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  1. #1
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    Mind Trapped by Magic

    Mind Trapped by Magic

    It has long been the case that the word "magic" is tossed around by atheists as a sort of "magic" word to imply the ridiculousness of a given claim. So an atheist may say "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in magic". Such statements sort of imply that magic itself is unbelievable and it is some how inherently unreasonable for one to be expected to believe "magic" exists. So here in this thread I would like to take a look at that concept, and see if the word "magic" really conveys the meaning and assumptions atheists have, or if perhaps we may conjure an argument to dispel those assumptions.


    Define Magic =
    noun
    1.
    the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
    2.
    the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. Compare contagious magic, imitative magic, sympathetic magic.
    3.
    the use of this art: Magic, it was believed, could drive illness from the body.
    4.
    the effects produced: the magic of recovery.
    5.
    power or influence exerted through this art: a wizard of great magic.

    adjective
    8.
    employed in magic: magic spells; magic dances; magic rites.
    9.
    mysteriously enchanting; magical: magic beauty.
    10.
    of, pertaining to, or due to magic.
    11.
    producing the effects of magic; magical: a magic touch.


    Meaning #1
    So right off we have an issue, if the atheist uses Magic in the sense of the first meaning "art of producing illusions", then the statement that "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in Magic", becomes nonsensical. Because if God does send people to hell, the reasons are not illusions but real. In the round about way, this statement (and others like it) can only communicate that the atheists holds religious claims to be "illusions and deception".

    That is a dead-end statement and should be considered the end of any debate in that sense.


    Meaning #2

    I believe that in most debates the word 'magic' is actually referring to the second meaning of the word. Which brings in the term "supernatural". This to an materialist is indeed an unbelievable and unreasonable expectation. But the naturalist is left simply assuming that there are no "supernatural" events or forces at work.

    Define Supernatural =

    adjective
    1.
    of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
    2.
    of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
    3.
    of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
    4.
    of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.

    noun
    5.
    a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
    6.
    behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
    7.
    direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
    8.
    the supernatural,
    a.
    supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
    b.
    supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

    There are several ways to read "supernatural". Indeed as we use it in debates and as the basis for some of our assumptions it is a very tricky concept that relies on many assumptions. So according to one set, one could call something supernatural, and another could call the same thing natural and both be true to the sense of the word, but clearly applying it in different ways.

    For example. Supernatural is by definition something that God would do (per #2 & #7), however if we go by the pure meaning of #1, then it is very "natural" for God to work in is creations. IE #5, it is well within the natural order of things for God to work in his creation.

    So we see that there is a philosophical contradiction involved in the meaning of the word. But how does "magic" employ the word?

    "How magic works supernaturally"
    Magic then is basically used to say that there are laws of nature that man has control over, or can directly effect or tap into through actions

    So, suppose a man could fly by controlling gravity. That would be an act of "magic". Not because the law of gravity isn't "natural", but because the man has power to effect an otherwise consistent law.
    Question to opponent. Do you agree that such an act could accurately be called magic?


    What laws are forwarded by theists that are so unbelievable to atheists?

    Law of Sowing and reaping Galatians 6:7-10
    Basically, it is the idea that things which are immoral carry with them negative consequences, while things which are moral carry with it positive consequences.
    I believe this law is reflected in the concept of "Karma", and the common phrase "what goes around comes around". I would say that so many cultures have such a similar concept so as to make the claim that this law has been observed by all people groups around the world a reasonable one.

    Several questions

    Question to opponent. Atheists, do you recognize this "law" as being in effect?
    Question to opponent. Assuming the existence of said law, does it fall into the realm of "magic"?

    Given that most people/cultures recognize this law, and (assuming yes above) it qualifies as magic, then the intent that "magic" implies inherent unreasonable belief, is false.

    DISCUSS!
    SCHNELL!!!
    To serve man.

  2. #2
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Mind Trapped by Magic

    It has long been the case that the word "magic" is tossed around by atheists as a sort of "magic" word to imply the ridiculousness of a given claim. So an atheist may say "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in magic". Such statements sort of imply that magic itself is unbelievable and it is some how inherently unreasonable for one to be expected to believe "magic" exists. So here in this thread I would like to take a look at that concept, and see if the word "magic" really conveys the meaning and assumptions atheists have, or if perhaps we may conjure an argument to dispel those assumptions.


