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Can violence be used for good?

Discussion in 'Zoroastrianism DIR' started by The Emperor of Mankind, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    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?
     
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  2. Corthos

    Corthos Great Old One

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    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.
     
    #2 Corthos, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
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  3. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    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.
     
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  4. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    Violence is sometimes necessary.

    I think that's all I can say. It's a fact of life.
     
    #4 Rival, May 25, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  5. The Emperor of Mankind

    The Emperor of Mankind Currently the galaxy's spookiest paraplegic

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    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.
     
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  6. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    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
     
    #6 Rival, May 26, 2016
    Last edited: May 26, 2016
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  7. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    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'.


    :)
     
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  8. Valjean

    Valjean Veteran Member
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    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.
     
  9. Rival

    Rival Noahide
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    This is the Zoroastrian DIR ;)
     
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  10. Valjean

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

    Rival Noahide
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    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.
     
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  12. Tumah

    Tumah Veteran Member

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    Sounds like a recipe for a drink.
    Mix 1/4 Scot with 2/4 English.
    Add 1/4 French.
    Stir lightly and serve chilled with a dollop of 100% Zoroastrian.
     
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  13. MD

    MD qualiaphile

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    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.
     
    #13 MD, May 27, 2016
    Last edited: May 27, 2016
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  14. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    "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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