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Author Topic: Are love spells ethical?  (Read 5504 times)

Castus

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Are love spells ethical?
« on: March 13, 2016, 09:49:01 am »
In your opinion, are love spells/charms/potions ethical in any sense? Where do magical workings intersect with free will?

Asking for a friend.

Darkhawk

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2016, 12:12:56 pm »
Quote from: Castus;188018
In your opinion, are love spells/charms/potions ethical in any sense? Where do magical workings intersect with free will?

Asking for a friend.

 
Well, that depends on what someone means by "love spell", doesn't it?

"Love spells" is a broad category, that can be interpreted to include attempts to present oneself more attractively in various ways, to slant the odds in favour of meeting someone compatible, to compel attention, to compel attention from a specific person, to compel compliance from a specific person.

Some people believe that actions taken by magical means should be evaluated differently than actions taken by other means.  I believe that those people are very, very wrong.

A glamour has the same ethical value as makeup and cleaning up nice.

A generalised "I'm interested in someone, someone be interested in me" has the same ethical value as opening up a dating profile, joining activities where one might meet interesting people, and so on.

A spell to make people in general pay more attention to one can range from joining the Toastmasters, spiffing up one's wardrobe, or going to therapy to work on social anxiety issues through standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board and shouting political opinions through a bullhorn to talking loudly in a movie theater to setting things on fire on the public street.

To grab someone's specific attention can range from a specific targeted flirt through that kid sitting behind someone in elementary school pulling their hair all the time to being a stalker.

There aren't really a whole lot of benign alternatives for "I want to comepl a specific person's attention and force them to respond with love/sex/attention"; the range kind of starts in 'when people do that by physical means we typically call it rape andor partner abuse'.  I rather suspect that the reason people want to make exceptions to their ethical code for spells at this level and nature is that they don't believe they work.  It's not systemtically destroying someone's mind and will so they can't believe they have other options in life or coercing sex, it's just burning the candle and saying the words, that can't be as bad.  But the desired effect is the same, so the basic difference is that abusers are competent with their tools and people who want to use love spells to duplicate abuse effects aren't.
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 12:02:55 am »
Quote from: Castus;188018
In your opinion, are love spells/charms/potions ethical in any sense? Where do magical workings intersect with free will?

Asking for a friend.


Thats a hard question. Like I practice sympathetic magic (I found it is called) and do spells to help my fathers declining health. Am I messing with destiny as one free will, no.

Im just praying. Same as love spells. If you are doing a spell for yourself to bring someone to you, that doesnt mess with the other persons choice.

Then you have to understand spells arent like Harry Potter and Charmed. So, if you want to do a spell on someone to attract them to you, youre not sending the magic power of some sort to poof the person to like you. Youre directing your prayers on a person just as you would an object.

Its a prayer. Nothing wrong with that.


Spells no more help someone get a job anymore than it does bring love.

Actions should be the spells. Rituals, magic, and the like commentary to them. Cant get a job without a resume. Cant find someone without "getting out there"

Look beyond the spells as magic. Apply them to your everyday life rather than isolation.

Then you see you dont affect another persons choice by thinking about it with candles in your room: thats for your spiritual health. You affect the person by how you interact with them.

That and if you mean free will by christian definition, then no. We are free to make our own decisions, unlike christianity, we dont have the same god of abraham to which our decisions come from.

Faemon

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 03:50:12 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;188023
Some people believe that actions taken by magical means should be evaluated differently than actions taken by other means.  I believe that those people are very, very wrong.

(...)

There aren't really a whole lot of benign alternatives for "I want to comepl a specific person's attention and force them to respond with love/sex/attention"; the range kind of starts in 'when people do that by physical means we typically call it rape andor partner abuse'.  I rather suspect that the reason people want to make exceptions to their ethical code for spells at this level and nature is that they don't believe they work.  

It's not systemtically destroying someone's mind and will so they can't believe they have other options in life or coercing sex, it's just burning the candle and saying the words, that can't be as bad.

 
The reason I personally believe that actions undertaken through magical means should be evaluated differently than mundane means is simple: These are different means.

