1. notleia says:

    Honestly, I find question 3 to be the only one that is actually interesting. Especially the contrast of characters doing the wrong thing for entirely sympathetic, or even good, reasons. Mmm yes, dat psychology.

    Because Elsa is sympathetic because her neutral magic had always been treated as naturally evil. Or take your classic DnD alignments, where Lawful can also be Evil, and Chaotic can also be Good. That last one, especially. Because many anxious and insecure types do their copes with rules, so they are inclined to take disruption as inherently bad, even if it isn’t. Is it Evil, or is it merely unorderly? (PS, that pretty much sums up my take on the Question of the Gays. You can probably guess where I land.)

  2. R.M. Archer says:

    I personally wouldn’t conflate something like the Midi-chlorians as “a higher power other than God.” As you said, they’re a “natural-law power in the universe.” This, to me, is its own category. Anything natural to the world is inherently set in place by the creator of that world, whether that fact is acknowledged or not; therefore, personally, I’d categorize it more closely under “attributing supernatural power to God,” even if it’s not explicitly stated as such.
    Depending on the degree of self-centeredness, I’d even place many “self”-powered magic systems in this category. I definitely understand drawing a distinction in cases like Frozen II where it’s very much emphasized that all the character needs is themselves; that’s a humanist viewpoint that should be acknowledged. But in cases where magic is, say, a genetic element, it is also built into the world as the creator made it.
    I would concede that lines get fuzzier as you look at media with varying degrees of secular vs. theistic thought. The more the worldview of a given piece of art reflects secular humanism, the less wiggle room there often is to acknowledge a potential in-world creator influence (like when you look at Frozen II).
    This is a great article, and I appreciate the food for thought! There are several angles or issues to consider with fictional magic, and these are good ones to start with. 🙂

What say you?