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Author Topic: Special Discussion: An It Harm None, Do What You Will  (Read 21258 times)
RandallS
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« Topic Start: April 17, 2010, 08:00:29 am »


*** MOD HAT ON ***Dragonfaerie wrote this introductory post and will be monitoring this special topic discussion.

I don't know for sure, but I like to think that the founders of Wicca did not mean to cause so much controversy with eight little words. Or maybe they did... my own teacher likes to give her students exercises that push you out of your comfort zone and make you think.

If I had to blame anyone for the controversies, I'd blame anyone who thinks "Harm None" makes a catchy sound-bite ethic to put on merchandise. The Rede does NOT say "Harm None". Nor is it some pan-Pagan ethical statement. This is a Wiccan ethical statement, one which I personally believe refers to everything I do inside and outside the circle (but other Wiccans may disagree).

Harm none, well, that's impossible. No matter how you define harm, a human can't get through her day without causing some sort of damage to something else. To heal an infection, you have to harm bacteria. To eat, you have to kill something (plant, animal, Twinkie, etc). If you use electricity that wasn't generated by your own rooftop solar panel, you're harming the environment to some degree.

Harm none might sound cute, and it might be easy to explain to non-Pagan friends who want to know everything about Wicca in 50 words or less, but it simply isn't what the Rede says, and I don't care what Big Name Pagan Author might be saying otherwise.

What does the Rede actually say? It says that actions which do not cause harm are fine. "No harm, no foul", you might say. And that's it. It doesn't tell us what harm means, or what a harmful action is. Nor does it define "will".

So let's define those things:

    * What do you think harm means in the context of the Rede?

    * What do you think will means in the context of the Rede?

    * Why might the founders of Wicca given us an ethical guideline that was vague?

I've been Wiccan for almost 14 years now, so I've got my own answers to those questions that I've thought long and hard about... and which I'll post after the discussion gets rolling.
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« Reply #1: April 17, 2010, 04:55:53 pm »


So let's define those things:

    * What do you think harm means in the context of the Rede?

    * What do you think will means in the context of the Rede?

    * Why might the founders of Wicca given us an ethical guideline that was vague?

I've been Wiccan for almost 14 years now, so I've got my own answers to those questions that I've thought long and hard about... and which I'll post after the discussion gets rolling.

I believe they didnt mean to give vague guideline.
Its just the way it is with this world.
Impossible to act perfect before we are ourselves perfect,
still we know what is it meant by ..harm none..
and we can accept it and act accordingly as much as we can..or not.
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RandallS
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« Reply #2: April 17, 2010, 05:23:09 pm »

I believe they didnt mean to give vague guideline.

The guideline really isn't vague, it's just not what many people think it is. It's not a moral command to "harm none" (which is impossible to fulfill anyway) but moral advice "if what you want to do will not cause any harm, then it is definitely okay to do it".  It tells you what is clearly okay to do, but says nothing about what do do if what you want to do will cause some amount of harm.
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« Reply #3: April 17, 2010, 06:59:03 pm »

The guideline really isn't vague, it's just not what many people think it is. It's not a moral command to "harm none" (which is impossible to fulfill anyway) but moral advice "if what you want to do will not cause any harm, then it is definitely okay to do it".  It tells you what is clearly okay to do, but says nothing about what do do if what you want to do will cause some amount of harm.

Well, if you use magick with the intention to harm,
then you cross the line of black magick.
And then God have mercy on your soul, really,
because to mess with energies means energies will in the same way mess with you...
And that can easily happen at the moment of death...
and that is the moment when mind is clearing itself and opening out the conscience.

So, imo they are basically saying- beware of black magick,
and try to make sure your magick wont harm...
Even though its not entirely possible,
its not the same thing to walk on a meadow and step on many bugs unknowlingly..
and walk on a meadow and shoot a fellow human being dead.

Nowadays many people play with the idea that magick is colorless
and that all is relative
and that evil has to be supressed even by magick.

My position is:
Dont.
Dont go there.
Thats not the Path.
Thats shortcut to Hell.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 07:02:32 pm by Akyana » Logged
RandallS
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« Reply #4: April 17, 2010, 10:38:32 pm »

Well, if you use magick with the intention to harm,
then you cross the line of black magick.

Really?  If I cast magic to kill the cancer cells in someone's body, I'm doing evil magic by killing them? If true, would you say a doctor cutting them out, or using chemotherapy or radiation to kill them are also doing something evil?
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« Reply #5: April 18, 2010, 02:59:05 am »

[modbreak]Dragonfaerie wrote this introductory post and will be monitoring this special topic discussion.[/modbreak]

What does the Rede actually say? It says that actions which do not cause harm are fine. "No harm, no foul", you might say. And that's it. It doesn't tell us what harm means, or what a harmful action is. Nor does it define "will".

