Is Karma Real? Part 3
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Is Karma Real? Part 3

I would like to reflect further on a kind of karma that does not appear to involve divine intervention. I think that, in general, when human actions are guided by lusts rather than compassion, there are unintended consequences that tend to harm the actor. History is replete with disastrous decisions that were guided by selfishness and hubris rather than compassion and humility.

For example, the intentional introduction of new species into ecosystems has frequently wrought havoc on the native wildlife, to the detriment of human and nonhuman beings alike. Many delusional leaders, convinced that God was on their side, have started ill-advised wars. I think we can be quite confident that God has been not responsible for their downfall, because lustful and arrogant decisions often result in harm to many innocent individuals, as well as those who cannot contain their sense of self-importance. Further, unintended and unanticipated negative consequences often take years to occur, and frequently the original actors have long since died when the chickens come home to roost.

It is very difficult to predict the consequences of our actions, and sometimes we err despite the best of intentions. I think a good rule of thumb would be to use compassion as our guide. If we make decisions based on our best assessments of what is most compassionate for all concerned, we will rarely make bad choices.

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