My problems with reincarnation and the belief in karma

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Evangelism
  3. » My problems with reincarnation and the belief in karma

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 11:29 am

My difficulties with the concepts of karma and reincarnation


REFUTING THE BELIEF IN KARMA



Karma is a belief that a person has to live many lives and improve in each until they become an ascended master and finally lose self-awareness into the mindless soup of the cosmic mind.

Alternatively, one chooses ones own next life from the spiritual plane in order to learn something in the next.

It is claimed by some variants of this illogical belief that one might have to live sometimes millions of lives before becoming perfect to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth and find enlightenment.

I believe this Karma is nonsense and will list my objections to this belief below:

1. The bible says it is appointed for a person once to live and then the judgment.

2. Karma says that a soul must live many mortal lives to reach perfection. Thus humanity undergoes must undergo many many incarnation from a bad human until one finally becomes an enlightened master.


One, nevertheless, must start out as a lowly life form such as a cockroach or garden Lilly and finally, after countless millions of years progress to become human

For the life of me how does a bad cockroach or garden Lilly become a "good cockroach or garden Lilly".

This belief if it where not so tragic would be very very funny indeed.

3. Karma says that if we have a weakness or fault in this life, we must return reborn, again and again and overcome our failings in the previous in the next life, or horrors upon horrors maybe revert to been a cockroach again. :shocked:

4. Therefore, any suffering we have to endure in this life, be it cancer, aids, all other sicknesses poverty, etc, etc is our own fault due to the evil or bad things we did in our past life. This is a cruel belief as many saintly people suffer and die in the most horrific manner. What soul would choose to be a Jew in the Second World War and see their beloved's torn from them in the holocaust and consumed in the ovens of Hitler's death camps?

5. the above paragraphs shows that Karma is nonsense, how can one so often be punished so terribly for something they do not even remember from a sinful forgotten past life. In my case I have had to endure a lifetime the unimaginable pain, horror, desolation of a sever mental illness. Is this the punishment for something I did in past life, that I have absolutely no recollection. (Manic Depression)

6. Another view favored by spiritualists and modern day channellers is that between lives we sit in some other dimensions and decide exactly what kind of life we choose be it beggar, rich person or what ever. Therefore, our fate is consciousnesly decided by ourselves, what nonsense.

7. What then about souls like Hitler, Stalin, Nero and the numerous depraved people on earth at the moment, did they deliberately choose a life of depraved evil and what they could learn by there wicked actions? They will degenerate further and further through each life as they are totally depraved without any redeeming good qualities what so ever. Surely, this type of person deserves judgment and eternal punishment, not escape into karma.

8. If we look at the out of control world population we see an exponential increase in the total world population, which is already a frightening 6.5 billion and growing faster and faster by the day. Where are all these people coming from? If karma is true, surely people should be reaching perfection and escaping the cycle of life and the worlds population decreasing. Not so?

9. Again, if karma is true we should be observing just the reverse. With more and more people becoming better and better and finally reaching enlightenment and escaping the relentless birth and rebirth with a subsequent decrease in the world population.

10. Although people are no more evil now than they were in the past (middle age horrors as an example), they are also no better, if we read our daily newspaper or listen to the news on the electronic media.


We just have to read up on the mechanized world wars of the past century and see the awful weapons humanity has developed and continue to develop to kill one another, with more and more sophisticated tools of death. Where is Karma in all of this?

11. Where are all the enlightened masters? There seems to me so few in these latter days. Please could one name just one living master for me?

12. A person I would call an enlightened master in present times would be mother Teresa and she did definitely not believe in the law of Karma but believed and practiced active love caring and charity nearly all the years of her long life.

13. If the law of karma is true, why are we still having more and more conflicts and wars all over the planet, instead of peace?

14. How then are the memories some claim come from past lives? I believe that locked up in our genes and encoded within the colossal D.N.A. molecule racial memories could be stored. Perhaps these ghosts of memories could perhaps leak into the conscious mind of some people who then believe they are remembering past lives.

15. Another fact that, has been proven, is forgotten childhood memories that are remembered in the case of trauma or under hypnoses.

16. My personal search for an explanation has shown not one indisputable past life memory in anyone. All could be explained rationally.

