Hell=Violence; Karma=Non-Violence

Discussion in 'Eastern Religions and Philosophies' started by Ramaraksha, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Ramaraksha

    Ramaraksha Interfaith Forums

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    I have always been uncomfortable with God running Hell; a torture chamber is unbecoming of God. Recently there was this video of this young woman in the swat area of Pakistan controlled by the Taliban, being held down and mercilessly whipped, as she cried out in pain. Do we really think God would be so merciless and cruel? God uses such crude and blunt methods to teach us a lesson?

    Let’s take an example: A mother abandons her new-born baby in a trash-bin. The child grows up in the streets, abused, beaten, mocked, hungry and lonely, never knowing love and affection. As a grown-up he commits several crimes. Once he dies, some religions tell us that he will go to hell, where he is abused, beaten & mocked! Does this seem right?

    We can all agree that no one is born evil – babies come into this world full of innocence, seeking love with blind trust. Give them a loving nurturing environment and they turn into Gandhis’ and Mother Teresa’s. Bring them up in a brutal, unloving, hateful environment and they most likely will turn into murderers and killers. It is a known fact that most abusers themselves were abused in their childhood. This is not to excuse their actions, but do we really want a God who uses the same brutal, abusive and hateful environment to impart a lesson? If a brutal, hateful environment gave rise to an evil person, why do we expect a similar environment to produce better results?

    Karma & Rebirth is the Non-Violent way. One is not simply forgiven or given a beating, but is asked to take responsibility for the acts of a prior life, and is being a second chance to make things right. Come back in a second life and try to lessen the suffering of those whom you might have wronged. Remember Karma means that you are being given another chance to put things right, not being punished.

    Besides the laws of Karma & Rebirth seem to clash with the concept of Hell. If we are punished in hell, then how can we suffer the consequences of karma from a previous birth? Doesn’t that mean we suffer twice for the same offense? If hell is the violent way of imparting a lesson then Karma is the non-violent way.

    Let’s take another example: A kid continues to misbehave in a store in spite of the admonishments of his father. While running around the store the kid breaks a product. What is the father to do? Simply forgiving the kid will achieve nothing but then is beating him the right answer? It did used to happen a lot in the olden days – parents used to use a leather belt or a cane to discipline their children. Such cruel & abusive methods must have left serious emotional scars on the child. Either way the child does not learn to take responsibility for his actions.

    Thankfully nowadays use of such physical violence against innocent children has declined. Today’s parents are encouraged to talk to their kids and use softer methods to teach the right values to their children. The right way is to either withhold the kid’s allowance towards the cost of the product or make him do chores around the house to pay for the cost of the product. The child learns to take responsibility for his actions, learns the cost of his misbehavior and the right lessons are imparted.

    Another example: You are driving a car at night in a dense fog and you can barely see anything. Suddenly you hear a bump as if you had hit something. Do you continue to go forward, ignoring that you might have hit someone, and leave the forgiveness or punishment to God? Or do you stop the car, attend to the person whom you might have injured, take him to a hospital & pay the cost of his hospital care? The latter is about taking responsibility for our actions and doing the right thing. This is what Karma & Rebirth forces one to do. Guess what, you simply have to go back and help, because if you don’t do it now, as a Hindu, you will be back in the next life doing almost the same thing! You are not going to get away with an evil act.

    There are countries presently using brutal methods of justice like cutting of hands and public whip-lashing, while others follow a more civilized justice system – giving the accused an opportunity to defend himself and using a more humane, nay Hindu, method of justice if convicted. Which method do we think God should be using? Are some religions stuck with primitive ideas, forcing upon God their own primitive ideas? Truly mind-boggling is that the much older Hinduism is asking us to treat even evil-doers humanely.

    Is it better to do something because it is the right thing to do or because you are afraid of the punishment that would be meted out? Some countries use the honor system for train travel – passengers are not checked for tickets before boarding, instead they ask the traveler to police themselves – do the right thing and we all benefit. In some villages people do not even bother to lock their doors when they go out, again trusting their fellow man to do the right thing. It is no coincidence that such countries are a pleasure to live in – these countries are following the path of Karma – introspection and self-policing, not depending on some brutal heavy-handed justice by X power.
    Karma teaches us that we cannot run away from our mistakes, whether knowingly or unknowingly committed, asks us to take responsibility, and makes us realize that justice is in our hands. Follow the path of Karma and one realizes that we create the world that we live in.

    Besides with Rebirth, one is given the greatest Gift of all – the Gift of Life, over and over again! Why be limited to just one life when one can receive the greatest Gift over and over again? As I get older I reflect on my past and wish that in some cases I could get a do-over - The lost love, the missed opportunities, the thoughtless words and actions…But with Rebirth I get a second chance! What a great Gift!

