Exploring Beliefs: Do you believe in Karma, Sin or divine Judgement?

This thread is not to attack anyone's beliefs but to help me as I continue to evolve my own beliefs. When I first left TSCC, I had basically converted to Buddhist type beliefs and that instead of 'sin' and divine judgment, Karma would be the bitch that comes back to bite us when we cause hurt/suffering/damage etc to ourselves and others.

Now I aint so sure. If reincarnation/rebirths are real (no evidence to prove/disprove), than I could see how Karma would make sense, but if this life is the only life we have and then we go on in an afterlife of sorts, I can't see Karma being a ruling force as I see too many who either cause damage/hurt to others and never really have much of that come back to them, or on the opposite spectrum, people who are born into suffering and suffer their entire (usually short) life through starvation and disease.

Because I left TSCC backwards, I never really suffered through a mourning phase of finding out my religion/belief system was all based on lies . I think I am starting to go through this phase now, realizing how little evidence there is to hold up most belief systems . That doesn't mean I can't be a good person, but I think as human beings, we almost have a programmed need to believe in a sort of deity or afterlife.

For me, the most believable evidence of any sort of existence outside of our brain/body are NDEs (Near Death Experiences) which are shared by those who have had a brush with death, seen a vision of sorts of life outside the body, and returned to tell about it. While NDEs differ in events experienced, there are several things that seem to occur in most NDEs: A life review, an absence of time, communication without using mouth (telepathy), a being of sorts representing deity or conscious energy and maybe some others. Another thing is many patients who have 'died' on the operating table, come back and describe the actions the doctors took, things they said etc all from the point of view of floating close to the ceiling looking down and also while their body was not breathing, heart beating, or showing any signs of life or consciousness.

So anyways, explore with me on what you believe now in regards to karma, judgment and afterlife and please also share how you came to your current conclusions. I doubt any of us have static beliefs now. Thanks.

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I also believe in Karma. I believe that how you treat others can come back and bite you in the ass. NDEs I am not so sure about. I am sure that the people who experience them really believe they have experienced it. I have heard theories that the mind creates those experiences. I have a friend who had a NDE years ago, and he believes it happened to him. I have another friend who is of the Bahai Faith, and she seeks out out of body experiences through meditation. She has had many out of body experiences. She said our soul is attached to our body by a supernatural cord. She claims to be able to leave her body. I have actually been looking up these experiences myself recently, to understand more about it. I have not reached a conclusion on the NDEs or meditation induced out of body experiences.
I have read a book on how to have OBEs but so far I have been unsuccessful myself. I believe as you do that to those that have experienced NDEs/OBEs they are real to them. Whether they are an illusion of the mind or not is where I have to question. If I am ever successful in inducing and OBE, I'll be sure to return and report. Of those who have experienced OBEs, the cord that connects our conscious energy to our body is commonly described. That's what keeps me coming back to NDEs and OBEs. Those that experience them can be from all walks of life yet they experience many of the same similarities that it's hard to dismiss as pure coincidence. Thanks for sharing.
Might I suggest some questions to ask yourself to help clarify your beliefs.....
1- Do I believe in a life after this one?
2- Do I believe in "hell"/"a telestial kingdom"? Why would God create such a place? Is anyone capable of knowing enough to reject God.
3- If God did create such a place what needs to be done to escape it? Is an "atonement" necessary?
4- "Atonement" as we know it requires a human sacrifice...why would God require the violent slaughter of his own innocent child? Why would an all-powerful God demand such a sacrifice? On a personal level how badly would you have to sin to not be able to atone for your own sins?
5- If God is all powerful are there sins that are unforgivable (like murder or apostasy)?

When it comes to karma it would seem reincarnation would be necessary but belief in God is not. Karma is more than punishment I believe that karma is the law of cause and effect. The way we live our lives today effects the way our lives will be lived in the future. Everything we do effects what comes after and applies to all living things (animals & plants). It is both reward and punishment. The goal in Buddhism is to eliminate all karma in ourselves and ultimately all living beings.
As for what comes after that.....we'll just have to wait & see I guess.
I do not believe in any kind of supernatural karma, but I do believe that the actions we take have natural consequences. Those consequences ripple out into the world around us, affecting other people, which in turn affect other people, which in turn affect still other people. All of those people are also acting in the world and creating their own ripples which are going to affect *you.* So if you're a really nice guy and do good things, your influence in the world will hopefully impact others who in turn may be nicer and do good things and some of that may be directed right back at you. So yes - if you do good, good will, overall, return to you. If you do bad, then others will react to that, and you'll get bad in return. But there isn't any cosmic force at work, this is just humans interacting and reacting with each other.

