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A battle between two nations or two ideologies ?

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Alexis5 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 May 2018 at 15:37
When I think about the conquest of an ancient civilization by nomadic tribes who had just integrated under a new ideology or religion in Arabia and when I also think that Persians were somehow dissolved in the reign of that ideology despite long and somehow severe resistance and not totally dependent until after the invasion of Mongolians, it occurs to my mind that the battle was eventually between the two ideologies: Islam and Zoroastrianism rather than between the two nations.
Bearing in mind that Persians emerged as Persian Empire with the same ideology after many other invasions before and after Arab invasion such as the invasion of Alexander the great and the invasion of Mongolians, who both brought no new ideology along with their invasions.

 If so, what were the foibles or weak points of ancient ideologies or religions such as Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism or Mithraism that eventually diminished or totally disappeared in contrast with other religions such as Islam, Christianity, Hinduism or Buddhism?
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franciscosan View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2018 at 00:37
I think that most religions eventually get to something that can _not_ be expressed, except mystically through allusion or allegory.  Therefore, I do not see ideology as part of the essential nature of religion.  Religions do conflict, but I don't see ideology as the point at which they conflict.

Muslims recognize Zoroastrians as people of the book, like Christians and Jews (and probably others).  The writings of Islam, like the writings of Manichaeanism, are of the founder (Mohammed), unlike those of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, I would include Judaism there, but tradition attributes the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, Genesis through Deuteronomy) to Moses.  Most scholarship is highly skeptical of that attribution, but we should recognize that orthodox believers adopt it, and we should give some respect to their tradition, even if it is not ours.

Mithraism was a religion of soldiers, but that does not propagate well, Christianity was more often adopted by slaves and women, which propagated itself well.  Islam is not a religion of soldiers, but of warlike Arabian tribes.  I think that Arabs tend to make bad soldiers, no discipline, too many chiefs, not enough Indians, or rather no non-coms to span the bridge between the hereditary elite and the conscripts.  The US army runs on its non-coms, sergeants that make things happen.  

The point of religion is not in its propagation.  It is not a matter of those with the most heads, wins (except if you are amidst headhunters).  I would say that sincere religions get to the Truth, but truth of the religion, does not mean survival (either of the religion or of the individual).  Most religions demand the impossible of its adherents, and to some degree it allows them to achieve it.  Morally we often fail in life, but religion holds out the possibility that we might actually achieve what we imagine.
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Alexis5 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alexis5 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 May 2018 at 22:24
 As you said the truth of the religion, does not mean survival and I think the survival if religions in the long term and through the history,  is not in the truth or rightfulness of their philosophy or origin but it's in the humans psychology , sociology and mentality of the eras they have lived in .

 One theory is that most or all of the religions that survived believed in one god or deity (or ultimate destiny as in Hinduism and the like) that's the creator of (or superior to) all creatures , phenomena and powers , even the devil or evilness . 
And even in pantheistic cults there's no goodness or evilness .



 In most or all of extinct religions there are many gods , some benevolent and some evil .

 In Zoroastrianism and the like , the benevolent god is superior to devil , but it's not the creator of it  , so the devil is an independent or separate power from god .
And possibly the reason of ill destiny , misfortune and defeat .



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 22:30
I think prophets are the ultimate social psychologists.  They themselves understand God's message, and can put it into words that the people can understand.  (not _do_ understand (actually), but _can_ understand (potential)).  The fact that they are able to talk to ordinary people, say things they don't like, and not get lynched, is a miracle in itself.  I think all prophets have some divine insight in them.  Then there is Jesus, who is both divine and human.  And there are philosophers, who in the Jewish Medieval schema of things, had the understanding but couldn't express it in the ordinary vernacular.

For monotheism, there is the problem of evil, how can one have a supremely good, powerful, knowledgeable God, and how can that God allow evil to be in the world?  If you get rid of one of those three, (omnibenevolent, omnipotent, omniscient), you can reconcile the problem, or you can reconcile it if evil is not really evil (but just looks like evil from our limited perspective).

Polytheism doesn't really have the problem of evil, since you attribute different events to different gods and their natures (forces).  Also, polytheistic, and pantheistic gods are not necessarily good, they have their own interests, and to the extent those interests coincide with human interests, we might call them "good."  (Athena goddess of crafts, friend to the heroes Heracles, and Odysseus.)
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