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Karma vs. Justice?

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  • Karma vs. Justice?

    Nowadays I keep hearing the word karma used for things I would have said were justice. Karma, as far as I know, is a religous concept from the Eastern faiths where good and bad actions come back upon their do-er, rather like the modern Wikkan belief in a rule of three, but karma is linked directly to a belief in re-incarnation. Justice, on the other hand, seems to be a more universal concept of the rule of law and fairness, dealing with actions having fair consequences.

    When someone does something that breaks the law, gets caught, and goes to jail, I would call that justice, but several blogs now seem to refer to it as karma. What do you think the difference is?

  • #2
    'karma' sounds kewl, while 'justice' sounds judgemental ... and who are you to judge me? One of those Kristan Bible Thumping, Hell-Fire Intolerant Haters ... right? :)

    ****

    Seriously, I think the term karma has been divorced from its reincarnation roots and used for a more morally neutral form of deserved fate. Good thoughts and actions draw positive karma that will yield good circumstances down the road. Bad thoughts and actions will draw negative karma that will yield negative circumstances down the road. Karma is also open to morally neutral actions drawing morally neutral, but situationally related circumstances down the road.

    Justice tends to carry a connotation of an evil action resulting in a deserved punishment. If a young boy finds a wallet and returns it to the owner, and the owner gives the boy $20 for finding the wallet, one would not typically say "See, Justice was served!" However, one might say "That was good karma."
    Last edited by atpollard; 01-22-2017, 03:29 PM.
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    • #3
      Karma is so obviously fake it's hard to believe anyone can still tell themselves life works that way. If Karma worked, Charles Manson would have died a painful death of some horrible cancer a long time ago.

      Justice is a lot more straightforward. They get caught, tried, convicted, they get consequences.
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      • #4
        I find a lot of these things profound when a person starts to look at them. So much so that a person gets lost.
        I believe in is all part of the finite intellect realm and does not lead anywhere that can truly satisfy. I believe scripture tells not to get wrapped up in the doings of the mind because that is some of the dynamics of 'The Greatest Battle Ever Fought' that we as Christians are involved in.
        Case in point is justice. Scripture shows us that true compassion is not human sympathy but to do the will of God.
        I believe God's ways are so much higher than our ways that the best we can do is yield. If we can get ourselves into the right position then God will look after the rest...
        Thank you...
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        • #5
          Galatians 6:1-10 [NIV]
          1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. 6 Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

          7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.



          2 Corinthians 9:6-15 [NIV]
          6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
          “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
          their righteousness endures forever.”
          10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
          12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!



          Proverbs 6: 9-11 [NIV]
          9 How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
          When will you get up from your sleep?
          10 A little sleep, a little slumber,
          a little folding of the hands to rest—
          11 and poverty will come on you like a thief
          and scarcity like an armed man.


          Proverbs 11:6 The righteousness of the upright delivers them,but the unfaithful are trapped by evil desires.

          Proverbs 12:13 Evildoers are trapped by their sinful talk, and so the innocent escape trouble.


          Maybe it's just me, but the modern use of the term "karma" seems to be an attempt by a secular world to describe something that God has always said is so in terms that don't require them to acknowledge that there is a God ... just this inexplicable force called 'karma'. That's why it no longer applies to reincarnation, but to events in this life ... God never said anything about reincarnation, so the empirical evidence supports God's words not Eastern Philosophy.
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          • #6
            Justice is one of the Great Ideas of the Western world, and, as such, its nature is controversial and there is no generally accepted definition of it. But the first definition given in my Webster’s is “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” Another, related definition is “the principle or ideal of just dealing or right action.” So justice is either an administrative system for certain kinds of problems, or a principle or ideal with regard to our behavior.

            The word karma, on the other hand, refers, in Buddhism and other religions, to a cosmic law that connects our intentional actions with their ultimate moral consequences. According to this law, every action that we do, large or small, public or private, brings consequences to us that reflect our intention at the moment we acted. Basically, when we take actions that benefit others, then we ultimately experience results that are pleasant; when we take actions that harm others, we experience results that are unpleasant. Nobody monitors or enforces this law; it operates automatically and impersonally, like gravity or magnetism.

            The doctrine of karma goes along with the doctrine of rebirth or reincarnation. If there were no rebirth, then karma would be unable to account for things such as the death of babies, who have never done anyone any harm, or for the success and prosperity of some evildoers, who enjoy comfortable lives even though they have harmed others. According to the teaching, these things happen because karma “ripens,” or produces its effects, only when the right surrounding circumstances occur. This might happen in our current lifetime, or it might be in some future lifetime. But karma never forgets: the karmic seed, once planted, is always there, and will certainly ripen when the right circumstances arise.

            For me, and I think for most people, karma represents a system of perfect justice. No good deed goes unrewarded, and no bad deed goes unpunished, which is exactly what we would expect if justice were perfect. Furthermore, the scale of the effect is always exactly matched to the scale of the original action: the more positive the action, the more pleasant and beneficial the eventual result for the doer; the more negative the action, the more unpleasant and harmful the eventual result. And because it is impersonal, it is infallible and not subject to anyone’s whim, bias, or error. There is no problem of administration.

            So you might say that an effort to institute a system of justice in the world is an attempt to imitate the law of karma on the scale of a single lifetime.

            But if one is able to believe in the law of karma, the issue of justice becomes less pressing in one’s life, because one realizes that justice, in the widest sense, takes care of itself. Your focus becomes what it should become: making your own actions as helpful and beneficial as possible, and avoiding doing anything harmful.
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