Suffering is subjective in context. While money can provide happiness by living a life with material comforts, but indulgence in excessive consumption could be damaging to inner peace and may lead to unhappiness. True love is missing in most relations with family members, colleagues and friends. A group blog of scholars exploring Indian philosophy, Continuing my reply to Evan Thompson, I will focus next on karma, because the reinterpretation of karma is central to my own eudaimonist Buddhism, and therefore it forms a focal point in Thompson’s critique. I do not. We remain too much busy with meetings needs of body thereby loosing essence of real self. Posted by: Iris Pardo, Bronx, New York, USA on May 18, 2006 I think that the reason is not because G-d doesnt care, I believe it is our own fault because since the beginning of time man broke his relationship with G-d by dissobedience to Him. Realize that our self is not body but it comprises of inner essence that is soul. Obeyesekere refers to passages in the Majjhima Nikāya and in the Milindapañhā that ask “what is the cause and condition why human beings are seen to be inferior and superior?” (in the sense of short-lived and long-lived, ugly and beautiful, rich and poor, etc.) It designs and creates various scenarios that presuppose threat from others. Free resources to assist you with your university studies! If money helps us to promote love, care and help others, it then fulfills true purpose. Are wealthy people spiritually responsible to share their wealth? Through our wealth, are we helping others or destroying them. In the Indian context, karma is not a distinctively Buddhist doctrine. Thompson appears to think that the “core” of an idea is constituted by the reasons that that idea first historically appeared, what “drove the formation” of the concept. We may assign various reasons for death from medical perspective but these are only periphery causes while the real role is spiritual. Let’s step back a minute and look at things differently. But stop looking for answers. Hate works contrary to the need of inner- self (soul). The evil are blessed by association with the good (“I will bless them that bless you.”). It can be best understood by thinking beyond this life. The purpose of life can be best understood when we think of life as a continuum from earlier lives to this life and hereafter. Hate does not come to them. This single act makes people to be straight forward, truthful, and considerate towards others. | Love of All Wisdom, 3AM interviews about Indian philosophy have moved, Malcolm Keating on debates worth having, according to Nyāya (from Psyche magazine), Mīmāṃsā Ritual Theory Applied: “Ricelihood: A Tale of Livingness and Rice Beings in Northern Thai Ricelihood”. The external differences in knowledge, wealth, color and religion are too peripheral and need not to predominate our thinking. This is the opportunity nature provides to improve by bearing some sort of suffering. It is practice that can make us to understand our true essence; mere knowledge is incapable to bring real experience. When we are referring to “karma” in English, we are really talking about karmavipāka or karmaphala (the “ripening” or “fruit” of action), or alternately about the paired concepts of puṇya/puñña for “good karma” and pāpa for “bad karma”, which identify the process by which the seed of action comes to ripen as a fruit. In the divine wisdom, some good people are made to suffer so that they improve on their real consciousness that talks about love, peace, bliss and compassion. They have all the right to enjoy part of their wealth for own comforts. First of all, technically speaking there are no good people. It needs lot of efforts to clean our self from this feeling. by pmorries 7 years ago. These cravings come from within that tells us that you are not what you believe. Rather than justifying their pain, we need to get rid of it. This is the question which is basic to the role of money in present age spirituality. Despite best of intention and courage, we find lot of people who possess good qualities suffer. As our normal sensory organs and science have not been able to reveal full mystery of this force, it is imperative to think of role of God in our birth and death. At times, sincere and hardworking people are not able to move ahead in life due to various unfavorable conditions. It is noble act and in tune with inner urge. For example, He does not want people to lie, but he permits them to lie. The real self will be visible and felt only on getting attached to the virtue that takes us beyond material coverings and self consciousness towards inner consciousness or divine consciousness. It does not stop at that. Such people accumulate negative attitudes without self -introspection. Bad things happen because we live in a world saturated with sin. We first start seeing the ethicized karmavipāka in the Bṛhadāranyaka Upaniṣad, where the sage Yājñavalkya says “A man turns into something good by good action and into something bad by bad action.” But the question this is in response to is: “when a man has died… what then happens to that person?” (BaU 3.2.12-13, quoted on Obeyesekere 4) Here when the formation of the concept of karmavipāka is being driven, it is that question, the nature of the afterlife, which is being answered. we are often making erroneous assumptions. To