And I'm speaking as someone who grew up "sensitive", and maybe that was to other people's ethereal whamajicallit, or I call it ethereal whamajicallit because it might just be the way I parse mundane sensory overload. I've also had my mind and will systematically destroyed so that I didn't believe that I had many other options, and I'm still exploring the overlap between the mundane abuse and the spellwork-world resonance, so I'm not discounting that there would be overlap.

But I'd say the benign alternative to "I want to compel a specific person's attention and force them to respond with love/sex/attention" is often...the admission that one wants to compel a specific person's attention so much that they would actively coerce the responses listed. Which is different than active coercion. Especially after clarifying that, active coercion is not necessarily step two. In my experience, the way that motive comes out that way is more often when someone doesn't admit that that's what they want or what they're doing.

The mundane equivalent of burning a pink candle and reciting a bad rhyme is, obviously, burning a pink candle and reciting a bad rhyme. The force of that motive has gone into melted wax and a sore throat.

Quote
the desired effect is the same, so the basic difference is that abusers are competent with their tools and people who want to use love spells to duplicate abuse effects aren't.


While it's tempting to take an abuser and rip out the seeds and roots of the insatiable entitlement planted in their heart of hearts, I've got to say that's not anybody else's prerogative but the caster's. If we prioritize effect over intention in our ethics, then love spells fitting the definition of abuse depends on how love spells operate as much as how they apply.

For instance, I believe that enacting a target love spell (as opposed to a glamour love spell, or a fate-rush love spell) works this way: Such a spell would require a connection with the target for that to be effective. If the caster had any such connection to their target's true nature, they would sense why it's a no-go on the spellwork-world level. To know why it's a no-go and still make the attempt to patch it would call for a complete transformation on the innate nature and position in the otherworldly cosmos that the caster has, which...first, ego would nag that it's not worth it; second, it starts by clarifying the statement of intention and then looking at one's own life and pondering one's own choices. If the caster isn't changing themselves but straight-out acting on the rewiring of their target, they're rewiring the illusionary image of their target that they constructed from inside their own mind.

Maybe if we worked backwards, examine the mundane abuser's toolbox, we'll find spellwork-world equivalents that would explain magical direct effects in the cases or within the metaphysical models that target love spells are effective. Until then, or until spellwork becomes less of a mystery and more of a phenomenon of regular enough manifestation to trace the effect, I'm just more inclined to go on believing that they aren't. (And finding more of a parallel to the legalization of pornography correllating to a decrease in sex offenses, than condoning street harassment "because it's ineffective" instead of recognizing it as an effective microaggression grown from misogynistic attitudes that would also be condoned.)

0.) That ideals such as personal agency and a fulfilling relationship between equals are orthogonal to factual mechanics. That is, a person shouldn't press their suit on someone whom the pursuer already knows isn't inclined to reciprocate; this does not mean they cannot. I'm out at this point, believing--with a lot of fine print--that if someone would be shallow enough to try something like a love spell, they must not have metaphysical knowledge deep enough that the attempt would succeed.

1.) The social landscape has structures that would generate the dynamic of the second aspect.

2.) The expectations are compatible and that compatibility is reinforced. (The abuser can control their persona to come off as desirable and charming.)

3.) The target's psychology can be groomed into susceptibility and the consequences of their active agency minimized in favor of the abuser (who themselves are likely acting on some socially conditioned or psychological predisposition. Either way...) The abuser exploits a growing power differential on the social and psychological level.
Corollary: the target, indeed many potential targets, could nope out with varying degrees of difficulty, because the pressure or manipulation came on too fast or too noticeably on the level of individual interaction, or because the reinforcement of compatibility shifted (so, more people around them notice that an abuser is abusing and are more empowered to call it out).
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Faemon

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2016, 07:47:53 am »
Quote from: Faemon;188061
The mundane equivalent of burning a pink candle and reciting a bad rhyme is, obviously, burning a pink candle and reciting a bad rhyme. The force of that motive has gone into melted wax and a sore throat.

 
TL;DR, I encourage love spells because if someone feels entitled to a specific someone else's romantic attention, then ritual enactment could be one way to get over it without actually involving anyone else.
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2016, 12:40:14 pm »
Quote from: Faemon;188066
TL;DR, I encourage love spells because if someone feels entitled to a specific someone else's romantic attention, then ritual enactment could be one way to get over it without actually involving anyone else.

