Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by birch, May 4, 2016.

  1. birch Valued Senior Member

    I hear often in laymen's terms that karma exists as an absolute moral phenomena that occurs without human intervention. It exists but morals are non-existent unless exercised. It's merely cause and effect in its base state.

    There is a belief among many that if one commits wrong, they get it back and if good, likewise.

    This is not true in the absolute sense. The belief in karma with the implication of moral phenomena only occurs if its created and exercised. You can't just sit back and believe it to occur.

    What does occur is simply 'what goes around comes around' and often i will hear people justify that it was 'karma' at work when its percieved as deserved but what of those who didnt deserve? Positive or negative. Then the question is 'why do bad things happen to good people?'

    The answer simply is what goes around comes around but there is a connotation of morality that is widely believed when there is none realistically. Life is not a fairy tale where the good guys always win and there are happy endings etc.

    However, i had a discussion about karma with someone recently and told them life experience proves the current definition of karma does not hold true. Then there are made-up excuses such as past-life sins being repaid. I explained this perfect tit-for-tat balance is equally illogical as if that were true, life would be totally fair and balanced at all times. Indeed, nature is so not based on our definition of moral karma that if there even was the possibility of past-lives, there can be many to be reborn to commit the same or worse just as the strong are rewarded, however nastily and atrociously the strength and advantage is acquired. That is the very basis of nature with the opposite notion that the universe is looking out for the little guy with compassion and moral outrage is not true. The very idea that nature can and does reward predatorial behavior essentially boggled her.

    But all hope is not lost. The problem isn't that karma with moral implications doesnt exist. Its just that a belief and a concept cannot be real without making it a reality. We have to create karma and it cannot always be, it does not happen or exist on its own just as your house or car.

    It is 'real' in the sense we have a concept and awareness of it. Nature does not do everything for us. We have to make it a reality.

    The problem in interpretation is trying to explain the mistakes for one such as scenarios where natural reactions such as 'revenge' were unjustified or misplaced and the notion or belief it occurs morally and fairly on its own. All that occurs that is observed as moral phenomena devoid of human intent then, hit or miss, is what goes around comes around to the 'just and unjust' alike.

    This is why a baby can be born addicted to drugs even if never choosing it themselves or one can acquire an std even if not promiscuous or killed by a drunk driver never having a drink in your life or having drove drunk or being cheated on by a partner having never done so yourself etc. The list is endless. Others behavior simply can affect anyone. One need not be the cause to be affected or even deserved.

    This is why the belief in the moral phenomena of karma is an imperfect one and those who espouse belief that it is perfectly justified payment system is a gross mis-judgement. It simply doesnt exist as the popular moral notion as it does devoid of our energy and work. If we did not create consequences, justifiable or not, there would be none. Nature alone itself does not care. It works through us.

    As that saying goes, 'When good men do nothing, evil prospers.' We are its eyes and ears. Its a choice, not a foregone conclusion.
    Last edited: May 4, 2016
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  3. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Karma is a nice sort of superstition to entertain casually with no expectations.

    I like to say "I have good charma" but I may as well say I am decent and I want the world to be good to me because I deserve good things. Its a playful way of kidding yourself.

    Its only a big deal if you read too much into it.

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  5. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Karma existed before laws were made. It was just another way that people controlled each other. The Bible is another way of controlling people before laws were written that protected people.
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  7. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Post #5000. Life is a hodgepodge of possibilities. Other than death, the outcome is never certain.
  8. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Among Wiccans there is a "karmic" notion called the Threefold Law, simply stating, "You shall reap what you sow, but three times over".

    It is not cosmic eye and tooth, though plenty treat it that way.

    The classic functional example (cf., Starhawk, The Spiral Dance) is shoplifting: The thief is hurt by the acknowledgment of inability to obtain by legitimate means; the thief is further hurt by rising prices at the store; the thief is yet further hurt by the suspicion and tension crime brings to the surrounding community.

    In that sense, I adore the Threefold Law, which functioonally reminds to think beyond merely one's own perspective and self-interest. It encourages empathy and sympathy alike.

