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Jarhyn

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In the interest of not trying to bogart the topic, I'm just going to put this here and not say much about it quite yet.

Obviously, magic is a topic of some religious discussion.

You hear all kinds of discussions like "magic doesn't exist" and "prayer is just Christian magic" and "look at those Mormons with their crazy magic underwear!"

There are other things meant by it too, to be sure.

But this is a thread to discuss the topic, if it actually interests anyone.

You might even get to see me being crazy and make an ass of myself. Oh what fun that would be!

So let's all us materialists, atheists, and skeptics discuss "magic".
 

steve_bank

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Catholicism by any other name is magic.

Spells and inctaions. A priest-magician converts bread and wine into body and blood of a dead person.
 

Elixir

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When haunting xtian forums one of my favorite questions to ask was “is the Bible a magic book?”
Most common answer “it’s the Word of God”,
Pressing about whether that made it magic seemed to only elicit anger, condemnation and threats of eternal damnation.
 

Hermit

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wild-magic-mushrooms.jpg
 

Cheerful Charlie

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Christians:
"The age of miracle is over."

Christians explaining why the claims of great miracle working power promised by Jesus do not work.
 

steve_bank

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I
I teach a class on it.
You teach magic?
No, I teaach a course on magic and religion cross-culturally. Quite popular.
Ok, I was starting to think you were a kind of shaman or necromancer. Guess I was wrong.

Astrology is being reported as popular among younger generations. In Ca there are business astrologer consultants.

That all cultures have traditions of the sup[supernatural aka magic tells us what?

Carlos Cstenada wrote his first book on alleged experince living with a Mexican native brujo. In the end as I remember he relaizes his mystical experiences were the result of being fed hallucinogenics. The books were popular among the drug culture.

On a Native American show it was said there is a school on a reservation where one can get a degree in shamanism. I thought an agriculture school might be more useful. People cling to beliefs even when it is not in their best interests.
 

Jarhyn

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So, now that folks have had some chance to 'get it out of their system" with cheap and vapid one-offs only vaguely related to not even addressing the OP, I would like to present the idea that not every thing called "magic", especially by those who take the concepts of it seriously, necessarily boil down to delusions.

I'll point out before I get started, that I am a materialist: unless some thing is empirically demonstrated as possible under the general laws of physics, I am going to go with explanations, instead, that fall within the general laws of physics.

Let's assume "Bob".

Bob is a person who believes in "magic" and "spirits".

Bob believes that when he draws a circle on the floor of his bathroom with a sigil, and studies that sigil until it vibrates in their vision and then says "brush my teeth" three times, whenever they enter the room they will feel a pull, an urge, to brush their teeth.

Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?
 

steve_bank

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I'll point out before I get started, that I am a materialist: unless some thing is empirically demonstrated as possible under the general laws of physics, I am going to go with explanations, instead, that fall within the general laws of physics.
But, your posts across the forum tend to be nonsensical unconnected scientific expressions.

What you are describing is what I think is related to sympathetic magic. Ritual indices a conditioned behavior. Voodoo. The power of suggestion.


First you say you are an empirical materialist. Then you ask if Bob is correct in beliving magic symbols and incantaions actualy work. Very strange.

As materialist grounded n physics, why ask if Bob is wrong? An empirical scientist view would say let's see the evidence. Let's have an objective demonstration.

Also yiur description of a magic ritual is somewhat vague. Is Bob's s[ell supposed to work on anyone who walks in the bathroom, or is it done the pretense of people who then like zombies brush thier teeth.

From what I understand spells are fairly specific. There may have to be two different rituals or spells for the two interpretations of your example.

We coud run an experiment. I could craft a doll with your name on it in cat's blood. Then over a 24 hour period at random times I will stick a needle into te butt of the opll. Then yiu can report if you felt anything. Of corse I woud aply stick the needle into the soft fleshy Ipart. Of course I would not want to actually hurt you.
 

Jarhyn

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No, pay very close attention to what I asked.

I asked:
Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?

I did not discuss whether it had anything to do with sigils materially, or whether some fantastic thing was happening. I did not propose some non-real effect of material. I did not propose any thing.