As far as NDE's go, I'm extremely skeptical. Although people report seeing doctors and nurses doing things in the room, any attempt to test this awareness has failed. For example, we can put a large card with a shape on it - a bright red circle - on top of a shelf in the room, and then ask the patient when they wake up if they can say what the shape was. Even though they believe they were hovering in the room, they can't identify the shape.

All kinds of studies and experiments over the years have shown us that the brain is responsible for assembling our image of the world. What we see, touch, hear is all constructed in the mind from sensory input. But even without any input, the brain can assemble a convincing experience - we call it dreaming.

The brain is also responsible for generating a distinction between "self" and "everything else." It does this so that it knows where "you" end and the rest of the world begins. It's what gives you the sensation that your hand is part of "you." This function of the brain can be damaged, and patients experience all sorts of confusing sensations. One insisted there was a "shadow" person sitting just to the side of her copying all of her movements. Her brain wasn't able to properly distinguish "her" from her environment... basically, part of her brain "thought" she was 12 inches to the right. Then there are phantom limbs, people who have had arms or legs amputated but their brain still "thinks" it's there.

With the ability to generate sensations, and the brains role in managing our perception of a distinction between the physical self vs. environment, it's not difficult to explain NDE's. Of course the brain would be entirely capable of generating a sensation of being disembodied.

The similar experiences shared by those who have NDE's is a result of similar situations creating the NDE, namely, trauma, blood-loss, anesthesia, etc. All of these brains are being affected in a similar way. And they're also the result of some cherry-picking - we hear about all the stories that fit the stereotype, but those that are unusual or unexpected, like the Hindu who meets Ganesha in his NDE, or the fundamentalist Christian who visits hell and is tormented by demons in his, do not get passed around as much. NDEs that contradict someone else's worldview are dismissed as dreams or delusions or active imaginations, but NDEs that support someone else's worldview (a heaven with a loving God) are suddenly granted the status of "good evidence".

I know of one guy who woke up from a coma and had all sorts of memories of being in the room, listening to people, hearing music that they were playing for him, etc. As his brain slowly regained function over the next few months, he began to realize that what he perceived as memories from the duration of his coma was really all built from the sensations he had as he was waking up - just a few minutes worth of awareness. But his brain, damaged and beginning to "reboot", was confused and had a hard time building a coherent worldview. He interpreted those sensations as memories, as if they had been occurring over a long period of time.

In the end, we know that the brain is capable of producing these kinds of experiences. We also know that the brain is subject to misinterpreting sensations and misremembering events. Given that, it seems unnecessary to invoke a supernatural meta-reality of souls, heaven, and afterlives to explain these experiences.

That isn't to say any of that is disproven, only that there isn't enough evidence to drop our null hypothesis (it's in the brain) in favor of an alternate hypothesis (there are supernatural beings and forces at work that are hidden in the universe.)
No, no and no.

i can kinda agree with Jon but i don't think being a good person, doing the right thing, living authentically, or any of that really guarantees you anything, perhaps makes certain things more likely. Like if i don't drive a car or ride in cars and only cross the street on Tuesdays i'm less likely to get in a car accident but i could still get run over next Tuesday.

Some people don't understand how life could be worth living if this is your attitude. i'm still alive. i have been known to think of suicide as a viable option on occasion however. The problem with that is there's still stuff i want to do. Maybe when i'm all finished doing stuff.

i love it when people tell me "i hope you find what you are searching for." i have no idea why they think i'm looking for anything particular. Life is actually enough to keep me engaged for quite some time i think :)
"Life is actually enough to keep me engaged for quite some time i think :)"

I agree! There's so much more beauty and things to experience now that I have the freedom to choose what I want to experience instead of following dogma of what I should want to experience or what should make me happy.

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