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Author Topic: Paganism and Magic  (Read 17596 times)
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
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« Reply #15: June 12, 2008, 09:54:19 am »

Ahh but Randall, that puts the whole deal in a circle jerk.  When the fundies proclaim magic to be "working with Satan,"  they're making a proclamation based on their religious belief, and they're condemning the folks who are practicing magic.  They're working out of a self defined box which only permits them to come to that decision.

When I suggest many religious practices to be workings of subtle magic that have been given more religiously acceptable names, I'm not making religiously based proclamations, and I'm certainly not condemning them for their beliefs.  I'm offering food for thought, a simple comparison.  My constraints are broader than a literal interpretation of one religious text.

 

That doesn't change the fact that you're saying "that, that thing you're doing there?  It's magic.  I don't care what you call it or how you see it, my definition is the one that matters."

there's something awfully rude about that - especially for people that think magic is wrong, and think you're accusing THEM of Satanism with the contrast!
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« Reply #16: June 12, 2008, 10:23:14 am »

I've met many Christians who practice magic.

I knew and met a handful of "Christian witches" growing up and living in the Kentucky mountains. They certainly wouldn't and don't refer themselves as such. They see what they do as integral to living and being where they are.
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« Reply #17: June 12, 2008, 11:17:28 am »

That doesn't change the fact that you're saying "that, that thing you're doing there?  It's magic.  I don't care what you call it or how you see it, my definition is the one that matters."

there's something awfully rude about that - especially for people that think magic is wrong, and think you're accusing THEM of Satanism with the contrast!

Good god, have I walked into their places of worship and accused them of being evil? There's no accusation or condemnation involved. It's a practical comparison, period.  Get a grip.
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« Reply #18: June 12, 2008, 11:29:56 am »

Good god, have I walked into their places of worship and accused them of being evil? There's no accusation or condemnation involved. It's a practical comparison, period.  Get a grip.

are you even listening?

it's NOT a practical comparison.  It's telling people that what they're doing falls into a category of things they've already classified as "evil".

Just because you're not walking up to them and pointing it out personally doesn't make it not offensive.
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« Reply #19: June 12, 2008, 12:14:28 pm »

are you even listening?

it's NOT a practical comparison.  It's telling people that what they're doing falls into a category of things they've already classified as "evil".

Just because you're not walking up to them and pointing it out personally doesn't make it not offensive.

I'm listening just enough to respond, and to suggest that you're reality and mine may not be the same.  That's not a problem for me and I hope it's not a problem for you.  However, I'll stand by my position.  Comparing similarities between diverse cultures with terms that are comfortable to the writer is something that's very common.  It's not a matter of dealing with PEOPLE, it's a matter of dealing with CULTURES.  The formal is personal, the latter is a scientific observation, not a judgment.  To disallow scientific observation because of the possibility of someone thinking they're being persecuted is unthinkable to me.

Political observations are frequently judgmental in nature, George Bush identifying the Muslim terrorist fundies as the "evil doers" was a political observation.  Perhaps you're capable of seeing a political observation in my comments, all I can say is, wow!

I hope your enjoying your reality, I'm enjoying mine.
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« Reply #20: June 12, 2008, 12:45:51 pm »

When I suggest many religious practices to be workings of subtle magic that have been given more religiously acceptable names, I'm not making religiously based proclamations, and I'm certainly not condemning them for their beliefs.  I'm offering food for thought, a simple comparison. 

One that the practitioners of those religions generally find as annoyingly wrong as Pagans do the fundie assertion that were are worshiping and getting out powers from Satan. Both are claiming to know the real origin of what's going on and claiming that it is not what those actually doing it think it is.
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« Reply #21: June 12, 2008, 12:45:58 pm »


What's your degree in, and at what level?

I don't remember learning in psych or sociology to redefine people's terms to match with your original biases.  In fact, comprehending how the person/people being studied see their own actions is rather important to really understand what's going on.

I thought we'd passed the age of the scholar coming in from on high and telling people what they're up to.

That's not to say anthropology didn't used to do this, but I believe there's been a massive reunderstanding of how such things work.  And that outside-looking-in studies have some massive potential pitfalls, especially when the outsider starts relabeling things to match what he's used to seeing.
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« Reply #22: June 12, 2008, 12:50:55 pm »

That's not to say anthropology didn't used to do this, but I believe there's been a massive reunderstanding of how such things work.  And that outside-looking-in studies have some massive potential pitfalls, especially when the outsider starts relabeling things to match what he's used to seeing.

Definitely.  The anthropology classes I took were big on understanding things as people in the cultures saw them.
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« Reply #23: June 12, 2008, 02:01:37 pm »

I knew and met a handful of "Christian witches" growing up and living in the Kentucky mountains. They certainly wouldn't and don't refer themselves as such. They see what they do as integral to living and being where they are.