17. My own personal view on Karma and past life regression is that I hope this awful concept is not true. Who wants to live earthly mortal repeatedly?


Anyway, 99.999999999+++ of people just like me have no memories of past lives.

In addition, if I lived in the past and have no recollection of that life, the person I was then is truly dead.

18. I believe I exist now because years ago my beloved parents decided (Not me) to make love. I am sure I did not choose this life and am positive it is the only life I have ever had. What comes after, if anything remains an enigma to me and to everyone else on eat?

19. I therefore reject the concept of karma as a potentially cruel false belief and nonsense to any logically rationally thinking person.


Alan

 
xris
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 12:09 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Its not a problem if you believe, just like all other faiths it demands acceptance rather than logical debate.I can see points of interest and points that dont make sense but its a lot more credible than a benevolent god.I can adjust its teachings to suit me much more than christianity.
 
Icon
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 12:23 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Ummmm. I would like to mention that this is only one translation of Karma and not actually an accurate one. Karma has nothing to do with reincarnation. In all actuality, Karma is nothing more than a way to explain cause and effect. If you do bad things, bad things will happen to you. Similar to the Golden rule or the Categorical Imperative. Fact of the matter is that reincarnation is even believed by some scholars to be a mistranslation or representation of what is meant by the religious texts. It is now believed that it reincarnation is actually something which occurs within a single life time. The "rebirth" is signified by a change of perspective and the loss of memory of pasts lives is representative of moving past your original form. In other words, you can rebuild yourself in this life only by allowing your previous self to die and then being born again with a new perspective and a change of attitude. It is cautioned that one will never reach enlightenment if you cannot move passed your "previous lives".

Literal reincarnation and Multiple life Karma is a theological misrepresentation in the opinion of many who have actually studied the texts.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 03:21 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

Karma is a belief that a person has to live many lives and improve in each until they become an ascended master and finally lose self-awareness into the mindless soup of the cosmic mind.

Well there's your problem! Although this is a corollary of karma, this is not the essence of it. Karma simply means "action," and what it states, in no-nonsense terms, is that when you do something there are effects. If you do something good, the effects tend to be good; if you do something bad, the effects tend to be bad. The metaphysical part of karma doesn't even come in until late in the game, and more as an explanation to why there are good people who are life's losers and bad people who it seems all the good things happen to. But the nature of karma is simply cause and effect; the even more fundamental form of the doctrine is Buddhist dependent origin, and in Buddhist terms reincarnation seems to be basically two things: you live so long as the causation series you set into effect live, and you live so long as the parts that make up you live--in other words, (on the material side) a reiteration of the law of conservation of matter.

Hope that helped. hammer.
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 05:20 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

My difficulties with the concepts of karma and reincarnation


Others have pointed out that you have addressed reincarnation rather than karma. I would like to investigate the reincarnation concept.

First, you cite the Bible in support of your view that reincarnation is false. Have you not read where Jesus explicitly indicates that John "the Baptist" is Elijah?
 
Elmud
 
Reply Fri 13 Feb, 2009 09:28 pm
@Alan McDougall,
There is a fella by the name of Noss that wrote a textbook on world religions. If you can get a hold of this book and study Buddhism in depth, you may get a clearer picture of the teachings of karma.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:45 am
@Elmud,
Dichanthelium and others


Quote:

First, you cite the Bible in support of your view that reincarnation is false. Have you not read where Jesus explicitly indicates that John "the Baptist" is Elijah?


Jesus did not mean that John the Baptist "WAS" Elijah but that he came in the likeness and spirit of Elijah Smile

If John had really been Elijah he could not have reborn physically because Elijah never died did he??

Also John was most unlike Elijah in every sense, he performed no miracles and preached about sin and redemption, Elijah did none of these things

I agree that there is a sort of karma while we still live on this world. Cause and effect, but many evil crooks escape this how is that?

My point of my post had nothing to do with karma while "we live on earth", but "karma and reincarnation beyond death" and rebirth

There I have seen desperate poor, people and sick stepped over with disdain and disgust because they were getting just what they deserved from the transgressions done in a previous live

The untouchables of Indian society are/were just such as an appalling example of what I am trying to relate in my post

As for me, I hate the thought of having to be reborn by the process of reincarnation , become a baby, be smacked by my new parents go to school again, man! that is just awful.