All I said was what he did materially, and ask whether the effect would follow from that given cause.

Bob believes if he does some thing, there will be an effect.

I did not ask yet about the mechanism, I asked about the effect.

Part of this thread is to discuss the nature of the mechanism, but first it must be ascertained what the effect is, whether you expect there to be one.
 

Swammerdami

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The topic seems open-ended. I think the term "magic" can be applied to phenomenon which are not supernatural or impossible.
Carlos Cstenada wrote his first book on alleged experince living with a Mexican native brujo. In the end as I remember he relaizes his mystical experiences were the result of being fed hallucinogenics. The books were popular among the drug culture.
Is this true? I thought Castaneda (or rather the fictional version of himself depicted in The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge) was well aware that he was ingesting hallucinogens. Does this knowledge mean he didn't think he was experiencing "magic"?
 

abaddon

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Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?
"Wrong" is a little vague. Bob's inaccurate and that's what many folk will zero in on. So in that sense he's wrong even if he "feels pulled" to brush his teeth. If Bob achieves that result by the power of suggestion, or he wants to avoid disappointing himself after all the energy he put into that ritual, then he's neither wrong nor right to say "it works".

----

My problem with religion isn't that it's wrong but that it 'metaphysicizes' the living heck out of psychological events. The result is you get other overly-literal minds reacting to that. They say "nuh uh! you're INACCURATE!" For them, that justifies a total dismissal. So there's "something there" to religion (and magic) but it's not for the reasons they believe.

To say the same basic thing from a different angle, my attraction to religion isn't that it's right... But that if you don't dismiss it entirely due to the inaccuracies, there's a gem or two under the pile of poop. If you look in a treasure chest and see a lot of cheap baubles, it's a mistake to say "like I thought! it's only baubles!"
 

Jarhyn

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Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?
"Wrong" is a little vague. Bob's inaccurate and that's what many folk will zero in on. So in that sense he's wrong even if he "feels pulled" to brush his teeth. If Bob achieves that result by the power of suggestion, or he wants to avoid disappointing himself after all the energy he put into that ritual, then he's neither wrong nor right to say "it works".

----

My problem with religion isn't that it's wrong but that it 'metaphysicizes' the living heck out of psychological events. The result is you get other overly-literal minds reacting to that. They say "nuh uh! you're INACCURATE!" For them, that justifies a total dismissal. So there's "something there" to religion (and magic) but it's not for the reasons they believe.

To say the same basic thing from a different angle, my attraction to religion isn't that it's right... But that if you don't dismiss it entirely due to the inaccuracies, there's a gem or two under the pile of poop. If you look in a treasure chest and see a lot of cheap baubles, it's a mistake to say "like I thought! it's only baubles!"
Nothing has been described so as to be judged as inaccurate.

I merely stated that Bob believes that doing these things will create the effect bob wishes to see. I said nothing of how it happens, or what Bob thinks makes it work.

I have described nothing other than what Bob did, and what Bob expected as a result.
 

abaddon

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The topic seems open-ended. I think the term "magic" can be applied to phenomenon which are not supernatural or impossible.
Carlos Cstenada wrote his first book on alleged experince living with a Mexican native brujo. In the end as I remember he relaizes his mystical experiences were the result of being fed hallucinogenics. The books were popular among the drug culture.
Is this true? I thought Castaneda (or rather the fictional version of himself depicted in The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge) was well aware that he was ingesting hallucinogens. Does this knowledge mean he didn't think he was experiencing "magic"?
As I remember, the reliance on hallucinogens became less as the book series progressed.
So he never came to think his mystical experiences were due only to hallucinogens since he went on having them after stopping using them. Rather, he said (or Don Juan said) that the hallucinogens were necessary in the early stages, to break down his ingrained story about the world.
 

abaddon

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I merely stated that Bob believes that doing these things will create the effect bob wishes to see. I said nothing of how it happens, or what Bob thinks makes it work.

I have described nothing other than what Bob did, and what Bob expected as a result.
Ok, so Bob's wrong. He believes something he hasn't observed yet.
 

