karma and krap

I was doing some thinking about the idea of karma. The implication is that we 'get what we deserve' so to speak. Nobody can look at life as fair. Nobody can be so proud as to look at the riches in their life and say, 'I deserve this.' Nobody, living life in forced prostitution or dying from hunger, can be so humble or deranged as to look at their lot and conclude 'I deserve this.' There is a reason that religions who hold this idea to be true also believe in reincarnation. They acknowledge that it does not happen in this life and therefore must happen in a future life. The belief existentially depends on an afterlife or another life if you prefer to put it that way.

Many that deny the existence of a god and have problems with the idea of reward or punishment in an afterlife often believe in karma. This idea cannot be held in tension with an honest appraisal of life on earth. To explain bad things that happen to you as deserved is simply to acknowledge your humanity. It is a type of confession of guilt, which should shock nobody. None of us live up to any standard and in truth we let ourselves down. We cannot even live up to standards that we set for ourselves.

Christianity has an idea that 'you reap what you sow', this seems to have similar problems inasmuch as it is the same. There are many small ways that this plays out in life, like using money to make more money. But as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, nobody should be able to look at the rich or poor and think that they 'deserve' what they have.

Where does one find good and bad outside of a transcendent standard? Subjective evaluation and assimilation with their world are the places of formation. Suffering, however is a universally agreed upon negative. Nobody wants to suffer. This is why the world stands in awe of individuals who willingly embrace suffering for some greater good or justice. The act itself almost legitimates the truth of the good to every observer. These people will always be remembered as heros, saints, and revolutionaries.

Many suffer, not in opposition to injustice but, at the hands of injustice. We acknowledge the evil or bad in this and cannot ascribe the blame to the oppressed but must acknowledge the guilt of the oppressors.

In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both a righteous man perishing in his righteousness and a wicked man living long in his wickedness.

-Ecclesiastes 7:15

This doctrine of manifest justice, be it a belief in karma or a Gospel of Prosperity, can be and often is itself a source of oppression. If played out, it actually justifies the rich in their greed and condemns the poor, the sick, the disabled, and the like as in their rightful place.

            It is my feeling that such a claim is so obviously ridiculous that nobody would say or believe these implications explicitly. I also wonder deeply about the source of this universal acknowledgement of injustice and hunger for justice.