Effects of the Zoroastrianism Afterlife Scheme on their Ethical Teachings Paper
For believers of Zoroastrianism, where a soul goes in the afterlife is determined by a balance between good and bad deeds. The good deeds of a person have to outweigh his bad deeds for him/her to be able to enjoy ‘heaven’ in the afterlife. For those whose deeds weight out equally, there is some kind of purgatory or mid-level where they are sent, considering that in Zoroastrianism, there are various levels in hell. Bad deeds can be cleansed by way of confession or by the transfer of supererogatory merits; hence, leeway is left for human weakness.
Based on this concept of the afterlife, it would be safe to say that Zoroastrianism teachings focus on people having to collect more good deeds than bad deeds while they are still alive. As is with other religions, believers of Zoroastrianism, focus their energies on committing good deeds. There is a catch to this, however, that may affect how believers live their life. There is a very real possibility that believers would still commit bad deeds with the confidence that if they commit enough good deeds, their bad deeds would still be outweighed. Their teachings of dualism, where there is a fight between good and evil, and where the triumph of good is always assured, adds to this concept of balancing between good and bad. In other words, no matter how many bad deeds you commit, you can still enter heaven as long as you commit enough good deeds to gain entrance. There is one thing of note in this particular concept though, who counts how many good or bad deeds one has committed? Is there any way of knowing if your good deeds have already outweighed your bad deeds? Despite the focus of Zoroastrianism teachings on the collection of good deeds, there is no disputing the possibility
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that people will tend to manipulate and abuse this religion’s concept of the afterlife. Zoroastrians focus on self-regulation in their teachings, and human as we are, there is always that possibility
of going beyond these teachings or using these teachings as a scapegoat as most Christians do nowadays.
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“Zoroastrianism” Religion Facts. 20 Feb. 2009