Jarhyn

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I merely stated that Bob believes that doing these things will create the effect bob wishes to see. I said nothing of how it happens, or what Bob thinks makes it work.

I have described nothing other than what Bob did, and what Bob expected as a result.
Ok, so Bob's wrong. He believes something he hasn't observed yet.
I wouldn't agree with your interpretation of what wrongness implies.

Wrongness implies the thing he has not observed yet will not be observed in the frame of his belief in it's observation.

Let's assume a deterministic universe, even, because why the hell not.

Let us assume, even, that Bob has done a similar exercise at his front door, after consistently failing to remember his things, and now reliably remembers "keys cellphone, wallet, watch".
 

Jarhyn

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@Swammerdami, you are correct at where this is going.

There are a great many people like Bob who fully understand that what they are doing is a material process based on material interactions with nothing "supernatural" involved.

Are Bob and his friends merely wrong to select the word "magic" to describe what they are doing?
 

steve_bank

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Had no idea people would remember Castenada. I met someone a few years go who back in the day went onto a reservation to take peyote when it was legal for outsiders to participate as part of the Native American Church.

Why does the Native American Church use peyote?


Peyote, eaten in the ritual context, enables the individual to commune with God and the spirits (including those of the departed) in contemplation and vision and so to receive from them spiritual power, guidance, reproof, and healing.

I remember a scene in the book when he has an AHA! moment. He was being influenced by drugs and the power of suggestion. Power of suggestion being an essential ingredient n folk magic.

It is also important in stage magic.

I'd have to fact check, I believe in some out out the way place in Europe Houdini was actually accused of witchcraft.
 

steve_bank

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No, pay very close attention to what I asked.

I asked:
Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?

I did not discuss whether it had anything to do with sigils materially, or whether some fantastic thing was happening. I did not propose some non-real effect of material. I did not propose any thing.

All I said was what he did materially, and ask whether the effect would follow from that given cause.

Bob believes if he does some thing, there will be an effect.

I did not ask yet about the mechanism, I asked about the effect.

Part of this thread is to discuss the nature of the mechanism, but first it must be ascertained what the effect is, whether you expect there to be one.
My subjectively objective analysis combined with applying modal logic leads me to conclude oyou have no idea what you are doing.
 

Jarhyn

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No, pay very close attention to what I asked.

I asked:
Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?

I did not discuss whether it had anything to do with sigils materially, or whether some fantastic thing was happening. I did not propose some non-real effect of material. I did not propose any thing.

All I said was what he did materially, and ask whether the effect would follow from that given cause.

Bob believes if he does some thing, there will be an effect.

I did not ask yet about the mechanism, I asked about the effect.

Part of this thread is to discuss the nature of the mechanism, but first it must be ascertained what the effect is, whether you expect there to be one.
My subjectively objective analysis combined with applying modal logic leads me to conclude oyou have no idea what you are doing.
So, you have devolved to just spouting garbage then and shitting on the floor. Very mature of you.

I asked whether Bob was wrong in believing that by doing the exercise that he can accomplish his goal, not in whether you are capable of dropping trow and shitting on the floor. We all knew you were capable of the latter.
 

steve_bank

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You have developed a new form of logic, Muddled Logic.
 

Elixir

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I think General Religion just got busted down to Corporal Religion.
 

Jarhyn

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You have developed a new form of logic, Muddled Logic.
No, I asked you a very simple question and because you don't like to think about where I am going to go with it you shit on the floor.
 

steve_bank

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You have developed a new form of logic, Muddled Logic.
No, I asked you a very simple question and because you don't like to think about where I am going to go with it you shit on the floor.
I still don't understand your example.

Is Bob's ritual supposed to make people watching the ritual brush their teeth, or does the spell make people who enter the bathroom brush their teeth. Magucally speking an inportant distinction.

In any case how do you now if somebody was going to brush their teeth anyway?

I give up I am stumped, what is Bob supposed to beleive?
 

Jarhyn

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You have developed a new form of logic, Muddled Logic.
No, I asked you a very simple question and because you don't like to think about where I am going to go with it you shit on the floor.
I still don't understand your example.