 
Which depends for its effectuality on the spell not acting as intended by the person casting it.

Even if your magical theory is correct that is still a case of "not competent with the tool".
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2016, 12:41:03 pm »
Quote from: Castus;188018
In your opinion, are love spells/charms/potions ethical in any sense? Where do magical workings intersect with free will?

Asking for a friend.
If you are doing a ritual or spell to attract a lover to you then it is absolutely ethical.

However, if you are deliberately trying to manipulate the feelings of a specific person who may not be interested in you, then you are effectively bypassing their will.
You would be forcing someone to love you who does not love you.

Sounds a lot like rape, doesn't it.

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2016, 01:16:41 pm »
Quote from: FreeSpirit;188050
That and if you mean free will by christian definition, then no. We are free to make our own decisions, unlike christianity, we dont have the same god of abraham to which our decisions come from.

Would you mind expanding a bit on that? I'm not quite sure what you mean, as I'm pretty sure that the definition of free will in Christianity, if not all the Abrahamic religions, is exactly what it says on the tin: i.e. Free will. Please correct me if I'm wrong though--I know Christianity the best, and admittedly I don't know it well enough to say for certain.

(Also, OP is exploring Judaism and has an affinity for the Abrahamic God, just so you know :whis:).
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 01:17:30 pm by HarpingHawke »
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2016, 04:56:00 pm »
Quote from: HarpingHawke;188075
Would you mind expanding a bit on that? I'm not quite sure what you mean, as I'm pretty sure that the definition of free will in Christianity, if not all the Abrahamic religions, is exactly what it says on the tin: i.e. Free will. Please correct me if I'm wrong though--I know Christianity the best, and admittedly I don't know it well enough to say for certain.

(Also, OP is exploring Judaism and has an affinity for the Abrahamic God, just so you know :whis:).


Oh. Thank you for the Judaism note. I dont think the gods of Paganism really worry about free will just that we make good decisions.  Its not like Christianity where god let adam and eve sin so they learn good from bad (gave them free will).

I dont see free will as learning from good and bad. My free will lets me choose good options while in Christianity, it allows them to choose bad options (hence the need to be saved). I dont have that need. Im not inheritedly bad.

In Judaism, though, they as far as I know, they dont believe in inherited sin. So, Free Will as the choice to do bad as god allowed isnt part of the scenary. Its more they are inheritedly good and they fell into their temptations and from there we have temptations but still are children of god.

The christian form of free will I dont agree with. The Judaism view makes more sense.

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2016, 06:53:40 pm »
Quote from: FreeSpirit;188082
I dont think the gods of Paganism really worry about free will just that we make good decisions.


Since paganism is not a religion, but a large and diverse movement comprised of many different religions, this is a meaningless phrase. When one is speaking of the vast array of deities honored by the religions and individuals that fall under the umbrella of 'paganism', saying 'the gods of the pagan religions' or even 'pagan deities' is much less inaccurate.

I'm also very leery about making such a sweeping generalization about their motivations and concerns. Certainly in my own experience I've encountered some that care very deeply about free will - and others that aren't all that concerned about whether humans make 'good' decisions, or who have mutually-exclusive definitions about what kind of human decisions they consider 'good'.

Quote
Its not like Christianity where god let adam and eve sin so they learn good from bad (gave them free will).

I dont see free will as learning from good and bad. My free will lets me choose good options while in Christianity, it allows them to choose bad options (hence the need to be saved). I dont have that need. Im not inheritedly bad.

In Judaism, though, they as far as I know, they dont believe in inherited sin. So, Free Will as the choice to do bad as god allowed isnt part of the scenary. Its more they are inheritedly good and they fell into their temptations and from there we have temptations but still are children of god.

The christian form of free will I dont agree with. The Judaism view makes more sense.

 
Please cite sources to indicate that this position on/definition of 'free will' is an accepted theological (i.e., scholarly, not just 'what kids are told in Sunday School') one, and held by enough of the many Christian denominations that it's reasonable to state as the position/definition used by Christianity generally.

