The very tenets of Zoroastrianism could be feeding its demise, many adherents said in interviews. Zoroastrians believe in free will, so in matters of religion they do not believe in compulsion. They do not proselytize. They can pray at home instead of going to a temple. While there are priests, there is no hierarchy to set policy. And their basic doctrine is a universal ethical precept: “good thoughts, good words, good deeds.”While I know next to nothing about Zorastrian doctrines (despite having several Parsi friends), I did wonder if this were part of the cause of the decline, why did it take so long? I think it's probably more a combination of such teachings in a secular world for which religion ought to be an entirely private and subjective phenomenon.
“That’s what I take away from Zoroastrianism,” said Tenaz Dubash, a filmmaker in New York City who is making a documentary about the future of her faith, “that I’m a cerebral, thinking human being, and I need to think for myself.”
A little surprisingly, the article has led to some discussion in the Christian blogosphere: Amy has the scoop.
Anywy, FWIW, this is a Parsi agiyari (Fire temple) that I photographed in Baroda over the summer ...
And finally, all you Gamecocks: the purist in me just has to keep reminding people that the famous tune that we all go nuts to during football season, was used by Stanley Kubrick in the movie 2001, but is actually "Also Sprach Zarathustra" (Thus spake Zarathushtra) by Richard Strauss, inspired by Nietsche's famous work of the same name]