The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

OBE's, NDE's, lucid dreams, and the like...

The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby epiphany55 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 1:01 am

Nature is cruel. At this very moment, animal prey are being ripped apart, children are being neglected or worse at the hands of those upon whom they depend and people are calling out to a god who is seemingly absent (or unwilling) any kind of intervention to alleviate their profound suffering.

But Buddhism has, without a shred of evidence, superimposed a new realm of suffering on to this mortal realm of indifference, in which no life asked to be (re)born.

I'm talking about the many layers of hell - Naraka - that supposedly await the rebirth of our soul if the scales tip in the favour of negative karma.

The conditions of this rebirth are supposedly dependent upon our intention in this life.

Yet, in every moment, intention is dictated by forces beyond our conscious control. It is the focus on intention and free will itself that reveals the short sighted, unscientific and arbitrary reasoning of Buddhist dogma.

A Buddhist may contend that hell is not a divine judicial punishment from above, distinguishing it from other major religions, but rather the natural consequences of our unwholesome intentions. But this implies that the universe and nature itself has an inbuilt notion of good and evil, the path along which can be fully determined by its (apparently) wilful agents. Again, this claim is made without any evidence. We are told the many sub-hells exist, and that if we fail to outweigh our unwholesome deeds with wholesome deeds, this will inevitably lead us into a realm of immense suffering after death, before we are cleansed of our negative karma and reborn.

This is clearly the invention of ancient human minds whose understanding of the universe is shrouded in fearful mystery and mythical precedent. For if we look closer at the reasons why people do bad deeds, we see that intention is simply a convenient word to cover up the complex and unconscious forces that drive our behaviour in every moment.

There is no inherent positive or negative value in intention, since it is a product of our environment, genetics and countless antecedent, unconscious conditions that drive us, like a small fish in a strong current, into the present moment.

Actions certainly have consequences in this life, and it could be argued that the more good you do, the more good you will attract in your life, bar misfortune. But to claim that hell awaits those with ill intention is to claim that the universe itself not only values, but measures the intention of a relatively tiny minority of its sentient inhabitants.

The cunningness of the ancient architects of Buddhism, perhaps in an effort to control the moral behaviour of the masses (a classic hierarchical control mechanism), was to invent a hell that was not simply subject to the judgement of a super-sentient god, but intrinsic to the very nature of the karmic universe. Genius. Now people don't have the prospect of belatedly repenting on their death bed after a life of ego-driven self interest. No, this is the ultimate afterlife threat.

Buddhism has often been given the label of "least bad of the major religions", perhaps in part for its contribution of contemplative techniques that have been of immense value to many people across the world (myself included). But let there be no doubt, the projection of human ideas, of good and evil, on to the nature of the universe when it comes to judging intention is as fanciful and unevidenced as the Christian or Muslim claim of a judicially imposed after life.

They just took it a step further by claiming that, even if god doesn't exist, the universe cares so much about your unfortunate brain chemistry that it will take you to a place where misfortune is punished and compounded.
Last edited by epiphany55 on Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.
epiphany55
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:13 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby rachMiel » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:27 am

Wow ... I didn't know about Naraka = Buddhist hell. Did the research: some very very nasty stuff indeed! And it's not a splinter extreme orthodox school that teaches bad karma sends you to hell ... it was the Buddha himself!

I agree with your take about how karma dogma can be used to control believers, and how heinous it is to make going to hell a natural law of the universe.

Buddhism has imo a great deal to offer for those who want to understand the workings of the mind. But, like any other "ism" ... it has a dark dogmatic side. (Darker than I'd thought!) I That's why it's so important to pick and choose that which resonates, rather than buying an "ism" wholesale.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2459
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby epiphany55 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:55 am

rachMiel wrote:Buddhism has imo a great deal to offer for those who want to understand the workings of the mind. But, like any other "ism" ... it has a dark dogmatic side. (Darker than I'd thought!) I That's why it's so important to pick and choose that which resonates, rather than buying an "ism" wholesale.


