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Author Topic: Magic Morality  (Read 2964 times)

DancesWithHorses

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Magic Morality
« on: February 03, 2013, 09:05:04 am »
We're having an open discussion  on magic morality at my local Pagan club's next meeting discussing the dubiously moral implications of spell work, karma, sacrifice/offerings, freewill etc. in different religions and comparing each to others.

It's hopefully going to be a very good discussion. How do you view this topic?
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Darkhawk

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2013, 11:37:15 am »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
It's hopefully going to be a very good discussion. How do you view this topic?

 
If it's wrong to do it with physical means, it's wrong to do it with magic.

If it's okay to do it with physical means, it's okay to do it with magic.

People who think differently scare me.
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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2013, 11:53:00 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;94890
If it's wrong to do it with physical means, it's wrong to do it with magic.

If it's okay to do it with physical means, it's okay to do it with magic.

People who think differently scare me.

 
This is absolutely my thoughts with one addendum:  sometimes it's not a choice between right and wrong but between bad and worse.  Life isn't fair and when pushed into a corner I will fight to survive.  My moral standpoint is:  if I am going to do something, I should be prepared to suffer the consequences of said action.  If I am not willing, then I shouldn't do it.

What irks me most is people who are very verbal about their moral codes, constantly talking about them (especially if they expect everyone else to follow their rules), BUT when you look at their actions, they don't act in accordance with their own code.
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DancesWithHorses

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2013, 03:10:08 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;94890
If it's wrong to do it with physical means, it's wrong to do it with magic.

If it's okay to do it with physical means, it's okay to do it with magic.

People who think differently scare me.


:o Took me like a minute to understand this... having a slow day. But I do agree!
 
Quote from: Kylara;94898
This is absolutely my thoughts with one addendum:  sometimes it's not a choice between right and wrong but between bad and worse.  Life isn't fair and when pushed into a corner I will fight to survive.  My moral standpoint is:  if I am going to do something, I should be prepared to suffer the consequences of said action.  If I am not willing, then I shouldn't do it.

What irks me most is people who are very verbal about their moral codes, constantly talking about them (especially if they expect everyone else to follow their rules), BUT when you look at their actions, they don't act in accordance with their own code.

 
Excellent post. I definitely agree with taking personal responsibility. Also irked by that. I've heard some rather questionable stuff.
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Cabal

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2013, 03:25:25 pm »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
We're having an open discussion  on magic morality at my local Pagan club's next meeting discussing the dubiously moral implications of spell work, karma, sacrifice/offerings, freewill etc. in different religions and comparing each to others.

It's hopefully going to be a very good discussion. How do you view this topic?

 
I would say that any magic done to directly hurt or harm someone, I would deem immoral.
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RandallS

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2013, 07:17:28 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;94890
If it's wrong to do it with physical means, it's wrong to do it with magic.

If it's okay to do it with physical means, it's okay to do it with magic.

Exactly what Darkhawk said. I've never understood why magic action needed a different set of moral rules than mundane action. Of course, I've never understood people who thought what was moral when done for business purposes could be different than what was moral when done for non-business purposes either.
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Tana

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 04:48:10 am »
Quote from: Cryfder;94938
I would say that any magic done to directly hurt or harm someone, I would deem immoral.


Life's not that easy and just black and white. Gods would it be easy, if it was.

I can imagine - without thinking hard - of a handful of situations, where I wouldn't feel the least bit immoral to hurt/harm someone via magic. That would be any case of someone abusing his power (physical or social) to hurt me or mine.

But then I neither believe that 'Karma is going to get them', if you want to get stuff done, you have to do it yourself.
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veggiewolf

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2013, 11:16:56 am »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
We're having an open discussion  on magic morality at my local Pagan club's next meeting discussing the dubiously moral implications of spell work, karma, sacrifice/offerings, freewill etc. in different religions and comparing each to others.

It's hopefully going to be a very good discussion. How do you view this topic?

 
My take is two-part.  First, I agree with Darkhawk's assessment.  If I wouldn't do it physically, why would I do it magically?

However, deeming what is right and what is wrong isn't cut-and-dried.  Something that many people think is "wrong" may actually be "right" in some instances.  

Simply put, I believe morality is fluid and situational.
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WanderingWaters2011

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2013, 12:52:31 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;94890
If it's wrong to do it with physical means, it's wrong to do it with magic.

If it's okay to do it with physical means, it's okay to do it with magic.

People who think differently scare me.

 HMMM, I guess I can cautiously agree with this though,as others have noted, morality can get quite prickly when ones back is against the wall or in a desperate situation.

  It seems, however, the intended outcome of magical workings has been focused on here so far. Sometimes, the type of magic or ritual performed is questionable to some, regardless of intended outcome. I certainly know enough folks who will never understand why sacrificial  ebbo involving animals is sometimes needed in Lukumi rites to bring healing or to remove heavy magical or spiritual negativity. The moment an animal's blood is to be shed, they are OUT OF THERE. Especially if folks of other Traditions seem to be getting similar results from their workings without shedding blood, then the questions linger on why ANY Tradition would feel such a "need". Just do what these nice non blood thirsty folks over here are doing and lay off the chicken beheadings.

