Speaking for myself, only if cause and effect is a higher, immeasurable power. if not, well...no.
I certainly don't believe in karma or destiny or fate. The reason I don't believe those things is the same reason I don't believe in god it's because I'm a skeptic (meaning I question until I see sufficient evidence to believe something is true.)
I think things happen for a reason.... just not the reason that theists would apply. Every action has a reaction....that's simple physics.
The deal is...there is such a huge maelstorm of action/reaction that nothing we do can be completely divorced from all the rest of it. All of these forces have played a part, not only on our decisions but have also shaped and molded us into the people we are right now..and will continue to do so until we die. Our personal impact (actions/reactions) may also continue to leave ripples even after we die. Look at Shakespeare for instance. Tesla, Whitney, Ford, Jobs....
A village gets swamped by a tsunami.... not because they were bad people in a past life... but because the village was built next to the coast and tsunami's happen from time to time because of geological forces, meteors, etc... The people are still responsible...because they built the village next to the coast and on ground that wasn't high enough to avoid a huge tsunami wave. The same thing goes for Volcanos... You aren't going to save yourselves by sacrificing a virgin to the volcano god. You save the village by MOVING it away from the volcano. Its not Karma.. but it is Action and Reaction. Its not random chance. We live on a living active world and we should let that figure into our decisions. Shit happens because all kinds of other shit happened and is happening and it happens where and when it does because of all the forces that come together at that time.
Its not random chance...but physics. Even to this day we are still playing out the repercussions of the ripples sent out by Rome and the Church....(as they were products of other ripples) The future is going to have to deal with all the ripples we are making now.. All the carbon we are putting into the air.. All the waste we are making. All the resources we are using. The particular resources we are using etc.. These actions today have their reactions today and tomorrow and the ripples and repercussions will probably go on far into the future.
so i would say that there is a nonmetaphysical kind of 'karma' and 'fate'.. in that what we do today will have an unavoidable impact...not only on today but tomorrow and into the future as well.
You can have them here. ;>) every day.. That's why I keep coming back. There are very few people I can talk to openly about these kinds of things.
When i didnt have an opinion on religion one way or the other, i sort of believed in cosmic justice or karma but thats just stupid. Though i did catch myself slip not too long ago when i was playing an online game and lost the equivalence of 5 years of work and i was mad at myself and thought "why did this happen to me?" and then as i said it, i told myself "well duh, good things happen to good people, bad things happen to good people, good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to bad people."
Interesting..but how would we know karma DOESN'T exist in "animals"...Maybe a lion eating a zebra is natural and doesn't apply to the rules of karma. As for destiny/fate, i'm positive there's no hand of god involved in destiny/fate but that's all I know. Summary, I have no idea, but I do know that all things are connected and since that so, cause and effect is a reality and that could play into what we call destiny/fate because cause and effect is sometimes hard to trace. Again, I have no idea but a good question. As for atheist, since there's no "god" or deity involved, I don't think it afffects your non belief.
i agree, but i guess karma and fate would only not fit into a naturalist worldview, though i dont see how an atheist worldview would not be naturalistic also.
What irritates me is when people say that "everything happens for a reason" and it's not the reason that Wesley discusses that is linked to physics, and action and reaction, it's the reason that people think that their Jeebus has assigned. When someone breaks up with their girlfriend/boyfriend, it's "it happened for a reason", as in "God doesn't think we were meant to be together and he has a better person out there for me" or "something good is going to come from this situation".
I don't believe that everything is random to the extent that physics doesn't have a roll to play in it and that we aren't determined by the occurrences that happen around us, but it is random in the sense that we cannot foresee most of the things that happen, and just because something bad happens doesn't mean that something good will come of it and visa versa. There is no karma, destiny, or fate to our universe. Things are random in the sense that they are not planned by a cosmic force or being.
I think karma can be as easily disproved as the existence of a god, but I've never seen anyone attempt to do so. It would be interesting to hear an argument against karma!
What irritates me is when people say that "everything happens for a reason" and it's not the reason that Wesley discusses that is linked to physics, and action and reaction, it's the reason that people think that their Jeebus has assigned.
@ Teri - Me too. It seems as though everybody loves to say that phrase whether they are religious or not, as if to say there is some grand plan behind every bad thing that happens that makes it okay in the end. In my opinion, there are things that can never be made okay in the end and I have a hard time understanding why I seem to be a minority when it comes to thinking in such a way.
So when someone says "everything happens for a reason" what kind of response could I use there? I hear that a lot, and in an attempt to feel witty I'd love to have something clever to say there. Since "What does physics have to do with it?!" doesn't quite pack the punch I'd like perhaps someone else has a good one liner.
That's some good insight thank you.
In response to the OP for me it feels pretty obvious at this point in my rational thinking evolution that karma is nothing more than wishful thinking. I don't believe walking under a ladder or some other accursed action will bring a reaction any more than sticking feathers in bacon will cause pigs to fly.