Karma and "blaming the victim"
Sep 16, 1997 10:15 PM
by Titus Roth
> DSArthur wrote:
>> Still, in order to protect my "perfect universe" concept, I am compelled to
>> conclude that all of the individuals involved got precisely (no more, no
>> less) "what was coming to them."
Though I wouldn't choose those words, I basically agree. This doesn't justify
a karmic pawn like Hitler. "It must needs be that offenses come, but woe to
the man by whom the offense cometh."
> Not one of us knows, absolutely, that people get "what is coming to them."
> And, since we don't know this, is it wise to adopt the philosophy that
> people get "what is coming to them?" What will this philosophy do to our
> psyche? How do we use this philosophy to enlarge our compassion?
Like all good things, the idea of karma can be misapplied (i.e., without
compassion or in the sense of blaming). A better way for a victim to apply it
is to say, "I am a worthy person. The fact that I have experienced a
misfortune doesn't mean I am less worthy than the next person. But somehow I
have earned the lesson in this experience. I choose not to stay bitter about
it, nor rail against God or life." This, of course, is too much to expect
immediately after a misfortune. But eventually, it is a healthier way to look
> I ask this - those of you who believe that people get what's coming to them,
> or somehow send messages that say "rape me" - what would you say to a
> person, who, after finding out you or a loved one was raped, robbed, killed,
> etc. . ., piped off to you "Sorry, but, alas, it was your/their karma?"
I don't believe a person sends messages that say "rape me". Karma doesn't
need such a mechanism to work.
As far as what I would say, let's use your example. (Some guys _are_ raped.)
If it happened to me and someone *started* with, "You earned it." I would
probably be quite angry. I would expect him to sympathize with how difficult
the rape was to experience and how difficult it is for me to pick up the
pieces now. If he said it to me with a condescending tone, I would feel
Having said that, however ...
If after gaining the tools to get on with my life, I heard, "LIFE IS UNFAIR,"
and I believed it, I would be *VERY* angry with God. I would also ask why
He/She would kill a child for no reason other than to give it's parents a
lesson. While I might outwardly accept my lot in life, I would go on with an
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