The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Roger Burton West roger at firedrake.org
Fri Feb 20 17:46:12 EST 2004


On Fri, Feb 20, 2004 at 09:15:47PM -0000, Charles Butler wrote:

>3) The word 'witch' (or 'wizard') simply describes a certain innate ability
>to do magic - like being double-jointed, and has nothing to do with belief
>or affiliation at all.

That's certainly the only approach one _can_ take if one's going to have
religion as simply "something that is there" and not to be looked into
in any sort of detail.

But taking JOdel's point and running with it, the fact that there _is_
overlap between the (repeatably demonstrable) abilities of magicians and
the (may or may not be consistent depending on your world-view) miracles
claimed to have happened by many religions suggests that it's really not
going to be that simple. What if a competent magician has a Damascene
revelation and decides to become an active Christian/etc.? What, for
that matter, if a true-believing Muslim/etc. child is discovered to have
a talent for magic after that true belief is established? Are they just
totally incompatible world-views, in which case we _are_ getting back to
Charlie's types 1 and 2, or is it more complex than that?

These situations aren't simply not going to happen, and when they do
happen they'll probably cause a lot of discussion and soul-searching. I
think it's a disservice to ignore them; the only justification that I
can see would be a belief that no child is interested in religion in 
any way (or that the ones who are won't be allowed to read the books).

Roger
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