Originally Posted by Reggae_Mangle
It's interesting to see how you've misinterpreted the workings of karma to construe it as something evil.
If I am rich and powerful and I wrong those that are weak, I will be served up a dish of karma to avenge my wrongdoings perhaps in this life, or perhaps in the next. There is always come-uppance for wrongs and just as likely reward for virtue, but not necessarily a timeframe.
If I fail to adhere to principles like dharma (virtuous living), I will no doubt be doomed to be reborn again and again, sometimes richer, sometimes poorer. After all, what does virtue have to do with how rich or poor people are? Some of the poor people I know are far more virtuous than the rich. And the opposite holds true as well.
AKA you can feel sorry for yourself, or you can pick yourself up and give it the old "college boy" try.
Thinking of it as a punishment system is just erroneous interpretation. In this case, the Western pop culture version is decidedly more accurate than your version.
I would shudder to try and explain Maya (illusion) with my skills. As in, it's all maya, baby, you can't take it with you, but hey hey, you're not going anywhere either haha :)
That's not my interpretation of karma. In particular societies that practice it, the powerful use karma to reinforce unjust social orders, which I suppose is nothing new for people and religion. This probably sounds very startling to someone who only knows the Disneyfied concept of karma, but the powerful have long used fatalistic concepts like karma to justify their place over others.
Everyone believes they live a virtuous life and will look for ways to support that contention - even as they might ruthlessly exploit those under them - and religion will usually provide a basis for their justification.