Menu Mazda, Sophia, Good, Evil 4020.12

BNP) Nevertheless evil does exist with its attendant problems of sin, sickness, suffering, death and destruction including those which are caused by men to their fellow human beings. So questions must indeed be asked: Did evil come from God at creation or did it appear on its own and as its own principle after creation? Or taking a different approach did evil start to exist as a consequence of free choice, which was a gift from God to mankind. Thus man is equipped with the freedom to choose either to believe God and goodness or no - god and evil, with each choice having its own good or bad consequences. Whatever may be the answer I would still like to believe that there is “summum bonum” as an eternal source and reality of life, but not “summum malum” which is merely an aberration, or deviation. Hence the essential message of the Gathas and the Gospels of redemption, renovation and restoration as a calling and commandment to those who want to embrace and be the embodiment of truth (ashavan).

MZ) It is a difficult issue. In one sense badness is just an absence of the good. The zoroastrian term 'dreg' (meaning 'deviation') captures it well. When things deviate from the best path of asha (rightness), then you know longer have perfect goodness, but something lesser, something impure.
Usually with bad actions we see action towards a positive goal mixed with various kind of 'blindness'. This may be blindness as to how our actions impact the world - ie. a blindness as to cause and effect. It can also be blindness which is lack of concern for the wellbeing of other people impacted by one's actions. This second kind of blindness may be complete blindness - i.e. you aren't aware of them at all, or else you are aware of them but don't care about them.
I think the gnostics were onto something with their ideas about the goddess sophia (wisdom) who could be led astray, and be an assistant to evil, in the absence of christ. i.e. Evil often has intelligence behind it.
It is a problem for Zorochristians how to reconcile the idea of Ahura Mazda as a perfectly good god, and Sophia as a 'god who means well but can be led astray' - when both Mazda and Sophia seem to mean the same thing - i.e. Wisdom.

WET) The Eternal, Almighty One (God) is ALL GOOD, and from The One, no other than Good can emanate. Yet the wicked assert that if there is Good then there must be Evil and that if Good has a source likewise Evil must have the same source. This is foolishness and a deception of the natural mind (ego) striving to justify its own corruption by sanctifying its existence through the usurpation of Divinity.
Those same wickedly ignorant souls have personified their wickedness in the form of ‘a twin god of evil’, ‘Ahriman’, or an ‘Adversary’ or ‘Devil’ in a vain attempt to avoid responsibility for our own wickedness as though another could be equal yet opposite to The One.
‘Ahriman’ (Evil) is not cause but effect; The cause is the abuse of our freedom of choice. Yes, there are ‘two mentalities’ available to the minds of humanity, that which IS (intentionally created – Goodness) and that which IS NOT (the uncreated, the consequences of choosing other than what IS - Not Goodness). In order that we might freely choose Goodness, The One, In all compassion, blesses all humanity with a free mind to choose; knowing that the option of not choosing Goodness would result in an unintended reality that is contrary to Asha (Truth, Righteousness, Divine Order, the Way of The One). ‘Ahriman’ (Evil) is humanity’s personification of the cumulative effects of our self-centered choices, that unintended reality that is contrary to Asha.
Who then is the creator of Ahriman (Evil) if not humanity itself? And from where does this uncreated reality arise? From humanity’s abuse and over-reliance upon the natural mind (ego – the base mentality) that while most definitely has a proper place within Asha (insuring our material survival) yet, left unrestrained by The Good Mind, does quickly come to dominate our choices perpetuating within each of us, and thus the world, evil (Not Good). Thus, the battle continues to rage both within ourselves, with every choice, and within the world.
There is no duality in the Divine. There is Only The One, who is ALL GOOD.
The Origin/Cause of Evil
Third Proclamation of Asa Ruhka Nahri

MZ) I differentiate between 'Dreg' - deviation from what is best; 'Dreggor' - the supernatural being who causes Dreg (i.e 'the Devil') ; and 'Angramania' - the anti-life spirit which is a positive desire to hurt or destroy.
Of course the work of Dreggor/the Devil is largely created by human actions, but then in some sense so is the work of Mazda (or at least Mazda's actions in the world are created with the support of humans - there is a separate 'divine Mazda' who is independent of human action).