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Castus

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2016, 08:30:23 pm »
Thank you all for your considered responses.

Quote from: FreeSpirit;188050
That and if you mean free will by christian definition, then no. We are free to make our own decisions, unlike christianity, we dont have the same god of abraham to which our decisions come from.

 
Quote from: FreeSpirit;188082
Oh. Thank you for the Judaism note. I dont think the gods of Paganism really worry about free will just that we make good decisions.  Its not like Christianity where god let adam and eve sin so they learn good from bad (gave them free will).

I dont see free will as learning from good and bad. My free will lets me choose good options while in Christianity, it allows them to choose bad options (hence the need to be saved). I dont have that need. Im not inheritedly bad.

In Judaism, though, they as far as I know, they dont believe in inherited sin. So, Free Will as the choice to do bad as god allowed isnt part of the scenary. Its more they are inheritedly good and they fell into their temptations and from there we have temptations but still are children of god.

The christian form of free will I dont agree with. The Judaism view makes more sense.

 
Your comments re: love spells are appreciated, but I confess that your comments re: Christianity are baffling. Christians, as a general rule but not always, believe in complete free will. This means that the choice to do good or evil rests entirely within the scope of human agency. However many Christian denominations -- notably the Catholic Church, whose view on the subject was shaped by St Augustine -- also believe in the fallen state of man; and that Man is inherently sinful and therefore predisposed to sin, wrongdoing, and temptation as a result of inheriting the effects of Original Sin from Adam and Eve. Because of the effects of free will, though, people can still freely choose to either submit to their sinful nature, or to do good, etc.

But where certain Christian denominations embrace a rather expansive view of free will, Judaism is actually less supportive of the concept from a historical standpoint. That isn't to say that Judaism as a whole rejects free will -- on the contrary, free will is quintessentially Jewish -- but rather that there is a much more prevalent role for determinism in Jewish tradition. In the Torah God is clearly shown intervening freely in human affairs and occasionally signifying predetermined events, as well as famously hardening the Pharaoh's heart (and later those of others, such as the King of the Amorites) against Israel -- completely denying them, specifically, free will. God's relation to free will is therefore slightly more contentious as to how, exactly, it works in Judaism and a variety of responses arose, especially in Medieval times. There are also certain strains of Hasidic Judaism which deny free will entirely, as this lovely passage I found demonstrates:

From the Baal‑Shem Tov…there is a parable of a person who decided to test his wife, so he made himself appear to her as a sea captain, and grabbed her and enticed her. But she refused, until he forced her to agree to him. Afterwards, she came to him with a broken heart and revealed the matter to him. Her husband then said to her, "It was I, and you never committed adultery with another." Thus shall God clarify the sins of Israel, that all was from God. And so I heard from our Master, Teacher, and Rabbi, Blessed be his memory, from Izbica, the interpretation of the verse, "You were rebellious with God (Deuteronomy 9:8)," for it should have said, "against God." But the meaning is that God will make it clear that when we were rebellious it was also with God, and from Him it issued. (Pri Zaddiq, 4.236-237)

Jabberwocky

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2016, 05:50:08 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;188023
A generalised "I'm interested in someone, someone be interested in me" has the same ethical value as opening up a dating profile, joining activities where one might meet interesting people, and so on.

A spell to make people in general pay more attention to one can range from joining the Toastmasters, spiffing up one's wardrobe, or going to therapy to work on social anxiety issues through standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board and shouting political opinions through a bullhorn to talking loudly in a movie theater to setting things on fire on the public street.

I agree that there's nothing unethical about it, but I often find people bypass the second part and just cast the spell and sit back.  Or are often ignoring the actual issue; a lot of people I come across who cast this kind of spell really should be casting a spell to help with their self confidence. Or possibly just having more regular baths.

Quote
I rather suspect that the reason people want to make exceptions to their ethical code for spells at this level and nature is that they don't believe they work.  It's not systemtically destroying someone's mind and will so they can't believe they have other options in life or coercing sex, it's just burning the candle and saying the words, that can't be as bad.  But the desired effect is the same, so the basic difference is that abusers are competent with their tools and people who want to use love spells to duplicate abuse effects aren't.