    Define Magic =
    noun
    1.
    the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
    2.
    the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. Compare contagious magic, imitative magic, sympathetic magic.
    3.
    the use of this art: Magic, it was believed, could drive illness from the body.
    4.
    the effects produced: the magic of recovery.
    5.
    power or influence exerted through this art: a wizard of great magic.

    adjective
    8.
    employed in magic: magic spells; magic dances; magic rites.
    9.
    mysteriously enchanting; magical: magic beauty.
    10.
    of, pertaining to, or due to magic.
    11.
    producing the effects of magic; magical: a magic touch.


    Meaning #1
    So right off we have an issue, if the atheist uses Magic in the sense of the first meaning "art of producing illusions", then the statement that "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in Magic", becomes nonsensical. Because if God does send people to hell, the reasons are not illusions but real. In the round about way, this statement (and others like it) can only communicate that the atheists holds religious claims to be "illusions and deception".

    That is a dead-end statement and should be considered the end of any debate in that sense.


    Meaning #2

    I believe that in most debates the word 'magic' is actually referring to the second meaning of the word. Which brings in the term "supernatural". This to an materialist is indeed an unbelievable and unreasonable expectation. But the naturalist is left simply assuming that there are no "supernatural" events or forces at work.

    Define Supernatural =

    adjective
    1.
    of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
    2.
    of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
    3.
    of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
    4.
    of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.

    noun
    5.
    a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
    6.
    behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
    7.
    direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
    8.
    the supernatural,
    a.
    supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
    b.
    supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

    There are several ways to read "supernatural". Indeed as we use it in debates and as the basis for some of our assumptions it is a very tricky concept that relies on many assumptions. So according to one set, one could call something supernatural, and another could call the same thing natural and both be true to the sense of the word, but clearly applying it in different ways.

    For example. Supernatural is by definition something that God would do (per #2 & #7), however if we go by the pure meaning of #1, then it is very "natural" for God to work in is creations. IE #5, it is well within the natural order of things for God to work in his creation.

    So we see that there is a philosophical contradiction involved in the meaning of the word. But how does "magic" employ the word?

    "How magic works supernaturally"
    Magic then is basically used to say that there are laws of nature that man has control over, or can directly effect or tap into through actions

    So, suppose a man could fly by controlling gravity. That would be an act of "magic". Not because the law of gravity isn't "natural", but because the man has power to effect an otherwise consistent law.
    Question to opponent. Do you agree that such an act could accurately be called magic?


    What laws are forwarded by theists that are so unbelievable to atheists?

    Law of Sowing and reaping Galatians 6:7-10
    Basically, it is the idea that things which are immoral carry with them negative consequences, while things which are moral carry with it positive consequences.
    I believe this law is reflected in the concept of "Karma", and the common phrase "what goes around comes around". I would say that so many cultures have such a similar concept so as to make the claim that this law has been observed by all people groups around the world a reasonable one.

    Several questions

    Question to opponent. Atheists, do you recognize this "law" as being in effect?
    Question to opponent. Assuming the existence of said law, does it fall into the realm of "magic"?

    Given that most people/cultures recognize this law, and (assuming yes above) it qualifies as magic, then the intent that "magic" implies inherent unreasonable belief, is false.

    DISCUSS!
    SCHNELL!!!
    If a man has a technology that allows him to fly that is not magic, however to those who are not familiar with that particular technology it may appear like magic.

    Also, I dissagree that there is a law of moral consequenses. Many immoral people never have negative consequenses, while many moral people have negative consequenses. This law you mention isn't a law as much it is a child like fantasy that we wish were true. If we can't see justice or fairness in this life it is comforting to many to believe that it will exist in the next life.

    Also, prayer I believe qualifies as an incantation. It is often repeated, and its outcome largely depends on the actions of the person, how faithful they are for example is related to if it will come true.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin
    If a man has a technology that allows him to fly that is not magic, however to those who are not familiar with that particular technology it may appear like magic.
    who said anything about technology?

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin
    Many immoral people never have negative consequenses, while many moral people have negative consequenses.
    it isn't about moral people. It is about moral acts.
    To serve man.

  4. #4
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    who said anything about technology?
    Well if he has super powers that falls under magic. I guess one could call them mutants or something like x-men.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    it isn't about moral people. It is about moral acts.
    Either way people commit immoral acts all the time and have no negative consequences. So that isn't a law of the universe. Also, not all moral acts are rewarded many even have negative consequences. The old adage no good deed goes unpunished comes to mind.