Is Bob's ritual supposed to make people watching the ritual brush their teeth, or does the spell make people who enter the bathroom brush their teeth. Magucally speking an inportant distinction.

In any case how do you now if somebody was going to brush their teeth anyway?

I give up I am stumped, what is Bob supposed to beleive?
I asked specifically if the thing Bob did will work or not, for Bob.

It's a simple yes/no question: is Bob correct in believing that if he does the absurd thing I mentioned, that his goal of thinking to brush his teeth will likely be accomplished?

I would explore additional beliefs later, but this one belief is the belief I am exploring now.
 

abaddon

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Nobody can know if it'll work. Bob doesn't know. His belief might make the power of suggestion work. The key word is "might".

Is "magic" the wrong word? Yes because of how baggage laden it is. It strongly implies mysterious goings-on between immaterial forces and material objects. So if his belief is in the power of suggestion but he's calling it "magic" then it's the wrong choice of word.
 

Jarhyn

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Nobody can know if it'll work. Bob doesn't know. His belief might make the power of suggestion work. The key word here is MIGHT.

Is "magic" the wrong word? Yes because of how baggage laden it is. It evokes notions about mysterious goings-on between immaterial forces and material objects. So if his belief is in the power of suggestion but he's calling it "magic" then it's the wrong choice of word.
Sorry, but you don't get to decide for humanity and thousands of years (far more, really) what magic means for others.

It is common misconceptions about what Bob is doing that caused that evocation of such a notion, not the claim of Bob that his Magic is effective but in other people jumping to wild conclusions about what it is Bob is doing, and believing and why it's effects happen.

"Magic" is the term that has always, by people like Bob and the originators of many of the games of Corruptive Telephone that have resulted in your dubious understanding of the concepts that I'm going to discuss here.

So regardless of what you want or think is right, you don't get to be prescriptivist of this language. It's not yours to prescribe.

The key word is not "might" but rather "is highly likely to". To the same extent of likelihood that taking an antibiotic "might" keep Bob from dying from a bacterial infection.

So let's try this again, is Bob wrong in his belief that if he does that thing I described, that he will likely remember to brush his teeth when he goes into the bathroom?

Because if we can get to that point we can move on from here.
 

abaddon

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Yes Bob's wrong. And Bob's a schizotypal spaz.

Let's say Bob visualizes a reward for brushing his teeth a few times and so he starts experiencing it as pleasurable to do it.

Is it behavioral conditioning or magic?
 

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Bob believes that when he draws a circle on the floor of his bathroom with a sigil, and studies that sigil until it vibrates in their vision and then says "brush my teeth" three times, whenever they enter the room they will feel a pull, an urge, to brush their teeth.

Is Bob wrong in the belief that if he does this thing, he will get the effect he seeks?
Bob can condition himself to want to brush his teeth when he sees the sigil.... (see Pavlov). If he believes that it will cause anyone who sees it to want to brush their teeth then Bob is delusional and a bit freaky.
 

steve_bank

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I see some real magic happening here.
Gimme some of that 'old black magic'.
That girl she must have used used some Voodoo magic on me, I can't resist her.

Did somebody say magic?

In the cinext of the thread I'd say magic is taken to be synonymous with the supernatural. Rituals and incantations and objects that have an unseen causal effect on people and reality.

It is a loaded contectual word which was used as part of the OP title. The OP goes on to describe a ritual that would affect people. I guess we are supposed to magically deduce the intent of the OP title.

I was walking in a cave and found a ring that apparently makes me invisible. Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars are all about magic.
 

steve_bank

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Nobody can know if it'll work. Bob doesn't know. His belief might make the power of suggestion work. The key word here is MIGHT.

Is "magic" the wrong word? Yes because of how baggage laden it is. It evokes notions about mysterious goings-on between immaterial forces and material objects. So if his belief is in the power of suggestion but he's calling it "magic" then it's the wrong choice of word.
Sorry, but you don't get to decide for humanity and thousands of years (far more, really) what magic means for others.

It is common misconceptions about what Bob is doing that caused that evocation of such a notion, not the claim of Bob that his Magic is effective but in other people jumping to wild conclusions about what it is Bob is doing, and believing and why it's effects happen.

