Everyone loves the idea of karma. “What goes around comes around” is the phrase that comforts most people when they're in an unfair situation or any other situation in which they have no control over.
The idea of karma is an ancient one (which never means something has to be true) and the so called “proof” of it’s existence has only convinced me to think that it’s all perspective — and the smoking gun that disrupts the idea of karma has only one word: Probability.
By definition, probability is a measure of the likeliness that an event will occur.
Nothing out of the ordinary happens much. Everything happens for a reason, sure, but that reason hasn't been proven to be a spiritual or mystical one. Everything happens for a reason because of cause and effect. That cause and effect is determined by probability.
Explaining probability can be really simple or somewhat complex depending on how deep you want to go.
So, a man cheats on his girlfriend, they break up. That same man goes into a new relationship and gets cheated on by his new girlfriend, they break up.
Is that karma?
Well, suppose that man now understands the value of integrity after being cheated on. He knows what it’s like to cheat and he knows what its like to be cheated on. Suppose he then becomes a very successful self-help teacher who helps couples learn how to maintain faithfulness in their relationship.
Was his karma really “bad karma” then? In this case, his karma turned out to be a positive outcome — and (depending on your perspective) it was ultimately because he first cheated on his girlfriend. Do we really want to say that it was ultimately a good thing that he cheated?
Was it karma that he got cheated on after he cheated? If so, then karma ultimately worked toward his benefit: he became successful because he cheated. Suppose karma didn't exist, will his outcome still be possible? And if so, then what makes karma special?
The Truth About Karma
The truth is that, no, we don't want to say it’s good for a man to cheat, even if from a past tense perspective, he learned from it later. The truth is, it happened because of cause and effect, and the outcome was completely under his control — like most outcomes.
However, we don't always have control over our outcomes (or so we think, depending on perspective :p) and therefore, we invented karma. Karma is a desired outcome that is determined by some outside source that takes care of a problem for us — while masqueraded as a “spiritual force”.
Karma is about feeling comfortable, rather than acknowledging the cold hard truth: he got away with it. Sometimes, people get what they deserve, sometimes they don't. If we value truth over superstition, only then can we learn more about how to actually avoid these problems in the future. As long as we have perspective by which is determined by probability, there is no reason to think that karma actually exists.