Karma - What do you think about it? I pretty much know what you all probably think about it in terms of not believing in it, but why don't you believe in it? For those that do believe in it, why do you believe in it?
Karma originated in the religion of Hinduism. It basically revolved around reincarnation and karmic debt and/or assets. If you are good then you receive good karmic assets in your future and also in future lives. If you do bad then you receive bad karmic debt in your future and also in future lives. Some say it's simply a probable outcome that results from your good or bad action and has nothing to do with retribution. I believe we should go by the definition that it's always had and originated with in Hinduism.
I have my own opinion and it's pretty lengthy so I will type it out after I see some of your responses.
Bear with me as this is kind of long and it seems like I'm jumping around from point to point, but it was a conversation with someone on another website.
I don't believe in karma. There are slime balls who seem to get whatever they want and live lives of luxury etc., and there are people who are nice people and they help others and they go through the most shit in their lives. Everyone has suffering, but there are some real pieces of work that seem to have less suffering than others. There doesn't seem to be any concrete rhyme or reason.
I also believe we don't really have true free will either. If we don't have free will then karma means shit. If we do have free will and "bad" people have good things happen to them, which we know is true, then karma is bullshit.
Karma can't be proven anyway. It's speculation and inconsistent. Happiness does not always come from doing good. Suffering does not always come from bad deeds. Karma is also linked to reincarnation and future existences in current and new lives which is also speculation. Good does not always bring good, and evil or bad does not always bring evil or bad. Both are empty concepts anyway when existence is perception.
Karma is also linked to altruism, and nothing is completely altruistic. As long as we have a "self" it's not possible to be completely altruistic. If we didn't have a self, then we wouldn't have a consciousness, and we obviously do.
Some people say that Westerners understanding of karma is wrong, but "Western" karma and "Eastern" karma are also linked and share much of the same definitions.
Karma is also based off of "Gods" which is complete bullshit and also speculation. There have also been many different definitions of karma from Hinduism. It's almost like someone saying their God is more real or valid than someone else's God.
It's all speculation.
Besides, if there is balance or yin/yang then that means there is equal "good" and equal "bad". There is no proof that it is equally distributed. It actually seems like it's not equally distributed with evidence of people's experiences.
Do you believe that choices are random? There is no causality if choices are random, right?
How can randomness be "free will"?
If there is causality, then we are not responsible for a "choice". If there is no causality and there is randomness in our "choices" then we are not responsible for a "choice" either. By definition, random means without pattern, further meaning all probabilities have an equal chance of being employed. How can that be proven as free will?
That's pretty logical, but I still don't think either position can be totally proven or dis-proven. We live in a system that we didn't create and that system has rules. We are inside that system and can't fully understand it. At the subatomic level, there are consequences that lead to a broader scale. Just because we don't understand them yet doesn't mean it's free will.
Even if you think we have free will, there are rules surrounding that free will, which isn't really free will at all then. Without rules, there is no order. Without order, there is randomness. Randomness can't be free will.
Karma is unproven, inconsistent, speculative woo woo.
Anyone who believes in karma has to believe there is no free will or else it's not logical. Karma is dependent on the thought of reincarnation. Karma means your future is dependent on your past and you get what you get because of it. So if there is no free will then karma is bullshit. Karma is an argument against itself.
Karma pretty much means that you had a choice in your first life and that's it. Everything after that life is what you were destined for from your past actions.
It's not like there are scientifically peer reviewed papers out on karma.
Anyone who claims that the "new" definition of karma is Western is mistaken. It's the same that originated in Hinduism and always has been.
There might be some truth to "karma", but which part? Should it be discredited completely because of the reincarnation concept? Free will and causality?
People who believe in karma like to twist things to suit their belief. When someone challenges it, they offer nothing but belief and theories that can't possibly be proven or even measured. It's fine to discuss it as philosophy, but when people make it a matter of fact is when there is a problem.
Karma is not logical. How did the first negative karma happen? Mankind starts with 2 people fresh (just for the purpose of this discussion) and 1 of them does something "bad" or "evil" to the other one. How is that a valid concept of karma if they start fresh? The person being harmed didn't partake in anything to deserve the negative karma. Even if they did, then the person harming them didn't do anything to deserve the bad karma from that person. Karma makes no sense. This is partially why I said karma is an argument against itself. It seems to all go back to religious mumbo jumbo.
What if I walk up to someone and just punch them in the face and justify it by saying it's their bad karma from their past?
I don't really believe in it. However I live my life in such a way, that it doesn't mater if it were real. I am not hedging my bets via a Pascal's wager, but I just think it is a better world to live in if we all behaved as if it were real. So, in that regard I try to do my part.
Karma originates in Hindu speculation about how reality might work behind the scenes. It is not as non-falsifiable as supernatural deities, but it's close.
I see Karma as framing for ways to explain the seeming unfairness of life. If a given righteous person (for some given definition of "righteous" ) suffers when logic and fairness says they should be blessed, then it must be because of something hidden behind life's outward facade, such as unvirtuous deeds in a past life that need to be paid off. This has the added advantage, from the point of view of the clergy and perhaps the ruling class (assuming they are not the same group) that it gives a rationale for righteous people to patiently endure suffering rather than take out their grievances on the actual causes of their suffering, which are apt to have something to do directly or indirectly with the privileged classes.
Karma is also a logical development of a concept of a cyclic afterlife (Hindu reincarnation or Buddhist rebirth) as opposed to a sequential afterlife, as in the Abrahamic faiths.
Karma is, as I said, speculation. It is simply asserted with no substantiation offered for it other than circular reasoning and confirmation bias: X suffers despite being virtuous -- I subscribe to a speculative explanation that fits this fact, therefore, this proves the speculation -- NOT!