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 Post subject: An interesting new religious idea
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 2:21 pm 
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Note that I say "idea" and not belief. Ideas are easy to change, beliefs are a bit more tricky...

It's called the "Karmaism" system and in ways is similar to Hinduism and Bhuddism. It works by using "Karma" as a kind of currency, in which you can buy your way to Paradise (Heaven). But there is no hell, instead if you do not have enough Karma to go to Paradise (It requires about 100, more on that later) you can buy creatures and animal to reincarnate as, going up a chain until you're human again and try to reach Paradise. The chain goes like this (in order from most expenive to cheapest)
-Paradise/Heaven (100 Karma)
-Human (75 karma)
-Monkey (50)
-Dolphin (35)
-Cow (20)
-Rat (5)
-Fly (0)
As you can see, there is no hell, only a permanent chain of reincarnation.

About Karma itself, Karma is gained in increments of 2 for every good deed done. Good deeds can be, but are not limited too
-Donating to a charity (5% of paycheck, 2 karma, 10%, 4 etc)
-Helping someone in need (Handicapped persons, helping the wounded, working as a volunteer in the hospital)
-Meeting violence with non-violence
-Doing volunteer work at a hospital, homeless shelter, orphanage, prison, or just cleaning up the litter you find.
Now, to maintain your good karma, you must do at least 4 good deeds a week or you lose 1/2 of the karma you gained. Don't worry, you do not need to keep track of it yourself (you can if you want, though.) for there are beings known as Watchers, who keeps all your karma and non-karma in a ancient tome. When you die, you meet with your watcher and discuss your plans for your future (reincarnate, go to heaven) and can also debate whether a bad deed you did was actually good and vice versa.
Non-karma (or anti-karma) is a spirutal demotion that takes karma away from your spiritual pool. Non-karma (and their demote price) is as follows:
-Murder (Lose all karma)
-Rape (Lose all karma)
-Assault (lose 10 karma)
-Verbal Abuse/Frequent Swearing (Lose 3 Karma)
-Sloth/laziness (Lose 5 Karma)
These are just the major cateorgories and basically all non-karma acts fall under this. Once again, you can debate the alignment of these deeds with your watcher upon your death.

As you may have noticed, there is no mention of sex or what foods you can or cannot eat. This is because Karmaism promotes one's expression and indvidual choices. If you feel eating 50 pounds of meat is fine, fine but you'll pay dearly for it (heart attack, gaining a lot of weight). Sex is not shunned or forbidden in Karmaism because sex is an act of love and affection in the eyes of a Karmen (following of Karmaism). Of course, if you feel that intercourse with a goat and 3 circus midgets covered in monkey feces is love, then so be it. Karmasim is not meant to be an overbearing or imposistion on one's life, but instead a way of guiding you to a better life and better aspirations, I hope you'll agree.

So what do you think? does it need tweaking? More guidelines? Like I said, it's an idea not a belief so it can be easily admended to suit everyone's needs!


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 4:47 pm 
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That's an interesting idea there. One thing is, lets say you have 90 Karma and you use 75 to come back as a human, what happens to the 15 left over? Is it still there, or is it lost, making you have to do all that hard work again. I think that's it's a good idea, but go a little deeper into it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 5:10 pm 
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I see you've mastered the art of luring young people to your religion: making it like a video game.

..or Slashdot.

You know the average American has $40,000 of credit card debt. You really think they're gonna be able to manage another kind of currency?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 6:08 pm 
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It sounds like a good idea for an RPG or a board game or something.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 7:25 pm 
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InterruptorJones wrote:
I see you've mastered the art of luring young people to your religion: making it like a video game.

..or Slashdot.

You know the average American has $40,000 of credit card debt. You really think they're gonna be able to manage another kind of currency?

