Karma, Justice and Motives for Right Action

  • Bruce R. Reichenbach
Part of the Library of Philosophy and Religion book series (LPR)


It is reasoned that ‘if the law of Karma is rejected, the moral law itself will have to be rejected’.1 To accept the moral law, which affirms that acts are objectively right and wrong, is to accept the law of karma. In other words, acceptance of the moral law is sufficient for accepting the law of karma, whereas acceptance of the law of karma is necessary for accepting the moral law. Given this assertion about acceptance, how are we to understand the connection between the laws themselves?


Intentional Action Causal Account Evil Person Universal Rationality Moral Accountability 
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  1. 1.
    G.R. Malkani, ‘The Rationale of the Law of Karma’, The Philosophical Quarterly (India) 37, (Jan. 1965), p. 263.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    I have argued for this in Bruce R. Reichenbach, Evil and a Good God (New York: Fordham University Press, 1982)Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Luang Suriyabongs, Buddhism in the Light of Modern Scientific Ideas (Bangkok: Mahumakuta-Raja-Vidyalaya Press, 1954), p. 72Google Scholar
  4. ‘Is There Group Karma in Theravāda Buddhism?’ James P. McDermott, Numen 23 (1976), p. 67.Google Scholar
  5. ‘Critical Response’, in Ronald Neufeldt (ed.), Karma and Rebirth: Post-Classical Developments (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1986), p. 110.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    ‘I call a collectivity an aggregate if the identity of that collective consists in the sum of the identities of the persons who comprise the membership of the collectivity.’ Peter French, ‘Collective Responsibility and the Practice of Medicine’, The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7, no. 1 (Feb. 1982), p. 70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Bruce R. Reichenbach 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce R. Reichenbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Augsburg CollegeMinneapolisUSA

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