me, it is the cause of all the trouble, wickedness and other sins committed by human beings. The inner self (soul) has come from one single source so it tries to bring closeness with that source (God) and all other people who originated from that source. People often boost about own self, and claim to be fully aware of their entire capabilities, aspirations, and emotions. We find crime, corruption, greed, and avarice at its peak in most of the societies. However, a person facing lack of wealth may be quite comfortable in dealing with other issues in life. Why do bad things happen to good people? You may be aware about your body or mind; but still it does not lead you to know true person in you. Good people do not have this nuisance value. Spiritual perspective talks of equanimity despite outward differences. This makes us to be in competition with others; we treat other people our competitors who need to be won over by any sort of tactics. However, even though we have forgotten past memories of body consciousness, it is still with us. Why do bad things happen to good people? Your email address will not be published. By contrast, in this and other related passages in the early Upaniṣads, the question “why do bad things happen to good people?”, or anything analogous to it, is not asked. The next step is to combat with other person and to take revenge. There are two ways to look at the question of why bad things happen to good people. Spiritual and social awakening of some sort will only be able to reverse this trend. Copyright © 2003 - 2021 - UKEssays is a trading name of All Answers Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Can't bad things just happen? True, there are so many atrocities committed in the world. Or, do bad things happen for a reason? Real self tries to remain in love with other fellows despite external differences. A step further towards taking care of other, demands sacrificing own needs for the benefit of other people. Steve Lemke . Despite best of intention and courage, we find lot of people who possess good qualities suffer. It therefore needs self effort more than the simple wish to God. We are not able to notice their inner condition and only see outward suffering. The need of inner self (soul) is love for God and other human beings. This is the reason for present unhappiness and disturbances. Our spiritual essence remains hidden and we often try to ignore it. Spiritual essence demands we remain for some time disconnected with external environment and feel absorption of inner self that can help in reducing distraction of external impulses, and help in knowing own self. The great benefit of this process is that by honestly examining the role of money in our lives, by carefully planning our most important goals, and by consciously using money in a manner that gives the best opportunity to reach those goals, we move beyond the fears and burdens that money typically represents. Why do bad things happen to good people and good things that happen to bad? I no longer hold God responsible for illnesses, accidents, and natural disasters, because I realize that I gain little and I lose so much when I blame Go… When it comes to your efforts, that portion of wealth can be deemed to be your own. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 176 pages and is available in Paperback format. These scenarios are mostly imaginary based on misunderstanding, misrepresentation and misinformation. Hence, other people often ignore them. But it … Depression is reduced. However, as people develop inner capabilities to love, respect and feel compassionate towards others, it makes them to take care of others as much as they look after self interest. Rather, its philosophical core has to do with its function in Buddhist philosophical texts. Our perspective of life takes extremely negative view due to this emotion. It is therefore logical to think that everything of the past cannot be washed away as we are to bear the rewards and punishment of previous lives. | Love of All Wisdom. The Buddha takes the karma doctrine up, but it is what he does with it that is distinctively Buddhist – and that is to psychologize it! Rich person becomes richer as circumstances help him. Sure, but the difference for Jains is that if we don’t wear a face mask, we still get the bad karma for the microbes we kill even though it wasn’t intentional. Good things happen to bad people. Compassion is a feeling to be useful to others, and mitigate their sufferings. How can a person live a balanced life fulfilling his day to day needs as also remaining absorbed with inner self without earning money? If a Jain monk wears a face mask, does not it also show his intention of non injury? The first edition of the novel was published in 1981, and was written by Harold S. Kushner. On the contrary, the core problem, which drove the formation of the concept, is to explain why bad things happen to good people.” I … This is true with not only of spending money but also of the way that we earn money. But I do not believe the same things about Him that I did years ago, when I was growing up or when I was a theological student. The best way to use money is by making other people derive benefit from it apart from making our life comfortable. There can be four plausible explanations based on the overall understanding of our real self for the good