It's not my religon. It's just an interesting idea that's been floating around in my head. I'm actually an atheist.
"Managing" the currency is simply doing 4 good acts a week, and I'm talking like simple acts nothing humungeous (like saving the world or donating a jillion dollars to the tsunami relief fund). How many people do you know who couldn't handle 4 simple acts of kindness?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:45 pm 
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Of course, you realize, it goes entirely against the notion of sola gratia.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:17 pm 
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Monkey should be way low y'know, unless you meant ape. Even so, dolphin should be above it :p

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2005 11:38 pm 
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Are these your personal ideas, someone else's ideas, or ideas that you just came up with? I agree with IJ, this does sound far too like a video game to be plausible. Does suicide lose all your karma? And why are there only seven steps on the ladder? Good deeds? What I could consider a good deed could devastate some one else's life. Does murder in self-defence still lose all your karma?

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:01 am 
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Lunar Jesters wrote:
Are these your personal ideas, someone else's ideas, or ideas that you just came up with? I agree with IJ, this does sound far too like a video game to be plausible. Does suicide lose all your karma? And why are there only seven steps on the ladder? Good deeds? What I could consider a good deed could devastate some one else's life. Does murder in self-defence still lose all your karma?

It's an idea that I just came up with and wanted to flesh out here in the forums. The things I posted are just the bare-bones of the idea and I just want you guys to help me fill it out so it's actually a plausible idea and not some silly little videogame. That's the main reason I called it an idea, an idea is something you can change! I hope that clears things up for some people. This thread isn't about me bragging about my belief or shoving it in your face, it's just an idea i'm hoping to bring to fruition with your aid.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:38 am 
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But that's just it. I don't think it is a feasable idea. Basically you've created a rather arbitrary system of rewards and punishments for moral decisions, which, I must point out, lower forms of life are unable to make. Karma, therefore, becomes for those lower forms of life a blind fatalism: they can never earn enough karma to become higher forms of life because they cannot make moral choices.

And why should heaven be set at 100 (vs. 75 for human)? Why not 10000 or even 1000000? That's part of the fatalism inherent in the Hindu notion of karma: no matter how good you are, you cannot escape the Samsara, even if you lived a hundred lifetimes. And in any one of those incarnations, you could end up taking that downward turn toward evil.

And why should there be a heaven and no hell? If there are some who can escape the Samsara by being taken off the edge of it, why should there not be some who are trapped in the axle?

And why should Human be a straight 75? Why not a scale based on social or economic status? After all, who wants to be born as a dirt-poor outcast rather than as a president's son?

But then there's that whole "sola gratia" thing. And that, to me, is where the whole system is lacking.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:41 am 
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Like I've said before, this is just barely the bare-bones idea of it. It isn't set in stone and I know there a more than just a few kinks to work out. I'm working on a solution to all the problems you posted right now, in fact.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:44 am 
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I think the biggest flaw with your fancy system is that it's made up. Unless you happen unwittingly to have accidentally stumbled upon the Universal Truth itself (or unless Heinlein's pantheistic multi-person solopsism happens to be fact), then your new system is still just a fantasy. Christians can at least refer to Biblical accounts which they can claim corroborate their beliefs. You can't, 'cause you just told a bunch of people in a forum that you just made it up. Why would anybody believe in a system which, no matter how many kinks you manage to work out, they knew was just made up?

You could have been the next L. Ron Hubbard, but I think you blew it. Sorry.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:05 am 
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That's my thought exactly. Unless the H*R Wiki has recently become a new Pantheon, then your system, no matter how elaborate, is just a game which none of us can take seriously. It's hard to take seriously any belief which someone says, "Oh, I'm just making this up for fun."

What I was doing in my response was comparing your system with systems that people actually do take seriously.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 17, 2005 2:01 pm 
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Those are valid points and it's probably true that I blew it, but this wasn't an idea I meant to spread into the mainstream or even outside my mind. It was just an interesting concept that intrigued me but doesn't seem to be working out here. I know no one will take it seriously because some one "just made it up", it was just an idea. As i can see it won't work out, I say just let this topic die or whatever.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:22 am 
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I think that as a theory, your idea is not totally a waste. Even being Christian, I still believe in Karma - you reap what you sow. I don't know about all the reincarnation stuff. And your point system is a little flawed. Your heart's in the right place, though, NL.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 5:22 pm 
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Your idea is fundamentally a good one, but like IJ said, that doesn't make it true, and as Didymus pointed out, there are plenty of flaws (one major one being that flies couldn't ever get to Heaven). They could be ironed out, though.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:07 pm 
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Upsilon wrote:
Your idea is fundamentally a good one, but like IJ said, that doesn't make it true, and as Didymus pointed out, there are plenty of flaws (one major one being that flies couldn't ever get to Heaven). They could be ironed out, though.