Yes, I too have a great deal of respect for the contemplative traditions. I only recently learned of the horrors of Naraka, and how widely it is accepted as literal truth. I'm still genuinely disheartened and confused as to why such a noble and relatively objective philosophy would promote such nonsense.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.
epiphany55
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:13 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby rachMiel » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:02 am

epiphany55 wrote:
rachMiel wrote:Buddhism has imo a great deal to offer for those who want to understand the workings of the mind. But, like any other "ism" ... it has a dark dogmatic side. (Darker than I'd thought!) I That's why it's so important to pick and choose that which resonates, rather than buying an "ism" wholesale.


Yes, I too have a great deal of respect for the contemplative traditions. I only recently learned of the horrors of Naraka, and how widely it is accepted as literal truth. I'm still genuinely disheartened and confused as to why such a noble and relatively objective philosophy would promote such nonsense.

I agree. It's shocking. I've hung around Buddhism for a long time and never knew about Naraka. I knew that bad karma allegedly got you reborn in a lower realm, but I didn't know that realm was hell-ish.

It's like the big dirty family secret, the skeleton in the closet. Something that, as a professed Buddhist, you are required to believe ... even if you find it horrifying or manipulative or just plain stupid.

I'm so glad I don't have it in me to adopt any existing worldview 100%. It might make my journey to awakening slower and a bit more difficult ... but it keeps me free from religious idiocy.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2459
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby rachMiel » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:33 am

Just did a bit more research and was happy to find out that many modern Buddhists view Naraka as a metaphor. Whew ...

Here's a quote I thought you'd appreciate:

In my opinion, literal belief in these hells makes no sense on several levels. The way the hells are described suggest individual rebirth, for example, which is not what most of Buddhism teaches. If the point of them originally was to scare the stuffing out of people to keep them from going astray, I bet that more often than not, it worked.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
User avatar
rachMiel
 
Posts: 2459
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 4:46 pm
Location: Pittsford

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby KathleenBrugger » Wed Dec 03, 2014 5:13 am

I've been thinking along the same lines lately epiphany. Karma requires belief in free will. In order to be held accountable for your actions, which would result in good or bad karma, there has to be the belief that you freely chose whatever you did, completely independently of any influences at all. That's completely absurd. As you say so eloquently, what is true is "the complex and unconscious forces that drive our behaviour in every moment" and "There is no inherent positive or negative value in intention, since it is a product of our environment, genetics and countless antecedent, unconscious conditions that drive us, like a small fish in a strong current, into the present moment." Free will is a myth that has been an excellent form of social control across the globe.

Recently I was talking with someone who is a devotee of Advaita Vedanta. That's Hinduism but they also believe in karma and reincarnation. I was telling her about someone (I'll call J) I know what had been cheated by someone I'll call C. My friend said, "Oh, C cheated J in this life because J cheated C in a prior life. You can't hurt someone in this life unless you've been hurt by them in a previous life." I said, "that's absurd. Are we talking an infinite regression here? Somebody had to start it!" As with Buddhism, her formulation just came across as an ancient, primitive understanding, filled with judgment, that is all about enforcing desirable behavior. My devotee friend says she doesn't believe in free will, but I don't think she sees the contradiction.
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/
User avatar
KathleenBrugger
 
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:40 am

The way I see it is that we do have free will, but it is very much misunderstood. We do not have the freedom to deny gravity, nor can we sprout wings and fly. And while conditions, and more importantly conditioning, may influence how we perceive things to a large extent, we still have the fundamental freedom to decide what events and conditions happening in our life mean to us individually and thereby influence the quality of our experience of those events.

A significant component of 'waking up' is the recognition that we can decide (the essence of available free will) how we perceive any given event in our lives. Through the greater clarity of awakening consciousness we can choose a perspective, or meaning, that is more inclusive of a greater perception than that of our existing conditioned beliefs.

Those conditioned beliefs and reactions may continue to arise automatically for some time even though we may be waking up. But just knowing this may well happen is enough to be ready to review those automatic reactions when they arise with a more awakened clarity. This is a free choice we can make.

