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Oxford
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Religion & Theology
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The Law of Karma in Hinduism and the Problem of Evil (Essay Sample)

Instructions:
HI maybe to note that i'm not native english speaker plz find attached the question and some of the source we have to use , i will also provide pdf files we need to use in this essay . Topic 1 Discuss the idea of karma as it is understood in Hinduism. In your essay, you will need to discuss: -how the idea of “karma” is related to the concepts of atman, samsara, and moksa; -how the Hindu theory of karma functions as an explanation (or justification) for the evils and injustices we see in the world; and -whether, in your view, the karma theory is a plausible or rationally defensible explanation for human suffering. Further reading o Purushottama Bilimoria, “Duhkha and Karma: The Problem of Evil and God's Omnipotence”, Sophia 34 (1995): 92-120. o John Hick, Death and Eternal Life (Glasgow: Collins, 1976), ch. 16. o John Hick, Philosophy of Religion 4th ed. (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1990), chs 4 & 11. o Whitley Kaufman, “Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil”, Philosophy East and West 55 (2005): 15-32. o Nick Trakakis and Monima Chadha, “Karma and the Problem of Evil: A Response to Kaufman”, Philosophy East & West 57 (2007): 533-56. o Whitley Kaufman, “Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil: A Reply to Critics,” Philosophy East & West 57 (2007): 556-60. o Gary E. Kessler, Studying Religion: An Introduction Through Cases, 3rd edition (Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2008), ch. 8. o Michael Peterson, William Hasker, Bruce Reichenbach, and David Basinger, Reason and Religious Belief: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, 4th edition (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), ch. 8. o James C. Livingston, Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion 2nd edition (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1993), ch. 10. o Roy Perrett, “Karma and the Problem of Suffering”, Sophia 24 (1985): 4-10. Please do NOT use wikipedia as it is not allowed for us students at my uni, i put some of the internet source links we supposed to use in the additional files i uploded, plz find also the compols. source we have to use attached (files) but it would be necessary to use further material that i reseive a great mark. Plz do not make the english tooooo perfect as i'm not native english speaker but it shuld reseive still a great mark thank you so much source..
Content:
The Law of Karma in Hinduism and the Problem of Evil
Introduction
A Hindu “may be a theist, a pantheist, atheist, communist and believe whatever he likes, but what makes him into a Hindu are the ritual practices he performs and the rules to which he adheres, in short, what he does.”
– Frits Staal, Rules Without Meaning: Ritual, Mantras and the Human Sciences (1989)
The Third Law of Motion of Isaac Newton in classical mechanics states that “for every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” This has come to be universally accepted because its validity is empirically observable in the natural world. Hinduism has its own philosophical and theological theory that closely resembles Newton’s Third Law of Motion called “karma.” In this paper, the law of karma will be discussed and its relationship with the concepts of “atman”, “samsara”, and “moksha”. Furthermore, this doctrine will be discussed in relation to the problem of evil that has plagued Western philosophies and religion. The doctrine of karma will be analyzed if it is a viable justification for human suffering and a solution to te problem of evil.
Karma is a concept in Hinduism which literally means “deed” or “act” and refers to the causality in a system of actions where beneficial actions in the past results to beneficial effects in the future while harmful actions results to harmful effects; thus, creating a complex system of actions and reactions in the process of the reincarnation of the human soul that forms a cycle of rebirth. According to Daya Krishna,
The theory of karma ... has to be seen not as a description of facts relating to human action, but as an attempt to render them intelligible in moral terms. This is the basic difference between intelligibility of nature and the intelligibility of the human world. The former may be rendered intelligible by postulating the notion of causality in phenomena, but that alone would not render intelligible the world of men. The latter is constituted by human actions …
When the cycle of rebirth comes to an end, an individual is believed to have attained “moksha”, referred to as the salvation from “samsara” or the wheel of rebirth. The process of the transmigration of soul governs the cycle of birth and death of every form of life on earth, which ends only in the human life. It is the system that defines the totality of our actions and reactions during our past and present lives and eventually determines our future. Karma is produced in four ways namely, through our actions, words, actions that we do, and the actions that others do through our instructions.
In contrast to Western religions and philosophy, Indian religions (and in this case that of Hinduism) assumed that we have all lived before and our present condition is a direct consequence of our past lives. This implies that there are no arbitrariness as well as social injustice brought about by our inequalities because our lives are determined by cause and effect. According to R. K. Tripathi,
The law of karma along with the doctrine of rebirth has the merit of solving one great problem of philosopy and religion, ... How is it that different persons are born with an infinite diversity regarding their fortunes in spite of the fact that God is equally good to all? ... If God is all-Goodness and also All-Powerful, how is it that there is so much evil and inequality in the world? Indian religions relieve God of this responsibility and make our karmas responsible.
In the process of the reincarnation of our souls, it is possible therefore that one would remember his/her past life, albeit the traumas of birth and death are erase such memories and repress them into the subconscious. Accordingly, this is proven by the process of psychoanalysis and hypnosis. Only individuals who conscious...
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