Sunday, March 20, 2011

Karma — as offensive as hell

This extended CNN blog, with broadly multifaith comments on "why suffering" in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear worries, following the Japanese tsunami and eaerthquake, makes the case well for me.

Is it any worse for a fundamentalist Christian to say:
1. God is inscrutable;
2. Original sin brought on this disaster for you;
3. It's God's prerogative to damn some people to hell.

Or a hardcore Buddhist to say:
1. Karma is inscrutable;
2. Your past life that you can't even remember brought on this disaster for you;
3. It's a cyclical universe's "prerogative" to damn some people to recurring rounds of bad karma.

I know of people who are skeptics, and atheists, even, in the sense of not believing in a western monotheist divinity, that still believe in the metaphysics of karma. Well, sorry, but, karma's as offensive as the heaven-hell of western monotheism.

Beyond that, both western and eastern religion offer the same pablum when confronted with the problem of evil.

And, a "shout out" to "it's not a religion" Buddhist Sam Harris — what say you now?

And, speaking of that, I give a kudo to Chris Hitchens, the one "name" New Atheist to look at eastern religions just as toughly as those of the west.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how many people I meet who deny belief in a god and then say 'but i believe in karma'. Really? Go explain to the starving African kids that they are only getting what they deserve... karma.