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Magic and Gods

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.pagan.magick,alt.pagan,talk.religion.misc
From: (nagasiva)
Subject: RFHall: Magic and Gods (was Re: A Necessary God)
Date: 18 Dec 1996 01:56:28 -0800

[from sci.philosophy.meta: (Richard F. Hall)]

In article <58l4qu$> (John S. Kernan) writes:
>From: (John S. Kernan)
>Subject: A Necessary God
>Date: Wed, 11 Dec 1996 01:51:30 GMT

>I doubt there is such a  thing as a perfect God because I believe it
>is ontologically impossible for  perfect things to exist.  Even
>theists place limititations on God,

As we look at the history of understanding we can find that as far back as 
three thousand years ago rational people tried to test the repeatability 
and reliability of magic.  In their minds, proper magic results followed 
properly performed rituals.  If the desired results did not follow a give
n ritual, the belief was that the ritual was not done correctly.  We see 
instances where the rituals are described in great detail; down to the ty
pe of cloth the priests wore.  Their belief was that God was in direct control 
of man's destiny.  They did not understand that God's control worked through 
the laws of conservation, entropy, and gravity. 

They believed that God would protect good people who went through the 
proper ceremonies of allegiance to him.  The early people understood that
there were times when things went well with them and they tried to record the 
situation accurately.  When things went wrong, they believed that it was 
because they had sinned against God.  They went back and examined their 
memories and records, and tried to compare what was happening during good 
times and bad times.  Sometimes the differences eluded them, therefore, they 
concluded that they were in some way sinners unbeknownst to themselves.  
Another possibility that occurred to them was that something in their ceremony 
was not done properly and that undermined God's confidence in their discipline 
and allegiance, therefore, they were being punished and trained.  They tried 
to do their rites exactly alike each time, being critical of mistakes and 

If the ancient writers would be asked if they believed in magic in the sense 
that they were ignoring the laws of Nature, they would have denied it.  They 
thought their expectations were justified in reality.  They never heard of the 
laws of conservation, entropy, and gravity, and to them events occurred 
according to God's will.  It may be pointed out here that God's will is now 
understood to work through the laws of Nature.  In other words God's will and 
the laws of Nature are equated. 

Though God was the controller, they paradoxically felt that they could control 
God by proper ceremonial rites.  They tried simple sacrifices.  When that
did not work, they spent more money, time, effort, incense, holy water, 
and gold. They even tried returning to rituals with human sacrifice, which 
entailed the eating of the flesh and blood of the sacrificed.  When the 
results of those rites were found to be no more consistent with success than 
those which used animals and vegetables, they switched to those substitutes.  
It seems that only the wealthy could afford to sacrifice good food that way, 
and the less wealthy, who used only a little dab of bread and wine, were every 
bit as "favored in the sight of God".  Thus, they all switched to the 
sacrificing of bread and wine which symbolized the flesh and blood of the 
former sacrifices.  

As social structures evolved among real people, similar social structures in 
mythology were derived in the spirit world.  Never have refinements in the 
spirit world come before those in the real world.  Recently the hierarchy of 
Saints was reviewed and some of the Saints, such as Saint Christopher, lost 
their positions.  These decisions are much more complex than in earlier 

Beginning of dialectic materialism
All such things were recorded, studied, and thought about.  
Progress was made, enlightenment spread, and they were proud of it. 
As we now understand, the consistency was never perfect, no matter what they 
did.  When all seemed to fail, some few people were discouraged enough to
 try to go it alone, denying that there was a God.  In the old days, when
 everyone believed in many Gods, the doubters who believed in none were p
olyatheists.  When people had thought more about it and believed in only 
one God, the doubters were simply called atheists. Their thoughts were of 
dialectic materialism, but they still did not know about the laws of Nature, 
and their conclusions were as magic as ever, maybe, even more so.

The thrust of my argument is to get away from a stagnation of 
faith in the unreal and the placement of our faith in reality, and at the same 
time preserve our ideals.

Come visit Realistic Idealism

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