    So, once and for all, let’s put away the concept of Hell, a brutal, violent, abusive place unworthy of God. What is mind-boggling to me is that a faith thousands of years old is teaching today’s values, I mean it was not that long ago when giving the belt to a misbehaving child was not uncommon.

    I sometimes feel sad for christians and muslims, according to their scripture they are limited to but one life.
     
  2. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Simple creatures, simple explinations....? Do you think it should be more riddle like? The way we are taught? Or how should we be taught? Do we even need to learn? Do we want to?



    How many people comit crime? How many were.... lol born in a bin? I comit crime :D I come from a rich and spoilt background... I should perhaps know better.... There is an example for you, when I die will I go to hell does that seem right?




    I don't think that can actually be proven either way, however I don't think we are born innocent looking for love and trust either.... We're are looking to be sustained..... So a person kills.... Aspires to the rank of serial killer let's say... What would you do? What should be done overall about this person?







    You believe in karma? So you've never done anything good. Then had something bad happen? Like er example, stop to let a kid cross the road, but then because of that paused moment... You pull out into an oncoming truck lol.... You know... What I mean.




    Violence....'Is an energy not the enemy' (Greenday lol) There are times where violence is needed.... Violence isn't a bad thing lol, sounds crazy but it is needed.

    Meh they are limited just as you. *shrugs*
     
  3. seattlegal

    seattlegal Why do cows say mu?

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  4. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    Who or what is asking us to take responsibility?
     
  5. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Well... Can't we just be here to learn? Good and bad are both teachers. Why do we need the whole carrot and stick method of heaven/hell or Rebirth higher/lower or Nirvana/rebirth? The fear of bad karma, is just a way to get people to do good, just as the fear of hell is. It's all a way to enforce societal rules on a grand scale, and we probably need that...

    Oh, lol, and some Christians don't believe that we are born innocent. It's the concept of original sin.

    Karma doesn't ensure good things upon you. Nothing does. As the saying goes, "stuff" happens, lol. You can't ensure anything, you can only learn what you can while you can, and in all the ways that you can, and than you die. And you might be reborn, or you might not, and no one really knows which, lol. No one even knows for sure if your "soul" can even survive once the body dies.

    What would really be nice, is if (and we are seeing a bit of tis now) people just do good, because good is, lol, good, without any fear or reward behind the deed to drive it. Then all we need to concern ourselves with is learning from life. Because, since you can't really know anything, you can't really prepare for anything, beyond this life.

    In my opinion, all the religions, schools of thought, they're all here for a reason. Who knows what that is. Maybe someday I'll find out, lol. :)

    Gotta run!
     
  6. citizenzen

    citizenzen Custom User Title

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    If you wait around long enough something good will come your way. Wait some more and something bad will eventually occur. Even the Buddha grew old, infirm and died. No amount of good karma could stave off that.

    The point isn't to accrue good karma, the point is to accept the good and the bad with equanimity as they are both inevitable by-products of our lives.
     
  7. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Thanks for that nugget'O'wisdom you dark-sided paradise dweller you.
     
  8. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Lol, I'm just glad allov that came out halfway coherent, lol, my sis was yellin in my ear that we had to go like, the whole time I was writing that. So, my concentration was not at it's best. I think it came out pretty well regardless.

    Yup, that's pretty much what I was going for CZ. (^_^)

    Good is good, and bad is bad, and it's all just life man. Live it. Be happy that you exist, lol. (-_^)
     
  9. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    .... I've either overdosed on my medicne this morning.... Or... Isn't the -point- of Karma do good things to get good things and be rewarded. Have a good life, but if you do bad things.... You gonna have a ****ty life...... So to say good karma won't ensure this... Like.... Well depends on your luck and the circumstances mate.... Then surely it is the circumstances and situations maybe a tadge of luck which determin the out comes.... And karma is like nothing to do with it lol.....

    Not only that but, then if you do bad karma the same rules apply? Like saying go be a total **** you might be rewarded you might not... In the long run you gonna end up like the good karma person... Even stevens...

    Like a load of bull**** giftwrapping.... It ain't needed ;/
    confused.com
     
  10. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Um... yes? That is what I said isn't it? Lol. (#_#)?

    Maybe Your not the only one havin problems wit ur meds? Hehehe. (o . @)
     
  11. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    I was commenting on the buddhist monk's post!! Sorry, I some times cannot be arsed with quotes..... Just assume my post is backing up yours? *shrugs* I didn't read your post sorry!
     