I see free will as inherent. The exercise of that free will however, seems directly related to the extent of one's clarity of being.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Phil2 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:31 am

KathleenBrugger wrote: Free will is a myth


Yes, I agree on this Kathleen ... where there is a will, there is a ... self ... which is conditioned by all kinds of influences: education, society, culture, traditions, beliefs, past experiences, knowledge, judgements, opinions etc ... etc ...

The only and most important freedom we 'have' is not about 'doing' or 'thinking' ... it is about SEEING and BEING ... and this ability requires no prerequisite, no knowledge, no belief, no past, no 'will', no time ... and it happens here and now ... presence, stillness, peace, silence ... this is where we are ... where else ?
"What irritates us about others is an opportunity to learn on ourselves"
(Carl Jung)
Phil2
 
Posts: 1379
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 3:24 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Onceler » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:44 pm

I like what John Sherman says, that the only influence we have on life is where we direct out attention. We can develop a greater mastery of this skill and it in turn changes things.
Be present, be pleasant.
User avatar
Onceler
 
Posts: 2204
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:35 am
Location: My house

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:29 pm

Onceler wrote:...the only influence we have on life is where we direct out attention. We can develop a greater mastery of this skill and it in turn changes things.

And this is plenty. It's the freedom of choice that directs the energy of being that creates new experience.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby epiphany55 » Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:33 pm

rachMiel wrote:Just did a bit more research and was happy to find out that many modern Buddhists view Naraka as a metaphor. Whew ...

Here's a quote I thought you'd appreciate:

In my opinion, literal belief in these hells makes no sense on several levels. The way the hells are described suggest individual rebirth, for example, which is not what most of Buddhism teaches. If the point of them originally was to scare the stuffing out of people to keep them from going astray, I bet that more often than not, it worked.


Thanks for that. There are many Christians and Muslims who also believe heaven and hell is a metaphor for states of consciousness. I even read that hell in the Bible refers to a literal place outside Jerusalem where they used to burn bodies and, quite possibly, sinners. When you read the relatively few references of hell in the Bible, it is always very ambiguous as to where exactly it is.

KathleenBrugger wrote:I've been thinking along the same lines lately epiphany. Karma requires belief in free will. In order to be held accountable for your actions, which would result in good or bad karma, there has to be the belief that you freely chose whatever you did, completely independently of any influences at all. That's completely absurd. ... Free will is a myth that has been an excellent form of social control across the globe.


I would like to ask those who believe in karma if this belief is to be upheld regardless of whether or not we have free will. In other words, is it simply unfortunate that the universe works in this way, in the same way people don't necessarily deserve terminal disease.

Webwanderer wrote:The way I see it is that we do have free will, but it is very much misunderstood. We do not have the freedom to deny gravity, nor can we sprout wings and fly. And while conditions, and more importantly conditioning, may influence how we perceive things to a large extent, we still have the fundamental freedom to decide what events and conditions happening in our life mean to us individually and thereby influence the quality of our experience of those events.


Even if we do have the neurological capacity for free will, is there space, between each infinitesimally narrow moment, to exercise it in any meaningful way? Remember we're talking freedom to initiate, not simply single out, a choice. There has to be a single moment whereby 0 becomes 1 - indecision becomes decision. If we were truly the author of that decision, then this would require an intelligent process to spontaneously emerge in that 0 state. But there is an infinite regress problem here, because what is it that kick starts this process? For free will to exist, the process always has to be spontaneously initiated by an entity called "I", completely independent of prior thought and condition (otherwise it can't be called free), yet somehow able to process enough information to form meaningful intention. I find the whole thing quite absurd.

What may appear to be a spontaneous, volitional choice in consciousness may have had its beginnings outside of consciousness. An impulse, thought or decision may pop into your head - now you have to decide what to do with it. That final decision in turn has to arise from somewhere. What does it really mean to say "I initiated that choice?". Who is this "I" supposedly behind the controls?

Onceler wrote:I like what John Sherman says, that the only influence we have on life is where we direct out attention. We can develop a greater mastery of this skill and it in turn changes things.


One has to first become aware that they are placing their attention on one thing and not another for attention to become a means of change.