So let's define those things:

    * What do you think harm means in the context of the Rede?

    * What do you think will means in the context of the Rede?

    * Why might the founders of Wicca given us an ethical guideline that was vague?

I've been Wiccan for almost 14 years now, so I've got my own answers to those questions that I've thought long and hard about... and which I'll post after the discussion gets rolling.

I'm not Wiccan, but my old coven used to have a similar Rede: Do as ye will, but be ready for the concequences. In my opinion, the Wiccan Rede is saying pretty much the same thing, just with an unspoken emphasis on the Three Fold Rule. Harm none for the concequences will return to you threefold.

Personally, I think that harm means the intent to do it.

I don't think that it is vague really, but it is very easy to remember......
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« Reply #6: April 18, 2010, 12:54:22 pm »

Really?  If I cast magic to kill the cancer cells in someone's body, I'm doing evil magic by killing them? If true, would you say a doctor cutting them out, or using chemotherapy or radiation to kill them are also doing something evil?

To tell you the truth,
the right intention should be rather to heal the person, then to kill anything.
If killing is the way God, Universe... will choose to use to heal, then so be it.
But it can happen in another ways..the cells can transform themself back into harmles ones, or maybe there are still another ways..
they die of old age, dunnno!

If your intention is just to kill and you use magick for it,
then in my eyes its not OK.
If you want to save another person, then its about saving, not killing.

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« Reply #7: April 18, 2010, 01:05:30 pm »

the right intention should be rather to heal the person, then to kill anything.

But in order to heal a person suffering from cancer, the cancerous cells must die. For something to live, something else has to die; that's just how it works.
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« Reply #8: April 18, 2010, 02:00:33 pm »

But in order to heal a person suffering from cancer, the cancerous cells must die. For something to live, something else has to die; that's just how it works.

Heck, to stay alive, things have to die. Every time you breathe in, you kill hundreds or thousands of micro-organisms. It's impossible to live and cause no harm. You can't even get a job without harming the others who also wanted that job. A literal "cause no harm to any living thing including yourself" interpretation of the Wiccan Rede is setting as impossible a goal as accelerating yourself to the speed of light.
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« Reply #9: April 18, 2010, 02:04:05 pm »

But in order to heal a person suffering from cancer, the cancerous cells must die. For something to live, something else has to die; that's just how it works.

Not necessarily.

But the more we feed the belief and act upon it,
the more such crazy karma we create for ourselves.
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« Reply #10: April 18, 2010, 02:05:20 pm »

Not necessarily.

Yes, pretty much necessarily. To cure someone of cancer, all the cancerous cells have to be killed off.
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« Reply #11: April 18, 2010, 02:07:01 pm »

Heck, to stay alive, things have to die. Every time you breathe in, you kill hundreds or thousands of micro-organisms. It's impossible to live and cause no harm. You can't even get a job without harming the others who also wanted that job. A literal "cause no harm to any living thing including yourself" interpretation of the Wiccan Rede is setting as impossible a goal as accelerating yourself to the speed of light.

Well, trying is what counts imo.

Say, just the fact we cant be the perfect parents doesnt mean we will give up on being the best ones we can be..I hope!
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« Reply #12: April 18, 2010, 02:09:20 pm »

Yes, pretty much necessarily. To cure someone of cancer, all the cancerous cells have to be killed off.

Well, that is the karmic field that is shown to us now.

Do you think angelic beings have it like this?
That they live by killing others?
Of course not.
That just humans world that is drowning in blood.

To get out of it is to set the intent to not harm intentionally, imo.
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« Reply #13: April 18, 2010, 03:07:41 pm »

Well, that is the karmic field that is shown to us now.

Do you think angelic beings have it like this?
That they live by killing others?
Of course not.
That just humans world that is drowning in blood.

To get out of it is to set the intent to not harm intentionally, imo.

Y'know, I really don't see what karma has to do with the fact that cancer cells have to die for cancer to go away.

Sure, it would be nice if there was a happy way for them to just go "oops, my bad" and turn into rainbow sprinkles, but reality doesn't WORK that way.

I had bread as part of my lunch.  The wheat had to die to become my bread.  And I'm NOT giving up food to preserve other lives - that would just be killing me!
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« Reply #14: April 18, 2010, 03:15:26 pm »

Well, that is the karmic field that is shown to us now.

I hate to disagree but it's simply fact...in order to cure cancer the cells MUST die. Karma has absolutely nothing to do with it.
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