karma

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

  1. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    You believe karma is a crutch? Never really viewed karma as ''self soothing.'' Hmmm.

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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Two potential pathways:

    Judging for show ― There are some people many of us have encountered over the years who picked up a little New Age here, some fake guru there, and have this really casual, knowing attitude toward the colloquial "karma", which in turn they posture as a means of judging others essentially as a tool in socialization; if I can judge you as such I can perceive and assert a context of superiority. And it really is obnoxious, and for some reason I happened to run into it enough in youth with a "surfer" accent that, for instance, the vendor in "Homerpalooza" hinting after the tip jar was funny not for the karmic implications of gratuity for a paraphernalia vendor but, rather, the way he said it. For my own self-soothing, I should note, yes, it is comfortable to know that some writer for The Simpsons knows this same obscure corner of the culture; I have a vague notion that it's a west coast thing.

    Judging for comfort ― This is as simple as it sounds. Look, nobody deserves certain outcomes, but plenty of people take satisfaction in horrible things. And this is perfectly human, but people can also get really jumpy about it, especially their own selves. As an American, for instance, I always wonder at the eye for eye "Christianity" we hear so much from in our politics. Similarly, there are many people for whom the colloquial "karma"―automatic natural reflection of one's will and acts thereof―is the same kind of excuse for feeling good about human disaster because someone somewhere deserved it.​

    The famous example with a driver flipping someone off is the one where the guy is so distracted by his effort to be noticed flipping someone off he smashes his sedan into the back of a work truck. In this example, the colloquial "karma" demonstrates its true purpose: The matter of getting what one deserves is an eye of the beholder proposition, but we should never forget that our actions occur in relation to the rest of the Universe around us.

    It's not that a woman who taught her young son to shoot got what she deserved when the four year-old, who "gets jacked up" to go shooting, got hold of a .45 and put a round through her back; rather, pretty much anyone can see that this is eventually going to happen, and that, "Well, what the hell did you expect?" notion really is a natural human reaction.

    That people like that mother are assholes doesn't really help temper the schadenfreude.

    But if we really need an excuse to feel good about some dipshit getting shot by a child, yeah, there might well be some practical use for colloquial "karma". See, then it's not a matter of extraneous and unkind judgment, but, rather, that our consciences are alleviated. To wit, I know when I'm being that kind of asshole; I know when I'm enjoying someone else's misfortune. And I'll deal with it however my mind and brain see fit, but I won't call it "karma" and pretend it's just nature.

    That balm doesn't soothe me. But it seems to work like a charm for a hell of a lot of people.
     
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  5. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

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    It is revealing in a piece where you patronise the motives of certain groups who make judgements, that you should indulge in some distasteful judgement of your own.

    Unless you have made a comprehensive study of the circumstances around the incident then your judgement of a person who is no longer in a position to defend themselves is the rather despicable act of a bully and a coward.

    (If you are going to respond to this post I would truly appreciate it if you could make the response short and free of the usual attempt at a blend of literary style and deep philosophy.)
     
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  7. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Fair enough; I won't waste any time on your ignorance.
     
  8. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Your take is interesting, but I'm of the opinion anyway, that karma has to do with actually reaping the consequences of our actions, good or bad.

    This is the actual definition: Karma (Sanskrit: कर्म; IPA: [ˈkərmə] ( listen); Pali: kamma) means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect).

    Whatever spin we put on it, is just that, our spin. Karma is little more than cause and effect, reaping what we have sown. ''I bet that jackass gets karma!'' (because he ''deserves'' it) is really just a common phrase uttered by people who don't know what karma actually is, and what it isn't. Karma isn't some random cosmic punishment, and that's where the fallacy comes in, when people apply the wrong definition to it.

    Having said all this, your comment is accurate as it points to the spin many tend to put on the basic concept of karma.
     
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  9. birch Valued Senior Member

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    But that is the 'unrealistic' spin on karma because life is not neat, moral or perfect. Neither do people necessarily reap what they sow as often other people bear the brunt or consequences depending on what/how etc. Nature does not operate on ethics or fairness but at foundation power and predation. Simply meaning does the offended party have the power to enact 'karma' in return? If not, it will not automatically occur from the 'universe' which is the common belief. Its obvious why in circumstances where they do not have that power or control. Again, self-soothing.

    Karma being a random cosmic punishment or merely cause and effect ( fair or not) is closer to reality than the often common idea that its a 'moral judgement' from the universe or that people always get their just desserts at the end etc which is also a common 'self-soothing' belief. There are just as many if not more cases where people dont just as much as they do, just randomly or consciously enacted by another.