It would be unfair to blame people for not being aware of where they're putting their attention, when most of us who are now more aware of it have been given this gift by someone or something else that has crossed our path at some point in life.

People have to be shaken out of their slumber, either by a personal crisis or through direct intervention. There is no free will that will allow you to spontaneously and wilfully interrupt your own stream of consciousness in the same way you can't intentionally wake yourself up from deep sleep. You have to be woken up. Even a cave dwelling pro super monk knows that it is not they who initiate their awakening, it is the awakening itself that flows through them. All they are doing is experiencing it changing their being, changing their path.
Thought is the object, not the essence, of consciousness.
epiphany55
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:13 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Rob X » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:01 pm

I've had an off and on relationship with Buddhism for fifteen years and very few of the Buddhists I've known believed in karma. Karma/rebirth was around long before Buddhism and most scholars will agree that it was adopted as (as the Buddhist scholar Rupert Gethin reports) "a convenient fiction", i.e. as Rachmiel suggests, a exoteric device for keeping the masses in line.

As for free will, my take is this: We do have will, we use it all the time - but it's not somehow freely originated by the organism. The organism is a kind of juncture of possibilities. It receives vast amounts of input which it filters and processes and (based on innumerable factors) the urge to act arises. Consciousness of the action seemingly arriving from nowhere gives us the sense that it is freely chosen. The more complex and sophisticated the organism is, the more avenues of apparent choice it will have, thus a human has infinitely more choice than a tree.

In most organisms there appears to be the innate tendency/drive towards survival, continuity and freedom. When this drive arises as the spiritual quest, our apparent choices will in many cases lead to a sense of opening up to life's wider spectrum. Along the way this inclination enables us to shed many types of constricting conditioning - we are gravitationally pulled towards a sense of greater understanding, sensitivity and freedom.
User avatar
Rob X
 
Posts: 317
Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:37 pm

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby Webwanderer » Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:07 pm

epiphany55 wrote:Even if we do have the neurological capacity for free will, is there space, between each infinitesimally narrow moment, to exercise it in any meaningful way? Remember we're talking freedom to initiate, not simply single out, a choice. There has to be a single moment whereby 0 becomes 1 - indecision becomes decision. If we were truly the author of that decision, then this would require an intelligent process to spontaneously emerge in that 0 state. But there is an infinite regress problem here, because what is it that kick starts this process? For free will to exist, the process always has to be spontaneously initiated by an entity called "I", completely independent of prior thought and condition (otherwise it can't be called free), yet somehow able to process enough information to form meaningful intention. I find the whole thing quite absurd.

What may appear to be a spontaneous, volitional choice in consciousness may have had its beginnings outside of consciousness. An impulse, thought or decision may pop into your head - now you have to decide what to do with it. That final decision in turn has to arise from somewhere. What does it really mean to say "I initiated that choice?". Who is this "I" supposedly behind the controls?

There are numerous assumptions here that I see as either false or speculation. Certainly not conclusive.


"Even if we do have the neurological capacity for free will..."

Free will is not neurological capacity. Neurology is not the origin of consciousness, but merely a conduit. Without this base in which you form the rest of your assumptions, those assumptions readily unravel.


"...is there space, between each infinitesimally narrow moment, to exercise it in any meaningful way?"

Time is a perspective within the human experience. In consciousness there is only now. So no matter how infinitesimally narrow a moment may seem it is still a reference to a time that exists only in imagination as only one perspective of being. That it does exist in imagination, gives rise to the experience of it which makes for the unique living conditions we enjoy.


"Remember we're talking freedom to initiate, not simply single out, a choice."

It really makes no difference even if this were true. It doesn't work like choice A or B or even C. What does an event or condition 'mean' to you? There are infinite possibilities in that choice. Sure, there are reactions to events based upon existing conditioning, but that conditioning is the result of previous choices even though they may not have been particularly well thought out.

Once a degree of clarity is gained on the true nature of self, rather than previously adopted thought constructs, one may choose meaning based on conscious choice over unconscious conditioning. Again that choice of meaning is infinite in it's possibilities. Meaning is a perception and perspective and not simply a word document.


