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> Karma is untrue or useless, A serious discussion

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GentlemanTroll
post Apr 6 2020, 12:45 PM

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QUOTE(puchongite @ Apr 6 2020, 12:34 PM)
I maintain the claim that karma is understood by most people as the cause and effect which span over multiple generation of a life.

In that regards, to disprove/prove karma, we can use the same scientific methods of random sampling and look at the % of fulfillment of the prediction.

Our experiments always show 100% disprove of the causes due to past lives.
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I think your argument with mikehuan is that there is no proper definition of karma.

For you to have an experiment, you have to first define what is karma.
After we define, then we set an experiment around it.

So, technically, you have provided your definition, and set a thought experiment.
However, now, the issue is that there are disagreement in the definition you set.

In that case, then it's up to the other person to define what karma is.
And define it in a manner such that it's quantifiable, and falsifieable.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 6 2020, 01:51 PM

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QUOTE(puchongite @ Apr 6 2020, 01:25 PM)
We are talking about something which in my opinion, obvious.

Loot at dictionary :-
Or wiki :-

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma
Rebirth has been repeatedly emphasized.
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Yes, I'm saying you have define it, but mikehuan disagrees your definition.
That's why the argument isn't about the thought experiment results anymore, but rather it's about definition (or perhaps interpretation on definition)

For instance, you put up this definition:

"(in Hinduism and Buddhism) the sum of a person's actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.
INFORMAL"

To simplify, let's just assume human beings.
If doing good means being born into a rich family.
Then, the karma "ends" there, the person has been "rewarded" by being born into a rich family. All other things he do subsequently is only going to affect his future "karma", and any actions towards him are going to affect the "karma" of the person doing it.

Or, if we put transcending species. Then the fact that say, a bird being born into a human, is already reflective of the bird's karma.

I'm just pointing out the potential interpretation, where religious often just ensure their claims cannot be flasified.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 09:04 AM

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QUOTE(kmarc @ Apr 7 2020, 08:25 AM)
Ya, but for the 2nd paragraph, my view is that karma cannot be proven but it doesnt mean it doesn't exist. Like any scientific research, we may not yet have the tools to measure it. Maybe in a million years.

For now, many hope for its existence because it feels good to see karma power especially on bad evil humans! biggrin.gif
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There are a few issues with Karma.

1. Before anything, does Karma exist? This is still a question that cannot be answered.
2. If it exist, who set Karma, is it natural, or someone set it? uamcy mentioned that buddha set it? But I thought Buddha only gotten his enlightenment around 400-500BC? Before that, no karma? Or?
3. Does it has a consistent characteristic? E.g. if you want to attribute the death of someone's mother to karma for the person bullying, does that mean all bully will receive equally harsh punishment? If karma is fair, then it has to have a consistent characteristic. Otherwise, then it's a bias mechanism.
4. Most importantly, to those who claim karma exist, are you so sure that karma behaves according to what you think? How sure are you that it could span over generations, or timing is inconsistent etc etc?

Going back to something that wasn't provable in the past, but is provable now like bacteria.
Before we prove bacteria, we cannot say it definitely exist.
However, even before that, we can see its characteristic. We can observe its effect.
In the past, even though we cannot directly observe bacteria, doctors still managed to find ways to treat illnesses etc.
This is because something that exist has a consistent characteristic.

Also, when we don't understand bacteria, we cannot say for sure whether your sickness is due to virus, bacteria, or simply auto-immune attack etc.
So, I'm having problem understanding why can we attribute things to karma as though we have fully understand, and proven it.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 09:28 AM

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QUOTE(ramz @ Apr 7 2020, 09:20 AM)
All we need is evidence. Nice stories doesn't make it true.

So far I read this thread, there are 0 evidence. But instead I'm getting evidence to the contrary. The karma supporters need to give evidence, then we moving ahead.
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Nah, we don't need evidence yet.
We need them to demonstrate that there is consistency in Karma, given they act as though it's a well understood aspect.
Basically, we need them to demonstrate that Karma is falsifiable first. Then only we can address evidence.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 10:08 AM

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QUOTE(kmarc @ Apr 7 2020, 10:04 AM)
Yeah, exactly like theist when they talk about God. They will say, "We can never understand God. He works in mysterious ways."

Apply that to karma, "We can never understand karma. It works in mysterious ways". biggrin.gif

So when something happens, it will either be, "God dealt out the punishment" for theist and "that's karma in action" for others.... for the same exact scenario.
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If you can never understand it, then you have to acknowledge you may not be doing it the right way.
You have no way to verify whether what you do is correct or wrong.

