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Religion and magic

As a religious person, being honest with myself, I feel that I must admit that there’s sometimes very little difference between what’s termed as magic and religion. A magic practitioner performs a certain ritual in order to invoke a response from a spirit, to alter reality, or to further personal development. A religious practitioner performs a certain ordinance to do just the same. For example, why was I babptized? Was it (a) to invoke a certain response from a supernatural entity, such as approval by God for obeying his commandments, (b) to change the reality before me, such as my reward in an afterlife, or (c) to spiritually transform myself through a symbolic act of purification? In any of these cases, I’m taking part in a ritual through which to alter reality through extra-scientific means. By that definition, I’m taking part in magic. I think religious people could benefit by admitting this fact and analyzing the nature and purpose of ritual.

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