That's basically the point of me posting the idea in the forum, to iron it out. Which in retrospect was kind of stupid as now it's been acknowledged that it's an idea i just thought up, with no "scriptures" or "holy text" to back it up, which basically means people won't accept it, oh well...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:11 pm 
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Naked_Lunch wrote:
Upsilon wrote:
Your idea is fundamentally a good one, but like IJ said, that doesn't make it true, and as Didymus pointed out, there are plenty of flaws (one major one being that flies couldn't ever get to Heaven). They could be ironed out, though.

That's basically the point of me posting the idea in the forum, to iron it out. Which in retrospect was kind of stupid as now it's been acknowledged that it's an idea i just thought up, with no "scriptures" or "holy text" to back it up, which basically means people won't accept it, oh well...

Naked_Lunch, if you just made it up, then there is no heaven as to which you're referring. If I say that you're going to Hell if you dance, and you dance, you don't go to Hell simply because I said you do. It seems that this is more of a "do a good deed, and you get a metaphorical cookie" deal.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:53 pm 
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Yeah, I felt the heaven idea was kind of hokey too, but I put it in to see the responses i'd get about it. I think it would be better just to dump the whole heaven thingy and just go with the metaphorical cookie approach, but then what rewards would you get for doing your good deeds? Do you really need an award for doing deeds as basic as the ones outlined in the idea? That's something to think about, like how the whole "bad karma/good karma" approach will balance itself. Reincarnation is a fitting choice, I think. Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:39 pm 
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It seems very unforgiveing and heartless to me

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:54 pm 
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Witches_Brewer wrote:
It seems very unforgiveing and heartless to me

...what? This entire philosophy is about forgiveness by way of action.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:19 pm 
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Witches_Brewer wrote:
It seems very unforgiveing and heartless to me

Care to elaborate on how exactly so?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:20 pm 
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I don't belive in the power of actions, I belive in the power of heart

I belive it is up to god to make thinks

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2005 11:38 pm 
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Witches_Brewer wrote:
I don't belive in the power of actions, I belive in the power of heart

In this case, it would be the same thing, since you're performing good deeds from the kindness of your heart.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:06 am 
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Witches_Brewer wrote:
I don't belive in the power of actions, I belive in the power of heart

I belive it is up to god to make thinks

Where was god when my mom died? For comparison, Hitler lived longer than my mom, does that mean he favored Hitler over my mom? I'm not trying to start a flamewar or anything I'm just saying one of the reasons I like about this idea is the fact it's devoid of some father figure pointing a finger at you and going "I'm right! If you're wrong I'll spank you!" What makes him right? Call me old-fashioned but I believe your heart guides your actions. If you so cold-hearted you can't even throw some bums a dime then you deserve whatever you get. You reap what you sow. That is the essence of Karmaism. The conflict of your soul. Was what I did really "good"? Was it really bad?. If you felt that the "good" thing you did was wrong, you're allowed to make up for it, but that is the choice your heart and mind makes. There's no grand master to tell you it's alright and that if you say X amount of hail maries everyrthing will turn out just fine. It's the choice you make, not a deity. Granted, Karmaism isn't far from perfect or even acceptable but it's sure as hell not unforgiving and heartless. Sorry to rant, carry on...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:34 am 
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There's no grand master to tell you it's alright and that if you say X amount of hail maries everyrthing will turn out just fine. It's the choice you make, not a deity.

But that's just the problem. Apart from a divine will, there can be no true distinction between good and evil. Deeds just ARE, and good and evil are completely arbitrary ideas imposed by our own consciences (or lack thereof). I have no doubt that Hitler thought he was doing the right thing, what he thought was best for mankind.

Furthermore, unless there is a divine will behind Karma, then there can be no true justice in the karmaic system. It's like putting traffic lights all over the place, but without any cops to enforce traffic violations. It assumes order and reason to the cosmos that simply are not there.