Or maybe I have sinned so badly and screwed up this life so completely that I do not deserve to be reborn as a human and have to come back as a cockroach and start all over again. Some schools or karmic belief believe exactly that :perplexed:


If I have any say in what happens to post death I am moving on and not revisiting this bleak existence again
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 12:53 am
@Alan McDougall,
Quote:

Well there's your problem! Although this is a corollary of karma, this is not the essence of it. Karma simply means "action," and what it states, in no-nonsense terms, is that when you do something there are effects. If you do something good, the effects tend to be good; if you do something bad, the effects tend to be bad


You state by doing good that the effect of this is always good and unfortunately this in not always the case.

Some brave souls put themselves in the line of fire for a friend or loved one and are taken into prison and tormented for years and are finally murdered by the perpetrators

The journalist that was decapitated with a pen knife by terrorist is just one example.

I cant remember his name, but I know Angelina Jolie took the part of his wife in a recent movie
 
Elmud
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 01:46 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
Dichanthelium and others




Jesus did not mean that John the Baptist "WAS" Elijah but that he came in the likeness and spirit of Elijah Smile

If John had really been Elijah he could not have reborn physically because Elijah never died did he??

Also John was most unlike Elijah in every sense, he performed no miracles and preached about sin and redemption, Elijah did none of these things

I agree that there is a sort of karma while we still live on this world. Cause and effect, but many evil crooks escape this how is that?

My point of my post had nothing to do with karma while "we live on earth", but "karma and reincarnation beyond death" and rebirth

There I have seen desperate poor, people and sick stepped over with disdain and disgust because they were getting just what they deserved from the transgressions done in a previous live

The untouchables of Indian society are/were just such as an appalling example of what I am trying to relate in my post

As for me, I hate the thought of having to be reborn by the process of reincarnation , become a baby, be smacked by my new parents go to school again, man! that is just awful.

Or maybe I have sinned so badly and screwed up this life so completely that I do not deserve to be reborn as a human and have to come back as a cockroach and start all over again. Some schools or karmic belief believe exactly that :perplexed:


If I have any say in what happens to post death I am moving on and not revisiting this bleak existence again

I was wondering if reincarnation was mathematically possible. I don't have any beliefs one way or the other on the subject but, I was just thinking about it in that respect.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 02:06 am
@Elmud,
Elmud


Quote:

I was wondering if reincarnation was mathematically possible. I don't have any beliefs one way or the other on the subject but, I was just thinking about it in that respect.


Good point, yes exactly where are all the extra people coming from. unless they were previous highly evolved cockroaches, who changed into human , thus increasing the human population :perplexed: :sarcastic:
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 04:27 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
Dichanthelium and others




Jesus did not mean that John the Baptist "WAS" Elijah but that he came in the likeness and spirit of Elijah Smile

If John had really been Elijah he could not have reborn physically because Elijah never died did he??

Also John was most unlike Elijah in every sense, he performed no miracles and preached about sin and redemption, Elijah did none of these things

I agree that there is a sort of karma while we still live on this world. Cause and effect, but many evil crooks escape this how is that?

My point of my post had nothing to do with karma while "we live on earth", but "karma and reincarnation beyond death" and rebirth

There I have seen desperate poor, people and sick stepped over with disdain and disgust because they were getting just what they deserved from the transgressions done in a previous live

The untouchables of Indian society are/were just such as an appalling example of what I am trying to relate in my post

As for me, I hate the thought of having to be reborn by the process of reincarnation , become a baby, be smacked by my new parents go to school again, man! that is just awful.

Or maybe I have sinned so badly and screwed up this life so completely that I do not deserve to be reborn as a human and have to come back as a cockroach and start all over again. Some schools or karmic belief believe exactly that :perplexed:


If I have any say in what happens to post death I am moving on and not revisiting this bleak existence again
Was it not Elijah who sent his bears to kill the children who had taken the pith out of him? Why do accept certain passages in the bible , when they are so awful but find fault in buddhism.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 05:20 am
@xris,
XRIX

Quote:

Was it not Elijah who sent his bears to kill the children who had taken the pith out of him? Why do accept certain passages in the bible , when they are so awful but find fault in buddhism.