    Meaning with moral implications, karma is an internal mental and emotional recognition or drive for self-preservation and fairness. It is 'real' but only if we can exercise it just as many truths are not apparent without action.

    It is not the universe doing anything outside and independent of us for our behalf which is actually the common notion, especially in cases where a person's hands were tied, couldnt remedy or there was no recourse for justice.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  10. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    But, the world is very round and none of us escape ''karma.'' Regardless of the spin. This is why while I get what you're saying about it being self soothing, it isn't something that soothes me when I see someone 'get theirs.' (even if they have been an awful person all of his/her life) People often do enjoy watching others fall from grace, but we all fall from grace, because we're all fallible.
     
  11. birch Valued Senior Member

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    Im sorry the only one lazy and even 'artificially' delusional is you.

    The universe doesnt work on some compassionate or fair moral system.

    It doesnt even recognize it. Its rather simple and recognizes power.

    These 'consequences' are just based on that. Can you compute that??

    Maybe i need to use an example. Back in the day, if you even sneezed wrong your master or whoever had more power than you could do weird overkill such as, i dont know, like have you beaten, tortured and sewn up alive in a horses gut etc.

    Yes, sometimes the 'three-fold law' has manifested occasionally or it seemingly and im sure the victim was aware that there are dire consequences in their situation for their 'actions or lack thereof'. Fair? hardly. Moral? Nope. To the universe? totally recognized as just power disparity and cause and effect, essentially karma.

    And im not buying this pretense that 'wicca' is not based on a form of ethical fair law because it most certainly is. You do not have the corner on wiccans as i have known and heard plenty of them who have blatantly said that if you do 'bad' to others, you get it back three-fold. Except they leave out an annoying essential tidbit and that is simply power. Ya see, 'bad' is so relative to the perciever isnt it? If its someone unethical, cruel and selfish they could percieve your lack of kissing their ass as 'bad' etc.

    Karma is more like wishful thinking or a way to get more in line as a way to 'teach' others what is fair or just similar to ethical philosophy or religion but this is not what this thread is arguing or its point. Neither is it about personal consequences of choices such as if you eat too much, you gain weight. If you smoke, you may get cancer etc.

    Im talking about how your actions and behavior affect others which is trickier such as a drunk driver killing another etc. Will they necessarily get killed? High chances if its repeated but the point is one need not be in any way responsible to have 'karma' happen because technically it is just cause and effect. Whether it was just or deserved or not is just a circumstantial case study of a particular occurence. Thats all.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  12. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Karma is about cause and effect. Think it's been spun so long, we all have attached a different meaning to it. In a spiritual sense, as in the definition I've posted above, it seems fitting that our actions (good/bad/indifferent) will eventually affect us (cause and effect).
     
  13. pjdude1219 screw watergate i want to know about zaragate Valued Senior Member

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    Your stupidity and desire to see just how much of an offensive asshole you can be really is not my problem. since its clear your more interested in attacking my beliefs based on your own ignorant opinions and aren't willing to listen to someone more knowledgable i'm just going to ignoring your ignorant ranting. given my limited interactions with you, you seem to have some extreme mental problems that require you to throw hissy fits. please get help and quit talking about shit you don't understand. i'm done with your childishness and bigotry.
     
  14. wegs Matter & Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Why do people argue over something that has no right/wrong answer? Philosophy, ethics, morality, etc...are all rather debatable.
     
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  15. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Because there is something else at stake.

    I still can't figure out what this thread is actually about. To wit, I'm pretty certain I see straw men↑ in Birch's argument, but I have no idea what they are for. I am, however, pretty certain that this thread isn't about Birch being angry because colloquial "karma" doesn't live up to personal expectation↑.

    At this point, I'm simply wondering about the catalyst.

    The point does not seem to be winning an argument over a right or wrong answer; rather, it seems to be railing against something or someone that offended our neighbor. Piss and Cheerios, as such. But I have no idea what that offense is. Nonetheless, in my experience people don't just get up one day and pick a random fight with cheap instant karma. I mean, people don't even get up and pick random fights with Christianity; they always pretend to have a reason.

    Soggy, stinking oats might make for a compelling piece of art, but it's twenty-eight years later and I still don't know how to interpret the three panels of plywood with the knots painted white at the Hirshhorn.

    But I did, in fact, like that set. Me and minimalism, you know.

    Er ... never mind.

    But there's something else driving this. I just don't know what.
     
  16. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

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    Landlord and tenant????
    Alex
     
  17. birch Valued Senior Member

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    What is it to not understand??

    Why is it religion is so ridiculed on this forum but the equally erroneous 'colloquial' beliefs about karma are somehow not subject to any critical thinking??