"Magic" is the term that has always, by people like Bob and the originators of many of the games of Corruptive Telephone that have resulted in your dubious understanding of the concepts that I'm going to discuss here.

So regardless of what you want or think is right, you don't get to be prescriptivist of this language. It's not yours to prescribe.

The key word is not "might" but rather "is highly likely to". To the same extent of likelihood that taking an antibiotic "might" keep Bob from dying from a bacterial infection.

So let's try this again, is Bob wrong in his belief that if he does that thing I described, that he will likely remember to brush his teeth when he goes into the bathroom?

Because if we can get to that point we can move on from here.
I take clever sophistry to be a form of magic. Practitioners seem to believe it can magically affect people.

The line from Star Wars 'The Force works on the weak minded' and 'Jedyee mind tricks'. The power of suggestion.

Bob draws a symbol and gazes ubtil it vibrates, what's up with that? Have you been staring at pentagrams? Why In yiur example if Bob's symbol is vibrating do mean it really is or is he imagining it?

Have you ever practced magic rituals and spells? One of HP Lovecraft's themes was people playing with witchcraft and getting more than they bargained for.

The thread is nothing about magic and ritual.

It is another Jaryn thread on simlelogic made complcated and declaring everybody else wrong. Should be moved to the Logic forum unless it delves into issue like claims and proofs as for the theists.
 

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I see some real magic happening here.
Gimme some of that 'old black magic'.
That girl she must have used used some Voodoo magic on me, I can't resist her.

Did somebody say magic?

In the cinext of the thread I'd say magic is taken to be synonymous with the supernatural. Rituals and incantations and objects that have an unseen causal effect on people and reality.

It is a loaded contectual word which was used as part of the OP title. The OP goes on to describe a ritual that would affect people. I guess we are supposed to magically deduce the intent of the OP title.

I was walking in a cave and found a ring that apparently makes me invisible. Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars are all about magic.
I know very few Magick practicing types who would consider magic to be "supernatural". Nature is the center of the whole thing, they just understand her differently than do Christians and their ideological offspring.
 

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It is another Jaryn thread on simlelogic made complcated and declaring everybody else wrong. Should be moved to the Logic forum unless it delves into issue like claims and proofs as for the theists.
Yes. It looks like a typical 'argument' seen in internet philosophy forums that goes nowhere because the meaning of the terms are intentionally left nebulous so that any point made can be disputed by using a different definition of the term (which means not even arguing the same point). Jarhyn would have no question to argue if he defined what definition of "magic" he is using..
 

steve_bank

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I see some real magic happening here.
Gimme some of that 'old black magic'.
That girl she must have used used some Voodoo magic on me, I can't resist her.

Did somebody say magic?

In the cinext of the thread I'd say magic is taken to be synonymous with the supernatural. Rituals and incantations and objects that have an unseen causal effect on people and reality.

It is a loaded contectual word which was used as part of the OP title. The OP goes on to describe a ritual that would affect people. I guess we are supposed to magically deduce the intent of the OP title.

I was walking in a cave and found a ring that apparently makes me invisible. Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars are all about magic.
I know very few Magick practicing types who would consider magic to be "supernatural". Nature is the center of the whole thing, they just understand her differently than do Christians and their ideological offspring.
I understand. As a form of religion and mythology it is no more or less than any other beliefs. Jaryn turned it into one his dissertations on simple logic and philosophizing, that is what I was saying.

A guy sitting on a floor staring at a symbol. Kind of a silly example.
 

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The topic seems open-ended. I think the term "magic" can be applied to phenomenon which are not supernatural or impossible.
Carlos Cstenada wrote his first book on alleged experince living with a Mexican native brujo. In the end as I remember he relaizes his mystical experiences were the result of being fed hallucinogenics. The books were popular among the drug culture.
Is this true? I thought Castaneda (or rather the fictional version of himself depicted in The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge) was well aware that he was ingesting hallucinogens. Does this knowledge mean he didn't think he was experiencing "magic"?

Castaneda's books were full of made up nonsense.