Were did I find fault with Buddhism ????

Firstly it was not Elijah that sent bears to kill little children it was Elshiaih Elijah's servant that did that and the poor old guy was angry because they mocked his bald head.

And this happened after Elijah was taken off the heaven on wheels within wheels etc

I was not referring to Buddhism The Buddhaist monks care for people and are altruistic.

I was referring to Idian belief in reicarnation and karma , and thing like the "Untouchables"

These people were/are born as fifth class people and can never rise in the ranks, they are the ones that have to remove the excrement of the higher classes such as the Brama people.

They are "Untouchable" due to previous karma, brought over from a previous life etc etc
 
Dichanthelium
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 07:26 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
Jesus did not mean that John the Baptist "WAS" Elijah but that he came in the likeness and spirit of Elijah Smile

If John had really been Elijah he could not have reborn physically because Elijah never died did he??

Also John was most unlike Elijah in every sense, he performed no miracles and preached about sin and redemption, Elijah did none of these things...


Jesus said that John was Elijah, in answer to a specific question posed to him. You have decided that he didn't mean what he said in that particular instance. What is your system of interpretation that allows you to decide when Jesus meant what he said, and when Jesus didn't mean what he said? And be careful, because your subsequent statement noting that "Elijah never died" indicates that you assume the writer of that statement did indeed mean what he said. So what's your system to sort these things out?

Further, you cannot argue, on the one hand, that John came in the spirit and likeness of Elijah, and then on the other hand argue that "John was most unlike Elijah in every sense." If you decide to stick with the latter claim, you should note that there is no reason to suppose that one's personality and actions in a previous incarnation must be closely matched in any other incarnation, so the fact that John was "unlike" Elijah in one or more ways does not support your argument.
 
Elmud
 
Reply Sat 14 Feb, 2009 08:41 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
Was it not Elijah who sent his bears to kill the children who had taken the pith out of him? Why do accept certain passages in the bible , when they are so awful but find fault in buddhism.

Wasn't that Elisha? Can't remember. Anyway, whoever it was, the apologist may answer with an allegorical interpretation of that story. I find both religions interesting, and find no real reason to try and disprove either.

Alan McDougall wrote:
Elmud

Good point, yes exactly where are all the extra people coming from. unless they were previous highly evolved cockroaches, who changed into human , thus increasing the human population :perplexed: :sarcastic:

On the other hand, you bring up a good point as well. I think that in Hinduism, Humans can be reborn in animal form. And I studied awhile back, I'm trying to recollect the religion. It may be Zoroastrianism. Correct me if I'm wrong. That there is a form of reincarnation for those that have lived a wasteful life, that you can be reborn as a spider, as a form of punishment. In any case, a case can be made pro or con on anything. As far as Karma goes, from what I've studied about Buddhism, and the teaching of karma, theres not much difference between that, and the teaching of you shall reap what you sow. And I believe in both of those concepts through life experience.You bring up an interesting subject. Thanks.
 
hammersklavier
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 02:41 pm
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:

Were did I find fault with Buddhism ????
You didn't.
Quote:

Firstly it was not Elijah that sent bears to kill little children it was Elshiaih Elijah's servant that did that and the poor old guy was angry because they mocked his bald head.

And this happened after Elijah was taken off the heaven on wheels within wheels etc
Point is, you're still attacking negative points of certain holy books but glossing over those of your own.
Quote:

I was not referring to Buddhism The Buddhaist monks care for people and are altruistic.

I was referring to Idian belief in reicarnation and karma , and thing like the "Untouchables"

These people were/are born as fifth class people and can never rise in the ranks, they are the ones that have to remove the excrement of the higher classes such as the Brama people.

They are "Untouchable" due to previous karma, brought over from a previous life etc etc
You're certainly not the first to find issue with (esp.) how reincarnation justifies the caste system. There are a number of Indian thinkers: Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Sikh, etc., who have found fault with this, and have condemned the caste system--Kabir, Nanak, Gandhi, etc.