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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=...q=define+magic
    mag·ic/ˈmajik/
    Noun:
    The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

    God has the power to influence the course of events by supernatural forces, because he by definition is beyond our natural, materialistic universe. He sent down burning fire balls from the sky after all! Therefore a belief in God requires a belief in magic. (It is also commonly said that "God works in mysterious ways.") I really don't understand the way you've phrased anything in your OP.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by SOREN
    God has the power to influence the course of events by supernatural forces,
    Naturally

    Quote Originally Posted by SOREN
    because he by definition is beyond our natural, materialistic universe
    naturally

    Quote Originally Posted by SOREN
    Therefore a belief in God requires a belief in magic
    o.k.

    Quote Originally Posted by SOREN
    I really don't understand the way you've phrased anything in your OP.
    I am pointing to the difference in the use of the words and concepts. For example the way you have used the word in applying to God would also apply to any cause of the universe.
    To serve man.

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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Soren View Post
    http://www.google.com/search?sugexp=...q=define+magic
    mag·ic/ˈmajik/
    Noun:
    The power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.

    God has the power to influence the course of events by supernatural forces, because he by definition is beyond our natural, materialistic universe. He sent down burning fire balls from the sky after all! Therefore a belief in God requires a belief in magic. (It is also commonly said that "God works in mysterious ways.") I really don't understand the way you've phrased anything in your OP.
    There seems to be a problem there, though. The definition you're arguing in favor of here relies on "using mysterious OR supernatural forces" to influence the course of events. That's not necessarily a good ground to stand on since any sufficiently mysterious technology or ability will necessarily appear supernatural.

    If you took a Zippo back to Neanderthals and showed them how you could, with this little metal object, conjure fire instantly, they'd think you were doing something amazing. Your definition indicates that this WOULD be magic. Now, I would argue that's important to draw a difference between what IS magic and what only APPEARS to be magic. Your definition doesn't allow for that because what appears to be magic (a zippo burning in front of neanderthals) would be magic.
    But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.
    1 Peter 3:15-16

  8. #8
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    In deference to Soren's contribution and Hyde's rebuttal, I contribute Arthur C. Clark's "Third Law," which seems particularly salient.

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    Furthermore, even magic as it is traditionally understood follows certain rules, principles, and patterns. The incantations, gestures materials, and rituals mentioned in one possible definition aren't random, and they didn't arise purely from a sense of the aesthetic. They are calculated, intentional actions intended to effect change in some way not directly connected to the result by a clear path of material causality, using principles understood better from a psychological standpoint than an empirically scientific one. Even if one doesn't believe in their efficacy and can show that they are ineffective, it doesn't mean that the paradigm of magical action is an attempt to totally negate causality or the laws of reality. It just operates on a set of laws that account for a "larger" sense of reality than is acknowledged by empirical science. It can, therefore, be safely said that ritual magic is another form of science, even if it's misguided and incorrect in its propositions.

    People experimented with a great many forms of scientific inquiry without success for many years before we arrived at most of the scientific discoveries we currently take for granted. I'm not necessarily weighing in on the side of "believing in magic," because I don't know that there's necessarily a strong enough case for it. However, I also don't think we can afford to dismiss testable claims out of hand just because they don't conform to a mostly Western scientific sensibility of what is possible and impossible. Such dogmatism runs counter to the spirit of honest and productive scientific inquiry.

    As far as what this proves or doesn't prove about God... I can't say. Who's to say that God can't accomplish what humans have been unable to do simply by virtue of their lack of understanding in the realms of reality wherein so-called "magical" principles are active? Who's to say that by deepening our understanding of previously misunderstood or poorly understood aspects of the human condition and the nature of psycho-emotional-spiritual realities, we can't accomplish things that were previously thought impossible? It was once thought impossible to create light by simply making an offhand gesture, yet we do this many times a day through our understanding of the invisible forces of electricity. Many other miracles occur to and around us on a daily basis, but these things would have once been considered impossible except through magic.

    I propose that the things we *don't* know far outweigh what we do, and in light of such ignorance, it seems a little misguided to make definitive statements about what is impossible. All we know is that something isn't possible now, with what we currently understand.

    Just some food for thought.
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    It has long been the case that the word "magic" is tossed around by atheists as a sort of "magic" word to imply the ridiculousness of a given claim.
    Magic seems to be a good enough word to describe supernatural acts if a witch or a wizard does it; why would you use a different word if a deity or prophet does the same thing? I personally like to use the word when it is clear that there are no natural forces at work; e.g. it is magic that makes every translation of a Bible retroactively divine. Or fakirs floating in the air is an act of magic. It's just to avoid confusion rather than being critical of the claim.

