Re: Belief in magic and witchcraft

Patrick J Crowe (
15 Nov 1995 03:42 EST

In article <48bkul$>,
(Xochi Zen) writes...
> I'm especially interested in how people convince themselves that
>they can cast death and destruction spells on others successfully - or
>that they can get a job via uttering some "ooga booga" spell. I can well
>understand coming to believe one can do this sort of thing with respect
>to oneself - that would be a matter of motivation, say with the job thing.
>But it's quite another for someone to claim that they could, say, cast
>a spell on a skeptic or public figure that would have some real, unistakeable
>effect. If magic were a real acting-at-a-distance force, you'd expect a lot
>of professional skeptics to wind-up dead.
[remainder deleted]

Actually, from a skeptic's point of view, the reason they don't die is
*because* they are a skeptic. Never underestimate the power of belief.
If a person believes that a death spell has been cast on them, they will
die. Even a skeptic should be able to accept that statement as true.

Where a skeptic and a believer differ is in where they attribute the cause
of death. A believer will say it was the death spell, a skeptic will say
it was the belief in the spell.

-Pat Crowe, SUNY at Buffalo