people to suffer in this life: All sufferings may not be bad. Often imitated but never superseded, When Bad Things Happen to Good People is a classic that offers clear thinking and consolation in times of sorrow. A Being we can plead with, bargain with or relate to in some other way, as a Father, as a King etc. This is the reason that people who wish to move ahead in their spiritual pursuit look for the acts of sacrifice. It does not expect to stop working and earning money. This will bring more and more awareness about our true self and inner bliss. Suppose, our mind does not allow us to think badly about other person; it will be difficult to think of harming someone. Too much disparity is in distribution of wealth as against need for equality of human beings. Micah Goodman tells us in his excellent lecture on the Book of Job, found on U-tube, that the explanation of why bad things happen to good people changed, at … Such perfectionist often loses the real touch with other people. Present day problems are the outcome of this trend which is gradually percolating in various levels in the government and societies. in determining the severity of karmaphalas. Well-being and good fortune are increased. Knowing self comes in feeling of oneness with others; ignoring own ego and superiority complex; thinking of common welfare of others; generating unconditional loving feelings for others, and in complete ignorance of self while fulfilling your worldly needs. God has been kind to human beings as not to keep the old memories tact. September 2016; Politics Philosophy & Economics 16(1) DOI: 10.1177/1470594X16666017. Contentment in life is in tune with knowing own self. He does not live in peace. We are all bad people in God’s estimation; only God is good. Or, do bad things happen for a reason? Take your righteous anger and turn it into a force for doing good. We can also turn the question around: "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" Hate is not only damaging for other person, but it also spoils own self. Finally, it means that we realize that suffering and failure is part of the human existence and has to learn to live with others despite these imperfections. And the Buddha replies that the reason is their action (kamma). It can be distressing to think that bad things happen merely through chance or accident. But there is a reason theodicy is called theodicy: the question arises as a deep problem for those traditions because they posit an omnipotent omnibenevolent god. 2. This is the work of mind to create a feeling of hate against other person; in most cases without understanding fully other person. Despite this, we remain ignorant about our spiritual needs. Take your righteous anger and turn it into a force for doing good. Corruption, nepotism and favoritism are at the peak in many societies. Living in harmony will come naturally after a person understands the importance of love, compassion, forgiveness, empathy and humility. They are able to influence large section of the society through their love. Study for free with our range of university lectures! If innocent people suffering does not fit into our worldview, we must eradicate it. What is that you’re feeling satisfied? Spirituality is a way of life that impacts every aspect of our existence. I don't know whether this is true, but it brings about the issue of … It is better to look to these issues as it helps to align role of money to fulfill broader meaning and spiritual purpose in life. It is not to shun money. It is difficult to comprehend why some good people suffer badly in life. Registered Data Controller No: Z1821391. And so I stand by my original claim, “that the core idea of karma is also the core idea of eudaimonism: that an agent’s good actions and good states of character typically improve that agent’s well-being (flourishing, eudaimonia).” I will defend that claim next time. Many intelligent and capable people who help others to accumulate wealth but they remain deprived as circumstances were not favorable for them. Gradually, you believe yourself what you actually are not. Despite lot of material comforts, people are not happy. All work is written to order. While, we try to explain this dichotomy by talking about luck and chance, however it does not explain the real issues affecting our lives. Lot of atrocities and excesses are committed by governments, societies and religious bodies. Such people are often rich in their inner condition that takes them through the rough and tough of life with courage and contentment. All of this is the case centuries before Buddhism comes on the scene. But not only do these passages come centuries later than the concept’s formation (and therefore do not drive it), they do not even ask “why do bad things happen to good people?” They are simply asking for an explanation of the fact that some people are better off than others; the goodness or badness of the people is part of the answer, not the question. They often move away from reality. The workings of karma, naturalized and otherwise, Is karma about why bad things happen to good people? A wealthy person can make a big difference towards the well being of other people. There are three basic ways to explain why bad things happen to good people. Good people often shy away from fighting against the system. Understanding others’ plight and living in harmony