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Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:23 am
by KiwiNFLFan
Do you incur bad karma every time you knowingly break one of the laws of the land, even if it isn't harming anybody? What if it is an unjust law?

I'm asking because I'm currently considering a job offer in China, which has an extensive internet firewall. The existence of this firewall is unjust because the Communist party wishes to monitor its citizens' online activities. Would it be considered unethical and generating bad karma to use a VPN or other technology to get around this firewall?

Also, one of the ways I'm looking at getting around the firewall is by having a remote computer (either here in NZ or in the cloud outside of China) and using a remote desktop into it to be able to access blocked sites. If part of the licence agreement to create a virtual computer is that you will not use the computer for illegal purposes, would it be considered unethical from a Buddhist perspective to click 'accept' on the licence anyway? I mean technically I'm not doing anything illegal on the computer in NZ or the US by accessing Facebook or reddit, am I?

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:56 am
by shaunc
You definitely risk bad karma by breaking the law. It can lead to fines, community service or even being banged up.
If you don't agree with the laws of a particular country don't go there.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:06 am
by Tiago Simões
No, breaking secular rules doesn't always create bad karma. Remember the story of the chinese monk Xuanzang and how he went to India against the emperor's will?

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:48 am
by ford_truckin
Not necessarily. If you were living in Nazi Germany and hiding Jews in your basement you'd be breaking the law but actually creating good karma.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:45 pm
by Kim O'Hara
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:23 am
Do you incur bad karma every time you knowingly break one of the laws of the land, even if it isn't harming anybody? What if it is an unjust law?
No, it's not always going to be bad karma, for reasons others have given.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:23 am
I'm asking because I'm currently considering a job offer in China, which has an extensive internet firewall. The existence of this firewall is unjust because the Communist party wishes to monitor its citizens' online activities. Would it be considered unethical and generating bad karma to use a VPN or other technology to get around this firewall?
No, but it's a really bad idea, as shaunc said.
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:23 am
Also, one of the ways I'm looking at getting around the firewall is by having a remote computer (either here in NZ or in the cloud outside of China) and using a remote desktop into it to be able to access blocked sites. If part of the licence agreement to create a virtual computer is that you will not use the computer for illegal purposes, would it be considered unethical from a Buddhist perspective to click 'accept' on the licence anyway? I mean technically I'm not doing anything illegal on the computer in NZ or the US by accessing Facebook or reddit, am I?
Borderline illegality, borderline unethical behaviour - as I suspect you know, since you're sheltering behind "technically".

But again, it's all a really bad idea. Taking a job implies acceptance of the normal conditions of that job, which include abiding by the laws of the country you will be living in. If you don't plan to do that, you're lying to your employer from the beginning - not a good start - as well as risking real-world consequences. :toilet:

:namaste:
Kim

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 3:53 pm
by Nemo
China is becoming a crap place for foreigners. Unless you are teaching English I would think long and hard on that decision. Ten years ago it was completely awesome. I wouldn't bother now.

Everyone uses a VPN in China. NORD vpn is not bad. Life without half the internet sucks. No FB, Google maps, messenger, etc, etc. The Golden Shield Project(what they call the great firewall) is some seriously Orwellian mind frakery. It's going to get worse too. It used to be lawless and fun. Now it is endless arbitrary rules that are only selectively enforced. There is a mass exodus of foreigners starting. It's Thailand or Vietnam if you are young and looking for your fortune now.

https://www.wired.com/story/age-of-social-credit/

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:59 pm
by Fortyeightvows
Everyone goes through the wall. Don't even worry about that.
Don't be scared. The only people who get in trouble for it are using it forr bad things and breaking other laws.
The existence of this firewall is unjust because the Communist party wishes to monitor its citizens' online activities
Allowing the country and society to become immoral and chaotic is also unjust.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:53 am
by DNS
Most civil rights leaders had an arrest record, sit-ins, marches, being in "whites only" places, etc. I don't think anyone (normal) would say that earned them any bad karma.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:09 am
by Jerafreyr
Politics and Buddhism do not mix. Politics are based on worldly perceptions and not necessarily in accordance with dharmic law. The only protection from karmic forces is the awakened state.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:45 am
by Wayfarer
Jerafreyr wrote:
Sun Apr 14, 2019 2:09 am
Politics and Buddhism do not mix. Politics are based on worldly perceptions and not necessarily in accordance with dharmic law. The only protection from karmic forces is the awakened state.
In many countries there are Buddhist-oriented political parties, and there's no specific reason why Buddhist principles can't be applied in a democratic system of government.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:14 pm
by Jerafreyr
The Buddha never made a criminal of anyone nor did he force people to be charitable. The problem with government is the coercion behind it. Not to mention the enemies created by those of opposing viewpoints. Policies are only pleasant when they are in your favor in which the reverse is usually the condition.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:20 pm
by £$&^@
Karma just means 'action'. When people say karma they often mean vipaka..the fruit or result of karma.
And generally speaking the karma that results in negative vipaka depends to a great extent on intention.
So an illegal act done with good intention could be more positive in outcome for the doer than a legal act done with bad intention.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:34 pm
by Nemo
Slavery was legal. Killing Indians and selling their scalps to the government was legal. All wars are legal for the winners. If you think following rules makes you pure you are a fool.

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:33 am
by DharmaN00b
Come as you are..

Re: Breaking the law = bad karma?

Posted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:24 am
by humble.student
KiwiNFLFan wrote:
Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:23 am
Do you incur bad karma every time you knowingly break one of the laws of the land, even if it isn't harming anybody? What if it is an unjust law?

I'm asking because I'm currently considering a job offer in China, which has an extensive internet firewall. The existence of this firewall is unjust because the Communist party wishes to monitor its citizens' online activities. Would it be considered unethical and generating bad karma to use a VPN or other technology to get around this firewall?

Also, one of the ways I'm looking at getting around the firewall is by having a remote computer (either here in NZ or in the cloud outside of China) and using a remote desktop into it to be able to access blocked sites. If part of the licence agreement to create a virtual computer is that you will not use the computer for illegal purposes, would it be considered unethical from a Buddhist perspective to click 'accept' on the licence anyway? I mean technically I'm not doing anything illegal on the computer in NZ or the US by accessing Facebook or reddit, am I?
To commit a crime in the first place, you would need to be certain that accessing the sites you mention is in fact illegal in China (they're not), and that utilising the technology you've mentioned is illegal too (not sure about that, but I think it isn't, you'd need to check).

Simply saying "Facebook is banned in China" is not exactly serious now, is it? And if ruminating on the potential karmic consequences of using a VPN (which as one poster commented, is widespread and in fact necessary for many businesses and colleges) is your chief concern right now, then I can guarantee you that you have a seriously rude awakening coming up if and when you decide to go live there.