    But, yeah, there are plenty who think it's some manner of Nature taking vengeance, which isn't exactly a helpful―or even useful―interpretation.
  9. birch Valued Senior Member

    Those consequences are created and 'thievery, predation or parasitism' can be synonymous and relative.

    There is no punishment in 'nature' for thievery. Actually, to whoever can goes the spoils. There is no moral outrage inherent in the universe. Its internal and can be expressed outward or not.
    cluelusshusbund likes this.
  10. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    You might as well say there is no sodium inherent in the Universe:

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    Human beings are the source of moral outrage in the Universe; we are not extraneous or alien to the Universe.

    While I get what you're after, I'm uncertain what you think it is for.

    Karma, in its colloquial context, or the Threefold Law, are merely ideas illustrating something we see in the Universe around us but cannot explain. As the human endeavor gains knowledge, we find ourselves able to explain more about what's going on around us.

    Perhaps over the next hundred years we will gain the knowledge that allows us to perceive enough of our brain function as to explain larger, complex social processes. Mathematics is one thing insofar as butterfly and storm are concerned; but if humans decide that two plus two equals five, or that something is properly described by a word defined to the opposite―e.g., "square circle", "freedom and necessity", "supremacy and equality"―there will come a day when not only can we quantify how that notion works in a person's brain, but also how it is transmitted from one to the next. And while psychology, psychiatry, and other such inquiries are able to provide rudimentary descriptions, we humans simply need to keep doing what we're doing and survive long enough, and eventually we will be able to do the math to explain how the transformations and redefinitions work and reproduce.

    But humans are a part of nature, and we do bring morality to bear.

    Think of it this way: The upshot of humanity failing to extinction will be that nobody will remain to say we deserved it, and by the time the alien anthropologists arrive, explore, inquire, examine, and eventually conclude that the species has, indeed, amused itself to death↱, it won't matter whether we deserved it or not.

    But humanity is no less a part of nature than calcium. Or zircon. Or iridium. What we bring to the Universe is inherent within the Universe.
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

    Okay, this is funny. I've heard of the 'three-fold' law which someone made up apparently because there is no freaking evidence anyone gets things back 'three-fold' which means really three times in strength. Attractive idea especially with thoughts of vengeance but utter bullshit. This is what i mean by the silly beliefs as as currently defined by the mainstream of 'karma', lots of wishful thinking is all or whatever idea is most comforting. There is no heeby jeeby 'karma' that goes around evening scores for you.

    For instance, if a loved one is murdered, the murderer is not going to automatically get murdered in return. Karma, if you will, is only real by manifestation as in this example become angry and demand or get vengeance or justice.

    This is why 'karma' doesnt always 'happen'. It doesnt exist on its own and if you cant due to power disparity or depending on circumstances etc, there will be no automatic 'tit for tat'. Thats why many do get away with what could be considered unjust, unfair or exploitive acts etc. There is no 'karma' magical angel making sure life is fair or the other suffers etc that people resort to believe to comfort themselves. Again, it only is guaranteed if you or another can make it happen. Even if one finds out another is suffering that they believe wronged them, for example, that occurence could have had no relation in that particular cause and effect because just as well there will be others enduring the same which dont deserve it. It becomes erroneous when its merely believed its a payback the universe did for you and on your behalf. This is how many interpret karma. Indeed, those who wrong you even severely can go on to suffer little or no ill effects and be happy. Uh, hello??
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  12. birch Valued Senior Member

    Also, the three-fold law is not even an moral basis for karma anyways. Its selfish, unethical and/or exploitive. If i pay for one can of beans, i dont deserve two more for free and if one commits a grievance, they do not deserve punishment beyond that but commensurate. One can easily read the gratuitous intent or idea in the 'three-fold' idea positive or negative. Puleeze.

    Every new-age person who believes in metaphysical (not all as there are varying beliefs among them too) who has ever espoused the 'three-fold' bs was a moron or degenerate. I dont think that is a coincidence.
  13. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Okay, this is funny. Your thread seems more oriented to invent a reason to whine and complain than actually discuss the concept.