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    "How magic works supernaturally"
    Magic then is basically used to say that there are laws of nature that man has control over, or can directly effect or tap into through actions

    So, suppose a man could fly by controlling gravity. That would be an act of "magic". Not because the law of gravity isn't "natural", but because the man has power to effect an otherwise consistent law.

    Do you agree that such an act could accurately be called magic?
    No, that would be called engineering.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    What laws are forwarded by theists that are so unbelievable to atheists?

    Law of Sowing and reaping Galatians 6:7-10
    Basically, it is the idea that things which are immoral carry with them negative consequences, while things which are moral carry with it positive consequences.
    I believe this law is reflected in the concept of "Karma", and the common phrase "what goes around comes around". I would say that so many cultures have such a similar concept so as to make the claim that this law has been observed by all people groups around the world a reasonable one.

    Several questions

    Atheists, do you recognize this "law" as being in effect?
    Assuming the existence of said law, does it fall into the realm of "magic"?
    How is this a law? Karma's a great idea and it gives closure to the weak that 'eventually' they will be avenged at some point in the future when they are dead. But really, how does it work?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Given that most people/cultures recognize this law, and (assuming yes above) it qualifies as magic, then the intent that "magic" implies inherent unreasonable belief, is false.
    I wouldn't go as far to call it a law but this sounds like it could be magical or supernatural.

  10. #10
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    How is this a law?
    One definition of law is: A way of life.

    Karma's a great idea and it gives closure to the weak that 'eventually' they will be avenged at some point
    The principle isn't about avenging or punishment. It's about resolution and learning.

    in the future when they are dead.
    Or alive

    But really, how does it work?
    Here's one hypothesis. I'll try to break it down into axioms or short concepts. If we break action down to the fundamentals of energy, we would get something like this:
    1. Everything is energy.
    2. Our actions and choices involve our use of energy.
    3. Energy can be used properly and harmoniously, or
    4. Energy can be miss-qualified and used irresponsibly.
    5. We have the opportunity to choose how we use (qualify) the energy in our life.
    6. Premise: Energy naturally seeks balance.
    7. Act: Mr. A murders Ms. B and steals her car.
    8. A cause is created by using existing energy and miss-qualifying the energy to create a disruptive pattern and loss of balance.
    9. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed but it can be miss-qualified and manipulated.
    10. Miss-qualified patterns of energy could be considered to be a karmic pattern or sowing unwisely or acting irresponsible or harvesting a bad seed or however we consider this principle.
    11. Disruptive energy patterns or miss-qualified energy constantly seek resolution and restoration of balance because energy cannot be created nor destroyed.
    12. Thus, the principle of karma is not about punishment but about resolution and restoring balance to energy patterns, hopefully through the process of learning.
    13. The principle also does not necessarily mean someone who has murdered a person will be or has to be murdered by the return disruptive pattern of energy he/she initially manipulated.
    14. There are different factors involved in restoring miss-qualified energy patterns. (Theology can play an important role in this regard.)
    15. The same above principles apply when a person uses energy in a positive and responsible way, except in reverse where the positive energy returns to a person's life in blessings and other positive ways.
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    One definition of law is: A way of life.
    Which dictionary would that be in!


    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The principle isn't about avenging or punishment. It's about resolution and learning.
    I think Karma is really about justice and closure. It seems built in to humans so it's natural to build it into one's view of the universe. Heaven & Hell are other forms of Karma.