  Sometimes I think it is almost assumed in some cultures that a magical spiritual consciousness exists among a majority of the people, that almost any of that particular culture could have access to ways that heal and ways that harm....to wreck vengeance or protect against negative magic thrown your way and the wise one had best arm themselves magically for their own well being. So it is more taken for granted all types of different morality codes will exist within those wielding magic within that culture and all one can do is protect against the negative and continue doing what they perceive as morally right
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 12:55:37 am by WanderingWaters2011 »

Oaksworn

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2013, 01:26:16 am »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
How do you view this topic?


In general, I also agree with Darkhawk.  In fact, it's my guiding principle in spell work.  There are some situations that arise, though, in which it is necessary to take action magically in a manner that may not, on first glimpse, align with other stated morals.  Those are situations in which it becomes imperative to carefully examine the motivation behind the action you may take.  Case in point - bindings.  

Bindings are a tricky situation because you're essentially limiting, in some manner, the freedom of another being the exact nature of which is dependent on how you cast your spell.  To cast a binding just because you're angry with someone is a poor reason to do so.  To cast a binding to limit an abusive authority from taking unwarranted action against you and yours - that's a worthy reason.  So, sure, in either case it's the same action but the motivation behind the action is vastly different.
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Darkhawk

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2013, 08:35:51 am »
Quote from: Oaksworn;95171
So, sure, in either case it's the same action but the motivation behind the action is vastly different.

 
I think it worth noting that this is the case for a huge number of actions that are not magical as well.
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RandallS

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2013, 08:44:24 am »
Quote from: Oaksworn;95171
 To cast a binding just because you're angry with someone is a poor reason to do so.  To cast a binding to limit an abusive authority from taking unwarranted action against you and yours - that's a worthy reason.  So, sure, in either case it's the same action but the motivation behind the action is vastly different.

My "mundane morality applies to magic too" position doesn't have much trouble with this. Perhaps there is no mundane way to do X. So what? If I would consider mundane action to do X moral (even if there is no mundane action that would actually do X) in the specific situation, then magical action to do X is moral. (And vice-versa, of course.)
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Oaksworn

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 12:13:48 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;95182
I think it worth noting that this is the case for a huge number of actions that are not magical as well.

 
Quote from: RandallS;95184
My "mundane morality applies to magic too" position doesn't have much trouble with this.

 
Quite true in both cases, which was the point I was attempting to make.  For me, it's more about the motivation and intention in employing a particular tool, of which magic is but one option, or taking a particular action.  Being clear in my motivation and doing my best to act from a constructive posture rather than a destructive one makes life smoother for me.  I truly dislike who I have to become in order to act from a destructive point of view.

In some sense, this is how I view the Wiccan Rule of Three - in order to take a particular action, magical or mundane, you must first accept the vibration of that energy in your space - positive or negative, constructive or destructive.  It's not so much that some unnamed agency is magnifying and reflecting your spell back at you, it's that you are now embodying that particular vibration and broadcasting it out into the universe.  Like attracts like and so you bring that energy back to yourself.  The more you focus on it the stronger it becomes.


Rereading the above I realize that I may have just gone off on a tangent but I'm going to let the post stand as is because it does relate to morality and ethics, in my mind at least, because it attempts to explain the underpinnings as to why my viewpoint is what it is.
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outlaw393

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2013, 03:28:05 pm »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
We're having an open discussion  on magic morality at my local Pagan club's next meeting discussing the dubiously moral implications of spell work, karma, sacrifice/offerings, freewill etc. in different religions and comparing each to others.

It's hopefully going to be a very good discussion. How do you view this topic?


Personally, I don't believe in karma or the "rule of three". However, the only time I would approve of magic being used to harm is for self defense.

Other than that, no. :D:
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benvarry

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Re: Magic Morality
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2013, 07:56:30 am »
Quote from: DancesWithHorses;94872
How do you view this topic?

 
Just as human action is not uniformly guided by one set of ethical principles, neither should be magic.  It's presumptuous to assume that any individual or group knows what's Right and Wrong, and I think putting things on that kind of continuum is a source of great confusion for many.  Human experience is complex and mysterious, and our actions are only "good" or "bad" if we - or others - believe them to be.

That said, we are responsible for our own choices, and when doing magic, I think we are perfectly capable of judging for ourselves whether we've done something that aligns with our highest potential.  I used to cast "wish spells" from time to time, and they never really had much effect on me.  I finally realized that it wasn't because the spells weren't working; it was because my magic wasn't coming from the part of myself that I wanted to honor and grow from.  I don't want to be someone who can cast a spell to attract friends; I want to be someone who can cast a spell so that everyone I love (including myself) can know how much they are loved.

I guess that's not so much morality as it is... something else.  But I guess, in general, if we do magic with our "highest self," we will be as moral as we're ever going to be.

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