Retributive karma and the problem of blaming the victim
- Mikel Burley
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A defining feature of retributive conceptions of karma is their regarding of suffering or misfortune as consequent upon sins committed in previous lives. Some critical non-believers in karma take offence at this view, considering it to involve unjustly blaming the victim. Defenders of the view demur, and argue that a belief in retributive karma in fact provides a motivation for benevolent action. This article elucidates the debate, showing that its depth is such that it is best characterized as a disagreement in form of life (in Wittgenstein’s sense) rather than as a disagreement in opinions. Also briefly discussed is an example of a non-retributive form that belief in karma and reincarnation can take.
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- Retributive karma and the problem of blaming the victim
International Journal for Philosophy of Religion
Volume 74, Issue 2 , pp 149-165
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Blaming the victim
- Arvind Sharma
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
- Mikel Burley (1)
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Theology and Religious Studies, Hopewell House, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK