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Karma and Objectivism

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Trebor, Thanks again for your elaborate efforts to explain. In eastern philosophies Karma goes hand in hand with reincarnation and deeds of your past lives. Either you pay for your sins in the same life or carry it forward and pay for it (or reap benefits if the deeds are good) in future lives.

You're welcome again, ketansolid. Thank you.

I'm not that familiar with the idea of karma. From what you've just said, I take it that karma has nothing to do with justice in relation to good and bad acts in our lives, but only justice in relation to good and bad acts in a previous life or lives. True?

If that's the case, then the idea of karma depends upon the idea of reincarnation. If there's no reincarnation, then there's no karma. Likewise, if there's no karma, there is, by implication, no reincarnation.

Just for the sake of argument, assume that there is reincarnation and karma. If someone is murdered, how do we determine whether it is a case of their getting their just desserts (due to their sins in their past life or lives) or whether it is an injustice, whether we should celebrate the "murderers" deed as justice, or punish the murderer?

Edited by Trebor
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Honestly You've raised the same question which I raise to people preaching the doctrine of Karma in India. I have no answer sorry.

Okay, I appreciate your candor. Thank you.

What kind of replies do you get from those people preaching the doctrine of Karma in India?

What are their arguments for reincarnation and for karma? The onus of proof, the burden of proof, is on them after all.

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Okay, I appreciate your candor. Thank you.

What kind of replies do you get from those people preaching the doctrine of Karma in India?

What are their arguments for reincarnation and for karma? The onus of proof, the burden of proof, is on them after all.

You are usually asked to keep 'faith' and follow. However there are instances of xenoglossy which can't be explained unless you believe in reincarnation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenoglossy

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You are usually asked to keep 'faith' and follow. However there are instances of xenoglossy which can't be explained unless you believe in reincarnation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xenoglossy

Isn't the request to keep faith, have faith, accept on faith sufficient to discount a claim as arbitrary?

Do you think that it's possible for a person to speak a language which they have not learned? Do you believe in reincarnation?

Years ago I knew a guy who, as a young man in his teens, used a cheap camera - which was important given that the resulting photograph was of poor quality and blurred - to take a photograph of a small speaker he had removed from a small radio, a speaker which looked like the stereotypical flying saucer, his having hung the speaker by a thread in the air in a manner that, from the perspective of the camera/viewer, the speaker seemed to hover between the tops of trees, left and right, with the sky in the background. The photo was blurry and the string was not visible. It was hard to tell how far away the speaker was, and with the sky as the backdrop and the trees framing it on either side, it looked like it could have been at some distance away in the sky.

He sent the photo to some government agency, on a lark or dare from friends, I believe, and in time he received a packet of forms to fill out and return. The forms were a means of gathering further information about his photograph of a UFO or unidentified flying object (which it was given that he had not identified it). I do remember seeing the packet of forms, but I don't remember if he sent them in. I don't believe he did, somewhat fearful of deceiving the government. However, a few years later he was browsing magazines at a newsstand, magazines on UFOs, and while thumbing though one of them, he noticed his picture with a caption noting his name and a few of the details (date, location, etc.) of his UFO siting.

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There is something that I would like a karma theorist to explain. Suppose I win the lottery, and this is due to a karma reason. Of what type? Does the lottery 'know' my karmic reason? How does my "karma" influence the world outside of me? Is the karmic reason material, or conscious, or other?

A karma I do believe in is that we create the causes for our life; being productive is a _cause_ of being rich. And, because one's life may end abruptly before the cause is manifested, I am tempted to say that the cause continues to another life, and the productive personality might gain the effect in the next life (if it remains productive). Not through a lottery, though.

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Karma is not really a word an objectivist would use, because it generally implies that the world has a supernatural force and the things that happen to people don't have a rational explanation, like a person's cells becoming cancerous because they have some genetic marker for a type of cancer.  Let's say this person with cancer did a very mean thing to another person out of spite for them, like poisened their favorite horse.  The victim might say, "What goes around comes around," when they hear this person got cancer but that is very seriously irrational when you think about it.  By saying that, they are implying that this supernatural force punishes people for their immorality randomely (and even if this were true it would be a hipocrite).  I guess you could use such a word or phrase to express your disgust for their actions, but most of the time people use that as a sort of superstitious assumption. You could also probably use karma rationally to express that when people are considerate or do nice things for others, they will often be that way back.

Edited by Dreamspirit
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