"There has to be a single moment whereby 0 becomes 1..."

This suggests that there is more than one moment. But is that really the case? It is a well argued and demonstrable fact that there is only one moment. It is now. It is always now, this moment. Tolle, for one, wrote a book about it.


"For free will to exist, the process always has to be spontaneously initiated by an entity called "I", completely independent of prior thought and condition (otherwise it can't be called free), yet somehow able to process enough information to form meaningful intention. I find the whole thing quite absurd."

There is a lot in life that some have found to be absurd yet was the reality none the less. I recommend a more inclusive consideration. "I find the whole thing quite absurd." You find the idea of an entity called "I", a reference to self, to be absurd yet you use it as a reference to your 'self', your perspective, in the very sentence that you dismiss the possibility. Curious, don't you think? Can you not see the contradiction?

You philosophize in terms of 'no self', yet you dialog as unique a self as anyone else. How many I's and we's and your's have you used in this dialog and others. That you dialog and interact with 'others' demonstrates that underneath all the intellectualism you acknowledge your own existence.

WW
User avatar
Webwanderer
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 6309
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 12:03 am

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby smiileyjen101 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 12:15 am

Even if we do have the neurological capacity for free will, is there space, between each infinitesimally narrow moment, to exercise it in any meaningful way? Remember we're talking freedom to initiate, not simply single out, a choice. There has to be a single moment whereby 0 becomes 1 - indecision becomes decision. If we were truly the author of that decision, then this would require an intelligent process to spontaneously emerge in that 0 state. But there is an infinite regress problem here, because what is it that kick starts this process? For free will to exist, the process always has to be spontaneously initiated by an entity called "I", completely independent of prior thought and condition (otherwise it can't be called free), yet somehow able to process enough information to form meaningful intention. I find the whole thing quite absurd.



All things and notions are interpreted at the level of the receiver, not necessarily at the level of the sender.

I'm only saying that because each who are interpreting and translating another's 'wisdom' are doing so at a level and experience different to the one who has gained the knowledge in experience. So anyone interpreting what a person - that they now revere as a Buddha, or any superhuman or wise entity through the wisdoms that they've learned - the knowledge gained in experience and implemented in love - are going to to interpret within and with the awe of the projection that they feel separates them self from the original, and with their interpretations and intentions overlaid, not the original speaker's.

For me, as I don't have Jesus or the Buddha or anyone else to say ... when you said this... did you mean that... and evaluate their direct response to my question, I realise that I can only 'assume', others are only assuming, and it will be based on my own or the others' 'wisdom' borne of our own experience.

This is where awareness, capacity and willingness come into it.
There is no 'willingness' where there is no awareness.
There is no measure of willingness where there is no capacity.

There is only willingness where there is awareness and capacity, and awareness of the capacity and the willingness (or not).

For me that's supported in ET's notion that for most people there is no free will, they only erroneously believe there is; and then with greater awareness there is free will. But the awareness of it means that one does not prejudice or seek punishment for those without awareness and/or without capacity. It would be experientially and expressedly without awareness to do so.
When we are a child unable to do or know something, it is what it is within our awareness, capacity and willingness. As we grow in experiences we grow in wisdom - knowledge integrated in love - gratitude & generosity.

Distortions of it only occur in those who do not yet know their own power and so seek to distort power outside of its naturally occurring properties.

The willingness that one expresses in a state of awareness outside of this distortion is 'different' it's not about the personal 'you/me' its an awareness of the wider picture, and it's in awareness of the moment always being now and equally always being precious and full of the .. hmm power of now.

Until one experiences it it could not be adequately understood when described because it would only fall within the defining limitations in awareness of those who are not aware of it, and so it will be distorted by those differences.

It's where the difference between action and reaction is noticed as occurrence and response - energetic differences in experience and expression.

It's where naturally unfolding consequences of responses are recognised, some even pre the response in awareness; which is distinctly different to the notion of punishment and reward which are centrally egoically generated and individually, selectively projected on 'worthiness' as if there is a measure.

