Someone mentioned karma in a different discussion earlier today and that got me thinking - how many atheists out there believe in or dictate their lives with a consideration toward the idea of karma?
Karma, as I understand it, is the idea that bad behavior begets bad experiences and good behavior begets good experiences. However, I've heard the concept of karma described lots of different ways as well, so I'm curious, fellow atheists, what your definition for and opinion is of the concept of karma?
I believe there is something you feel inside yourself; your conscious knowledge of what you do. That's where the idea of karma comes from. But, I do not in any way believe there is any supernatural, or otherwise, force or power that rewards good behavior and punishes bad. Indeed, many good people seem to get crapped on and many bad people seem to get rewards so the whole karma idea breaks down pretty quickly.
That is the danger of waiting for Karma, God, or destiny to change things for you. But your step-daughter sounds like she could use some professional counseling. I hope she gets it and becomes more proactive in making her own fortunes.
I totally feel for the person that said she couldn't self identify as Buddhist. I was already turned off to western religion for it's obvious faults and downfalls before I moved to Thailand. Buddhism seemed like a good alternative.....until I became educated on what it's all about.
Karma is just another answer to the question "Why?"
Whether it's because "God did it" or "Karma dictates" or "insert whatever other excuse here." the real answer is no easier to swallow.
We are a number. We are a statistic in the flow of evolution. We are a beautiful assimilation of tiny parts that make up an organism, which is an entity within an ecosystem. Some of us are born with an evolutionary advantage, due to the construct of their genetic code. Some are born with an evolutionary disadvantage. Some are born on even footing and then, through the course of their existence, they are injured or become ill.
Every human that ever has been and ever will be exist only to propagate the good of the species.
Our higher reasoning abilities (again, nothing more but the product of evolution) has distracted us from this purpose. The species takes second place to the individual. When the individual is put before the species, we have a world with filled with pollution, needless violence and evil. True, we also have a world filled with antibiotics, art and space exploration, but in this world is a gap that comes as a price. We turn away from the reality of our purpose, and then must use religion and superstition to answer the very obvious questions.
It seems so silly for the only creature on the planet with such a developed brain.
Maybe we aren't as smart as we like to think we are.
There is no karma. There is altruistic behavior between members of the species for the greater good of the whole.
There is of course a balance in that too, though.
I might not have done some act of greatness in a past life to make me deserve my awesome bra cup size, but I make damn sure to tip well while at my local pub.
I guess I am drawing upon my lengthy time in the restaurant industry from ages twelve to twenty-six. Although my uniform was never skimpier than a t-shirt, I still found that being the one to call out men on their obvious attention to my chest gave me the upper hand. Particularly as a bartender, by recognizing my own sexuality it took away any power that certain lecherous patrons thought they could use to get under my skin.
Maybe this is not a stigma; I think that I might be misappropriating the word. I guess what I am trying to say is that I think tit references remove some of the necessary submission of women as sexual objects. Also, if you are curvy, it is infuriating how many people are inclined to discount the validity of anything that you might be saying. Sometimes, it seems like recognizing the physical aspect deflates its importance and allows the intellectual aspect to take center stage.