I believe that David Thoreau's quote, "I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterwards. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right," means that people should think for themselves before they follow blindly behind someone else and that they should question authority when you believe it is wrong. Zoroastrianism is a religion that teaches that "life is a constant battleground" between the forces of good, represented by Ahuramazda, and evil, represented by Ahriman. Zoroastrianism also teaches that individuals have the capability of free will, and more importantly, a responsibility to choose between good and evil. These ideas, separated by a large amount of time across human history, are closely related in what they represent.
Thoreau believes that individuals should respect their own abilities and also to think for themselves. This belief in humanity is stated in the first part of the quote "I think we should be men first..."
Zoroastrianism's belief in an individual's free will and their ability to choose between good and evil parallels Thoreau's ideas on humanity's abilities. Thoreau also thinks that men have certain rights and that these rights should be respected by others. Thoreau is more interested that individuals understand the difference between what is right and wrong, and less interested in individuals following the rules and laws that may or may not be based on what's right. In a similar fashion, Zoroastrianism does not rely on what the gods think, believe, or do; but rather on the belief that individual people are not only capable but also responsible for choosing good over evil.
The belief that individuals can make choices about right and wrong is revolutionary because in previous religions, the central belief was that the gods controlled everything. An...