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  1. #11
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Infinite Bubble View Post
    Do you believe that karma exists? If so, why, and how do you think the mechanism might operate? And if you don't adhere to the concept, I also ask why that would be the case.
    I do not believe in karma, nor anything supernatural.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft
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  2. #12
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I call it Karma as a shorthand, but I'm a Christian and believe there is justice in the universe even when I can't see it. Or as I memorized in school: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    Which, is admittedly not entirely rational, but it gets me through the day and it helps keep me trying to play nice, so it has a function.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #13
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    No. I don't believe there is any connection between otherwise unconnected events that you can reap benefits from by doing good things one day.


    However, I do think that if you do good things, and you're given an opportunity to interact with people who you do good things for, it'll probably turn out nicely.

    Also, in some ways improving your environment for others can improve it for yourself.




    Otherwise it's hippy bullshit as far as I can tell. But I'll try and stay agnostic about the whole thing.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  4. #14
    Sheep pill, broster asynartetic's Avatar
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    I don't think it's supernatural at all. But how we decide to affect the universe has some small effect in the grand scheme of things. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, if not always readily apparent.

    I like Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism and many of their ideas of the universe, but I see them as very scientific religions, less concerned with trying to touch a higher god-power than with realizing universal truth and the oneness of everything. Call that supernatural if you wish, but I think science can back this up. I'm just too stupid and inarticulate to explain it any better.
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  5. #15
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyedecker View Post
    I don't think it's supernatural at all. But how we decide to affect the universe has some small effect in the grand scheme of things. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, if not always readily apparent.

    I like Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism and many of their ideas of the universe, but I see them as very scientific religions, less concerned with trying to touch a higher god-power than with realizing universal truth and the oneness of everything. Call that supernatural if you wish, but I think science can back this up. I'm just too stupid and inarticulate to explain it any better.
    I agree. And I think you explained it well. The energy you put out into the world is received by it and affects that which comes back to you. If you go around life smiling and treating others with kindness and compassion, you'll get a lot more smiles back and if you're in need, others are more likely to treat you with kindness when you need it. It's just as scientific as when you push a box and it moves in the direction you pushed it in. We are directly affected by our actions because our actions affect the world and the people in it and that's where our experiences come from.
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  6. #16
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    In the Dhammapada, Buddha posits a fairer version of Pascal's Wager towards karma, himself. Perhaps closer to Marcus Aurelius' "live a good life" quote.

    Supposedly he could convince anyone the true nature of cyclic rebirth. I haven't come across anything so particular as to move me towards its universal truthiness, but I do see its merits more today than I have in the past.

    As for actual the actual mechanisms through which it may work, that is perhaps something I would be willing to discuss in the flow of conversation. I'm not sure where to start or where to go once I have, because my mind is very jumbled about the subject.

  7. #17
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    karma has been misunderstood. it doesn't mean that if you do something bad, you will be punished, there is no deterministic law in karma. it means that if you generate bad things, probabilistically they will eventually come back at you, in an action-reaction kind of thing.

    "Karma is not punishment or retribution but simply an extended expression or consequence of natural acts. " (wikipedia)

    eg. if you are rude to people everyday, chance is people will start remembering that and treat you in the same way. if you are a good like mother teresa, chances are people will remember that and treat you well. paul mccartney said "and if the end the love you take is equal to the love you make". lavoisier has a law that said things do not appear or disappear, merely get transformed (conversation of mass)

    if so, i believe in karma.
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  8. #18

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    Karma seems a useful thing to believe looking out at the world. And your actions do have unforeseen effects that carry on forever and ever. But it isn't like a boomerang or anything, and isn't real in a direct cause and effect way.

    It just occurred to me how kindness benefits the recipient and the giver. That is kind of karmic.

  9. #19
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Karma does not exist.

    The only forces in the universe that we can demonstrate actually exist show no particular sign of following a pattern anything like how we view karma, and why would they? Karma seems like something designed with a purpose (which the cosmos is not) along the lines of a human idea of good and bad (which is subjective and chaotic).

    I don't even like it as a guiding philosophy. As someone trying to do right, you must understand that possibly nothing will return to you for doing so except the satisfaction of believing you have done right, and to assume that people who do wrong will be face karmic consequences encourages passivity in the face of injustice. The cosmos will not take care of that for you.
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  10. #20
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    Karma, as it has been said, is based on scientific principles which we observe in the concrete physical world extending into the metaphysical world. If you don't believe in anything beyond the concrete physical, then you won't think it makes a lot of sense.

    First of all, I don't believe there is a division between physical and otherwise necessarily; it's a continuum. There is nothing which is not in some way physical, and there is nothing which is only what we think of as physical. Science supports this.

    Actions have consequences. There are immediate ones, direct ones, observable ones; these are what people tend to focus on. These will likely be attributed to karma, but could also be coincidence. There are infinitely many more indirect consequences, some of which we can see if we are adept at seeing abstract patterns, but most of which will never be seen. Some will only be seen centuries later.

    Actions have consequences on all planes. Energy you put out has consequences in the concrete world, the social world, your own psyche, and the energy of the collective consciousness.

    Everything is interconnected.

    The idea of karma is at its heart nothing really supernatural, or improbable. The Hindu religion as a social and political institution has twisted it to suit imbalances of power and those who wish to do harm to and take advantage of others, but this sort of thing happens with any religion sooner or later. The core principles of the religion make a lot of sense.

    It is not really supposed to be a big system of cosmic punishment and reward; it's just theorizing about how and why things happen, and the interconnections. It doesn't even have to be driven by an intelligence, like a god-being. Hinduism at its most fundamental level is pantheistic. The universe is like a living organism. This doesn't have to be personified as a deity, and if it is, it is not separate from the world or anything in it. The universe creates itself, and in order to do so it must be organized in intelligent ways, and have some sort of collective consciousness. People disagree about whether that is a summation of all conscious things, or something transcendent as well as immanent.

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