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Old 06-27-2014, 11:55 PM
graviton graviton is offline
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Default Karma

Do you believe in karma? If so, do you believe that karma has a mystical element to it or does it come from simply reaping what you sow? I believe there are two camps. The mystical camp believes that there is an energy or supernatural force that keeps a system of checks and balances which punishes and rewards people based upon whether they are adding positive or negative energies to the universe. Those of us that may be of a more scientific leaning such as myself tend to think of karma more as an investment in people and how we treat those people in their relationships. If you find yourself doing nothing but positive things for people then you are rewarded by them returning the favor and the same holds true for being a negative influence in people's lives. Which camp do you fall in and what are your thoughts on karma and how it pertains to relationships?

I have a colleague and good friend who is married but estranged from his wife. Their children are grown and he hasn't lived in the house in several years. He moved out due to disagreements about parenting his teenage daughters and his wife was a hoarder making the house almost unlivable. He still loves her but they do not have a relationship other than chatting from time to time. She is terrible with finances and so I keep begging him to just tear off the bandaid and apply for divorce so she can't harm him financially through their legal connection. He is procrastinating. During his "single life" after moving out he has been approached by women but turns them away because he's "married". I keep telling him to open up to some companionship but he almost always replies that if he were to do that then karma would get him in the end. Do you believe his view of karma? Would he eventually pay for " cheating" on his wife?

Last edited by graviton; 06-27-2014 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:09 AM
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Marcus Marcus is offline
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Originally Posted by graviton View Post
Do you believe his view of karma? Would he eventually pay for " cheating" on his wife?
No, I do not believe his view of Karma is accurate from any scientific explanation you could paste onto it, nor do I believe that the idea of Karma is relevant to his situation to begin with. The Great and Mighty Universe might not give a shit about what a moderately advanced civilization of apes is up to... it might be even LESS interested in what one individual ape does with other apes after it is removed from its ape ordained wife ape.

Corliss Lamont wrote a section in the Philosophy of Humanism talking about Karma (basically) and broke it down to an incalculable web of causal streams which could, humorously enough, connect to one another in a non-divine sense. Check it out if you have the time and interest.
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Old 06-28-2014, 12:25 AM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Re (from OP):
Quote:
"I keep begging him to just tear off the bandaid and apply for divorce so she can't harm him financially through their legal connection. He is procrastinating. During his 'single life' after moving out he has been approached by women but turns them away because he's 'married.' I keep telling him to open up to some companionship but he almost always replies that if he were to do that then karma would get him in the end. Do you believe his view of karma? Would he eventually pay for 'cheating' on his wife?"
I don't get it ... Divorcing someone, in and of itself, doesn't fit the definition of "cheating." And once you're divorced, it's no longer possible to cheat on your ex.

I guess your friend is onto something if karma operates strictly on how we treat others, and is indifferent to how we treat ourselves. But my philosophy is that we are just as morally obligated to treat ourselves decently as we are to treat others decently. A fair balance ought to be struck.

Right now, your friend is busily sacrificing himself on his wife's excessively needy altar, to the point where he is not being nice to himself. If karma really operates on a system of fairness, then it will probably end up biting him on the ass for treating himself unfairly.

On the other hand, I perceive karma as a very weak force in human life, propped up mostly by confirmation bias. Sad to say that many bad people in this world get away with doing some seriously bad shit, and never get bit. Once in awhile karma does its job and that's gratifying to see, but in all too many cases I think karma fails.

Still, I guess I sort of believe in karma in the scientific sense. If you do good to others you will tend to make friends and that may result in unexpected rewards. If you do evil to others you will tend to make enemies and that may result in unexpected punishments. In a broad statistical sense that could probably be demonstrated. But the chance of any one particular person experiencing due karma is rather close to 50%. Or less than 50% if the person has lots of money and power they can use to buy and pry themselves out of trouble.

There is one other part of karma that works more effectively on an individual basis: the part where ruthless people tend to live life less fully than do charitable people. Ironically, the ruthless people are rather numb to this type of karma, so I leave it to others to judge how important it is.
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:31 AM
graviton graviton is offline
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Re (from OP):
I don't get it ... Divorcing someone, in and of itself, doesn't fit the definition of "cheating." And once you're divorced, it's no longer possible to cheat on your ex.
the cheating was referring to being with another woman while still "married" even though they really have no relationship left and don't even cohabitate
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:34 AM
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That makes sense; I just don't see any good reason why the guy shouldn't go ahead and get a divorce.
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Old 06-28-2014, 07:41 PM
GreenMom GreenMom is offline
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I believe that like attracts like: if you put bad shit out in the world, you'll get bad shit in yours.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:37 AM
bookbug bookbug is offline
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I do not believe in karma in any mystical sense. While there is probably a lot of truth behind, "you reap what you sow" in regard to human nature and interaction, shitty things still happen to kind and generous people - illness and accidents for example - and not because of some karma score-keeping.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:46 AM
alexi alexi is offline
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Karma is not absolute. It is the all about how the mind functions.... like for instance one's intentions being honourable or not. The end result may not be to anyone's liking and may look like a bad deed; but this does not matter..... it's NOT bad Karma.

Sometimes we do some acts believing them to be the best one can do in such a situation 'for the good' of everyone concerned; but it may not work that way. Results do not matter as they may not be under our control. However it is only INTENTIONS that matter; and also the way we go about doing an act.

A doctor may require to amputate, his intention being to save the patient. sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind.

So if divorce is needed it must be gone through taking the optimum good under the circumstances. Karma is neutral as far as external acts go.

Alexi

Last edited by alexi; 07-01-2014 at 06:53 AM.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:11 PM
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@ alexi ... do you hold primarily to deontology? e.g., it is only intentions that matter.
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