What is Zoroastrianism? | Summary and Q&A

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April 7, 2015
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Harvard University
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What is Zoroastrianism?

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Summary

Zoroastrians believe in the principles of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds. This belief is not limited to their faith, as it applies to anyone seeking knowledge and truth. Zoroastrians emphasize the importance of free will and personal decision-making based on what is right. They see themselves as soldiers of good, counteracting the evils of the world through prayer, action, and practice.

Questions & Answers

Q: What does the bumper sticker on the back of every Zoroastrian's car say?

The bumper sticker says "Good thoughts, good words, and good deeds." This slogan summarizes what a Zoroastrian is taught, but it is applicable to anyone, not just followers of Zoroastrianism. It emphasizes the importance of thinking positively, speaking kindly, and taking positive actions.

Q: What does it mean to "think good thoughts, speak good words, and do good deeds"?

This phrase signifies a moral code that promotes positivity and ethical behavior. Zoroastrians believe that by cultivating good thoughts, speaking words of kindness, and performing helpful deeds, individuals can contribute to creating a better world. It is a way of summarizing the teachings of Zoroastrianism and promoting a universal message of goodness.

Q: Is the concept of "thinking good thoughts, speaking good words, and doing good deeds" exclusive to Zoroastrianism?

No, this concept is not exclusive to Zoroastrianism. While the phrase may be associated with Zoroastrian teachings, its principles can be found in various religious and philosophical traditions. It is a universal idea that encourages individuals to be mindful of their thoughts, words, and actions and to strive for moral excellence.

Q: How do Zoroastrians approach seeking knowledge and finding the truth?

Zoroastrians are encouraged to question, seek knowledge, and find the truth. They believe that knowledge is valuable and that seeking truth requires an open mind and a willingness to explore different perspectives. Zoroastrians are taught to be curious, thoughtful, and inquisitive in their pursuit of understanding the world around them.

Q: What role does free will play in Zoroastrian beliefs?

Free will is a fundamental concept in Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians believe that each individual has the power to make decisions about what is right and wrong. They are guided by moral principles, but ultimately, it is up to each person to determine their own path. Free will allows for personal responsibility and the opportunity for individuals to actively choose goodness.

Q: How do Zoroastrians view the world?

Zoroastrians see the world as a place where good and evil coexist. They acknowledge that there are negative aspects in the world, but they believe that their role is to push against those negative forces and promote positive change. Zoroastrians consider themselves as soldiers of good, light, illumination, and knowledge, striving to counteract the evils and bring about a more harmonious world.

Q: What is the role of prayer in Zoroastrianism?

Prayer is an integral part of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrians use prayer as a means to connect with the divine and seek guidance, strength, and understanding. It is a way to express gratitude and ask for blessings. Through prayer, Zoroastrians aim to align themselves with the principles of good and strengthen their commitment to thinking good thoughts, speaking good words, and doing good deeds.

Q: How do Zoroastrians put their beliefs into action?

Zoroastrians believe in translating their beliefs into action. It is not enough to simply think good thoughts or speak good words; individuals must also engage in good deeds. Zoroastrians actively practice acts of kindness, philanthropy, and community service. By embodying their beliefs in their actions, they strive to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Q: What does it mean to be consistent in speaking truth and acting on it?

Being consistent in speaking truth and acting on it means aligning one's words with their actions. Zoroastrians emphasize the importance of integrity and sincerity. It involves being true to oneself, staying true to one's values, and being accountable for one's commitments. Zoroastrians believe that consistency in speaking truth and acting upon it contributes to individual growth and the betterment of society.

Q: Can you elaborate on the idea of Zoroastrians being soldiers of good, light, and knowledge?

Zoroastrians consider themselves as soldiers in the ongoing battle between good and evil. By embracing and promoting principles of goodness, Zoroastrians strive to illuminate the world with knowledge, wisdom, and righteousness. They see themselves as active agents of positive change, working to counteract the evils that exist and bring harmony and enlightenment to the world.

Takeaways

Zoroastrians believe in the universal principles of thinking good thoughts, speaking good words, and doing good deeds, which promote positive behavior and moral excellence. They value free will and personal decision-making, actively seek knowledge and truth, and strive to counteract the negative aspects of the world. Through prayer, action, and practice, Zoroastrians put their beliefs into action and see themselves as soldiers of good and illuminators of knowledge.

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