  12. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Oh, well, good point then, and well made, lol. (#^_^#);
     
  13. Ramaraksha

    Ramaraksha Interfaith Forums

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    "Well... Can't we just be here to learn? Good and bad are both teachers. Why do we need the whole carrot and stick method of heaven/hell or Rebirth higher/lower or Nirvana/rebirth? The fear of bad karma, is just a way to get people to do good, just as the fear of hell is. It's all a way to enforce societal rules on a grand scale, and we probably need that..."

    Well there are a few differences. Western religions are King religions, therefore this X person will pass judgement and you have to comply. it is sort of like appearing before a Stalin or one of those communist regimes' courts, punishment is handed out and off you go.

    Hinduism/Buddhism are Teacher religions. The teacher is there to help and guide you but ultimately you judge yourself. You make your own future, this is not about instilling fear but asking you to think of the consequences of one's actions. Hinduism asks you to love and respect God, never fear. In fact the first time I heard westerners talk about fear of God I was quite puzzled, since I was never taught to fear God.

    "Oh, lol, and some Christians don't believe that we are born innocent. It's the concept of original sin."

    Thank God I am not a christian. The whole idea is quite revolting to be honest.

    "Karma doesn't ensure good things upon you. Nothing does. As the saying goes, "stuff" happens, lol. You can't ensure anything, you can only learn what you can while you can, and in all the ways that you can, and than you die. And you might be reborn, or you might not, and no one really knows which, lol. No one even knows for sure if your "soul" can even survive once the body dies.

    What would really be nice, is if (and we are seeing a bit of tis now) people just do good, because good is, lol, good, without any fear or reward behind the deed to drive it. Then all we need to concern ourselves with is learning from life. Because, since you can't really know anything, you can't really prepare for anything, beyond this life."

    You are missing the big picture, karma is teaching us that we are responsible for the society that we live in. Let me reitrate the driving example that I gave before. You are driving in the dark and may have hit something. You don't wait to die and hope that X forgives you, according to the laws of Karma, there is no such person. You will have to put things right, whether in this life or the next, you cannot get away with it.

    Now for the big picture. Take two countries, Nigeria and Japan. Nigeria can grow its own food, has nice weather and has oil, yet it is dirt poor. Japan is cold, has to import all its food and has not oil, yet has risen to be a rich nation.

    A nation becomes a rich and successful nation when it's people follow the rules, do things the right way, which is what the japanese have done.

    Another great example is from Europe, where in some countries they run trains on the honor system, that means there is no one to check your ticket when you board the train. They expect you to do the right thing, and this is exactly what Karma is also teaching us. Do the right thing and everyone will benefit. And the europeans are doing it, not because they are afraid of being caught, but because they realize the benefits of paying their way. They can cheat and not buy a ticket, but ultimately they realize that they would only be cheating themselves. Here again is what karma is saying, ultimately you cheat yourself by not following the right path.
     
  14. pohaikawahine

    pohaikawahine Elder Member

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    I believe that the way you live your life (or try to live your life) is what matters and makes a difference in the world. I don't believe in "sin and you will go to hell", but I do feel badly if I hurt someone, even inadvertendly. The other day I was playing a computer game with my grandson - it involved a small farm where you could get more points if you steal an animal from your neighbor. I did not choose this option and told my grandson I did not see the point in getting more at the expense of another. He said "grandma, sometimes you are too sensitive - no one in the family will love you less if you play the computer game and take the other animal that isn't being cared for anyway!!!" Was I hurting someone - probably not, but what was I saying to my grandson if I chose to take the animal? So my choice was not to take someone else's animal, although I was tempted because it wasn't being cared for..... if this were a real life situation, I would probably ask the other person if they wanted me to care for their animal until they were ready to take it back. Interesting how such a small game brought into play so many feelings. I don't think counsciously about karma, I don't believe in hell as a place that I will go to after I die if I sin while on earth, I don't really even believe in sin (only poor choices and actions that hurt others), and I've made many mistakes in my life that I have learned from..... so I thought what motivates me to even care about the outcome of the game .... it is the message I send to my grandson and the seeds I plant in his ever expanding mind .... he will impact the world after I leave it and that is important to me. he hawai'i au, poh
     
  15. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Ramaraksha,
    My point is simply that you don't have to be of any certain religion, don't even have to believe in karma to do the right thing, and we are seeing more of that now, because people have the luxury to do it. Some people need those rules, and rewards, or even threats to get them to do the right thing. But what I'm trying to say is that we should do the right thing simply because it is the right thing, and not to gain reward for ourselves, or try to avoid a negative consequence to our person.