 

Jarhyn

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I see some real magic happening here.
Gimme some of that 'old black magic'.
That girl she must have used used some Voodoo magic on me, I can't resist her.

Did somebody say magic?

In the cinext of the thread I'd say magic is taken to be synonymous with the supernatural. Rituals and incantations and objects that have an unseen causal effect on people and reality.

It is a loaded contectual word which was used as part of the OP title. The OP goes on to describe a ritual that would affect people. I guess we are supposed to magically deduce the intent of the OP title.

I was walking in a cave and found a ring that apparently makes me invisible. Lord Of The Rings and Star Wars are all about magic.
I know very few Magick practicing types who would consider magic to be "supernatural". Nature is the center of the whole thing, they just understand her differently than do Christians and their ideological offspring.
I understand. As a form of religion and mythology it is no more or less than any other beliefs. Jaryn turned it into one his dissertations on simple logic and philosophizing, that is what I was saying.

A guy sitting on a floor staring at a symbol. Kind of a silly example.
No, you turned it into a whine-fest where you moan that someone is posting on a forum discussing a topic many deem religious as a religious topic while shitting on the floor.

I started the thread to discuss concepts of magic. The concepts I am personally discussing here are concepts of magic as understood by people who actually practice ritual magic.

The point of the ritual, part of what Bob understands makes it work at all, is the silliness of it.


This is the sum total of beliefs Bob has:
That people remember things that happen in locations with a bizarre or abnormal aspect to them.

So he figured out something suitably bizarre, attached it to a specific intent by speaking that intent in a memorable way as part of the bizarre action.

Now, when he enters the bathroom he remembers the bizarre occurrence and as a part of that memory of bizarre occurrence that he wants to brush his teeth and he's in a place where he can do that.

The more bizarre Bob makes the occurrence, the more visceral and magical he can make it feel, the more likely he is to remember it reliably.

Bob accepts all this: Bob does not believe in any presence outside of the operation of his own brain accomplished the effect.

It's an effect not unlike PTSD minus the anxiety and awfulness.

Bob does believe in what most people call "magic" having a real and useful effect.

Of course he could have picked any bizarre experience, but in order to leverage the power of suggestion as much as possible, he used something that people have long suggested works to the outcome, picked a sigil with an appropriate significance to health, and operated it in the way others suggested: to look at it until the point that an optical illusion of scintillation occurs at the edges of lines.
 

steve_bank

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Its weird. Every time I see Bob in the tread I think of the movie Bod, Carol, Ted, and Alice about wife swapping.

What's up with the repetitious use of the word sigil? I had to look it up not being an expert in magical traditions. Where did you pick up the term? Are you an expert in magical traditions?

I would say Magic 101 is using technical jargon to create an aura or perception of the mystical. Creating a sense of awe in the target. Are you playing Jedeye mind tricks on us simple weak minded folk?

I have a strange urge to brush my teeth.
 

skepticalbip

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I started the thread to discuss concepts of magic. The concepts I am personally discussing here are concepts of magic as understood by people who actually practice ritual magic.

The point of the ritual, part of what Bob understands makes it work at all, is the silliness of it.
I would disagree. The silly part is Bob (as you present him) confusing conditioning and 'magic'. As you describe it, Bob would believe that a dog being conditioned (trained) to sit, lie down, play dead, etc. when given the appropriate cue would be magic.
 

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I started the thread to discuss concepts of magic. The concepts I am personally discussing here are concepts of magic as understood by people who actually practice ritual magic.

The point of the ritual, part of what Bob understands makes it work at all, is the silliness of it.
I would disagree. The silly part is Bob (as you present him) confusing conditioning and 'magic'. As you describe it, Bob would believe that a dog being conditioned (trained) to sit, lie down, play dead, etc. when given the appropriate cue would be magic.
Bob is not conditioning himself by conventional means. What you call conditioning, Bob, and many like Bob, call "magic". As much as you would like to call it conditioning at all, if it is to be considered such it is a third kind from operant and classical not generally discussed in literature: indirect mnemonic conditioning.

It is even a fact that Bob leveraged his own magical thinking to achieve some of his desired effect.

