T Nation

Do You Believe in Karma?


So, this is being asked partly out of curiosity and partly as reassurance/to make my ass feel better about a couple current situations...

Who here believes in some sort of karma or heaven/hell or something? That if you are good, and do the right thing, even when it's hard and/or when you want nothing more than to break some dick's nose, that you will reap benefits. That as long as you stay true to your beliefs and do what is right and just, at some point, in this life or the next, you will benefit while those who do bad will, eventually, get what's coming to them.

And, who believes that those beliefs are for the weak and in reality, you have to work to out do others for what you want and be as viscous, if not more, than the guy next to you, and, do whatever it takes, no matter how wrong, to get what you want? And that no matter how just you are, if you aren't viscous, you'll just be fucked over and left behind.

I have always believed in the first scenario, and things have always seemed to work out at least smoothly, but also very well a lot of the time. But I have had a shitty couple months (long story) and have, in my mind, been fucked over pretty well..with no end in sight even though I continue to take the high road....and I'll admit, it's eating away at me, making me kind of bitter, and making me start to doubt a lot of things..especially the idea of karma or whatever you want to call it.


is it truly good if you only do something (or refrain from doing something) out of fear of retribution from whatever Higher Power you believe in? If you are tempted by things that should not tempt you in the first place (such as acts of revenge, for instance) is it really "good" if you resist this urge, or is it only "good" if the urge isn't there to begin with? How much "karmic retribution" can you really expect if many of your acts of kindness are only aimed at furthering your own karmic standing in life? Does genuine altruism exist at all? If it does, is this the only path to "salvation"?


The thought of karma (and heaven) are nice ones, but I don't believe in either.

I still treat people well, refuse to screw anyone over and strive to live a good life, even though I'll probably wind up as worm food just like everyone else...


Pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly.

Except I'm banking on a robot body.

C'mooooon immortality!


I believe in it when someone does me wrong. I don't believe in it when I do someone elso wrong.


This sums up my religious beliefs.


I used to believe in karma when I was a kid, it's a nice thought but I realized over the years that it's superstitious bullshit. Assholes will keep being assholes no matter what. Iv'e seen too many people get away with all kinds of scandalous shit and come out on top. Fate seems to favor the liars, cheats, swindlers and deviants, hell, look at the U.S. Congress for a shining example.

Live your life and do good things if you want, but don't expect any divine favoritism. Meanwhile the rest of the world will lie, cheat and steal their way to nirvana.


No, but through a combination of altruism (thesis) and our present state (antithesis) we can become better (synthesis).

Might not lead to salvation, but I have become less of a jagoff.


I had to delete my post. I found myself delving way to deep and I prefer to just skim the surface.


Nope. Bad shit happens to good people all the time.

Chaos is the rule of the realm.




To me, the people that legit believe in karma are the same people that say stupid shit like "Live Love Laugh" and "I don't regret my choices because it made me who I am today..." Because you're perfect riiiight?

You reap what you sow, to a degree, then something happens like a fucking meteor destroys all your shit or you get hit by a bus.

I don't have a "code" or "way of life", but if i did, it'd be something along the lines of "don't worry about yourself, help others in need."


I'm an atheist but I still believe that being a dick increases your chances of being dicked around. It's more of a mathematical question than spiritual IMO.


I'm of the mind that genuine altruism doesn't exist for the most part. It's rare to find someone who routinely does good things for others purely out of concern for them and not because they are motivated by some "final reward".

But I look at it this way: if our "good" actions are not purely altruistic, then the best way to evaluate them is to look at the end results. If I do something good for others, but I am primarily motivated by my own "rewards", is what I am doing resulting in good for others? In other words, what is the net result? Even if I am acting selfishly, some selfish actions result in disaster and others result in "good". If my actions directly and consciously result in the improvement of someone else's situation, even if this is (for me) an added bonus to an action that is primarily selfish, I'm fine with that.

If I only do good because it makes me feel better about myself, that's fine if the end result is still helping others out. I think, IF karma does exist, then these sorts of actions should put me on the profitable side of the ledger.

However, I do believe (and I may be mistaken here) that part of karma and the rewards it offers are applicable to the next life. So if you believe in karma, then you must believe in some sort of reincarnation and consequentially, the possibility that you will NOT be rewarded in the current life. If you believe this and still do "good", then perhaps this is as close to genuine altruism that we'll ever get. For Christians, this applies to the concept of Heaven and Hell. But we will never know whether or not Heaven and Hell really do exist in the afterlife. But we still do "good" because we have FAITH that there is some greater reward.

To me, this is the essence of any faith: the belief in a greater reward (whether it be karma, Heaven, Enlightenment, etc, etc) and the pursuit of this greater reward through "good" actions despite not knowing for sure whether or not you will be rewarded at all. Faith is the belief in something without proof that it exists and without needing proof. Whenever I hear someone say that they KNOW that God exists or that they refuse to accept the possibility that He may not exist. I dismiss whatever it is they have to say about "Faith", because they simply don't have it. If you claim to KNOW that God exists, how is this Faith? You can't have "faith" that 2 plus 2 equals 4. Follow?


Karma is sanskrit for "action". So of course karma exists - not as some metaphysical force that balances out the universe, but simply as the idea that good actions beget good results and bad actions beget bad results.


Eh, it's nice to think that not being a total douchenozzle is sort of a good thing lol.



Completely. In fact, If I had recorded several of the conversations that I've had on this subject and played them back in this thread, you would be flat out spooked.

The philosophy and even examples that I have used are verbatim.

It is a very good combination of utilitarian ethics and non denominational spirituality.

Personally, what it does for me is prevents me from trying to play an endgame strategy long before any endgame is in sight. Stay in the moment, do the next right thing, and the end or what ever comes after will work out how ever it is supposed to when you get there.


I believe in an afterlife.

I believe in a God that supports efforts to bring justice to the world.

I don't believe in the Hindu concept of Karma that specifies reward or punishment for fulfilling your societal duties (Dharma).


I am from a culture that does believe in Karma. Although I don't measure my actions daily based on a count of good deeds versus selfish needs.

Although I had a religious up bringing I realised in my teens that all religions are very much the same and expect similar things. This is what I believe and don't really want to get too deep into specifics.

However I do believe strongly in a sense of purpose, responsibility and performing one's duty.

Do well unto others, help others where you can, respect your elders, take responsibility etc. But I don't expect to have a religion to help me do these things. These are things I should do as a human.

For some reason I do believe in reincarnation of sorts and sometimes I wonder how I know certain things where I haven't read specifically into that topic or know that subject. I have been described as a "old soul" by many but I don't fully know whether there is any spiritual element to that or just an expression.

However, and most importantly, I don't let imaginings of my past life or my future life govern the actions and purpose in this life.