the ethical argument in favour of belief in magic

Witches like Starhawk think that when you cast a spell you have to become the energy you create which is why malicious magic will backfire. You are inviting harmful forces in and making neutral/good forces harmful. You have to identify as if you are the other person in order to implement the spell. For example, the energy to work right needs you to put yourself in the place of the other so you know what to do better. So the idea is that the spell does more on you than it does on the other person.  In magical theory, all things are ultimately one so you are ultimately that person beside you who you harm.  So magic and avoiding harm seem to be linked.

Some who want us to believe in magic say we cannot have real belief in ethics or take ethics seriously unless we wed magic to ethics.

Is it true that we cannot have real belief in ethics unless we believe in magic?

There are two theories of ethics.

There are people who say some things are always wrong regardless of the consequences and others who say that it depends on the consequences. Some will say that having sex outside marriage is always sinful even if you need to do it to save the world. Those who measure the rightness of an act by its consequences will say it is not sinful then.

The consequences doctrine is the correct one. Even if stealing is wrong it is not that wrong if it is done for good enough reasons or to bring about enough good results. It is the intention that must be considered.

You can do something intending good results and it can end in disaster. You cannot control everything that will happen as a result of your actions. We are often terrible at telling what is for the best.

This leads some to surmise, "To have an ethic, we must project magic into our good works so that they will ultimately be for the best and so that we can be sure that we have done the right thing even if appearances say otherwise. That solves the problem of how focusing on consequences could be right when we can be bad at judging how an action will turn out."

But this only encourages recklessness. If magic looks after the results or if God does (God by definition tolerates the intolerable meaning evil for a good reason that justifies putting up with it) then why put too much thought into anything. Just intend the best and go for it and let it sort itself out. This is lethal unless magic or God really do take control.

It is not true that we can abide by laws because we believe in magic. 

We are told that, Psychic power does not guarantee an unusually charmed life or a long life or even salvation from death. It works with natural law and does not take over it. But the blessings invoked if possible will always take place. That is to say, though your life on earth might not have been unusually great, your entire existence and all your lives (over several incarnations) will tell a different story. Overall it will have been a delight! Doing magic to get great blessings and not following this up with efforts to get these blessings means you are more interested in fantasising than getting the blessings. And you cannot blame the magic if you get nothing because you didn't really intend it to bring you the blessings.

If people swallow that they will never know if magic works or is a waste of time. You could substitute anything for psychic power - maybe kaballah water or snake oil. And if it is true that people can do magic and still have a horrible life then clearly magic is rubbish and it is not right to manipulate people to go into denial about this.

They say, If you want the blessings you invoke through love, you still have to work for them. The blessings give you the strength to go for what you want.

Self-confidence would be enough. Using magic would mean that if you feel confident that this confidence is not your work but is magic. Self-confidence would be better. Doing magic as a substitute for it is laziness.

What about bad magic? 

If you fear it, believers in magic will tell you, As long as we love ourselves properly and love each other strongly it will have no power over us. Bad magic is not really bad. It is just good magic in the wrong place and the wrong time. Evil is just the wrong good not the opposite of good. We must correct the harmful magic that people do.

This is a trick and seeks to blame your misfortune on how you respond to being the target of harmful magic. So if you get cancer it is your fault. It is cruel. Those who are not upset by this philosophy are enablers of it though they may not take it seriously enough for it to get to them.

Suppose magical theory is true. Then affirmations are statements you can use to program the universe to bless you. All kinds of affirmations do magic. In Church, Christians affirm that God alone must have the glory. This is harmful magic. Nobody has the right to turn away from beings they see and touch and love to favour a being who is just a guess. Do not favour a being whose existence you cannot know for sure over yourself or the other people you know. If we go to Church to counteract the negative forces of religion by our power, we are in effect making ourselves see negativity. We are embracing negativity and trying to damage ourselves. We don't need to do that. We can use our powers better by staying away from the Church. We can help better then.

Magic believers preach, you can use your magic power to work with the magic power of a sick person to effect a healing. No method of healing is to be treated as a substitute for going to the doctor. It is vital that the healer and the person seeking healing get to know each other first and that they feel comfortable with one another.

Again if magic can assist medical science, then it can and should work without medical help. The advice to go to the doctor is just magic believers encouraging people to go to the doctor and give the credit or some of it to medical science for any improvement in health.

If you have to go to the doctor, that contradicts the teaching that magic heals. To be consistent, believers should say, "Going to the doctor is up to you for it is only an option. It is not important." If magic helps medical science to function better then it is more powerful than medical science. The magic should get the credit not the medicine.

The healing if any is just placebo and caused by the person developing a happier frame of mind. The healer must diagnose harmful beliefs - God, religion, bigotry and the fear of Hell etc - and suggest a method for dealing with them. They need to be transformed into faith in the divinity and self-determination of the self. Otherwise healing will be short-term or not happen. The successful healing of a person who has dangerous beliefs might happen because negative feelings are setting her or him up for a fall. The higher the level you fall from the worse the fall will be. Attempting to be healed without discarding the negative power of harmful belief can be dangerous. It is trying to embrace the healing power of the placebo effect and emptying it of its efficacy. It's limbo.

It is said that if people use magic to win lovers they will be dissatisfied and surmise that the lovers do not love them for them but because a spell is making them love. But it would be answered that we are talking about real love here. If you do a spell for real love that is what you will get. It is the spell's job to help the person see and feel that you are wonderful and lovable and that way it helps another to love you. A love spell that was an attempt to force another to love you would not be a love spell at all! Love spells work towards having you loved because of you. If you would say the person who loves you loves you because of a spell and not you that is putting yourself down. It is a negative affirmation. If you can say that, you can also say that they love you because of your beauty or intelligence or career and not you.

Read that carefully. It admits that real love happens because it should and not because of magic and then tells you to do magic to make it happen! Love spells are black magic! They are nonsense and hypocrisy. And if love spells are rubbish then who is going to bother with magic? Love is what motivates the huge majority of magic devotees to even bother with it.

Suppose you do protection spells. If somebody does a lot of magical work to keep safe and then gets drunk and ends up in A & E magic believers will come up with the following callous and disgusting excuse, "The spells worked. But he was reckless and in being reckless he was undoing the spells. He was fighting the protection spell with a reverse spell." Nobody has the right to insinuate such a thing unless they have proof that the protection spells were efficacious.

Magic, despite its lack of ethics in principle, is a more ethical way of helping people than prayer. It is sort of trying to do something for them – it is attempting to send power out to enfold them in love and hold them and protect them. Prayer is doing nothing for God cannot be advised what to do or be influenced by us like he was imperfect.

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