Discussing collective karma

Any doctrine has value if it has explanatory value or if it can be used to provide a fruitful and productive way of investigating the truth of a situation. A doctrine has explanatory value if it provides explanations that alternative explanations cannot explain, or cannot explain as well. A doctrine is fruitful and productive if it gets people out of certain ruts, or deeply entrenched patters of thinking that stand in the way of seeing issues clearly.

  • Does the doctrine of collective karma have explanatory value? What do you think it explains that cannot be explained as well by alternative doctrines?
  • Does the doctrine of collective karma help to get out of ruts of thinking that incline people to act unskillfully and harmfully or carelessly or negligently toward others?
  • The dangers of “blaming the victim” were discussed in the page on negative features of the doctrine of collective karma. Do you agree that this is a danger? Are there other negative features you can think of?

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