My World View – Magic

I suppose this one had to happen sooner or later. Life is odd, coincidence happens and we try to ascribe meaning to it. It’s silly really. Here I sit listening to A Saucerful Of Secrets ….

 

… when I happened to stumble across this post by Imbrocata talking about how Christians are deeply offended by billboards which say nothing more than atheists exist. Imbrocata links to a video by Phil Hellenes that is talking about the same thing.

 

 

I think that the real trouble here is magic. Let me be clear, I do not believe that magic, ghosts, demons etc. exist or can exist. The very idea that they can is, to me, ludicrous and dangerous. The trouble is that this is exactly what the adherents of the Abrahamic faiths believe in … magic, ghosts, demons, and the supernatural.

So that it is clear, I am saying that there has never been any credible witness to a suspension of the laws of nature. That is to say that no one has ever seen the laws of nature stop or temporarily change in some local area for anyone, for any reason. There has never been any credible evidence of this type of activity. Just the same, the adherents of Abrahamic faiths believe that these very things do happen all the time. In short, they believe in magic. Of course, the magic they believe in is good magic and anyone who doesn’t believe in their magic is a believer in black/bad magic, or someone under the spell of black magic. They believe in talking snakes and donkeys, global floods, the sun standing still, burning bushes that are not burned, raising people from death (zombies), that ritual blood sacrifice will affect the universe, that incantations will protect them from evil, and on and on.

The very fact that atheists exist means that there are demons in their neighborhood. That their friends and family are possessed by demons or worse, worship the black magic god. They are frightened to death that a demon is serving their food, fixing their car, handling their finances or even just breathing the same fresh spring air. They have been taught all their lives that the black magic god will possess them, trick them, coerce them away from their white magic god. They have been taught that the white magic god wants all witches dead; that he wants all who are not believers in their white magic god to die horribly forever; that they should kill those that don’t keep the laws of the white magic god because if they spend too much time with the black magic god, he will convert them. They are taught to literally fear anything that is not part of their system of white magic beliefs.

Despite the great work of James Randi, Penn and Teller, Harry Houdini and many more, these theists still believe in magic. The very fact that atheists exist validates and justifies their most irrational fears. We’re probably lucky that they are not hunting for witches in this day and age… oh wait, never mind.

Magic does not work, never has. It is this belief in magic, both good and bad, that makes the Abrahamic faiths some of the worst offenders and clearly the all time winners for being caustic to healthy, progressive societies.

Okay, tell me I’m wrong on this one. Tell me why I’ve missed the mark. Explain to me how belief in white magic is okay.

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  1. Very clearly and forcefully expressed. Great post – but with a single qualification: it only applies to fundamentalists, i.e. it is more accurate in the US and Saudi Arabia than in the UK and the rest of Europe.

    This post doesn’t apply to a lot of nominal adherents who attend weekly services out of a sense of social duty or pleasure, but who don’t actually believe in the magical aspects of the religion. They like the well-intentioned and beautiful bits, and just dismiss the supernatural bits as quaint, historically interesting, but out of date.

    You may say they aren’t actually followers of the Abrahamic religions, but they even include priests – covertly in some places, as expressed in Unamuno’s “San Manuel Bueno, Martir”, overtly in others like the Dutch Protestant ministers, 1 in 6 of whom are estimated to be atheists or agnostics.

    • I’d go with they thought that such people are deists and not of an Abrahamic faith, though they might attend such a church. Those that don’t believe but still support such churches are supporting those that do promote the belief in magic and I find this to be a bad thing.

    • Apollodorosh
    • May 19th, 2012

    Couldn’t agree more. Magic(k) (or in whatever weird way one wishes to spell it) does not exist, and the attempt to practice magic is hubristic and downright irreligious.

    • I concur. It’s the practising of magic that makes some religions dangerous. There may be a tiny bit more to making them dangerous, but it seems only those practising magic end up being dangerous to society.

        • Apollodorosh
        • May 19th, 2012

        Hmm, I’m not sure about that. Wicca is rather harmless (and I mean real Wicca and not the fluff bunny eclectic neopaganism that THINKS it’s Wicca) and magic is a part of their path. And every religion has an inherent potential to be taken to extremes. Although off course some are more prone to extremism, especially if they are exclusivist.

        • I’m going to ‘meditate’ on magic and danger with regard to my thoughts and see if I can do another post on why I think the Abrahamic faiths are dangerous. As I indicated, it’s not just the magic, but some other bits that lead to extremism which make them dangerous.

          The fact that if your not in their ‘in group’ you are deemed to be of ‘bad magic’ and thus an enemy is what I think at the heart of the matter here. I should be able to express it more clearly though and consider alternative explanations. Liberal Christians or deist Christians are not extreme and there should be an understanding of why this is.

          I’ve got to mow the yard today and some other chores, that should give me some time to mull it over and get another post out for tomorrow.

          Thanks for the comments.

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