Thursday, October 27, 2016

Karma and God

There are any number of people who believe that they are serving God. I do not see how such a thing is possible. Why would an omnipotent being need someone to serve him? God is God. God can do whatever God wants to do. Why would such a being want anyone to serve him at all?

Then there are others who talk about reincarnation and “karmic lessons.” I likewise do not see why that would be necessary. I can understand the experience of other people who are nothing like myself simply by interacting with them and trying to see how things look from their perspective. I do not need to be them in order to do that. As for the wrong things that I have done myself, I likewise do not see why I need to go through a bunch of lifetimes in order to clear them. I can do what the Alcoholics Anonymous says one should do: Make amends to whomever I may have hurt – in this lifetime.

When I have written about the wrongfulness of ethnic conflicts, one response that I got was “the sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” If this is in fact the case, then I do not see why anyone should bring life into the world at all. If this is what we are dealing with, then giving birth is an act of sadism. If the sins of the fathers really are visited upon the sons, then once again I do not see why this should be done by any human force. God will do that himself, and he will not need anyone in order to do that.

Probably the only religious argument that does make sense to me is that God would want us to act in a particular way. The only thing that God cannot control is our actions. Which means that the only thing that God could want from us is that we act in one way and not in another.

I have had many spiritual experiences, as have any number of people I know, including distinguished scientists and successful professionals and entrepreneurs. I am not vulnerable to materialist fundamentalism or other similar fallacies. I will however scrutinize anything that is presented to me; and I am doing that with the claims that are made in the name of any given religion.

When someone claims that he is serving God, this claim should be challenged. God is omnipotent, and He does not need anyone to serve Him. If someone believes in punishing the man of the next tribe because their grandfathers had a dispute, the correct response is, God will do that Himself. With karma and similar attitude, they should likewise be challenged. Once again, I do not see why I would need to experience life as the next man in order to see things from his perspective, nor why I should inflict whatever wrongs I've done in this lifetime on some innocent child down the road.

With people I have known who were advanced in spirituality, I have seen real wisdom but also things that were obviously mistaken. I do not impugn spirituality or religion; I impugn error. And this is plenty to be found all around, regardless of whether or not you want anything to do with religion or spirituality.


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