Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2006
Do you believe in karma? I do...I've always lived by the rule "what comes around goes around."
As with all similar concepts, I think it can be handy in forming a personal ethic as well as coping mechanism, but as something in and of itself I would be skeptical. That is to say that I don't believe in it specifically but I believe in its potential for usage (kinda like the way I regard religion).

Often, what goes around does really come around- there are any number of ways of explaining this general principle in specific scenarios. For example, a risk-taker who deliberately defies death habitually will be more likely to die during his act of death-defying. The difference is that while somebody who believes in karma might say, if the nut did buy the farm- "well that's karma for you" as in his death-defying actions caused his death. However I would disagree, because this is an incorrect application of the concept of causation. In this example, a probablistic model might be more handy here: suppose that there is a certain probability (it doesn't even have to be consistent) that during the act the nut will die. While the probability per event does not actually necessarily increase (that'd be like the karma model above), after an increasing number of events, the probability that the event of dying will have taken place either at that event or beforehand will increase. The difference between the models is that I consider coincidences to be just the same kind of event as any other: they can be inexplicable or extraordinary events but I need not call them miracles or a divine act, especially as there could be many contingencies at play that we are not even aware of.

Where karma is most useful, to me, is in describing interpersonal relationships. If you're an asshole, you can reasonably expect (but not necessarily within your lifetime) that people will get sick of it at some point. But karma to me seems to suggest that life is somehow fairer that it really is, which is to say, it isn't at all, nor does it purport to be IMO.
I believe in this wholeheartedly. It just helps to know that I feel that someone is not really getting away with it and that they will pay in the end. Whether it be in this life or another.
Its probably very fair to say "if your a prick to people in general, people will be less likely to help you out of a jam and more likely to help you into one." converse is also probably true. Its nice because it gives you a selfish reason to follow the golden rule when you need that extra incentive.

I'd love to believe that what goes around comes around but I haven't seen that principle in operation in real life too much. I guess I'm going to have to hope that it happens on another plane of existence because my experience has been that it doesn't happen all that much on this one.
I don't believe in it. The arguement I use is always the same, and I have yet to hear/read a reasonable explanation. But, I think it is a wonderful concept to live by. Perhaps I don't understand it fully. If everyone always gets what is coming to them, then why are infants murdered? Why are they molested? What have they done to deserve it? Did Hitler get what was coming to him? How are so many horrible people able to escape karma?
I had never really thought about it in that sense Hokeshel. You are right though as to why then some bad things happen to good and innocent people. Something to ponder on. Thanks
From the perspective of thinking that when we make a choice, we eventually reap the logical results of that choice, be they good, bad, or indifferent. However, I don't necessarily think that what follows is a direct result of our actions (although it can be - if I eat too much spaghetti, I will have heartburn), but rather the logical end of the choices I make along with those made by others.

I do have an acquaintance who whole-heartedly proclaims that whatever you put out to the universe, you will get back a hundred fold. I have to wonder about that, coz I know some of the stuff she has pulled behind people's backs and she doesn't seem to have gotten her just rewards thus far... but she sure does like to point out how folks get what they deserve when something goes wrong in another person's life.
I think that basic karma belief really isn't too different from many mainstream religeous beliefs in that eventually, whether it be this life or a life after, you will get your just deserts. I happen to believe that God has a "special" place for my cheating, lying husband who deserted us. hehe
LOL - Hokeshel, I suspect we all have a little list of folks that we hope get at least a dash of "special" treatment at some point.
I'm really hoping that many people I know get what they deserve. Whether they are totally selfless and have a near constant bad of luck and are about due for something better, or are completely evil but seem to have it all. I'm all for those moments where concepts of karma kick in.
The beautiful thing about karma is that you don't have to bother yourself worrying about people getting what they deserve... It's just not your problem; let a higher authority (or the natural order) sort things out.
(As you may have guessed, I am a believer in karma. HeHe)
And hokeshel, I'm sure he has a very very special place somewhere, I'm just not going to say where that may be.
While we're at it, I feel like rocking the boat.

Whilst feelings of vengeance are understandable, this method makes karma essentially a tool for seeking an easy way out, which in turn actually contradicts various theological teachings as it in turn encourages one to harbor hateful thoughts. How to reconcile this? As sarah says: Focus on the not bothering yourself worrying bit. For me, I've known some people who were intent on trying to make my life a living hell (mainly because I refused to take sh** from them) but I found that as soon as I understood their motivations and underlying factors for their behavior I could not hold grudges. Admittedly, it would be much much harder in cases of say an intentional betrayal of long term trust. Perhaps it might be useful to look at how this reflects on yourself as well? e.g. If somebody I trusted for a long time betrayed me like that, I would be feeling more than a little sheepish and embarrassed.
I don't particularly believe in 'karma' as an other-wordly force, but I DO believe in the theory that if you engage in risky behaviors with risky people, you will eventually get what's coming to you.
I try not to hold a grudge. I get angry, get hurt like anyone else. I try to joke about it to help ease my mind. Holding a grudge only hurts the holder. I think that there is a higher power and He will deal with everyone fairly in time. It is not my place to judge but, I am also human and imperfect so I do. I joke around a lto about my husband becasue the wounds are still fresh and becasue he keeps rubbing salt in them. But, I try to remember that I have been hurt before and got over it. I actually think that believing that people will get what they deserve, good or bad, helps to let go of those hard fellings.