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    Here's one hypothesis. I'll try to break it down into axioms or short concepts. If we break action down to the fundamentals of energy, we would get something like this:
    1. Everything is energy.
    2. Our actions and choices involve our use of energy.
    3. Energy can be used properly and harmoniously, or
    4. Energy can be miss-qualified and used irresponsibly.
    5. We have the opportunity to choose how we use (qualify) the energy in our life.
    6. Premise: Energy naturally seeks balance.
    7. Act: Mr. A murders Ms. B and steals her car.
    8. A cause is created by using existing energy and miss-qualifying the energy to create a disruptive pattern and loss of balance.
    9. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed but it can be miss-qualified and manipulated.
    10. Miss-qualified patterns of energy could be considered to be a karmic pattern or sowing unwisely or acting irresponsible or harvesting a bad seed or however we consider this principle.
    11. Disruptive energy patterns or miss-qualified energy constantly seek resolution and restoration of balance because energy cannot be created nor destroyed.
    12. Thus, the principle of karma is not about punishment but about resolution and restoring balance to energy patterns, hopefully through the process of learning.
    13. The principle also does not necessarily mean someone who has murdered a person will be or has to be murdered by the return disruptive pattern of energy he/she initially manipulated.
    14. There are different factors involved in restoring miss-qualified energy patterns. (Theology can play an important role in this regard.)
    15. The same above principles apply when a person uses energy in a positive and responsible way, except in reverse where the positive energy returns to a person's life in blessings and other positive ways.
    [/QUOTE]
    I see what you are getting at but if you don't use the word "energy", which is already overloaded with meaning, it would read a bit more clearly. That said, it does seem that theology, is just one way to redress the balance and maybe because religion is increasingly being seen as being a problem (e.g. hatred of homosexuality from the religious) it might be better not to tout that as a helper any more: we're no longer ignorant barbarians - we're modern day humans with a clear vision of morality.

    But the problem I find with your description of Karma, is step 13, where it's not really about justice at all and it could be that if something wonderful happens that it must be redressed with a corresponding amount of pain. And also, it seems against human nature who wants to grow and develop and ensure that everyone grows and develops; your version of karmic balance seems to necessitate suffering as a necessity. The Hindu version is better because it is about being movement towards goodness; good is rewarded with more good.

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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Which dictionary would that be in!
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Law

    I think Karma is really about justice and closure.
    Isn't closure about resolution?

    I see what you are getting at but if you don't use the word "energy", which is already overloaded with meaning, it would read a bit more clearly.
    If we break concepts down to their most fundamental components, then our perspective of natural and supernatural becomes clearer. Energy is natural.

    That said, it does seem that theology, is just one way to redress the balance and maybe because religion is increasingly being seen as being a problem (e.g. hatred of homosexuality from the religious) it might be better not to tout that as a helper any more:
    Theology and its principles can help man with the idea of mitigation as well as shouldering the weight (burden) of misdeeds, burdens that can affect us physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Burdens that can keep us trapped for a long time before closure and resolution.

    we're no longer ignorant barbarians - we're modern day humans with a clear vision of morality.
    One would want to think/hope so. But I don't know if I completely agree with that.

    But the problem I find with your description of Karma, is step 13, where it's not really about justice at all and it could be that if something wonderful happens that it must be redressed with a corresponding amount of pain.
    Not sure what you mean. No. 15 is about the idea that if we sow positive seeds, we receive its fruits and blessings.

    And also, it seems against human nature who wants to grow and develop and ensure that everyone grows and develops;
    I think it's about progression. But I think we get to choose the speed of the progression. Thus, we're all slightly different because some people want to move faster or slower then others. And that's where possible conflicts can develop if we are blind to the law (precept) of compassion and love. However, that doesn't mean 6th Century extreme mentalities can peacefully co-exist in the 21st Century.

    your version of karmic balance seems to necessitate suffering as a necessity.
    Not at all. Suffering is a choice. Even the guy born without two arms and legs, he doesn't have to suffer mentally/emotionally. And for some suffering can be turned into joy.

    The Hindu version is better because it is about being movement towards goodness; good is rewarded with more good.
    That's No. 15.
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 23rd, 2012 at 01:34 PM.
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Mind Trapped by Magic

    It has long been the case that the word "magic" is tossed around by atheists as a sort of "magic" word to imply the ridiculousness of a given claim. So an atheist may say "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in magic". Such statements sort of imply that magic itself is unbelievable and it is some how inherently unreasonable for one to be expected to believe "magic" exists. So here in this thread I would like to take a look at that concept, and see if the word "magic" really conveys the meaning and assumptions atheists have, or if perhaps we may conjure an argument to dispel those assumptions.


    Define Magic =
    noun
    1.
    the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.
    2.
    the art of producing a desired effect or result through the use of incantation or various other techniques that presumably assure human control of supernatural agencies or the forces of nature. Compare contagious magic, imitative magic, sympathetic magic.
    3.
    the use of this art: Magic, it was believed, could drive illness from the body.
    4.
    the effects produced: the magic of recovery.
    5.
    power or influence exerted through this art: a wizard of great magic.

    adjective
    8.
    employed in magic: magic spells; magic dances; magic rites.
    9.
    mysteriously enchanting; magical: magic beauty.
    10.
    of, pertaining to, or due to magic.
    11.
    producing the effects of magic; magical: a magic touch.