    Do people not know that feelings and intent of 'revenge' which is 'colloquially' understood as karma often has nothing to do with good/bad with the underlying moral implication?

    Do people not realize that self-justification and feelings for revenge have nothing to do with what is right or wrong but only to the perceiver. In essence, what often happens only is based on whether one is pleased or displeased not whether its justified or not.

    Why is this going over everyone's head is the real mystery. Do i need to use more real-life examples?

    If someone does a driveby and kills someone, a friend or family member of the victim may want to get revenge (result considered karma) by killing someone a perpetrator knows or kin. But it usually doesnt end there though technically it should have. Because it isnt about fairness or morals, it is about selfishness so now the perpetrator is wronged in his perception and will seek revenge even though they may have started it. Its very important to note that essentially this is all karma even the guilty percieving itself as the victim as well and seeking to avenge their own karma.

    I got justice once for getting screwed over by a business operating with corrupt practices and they were fined. Do you really think they were thinking they were sorry or at least its fair considering? No, they believed they were 'wronged' and angry for not being able to get away with what they wanted to (which includes screwing people over to some) and wanted revenge even if not legitimate. Pay careful attention here: Its intent, energy and action that creates karma. Those are the only ingredients that are required. It doesnt have to be justified, moral or even legitimate.

    I keep trying to make a very obvious point that life experience shows us and that is nature doesnt require any noble or justified attribute with karma which is so often believed. If you piss someone off, you will get a reaction (cause/effect or karma).

    Pay careful attention here again: But the one pissed off may or may not have legitimate justification just as well as the reaction. But 'karma' does not care, it only acts in accordance to what you believe is justified as well as your relative power to manifest it.

    People have power to affect others and people justify according to their 'nature' rightly or wrongly. Nature doesnt care if its right or wrong, good or bad as many believe. How many times does it have to be repeated its just 'cause and effect'. So that does mean if a slave displeases his master and gets killed, according to nature that is karma. If a child gets killed being raped to death, thats karma etc because someone, somehow or somewhere will percieve even the vilest outcomes as justified or deserved or take pleasure/comfort in it.

    In other words, karma may or may not be moral.

    Im just pointing out that karma isnt always noble like the fairy-tale fair and just outcome of a "notion" often attached to it.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  18. birch Valued Senior Member

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    What is more obvious is you cant refute my points. Not a one. So you are just attacking me. My points are sadly realistic and true on this matter, i know.
     
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  19. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Fallacy: Straw man.

    You've gone out of your way, Birch, to alienate even those who are otherwise sympathetic. In the end, the most functional interpretation of your complaint is that whatever people refer to as "karma" in colloquial superstition is insufficient to satisfy your own context of vengeance. Which, in turn, is, you know ... whatever; there are many who would say the same of Justice itself.

    Picking a fight with an ill-defined concept in order to deride an ill-defined, unempowered group of people, apparently for the ephemeral thrill of self-empowerment, just isn't productive. Critical thinking involves more than complaint and denunciation.
     
  20. Retribution Banned Banned

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    More or less, but in a more playful sense that might involve Tiassa actually going out and shooting the mother himself. Or at least fantasizing about doing so.

    I think Tiassa is correct, though, in linking Schadenfreude with the notion of Karma Birch seems to be up in arms about. At least, a literal interpretation of Karma provides an understandable focus when one does not know what Schadenfreude is, or doesn't realise they are feeling it.

    The other issue is that the concept of justice tends to be very subjective, whether on the part of the individual or of society as a whole; whereas we might consider that there is no justice involved in honour killings, by way of example, there are those who most certainly do. In this context, the perception of what justice is becomes a malleable concept.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  21. Retribution Banned Banned

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    It is a natural human reaction, but any observant person would note immediately that the circumstances surrounding your example don't happen very often at all.
    At best, it is an example of what might happen to someone, somewhere, eventually, based on the laws of probability.
    Sort of like falling out of a tree. Other than that people getting killed in a fall happens far more often. Even (or perhaps especially) when we only consider four year olds.

    Unless, of course, I consider that this was an example of "judging for show".
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  22. Retribution Banned Banned

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    I wonder if you realise how utterly detestable this particular point of view is.
    Religious belief is now just one more suit of armour one can don in order to avoid either to explain themselves, or circumvent whatever law, moral tenet or tradition they choose.
    In this particular case, it's being used to justify fighting insult with insult. Which is a perfectly natural reaction, mind you... it only becomes disgusting when one uses religion as a pretext or excuse.
     
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  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    IMO, the brain always makes decisions in the direction *greatest satisfaction*. Morals are the controls we have imposed on ourselves to draw a mental framework of the limits of *unrestricted freedom* of movement in the direction of greatest satisfaction.
    Greed.
     
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