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english  Religion and magic.

Marc-Jan Trapman, emailmtrapman@xs4all.nl, 12.10.2003, 13:40
Original: english  Religion and magic. (PG), 11.10.2003, 17:13

Both religion as well as magic are conceptual frameworks handling the experience of 'control', with humans at a centre. Yet they are opposite in that 'Magic' puts the humans in the controlling position and 'Religion' puts humans in the controlled position.

In Religions, God is the magician. In magic, humans have god-like capacity.

Both conceptual frameworks overestimate the place of 'control' in a chaotic reality. This is where 'belief' comes in. 'Belief' is a human escape-mechanism for the experience of smallness *and* significance that humans fear. In western philosophy, we tend to take 'control' as an absolute. Either there is control (or causality), or there is not. We have not developed the concept of 'a little control' in a causally non-continuous space, hence we are unable to handle 'chance' in a fundamental way. The final consequence is that we do not understand the concepts of choice and responsibility. Huge mistakes that follow are for instance the belief that symbolical actors like Bush, Schwarzenegger or Chirac are responsible for the decisions that Americans or the French make in their daily life.