Why is karma OK, but an involved personal God of justice is not?

I’ve noticed that our culture really dislikes the idea of a personal God judging people for their actions, and doing something about it. However, the concept of karma seems quite pervasive in our culture.

Practically, what’s the difference between these concepts? Why is karma more popular?

14 thoughts on “Why is karma OK, but an involved personal God of justice is not?

  1. I have not noticed that about my culture in the US.

    Here, only certain fundamentalists claim that God judges and condemns all the people that they themselves don’t like, and that the entire culture is against the idea of an involved personal God.

    That is to say, I hear some fundamentalists say this often, but none of my friends, even if they aren’t Christian, have any problem with my viewpoint that God is constantly calling the world to healing, not to judgement.

    Karma is the same concept as “you will reap what you sow” which is straight from the gospel.

  2. Karma is a self given judgment … it is a natural process
    it is fair and deserved
    it is payback for deeds done … good and bad

    that is more acceptable to many than someone watching us and judging us and serving unfair punishments

    edit
    Mnemonic has got it spot on
    it is accountability and personal responsibility

  3. Most religions teach that we are beneath God so to judge on his behalf is a sin. I think as God is supposed to be inside all of us, then judging on his behalf is the same as God judging… though I limit who and why I judge people.

    Karma on the other hand is like a balance system, if you do this you get that… so don’t do this and that won’t happen and if you correct this then that other better thing will happen. It takes responsibility off the person and makes it more universal.

  4. Karma is cause and effect. If you light a match and touch it, you’re going to get burned. If you set a house on fire and kill a family, you’re going to be punished for it. That punishment may very well include the fact that you’re going to be shunned by your community, and your kids may suffer from the shunning as well. Karma demands responsibility and accountability.

  5. Karma is every bit as much made up claptrap (in the spiritual sense that is – IIRC the word itself just means “action”) as is divine judgment. In MY society – the US – -a personal god doing the judging is accepted by over 80% of the population and karma by a couple of percent at most, so not sure where you live to see the opposite. India maybe?

  6. Karma is cause and effect, based on intentional action. There is no pre-existing moral standard that we are doomed to violate a priori.

    Between you and me, I find the notion of being held to a law that is impossible to keep to be completely repugnant to my sense of humanity.

  7. Morally speaking, the concept of an unaccountable judge having the authority to judge others is questionable, at best.

  8. No one likes to be judged. It is easier to accept that we are each responsible for our decisions and must live out the consequences for same.

  9. I don’t think there is any difference personally. Neither explain the fact that bad things don’t just happen to bad people or good things to good. Karma (or at least the common perception of it, I don’t know if it IS what we think it is or not precisely because it’s so obviously incorrect) is completely disproven by looking at those who suffer most from famine and war in the world. A personal God who judges people for their actions is not likely for many reasons in my opinion but sticking to this theme, not least because any moral person realises that sending anyone to hell, even your worst enemy, is a disgusting thing to do and doesn’t fit in with the loving father figure people like to imagine.

  10. My opinion is that we should take personal responsibility for our own actions and not blame it on a devil.

    I don’t dislike the idea of God passing judgement, I think that ‘God’ has more to do than that and there are certain…programs set up that run automatically, such as karma, like attracts like. Universal Order. It is not outside of the Divine, it is Divine.

  11. Is it? It seems to me that those who believe in karma also know that there is God, or else karma has no meaning.
    Karma is not so much punishment as it is a learning experience. Touch something hot, you get burned. Cause pain, you get to feel what that pain is like so you don’t do it again so lightly.
    Some people never get it– and think they can do whatever they want to others and never suffer any repercussions. They don’t believe in karma nor in God. but eventually, if you watch closely, you see we all have karma– we all need to learn lessons.
    God is always our well-wisher; just as a loving and good parent sometimes has to punish a child to teach a lesson, so must God. Karma is just the less personal way of referring to what is happening.

  12. Greetings,

    I think a major difference is the whole eternal score keeper notion. I can’t accept that someone/something is out there tallying all my deeds and acting appropriately to justify wrong doing or good doings. However, I can easily accept that my actions lead to specific consequences. Meaning that if I’m a jerk to someone today, it does something to my mentality that will cause me suffering. Why? Because being a jerk is selfish action. I don’t think that because I was a jerk to someone, a power greater than I observed it and said, “Ok, this guy was a jerk today … time for his retribution.” So karma is not meant to be a system of punishment and reward, as often implied. To sum it up, it’s easier for me to say that my fortunes and/or misfortunes are a function of my own doing, and not because some external deity was keeping tabs on me.

    However, I’ll have to tell you that I do not see a trend of people accepting the Buddhist karma I’ve just described over the idea of a Christian God.

    Take care.

  13. Karma is more popular because it doesnt force others to believe in God. Its the same thing anyway. If you are a good person others treat you as such, and God blesses you…..Karma.

  14. Actually Karma is “Action” that came from three ways. “Body, speech and mind” when Karma is make depend on what kind of action “Good, Bad and neither good or bad” It become a cause that you make, then the effect will come later. That is people call cause and effect.

    when people can think rightly and they will not agree with personal God judging them for their actions.

    for example that if you kill a person, did you will wait until God judging what you did? or the effect is you will be arrest by police and get punish from another sources?

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