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By Bruce R. Reichenbach

An exam of the legislation of karma approached as a philosophical thesis vital in its personal correct and as a unifying notion inside of definite religious-philosophical structures. the writer comprises principles expressed within the twentieth century in addition to these present in classical Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.

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An individual's karmic residues, on this account, appear as a pool of dispositions which has been filled by prior actions of the individual. That pool is composed of specific tendencies: tendencies to be greedy, generous, cruel, loving, jealous, forgiving, forgetful, lustful, and so on. This pool continues to be affected by the ongoing free actions of the individual. A person may add to this pool by performing actions, either right or wrong, consonant with the primary character of the pool. The pool may also be drained by actualizing the karmic residues already in it.

It would account for the moral evils (evils for which the individual can be held morally accountable) that we do to one another and to ourselves. In this regard it explains why we (mis)treat others or our environment as we do and so bring pleasure or pain upon ourselves. But it cannot account for the evils which are done to us which have nothing to do with our dispositions. Consider the following case. Suppose my house bums to the ground in a raging forest fire ignited by lightning. Since this is a bad experience for me, the karmic theorist would appeal to my previous karmic acts and/or the pool created by them to explain why it burned.

3 However, such an emphasis on originating dispositions and intentions as determinative of moral quality implies that it matters little what we do. Consequently, with respect to our accumulation of karma it would mean we could do the most despicable acts, so long as our attitude and dispositions were correct. Even though consequences might be partially determinative of the morality of an act, they can be irrelevant or minimally relevant to karmic 28 The Law of Karma considerations. This begins to drive a wedge between the law of karma and the moral law governing actions it is sworn to uphold.

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