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Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:23 PM

Anyone else dislike the use of the word "karma"?

Last edited Sat Dec 2, 2017, 06:31 PM - Edit history (1)

There is no such thing as a cosmic-like karma. I differentiate between karma and experiencing the final results of one's actions. One is final consequences and the other woo-woo, imo.

Once had a so-called atheist tell me she "believes in karma."
By doing something good, even tho no one knew, she thought she'd be repaid in some way. I told her, "Yep, but only because it makes you feel good and that you, in some minute way, might reap the benefits of having the planet be a better place. It's not that there's some magically force keeping track that will enact some cosmic quid pro quo for good or bad behavior."

Thoughts?




Edited to add:

Folks, karma is when one has done good things, then suddenly wins the lottery or has some other good fortunate and then attributes that winning or good fortunate (or misfortunate) to karma.

If the word were used without any metaphysical connotation, then I could accept its use but most often that isn't the case at all. It's not a synonym for common cause and effect.

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anyone else dislike the use of the word "karma"? (Original post)
Duppers Dec 2017 OP
janterry Dec 2017 #1
Duppers Dec 2017 #5
janterry Dec 2017 #8
True Dough Dec 2017 #2
Duppers Dec 2017 #10
DangerousUrNot Dec 2017 #3
Duppers Dec 2017 #9
DangerousUrNot Dec 2017 #11
Duppers Dec 2017 #4
Mr.Bill Dec 2017 #6
Duppers Dec 2017 #7
Guilded Lilly Dec 2017 #12
Duppers Dec 2017 #14
Guilded Lilly Dec 2017 #15
Duppers Dec 2017 #18
Brainstormy Dec 2017 #31
Ferrets are Cool Dec 2017 #30
left-of-center2012 Dec 2017 #13
Duppers Dec 2017 #16
Duppers Dec 2017 #17
left-of-center2012 Dec 2017 #21
Bayard Dec 2017 #19
Duppers Dec 2017 #20
Binkie The Clown Dec 2017 #22
Duppers Dec 2017 #23
Nitram Dec 2017 #24
DavidDvorkin Dec 2017 #25
Duppers Dec 2017 #26
DavidDvorkin Dec 2017 #28
PassingFair Dec 2017 #34
DavidDvorkin Dec 2017 #36
thucythucy Dec 2017 #27
Duppers Dec 2017 #29
Brainstormy Dec 2017 #32
Duppers Dec 2017 #33
PassingFair Dec 2017 #35

Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:28 PM

1. I had a Zen Master tell me

that there is 'this life karma.'

And in this life karma - what happens is the result of what you have done. (You make, you get). He didn't mean if you do a good deed, you'll get a good deed in return. But if you do a good deed, then you are doing something positive and you feel that positivity. Sort of like if you practice negativity, then you'll feel pretty negative.

Anyway, he had no comment on any other kind of karma (and said so)

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Response to janterry (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:38 PM

5. Then I agree with this wise Zen Master.

Very much agree. He differs from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism traditions.


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Response to Duppers (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:53 PM

8. American buddhists

are mostly a hybrid breed

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:28 PM

2. I would have to concede that point

I like the idea of karma in the sense of building a bank of "good will" by doing good deeds but there is, of course, no guarantees of any such repayment. Someone could spend many years helping others, being selfless and then get a diagnosis of terminal cancer or get hit by a bus.

You're right, the important thing is feeling rewarded by knowing you've done something that benefits others and it's an added bonus if you feel appreciated for your efforts.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:09 PM

10. You defined the difference

Between not only Christians who expected to be rewarded but a main difference between Dems and Rethugs.

"...rewarded by knowing you've done something that benefits others and it's an added bonus if you feel appreciated for your efforts."

Thank you!

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:29 PM

3. Being an atheist, I too dislike the definition and word Karma.

I agree with your definition of karma, being that it is a result of one’s actions. Atheists only have one thing in common and that is a disbelief in god. Though most of us are skeptics, it amazes me how some can still believe in Karma, a soul or ghosts.
Nice topic.

