Karma
Old 03-12-2012, 08:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you believe in karma? Do you think that if you do a good deed that the universe will pay you back in some form, and vice versa? If not, what is your arguement against it?

I think believing in karma offers a way of living that allows you to look at your choices more closely and that if you believe your a good person, it can be a tool when times are rough that things will get better, a bit of hope if you will.

I used to be a firm believer in karma when I was in high school, but I'm not too sure where I stand anymore.

What is everybody elses thoughts on it?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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it might be true that people are more likely to do nice things for you if you have done nice things for them, but this is an issue of relationship development, not of some kind of cosmic moral balancing act.

so, no.

i don't find it helpful to believe in things just to make me feel better, when there is no evidence that the things might be true. and i have not seen any evidence that shows that the universe can somehow care about anything, let alone a construct as human and as flawed as what we think right and wrong might be.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So you're saying your a realist and need evidence to support any beliefs you have? I think some type of spiritual belief is helpful and comforting, an example being karma, although as I said previously I'm unsure where I stand about it. I don't feel like I need concrete evidence to believe in things in life, take religion for an example. I'm not a religious person, but I do believe in some higher power and I haven't quite worked out why I even do so, the thoughts are just there.

I think evidence of the universe caring can be shown through people. Look at charity's helping people in developing countries for example.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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people helping through charity is an example of humans caring for one another - that is humanism, not the universe having a psyche.

look, there is a huge difference between being spiritual (being in awe of the universe, acknowledging that there are many things you don't know, asking questions) and having faith (believing that you have one of the answers to these questions just because you believe, even if there is no evidence). i am a spiritual person, but i find comfort in questioning my ignorance, not in stating that i know an answer (like karma or any theistic belief) independent of analysis or fact.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hocus pocus.


(...says the guy with the george harrison avatar).
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 'trane View Post
people helping through charity is an example of humans caring for one another - that is humanism, not the universe having a psyche.

look, there is a huge difference between being spiritual (being in awe of the universe, acknowledging that there are many things you don't know, asking questions) and having faith (believing that you have one of the answers to these questions just because you believe, even if there is no evidence). i am a spiritual person, but i find comfort in questioning my ignorance, not in stating that i know an answer (like karma or any theistic belief) independent of analysis or fact.
What do you mean by evidence from the universe?
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What do you mean by evidence from the universe?
i don't understand your question. i don't know where i asked for evidence from the universe. perhaps i am being too literal in interpreting your question.

when i state that i would like to see evidence, what i mean is that i would like to see a testable hypothesis, with some details and, preferably, a proof. if there is such a thing as karma, you would have to show me considerable evidence that good things happen to good people, and bad things to bad people. it would have to be consistent (ie that bad things don't happen to good people) and it would have to be proven that it is something other than relationship building and that it had its origins outside of humanity. you would also have to show that right and wrong are objective and naturally occurring, and that the 'universe' can somehow be conscious of these concepts. also, you would have to show that the universe can be present and can somehow act on its determination of right and wrong.

that would be a start, anyways.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think good and bad things come back at us, and they can feel like payback for the good and bad things we put out there. The human mind likes to complete the picture, to connect the dots, to seek and find completion, and I'd say karma is a part of that.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by LX View Post
I think good and bad things come back at us, and they can feel like payback for the good and bad things we put out there. The human mind likes to complete the picture, to connect the dots, to seek and find completion, and I'd say karma is a part of that.
if you mean that we make up fairy tales to explain what we don't know or to find imaginary connections in what we see, then i totally agree. 'karma' as a human construct may exist. but that doesn't mean that 'karma' is something that actually happens in the universe.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 'trane View Post
if you mean that we make up fairy tales to explain what we don't know or to find imaginary connections in what we see, then i totally agree. 'karma' as a human construct may exist. but that doesn't mean that 'karma' is something that actually happens in the universe.
And maybe it doesn't matter that much that it's just a human construct, since our idea of the nature of the universe is ultimately bound to be a human construct as well. Are vibrating strings through 8 dimensions in a multiverse so much different? Or is it 9 dimensions?
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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well it matters a lot if we are acting socially, morally and politically based on fairly tales. especially when they are competing fairy tales and people are willing to risk it all to defend them.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christopha View Post
So you're saying your a realist and need evidence to support any beliefs you have? I think some type of spiritual belief is helpful and comforting, an example being karma, although as I said previously I'm unsure where I stand about it. I don't feel like I need concrete evidence to believe in things in life, take religion for an example. I'm not a religious person, but I do believe in some higher power and I haven't quite worked out why I even do so, the thoughts are just there.

