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Can violence be used for good?

The Emperor of Mankind

Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic
This is more of a philosophical question but I've been wondering how Zoroastrians feel about it given their dualistic view of the world.

Harm and the desire to inflict such is a product of Regressive Mind, a child of Ahriman for the more literal thinkers. That said, can something that is an act of Druj be used in a good way or for 'good'? If a woman is saved from being raped because someone stabs her attacker, is the violence used to save the woman a good thing; of benefit? Is it a case of weighing up any 'lesser' or 'greater' acts of harm?
 

Corthos

Great Old One
This is more of a philosophical question but I've been wondering how Zoroastrians feel about it given their dualistic view of the world.

Harm and the desire to inflict such is a product of Regressive Mind, a child of Ahriman for the more literal thinkers. That said, can something that is an act of Druj be used in a good way or for 'good'? If a woman is saved from being raped because someone stabs her attacker, is the violence used to save the woman a good thing; of benefit? Is it a case of weighing up any 'lesser' or 'greater' acts of harm?

I would say it's about practicality. Asha is about the right workings of the world (and everything else), so when presented with a situation that is disruptive (and druj) to begin with, it must be corrected in a way that is appropriate... In the Gathas we can see that Asho Zarathushtra didn't have any problems with people defending themselves or even using weapons to do so, though I feel weapons should be reserved for life and death situations, personally (and rape can certainly qualify).

Now, if the person successfully stops the rapist (who presumably survives), but, in a rage, he tries to actively kill him anyway when the situation has been handled - I would say THAT is when he gives into his regressive mind. An act in itself isn't asha or druj, IMO; it is all about intent.
 
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MD

qualiaphile
This is an interesting question, one I have struggled with for a long time. It comes down a lot to ethics, a field I'm not well versed in. Personally if you'd have to ask me, I would say yes. I am a Utilitarian (to some degree), so if there is a point where you have to do some bad to achieve a greater good, then it is justifiable.

Of course what that greater good is and how far we can extrapolate it, well that's a subject for a long debate.
 

The Emperor of Mankind

Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic
Here's a much more tangible example of harm potentially being used for good than I can think of (I have Frank's permission to quote this here) :

"An elderly Florida man was in jail on Thursday after he said he fatally shot his ailing wife because her medications were no longer affordable and she was in pain.

William J. Hager, 86, was being held without bond in jail after telling responding authorities on Monday that he had shot his wife, Carolyn, in the head as she slept that morning in their home in Port St. Lucie, according to an arrest affidavit released by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.

Hager called the 911 emergency line at 1 p.m., several hours after the fatal shooting, the affidavit said. Hager told authorities that after the shooting he went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, and called his daughters to tell them what he had done.

"I want to apologize I didn't call earlier. I wanted to tell my kids what happened first," Hager told authorities, according to the affidavit."
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-murder-idUSKCN0YB00D

**** America. I expect cases like this to happen more and more, much like the cases of people committing petty crimes in order to go to jail just to be able to see a doctor. I really feel for this man and I know what it's like to feel that way, to see a loved one suffer day in and day out yet feel powerless to help - it's completely devastating. I hope the court grants him mercy. If our society had any sort of a heart or a conscience, he never would've been in that situation in the first place.

Is this an example of violence being used for good, 'the greater good' or whatever we want to call it? I'm posting here so @MD doesn't have to leave the comfort of the DIR in order to answer. :)


Violence is sometimes necessary.

I think that's all I can say. It's a fact of life.

I agree; I'm more interested in how we use it and whether Mazda worshippers are able to reconcile such usage with what they believe.
 

Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
It's My Birthday!
Here's a much more tangible example of harm potentially being used for good than I can think of (I have Frank's permission to quote this here) :



Is this an example of violence being used for good, 'the greater good' or whatever we want to call it? I'm posting here so @MD doesn't have to leave the comfort of the DIR in order to answer. :)




I agree; I'm more interested in how we use it and whether Mazda worshippers are able to reconcile such usage with what they believe.
Song 4:18

mâ-cish at vê dregvatô
mãthrãscâ gûshtâ sâsnåscâ,
â zî demânem vîsem vâ
shôithrem vâ dah'yûm vâ âdât
duchitâcâ marakaêcâ
athâ îsh sâzdûm snaithishâ.

