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Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Discuss deep philosophical topics and questions.

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ladislav
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Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Post by ladislav » October 23rd, 2019, 7:53 am

Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Because they do not see any observable difference between the frequency of incidental bad things ( divine punishment and karmic retribution) happening to bad people vs. good people.

Random acts of God, as well as disease, accidents, bad luck in all areas of life seem to affect either category with arbitrary irregularity.

You see those who are responsible for many deaths of innocent humans live out their lives in luxury and die peaceful deaths. You also see very good people constantly having bad luck and suffering great sorrows.

When a bad thing happens to a bad person, then we use that anecdote to tell ourselves that God has punished him. And if a good thing happens to a good person, we then say that God blessed him.

But on a different day, we see a bad person get away with another evil act, and a good or innocent person, even a child, suffer or die from some accidental occurrence. All this seems to be totally random and not having a connection to their actions.

No stats seem to have been gathered to show the correlation between what you do and what randomly happens to you as a result of this.

The only measurable retribution comes from the human law, the police, the courts, but this is provided that people who do evil actually get caught and convicted. This does not always happen, as some may be above the law or there may be an amnesty or not enough evidence, so they just keep on those doing bad things.

And nothing! Nice cars, nice houses, nice families. No karmic retribution.

Eastern religions teach us that karma may take a long time to come out, and it may return in next lifetimes, while bad things happening to good people is karma from past lives catching up with them. This is a much better theory than a God punishing or the will of God ( because God's actions appear to be totally chaotic).

However, it is still only a theory. Neither multiple lives nor karmic energies being distributed throughout those have yet been proven or even observed. So, if you believe in that theory, you will not do bad things, but what if you don't?

Then, you will just keep on doing those evil things.
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Shemp
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Re: Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Post by Shemp » October 23rd, 2019, 9:27 am

Correct formulation of the law of karma is "past actions shape current fate, present actions shape future fate". Nothing here about good and evil. For example, suppose someone killed a bunch of people to get into power. His past actions (killing and scheming) shaped his present fate (being the dictator). If he now stops killing, maybe there will be a revolt in the future because people no longer fear him. Or maybe if he continues killing, there will be a revolt. Either way, what he does today shapes what happens tomorrow. I used "shape" in the formulation, but "affect" or "partly determine" could be used instead. "Wholly determine" would be misleading, because we only have limited control of our fate.

Law of karma is supposed to get people to think: how did I get into the mess I'm in now? What actions can I take now to avoid such messes in the future?

The idea that bad people get punished for their evil is a corruption of the true law of karma. This corruption is designed to make average people stupid, same as all mainstream religious ideas. The true law of karma (which I stated above) is revealed only by esoteric religious systems, such as the Tarot (wheel of fortune card).

halnovemila
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Re: Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Post by halnovemila » October 23rd, 2019, 12:02 pm

Hi Ladislav,
I think your observations are quite correct and common to the majority.
There's no evident correlation between the "morally" good or bad someone does and the good or bad events he she will encounter sooner or later.

As it's impossible to investigate the events on someone's previous lives, stating that such rewards or punishments can span over more than a lifetime it's totally lacking of any supporting observations and therefore it's an irrelevant speculation which also makes no sense in the view to pursue a moral development of a person, given that no lesson can be learned if the punishment or reward are related to events that can't be remembered.

The belief that God blesses the good people by providing them a good prosperous life and sparing them from suffer, while punishes the bad people with great suffers in this earthly life is a pagan belief as old as is the oldest religion with deities, and it's totally unsupported by the common observations that you stated above.

Moreover, the Jews and Christian religions have among their "Scripture" a book in which it's narrated a story that specifically addresses the problem of the suffering of the righteous, it's the so called "book of Job".
In that largely misunderstood book the only clear answer is that reason of suffer is a mystery that can't be unfolded to the limited human mind, but whatever is the reason, it's DEFINITELY NOT a punishment from God.

I have my theory about the reason that can cause righteous and Godly people to have more chances to suffer than others, as it's quite common, starting with the emblematic case of the horrific excruciating suffer endured by the sinless Jesus, to observe a great deal of suffer in the lives of many saints.

MrPeabody
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Joined: April 13th, 2008, 7:53 pm

Re: Why do people do bad things if karma exists and/or God punishes?

Post by MrPeabody » October 25th, 2019, 1:48 am

I find Karma even harder to believe than God. "Karma" is a a mechanical mechanism, like gravity - you perform an action with intention, and by some mechanical means it gets recorded somewhere and then come back at you either in this lifetime or one or more other lifetimes. This is so complicated, it is hard to even imagine what such a mechanism would look like.

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