In this episode, Joemma discuss Zoroastrianism; the world’s first “revealed” religion (meaning a prophet pulled this shit out of his ass/arse). Zoroastrianism’s theological innovations provided the backbone for the Abrahamic faiths as we know them today. It is admirable for its emphasis on celebrating life and its optimistic perspective, as opposed to the asceticism and self-loathing promoted by more emo religions of yore like Manicheanism.

Joe knows a fair bit about this shit, so he takes the lead while Emma says “OK, yep, interesting” a lot, and leaves the more linguistically dextrous Joe to pronounce all the foreign words just right.

Good thoughts, good deeds, good words and a good time will be had by all. Rev up your Mazda, you’re in for one hell of a ride.


22 Responses to “2nd Law #4: Zoroastrianism”

  1. zaron5551 says:

    what is the feed for this? I can’t find it on the site. maybe i’m retarded.

  2. The feed is a bit silly for some reason, don’t trust its lies!

    Basically, you should just check the page every other minute to make sure noone’s posted anything 🙂

  3. Another imaginary episode! Yay!

  4. The feed is here: feed://

    That is where it will remain until I get some spare minutes to reconfigure the “Podcasts” link on the main page to include 2nd Law.

  5. zaron5551 says:

    thanks Chuck

  6. Well, that wasn’t as hard as I thought. Now the feeds should be easy to find.

  7. Not on Itunes, so the podcast does not exist to me.

  8. Gliblord says:

    So how’s about that Zoroaster?

  9. moggie magfeline says:

    So far all the comments have been psuedozoroastrian

  10. Hey, you forgot Mithra.

  11. Emma & Joe: Another good show. I find Zoroastrianism fascinating and would consider committing my remains to a “tower of silence.” Gotta be cheaper than a regular American funeral, eh? How about a show on the Yazidis next? I’ve always loved peacocks.

    Also, I adore your opening/closing music. Can you give me some details about it?


  12. Gliblord says:

    @Sabina Thanks. The theme can be found here

  13. Jack Pollock says:

    Jeezuss Aich! There are still towers of silence! There are pictures on the web! Brrrrr. I would imagine the errant poisoned buzzard must drop a piece or two on unwary passersby.

    Thanks, you two! That was a new one for me!

  14. I understand that the goal of modern embalming is to delay decay of the body for the funeral, but I would have thought a religion about returning to nature would simply trot the body up to the tower and have a memorial service. It seems counter productive to artificially preserve the remains, even for a little while.

    Poor vultures. We big brained apes can really make a mess of things for other species.

    Good podcast. This is a religion I had no clue about. For a long time I confused them with the whirling dervishes which given their history with the Moslems would upset both groups, I imagine. Keep it up. There is now twice as much goodness on Irreligiosphy!

    Oh, and Emma Joe (or Jo) would be a perfectly acceptable name in my part of the world.

  15. My bad, I recalled incorrectly. It’s actually (from the Wikipedia article on Towers of Silence):

    In the past several decades, the population of birds of prey on the Indian subcontinent has declined by 99.9% (as of 2008) primarily due to diclofenac poisoning of the birds following the introduction of that drug for livestock in the 1990s[5] (diclofenac for cattle was banned by the Indian government in 2006). The few surviving birds are often unable to fully consume the bodies.[6] Parsi communities in India are currently evaluating captive breeding of vultures and the use of “solar concentrators” (which are essentially large mirrors) to accelerate decomposition.[7] Some have been forced to resort to burial, as the solar collectors work only in clear weather. Vultures formerly disposed of a body in minutes, and no other method has proved fully effective.

  16. Jack Pollock says:

    Basically, all that I learned from your podcast about Zoroastrianism has now taken a back seat to the grim details of how they dispose of the dead.

    I always thought it’d be nice and romantic to be tied to a tree after I die and let the bugs and critters feed off me, but the reality of doing that sort of thing in hugely populated areas makes it just freaky.

    Again, thanks. You may have launched several Horror/Sword and Sorcery titles from that shit.

  17. This is probably the most annoying atheist podcast out there. I cant even make it past the intro.

  18. Moggie Magfeline says:

    So Fred, technically it’s the most annoying intro. to an atheist podcast ever, as it seems you have never listened to the whole podcast. All feedback is welcome – thanks. We’ll keep working on it.

  19. I really like your music (intro and conclusion). What is it?

  20. Your comments on the Cyrus Cylinder got me very excited. Up until now, I thought that the Magna Carta was the earliest human rights document. Unfortunately, I was unable to verify your claim. Basically, a new tyrant comes to town and solidifies his holdings by freeing a few slaves. There are no rights for the slaves; just grace from the boss. Where have we heard that before? The British Museum (owner of the cylinder) specifically rejects the human rights claim.
    I’d love to hear you do a whole show on human rights in various religions (or lack thereof). It’s pathetic that the religious right enshrines the U.S. Constitution as a religious document when there’s nothing even close to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Bible.

  21. Gliblord says:

    Well fuck, something else I fucked up.