Karma can be a dangerous concept. It's harmless enough if we simply think of it as the laws of cause and effect that guide our universe.
But when people extend this concept to include supernatural fantasies, such as that our actions in past lives have determined what happens to us in this life, then the notion of karma needs to be criticized harshly. The not-nice canine in the Dilbert comic strip, Dogbert, captured the essence of this nicely.
And it doesn't matter whether someone uses the term "karma" or some other word. It's the idea of karmic blaming that has to be fought.
Wikipedia describes Jewish deicide, the idea that because Jews were responsible for Jesus' death, they deserve horrible things being done to them.
Jewish deicide is a historic belief among some in Christianity that Jewish people as a whole were responsible for the death of Jesus. The antisemitic slur "Christ-killer" was used by mobs to incite violence against Jews and contributed to many centuries of pogroms, the murder of Jews during the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and the Holocaust.
Even more directly, India's highly discriminatory caste system, which persists to this day, is based on religious ideas about karma and reincarnation.
There is a vital link between Karma theory and the caste system. Karma theory is based on Law of Karma, where an act or deed done by a human being, good or bad, accompany the dead soul and determine the soul’s destiny in its future births. A soul will get reincarnated as human being or animal or insect, according to the accumulated good deeds or bad deeds done in the previous lives.
The position a soul occupies in the hierarchy of the caste system closely correlates to the accumulated deeds of the past. A person of good deeds will be reborn in the higher caste, for eg., as a Brahmin, and a person of bad deeds, as a dog or a Chandala (a lower caste). Please refer to Kaushitaki Upanishad or Chandogya upanishad to get more information on this.
So today I was eager to squash the ravings of frequent commenter "777" to the illogical bits that they deserve when he strongly implied, if not outright said, that Steven Hawking's ALS disease was the result of bad karmas -- and that suffering people need to learn from their mistakes in past lives.
I found this so insulting to Hawking and other people who suffer that, as you can read below, I called out "777" on his lack of compassion and deluded religiosity. I forgot to add that if he's so convinced that he's right, he should be using his real name in comments rather than hiding behind a pseudonym.
Here's our comment exchange, plus a right-on comment from JB who further demolished the rantings of "777."