What you propose is a world that is entirely just, where people get exactly what they deserve. Yet the world in which we live is entirely unjust. Suffering and death are a reality with which we exist, and there's no changing that. We are trapped in the Samsara. The world in which we live is broken.

I work with dying people. Some are closer to the grave than others, but most of them are much closer than you and I. I still weep every time I enter a room and find a resident dead. I grieve the pain it causes to their families and friends. I hate death, but it is a part of this broken world in which we live. We cannot escape the Samsara.

In my own philosophy, the only way to escape the Samsara is for someone outside of it to enter into it, to become intimately acquainted with its pains and sorrows. The God I worship is the one who stood at the tomb of his close friend and wept tears of grief. The God I worship is the one who cried out, "Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani!" The God I worship is one who did infact bear pain, sorrow, and grief. He has, in fact, become a part of the Samsara itself.

You asked the question, "Where was God when my mother died?" I cannot answer that question for you. But maybe--just maybe--he was right there by her crying tears of grief. But that's just my thought. I cannot say for certain.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:46 am 
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Didymus wrote:
Quote:
You asked the question, "Where was God when my mother died?" I cannot answer that question for you. But maybe--just maybe--he was right there by her crying tears of grief. But that's just my thought. I cannot say for certain.

I know this is kind of off-topic, but that made me feel a lot better, a whole lot better. Thanks Didymus...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:56 am 
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Thanks, NL. I'm glad.

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 Post subject: What if?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2005 7:15 am 
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Naked_Lunch wrote:
...some one "just made it up", it was just an idea.

An interesting thought you may not have been presented with: what is actually the case in the universe?

A lot of people say a lot of things to try to sell you their point of view, and will make comparisons between worldviews to try to show you which is a better idea. But the big question, the biggest one actually, is what *is* actually true? What's really real? Regardless of how one theory stacks up to another, the one that's actually real should be the one you invest in!

As someone who's had to live with a lot of loss in my life (I'm not comparing, I'm relating, and a few of the forumites here know my losses), I can say with a lot of confidence that it's the knowledge that I am following the truth that gets me through the day sometimes. Because if I thought for five minutes that maybe something else was true, I'd have to change to that. It's not how clever I am, or how clever someone else is that matters, it's what's really out there, and seeing things the way they actually are. That helps me a lot.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2005 8:42 pm 
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Naked_Lunch wrote:
Upsilon wrote:
Your idea is fundamentally a good one, but like IJ said, that doesn't make it true, and as Didymus pointed out, there are plenty of flaws (one major one being that flies couldn't ever get to Heaven). They could be ironed out, though.

That's basically the point of me posting the idea in the forum, to iron it out. Which in retrospect was kind of stupid as now it's been acknowledged that it's an idea i just thought up, with no "scriptures" or "holy text" to back it up, which basically means people won't accept it, oh well...


I won't accept it, no. However, that doesn't mean we can't hypothesise. Okay, here are the flaws as I see them:

1) The monetary system doesn't really work. I think it was Didymus who pointed out that Heaven should probably be more difficult to attain. In any case, I think the numbers are too arbitrary. Why should rat be 5? Is it exactly one-fifteenth as good as being human? One-twentieth of Heaven?

2) I think Didymus also said that if there was no Hell, there shouldn't really be a Heaven, which is a valid point. I would compromise by having both Heaven and Hell, but (in the true spirit of reincarnation) both are only ever temporary.

3) Why is it 2 for every good deed? Would it be 2 for saving thousands of lives and 2 for lending someone a pencil?

4) Why is swearing nearly one-third of assault? If Karamaism is relaxed about sex, it seems a bit hypocritical to preach which words aren't allowed.

5) What about the other animals? Like the Karma currency, the list of animals you can be seems arbitrary and restrictive. What happens to the soul of a sturgeon when it dies?

6) If you're a fly, you can't make moral decisions, and therefore can never escape. If you want my advice, you should restrict the reincarnation system to human beings only - otherwise you'll be stuck with flies after not very long.

If I've missed any, feel free to point them out.

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