Regardless, you are now at "No True Scotsman Magic!"

The point is that oftentimes when people argue "magic is not real", what they really wish to say is "Magic is not spirits in a shared invisible spatial plane, but humans acting on ideas in this one."

These are very different statements, one of which gets a door slammed in your face and one gets you an avenue into resolving beliefs away from "homeopathy: cure your material ailments with a substance that can only change the arrangement of a few neurons and only that much because you believe it can do anything at all" or other such fucked up quackery.
 
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skepticalbip

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I started the thread to discuss concepts of magic. The concepts I am personally discussing here are concepts of magic as understood by people who actually practice ritual magic.

The point of the ritual, part of what Bob understands makes it work at all, is the silliness of it.
I would disagree. The silly part is Bob (as you present him) confusing conditioning and 'magic'. As you describe it, Bob would believe that a dog being conditioned (trained) to sit, lie down, play dead, etc. when given the appropriate cue would be magic.
Bob is not conditioning himself by conventional means. What you call conditioning, Bob, and many like Bob, call "magic". As much as you would like to call it conditioning at all, if it is to be considered such it is a third kind from operant and classical not generally discussed in literature: indirect mnemonic conditioning.
Ah, but Bob is conditioning himself. He just does it weirdly because he thinks it is "magic". Now if Bob did his "ritual" to make someone not involved in and unaware of the "ritual" and it made them have an urge to brush their teeth, then that may be called 'magic'.

Someone convincing themselves that they they should do something when seeing a specific cue, even if they use a weird ritual to do so, is only self conditioning.

Your calling it magic just because he uses a really weird ritual only makes the word, "magic", pretty much meaningless.
 

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I started the thread to discuss concepts of magic. The concepts I am personally discussing here are concepts of magic as understood by people who actually practice ritual magic.

The point of the ritual, part of what Bob understands makes it work at all, is the silliness of it.
I would disagree. The silly part is Bob (as you present him) confusing conditioning and 'magic'. As you describe it, Bob would believe that a dog being conditioned (trained) to sit, lie down, play dead, etc. when given the appropriate cue would be magic.
Bob is not conditioning himself by conventional means. What you call conditioning, Bob, and many like Bob, call "magic". As much as you would like to call it conditioning at all, if it is to be considered such it is a third kind from operant and classical not generally discussed in literature: indirect mnemonic conditioning.
Ah, but Bob is conditioning himself. He just does it weirdly because he thinks it is "magic". Now if Bob did his "ritual" to make someone not involved in and unaware of the "ritual" and it made them have an urge to brush their teeth, then that may be called 'magic'.

Someone convincing themselves that they they should do something when seeing a specific cue, even if they use a weird ritual to do so, is only self conditioning.

Your calling it magic just because he uses a really weird ritual only makes the word, "magic", pretty much meaningless.
Again, "No True Scotsman Magic".

Your wishing to use the term "magic" to only refer specifically to "that which is explicitly ineffective make-believe" makes the term pretty much meaningless, especially when that is NOT how it is used or meant in fact by the people who live their lives effectively doing something, and generally done so under the term "magic".

Using it in such a way essentially legitimizes the oh-so-christian tendency of trying to bury a thing that is not understood within the Christian dogma as something ridiculous, hijacking a term so as to perform an erasure of knowledge.

There are a lot more interesting, powerful, and even psychologically dangerous things Bob can do with this model.

Bob can, for example, leverage the mental process that creates "sunk cost fallacy" beliefs using a "sacrifice" in his ceremony, pinning his intent on something much more truly traumatic in some way (a physical loss), the more impactful the more effective!

Of course this touches on something widely acknowledged within occult communities: "magic" as used by Bob can only modify intent, solidify resolve, and put the mind in the right place to allow success and prevent self-defeat.

And if you observe carefully, this is how most actual users of magic use it, but often they step beyond the bounds of rationality to ascribe additional, non-existent mechanisms, mostly as an effect of the obscurity created by certain propaganda efforts wages by various parties some of which include the bigger names in esoteric history.