is a natural response to our love for other person. No plagiarism, guaranteed! Divine purpose is baffling and we are just little kids completely ignorant about it. When it comes to amassing wealth, it is not a level playing field. I think( based on some studies of Hindu views) : We need not to criticize wealth and wealthy people. Provost and Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary “Why do good things happen to good people?” Now, by asking that question, we have already set the teeth on edge of any good theologian among us because it is a poorly framed question. It raises self esteem and makes us happy. Living in harmony is feasible only when we are sensitive to other person’s suffering. Have you ever asked, “Why do bad things happen to good people?” Disaster striking or disease infiltrating, the suffering or untimely death of those we deem as undeserving, sears the heart, doesn’t it? This is not an example of the work produced by our Essay Writing Service. So, what is the core of the idea of (English) karma, aka Sanskrit karmavipāka? Having compassion also means that we offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. The reason is emotion of Hate has taken place of Love. It provides us ample opportunity to look to the broader picture of life. How much stressful we feel in life because of the hate accumulated against others. In my view, that does not indicate what is at the concept’s core. b. flourishing in life He may be experiencing inner peace, contentment and ideal relations. One after the other scandals are noticed that talk about horrifying cruelty. It shook Kushner to his core. We can also turn the question around: "Why would an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God allow good things to happen to bad people?" The ego takes far off from understanding the plight of other person. We may be tempted to add that the intentions behind the actions might play a role The Book of Job is the first document in history to take seriously the question of why really bad things happen to really good people Mon 28 Jun … Hence, earning money is part of the grand purpose of life. They feel momentarily happy by external stimulus but lack inner calmness. Likewise, he does not want people to suffer, but he allows people to suffer. We have to realize that our true self comprises both body consciousness and inner consciousness. You tend to become grateful, compassionate and humble during the moments of suffering. We need to understand this and pick up our cross and keep walking in the Word of God. Mind is at the centre of all evil. Remain connected with your soul by looking within and withdrawing attention from external distractions. Thompson asserts that eudaimonism is not the core idea of karma, “if ‘core’ means what lies at the heart of the concept’s formation. If our condition is contrary to what is expected of inner self; it makes us feel depressed and unhappy. What appears in early Buddhist texts and does not appear in Jain or Upaniṣadic traditions is the identification of karma with cetanā, intention (as in the Nibbedhika Sutta and elsewhere). When everything is moving well, people often become egoistic and self – centered. It does not necessarily mean that so called good person is suffering in all fronts. If God has a plan for everyone and wants us to do specific things with our lives, why does he let us go astray – watching us from a distance, knowing that we may never fulfill his wishes. As hard as it is to acknowledge, we must remember that there are no “good” people, in the absolute sense of the word. In my view, the philosophical core of Buddhist karmavipāka or puṇya/pāpa is the way that the concept functions in classical Buddhist ethical and other philosophical texts. For even if we are looking to the history of the formation of the concept of karmavipāka, as Thompson recommends, it is still simply not the case that the core problem which drove this concept “is to explain why bad things happen to good people.” To support that claim, Thompson links to Gananath Obeyesekere’s Imagining Karma. There are simply people. Nothing can create profound impact on your dealings with others than some acts of sacrifice. It is not about leaving our responsibility towards family and society. If people enjoy life by creating pain and suffering to others, it returns pain in some other form to be borne if not in this life but sometime in subsequent lives. Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. Start formulating a response. Spirituality draws our attention to inner-self (spirit). THE ILLUSION OF GOOD AND BAD. Despite material sacrifice and inconveniences in attending to someone, you still feel happy and satisfied. If you sit calmly and relate yourself to be a part of whole universe, this inner connection helps to know your real self. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com. When good things happen, we are happy, but when tragedies strike, we become unhappy. Look to great saints. In both cases, it is His will to allow people to do bad things. Why to feel concerned about people who suffer. The need of inner self is quite different from body (self) needs. Are we supposed to spend entire amount for self gratification and personal luxuries? There are so many people in this world who are suffering in some manner. 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