The theory of karma.

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The theory of karma.

Postby manishsqrt on August 31st, 2015, 4:17 am 

How many of you actually know about the theory of karma, please explain me what it is. Is there any branch of philosophy in western world which has similar hypothesis as the theory of karma. What branch of philosophy it is? I am confused a bit, does karma in philosophical sense means the work being done, or does it mean the work that will be done or needs to be done or would have been done. I think karma is not the active energy but rather a passive energy and the doer or the Maya, as it is called in eastern philosophy, is the active energy and what it does is the karma, which is a passive energy.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby BadgerJelly on August 31st, 2015, 5:28 am 

From what little I know of this subject I think "karma" is similar to western "fate". The difference being karma is about the amalgam of past lives.

It is a common misconception in the west to refer to "karma" as simply being do good and good will come to you.

I would say it is firmly rooted in metaphysics.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby TheVat on August 31st, 2015, 9:59 am 

Agree with Badge....karma is a metaphysical idea that the universe has a moral order inherent in its structure. All actions of a being are consequential and return to that being in the future, or a future life. Causality, in the eastern perspective, has a circular aspect....westerners, like Carl Jung, took great interest in this idea of causality.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby manishsqrt on September 2nd, 2015, 10:16 pm 

Thanks for guidance, now i also feel so that it is something related to causality and metaphysics. But just because i am grown up in this culture where the karma theory has great influence, i also somewhat feel that it has some relation with the concept of potentiality. I don't clearly know what made me think so but karma is probably different than the doer and is written in fate or eternity. karma is the work that is been done or is been done and the doer is just the actor or the executive. Sometimes it is also argued that doer is not connected to karma in any sense except that it has been alloted that peice of karma, it is less related with the effect.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby Jägerbombastic on March 7th, 2016, 3:20 pm 

Basically if you do something bad or Harmful, the outcome will be bad or Harmful to you in some way. Same goes for good things as well. One of the problems I have with this theory is the definition for what is "Good" and what is "Bad" as these are very subjective terms. If there was a definition for these two terms that everyone can generally agree on then it would work.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby BadgerJelly on March 8th, 2016, 5:24 am 

Jägerbombastic » March 8th, 2016, 3:20 am wrote:Basically if you do something bad or Harmful, the outcome will be bad or Harmful to you in some way. Same goes for good things as well. One of the problems I have with this theory is the definition for what is "Good" and what is "Bad" as these are very subjective terms. If there was a definition for these two terms that everyone can generally agree on then it would work.


Incorrect. Like I said the common misconception is that if you do good good will come to you. Karma is nothing about that. The belief, as I understand it, is that if you do good in this carnation then in your next carnations you and everyone will reap the rewards. It has nothing to do with doing good in this life to bring good fortune in this life.

It is not a theory either.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby Jägerbombastic on March 8th, 2016, 1:00 pm 

BadgerJelly » March 8th, 2016, 5:24 am wrote:
Jägerbombastic » March 8th, 2016, 3:20 am wrote:Basically if you do something bad or Harmful, the outcome will be bad or Harmful to you in some way. Same goes for good things as well. One of the problems I have with this theory is the definition for what is "Good" and what is "Bad" as these are very subjective terms. If there was a definition for these two terms that everyone can generally agree on then it would work.


Incorrect. Like I said the common misconception is that if you do good good will come to you. Karma is nothing about that. The belief, as I understand it, is that if you do good in this carnation then in your next carnations you and everyone will reap the rewards. It has nothing to do with doing good in this life to bring good fortune in this life.

It is not a theory either.


ahh my mistake then, I have to say though i wish to familiarize myself more with Karma. However this does lead to the question i asked; 'What is Good?" since that good is a very broad term. This is one of the criticisms i have when it comes to Karma.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby vivian maxine on March 8th, 2016, 6:20 pm 

You might try "The Best Guide to Eastern Philosophy and Religion" by Diane Morgan, pp 33 to 36 and several other pages listed in the index. It is different for different religious groups such as Buddhists and Hindus. It is far different for the Jainists who think all Karma is bad. The one thing I remember is a comment that Karma is not what most Westerners think it is. You don't just wish for Karma and expect something wonderful. What you get depends on how you live.

With variations from group to group, Karma basically means you are held responsible for your actions and (remembering that they believe in reincarnation) this Karma follows you from life to life until you have overcome the bads that you have done. It is called the Karma Trail. If you live honorably in this life, you will pass to a better life at your next birth. If you live a dishonorable life you will pass to a more miserable life at your next birth.

There is more about the concept and which group subscribes to what. Too much to quote. A good reference source.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby BadgerJelly on March 8th, 2016, 9:14 pm 

Jb -

I guess that is an age old question and one many philosophies has tried to tackle. For me good is belief in good. I don't really like people referring to good as a mere repercussion of empathy although that makes perfect sense it doesn't, for me, divulge much.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby Jägerbombastic on March 9th, 2016, 1:41 pm 

Quick Question though

What if you do something thats Good but is equally bad at the same time?
like lets say you kill 5 people, but by killing those 5 people you save 5 people. What will be the result?
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby mtbturtle on March 10th, 2016, 7:15 pm 

Karen Armstrong in Buddha supplies a glossary at the end which defines kamma (karma) as action, deed.
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Re: The theory of karma.

Postby Paul Anthony on March 14th, 2016, 7:40 pm 

Jägerbombastic » Wed Mar 09, 2016 10:41 am wrote:
What if you do something thats Good but is equally bad at the same time?
like lets say you kill 5 people, but by killing those 5 people you save 5 people. What will be the result?


The result is unknowable. What if one of the 5 you killed would have found a cure for cancer if he/she had lived? What if one of the 5 you saved becomes a serial killer?

Things are good or evil depending upon the consequences, which may not be immediately evident.
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