    Meaning #1
    So right off we have an issue, if the atheist uses Magic in the sense of the first meaning "art of producing illusions", then the statement that "God is said to send people to hell for not believing in Magic", becomes nonsensical. Because if God does send people to hell, the reasons are not illusions but real. In the round about way, this statement (and others like it) can only communicate that the atheists holds religious claims to be "illusions and deception".

    That is a dead-end statement and should be considered the end of any debate in that sense.


    Meaning #2

    I believe that in most debates the word 'magic' is actually referring to the second meaning of the word. Which brings in the term "supernatural". This to an materialist is indeed an unbelievable and unreasonable expectation. But the naturalist is left simply assuming that there are no "supernatural" events or forces at work.

    Define Supernatural =

    adjective
    1.
    of, pertaining to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.
    2.
    of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or attributed to God or a deity.
    3.
    of a superlative degree; preternatural: a missile of supernatural speed.
    4.
    of, pertaining to, or attributed to ghosts, goblins, or other unearthly beings; eerie; occult.

    noun
    5.
    a being, place, object, occurrence, etc., considered as supernatural or of supernatural origin; that which is supernatural, or outside the natural order.
    6.
    behavior supposedly caused by the intervention of supernatural beings.
    7.
    direct influence or action of a deity on earthly affairs.
    8.
    the supernatural,
    a.
    supernatural beings, behavior, and occurrences collectively.
    b.
    supernatural forces and the supernatural plane of existence: a deep fear of the supernatural.

    There are several ways to read "supernatural". Indeed as we use it in debates and as the basis for some of our assumptions it is a very tricky concept that relies on many assumptions. So according to one set, one could call something supernatural, and another could call the same thing natural and both be true to the sense of the word, but clearly applying it in different ways.

    For example. Supernatural is by definition something that God would do (per #2 & #7), however if we go by the pure meaning of #1, then it is very "natural" for God to work in is creations. IE #5, it is well within the natural order of things for God to work in his creation.

    So we see that there is a philosophical contradiction involved in the meaning of the word. But how does "magic" employ the word?

    "How magic works supernaturally"
    Magic then is basically used to say that there are laws of nature that man has control over, or can directly effect or tap into through actions

    So, suppose a man could fly by controlling gravity. That would be an act of "magic". Not because the law of gravity isn't "natural", but because the man has power to effect an otherwise consistent law.
    Question to opponent. Do you agree that such an act could accurately be called magic?


    What laws are forwarded by theists that are so unbelievable to atheists?

    Law of Sowing and reaping Galatians 6:7-10
    Basically, it is the idea that things which are immoral carry with them negative consequences, while things which are moral carry with it positive consequences.
    I believe this law is reflected in the concept of "Karma", and the common phrase "what goes around comes around". I would say that so many cultures have such a similar concept so as to make the claim that this law has been observed by all people groups around the world a reasonable one.

    Several questions

    Question to opponent. Atheists, do you recognize this "law" as being in effect?
    Question to opponent. Assuming the existence of said law, does it fall into the realm of "magic"?

    Given that most people/cultures recognize this law, and (assuming yes above) it qualifies as magic, then the intent that "magic" implies inherent unreasonable belief, is false.

    DISCUSS!
    SCHNELL!!!
    Either God is subject to the laws of nature or God is outside them.

    If God is subject to the laws of nature then God isn't at all omnipotent; he's just a very powerful being (perhaps an alien from another planet?). It would also mean that God didn't create the Universe (in the wide meaning of the term) because God was part of it already; having existed in a state of affairs where laws operate over which God has no power at all. Where those laws came from is another question. They didn't come from God becuase God is bound by them in the first place. This blows the entire Cosmological line of argumentation out of the water as well.

    If God is not subject to the laws of nature then everything God does is supernatural and therefore magic.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

  14. #14
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    If God is not subject to the laws of nature then everything God does is supernatural and therefore magic.
    What about actions taken by God that fall within the scope of the laws of Nature?
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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    What about actions taken by God that fall within the scope of the laws of Nature?
    Such as what?
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

    "If you could rationalize with Religious people there would be no more Religious people" -Gregory House

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    Re: Mind Trapped by Magic

    Improbable but possible events that fall within the boundaries of the laws of nature... freak lightning storms, miraculous falls that result in minimal injuries, that kind of thing. Stuff that *could* have happened according to the laws of nature but that are so improbable as to be practically impossible... not like random pillars of fire streaking down from the sky or that sort of thing.
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