Re: How to explain the death of a large number of people (e.g. bomb explosion) at the same time?

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Posted by curtis ( on October 23, 2000 at 03:17:41:

In Reply to: Re: How to explain the death of a large number of people (e.g. bomb explosion) at the same time? posted by David S. on October 22, 2000 at 14:12:42:

Hi David:

I am not disputing that your current life is "conditioned" by your past karmas. But from Buddha's teachings, "present actions" can affect your present and future karmas. If you had done lots of evil in the past, and strive to do lots of good at this present moment, you can "dilute" your past karmas so that when the condition arises for you to reap your past karma, it will be mildly felt. I think you can say the "x" or unknown factor in determining your future is "free will" to do good or evil. It's free will that allows us to change our "fate" in this and future lifetime.

What I don't understand is: is our present action conditioned by our past? If that's the case, then it means our life is "predestined", there is nothing we can do to alter it. It'll be like: John hurts mary, mary hurts john back, john hurts mary again, so on. But with free will, john can "break" the karmic chain, and forgives mary, and ask mary for forgiveness in return.

It's true, that it's very unlikely a good natured person would do the unthinkable and destroy the entire world, but because of free will, he/she can still "choose" to do it, doesn't matter what good or bad he had done in the past.. he/she has free will to create "new" karmas.

Free Will is the unknown factor that makes the future unpredictable and keep things interesting.

best wishes


: According to the Sutras it is the case, Curtis. I don't claim to know for myself from my own insight, but I also don't claim to know better than or broader than the Buddha's own teachings. According to what is taught in the Sutras, your sending bombs all over the globe would just be your being as tied up in everyone's karma as the rest of us. Nothing special, nor anything acted out as an independent, isolated, unconditioned mind. The impression that we have an idea that is separate from all of our past, an idea that is unconditioned, is part of the same illusion that causes us to give rise to pride and self-importance over our seeming "self-made" accomplishments. And the same illusion that causes many to think they can, or should, attain enlightenment quickly.

: I'm always open to something I don't know, and definitely recognize I don't know much more than I do! So maybe I've just never seen the Sutra where the Buddha says otherwise.
: Best wishes,
: David

: : Hello paul:

: : I think it's really hard to say how you explain it, because "karma" is based on two factors:

: : 1. past volitional intentions
: : 2. present volitional intentions.

: : Pretend that I am working on one of the facilities that have access to nuclear weapons with authorization to fire them, with enough of them to wipe out the entire world. I am going to prove a point that karma is not all based on past action, so I decided to fire bomb after bomb across the entire world, everyone on earth including me, is killed.

: : From the previous poster who said that the reason for these people's deaths is because they "chose" to be where they were at the time, and is reaping their past karma, is not always correct based on the hypothetical scenario illustrated above.

: : i think the important thing we have to keep in mind is we should be compassionate to every sentient beings who are suffering and not have an attitude like "he is just getting what he deserved based on the law of karma" because that is not always the case.

: : curtis

: :
: : : Hi,

: : : I am a Buddhist but one day when confronted by one of my Cathlic relatives I could not answer one of his questions, which was how to explain through Buddhism the sudden death and destruction that happens to thousands of people at the same time. For example when the Atomic bomb was dropped off Hiroshima about 75,000 people died instantly. Also what about the cases where thousands of people die instatly like, earthquakes, tonardoes, typhoons, storms, floods etc. Can anybody explain.

: : : Regards,

: : : Paul.

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