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Mooby



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For any dictionary definitions I tend to use the Oxford Dictionary. The Oxford Dictionary doesn't mention it having anything to do specifically with humans, nor is the word used just to apply to humans either (for instance, fairies aren't human nor are unicorns)[. . .]Personally, I would side with the Oxford Dictionary because it is generally considered more reliable than reference.com or Wikipedia.
You are correct that the OED does not mention "humans" on that page.  It does not mention "fairies" or "unicorns," either.

The definition states, "the power of apparently influencing events," which implies there is a magician.  Furthermore, none of its examples it gives have anything to do with the supernatural abilities of a deity.  Lastly, the wording on the American English version of the page makes it even more clear that magic as an adjective refers to an object such as a wand as opposed to something like a deity.

You have to be a bit careful with the OED's definitions, because it often generalizes definitions like that.  For instance, take a look at the definition of theory (identical on both the British and US English page.)  The definition of theory as "a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something" can certainly be read via the colloquial "just a theory" definition, even though that doesn't reflect how scientists use the term.  By contrast, dictionary.com (which you find dubious) goes out of its way to separate the formal and colloquial uses of the term.

In short, the OED gives no indication whatsoever that the term "magic" is or was ever intended to be used to describe a supernatural act performed by a deity.

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The word 'magic' no longer just applies to witchcraft as you've rightly noted with Wicca and as you've also noted they distance themselves with a different spelling, the word clearly has broadened in meaning for them to do that.
Indeed, the word broadened to include creating the illusion of supernatural abilities for entertainment.  There is no evidence, however, that the term broadened to include something that's its polar opposite in several major religions.

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Also before it was associated with the witchcraft in the times people spoke Old English it related to the Greek, magike, and it was the art of the magus (which Etymology Online seems to leave out that part) and they weren't witches, though there were alchemists, astrologers and other things. 'Magi' also exists in the bible, the three wise men are referred to by Mathew as magi (from the Latin, which is from the Greek referring to the same people). The word is older than the Greek too, but we'd be going into Old Persian and further back in History.
You are correct.  The biblical Magi were wise men from the east (often assumed to be Persia) who followed the stars to find Jesus.  The Bible is silent on whether they practiced any of the above, but they were likely astrologers.  In this sense, it's possible they were practitioners of magic--but the Bible never claims they have any supernatural influence on anything.  All we know is that God placed a star that had significance to them, and they followed it.

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Once upon a time I am sure Christians would want to distance themselves from the word 'magic' because it was once the word of witches, any divine intervention or any holy work is the work of God, not witchcraft, but I don't think the need to create that distance is necessary.
It is if the term has absolutely nothing to do with actual Christian belief or practice.

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Because its meaning has broadened to the supernatural and not one specific branch of the supernatural.
No, it has not.  A few atheists exercising wishful thinking so they can use the word improperly to annoy Christians with impunity is not common usage.  And even if it did one day become common usage, it would still not change how it is used in basically every religion in the world, and thus it would be improper to use it otherwise in such a discussion.

Just as how it will always be inaccurate to say that the scientific theories of evolution, relativity, gravity, etc. are equivalent to conjectures because of common use, it will also always be inaccurate to say that Christians believe in magic because of alleged common use.

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This perhaps doesn't apply to you, but I am certain it applies to groups of Christians out there, people have seen witchcraft as a real threat, the old testament instructs their death, hence we had the slaughter of so-called witches in Christianity's history and heck, even today.
As I said, there's no real Catholic (I'm Catholic, so I know its positions best) stance on whether magic is possible.  Magic is grouped in within the larger subset of the occult, which in general is recognized as potentially possible and is considered sinful.  But the reason the occult is considered sinful is precisely because the church doubts magic can come from a human source.  But that's another topic entirely.


How freaking dishonest can you get? You know we were speaking of your god doing supernatural stuff.  You then hide behind definitions and wiki's about how it is the common claims of men claiming to do magic. We were not talking about men or witches doing magic. Quit trying to hide behind semantics. Only someone seriously divorced from reality believes in paranormal woo from a magic god.
It takes a certain kind of arrogance to intentionally twist the definition of a word for the precise purpose of using it improperly and then accuse the other person of intellectual dishonesty when they call you out on your pathetic charade.

If you're not going to take the time to learn the basic terms a religious person uses to describe their beliefs, then you have no business in discussing those beliefs.  And if you insist on doing so anyways, that person has every right to insist that you look up them up so they don't have to waste time holding your hand and walking you through a vocab lesson like a small child.  That goes for anyone, whether you're discussing magic with Christians or voodoo with a vodouist.  Granted, I don't know any vodouists, but I doubt they'd appreciate you going into a discussion ready to criticize "knowledge" you gained from Temple of Doom or Live and Let Die. 

Kindly pull your head out of your backside, take the time to educate yourself, and let me know when you're ready to have a mature discussion.
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