The Instigator
Pro (for)
11 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

Karma exists

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/8/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,238 times Debate No: 62911
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (27)
Votes (3)




Interactions between the vedantic elements [1] accumulate a force like the concept of feedback in cybernetics. This force is karma.
Our bodies are made of these elements. What makes each form or phenomena distinct is gunaha [2]. There is also a distinction to be made between the fineness of matter; there is the gross and the subtle. The latter is what your personal consciousness is made of. In Sanskrit it is called Sukshma Pancha Bhutani and it exists until its action or karma runs out leaving your gross body to decompose by means of karma.
[1] Ākāshaha or space
- Vāyu or air
- Agni or fire
- Jalam or waters
- Pruthvi or the earth
The "Ha" makes it plural and is referring to the traditional Vedanta.


I accept the challenge and hope to prove that karma doesn't exist.
Debate Round No. 1


I do not want to introduce new arguments at this time because Con has not responded to the ones I have made yet. So instead I will clarify what I meant.
Everything is determined by karma and the universe is a system with vedantic elements. Interacting elements determine the interaction phenomena. From the initial cause which is Brahman branches out a (this is a metaphor) a meshwork of karmAni, I.e actions. Each individual action has its own interaction phenomena like vAyu (air) and Jalam (liquid) forming something like a hurricane.
Now karma in the case of the hurricane can be explained indirectly as the accumulated karma gathered over time. This is correct too.
Definitely the hurricane shows the force of karma.
Now I also said that the gross body will deteriorate leaving the consciousness to decompose into the subtle elements that make it up.


There is no such thing as karma.
The truth is that, no, we don't want to say it"s good for a man to cheat, even if from a past tense perspective, he learned from it later. The truth is, it happened because of cause and effect, and the outcome was completely under his controlR02;"R02;like most outcomes.

However, we don't always have control over our outcomes (or so we think, depending on perspective :p) and therefore, we invented karma. Karma is a desired outcome that is determined by some outside source that takes care of a problem for usR02;"R02;while masqueraded as a "spiritual force".

Karma is about feeling comfortable, rather than acknowledging the cold hard truth: he got away with it. Sometimes, people get what they deserve, sometimes they don't. If we value truth over superstition, only then can we learn more about how to actually avoid these problems in the future. As long as we have perspective by which is determined by probability, there is no reason to think that karma actually exist.
Debate Round No. 2


If this Law of Karma is not accepted, then people will have to resort to the principle of chance. I see the creation being orderly. Science proves everyday that the creation is governed by laws and wherever law is there, there is order. Then how can I say that the disparity alone is chance?
That is what Con clearly advocates because they have equated it with wishful thinking.


I've been wondering about something. Are karma and destiny just a bunch of pure baloney and BS? How do you explain the following?

1. Is it always best to follow your destiny or to accept something that is "destined to be"? If so, then how come following one's destiny does not always have a positive outcome?

For example, in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul followed his "destiny" and became a follower of Christ and wrote some of the greatest books of the Bible, inspiring many Christians of his time up til the present. Yet he ended up being imprisoned by the Romans and then executed. Why did God let that happen? Is that how he rewards faith and obedience, by letting his follower get executed?

And in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah followed his "destiny" too by serving as the mouthpiece of God and delivering ultimatums to the sinful people to get them to change their ways. He did what God wanted and did his will. Yet he ended up getting sawed in half in a log. In fact, many characters in the Bible ended up with a gruesome death or disappointing outcome (such as Moses). Why would God let that happen to those who follow his will and their destiny?

Now I'm not saying that these Biblical accounts are historical facts, but you get what I mean. Many people who have followed their destiny ended up dying or meeting a gruesome fate. Amelia Earhart did, and became a famous legendary female pilot and inspiration, but ended up vanishing during one of her missions. JFK followed his destiny and became a great US president, the last good genuine president that we had in fact, but he ended up getting assassinated. And his brother RFK was about to become president and follow his destiny too, yet he too got assassinated. Also, Martin Luther King Jr. followed his destiny and became a great civil rights leader for Blacks, uniting them, inspiring them and giving them hope, making waves throughout the country. Yet he too ended up getting assassinated.

If these people didn't follow their destiny, they probably wouldn't have been assassinated. So is it always a good thing to follow one's destiny? Or is it better to fight one's destiny, if it will lead to danger and more trouble than you can handle?

Destiny has a funny way of forcing its will in your life. If it really wants something, it will make you unhappy and make things go against you, until you follow your destiny. So it doesn't seem to really give you a choice whether to follow it or not. If you don't follow its path, then it blocks your chosen path with a wall, until you turn around and obey your destiny. Doesn't that suck? It shows how little control we have over our lives, doesn't it?

What do you think?

2. As to karma, something doesn't make sense here. If karma always gave one his/her just reward or punishment, then explain this:

How come George Bush, Tony Blair and Dick Cheney can start a war in Iraq, killing a million people in the process, many of which are innocent, yet nothing bad happens to them? They are richer than ever, above the law, and untouchable. How come karma doesn't do anything to them?

Yet JFK was a good president who was sincere, good hearted, compassionate, just and uncorruptible. He stood up for what was right and against the evil plans of the other branches of government. Yet he gets assassinated. Where is his good karma for being good? Why did karma let him get assassinated unjustly?

Also, RFK was also a very compassionate, kind, selfless, caring, and made the alleviation of suffering in the world the aim of his life. You couldn't find a more kind, pure and wholesome candidate running for president. Yet before he could become president, he got assassinated. What kind of karma was that? Why didn't karma reward him for his goodness and selflessness by saving his life or preventing his assassination? WTF is up with that?