On castes: Would you want to marry a leather tanner's daughter? (Thought not.) This is more or less how castes came to be; their problem is the fact that they're hereditary and that the concept of reincarnation is too heavily tied to them.
On reincarnation: A number of thinkers around the world came to the conclusion of reincarnation. Aristotle certainly flirted with it, and in the Aeneid Virgil (in his usual patriotic endorsement of official cult) said that after a millennium those virtuous souls that ended up in the Elysian Fields would drink of the Lethe and be reborn.

I would have to argue, in accordance to the mind-body symmetry demonstrated by Descartes, Spinoza, and others, what is true in the physical world probably has an analogue in the mental one; thus, reincarnation or something like metempsychosis (always wanted to use that word) would probably have to happen, in keeping with the (physical) law of the conservation of matter. And if we were to say that these reincarnations fell outside the driving entropy of physical time, perhaps many aspects of a single soul could run about the world at any one time and no aspects at some other time (so there could be, like, a dozen Alan McDougall souls, or more accurately, a dozen different aspects of the soul also currently occupying the body known as Alan McDougall) and not one of them could be identifiable with any other...not only that, but this nonidentifiability could probably also be used to explain why (almost) none of us remember our past aspects (incarnations).
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 11:16 pm
@hammersklavier,
hammersklavier


Quote:

Point is, you're still attacking negative points of certain holy books but glossing over those of your own.


I have no holy book and do not believe any book written by man is or can be holy. But that does not stop me exploring truth or untruth any where in can find it sacred books, science books , cosmology, philosophy I read read debate debate dialogue dialogue until I am comfortable that I have gleaned just a ray of real meaning out of this chaotic jumble as well as my insatiable search for truth and meaning beyond mere human existence :perplexed:

I do quote from any source and that might have given you the wrong idea hat my thinking is just bound to one book

In fact if you really the closest sacred book to my understanding is the Hindu scriptures, but my dilemma with reincarnation remains although this is a form belief in Indian religion and Indian philosophy

Elmud

Quote:

On the other hand, you bring up a good point as well. I think that in Hinduism, Humans can be reborn in animal form. And I studied awhile back, I'm trying to recollect the religion. It may be Zoroastrianism.


It is the Hindu religion that believes one can be reborn as an animal, thus for example their sacred cows messing upthe streets

I don't think reincarnation is part of the dying religion of Zoroastrianism , but I find much of that religion fascinating.

Evil is blamed on their evil god and good on their good god, nice separation don't you think Smile

Their concept of two opposing forces one good the evil makes more sense to me than a benevolent omnipowerful good god allowing evil :perplexed:
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 07:22 am
@Alan McDougall,
If you remember ancient sages in reality knew no more than us, they fumbled in the dark to make sense of this existance.You cant dismiss reincarnation because you cant answer certain questions about anothers belief.Do you not believe in a creator because some say he looks like demon and breaths fire? I dont fully believe in reincarnation but i dont dismiss it because of the caste system.Where new souls appear from is no more of mystery than believing in anything spiritual. It is always a leap of faith.I believe in the possibility of a soul , so my mind is open to the idea of rebirth as part of the cycle of life.The crap some want to hang around this proposal is for them not me.
 
Aedes
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 11:18 am
@Alan McDougall,
Alan McDougall wrote:
They are "Untouchable" due to previous karma, brought over from a previous life etc etc
As is the case in many instances, this social stratification has theological roots, but it's fundamentally a social and not religious issue.
Alan McDougall wrote:
I don't think reincarnation is part of the dying religion of Zoroastrianism , but I find much of that religion fascinating.
I don't know if it's dying, there are certainly a lot of practicioners in northern India (esp Delhi and Bombay), and London, and there's apparently a big community in New Jersey. I have a friend from India who is from a Persian Zoroastrian family.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Mon 16 Feb, 2009 04:47 pm
@Aedes,
Just out of curiosity: where did you get your information regarding karma? I ask because your objections to karma rely upon a notion of karma which is, to me, quite alien. Now, I may very well be the one who has completely understood the matter, which is why I am curious about your sources.