If someone has the notion that someone didn't 'deserve' to get sick in a particular way, then it must be within the awareness, capacity and willingness to recognise --- cognise again, that some do 'deserve' it, which is absurd.

Only humans think in terms of punishments for deeds or thoughts, only humans project out of this moment into some other time where balance will be, balance always is, even if we are unaware of it. It's only the personal perspective that deems a thing 'good' or 'bad' 'deserved or undeserved' within a time frame that one perceives as separate to this moment where all things just ARE.

Only in awareness can one recognise the folly and the naturally unfolding consequences of this thinking in terms of punishment and reward, worthiness and unworthiness, inclusion and exclusion to the always and eternal energy that is unconditional love.

I sigh when I hear someone claiming to be of a god of love condemning another as if that love is judgemental and punishing. I sigh the same when I hear someone claiming to be of an enlightened faith deeming that another will suffer because of deeds done in their current state of awareness and capacity as if there was willingness involved. When I hear someone say 'karma will get them' it has the same effect - sigh - let the energy of it pass without taking it into oneself - forgive them, they know not what they say.
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen
http://www.balancinginfluences.com
User avatar
smiileyjen101
 
Posts: 3688
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:44 am

Re: The inherent injustice of the universe in Buddhism

Postby KathleenBrugger » Thu Dec 04, 2014 5:35 am

epiphany55 wrote: There are many Christians and Muslims who also believe heaven and hell is a metaphor for states of consciousness. I even read that hell in the Bible refers to a literal place outside Jerusalem where they used to burn bodies and, quite possibly, sinners. When you read the relatively few references of hell in the Bible, it is always very ambiguous as to where exactly it is.

You're right about hell referring to a literal place outside Jerusalem. Many years ago I wrote an essay about the Christian Hell for a fundamentalist Christian preacher. I spent a lot of time reading all the passages in the New Testament that mentioned Hell and cross-checking them with other references in the Old Testament and New. The word that is translated as "hell" is, in the Greek, "Gehenna" (you can read about it in Wikipedia here). In my research years ago I read it was a valley where the trash was thrown. Fires were constantly burning there, it had a terrible odor. The bodies of the wicked would be thrown there. The wikipedia page says this may not have been true. My main challenge to the minister was this: if the Jews did not believe in eternal hell (they didn't) and Jesus had come with a new message that included eternal hell, don't you think he'd have been more explicit in his explanations? Wouldn't he have spent a little more time explaining something of such grave consequence? The minister was persuaded because the next Sunday he preached a sermon saying there couldn't be a Hell, to the astonishment of his congregation.

epiphany55 wrote:
KathleenBrugger wrote:I've been thinking along the same lines lately epiphany. Karma requires belief in free will. In order to be held accountable for your actions, which would result in good or bad karma, there has to be the belief that you freely chose whatever you did, completely independently of any influences at all. That's completely absurd. ... Free will is a myth that has been an excellent form of social control across the globe.

I would like to ask those who believe in karma if this belief is to be upheld regardless of whether or not we have free will. In other words, is it simply unfortunate that the universe works in this way, in the same way people don't necessarily deserve terminal disease.

I've participated in some debates on free will here and don't really want to do so now. I'd just say, ww, that I think we have will--it's just not free. We can develop our will to be more powerful and allow us to make better choices, but it will never be free.

What is hurtful about believing in free will is that it inevitably leads to judgment and blame and shame. For example, I got this from buddhanet.net:
"Basic Buddhism: The Theory of Karma: "In this world nothing happens to a person that he does not for some reason or other deserve...According to Buddhism, this inequality is due not only to heredity, environment, "nature and nurture", but also to Karma. In other words, it is the result of our own past actions and our own present doings. We ourselves are responsible for our own happiness and misery. We create our own Heaven. We create our own Hell. We are the architects of our own fate." [Note: I bolded those passages.]
We are ALL Innocent by Reason of Insanity
http://kathleenbrugger.blogspot.com/
User avatar
KathleenBrugger
 
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 5:18 pm

Next

Return to Beyond the Physical

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests