A user asked this question on karma and rape on Hinduism SE but it was heavily downvoted by users, then closed and deleted. Users there argued that such questions justify rape. I on the other hand thought it's a philosophical question on how the karma theory actually works and closing/deleting such questions because it might reflect badly on the religion is censorship.

Title: Are both pleasure experienced by a rapist and the pain by the victim the result of their previous karma?

Body: Is it really possible for someone to merely wish to perform papa (or punya) and then proceed to do it? E.g., if one person likes to do papa, he can go and rape a woman. However, the desire to rape someone should also arise. If he has the opportunity to rape someone but doesn't have the desire, it won't work. So, both the situation and the desire should arise.

Scripture says each and every situation is due to karma phala (karmic reward). One cannot harm another person who doesn't have that kind of papa in their account (e.g., a girl's karma account in case of a rape). If a man really has the opportunity and the desire to rape a girl it simply means that the girl's karma phala is allowing the act of rape to happen.

Also, according to scripture, each and every enjoyment presupposes punya and at the time of rape, if one gets pleasure it must be due to his previously accumulated punya. Without punya, he cannot really enjoy the act. So is he really committing a sin and gaining new papa or simply using up the punya already in his account?

If I were to ask the same question on this site, will it be allowed or closed/deleted for the same reason?

I also noticed this site doesn't have the tag. Is there any particular reason for this?

  • does the same argument hold for e.g. sadistic murder? if so, why not ask that? most religions (take e.g. ancient greece) are a little off with 'rape', so the question reads badly. i think we've learnt, since, that people have a right to turn down sex
    – user38026
    Oct 6, 2019 at 14:19

2 Answers 2


I'd say that since the very point you are making could be made with less extreme an example, you actually should use something less offensive.

As I understand it, you attempt some kind of reductio ad absurdum by showing that if a bad guy can enjoy his bad actions and an innocent person suffers greatly, the karmic school runs against our intuitions since it would mean that both of them "deserved" their due share in that situation.

Why not telling a story of bad persons (someone we would think to have bad karma) thoroughly enjoying his bad life exploiting and torturing their slaves? Slaves who, according to karmic tradition, are in that situation only because of their karma?

I think that would mirror your concerns less offensively since it doesn't (or less likely does) involve people who actually have lived through that and blame themselves for it.

That being said, the expertise for answering that question should be found on Hinduism.SE rather than here, but if the offensiveness is taken out, I see no immediate reason not to accept it here as well. Just take care not to cross-post.

  • Agree, the same argument holds true with a different and less offensive example. However, the question was deleted on Hinduism SE even after making the changes you suggested here. See these edits by a mod there.
    – user20010
    Oct 7, 2019 at 19:36

The reason why there is no karma tag is perhaps because no one with 150 reputation has created one for a question. Or possibly someone had created the tag in the past but only one question was created in a six month period and the tag was deleted.

If you do end up considering to create a tag after getting 150 reputation don't forget to write the tag wiki information for it. However, I think this question falls best under theology, philosophy-of-religion or ethics. You might read questions under those tags to see if you agree.

The actual question seems to me to be associated more with Hinduism than philosophy because it takes for granted that karma exists within a specific religious tradition. Still, you might ask this by rewriting it as a series of questions starting with how karma relates to ethical or metaphysical views. Then focus on those ethical or metaphysical views not on karma as it is expressed in Hinduism.

Rewrite your question with the assumption that most people on this SE know very little about Hinduism or karma and they have little interest in either one of them. However, you may assume that they are interested in ethical or metaphysical theories and they would be interested in writing answers to such questions.

Also, generally on these SE sites, I would not ask more than one question per day in this series of questions. Wait for answers or comments and then build the next question upon the previous response. If the question is not well-received this will give you a chance to think about how to improve the next question.

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