The objection about increasing populations, however, is unconvincing. According to Buddhist tradition, all sentient beings are caught up in samsara, the cycle of birth and rebirth - humans are certainly not the only sentient beings. So, even if we limit ourselves to this planet, the objection about rising human population falls flat. If we imagine that sentient life might exist elsewhere in this universe, then the objection loses even more credibility.

Alan McDougall wrote:

Karma is a belief that a person has to live many lives and improve in each until they become an ascended master and finally lose self-awareness into the mindless soup of the cosmic mind.


This is a strange way to define karma. Here is an excerpt from another site: just to give an example of another proposed definition of karma:

http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/karma.htm#1 wrote:
The Pali term Karma literally means action or doing. Any kind of intentional action whether mental, verbal, or physical, is regarded as Karma. It covers all that is included in the phrase "thought, word and deed". Generally speaking, all good and bad action constitutes Karma. In its ultimate sense Karma means all moral and immoral volition. Involuntary, unintentional or unconscious actions, though technically deeds, do not constitute Karma, because volition, the most important factor in determining Karma, is absent.
The Buddha says: [INDENT] "I declare, O Bhikkhus, that volition is Karma. Having willed one acts by body, speech, and thought." (Anguttara Nikaya)
[/INDENT] Every volitional action of individuals, save those of Buddhas and Arahants, is called Karma. The exception made in their case is because they are delivered from both good and evil; they have eradicated ignorance and craving, the roots of Karma.


Alan McDougall wrote:
1. The bible says it is appointed for a person once to live and then the judgment.


If we are going to criticize karma as "illogical", then it seems to me that quoting scripture of another faith tradition is a poor tactic.

Alan McDougall wrote:
3. Karma says that if we have a weakness or fault in this life, we must return reborn, again and again and overcome our failings in the previous in the next life, or horrors upon horrors maybe revert to been a cockroach again. :shocked:


Again, this characterization of karma is alien to me. I'm certainly no Buddhist or Hindu scholar, but I've managed to read some things here and there, and never have I encountered such an explanation of karma.

Alan McDougall wrote:
5. the above paragraphs shows that Karma is nonsense, how can one so often be punished so terribly for something they do not even remember from a sinful forgotten past life. In my case I have had to endure a lifetime the unimaginable pain, horror, desolation of a sever mental illness. Is this the punishment for something I did in past life, that I have absolutely no recollection. (Manic Depression)


The "above paragraph" express your distaste for karma as you understand the notion: distaste for some notion is not tantamount to a demonstration of the logical inconsistency of some notion.

Alan McDougall wrote:
6. Another view favored by spiritualists and modern day channellers is that between lives we sit in some other dimensions and decide exactly what kind of life we choose be it beggar, rich person or what ever. Therefore, our fate is consciousnesly decided by ourselves, what nonsense.


Now you are talking about New Age notions, which is something quite different from Buddhism and Hinduism no matter how often Buddhist and Hindu terminology is adopted by New Agers. Are you trying to show karma to be illogical, or are you trying to show some particular New Age concept to be illogical?

Alan McDougall wrote:
7. What then about souls like Hitler, Stalin, Nero and the numerous depraved people on earth at the moment, did they deliberately choose a life of depraved evil and what they could learn by there wicked actions? They will degenerate further and further through each life as they are totally depraved without any redeeming good qualities what so ever. Surely, this type of person deserves judgment and eternal punishment, not escape into karma.


Whatever our opinion of karma, surely Stalin, Hitler and Nero deliberately chose a life of depraved evil. Hitler chose to order the slaughter of millions of Jews.

Then you call karma an escape - but how is karma an escape. According to karma, even by your definition, is that one's life influences one's next life: thus, people like Hitler will face karmic consequences... according to your definition of the term.

Alan McDougall wrote:
11. Where are all the enlightened masters? There seems to me so few in these latter days. Please could one name just one living master for me?


This is certainly debatable, but we might venture to admit a few names. His Holiness the Dalai Lama might be tossed into the hat of names, and I'm sure you can find at least a few other possibilities if you look around.

Alan McDougall wrote:
13. If the law of karma is true, why are we still having more and more conflicts and wars all over the planet, instead of peace?


