level footing.

Thanks and I'm glad you cleared that up because I've never liked it when its been said that Zoroastrianism holds both in equal regard as I thought you only worshipped Ahura Mazda.

Now it's clear and I can disregard or at least clarify in my own statements that Zoroastrians believe in one God.

I found that book by Mary Boyce quoted on the Zoroastrian website and I'm very impressed with Zoroastrianism. Many thanks.
 
Top