    Any of those rules are just to guide you to the decision you should be making anyhow. That's it. Didn't mean to rip on Karma, I just don't think it's all about gaining good Karma for yourself. If anything we should be giving our good Karma away, to others in more need, dontcha think?

    Also, from my standpoint, evil is in this world for a purpose, just as surely as good is. I believe, like I mentioned before, that evil is a great teacher, one of many, and if humans did no evil, we would miss out on a lot of the lessons that we have to learn to grow spiritually. You see, I do not believe that we can grow spiritually just by experiencing, or doing good. I believe that to learn all that this world has to teach us, evil is an integral lesson. The doing of evil, and the experiencing of, through all of our lives. And Good is equally, if not more important especially the doing thereof. So I think this is where the problem is. We come at the question of good and evil from completely different angles. We will invariably come to different conclusions. I'm just trying to share my perspective a little, lol. Feel free to do the same with yours.

    Poh, that's a lovely reason to do the right thing, and something I'd like to see more of everywhere. Lol, you should try playing Fable. Now there's a moral dilemma! (^_^)
     
  16. Ramaraksha

    Ramaraksha Interfaith Forums

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    Poh (sorry to cut your name off, i hope you don't mind): Nice post, thank you. I do hope your grandson follows your example.

    Immortality: I agree with you that we should do the right thing, because it is the right thing. There was a time when i was sitting for my high school exams, the teachers had gone on strike and the exams were monitored by the office staff. They had no interes and/or were so intimidated by some student goondas, that one could copy as much as one wanted. People had their books open by their side as they took the exams. A few of us students refused to cheat. Much to my chagrin, I failed one of the tests and had to retake the exam the next year, but i never regretted my action.

    But some people, as you said do need a bit more pursuation. Where we disagree is when you say that the laws of karma are similar to the concept of hell.

    Hell to me is using physical violence to teach you some sort of lesson. At one time it was quite common to use physical violence againts kids. Older gentlemen can recall the time when their father used a belt. That to me is extreme.

    Today we know better - we no longer use physical punishment against kids. We use persuation, discuss the error in a calm manner, and try to make the child understand why we want him to behave in a certain manner. Poh in fact, is faced with the same situation. Should she have used physical violence against her grandchild? Sitting him down and talking to him and making him realize why he is wrong, is it the same as using physical violence? I think not.

    When a student informs his teacher that he is not going to attend the class or study and if the teacher informs him that then he is going to fail, that is not a threat. It is about making good or bad decisions.

    If i drink day and night, i will eventually lose my liver and then my life. To be told of these facts is not a threat.

    What is a threat? To hold a gun to a person's head and tell him to do something, that is a threat. Hell is a threat, here you are tellling him that he is going to be facing physical violence if he doen't do so and so.
     
  17. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Oh, by no means did I mean that karma was the same as hell. They're complete opposites in fact, well, good karma and hell at least.

    Karma is the promise of reward for good behavior, do good and good shal come back to you.

    Hell is the promise of punishment if good is not done.

    But the flip side of karma, bad karma, and reincarnating at a lower level, could be seen as a form of punishment. It's not nearly on the level of hell, but punishment nonetheless, and would bring about a fear of what could happen if you don't do good.

    If I were to compare the two things that would be the closest I would get.

    So, hope that clears it up. :) Oh, and you can call me Mort, lol, everyone else does.
     
  18. Ramaraksha

    Ramaraksha Interfaith Forums

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    I wouldn't call it punishment because that word sounds similar to hell. The point of karma is - Do good and good will happen to you, do bad and bad will happen. Maybe not to you but in general.

    Take for example - I wonder if I have already posted this - Japan and Nigeria. Not to pick on Nigeria but if you have a nice weather, oil and food and you can still mess things up, you must be doing something wrong. Whereas Japan has virtually nothing and yet they have made their little island a rich nation.

    In certain european nations they run their trains on the honor system. People follow the rules because they know that it benefits them. If one person does not buy a ticket, he could still get away with it.

    It's not about being personally punished or corrected, that is the wrong view of Karma. Hinduism is a teacher religion - The Teacher does not want to punish her wayward students, simply set them on the right path.
     
  19. shawn

    shawn New Member

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    Karma does not always work as simple as stated as many good people have bad happen to them and many bad people have good happen to them like the criminal who is incredibly lucky and gets away time after time.
    You may say that it will eventually catch up to them and maybe in the next go round or the next or whatever, but this is kind of immaterial and is a really obtuse argument as it doesn't really have any tangible meaningful value to anyone in the here and now.
    Pie in the sky when you die is not going to butter anyone's bread today.
     
  20. immortalitylost

    immortalitylost Say Meow.

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    Pie butter?...

    Go on...
     

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