I think the fact that they wouldn't refer to themselves as witches is an important part of how I view things- if the person doesn't self-identify as a witch and/or believe that they practice magic, then I'm not going to tell them otherwise. If they don't believe what they are doing is magic, then its not (IMO). Yet a lot of Pagans I have met do say that they practice magic- and they use that word- hence why I've always wondered why it seemed to be the Pagans that I came into contact with that were happy to use the word magic.
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« Reply #24: June 12, 2008, 02:58:12 pm »

Comparing similarities between diverse cultures with terms that are comfortable to the writer is something that's very common.  It's not a matter of dealing with PEOPLE, it's a matter of dealing with CULTURES.  The formal is personal, the latter is a scientific observation, not a judgment.  To disallow scientific observation because of the possibility of someone thinking they're being persecuted is unthinkable to me.
Changing terms of description to something you are "comfortable" with is hardly scientific, since you desire to claim scientific observation as your forte here.  And it might behoove you to recall that cultures are  composed of and constructed BY people; so it is not a tidy slice of ANY reality, all neatly dissected for your convenience.
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Political observations are frequently judgmental in nature, George Bush identifying the Muslim terrorist fundies as the "evil doers" was a political observation.  Perhaps you're capable of seeing a political observation in my comments, all I can say is, wow!

There is nothing political in saying that using a term to describe a behavior because it appeals to you is right, regardless of how it distorts what the behavior (so  thereby ineptly described) means to those whose actions it therefore describes.  It is a simple matter of correction.  If an Amerindian says "Don't call our medicine men 'shamans'...they are not Europeans or Siberians, thank you, very much." that is not a political statement.  It is a statement of FACT.
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I hope your enjoying your reality, I'm enjoying mine.

Maybe what you really need is more terminology, like one could get from a truly accurate dictionary.  Then your "reality" wouldn't be so devoid of real descriptive meaning.
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« Reply #25: June 12, 2008, 04:15:45 pm »

What's your degree in, and at what level?

I don't remember learning in psych or sociology to redefine people's terms to match with your original biases.  In fact, comprehending how the person/people being studied see their own actions is rather important to really understand what's going on.

I thought we'd passed the age of the scholar coming in from on high and telling people what they're up to.

That's not to say anthropology didn't used to do this, but I believe there's been a massive reunderstanding of how such things work.  And that outside-looking-in studies have some massive potential pitfalls, especially when the outsider starts relabeling things to match what he's used to seeing.





Not that it matters, but my degree is a BA in Philosophy.   You  can carry on and personalize this thing all you want to.  I don't care what degrees any of you hold, it really doesn't matter to me. This conversation began as simple question about magic use in pagan religions and I responded to it as a layman.  It's turned into a debate/challenge, verging on personal attack.

If you're comfortable with the way you've approached this, I'm happy for you.

I might even put on a big goofy purple suit and sing the Barney Song.
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« Reply #26: June 12, 2008, 05:04:38 pm »

If you're comfortable with the way you've approached this, I'm happy for you.

I might even put on a big goofy purple suit and sing the Barney Song.

And gee, I just have to ask, did that approach work when you were getting your philosophy degree...I mean with the profs?  When you said "Gee, this means that." and the prof said "No, it doesn't kiddo, re-read and try again."   Did it work to take that new age sewage approach of "Well, you do what you gotta do, and I will do what I do, and its all good"? 

Cause I have to say, it didn't work when I was doing philosophy, and it didn't work ON me when I was the tutor to others.  Cause its just a cheap way to not make your point properly, the lazy way out.  But hey, if you like being "say it and then climb the fence and sit on it", go with that.  You are apparently very good at it; practice and all, I would suppose.
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« Reply #27: June 12, 2008, 05:19:33 pm »


Not that it matters, but my degree is a BA in Philosophy.   You  can carry on and personalize this thing all you want to.  I don't care what degrees any of you hold, it really doesn't matter to me. This conversation began as simple question about magic use in pagan religions and I responded to it as a layman.  It's turned into a debate/challenge, verging on personal attack.

If you're comfortable with the way you've approached this, I'm happy for you.

I might even put on a big goofy purple suit and sing the Barney Song.

But it is relevant.  You're saying something is scientific, I wanted to know your background to make that claim.

And I see you don't have one, which is why you're devolving into the ridiculous.
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« Reply #28: June 12, 2008, 07:31:27 pm »

Hmmm, I've know more than a few Christians who were involved in healing, protecting themselves from evil, and performing exorcisms, all via energy from somewhere. And what about all those prayers being uttered for prosperity, good weather, and healthy children?  Priests are involved in mystical rites with their smoky thuribles and all that Holy water they sprinkle around.  Mormons baptize people long after they've died, and many Mullahs offer assistance with Islamic folk magic, it's sometimes referred to as Islamic Black Magic.

Magic on some level is an important part of almost every religion on the planet.  Magic practice can be very subtle, and is usually given more religiously acceptable names.



But often as not any healing or so forth is attributed to their God, not to the person. Other than that most of what you are describing is simply worship/worship rituals which to me is something completely different than performing magic.
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« Reply #29: June 12, 2008, 09:14:55 pm »

Other than that most of what you are describing is simply worship/worship rituals which to me is something completely different than performing magic.

In the Gwyddoniad, we certainly make that differentiation. Two diferent things.
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