Dualism: The Struggle To Find Order and Meaning.
The struggle to find order in the world and to distinguish humans from other forms of life has been the primal exercise of philosophers throughout recorded history.
For nearly 2,600 years, the preeminent philosophy in Western Civilization employed to "create- order in the world has been "Dualism,"" which is directly traceable to the 6th century B.C. Persian religious teacher Zoroaster (zar'oh as tuhr), also often called Zarathustra (zar uh thue'struh). Zoroaster's most fundamental premise was that the world is composed of two antagonistic and mutually exclusive forms of reality, principles, powers, or creators. Thus, according to Zoroaster, the world is ultimately composed or explicable in terms of pairs of fundamental phenomena or entities which are either positive or negative, such as spirit or matter, soul or body, good or evil, and light or darkness.
Many predominant modern philosophies in Western civilization are directly traceable to Zoroastrianism through (1) the Greek philosophers Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno, (2) the Roman Stoics, (3) the Manicheans and Saint Augustine of Hippo in the Third Century A.D., (4) the Albigensians of Southern France and Spain in the early Middle Ages, (5) the Italian scholastic philosopher Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century A.D., (6) the Jansenists of France in the 17th century, and (7) the Puritans in England and its American colonies during the 16th and 17th centuries.
In fact, most of the antisexual and antihumanism attitudes blamed on Christianity originated in Greek Platonism and Roman Stoicism. Principled and brilliant Greek philosophers Plato and his pupil, Aristotle, reasoned that the only semi-palpable features that distinguish humans from other forms of life are intellect and spirit. Based upon this apparent truth, they concluded that the highest and most worthy human pursuit is the development and nurturing of these attributes.