I think evidence of the universe caring can be shown through people. Look at charity's helping people in developing countries for example.
I think that has everything to do with the fact those ideas are floating around out there. My girlfriend says the same thing when when I tell her I'm agnostic - that she feels something. I used to say the same thing until I realized it's just the leftover bits and pieces from my upbringing as a Catholic who attended a Catholic school. The older I get and the further I get away from it, the less I "feel" it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:05 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I was brought up a Christian, and went to church most Sunday's until I was old enough to make my own decision not to go. I'm not entirely sure why I have these beliefs, but they are there. I'd call myself an agnostic also, searching for some answers.

Quote:
well it matters a lot if we are acting socially, morally and politically based on fairly tales. especially when they are competing fairy tales and people are willing to risk it all to defend them.
I don't think somebody using karma as a way to better their life and act morally in decision making is a problem at all. Not everything has to be calculated with precision, a bit of faith in a decision isn't a bad thing until radicalism is brought into the equation.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I don't think somebody using karma as a way to better their life and act morally in decision making is a problem at all. Not everything has to be calculated with precision, a bit of faith in a decision isn't a bad thing until radicalism is brought into the equation.
believing in fairly tales and then using that to impact a world in which people have competing beliefs is certainly radical.

thae idea of karma is probably not as destructive as many otehr commonly held fairly tales, but i dobn't think it helps anyone to live in imaginationland instead of interacting with what actually happens. there are much more effective ways of doing 'good' in this world.

not knowing at all is better than being worng but being convinced that you are right.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So in that regard, all religions are wrong and it is wrong to practice those beliefs?
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:25 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So in that regard, all religions are wrong and it is wrong to practice those beliefs?
definitely.


edit - i should be clear instead of just being provocative.

we do not know (and in many cases probably cannot know) whether religious beliefs are objectively true or false. so it is incorrect to say that they are wrong in that sense. but the lack of really knowing is exactly why they are so damaging. they lead people to cling to false hope, they lead people to insist (often with violent and tragic consequences) on acting on and imposing figments of imagination. they rob people of freedom to choose and freedom to analyze. the spirituality is not the problem, the faith is.

i have said elsewhere on this site that the only place for faith in public discourse is as entertainment. believe what you want, but the moment your belief has an impact on someone else you should have to give evidence to back it up. any social, political or moral action based on faith is ludicrous and an affront to any social order that welcomes differece.

Last edited by 'trane; 03-12-2012 at 11:40 AM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:34 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thats not very respectful of peoples beliefs dude.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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yes it is. perhaps my edit will make my position more clear. all i am asking is that if something is going to have social and political impact (and especially moral impact) that it be demonstrable and analyzable. you can't just make something up and expect me to obey.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:51 AM   #19 (permalink)
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well it matters a lot if we are acting socially, morally and politically based on fairly tales. especially when they are competing fairy tales and people are willing to risk it all to defend them.
So what matters so much then - the fact that we act based on human constructs, or the need for some, and I emphasize some, to defend them as though they represent certain absolute truths, whether received from a greater power or gathered from an objectivity that lies beyond our abilities in an absolute sense? To me problems arise with regard to beliefs, which are dogmatic, as opposed to faith, which allows for and requires doubt and extends to all models of the all and everything.

Faith is faith is faith, and multiple faiths have co-existed peacefully and on equal terms all over the place through all of history. Fundamentalsts and extremists are the squeaky wheels that get all the press. I don't see a lot of those types talking about things like karma.
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Old 03-12-2012, 11:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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'trane:

Thanks for clarifying.

From what you said, I'm gathering that you're saying that you oppose "forcing" faith on somebody else. I also agree with this and believe that people should be able to practice their faith without forcing it on somebody else. However, using your faith to make moral decisions is absolutely okay in my books, unless the faith is radical as I have previously stated (ie. islamic radicals jihad belief).

Thus, believing and acting upon karma is okay.
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