Therefore, let none of you listen
to the messages and teachings of the wrongful,
because he brings danger and destruction
to the house, settlement,
district, and land.
Correct him with weapons.


Here is what I might call the 'tafsir' for this verse:

The wrongful deceives and therefore one should not listen to his misguiding words. It is his teachings which bring destruction to various units of society -- from house to country. Such a person must be corrected even if one has to use force.

Stop destruction, even if by force, only to correct it into construction.


;)

P.S.. I changed a 'sh' in the original song to a 'ch' so it wouldn't be starred out.
duchitâcâ
 
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Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
It's My Birthday!
Song 6:2

at ýê akem dregvâitê
vacanghâ vâ at vâ mananghâ
zastôibyâ vâ vareshaitî
vanghâu vâ côithaitê astîm
tôi vârâi râdeñtî
ahurahyâ zaoshê mazdå.


And whoever foils the wrongful
by word , thought, or action,
or if approached by a visitor,
teaches him good things,
advances in his convictions
to the satisfaction of the Wise God.

We are not allowed just to sit back and do nothing; Ahura Mazda has commanded us to be dutiful; correcting the wrongful with words and actions is 'to the satisfaction of the Wise God'.


:)
 

Valjean

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Any Scotsman playing the bagpipe outside my house at six in the morning can expect to be struck violently with the first object that comes to hand.
 

Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
It's My Birthday!
Any Scotsman playing the bagpipe outside my house at six in the morning can expect to be struck violently with the first object that comes to hand.
This is the Zoroastrian DIR ;)
 

Valjean

Veteran Member
Premium Member
Sorry -- missed the fine print. Didn't occur to me a Scotsman would be posting a Zoroastrian thread. :oops:
 

Rival

se Dex me saut.
Staff member
Premium Member
It's My Birthday!
Sorry -- missed the fine print. Didn't occur to me a Scotsman would be posting a Zoroastrian thread. :oops:
I'm 1/4 Scot, 2/4 English and 1/4 French and 100% Zoroastrian :D But since AGS is combining Hellenism with Zoroastrianism, he can post in here.
 

MD

qualiaphile
Here's a much more tangible example of harm potentially being used for good than I can think of (I have Frank's permission to quote this here) :
Is this an example of violence being used for good, 'the greater good' or whatever we want to call it? I'm posting here so @MD doesn't have to leave the comfort of the DIR in order to answer. :)
I agree; I'm more interested in how we use it and whether Mazda worshippers are able to reconcile such usage with what they believe.

Sometimes I wish I had done a Phd in religion or history instead of science, but here goes. As a disclaimer I'm not a scholar, but I will give you my interpretation.

The example you provided would seem to fall under the Utilitarian model of greater good for the individuals involved. However it highlights that the overall structure of society is ill prepared to help those in need. It is also troubling because if people start offing their sick and dying loved ones without their compliance, we could have a lot of murders happening under the label of 'mercy'. The overall effects of such a move might jeopardize social cohesion. If social cohesion is fractured enough, a society collapses. So a Zoroastrian would support euthanasia if the patient has stated so while compliant, but would not support vigilante murders.

Zoroastrianism believes in doing good and being good to attain Asha, which is universal balance and harmony. Harmony requires justice and order, which have to be protected and enforced. We believe we are constantly in battle against chaos and evil, and it is our universal duty to bring about Asha. Chaos/evil are the default positions while doing good and being good takes work.

Most Abrahamic faiths place more of an emphasis on deontological ethics, that the action is more important that the outcome. I personally try to think more utilitarian, that the outcome is more important than the action.
 
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Aupmanyav

Be your own guru
"Zoroaster appeals to Mazda for several boons, including the power to vanquish their foes for Vishtaspa and himself. .. While the chief hero of the conflicts is said to be Vishtaspa's son, Spentodhata, (Yt. 13. 103) in Yasht 13. 100, Vishtaspa is proclaimed to have set his adopted faith "in the place of honor" among peoples"

"In the myth, Zoroaster cures each of the horse's four legs in exchange for four concessions: first, that Vishtaspa himself accept Zoroaster's message; secondly, that Vishtaspa's son Spentodata (Middle Persian: Esfandiar) do the same; third, that Vishtaspa's wife Hutaosa (Middle Persian: Hutos) also convert; and finally that the men who maligned Zoroaster be put to death." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishtaspa

So when the need arises, one should not act like a coward.
 
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