This piece is by JacketRockArt and more of his work can be found here.
This piece is by JacketRockArt and more of his work can be found here.

Okay, I have to admit that I am very tired at the moment. I’m at the NECCT Conference in Connecticut this weekend and it was a fairly long drive. So, I’m going to keep this fairly short and simple today. Richard Cavendish, a historian who was fascinated by the occult, defined magic as the magician’s attempt to impose his will upon the world through the use of supernatural forces. Some would argue that science functions on a similar principle: that science is the scientists attempt to impose his will upon the world through the use of natural forces. Many have also argued that the sciences had their beginning in occult studies (i.e. that chemistry is related to alchemy, that astronomy is related to astrology, etc). Regardless of whether they are true, these claims are relatively common. So, here is my question to you today: what is the relationship between science and magic? Is magic simply science that we don’t understand? Are science and magic seeking to achieve the same fundamental goal (control) through different means? Is magic the predecessor of science? Is science the scion of magic, its usurper… it’s conqueror?

As always, you have 1000 words in which to answer this question. Write me a story that presents and defends your position, and have fun with it.

One thought on “Philosophical Story Challenge of the Week

  1. What exactly magic is in relation to science can be much argued, but the purpose of the two is the same: to fill the desires of the people using them. Now, that may make it all sound greedy, crass, and unworthy, but remember that many people desire for enough food to eat, or for a cure for some disease or another, or to protect their loved ones from some threat or another (usually other people today).

    Whether magic was just a fumbling, uninformed (because there was no one to inform) attempt and science is the more understanding, guided, and refined attempt, or whether they attempt to use fundamentally different powers to achieve this goal, the reality is that the goal is the same.

    Yes, some people used ‘magic’ to achieve fame, wealth, and status. Some have used science the same way. The only way that one can be qualitatively better than another is if you see magic as meddling with inherently evil forces to achieve your goal. In this case, magic is evil and science is neutral in and of itself. In any other, they’re both neutral.

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