Because karma, it seems, is all about the decisions we humans make. If we take the path of peace, we have peace, if we take the path of conflict we have conflict.

Alan McDougall wrote:
In addition, if I lived in the past and have no recollection of that life, the person I was then is truly dead.


Doesn't Buddhism teach that the notion of an individual soul is inaccurate?

Alan McDougall wrote:
19. I therefore reject the concept of karma as a potentially cruel false belief and nonsense to any logically rationally thinking person.


And we are all entitled to believe as we like, but your objections to karma are primarily composed of personal distaste for a notion of karma which may not even be the notion of karma discussed in Buddhist and Hindu literature.
The only serious logical objection I can see in your post is the objection regarding world population, which is a good objection, though it does not seem to apply to Buddhist or Hindu understandings of karma; therefore, the objection is not convincing.

If we are going to concoct logical arguments against karma, perhaps we should hammer down a definition of the term which accurately represents the faith traditions which employ the notion. Again, I'm no scholar, and I am not aware of any Buddhist or Hindu scholar on the forum, so this would be a collaborative effort. We also might want to make some distinctions between the understandings of karma found in Buddhism and Hinduism and the various sects of these faith traditions.

Aedes wrote:
As is the case in many instances, this social stratification has theological roots, but it's fundamentally a social and not religious issue.


Right. Also it is worth noting that one of the more significant objections the Buddha raised against Hinduism was against the caste system. That's one of the stand-out differences between Hindu karma and Buddhist karma.

Aedes wrote:
I don't know if it's dying, there are certainly a lot of practicioners in northern India (esp Delhi and Bombay), and London, and there's apparently a big community in New Jersey. I have a friend from India who is from a Persian Zoroastrian family.


I wasn't aware of a large community in New Jersey: that is interesting.

According to wikipedia there are between 124,000 and 190,000 practicing Zoroastrians alive today. Not a major religious tradition in today's terms, but not dying either.
 
Alan McDougall
 
Reply Tue 17 Feb, 2009 08:08 am
@Alan McDougall,
xris

Quote:

"I dont fully believe in reincarnation but i dont dismiss" it because of the caste system.Where new souls appear from is no more of mystery than believing in anything spiritual. It is always a leap of faith.I believe in the possibility of a soul , so my mind is open to the idea of rebirth as part of the cycle of life.The crap some want to hang around this proposal is for them not me


Oh Man!! XRIS you are prepared to suspend disbelief when it comes to a belief like reincarnation and go as far as to say there is a possibility that we have a soul so we can incarnate and reincarnate in an every lasting , and to me, absolutely meaningless cycle of life.

You know what? if that were true I would much rather embrace the long sleep of eternal annihilation

What really really puzzles me you dismiss the idea of a creator but think this belief might have substance and truth ,

What is to me a sillier belief "than believing in god" to me that is, .

If we do have souls,and I believe we do, where do the origin and what is their final destiny?

Maybe loss of self into the great cosmic mindless soup of Oneness Not for me, if I have any say in the matter and we have a soul I will move on to better things not come back to this bleak grey existence, we call earthly life ,over and over again, up down up down no no

Didymos Thomas

I read through your responses and you really made it obvious that I know little about Karma. I did say when I started this thread that it was about my problems with Karma as well as reincarnation. I am prepared to move from that position when I get informative responses like yours

Hmmmmmm! Let me try and think about all this information, do a little research of my own and come back with a more informed response

I used the Christian text only as an example of another view point. I have not reached the point where I am ready to believe in anyone of the two

Aedes

Quote:
don't know if it's dying, there are certainly a lot of practicioners in northern India (esp Delhi and Bombay), and London, and there's apparently a big community in New Jersey. I have a friend from India who is from a Persian Zoroastrian family.


You are correct, but it has another name which I just cant recall .In Persia, now Iran I think that the Islam religion has suppressed this belief in that country until for all purposes it is no longer active there

It continues to in India, what I know about that small community is that they put their dead on roof tops for the vultures to feed on. I see nothing wrong with that, it is vultures or worms or fire take your pick
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » Evangelism
  3. » My problems with reincarnation and the belief in karma
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/24/2019 at 08:25:07