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Mooby



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It specifies nothing, only that it is a supernatural power.
No, that's not what it says.  No definition on that page has  the supernatural as its only qualifier.  Read it again.

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The word is used to refer to anything supernatural these days, not just the practice of humans, which is why I consider your chosen definition to be inaccurate.
Since you've claimed this multiple times, you obviously feel it has some weight.  So where's the evidence that this is common use?

Because the only context in which I've ever see it being applied as you claim is both:
- By atheists
- On the internet

Which suggests to me that this alleged broad definition of yours is neologistic.

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The word 'magic' being applied to religion would suggest that the religion is using supernatural powers as part of its belief, which would not be inaccurate. It's not saying it's witchcraft or anything to do with the occult. Just as I sure once it started applying to witches it no longer had anything to do with the magi.

If the word 'theory' was equivalent to conjectures (in some ways, it has) then scientists would have to find a new word. The difference is that one word is becoming inclusive of one set of principles whilst the other is being exclusive. Given 'theory' at the moment includes conjecture AND scientific theory, if it were to become just conjecture it'd be narrowing, not broadening (like with magic).
They are actually quite related.  Saying "evolution is just a theory" is a distraction technique used to cause confusion between the broad definition of the word and the specific scientific definition of the word.  Similarly, saying "Christians believe in magic" is a distraction technique used to cause confusion between the alleged broad definition of the word and the specific religious definition of the word.  Scientists are quick to point out, "No, evolution is not 'just a theory;' it's a scientific theory."  Similarly, Christians are quick to point out, "No, Christians don't believe in magic." 

If the alleged broad definition of "magic" were to become a real, dominant definition, then we would have to do the same thing as a scientists.  Wiccans already do this, using the archaic spelling "magick" to differentiate their rituals from illusory magic.  So then we might switch to saying, "Christians don't believe in illusory magic or magick," but that won't be necessary until your alleged broad definition becomes the dominant definition of the word.

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Heck, wouldn't it piss off those atheists who do use it in a derogative way if suddenly it didn't annoy Christians?
Wouldn't it piss off creationists if it didn't annoy scientists when they used "just a theory" in a derogatory way, and wouldn't it piss off fundamentalists if it didn't annoy atheists when they claimed the atheists "reject God?"

No, it'd validate them, and validate an intentionally misapplied definition.  This is why the atheists in this thread are desperately hanging onto the indefensible claim that I believe in magic than try to understand what it means for me to say that I don't.  You guys have demonstrated quite clearly that you don't care what I actually believe or its implications, you only care about whether you can ride out a stupid, misapplied statement long enough to score a point.

This is why I think it's hilarious when people uphold atheism as an intellectually strong or independent position.  For every one person who makes an intelligent argument, there are 100 sheep blindly following along, going through the motions of a discussion, and looking to score points and get high fives from their buddies.  Sure, all the religious do it too, but at least they're transparent about it. 

At its core, atheism is just another belief, just another world view, no different than the thousands of others you reject.  Calling it a "lack" of belief doesn't make it special, doesn't make it right, and doesn't make it any more intelligent than any other one.  I personally can't wait until atheism becomes a dominant world view, because right now it's still able to ride the wave of its intellectual leaders.  But that won't last forever, and if this thread is any indication, once the moronic masses take over the results should be quite interesting.

Am I any better?  Yeah, marginally.  When an atheist tells me why they feel atheism is not a religion, I don't cite OED's 3rd bullet point or Reference.com's #6, use it to twist the word into something I know doesn't apply to you, claim that it's common use, and then spend multiple posts insisting that it must apply to atheism while waiting for other Christians to join in and agree with me and accusing the other person of being dishonest for not accepting my application of the label.  Instead, I try to understand why it means for an atheist to say they are not part of a religion, and then direct my further attention to addressing that distinction.  But then again, I'm generally more interested in the atheist's beliefs (or lack thereof) than wasting my time desperately trying to apply a label I know isn't really accurate in the first place.

maybe I missed it somewhere, but what word would you use instead of magic?
It depends on what we're talking about.  If we're talking about God doing something supernatural to impact the natural world, then the best word is probably "miracle."  If we're talking about God synthesizing the natural world or something to add to the natural world, then the best word is probably "creation."  If we're talking about God's abilities, we'd probably be using terms like "God" or "God's power" or "omnipotence."  And so on.  If we're talking about supernatural elements ascribable to God while excluding those not ascribable to God, then the best word is probably "divine."

Mooby, I see you using a lot of high falutin labels, like "magic" and "occult" and "unicorns" in an attempt to distance your beliefs - which of course are perfectly sound and reasonable - from the beliefs of other so-called religions - which of course are vulgar, superstitious and frightening.  But all these labels are just semantics.  They only mean anything to you because you are invested in it.  From the outside it looks like an absurd pretense.
I don't think I used "unicorns," and "magic" wasn't introduced by me.  And I don't think any of those labels are particularly "highfalutin;" all of those words are pretty common, with "unicorns" being the least common of them.

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You talk about Wiccans casting spells.  What is that, really?  According to ReligiousTolerance.org, it is a ritual activity wherein the wiccan beseeches the supernatural to alter reality for her.[1]  Compare that to a prayer.
 1. http://www.religioustolerance.org/witchcr4.htm
And on every other site I could possibly find on Google, including multiple sites run by actual Wiccans, spells are the practitioner's own manipulation of magic.

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A prayer is a ritual activity wherein Mooby beseeches one or more supernatural entities to alter reality for him.
No, that's not what a prayer is.

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As a catholic you might pray to god, the holy spirit, jesus H, the Virgin Mary, or one of several hundred saints.  Yeah, that's not polytheism.  Not at all.
Correct.  Christianity is not polytheistic.

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Consubstantiation.  It is just a word catholics use so they don't have to say "magic".
Incorrect.  Consubstantiation is the process of becoming consubstantial, and that's not something Christians believe in magical.

<Crap>
Like I said, when you've pulled your head out of your bottom, educated yourself, and are ready for a mature discussion, let me know.  Clearly you're not there yet.
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screwtape bad post. only addressed the frilly edges, not the substance January 14, 2013, 09:01:28 AM