Without accepting this definition, one cuts themselves off from actually being able to reach any of what one might judge of Bob as irrational beliefs, and allows Bob a justification to make the same category error you do: to judge all things "magic" as real because the "magic" they do IS, mostly, real, and the claims you make are laughably uninformed from Bob's perspective.

It is like taking your entire model for understanding drug use from Reefer Madness, to take your definition of "Magic" from The Catholic Church's dogma.
 

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An interesting point is that much of "magic" was developed as what amounts to "folk psychology" in a day and age when believing anything about the mind beyond the teachings of the church would get someone executed.

Religion got mixed in, terms got changed, ignorant folks said "Oh Hey This All Looks Made Up, I Can Make Shit Up Too!" and then pulling shit out their ass and inserting that ass-pull into a body of fairly accurate descriptions of cause/effect with what are, generally, bad attributions of mechanism.

Of course this also happened long before we understood how to make an AI work, which amounts to taking an intent, operating some neural network while judging it's output with relation to that intent, and propagating approval or disapproval at results to change certain bias elements of the system.

These are obviously also things you can do within your own mind, since you are literally directly connected to a vast neural network and have the ability to choose to level disapproval at specific thoughts inside your own mind, changing their tendency as responses as the result of operating the intent.

It would certainly NOT be described in the same terminology as the technological version, seeing as how we only discovered AI in the last century and people have been using Magic since before we had words to even describe it badly.

Again it all comes down to a reasonable expectation that rather than judging the things other people do as "not real", and getting doors slammed in your face, it helps to have a discussion instead of "how and why the real parts are real and the questionable parts are questionable."
 
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Listen to Jarhyn. He's a wizard. He knows about magic.

On an irrelevant point, Jarhyn, you were right about the Geico Gecko. That lizard does not eat wizard gizzards. If you meet that lizard, it will try to sell you car insurance. According to my long eared doggies, Wilma and Huckleberry, Eddie Izzard, who cannot decide what gender he is, is the lizard who eats wizard gizzards.

Eldarion Lathria
 

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Listen to Jarhyn. He's a wizard. He knows about magic.

On an irrelevant point, Jarhyn, you were right about the Geico Gecko. That lizard does not eat wizard gizzards. If you meet that lizard, it will try to sell you car insurance. According to my long eared doggies, Wilma and Huckleberry, Eddie Izzard, who cannot decide what gender he is, is the lizard who eats wizard gizzards.

Eldarion Lathria
Now that you are done unintentionally making yourself look like an ass because you don't know what you're talking about and don't want to know what you are talking about, try actually reading the thread.
 

steve_bank

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An example of modern magic is Scientology. Rituals and bogus instruments that create a 'spell' for the believer.
 

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An example of modern magic is Scientology. Rituals and bogus instruments that create a 'spell' for the believer.
So, it is interesting insofar as the instrument of scientology itself is not specifically "bogus" insofar as "does nothing". It very much does measure something (somatic control over electric currents of the body) that is being used as a proxy for something else: ascertaining whether the subject is in a state where they are likely to be brainwashed or manipulated, far from their normal contexts of rational thought.

In many ways, the E-Meter is a disctraction of the rational mind from it's capability of critical analysis: they make you think ridiculous things while observing a secondary reaction that happens often when someone is rejecting what they are being told.

Indeed, thinking that such an instrument is "bogus" leads to a failure to understand and educate others of the dangers of the device..

It doesn't really matter much whether someone believes in the "bogus instrument"; if someone manages to get that meter to 0 while listening to some crazy talk, they're already almost certainly under a spell, namely a spell of brainwashing.

Again, only by not discounting that SOMETHING is happening may one truly understand what effect will lead from the cause.
 

steve_bank

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The E Meter is not dangerous. It is a galvanic skin resistance meter originally used in lie detectors to detect sweat. Hubbard borrowed it


ascertaining whether the subject is in a state where they are likely to be brainwashed or manipulated, far from their normal contexts of rational thought.

That applies to adverting, music, movies, and politics.

I wonder if Bob, aka Jaryn, is actualy staring at sigils and is asking what we think of Bb aka Karyn the magic expert.
 
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