About us    

 
 
 
 

Dr. Jose Luis Abreu was born in Venezuela in 1956 where he received his schooling.  He obtained his Bachelor and Masters degrees in Agriculture from Universities of Southwestern Louisiana and California State University, Fresno respectively.  Back in Venezuela Dr. Abreu completed an MBA and a Ph.D. in Management at Rafael Urdaneta and U.R.B.E. Universities.  His Ph.D. research was conducted in “The Ethical Dimensions of Management.”   Dr. Abreu has been attracted to Zarathushtrian religion and is the current director of Latin America Spenta University Foundation and a member of the California based Zarathushtrian Assembly in addition to his other professional activities. Jose Luis and his wife, America Noriega are actively raising their two children Andreina and Jose Luisito.   In August of 2000, Dr. Abreu  published a book entitled “The History of Ethics and Its Zarathushtrian Origins” in English and Spanish.

 

The Ethical Thought Proposed by Zarathushtra

Author, Dr. Jose Luis Abreu


1) The Ancient Wisdom about Right and Wrong: "The Righteous Origins of Ethics"

Ethics is the philosophical science that studies “what is right and wrong.” Socrates, (470-399 BC), Plato (428-348 BC) and Aristotle (384-322 BC) are considered by the vast majority of philosophical researchers as the first to study and promote the concepts of ethics. However, approximately 1305 years before any one of them even existed, a prophet and philosopher named Zarathushtra established that the human world on this earth is divided into two areas -the righteous and the wrongful (Gathas songs 3,4,10 and other references).

As a human being and as a philosophical scientist, Zarathushtra, in his search for truth, found and realized the Supreme and Divine Entity of Creation called "Ahura Mazda.” From that point, He recorded the divine teachings in seventeen songs as the eternal guidelines for humanity. These songs were referred as "Gathas" , which means "sacred songs". The divine philosopher wanted to maintain an ever-fresh message, so, using a poetic approach was the easiest way of transmitting the knowledge.

The Standard Encyclopedic Dictionary defines the basic terms this way:

● Philosophy: Science that deals with the inquiry into the most comprehensive principles of reality in general, or of some sector of it, as human knowledge or human values. The love of wisdom, and the search for it (Greek).

● Philosopher: A student or specialist in philosophy. Lover of wisdom (Greek).
It can be affirmed without the slightest shadow of a doubt that besides being a religious person, Zarathushtra was the first historically known philosopher. It can be found in Gathas songs 3.1, 4.6, 17, 19, 7.10, that Zarathushtra promotes the love for wisdom, which fulfills the aforementioned definitions. In addition, the name of Zarathushtra's God "Ahura Mazda" is a compound one. “Ahura” means Existing or Self-Existing One, and “Mazda” means Wisdom; God is therefore known as Lord Wisdom, which perfectly fits the definition of a philosophical God.

The idea is not to diminish the valuable contribution of some of the greatest philosophers to the ethical field of Science, but to clarify for the sake of mankind’s memory and history the divine truth involved in ancient teachings of what is right and what is wrong. These teachings, under the influence of time and human forgetting, have deviated from their primal sources, as the result of human intellectual limitations. Some of the later teachings attributed to Zarathushtra seem far away from the limitless universal vision offered by Ahura Mazda and Zarathushtra in the original text, the Gathas.

The sacred ethics of Zoroastrianism provide a perfect guide to every person on this planet to reach immortality and enlightenment without renouncing mental and physical freedom and choice. The Zarathushtrian philosophy respects the issues of human rights which are currently studied under the criteria of applied ethics. For instance, in Zarathushtrian ethical philosophy, men and women are considered equal and should enjoy the same rights according to this way of thought ( Gatha songs 3.2, 17, 5 ). There should be no discrimination against sex, color, race or nationality.

With respect to Environmental Ethics, an aspect widely studied by academic researchers interested in ecological issues and human responsibility, it is interesting to find out that the Good Religion of Zarathushtra proclaims that everything in nature is a divine creation and as such, should be respected and loved profoundly. This doctrine promotes a progressive ecological order in a highly scientific manner. It means that the sacred teachings are eco-compatible.

The virtue theory of Aristotle in ethics established that the basis for morality depends upon the development of good elements of character, or virtues. The Gathic approach, however, goes beyond this theoretical appreciation with a more universal vision and reveals that there are divine emanations or aspects of the creator that are immanent in all of the elements of creation, including ourselves.

2) Ethical Principles and Values in the Gathas

Theory of Values

Theory of Values or Axiology ( from axios=values, logos=treatise ), is the philosophical discipline that is in charge of the studies about values. It is believed by many researchers that this discipline was born and initiated its first steps during the second half of the 19th century. Before the existence of Axiology, values were understood in an isolated and asystematic manner.

Rockeach ( 1976 ), is one of the world authorities in the studies of values and his classic definition of value is: "It is a conviction or belief stable in time that a determined way of behavior or an existential performance is personally or socially preferred to its opposite way of behavior or opposite existential performance."