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Response to DangerousUrNot (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:02 PM

9. Thank you! To me, believing in karma is ...

..believing in some entity with the super power to collectively keep track and reward and punish every behavior and deed. Hmmm, that sounds familiar.

It's rather tantamount to believing in some deity, no?



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Response to Duppers (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:14 PM

11. Haha

Yea, sounds like a sky daddy to me

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:32 PM

4. Good people do good...

Because they care and not because they expect to be rewarded.

Reminds me a bit of this Steven Weinberg quote: “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion."


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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:38 PM

6. As an Atheist, I don't believe in karma.

But if you do something bad to me or my loved ones, Be damn sure that I can be karma.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 03:42 PM

7. 😂

Same here!

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:19 PM

12. I dont mind it at all. I live it actually...

Whatever you put out there, good or not so good can come back and bite your ass with solid personal accountability or unexplainable all encompassing protection. Private miniscule moments or massive public irony.

Not a Christian, don’t believe in organized religions, rule books, churches, patriarchal cults. To each their own, just keep it your own.

I guess I am a deep-seated spiritual kind of Celtic pagan maybe old chrone not exactly Wiccan, Nature revering Devine Feminine embracing, Native American Mother Earth hugging, sixth sense, yin yang, there is a season turn turn turn, harm to none but cognicent of my own dark side moon child who believes wholeheartedly in some kind of universally individual (!) cosmic May the Force be with you power that I respect passionately.

Once the action/thought/voodoo that you do is out there, it exists. Timelessly. It’s yours and it owns you at the same time...it has it’s own incredible power or maybe...magic?

(And it is most definitely entwined and connected with the spirit of my mom, for better or worse. Heh!)

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Response to Guilded Lilly (Reply #12)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:36 PM

14. That belief is personally empowering.

One of my favorite atheists, Sam Harris, thinks in terms of a special sort of spirituality. I happen to agree with a lot he's said and written, excluding his ME politics.

More power to you, Guilded Lilly.

We don't often get these sorts posts here in the Atheist Forum but you'll not get any argument from me. Not today anyway.



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Response to Duppers (Reply #14)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:43 PM

15. Many thanks :) I lurk a bit here and will continue my spirits enlightenment 😎

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Response to Guilded Lilly (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:50 PM

18. Believe it or not..

I've described myself as being spiritual before.

Your posts are welcomed by me.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 06:56 PM

31. If you really know Harris

you know that he only means "spirituality" in terms of enhanced consciousness through drugs, meditation, chanting, etc. He actually begins one of his talks by discussing how much he hates having to use the word. Harris is not a supernaturalist in any sense of the word and would never say he believes in "karma."

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Response to Guilded Lilly (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 06:08 PM

30. Wow. I wish I could describe myself with such clarity and grace.

Very nice Lilly.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)


Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:46 PM

16. Indeed I am!!

This is DU's ATHEIST forum, btw.

According to a 2015 international survey data, reported by Keysar & Navarro-Rivera in the Oxford Handbook of Atheism, there are approximately 450-500 million non-believers in God worldwide, which amounts to about 7% of the global adult population.

According to the Pew Research Center, if that category is broadened to include all non-religious people in general — those unaffiliated adults who do not identify with any religion — we’re talking 1.1 billion people, which equals about 16.5% of the global adult population.

As such, “non-religious” is actually the 3rd largest group of thought on religion in the world, coming only behind Christianity (in first place) and Islam (in second).

Thus, there are more secular men and women on planet earth — many of whom are atheists and agnostics — than there are Hindus, Buddhists, Mormons, Sikhs, Jains, or Jews.

That said, numbers have little to do with reason and logic!



Bye now. 🐦


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Response to left-of-center2012 (Reply #13)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 04:48 PM

17. And, btw, it's their belief, not "they're."

Snark back at you.

And, btw, I found myself checking your profile the other day for some reason.



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Response to Duppers (Reply #17)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 08:01 PM

21. Oh looky ...

An ignore button.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 05:37 PM

19. Pay It Forward

That's my philosophy. Its like a pyramid scheme. You do something good for somebody, they're inspired to do something good, and on and on. Watch the movie of the same name sometime, although it stars the now despised Kevin Spacey (still a great role), Helen Hunt, Haley Joel Osment.

