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Author Topic: Ethics & The Use of Magic  (Read 18137 times)
Syrbal
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« Reply #1: September 16, 2007, 01:43:10 pm »


    * If you were the teacher, would you include ethics in your lessons?

Yes, of course.
    * Do ethics even have a place in magical practice?

Ethics have a place in EVERY thing.
    * What ethical principles, rules, and guidelines are important in magic?
The same ones that are important in every other aspect of life.  Why would magic have special ethics?

    * What ideas are nice guidelines, but not really rules to live by, in your opinion?
I don't know, I have spent most of my life ignoring nice guidelines, apparently. 

    * What should be magically taboo, if anything? Are there circumstances when a normally taboo spell might be acceptable?
I don't believe in taboos in the normal form---not specific spells.  I believe in taboos in terms of my usual ethical standard: Immanuel Kant's Categorical Imperative.  "If what I am about to do is not what EVERY person SHOULD do, then I should not do it either---it is an immoral (unethical act)"  That is the fast, dirty paraphrase that rules my behavior--magical or not.  It does not always stop me, of course---but if I do what is vetoed by the answer to that question, there is no doubt that I have committed an immoral deed.  This is partially because Kantian ethics are famous for having some major holes in its fabric.  It is ok when deciding between a "good" thing and a "bad"....but leaves you swinging between two bad things.  The classic examples revolve around whether one lies (or kills, one assumes) (bad thing) to protect an innocent from death (likewise a bad thing).  Oh..and that "should" is not a "would"...it is to have the force of an unavoidable "duty". 

    * What words of wisdom would you give to a novice in helping them make decisions about what is ethical and appropriate?

Would you do this thing, publicly?  Would you do it in front of your best friends and those you love?  Would you advocate others doing as you do?  (Yeah, yeah...still Kantian)

    * Related but not directly about ethics, is there an appropriate escalation of action or spells when dealing with a problem?  Is there a specific sequence of steps that you take when confronted with a problem?

Yes, as with every other aspect of life.  First I talk about the issue.  Then I do mitigating, protective things.  If those are not sufficiently defensive, I do what I think of as "aggressive mirroring".....in which I attempt to throw back on the "aggressor" their very own behaviors AND I use what I call "truth will out" magic to reveal the perfidy of whomever I am acting against.
If none of those work, and the situation is dire enough, yes, I do step over the line into what could only be termed hostile action.  If elimination of a threat is the only way to end it, I see it as necessary as shooting a rabid dog that is attacking.  After all, to choke at stopping evil is to enable it, is it not?

    * If you are young and new to magic, what questions or concerns do you have about ethics as they relate to magic use?

I'm not.  And obviously, none.


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Syrbal the Gone

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