Just like if a world don't understand trigonometry, and I gave you a trigonometry question, your fail or pass depends on it.
Doing it according to what some people who equally don't understand it, vs. doing it whatever !@#$ ways you want, is the same.
You're likely to get it wrong anyway.

So, why bother learning from someone who equally don't understand?

But if you claim you know, understand etc, then you have to demonstrate its consistency.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 10:19 AM

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QUOTE(kmarc @ Apr 7 2020, 10:12 AM)
Don't understand. Doing what the right way? Learning what from someone?
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I mean, if you say, karma works in mysterious way, unexplainable etc.
Means, you don't understand karma.
So, how would you know how karma behaves?
How would you know that doing X deed = good deeds and therefore gain you good karma, Y deed = bad deeds and therefore gain you bad karma etc?

Perhaps stealing is good karma, who knows?
Perhaps giving alms is bad karma, who can say? Since karma works in mysterious ways.

And now, what we do is we listen to people who claims how karma works. Yet when pressed for more, they don't know.
So, are we learning from these people to determine what is good karma, what is bad karma?

Is karma based on "objective morality" or "subjective morality"? Or is it simply intention?

This post has been edited by GentlemanTroll: Apr 7 2020, 10:20 AM
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 11:52 AM

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QUOTE(jalsrix @ Apr 7 2020, 11:36 AM)
We are not gods nor did Buddha explain everything in detail. Even Jesus didn't explain everything in detail or else it will fill the entire planet. The knowledge of the universe is too vast.

Buddha's sutra of Karma only to list out general effects of one's actions when his disciple asked him why people are born blind,poor, rich, beautiful etc.

Buddha only concentrated on things that are most important. At that time, paper wasn't invented yet so how many things can you remember?

The Sutras were written 500 years after his death.

You can't learn everything in one life or else there is no need for reincarnation.

Anyway, you ask yourself, to give yourself some understanding of level of pain....

Knife stab on heart > Knife stab on hand > Needle on hand > Mosquito bite

So karma works that way too. Do you consider a mosquito bite very bad?
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You don't need to explain in details.
You need the rule of thumb.

So, your rule of thumb is level of pain?

I.e. you're saying "Knife stab on heart > Knife stab on hand > Needle on hand > Mosquito bite"?

What about rule about physical pain vs psychological pain? What about other unintended consequences?

Is it always true that stabbing people's hand with a knife will bring more negative karma compare to stabbing people's hand with needle?

You need to define what is your rule of thumb to guide you on specifics. Basic human understands this. Unless you say Buddha don't understand this and therefore did not leave that basic knowledge for us?
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 12:21 PM

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QUOTE(jalsrix @ Apr 7 2020, 12:00 PM)
LOL. I have been bitten by mosquitos a billion times in my life and I never have dengue or malaria.

You're just like saying that driving a car will kill you but I have driven my car for decades and I am still alive and never involved in a bad accident.
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And therefore, mosquito bite is always less painful than a stab of knife on the hand?
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 03:41 PM

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QUOTE(jalsrix @ Apr 7 2020, 03:30 PM)
Mosquito or ant bite is a daily 'karma' and not worth putting much attention to it. It's to emphasize that not all karma are the same.

BTW, mosquito don't cause dengue just like humans don't cause death by coughing.

It is just a carrier of disease but then any animals (chicken/pork/beef) or humans can also be carrier of disease which are those virus/bacteria/parasites and NOT mosquitos/flies/animals etc.

A simple mosquito bite without the parasites/virus is harmless.
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Still, are you saying, and therefore, mosquito bite is always less painful than a stab of knife on the hand?

Anyway, you want to address karma, please address this first:

We need them to demonstrate that there is consistency in Karma, given you act as though it's a well understood aspect.
Basically, we need them to demonstrate that Karma is falsifiable first. Then only we can address evidence.

This post has been edited by GentlemanTroll: Apr 7 2020, 03:42 PM
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 03:44 PM

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QUOTE(Silfrijin @ Apr 7 2020, 03:36 PM)
Karma must meet with conditions, only there is no direct as like 1+1=2.
Okay, I want to know, what are the conditions.
What are the rule of thumbs.
Can you demonstrate that Karma is consistent?
If you understand it well enough, then you should be able to.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 7 2020, 04:04 PM

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QUOTE(Silfrijin @ Apr 7 2020, 03:53 PM)
It depends on the Subject and Object, case to case. You want to see how Karma work consistently?
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Yes, that's right.
I want to see if you have any idea how karma works.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 09:00 AM

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QUOTE(puchongite @ Apr 8 2020, 07:34 AM)
Help us then, what do you think is the CAUSE of dengue ?

You know what, a secular mind measures an action based on the impact the action generates, or at least based on the predicted impact of the action. We determine the impact based on what is real, we don't remove the impact based on it not the root cause. There is no end to the tracing of root cause, and sometimes root cause is not clear cut.

We do trace back the root cause, but those actions will not remove the impact of this current action under investigation.

So does it matter if mosquito is the root cause or not root cause of dengue ?

Are you going to examine every single mosquito, to find out which are those had or had not participated in the propagation of dangerous diseases ?

Obviously mosquitoes do not intent to kill you, but does it matter ? Obviously mosquitoes is only a carrier but does it make it less dangerous or less risky ?

And most important, is mosquitoes bite a big matter or a small matter, based on the predicted impact of the seemingly innocent bite ?
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I guess those who have COVID 19 and intentionally going around running and spreading disease also don't have "bad karma" according to him. Since COVID 19 original source is not human.. Or at least, not that particular human who intentionally go out and spread lol..
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 04:02 PM

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QUOTE(will4848 @ Apr 8 2020, 03:50 PM)
their argument is not even come close to the "blind men and an elephant" stage ....
their are trying to justified their 'logic with belief' to disprove others people thinking which is not the same with theirs ...
but on the other hand they will claim evolution theory n big bang theory is valid even without any solid evidence  bruce.gif
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Since you use "blind men and an elephant" scenario.

Can I ask, are you a blind man and elephant is the karma (i.e. you don't fully understand karma)
Or are you able to fully see the whole elephant (i.e. karma)?

If it's the first, then you're not too different from someone who don't understand karma at all.
Understanding a bit and don't understand is just a fine line.

If it's the second, then I would like to invite you to explain the rule of thumb of karma.
To demonstrate that karma is consistent.
Unless you're saying karma is not consistent.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 04:26 PM

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QUOTE(will4848 @ Apr 8 2020, 04:12 PM)

1. no one can fully see what is karma, others that action/changes there is still past, present n future which we cant perceive
2. a buddhist just need to understand about karma, eg u reap what u sow we dont practice karma .....
3. why need to be so complicated ? u plant a apple seed u get apple tree in the future, that not consistent enuf ?

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1&2. So, do you fully understand how karma works or not? If yes, then you can explain the general rule of thumb. If not, then you're just another blind man with the elephant.

3. You simplify it. But let me ask you a few stuff, on why is it a lot more complicated than that.
a. Is the act or the intention that is important?
b. If it's act, then does the same act gives the same good/bad karma every time consistently?

For example, like what puchongnite says, killing mosquito will generate positive or negative karma?

How do I know what stuff provide good karma what provide bad karma?

A more realistic analogy to your apple tree is, I want to plant apple tree. But I don't know how apple seed looks like. I have 5000 different type of seeds, but only a space for one tree. Which seed should I even plant?

And please, don't reply within the quote, so that I can reply your quote properly.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 04:41 PM

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QUOTE(plain_white @ Apr 8 2020, 04:16 PM)
I'm afraid I'm not the person to explain at the moment. Hopefully in future smile.gif
Life is not just black or white. There are grey in between. Open your mind.

For the bolded part, I believe I'm not seeing the whole elephant but I know it is there. Different people touching other parts will disagree but neither of us are wrong nor correct.
It's only the enlightened will see the whole elephant, in which case they won't be here discussing the elephant smile.gif
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That's the point. Life is grey and in between.
So, how do one perform good karma, if they don't even understand how karma fully works?

You may perceive the "elephant (karma)" in this manner, another may perceive in another manner.
Both thinks they are right.
But both could be wrong.

For example, you may perceive stealing is wrong, someone may perceive stealing is right.
So, to avoid bad karma, you don't steal. For that someone, to gain good karma, he steals.

Who set the rules for what is good karma what is bad karma? What are the rules, even? Are you sure your opinion are the rules?
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 04:43 PM

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QUOTE(will4848 @ Apr 8 2020, 04:39 PM)
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You reap what you sow.
But how the heck are you going to know what the hell you sow?

Are you saying, if I steal, someone else will steal from me?
If it's that consistent, then fine. But according to many different opinion, karma comes in different form. You steal, you may get other "punishment" instead. Right?

You don't know what you sow, how could you know what would you reap?

Since you say so simple.

Now, I sow - steal.
What do I reap?

