A philosophy test for New Agers

“The universe gives back what we send out.”  “Everything happens for a reason.”

These are among the most widely repeated dogmas of New Age thought.

I propose a simple test of the validity of a philosophy such as this.

If you would be ashamed to express your philosophy to someone who has lost a child in a tsunami, then it’s probably immoral… and false.

philosophy-test-3

11 thoughts on “A philosophy test for New Agers

      • I wouldn’t say it because it is obviously highly insensitive to say something like that to someone who is grieving. What lesson(s) their souls have to learn is not something I can speculate much in. All I know is that many people who have suffered losses in one way or another learn something from the experience of what they went through. That doesn’t mean it was all worth it, for example losing a child, but I still believe everything happens for a reason in one way or another.

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        • By victims, I meant the thousands who were killed — her children, possibly everyone she loved. What did these victims learn from drowning?

          How likely do you think it is that thousands of people in the same geographical region all needed to learn the same message at the same moment?

          Now say that you are her. What’s an example of a lesson that you personally might learn from the deaths of everyone you ever knew and loved, that might make it worthwhile? And say you did decide the reason for their deaths was to teach you
          a lesson… why is it not unbelievably narcissistic to think all those deaths are really all about you, and not about them and their lives tragically cut short?

          What possible lesson could she learn from this other than that the universe is

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        • Look, I see no reason for argument, because you seem unwilling to see my point of view. We all have different beliefs and all I wanted to do was to point out to you that people do believe in different things and different ways of life, and there is no reason for one person to criticize another’s beliefs and thoughts.
          I see your point of view, and can understand how you come from a different perspective, and that’s totally OK. But don’t criticize others for not thinking the same way. Isn’t it the difference in thought that humans are all about?

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        • Good God no, hon, no one should ever demand people stop criticizing ideas they feel are harmful to society. The day we give in to that is the day civilization ends.

          Commenters here may reasonably expect not to be personally criticized, as long as they too refrain. But they can’t demand that their ideas be immune to criticism from me or other commenters. Not here, not anywhere they publicly post ideas on the internet.

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  1. There’s nothing harmful about a person’s beliefs, “hon” – it’s when someone can’t understand that another person may have other beliefs that it starts becoming harmful. But like I said, I respect your opinion, but see no reason for argument, as we have such different ideas.

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  2. What, precisely, are you trying to accomplish by criticizing the beliefs of other people? Are you trying to prove the idea that kamma is not actually a natural law? (Although I should point out that catastrophes like storms, volcanoes, tsunamis etc. probably don’t fall under the law of kamma, at least not in Buddhism.) If so, good luck with that.
    Or are you trying to debunk the meaning other people reach for when they’re suffering?
    Of course, it’s ridiculously insensitive and unhelpful to tell a person there is meaning, a purpose, to their suffering, at the height of that suffering. No person, acting with discernment, wisdom, and compassion would do so. But people are foolish. We make mistakes. We grasp for something to say to lessen the pain and grief of our fellow beings. Is this really such a terrible, harmful thing? Or is it just insensitive?
    If your purpose is to lessen the suffering of all beings, which part of your message seems to be, the way you’re going about it is negating that purpose. We create division when we stand in judgment of others. And division just causes more suffering. Judgmental thinking is not the same as judiciousness.

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