Of Faith & Magic, an essay

by James Sangster (aka merddyn2002)

What of fidelity and loyalty? Complete trust? Faith is not granted by tangible proof. It comes from the heart and soul. If a person needs proof of God's Existence, then the very notion of spirituality is diminished into sensuality and we have reduced what is holy into what is logical."
-R.A. Salvatore

That's the best explinatin of faith I've seen thus far in my short stay on this wet little planet.

What is faith exactly? Some say it's the "evidence of things not seen." The essence of faith is simply believing in something without probable cause. Faith means accepting unproven ideas as facts of reality.

A patron of a particular faith simply accepting the reality of their deity without tangible proof. That's faith.

A parent defending thier child against an acusation even though she doens't really know the truth. That's faith.

What is magic? That's a simpler question to tackle actually. Magic is simply undiscovered or unrecognized science. Let us define exactly what science is. It's the methodic and systematic process of finding the answers to questions. That being said, as long as one can find the answers to why something happens then it leaves the realm of magic and becomes science.

A scenario:
A radioactive meteorite falling from the heavens 200 years ago that mysteriously killed all it came in contact with might be considered "evil" or "devil magic." The native people of that time didn't understand forces such as radiation or cosmic rays. They might interpret this as evil or magical forces at work. However, once science understands the forces (radiation poisoning and the like) this mystical rock wields it's no longer evil or magical.. It's written up in a textbook somewhere and stored away as accepted scientific fact. But, before it was classified and cataloged it was a thing of great mysticism. Magical demons might have been said to possess the stone and attack all those who came near it. Once the forces (radioactivity in this case) acting upon reality are understood and logically classified in neat little rows it's no longer magical. It's simply mundane.

The forces and effects that some people might label as magic may simply be a undiscovered element of our universe that science does not yet understand. The modern "witch" that enforces his/her will upon the world around them is discounted as superstitious or it may even be whispered that they're a bit insane. But, what can others say when her will becomes reality (her spell works)? It's no longer superstition. How then do you explain away the events that have come to pass? Is it simply that science does not yet understand the forces that the human sprit can wield upon our world? What is so strange about the idea that we can effect other beings around us using the forces of our own body/spirit?

Science does not currently have a way to measure all the forces around us and within our world. Two hundred years ago the radiation discussed earlier didn't exist to the scientific eye simply because it wasn't labeled and there were no instruments to measure it. It hadn't been categorized yet. Are we to conclude that the radiation didn't exist just because we couldn't fully explain it? We should look back upon this and learn from our own discoveries. There ARE forces in the world that we don't quite understand at the moment. Why then are the forces of the mind and body equally dismissed? Could it not be that we don't yet have all the answers?