This post has been edited by GentlemanTroll: Apr 8 2020, 04:44 PM
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 05:02 PM

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QUOTE(plain_white @ Apr 8 2020, 04:55 PM)
The things about human is we are all blessed with compassion. I would say even animals (caring for the young and only kill for food/defence) but lack the intelligence of human.
But living in a materialistic world fill us with a lot of defilement and attachments such as greed, delusion, jealousy and lust. This are all the roots of suffering and therefore the purpose of a buddhist is to get rid of all these and be liberated. As long as we are still attached to these, we will keep reincarnate and as what buddha said, it's based on our karma as to what realm of existence we will be reincarnated to.

Back to your question, how to know what is right or wrong? I'm sure all of us know deep inside what is compassion and what's the right action. But things might not be easy to some as the example of stealing to you. Each action will generate a karmic seed whether it's good or bad karma. It's just the law of the universe as simplified to just cause and effect. If your action is driven by compassion like genuinely helping people instead of fulfilling your desire (greed, jealousy, lust etc) then it should be a good start. For laymen, the buddha started simple by introducing the 8 noble paths. It's a gradual process but it's important to get into the correct pathway. It might take thousands of lifetimes but the ultimate purpose to be enlightened.
Again, nobody can tell you exactly what is right or wrong. You should know it better
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Basically, as I say, if you don't know for sure what actions is acceptable by karma or not, means you live by your own standard.
Do what you think is right etc. And different people has different perception.

In this sense, the concept of karma is therefore useless.

What if an act is genuinely evil, but the person doing it lacks the capability to understand that it's evil, and truly thinks its alright. (i.e. psychopath, or maybe someone who was trained from birth in this manner).
(e.g. terrorist who kill, I am sure many of them genuinely think it's a good deed).

The issue is, if you can't explain a consistentcy, then everything could be right, everything could be wrong.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 05:03 PM

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QUOTE(will4848 @ Apr 8 2020, 04:50 PM)

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You said:
You reap what you sow.

If today, I steal something. What did I sow? What will I reap?
You can't even explain that?
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 05:24 PM

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QUOTE(plain_white @ Apr 8 2020, 05:14 PM)
Sorry to be a bearer of bad news. I don't find any book detailing which action is good or bad in buddhist scripture similar to Holy Bible or Quran.
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Which means, I won't ever know, what is good or what is bad.
I just do what I think is right, right?

What I do may be bad, even if I think it's good, or vice versa.
Basically, just do whatever I want, afterall it could be good, even if I thought it was bad.

That's why I say, in order for karma to "guide" us, we need a rule of thumb.
Otherwise, who are we to say stealing is bad?
Is killing mosquito bad? Is killing terrorist bad? etc etc.

I don't need you to produce a list of rules of what are good actions, what are bad actions.
But you need a guideline to state what are good actions, what are bad actions, no? And you need a guideline on how karma works. Otherwise, as puchongnite says, karma is basically useless, cause you can't predict what you get out of it.
It's more like lottery if there is no consistency. You do what you think is good, and hope for good karma.
GentlemanTroll
post Apr 8 2020, 06:59 PM

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QUOTE(plain_white @ Apr 8 2020, 05:36 PM)
I see... My guidelines are one should act out of compassion and kindness?
I don't design the karma, so I cannot detail how karma works. Sorry.
Again, it's ok to stick to your own belief. If you really having difficulty distinguishing what is good or bad, I suggest you can start with some meditation work and clear your mind.
You don't have to believe the presence of karma to know what is good or bad. It's just my IMHO. I'm not expert as I have clarified, so I might be wrong.
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No, you are being very reasonable, actually.
I'm not in particular attacking you or anything.
You have been upfront. And I appreciate that.
I'm sad to say that most of the "religious" people here are utterly dishonest, extrapolating what they think they know, and present it as fact. Having an honest discussion is quite refreshing.

But my point is just this. Let's assume karma indeed exist.

If we don't know how it works, how do we even ensure it.
So, my as well live as though there is no karma.

I am clear what is right or wrong, to me.
But I don't see a reason to subject things to karma, since it's not well defined. (i.e. I do good because I want to, not because I want to have a good karma)

And as you say, you don't have to believe in the presence of karma to know what is good or bad.

However, effectively, isn't karma, sort of useless in a sense?
If you don't know how it function, you don't know how it works, then why preach it at all?

Well, of course I won't say it's entirely useless. It's still a good moral guidance in a way. But I am just not convinced that it exist, if it's so vague. (I am not fully dimissing it, I'm merely not acknowledging its existence as a fact).

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