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Zarathushtrianism, Good Mind, Freedom of Choice:
Racial, Cultural Implications

Gathic Illustrations
Religion & Science

Abreu, Jose Luis



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To become a Zarathushtrian it is not necessary to join any segment or organization, whether it is classical or non-classical. A Good Mind exists within the individual who joins with others to collectively form a group. This collective mind or organization should never have control over one’s mind.  This freedom has been granted to every individual by Ahura Mazda since the time of creation. Joining organizations does not make us Zarathushtrians; it just makes us members of that organization.

Some 4000 years ago, Zarathushtra suggested that we should bring people of our religion together through the Good Mind; as recorded in the following stanza:

"Now, Wise One, every person, who has linked his religion with good mind through devotion and invocation, is a noble person of serenity through righteousness. He lives, with them all, in Your dominion, Lord." (Gathas, 14.5).

It clearly states that to live in the dominion of Mazda, we have to link our religion with the Good Mind. There are no linkages to any organization, culture, tradition or race, which would be a requirement to reach the dominion of Ahura Mazda. It also explains the universality of Zarathushtrianism when it refers to "them all".

Following is a report presented by an organization of scientists after many years of research and studies, which supports the view proposed by Zarathushtra in ancient times:

The American Anthropological Association concluded that there is no relationship between biological race and other human phenomena (such as social behavior and culture).

Since the 1950s anthropologists had come to question the very existence of race as a biological phenomenon. This rejection was based on three facts. First, they pointed out that the preponderance of evidence suggests that all human beings are descended from a common ancestor. Second, they observed that there are many biological differences between people that are not taken into account by race (for example, blood type). Finally, they pointed out that often times the genetic differences between members of the same race are greater than the average genetic difference between races. For example, the variation in blood types within specific groups is 85%, but the total variation between groups is only 15%.

"Race" was a mode of classification linked specifically to peoples in the colonial situation. It subsumed a growing ideology of inequality devised to rationalize attitudes and treatment of the conquered and enslaved peoples. Proponents of slavery in particular during the 19th century used "race" to justify the retention of slavery. The ideology magnified the differences among members of humanity, established a rigid hierarchy of socially exclusive categories underscored and bolstered unequal rank and status differences, and provided the rationalization that the inequality was natural or God-given.

Early in the 19th century the growing fields of science began to reflect the public consciousness about human differences. Differences among the "racial" categories were projected to their greatest extreme. Ultimately "race" as an ideology about human differences was subsequently spread to other areas of the world. It became a strategy for dividing, ranking, and controlling colonized people used by colonial powers everywhere. But it was not limited to the colonial situation. In the latter part of the 19th century it was employed to rank one another and to justify social, economic, and political inequalities among peoples. During World War II, the Nazis under Adolph Hitler enjoined the expanded ideology of "race" and "racial" differences and took them to a logical end: the extermination of 11 million people of "inferior races" (e.g., Jews, Gypsies, Africans, homosexuals, and so forth) and other unspeakable brutalities of the Holocaust.

"Race" thus evolved as a worldview, a body of prejudgments that distorts our ideas about human differences and group behavior. Racial beliefs constitute myths about the diversity in the human species and about the abilities and behavior of people homogenized into "racial" categories. The myths fused behavior and physical features together in the public mind, impeding our comprehension of both biological variations and cultural behavior, implying that both are genetically determined. Racial myths bear no relationship to the reality of human capabilities or behavior. Scientists today find that reliance on such folk beliefs about human differences in research has led to countless errors.

At the end of the 20th century, we now understand that human cultural behavior is learned, conditioned into infants beginning at birth, and always subject to modification. No human is born with a built-in culture or language. Our temperaments, dispositions, and personalities, regardless of genetic propensities, are developed within sets of meanings and values that we call "culture." Studies of infant and early childhood learning and behavior attest to the reality of our cultures in forming who we are.

It is a basic tenet of anthropological knowledge that all normal human beings have the capacity to learn any cultural behavior. The American experience with immigrants from hundreds of different language and cultural backgrounds who have acquired some version of American culture traits and behavior is the clearest evidence of this fact. Moreover, people of all physical variations have learned different cultural behaviors and continue to do so as modern transportation moves millions of immigrants around the world.

How people have been accepted and treated within the context of a given society or culture has a direct impact on how they perform in that society. The "racial" worldview was invented to assign some groups to perpetual low status, while others were permitted access to privilege, power, and wealth.

Given what we know about the capacity of normal humans to achieve and function within any culture, we conclude that present-day inequalities between so-called "racial" groups are not consequences of their biological inheritance but products of historical and contemporary social, economic, educational, and political circumstances.

WHEREAS all human beings are members of one species, Homo sapiens, and

WHEREAS, differentiating species into biologically defined "races" has proven meaningless and unscientific as a way of explaining variation (whether in intelligence or other traits),

THEREFORE, the American Anthropological Association urges the academy, our political leaders and our communities to affirm, without distraction by mistaken claims of racially determined intelligence, the common stake in assuring equal opportunity, in respecting diversity and in securing a harmonious quality of life for all people.