"The story of a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class to think of an idea to change the world for the better, then put it into action. When one young student creates a plan for "paying forward" favors, he not only affects the life of his struggling single mother, but he sets in motion an unprecedented wave of human kindness which, unbeknownst to him, has blossomed into a profound national phenomenon."

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=&imgrefurl=http://google.com/search?tbm%3Disch%26q%3DPay%2520It%2520Forward&h=1440&w=960&tbnid=9Y-0wuXYq3QO4M:&tbnh=160&tbnw=106&usg=__jPF8zy7cpDjVZ-bJSTcw6aakoEE%3D&vet=10ahUKEwiWv4j4o-zXAhVo2oMKHZ9lB-4Q_B0I4gEwFg..i&docid=UK7EVX6zApjp0M&itg=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWv4j4o-zXAhVo2oMKHZ9lB-4Q_B0I4gEwFg

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Response to Bayard (Reply #19)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 06:25 PM

20. I like to practice "paying it forward."

I do love the concept and truly try to practice it. I've seen the movie twice on HBO, btw.

Doing good things for people is not metaphysical in any sense.

From Wiki: Karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual influence the future of that individual.



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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 09:44 PM

22. I don't object to karma. I think of it as consequences you set up by you own actions.

Nothing mystical or mumbo jumbo, just a matter of "treat people like crap and they treat you like crap in return."

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #22)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 09:53 PM

23. I like that definition!

But it's not what most folks mean when they say karma. It's the woo-woo common meaning I object to.


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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 10:46 PM

24. Wrong, Duppers. Karma is what we used to call taking a bit of your own medicine.

It is, in fact, experiencing the results of one's own actions for good or for evil. It's not rocket science. Karma means that if you do things to hurt people it will hurt you to an equal degree in the long run. Winning the lottery has nothing to do with karma. Seem like you have a problem with the word because of its origins in a spiritual context. Get over it. Don't twist the meaning to suit your own bias, whatever they may be.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 04:05 PM

25. I agree with you

Similarly, I dislike hearing MLK quoted about the moral arc of the universe. The universe has no moral arc.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 04:15 PM

26. As many iconic atheists have also pointed out...

Especially the scientists.

Btw, I've had the pleasure of speaking with Lawrence Krauss.



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Response to Duppers (Reply #26)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 04:51 PM

28. Cool.

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Response to PassingFair (Reply #34)

Wed Dec 6, 2017, 03:49 PM

36. Thanks

I had read that he was quoting someone, but I didn't remember who that was.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 04:28 PM

27. I personally like the instant kind--

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Response to thucythucy (Reply #27)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 04:52 PM

29. ☺

Although I always thought John had meant this in a metaphysical way, you cause me to search for his evolved beliefs and, I found this in Wiki:

"Although he commonly rejected the notion of religion, he did claim to have a spiritual side. In an interview conducted in September 1980, Lennon told Playboy journalist David Sheff "People always got the image I was an anti-Christ or antireligion. I'm not. I'm a most religious fellow."[17] When talking about Bob Dylan's new-found Christianity, John said, "But the whole religion business suffers from the 'Onward, Christian Soldiers' bit. There's too much talk about soldiers and marching and converting. I'm not pushing Buddhism, because I'm no more a Buddhist than I am a Christian, but there's one thing I admire about the religion [Buddhism]: There's no proselytizing."[17] After his death in 1980, his wife, Yoko Ono said "John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him."


I still so admire him but disagree with him here. Also, I very much disapprove of the way he and Yoko treated Julian Lennon.


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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 06:58 PM

32. I don't dislike the word

in its vernacular sense of "what goes around comes round." You reap what you sow, all that. Methaphysically, it's nonsense.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #32)

Sun Dec 3, 2017, 07:06 PM

33. I wish that were its common meaning/usage.

Perhaps I'm wrong and that's what most mean? Just not in my social circles.

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Response to Duppers (Original post)

Wed Dec 6, 2017, 02:30 PM

35. I believe that there can be a ripple effect from good or bad deeds.

Everything leaves SOME kind of dent.

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