“If you do not take the distinction between good and bad very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of God. But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that.
You must believe that God is separate from the world and that some of the things we see in it are contrary to His will.
Confronted with a cancer or a slum the Pantheist can say, ‘If you could only see it from the divine point of view, you would realise that this also is God.’ The Christian replies, ‘Don’t talk damned nonsense.’
For Christianity is a fighting religion. It thinks God made the world—that space and time, heat and cold, and all the colours and tastes, and all the animals and vegetables, are things that God ‘made up out of His head’ as a man makes up a story. But it also thinks that a great many things have gone wrong with the world that God made and that God insists, and insists very loudly, on our putting them right again.”
— Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis

I'd like to take the first part of this original post, and change it:
“If you do not take the distinction between good and bad [gods] very seriously, then it is easy to say that anything you find in this world is a part of [the same one] God. But, of course, if you think some things really bad, and God really good, then you cannot talk like that.
Keep in mind that Ahura Mazda is all-good. But Yahweh/Jehovah says he created good AND EVIL.In other words, how can Jehovah be the same as Ahura Mazda? He cannot. If an imposter steals your I.D., does he now become you? Be serious. Like the Bible says, look at the fruits to see the character of a god. Is Jehovah good? The Bible has disturbing teachings like this:

Yahweh and Ahura Mazda are not the same kind of god, and lot of problems come from confusing them. However Jesus' 'father in heaven' could be Ahura Mazda.
The Greeks had a kind of god called a 'Tyche' who was a god who did both good and bad things. I think they would have called Yahweh the Tyche of the Jews.

SM) That's an interesting perspective to assume that Jesus' father is NOT Yahweh. HOWEVER, Jesus' name has Yahweh IN it. Yahshua is his name. So if his father isn't Yahweh, than why would he name him after Yahweh, and why would he have Jesus be born AS a Jew (of all races) and be raised as a Jew IN ancient Palestine/Israel? It doesn't add up, sir.

MZ) I can't explain Jesus' name in a religious way. However historically Jesus was a common name at the time and not one he actually chose himself to represent his mission.

My take is that Jesus was born in Judea because that is where He was most needed at that time as it was a centre of evil political power (caused by Jerusalem being on a crucial trade route that meant that taxes could be imposed on passing trade). This evil political power was corrupting the religion of the people, and Jesus came to try and reverse this.

At that time there was not a single 'Jewishness' so it is not a simple thing to say how much Jesus was or wasn't a Jew. The modern equivalent would be if Jesus was born an Israeli - something that wouldn't necessarily define his religious or other beliefs.

SM) "Corrupting the religion of the people"? The primary religion in that region was Judaism. Judaism has never been the religion of Zoroastrian people. So what business/motive is it of Ahura Mazda to focus on the religion in Jerusalem as opposed to anywhere else in the world at that time?
And Jesus explicitly identified as an ethnic and religious Jew. EVERY one of his innitial disciples was Jewish. He stood in Yahweh's temple and called it his FATHER's temple. Did u even read the Bible? Or the Gathas? Does druj ooze through your veins? Does the capacity to use a vivid imagination to twist things to fit your already predetermined "need" to fuse Christianity with the far superior Zoroastranism, know no bounds? Have you an unlimited supply of excuses?

MZ) Perhaps I should have said 'corrupting the morality of the people', rather than corrupting the religion, as that is the crucial issue.
There was a whole mix of religious ideas in Judea at the time - some of it deriving from the tribal religion of the Hebrews and other parts from the Persian Zoroastrians or other people in the Middle-East. So saying Jesus was Jewish doesn't put him in neat religious category.

SM) The Jews grafted-in Zoroastrian beliefs after the babylonian exilic period, but none of that fusion makes any sense. The ideas introduced after the major prophets and into the NT, are in opposition to much of what preceded it.

MZ) Yes, that is why some early christian sects such as the Marcionites - apparently the largest christian movement at one time - and the gnostics rejected the Old Testament and in some cases saw the OT god Yahweh as an evil figure. However they saw Jesus as a good figure, and didn't see their worship of Jesus as contradicting their rejection of the Old Testament and its god. So if they took that position, why can't we do the same today?

SM) Even if people want to take a Gnostic view of Yhwh/Yaldaboath whatever, doesn't mean there is evidence of Jesus' father being Ahura Mazda.

MZ) I guess people just have to decide if it makes religious sense or not.