Thursday, July 25, 2013

Concerning Magic Part 2

Idylls of the King - Gustave Dore

Yesterday we went into the obvious dos and don'ts about magic. Occultism should never be presented in a positive light. Miracles and Angelic abilities are perfectly acceptable. However these two are somewhat obvious from a Christian perspective, the reason being that Occultism, Miracles and Angels are all real. But in fiction another dimension is added that we don't observe in reality, and that is that characters often have abilities that we don't have in reality, with no apparent theological explanation given.

This sort of fiction includes such fictions as Star Wars and Harry Potter, and this is the part where things get somewhat messy. See the problem with all three of the above is that one is dealing with something that doesn't exist in the real world, namely a mysterious force that can give people superhuman abilities. In Harry Potter it's called 'Magic', in Star Wars it's 'The Force' and in Superhero media it's generally a rather contrived pseudo scientific explanation. Harry, has gotten most of the heat from the mainstream Christian culture, mostly because it uses words such as 'magic', 'witch' and 'wizard', however all and all the abilities contained therein are mostly the same.

See Christians come across a bigger problem here, since Superpowers do not exist in reality what do we do when they appear in fiction? Are they edifying, morally neutral or occultism with a pretty face? How do well tell the difference between a power that is Occult and a power that not? Well first we need to go a bit deeper into what Occultism is.

Occultism is the deep desire on the part of human beings, to gain more power then they already have. To play God if you will. The desire for more power beyond their natural sphere. In a Superpower, the character is either born with inherent abilities, or gains them through use of the natural sphere. This becomes complicated because it calls into the question what is a human's natural sphere? Christians have disagreed. Tolkien being a pseudo Luddite was of the opinion that much of Science violated humanities natural sphere. Others have expanded the natural sphere to be anything humanity can achieve as long as it wasn't expressly forbidden in scripture.

 In all honesty the line is vague and Harry Potter and Star Wars especially fall somewhere between obvious Occult Fiction and Edifying Christian Fantasy (such as what one finds in Narnia or Middle Earth). It's here that Christians have full liberty to draw the lines wherever they deem fit. 

1 comment:

  1. The fact that they take place in *worlds* that don't exist, they are fantastic in nature, is another reason why I accept them - Harry Potter's world doesn't exist, and neither does Anakin Skywalker's. They're also both born with the powers they have. It's sad the fundamentalists have missed out on the message of "Potter" (Love, death, sacrifice, hope, growing up), and focused on the delivery cart.