    Yeah. Karma doesn't always happen. It's not supposed to:

    Karma, in its colloquial context, or the Threefold Law, are merely ideas illustrating something we see in the Universe around us but cannot explain.

    Is there something about that concept that exceeds your comprehension?

    And there are plenty of people praying for God to reach down and do something for them.
  14. birch Valued Senior Member

    Uh, no. Its exceeding deliriously silly.

    Okay, its absolutely funny because its such an arbitary number and what i mean by arbitrary is there is no evidence even colloquially that this 'three' times is 'illustrating something we see in the universe but cannot explain.' Gee, why does karma not occur always in threes? Sometimes its just 1, 4, 15, 101 or never? So if i steal, i will be robbed from three times or three items only? How neat and predictable. Who decided that? They need a memo that isnt true and a serious brain check even more than the orthodox religious. Lmao
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Do you even know why three is a sacred number?
  16. birch Valued Senior Member

    Because its the 'holy trinity' or 'certain' reactions occur in threes or due to 'three' elements etc does not apply to everything, least of all how its defined with karma. It is ludicrous and not even open for speculation shrouded in any mystery even like ghosts, ufo's etc. Life shows you it doesnt always occur 'three-fold'! Its completely laughably one of the most superstitious concoctions of the notion of karma. Evidently some pretentious dolt thought it was an easy convincing sell hitching the 'sacred' or rather 'popular' number to seem more convincing to those who arent noticing or otherwise dismissive of anything occuring besides 'three-fold' or if it does, its not karma then, its something else, must be. What a convenient tunnel-vision. Lol
    Last edited: May 5, 2016
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Actually it's a lot simpler than that.

    Three is a mystery because among humans one plus one occasionally equals three. You know. When humans reproduce.

    Do you have anything other than cynical ignorance and petulance to offer, or is that actually the point of this thread?

    See, here's the thing: Sacred numbers generally aren't literal. One need not attain a university degree in theology to figure this out. I certainly didn't. In fact, as I recall, when they taught that point in theology class in my Jesuit high school, it wasn't news to any of us; they also taught it in my Lutheran confirmation class when I was twelve, and I recall picking it up either in one of my occasional relegations to Sunday school, or else the godawful Vacation Bible School thing Lutherans do each summer.

    Your argument seems to be more about certain people, but who the hell are you on about? I mean, I know a Seventh-Day Adventist who thinks the Pope is the Devil because some paranoid author wrote that if you write vicar angus dei in Greek, and then change a couple of the letters, it adds up to six hundred sixty-six.

    I mean, if all you want is to fume, then just say so. I'm happy to leave you to it.
  18. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    i would take kindly if you didn't insult my religious beliefs. its clear you have no understanding behind it so you be wise to still your tongue before you make a bigger fool of your self.
  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


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    Something about dragons and ketchup; I admit I'm more confused by this thread than anything else.

    A recollection: Somewhere in the archives we can find some old posts in which a Christian of some sort actually accused me of being Catholic. And when I say "accused", I mean it was in his eyes some manner of indictment. And, you know, while it doesn't come up so directly very often, it really is a puzzling phenomenon in general.

    That is, I can't tell from Birch's approach just who or what she's complaining about. More directly, it seems the idea that a notion like the Threefold Law isn't literally true is somehow offensive to her. Yet, unlike you or me, it isn't a matter of the figurative or mythical representation offending her belief. That is, I don't know how you personally read the Threes, but I'm pretty sure our neighbor is not a believer.

    In truth, I'm nearly curious how the colloquial karma got under her skin; to this day I recall "Homerpalooza", when the vendor gestures at the tip cup and says, "Dude, karma." Homer responds, "What?" And the guy just says, "Karma. Karma." Homer replies, "Oh, I get it," and then walks away without tipping. It is emblematic of the colloquial karma. When I first read the topic post, that voice echoed: "Dude, karma."

    And yeah, you know, I figure you've probably encountered a few of those; they want to be all mystical and shit, but don't want to put in the effort. And I get that part, too. There was no way I was going to learn all the symbols that went into the Golden Dawn or Thoth decks, but if you ever want to screw with someone who thinks they're some manner of mystical hot somethin'-or-other, just remind, as if they already know, that, "Tzaddi is not the Star." The way I figure it, if that one ever comes around to me, it means something will finally teach me why it's ... er ... ah ... right. Oh, right. Emperor.

    (Note aside: In the Thoth Deck, Emperor is Major IV; in Liber CCCXXXIII, Perdurabo's commentary for the Fourth Lie, ΚΕΦΑΛΗ Δ, attributes Major IV to Empress, who occupies Major III in the deck and Liber LXXVIII. I know, I know. But more than the idea of magickal attainment, I adore The Beast for the near impossibility of the psychoanalysis. Even to this day, the transformation is confusing enough that I doubt Therion himself ever actually understood. Incidentally, Emperor doesn't seem to make an overt appearance in CCCXXXIII.)​

    Damn it. Where was I?

    Oh, right. Okay, so you know how every once in a while something sets me off and I take a swing at evangelical atheism? One thing I've never figured out, though, is why those evangelicals seem so intent on holding up the lowest intellectual manifestations of religious faith as somehow definitive. And every once in a while that concept reasserts itself in other issues. That itch prickles right now.

    I mean, it's easy enough to perceive that something or someone managed to piss our neighbor off about this denigrated context of karma, but, you know, flip a coin, or something. Because there are plenty of dumbfarts out there who treat karma about as superficially as Republican presidential candidates regard Christianity; you know, like trotting off to that big prayer festival to show off and one-up each other's piety in order to be seen by others, in direct disobedience of Christ. The difference, of course, is that the karma nuts have no substantial societal influence; generally speaking, they're more annoying than harmful. You know, unless he's a PUA pitching a line, or something.

    Anyway, here's a fun quandary: Why does pretty much anyone complaining about the proposition of divine or natural vengeance always end up complaining that this thing they don't believe in is a problem because it fails to satisfy them?

    I mean, in the end it's not even a matter of conceding that the Threefold Law isn't intended as a literal truth. We all know it's an inchoate philosophical proposition intended to illustrate a seeming mystery about the Universe around us, yet the retort is that it isn't real because it fails to satisfy someone who doesn't believe anything affirmative about it at all?

    Now there is a fuckin' mystery.


    Soft and hollow, how thou dost overcome the hard and full!

    It dies, it gives itself; to Thee is the fruit!

    Be thou the Bride; thou shalt be the Mother hereafter.

    To all impressions thus. Let them not overcome thee; yet let them breed within thee. The least of the impressions, come to its perfection, is Pan.

    Receive a thousand lovers; thou shalt bear but One Child.

    This child shall be the heir of Fate the Father.
  20. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member


    is this your thesis?

    I would be nice to think that nature, or the universe, or God, would so arrange things that justice was dealt out to those who behaved in a harmful, or immoral fashion. But that is not the way it is. If we want to have justice we have to fight for it and we have to earn it. If we wish karma to be real it is our responsibility to make it real.

    If I have that more or less correct, then I agree.
  21. pjdude1219 The biscuit has risen Valued Senior Member

    thats kind of the point of the three fold rule though birch just doesn't understand it.

    from a version of the wiccan rede
  22. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    I don't even believe in the non-supernatural "what comes around goes around" form of karma.
  23. birch Valued Senior Member

    What are YOU exactly confused about?

    Most people who believe in the 'three-fold' law do believe it 'literally' just as many believe in God literally. Is that 'colloquial' enough for you or were you unaware of that?

    Had a person tell me that any wrong done, the perpetrator gets it back 'three times worse by the universe!' Really? And they dont know that whatsoever, just believing what they like just like anyone else.

    Yeah, thats pretty literal and very unrealistic. Hello?? Yes, thats what i was arguing against, the current ridiculous notions of karma. Is there a problem? Because you go on about two making an offspring etc. Usually you make sense, here you arent.

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