Author Topic: Secular Karma  (Read 871 times)

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Offline Knightrunner

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Re: Secular Karma
« Reply #30 on: May 17, 2017, 09:24:15 AM »
I had a discussion on this topic recently. I was asked “If I believe in Karma”. My response was something like this:
I do not believe in Karma as any sort of magical, invisible or meta-physical force. I see it as the consequence of a series of linked events that are complex enough to be very difficult to track and/or are often overlooked. I believe Karma, as I use the word, is nothing more than statistical probability resulting from social interactions.

I have always found profound wisdom in my grandfather. He once took me along with him to help an acquaintance of his move. I asked why we were going as I did not think he liked the person very much. He responded, “I’m not doing it because I like him. I am doing it because I might need to move someday.”  Now we all know the world is not fair and that such acts have no guarantee of a return. But I think we can all agree that the more people you help move the more likely you will have people show up the day you need to move.  This is obviously a simple and specific example, but one that I think illustrates the larger point.

So yes I do believe in Karma, though my definition is unlikely to satisfy that of others. Some people might get hung up on the word believe. I use it simply because I cannot point to much evidence to support my claim. Just a long series of anecdotes that have served me well.  I do attempt to adhere to this philosophy in my daily life.

Online Mr. Beagle

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Re: Secular Karma
« Reply #31 on: May 17, 2017, 09:31:02 AM »
Knightrunner describes this well.  "Statistical Karma" existed before there was language to describe it. And the first language available to describe it was not math, rather God-language. Thus religious Karma emerges.

I have studied a lot of theology and only late began to see much of theology this way. Ethical choice, for instance, existed before there was recognizable human language, and the first available language was "God-language."
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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Secular Karma
« Reply #32 on: May 17, 2017, 01:41:25 PM »
Wow i am fantastically dumb.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2017, 07:34:36 PM by Johnny Slick »
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Online daniel1948

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Re: Secular Karma
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2017, 12:56:39 PM »
I had a discussion on this topic recently. I was asked “If I believe in Karma”. My response was something like this:
I do not believe in Karma as any sort of magical, invisible or meta-physical force. I see it as the consequence of a series of linked events that are complex enough to be very difficult to track and/or are often overlooked. I believe Karma, as I use the word, is nothing more than statistical probability resulting from social interactions.

I have always found profound wisdom in my grandfather. He once took me along with him to help an acquaintance of his move. I asked why we were going as I did not think he liked the person very much. He responded, “I’m not doing it because I like him. I am doing it because I might need to move someday.”  Now we all know the world is not fair and that such acts have no guarantee of a return. But I think we can all agree that the more people you help move the more likely you will have people show up the day you need to move.  This is obviously a simple and specific example, but one that I think illustrates the larger point.

So yes I do believe in Karma, though my definition is unlikely to satisfy that of others. Some people might get hung up on the word believe. I use it simply because I cannot point to much evidence to support my claim. Just a long series of anecdotes that have served me well.  I do attempt to adhere to this philosophy in my daily life.


While I would not, myself, use the word karma, I agree with the above. It has to do with the fact that we are social animals, evolved for social interactions. While not perfectly 1:1, people are inclined, via evolution, to help those who help them, and deny help to those who deny help to them. Thus if you regularly help people when asked, you are more likely to receive help when you ask for it.

We see altruistic behavior in other species as well.

I think that most people, however, interpret the word karma to be a magical influence whereby the universe gives rewards for good behavior and punishes bad behavior, which is why I'd have said, "No, I don't believe in karma, but I do believe that among social animals, including humans, individuals often reciprocate the treatment they receive from others."
Daniel
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"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think long and hard before starting a war."
-- Otto von Bismarck

 

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