Values are strategic learning processes ...stating that one way of acting is better than its opposite, in order to accomplish our goal, in other words, to make sure that things are done right (Garcia and Dolan, 1997)

Many scholars classify values in two groups:
 
1) Personal values:
These are the kind of values the person wants for him- or herself. They answer the question: What is (for you) the most important thing in life?
They range from "being happy" to "having prestige". Some examples are: to have a good life, happiness, health, salvation, family, success, self realization, good status, material wellbeing, wisdom, friendship, work, respect, courage, love, etc.

2) Ethical-Social Values:
These are aspirations or purposes that benefit our society, such as: respect for the environment or respect for human rights. They answer the questions about: What do you want for the world? Examples: Peace, ecological respect t for our planet, social justice, etc.

When the Gathas are studied it can be concluded that the Theory of Values had its first roots, long before the 19th century, in the philosophical and sacred teachings of Zarathushtra. Every song promotes the cultivation of values. Without any doubts the formulation of this important theory was first made by the Leader of the Living World: Asho Zarathushtra.

In order to support our explanation, a list of ethical values and principles compiled from the Gathas (Jafarey´s version) is presented:

1. Adoration
2. Advice
3. Beneficent person
4. Brilliant Happiness
5. Charity
6. Clarity
7. Communion
8. Courage
9. Creative mentality
10. Dedication
11. Devotion
12. Discernment
13. Divine inspiration
14. Divine voice
15. Dominion
16. Duty
17. Endurance of body
18. Enlightenment
19. Felicity
20. Fellowship
21. Fire
22. Friendship
23. Good conscience
24. Good Deeds
25. Good Mind
26. Good Words
27. Goodness
28. Guidance
29. Happiness
30. Harmony
31. Health
32. Helpful person
33. Honesty
34. Humbleness
35. Illuminated Mind
36. Illumination
37. Immortality
38. Independence in dominion
39. Intellect
40. Intelligence
41. Invocation
42. Joy
43. Justice
44. Kindness
45. Knowledge
46. Leadership
47. Life healing
48. Love
49. Loyalty
50. Meditation
51. Mighty
52. Moderation
53. Nobleness
54. Peace
55. Physical enlightenment
56. Powerful
57. Progressive conscience
58. Progressive mentality
59. Progressive serenity
60. Progressiveness
61. Proper actions
62. Prosperity
63. Radiant Happiness
64. Revelation
65. Reverence
66. Right choice
67. Righteous conceptions
68. Righteousness
69. Self reliance of good mind
70. Serenity
71. Sincerity
72. Soul harmony
73. Sovereignty
74. Strength
75. Support
76. Sweetness of Speech
77. Thought provoking message
78. True actions
79. True leader
80. True speech
81. Truth
82. Victory
83. Wholeness
84. Wisdom

If the reader finds some other values that are not on this list, please let me know, because this information will be used for academic purposes.

3)Zoroastrian Ethics in Management

Concept of Ethics and Asha

There is a movement of thought in the management field that postulates the need of an ethical approach to management. This theme proposes that many ancient values, which are almost forgotten in the modern world, now seem to be necessary to build a more morally healthy society. In this order of ideas a notable number of scholars perceive commercial companies and business as agents of social renovation. If we go deeper into this aspect of the field, the concept of organization can be characterized from the point of view of the philosophy of ethics as well as that of business management.

Among the diverse ideas about ethics in management, the teachings of Zarathushtra are finding a place. It is due to the fact that the Gathas may well be the first ethical treatise in human history.

The field of Ethics, sometimes called Moral Philosophy, by definition “comprises the concepts of defending, recommending, and systematizing good and bad behavior”. This is easy to relate to the Gathas (Jafarey, song 3,1) “Now I shall speak to those who wish to hear of the two principles, which are of importance even to the wise.” Also it can be acknowledged in “Now, the two foremost mentalities, known to be imaginary twins, are the better and the bad in thoughts, words and deeds. Of these the beneficent choose correctly, but not so the maleficent. And in “Of these two mentalities, the wrongful mentality chose worst actions, and the most progressive mentality, as steadfast as a rock, chose righteousness...” (Jafarey, song 3, 3 and 5)

A profitable organization is composed of groups of human beings capable of generating wealth, who can respond to social needs and who can evaluate their productivity. Considered in this way, a business company constitutes an area of human relations that can contribute directly to the creation of a just society. In this approach, one of the main Zarathushtrian “Primal Principles of Life”, can be seen as a model of how a company should be managed. This is ASHA ( truth, order, righteousness ). It is, in Zarathushtra’s philosophy, the Universal law of righteous precision, which means “to do the right thing, at the right time, in the right place, and with the right means in order to obtain the right result” . This concept of Asha establishes the direction for successful management, in which the right decisions and right results can have a vital impact on the survival of any organization. Asha is something that is of constructive and loving benefit not only for oneself but also for one’s fellow creatures and for God. It is a constructive, beneficial and unselfish precision, aimed at excellence. Thus, Asha is the best guidance for high level management, because it brings success to the organization, to its members and to society.


 

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