That's certainly part of it, but I think there's a lot of self-justification that goes on.  "I know she has feelings for me, I'm just helping her recognise that". "His partner is bad for him so I'm actually helping him out of the situation by making him fall for me".  It's all selfserving bullshit, naturally.  But it allows people to pretend they aren't the bad guys.

On the other hand, back in the day I did once think it was a clever idea to give Eris management of my love life. That was an interesting year or so.  But that's not so much unethical as it is "wait, I did fucking what? What was I thinking?"
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 05:54:49 pm by Morag »
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Darkhawk

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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2016, 07:02:30 pm »
Quote from: Jabberwocky;188560
That's certainly part of it, but I think there's a lot of self-justification that goes on.  "I know she has feelings for me, I'm just helping her recognise that". "His partner is bad for him so I'm actually helping him out of the situation by making him fall for me".  It's all selfserving bullshit, naturally.  But it allows people to pretend they aren't the bad guys.

 
Or, "Well, it wouldn't work if there wasn't a real connection there".
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2016, 08:09:19 pm »
Quote from: Castus;188018
In your opinion, are love spells/charms/potions ethical in any sense? Where do magical workings intersect with free will?

Asking for a friend.

Serious question: Do we have free will - or is "free will" an illusion? How many times does our behavior fail to comport w/our intentions - our desires? So many people are unhappy in life because things do not turn out as they would like. Quentin Crisp once said that happiness does not consist of getting what one wants but of liking what one has. I took him at his word and found that he was quite right: so, there is no ethical violation in magic if one's object is oneself and not others, but trying to change others w/o their consent, well, yes, that would be unethical - & unlikely to happen in any good way, if it were to happen at all. No, one must work on oneself - not others - & one can get good results only if one does not violate one's innate nature: there is no point in trying to become who & what & how one is not. To give Mr Crisp's example, it's no use wanting to be a ballet dancer after 30 years of being a pig farmer; after 30 years of farming pigs, pigs are your style ... Embrace your pork!
« Last Edit: March 20, 2016, 08:10:30 pm by DIASPORA-1963 »
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Re: Are love spells ethical?
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2016, 08:25:03 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;188023
Well, that depends on what someone means by "love spell", doesn't it?

"Love spells" is a broad category, that can be interpreted to include attempts to present oneself more attractively in various ways, to slant the odds in favour of meeting someone compatible, to compel attention, to compel attention from a specific person, to compel compliance from a specific person.

Some people believe that actions taken by magical means should be evaluated differently than actions taken by other means.  I believe that those people are very, very wrong.

A glamour has the same ethical value as makeup and cleaning up nice.

A generalised "I'm interested in someone, someone be interested in me" has the same ethical value as opening up a dating profile, joining activities where one might meet interesting people, and so on.

A spell to make people in general pay more attention to one can range from joining the Toastmasters, spiffing up one's wardrobe, or going to therapy to work on social anxiety issues through standing on a street corner wearing a sandwich board and shouting political opinions through a bullhorn to talking loudly in a movie theater to setting things on fire on the public street.

To grab someone's specific attention can range from a specific targeted flirt through that kid sitting behind someone in elementary school pulling their hair all the time to being a stalker.

There aren't really a whole lot of benign alternatives for "I want to comepl a specific person's attention and force them to respond with love/sex/attention"; the range kind of starts in 'when people do that by physical means we typically call it rape andor partner abuse'.  I rather suspect that the reason people want to make exceptions to their ethical code for spells at this level and nature is that they don't believe they work.  It's not systemtically destroying someone's mind and will so they can't believe they have other options in life or coercing sex, it's just burning the candle and saying the words, that can't be as bad.  But the desired effect is the same, so the basic difference is that abusers are competent with their tools and people who want to use love spells to duplicate abuse effects aren't.

 
Interesting.
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Of course dressing in a unique way will cut down on the number of "hits" one gets - but, so what? A single genuine "hit" is worth thousands of false ones.
From the top of the head to the soles of the feet, everything should add up to "ME".
This is Lesser Magic, of course - but of the most indirect kind: it is directed at the World in general: "Here I am as I am, like me or not!"
MARK aka CELLVLANVS MAGVS
OMNIA DEPENDET!

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