It is said that when RFK was dying, his last words were "Is everyone alright?" because he cared more about others than himself. That's the kind of man he was. So why would karma let that happen to him? It doesn't make sense.

Same with Martin Luther King Jr. He did a lot of good for black people and civil rights. Yet karma lets him get assassinated too? Why? Where was his karmic reward for helping others?

And Gandhi stood for peace. He was noble and brave too. So why was he assassinated? And why didn't his good karma protect him?

Also, how come so many good wholesome selfless people die young? Hence the phrase, "Only the good die young". How does karma make sense in that?

Is it better to be evil than good, as long as you are in a high position of power above the law? How does karma fit in all this?

Any idea?

Some karma believers try to claim that such people receive their reward or punishment in the next life. But they have no proof of that. It's just a way of "sliding the issue away". So isn't that just a copout? -debunking skeptics
Debate Round No. 3
27 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Tmdog3758 3 years ago
Thank you so much for voting and being part of this debate! Hope you can also look at some of my other debates.
Posted by mightbenihilism 3 years ago
From the little I know of dialectical materialism (DM), it benefits, philosophically, from being a system which doesn't require dualism or truly contrary agents of causation. This is good, as dualism can always get rather messy.

My knowledge of it doesn't come from any primary sources, just summaries and digests I've read.

I do know, however, that Indian philosophy informed the thought of Hegel, and Hegel seems to have informed the position of DM.

The ancestral line goes:

Ammonius studied Upanishads (or some equivalent) in India.
He came back and taught Plotinus.
Plotinus wrote the Enneads, which codified much of Neo-Platonism.
Neo-Platonism influenced Greek Christian philosophy, esp. in Dionysius the Areopagite.
Dionysius's work was translated into Latin by Eriugena.
This influenced German mysticism profoundly (esp. the Dominicans).
After the Protestant reformation, the ideas were elaborated upon by Jacob Boehme.
Jacob Boehme influenced Hegel's ideas.
Hegel influenced Marx and Engels.

The issue I would have with any "materialism" is that it reaches its conclusion too soon, and therefore inclines to overlooking other forces which may be at work, whether philosophically, economically, biologically, etc. Monism gets messy, too, even if it is oriented to and defined by conflicting and harmonizing processes. It seems a more measured approach is in order, saying that matter appears as predominant to beings with senses oriented to matter, yet this only confirms the ubiquity of matter in our sense-perception, not its ultimate ubiquity. But I'm more of a "Revolution (Beatles)" type than a "If I had a hammer" (Pete Seeger).

Very tentatively, the Hegelian dialectic seems to parallel the Hindu idea of gunas, also, though Hinduism, in keeping with its sense of cosmic awe, is less focused on linearity than Hegel's Christianish awe of purposeful man.

But again, no primary sources consulted. :(
Posted by mashi 3 years ago
I used to be Hindu. I identify as a dialectical materialist presently.
Posted by republicofdhar 3 years ago
I agree with UndeniableReality. Pro cannot simply outline his perceptions of how karma works as a mechanism, and consider it proven.
Posted by UndeniableReality 3 years ago
Also, to mashi, are you hindu? Or from India?
Posted by UndeniableReality 3 years ago
Pro has given himself the task of overturning all of modern science. If you're successful, you should publish your results and you'll become the greatest scientist who ever lived.
Posted by mightbenihilism 3 years ago
I don't know what I'm doing half the time, either. :(

As to Vedanta: I was always under the impression Vedanta viewed the atman (core consciousness) as never passing away, even after the physical death and death of all the layers of the personality.

As to these layers and elements, I have also been under the impression that at least Advaita Vedanta never assigned absolute reality to these, but only conventional reality. Therefore, pruthvi (earth), for example, is a way of categorizing all solid elements, and not necessarily positing that it is a truly existing, indivisible element in itself. Ancient peoples had to do this, I think.

About causality: I'm also under the impression that (Advaita) Vedanta generally inclines towards of a view of ultimate non-causality (a-jati-vada, or the way of no-birth) in terms of the noumenal nature of things, and in terms of phenomena it takes a more idealistic approach, saying that effects only seem to modify their cause (vivarta-vada), but are ultimately the cause itself (brahman). I know there's some other theories floating around, too.

So its idea of karma, except for the existence after-death and ethical aspects, seems kind of fuzzy to me and difficult to refute, philosophically.

Anyway, N. C. Panda has written an interesting book on the subject called "Maya and Physics." I think it tries to show correspondence with some of aspects of Advaita Vedanta to the available models of physics, without trying to re-interpret old scriptures to make them fit with science. He writes in flawless and lucid English, too.

If I'm reading too much into your statements, mashi, I apologize. I'm just making some general comments while debating whether I should have another cup of coffee or not.
Posted by mashi 3 years ago
My bad. I don't know what I am doing, I guess.
Posted by wampe 3 years ago
I'm a little confused by pros 2nd round. So far pro has not made any points. I see several claims without any supporting evidence, but that is all I see. How can con be expected to argued against something if no evidence is presented by pro?
Posted by mashi 3 years ago
And you are spot on.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: con plagiarized and never rebutted pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by Zanomi3 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The entirety of Con's arguments are plagiarized. This causes me to give points to Pro for Conduct as well as Arguments, seeing as Con failed to present any of his own arguments. Spelling and Grammar to Pro because the copy/paste messed something up for Con in round 2. Sources remains tied.
Vote Placed by republicofdhar 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro made no arguments, in fact his entire side appeared to be a narrative of his perceptions on vedantic / karmic elements and their interactions. Con did not make any direct rebuttals to Pro, although there really wasn't much to rebut so arguments to Con. I would like to have seen this debate exploring more of the harder questions, which I was slightly disappointed that Con only surfaced in his last round, giving Pro no chance to reply. Sources go to Pro.