This is an article, (hopefully) part of a series in which I try to explain to various theists, why – even if their beliefs were real, they would still be bad.
Karma and Reincarnation
In the previous articles I covered why the ideas of karma and reincarnation are bad. Now let’s combine the two and see what we get.
As a younger child I was a fan of Buddhism primarily due to the many Chinese folklore that made out monks into total kung fu badasses. As a result, I did read some Buddhist material. In the Buddhist religion, when people die they are sent to the Buddhist pearly gates, where the very good are sent off to heaven, the very bad are sent off to hell, and the rest are sent straight back into the reincarnation machine. The difference between Buddha’s afterlife however is that is is not eternal, so those condemned to damnation or heaven will still be thrown back into the reincarnation machine after a while.
According to some freebie Chinese Buddhist propaganda comic I read back then, reincarnation supposedly works by – first wiping off the memory from your consciousness, then sending you back to be the souls of different animals, depending on your karma. so good people are reincarnated as kings while bad people are reincarnated as ants, or something like that.
This combination of memory wiping reincarnation as well as reward punishment karma presents several problems:
Firstly, as per my argument about reincarnation, wiping one’s memory should logically facilitate a clean slate, thus logically any problems with karma should be gone along with the person whom you essentially erased in the memory wipe. The new guy, for all intents and purposes is a new person and should be treated as such, with a brand new karma for him to decorate or ruin. If the karma still sticks but the memory doesn’t, then you’re essentially punishing a baby for what his father did, even though the baby is innocent and has no clue why he is punished.
Secondly, this also makes the dangerous prejudice in society if the rich decide that they are better than everyone else because they’re well off, therefore must have been a saint in their past lives. It also furthers their unjust treatment towards poor people, who society would look down upon as the scum of the earth even though they didn’t do anything aside from being born poor. Of course the monks would advocate nonviolence and charity, but humans have a tendency of liking it when they have someone to spit on. And besides, if these poor people were really treated decently then it wouldn’t be much of a punishment now would it?
Thirdly, suppose a person was a poor but good person in his first life, so he goes to heaven with a gleaming karma wallet, enjoys some nice tender heaven titties, then gets his memory wiped, then reincarnates as a rich person. But because he is rich, and rich people tend to be assholes for various reasons, he becomes a rich asshole and bankrupts his karma wallet in his second life, for which he has to pay for by going to hell and being tortured horrendously. So essentially, the award this person got for being good in the first life was really a punishment since without it, he couldn’t have become the kind of asshole that is sent back to hell when they die. Karma’s rewards system is flawed, and in fact hypocritical – a consciousness shouldn’t be punished for what karma’s rewards system caused.
Therefore Karma is bad, Reincarnation is bad, and these two ideals when mixed, is definitely bad.
I have nothing good to say about this. Maybe when I think of something I’ll edit it in.