Which religion influenced the others more? How many Christians, Jews or Muslims know that Zoroastrianism predated all of them, and is the source of hell and the good vs evil dynamic?
Properties of Zoroastrianism:
>Good god vs evil spirit
>son of god born of a virgin will purify the world
>burning fiery river to perish the wicked, (or hell), eternity with god for the good
>30 year old prophet of God sees an angel in a river, and then travels around preaching reform
>He also heals
Zoroastrianism is 1,000 years older than Christianity. It’s hard to say just how old the scriptures that were orally passed down are, and the rituals and foundations are even older.
Wikipedia reads like revelation:0
>The yazatas Airyaman and Atar will melt the metal in the hills and mountains, and the molten metal will then flow across the earth like a river. All mankind—both the living and the resurrected dead—will be required to wade through that river, but for the righteous (ashavan) it will seem to be a river of warm milk, while the wicked will be burned. The river will then flow down to hell, where it will annihilate Angra Mainyu and the last vestiges of wickedness in the universe.
I could go on for a while about this religion now that I’ve done a little research and even visited a library. (Gasp! I’m actually going to the library and reading books again!) But I’d just be typing up things I already have typed here and there in different places, and it seems pointless when I can just tell someone to go read a book. Of course, most of what I’ve written has been written elsewhere, I just didn’t realize it at the time. I learned so much about religion from arguing with people, and from reading snippets here and there, rather than systematically attacking any particular subject.
Religion, and the lack of it can be a rewarding subject. Honestly though, the real reward has been in seeking to learn for the past few months. The pursuit of knowledge provides things to live for. When you stop taking religion seriously, it’s actually more fun than stuffy philosophy because of all the mysticism and crazy stories people believe.
I don’t know how long I will study religion, or how much folklore, or Atheistic refutals from science & philosophy I can enjoy reading before I need to find a new field of interest. But the past few months have been very rich compared to the previous span of years. There was more of a unifying theme – rather than researching whatever I felt like reading, and forgetting much of it because there was no review. In the future, I could increase my enthusiasm by devoting 6 months of my life to concentrating my research into one subject or another.