Most peoples seem to believe in forces in nature that are separate from and operate independently of any spiritual beings and are also separate from those forces identified and measured by science, e.g., gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces. The forces are inherently programmed, apparently since the Creation, to do specific things, either alone or in concert with others, and if left alone they will do those things. Farmers recognize them; poets have written about them ("The force that through the green fuse drives the flower"-Dylan Thomas, 1934).

大半の人々が、いかなるスピリチュアルな存在からもはなれて独立に働き、科学によって特定され計測された重力や電磁力や強い相互作用や弱い相互作用などの力とも別の、自然界にあるフォース(力)を信じている。それらのフォースは、単独もしくは他のフォースと連携して、天地創造以来、特定のことをするように本質的にプログラムされている。農民たちはをそれらを知っている。それらについて詩が書かれている("緑の導火線を通って花を駆りたてる力" -- Dylan Thomas, 1934)。

Power(パワー). The forces, and everything else, are energized by a mystical power that exists in varying degrees in all things. The power in higher-order things, spiritual beings, and people of high status, like African and Polynesian kings, may be dangerous to ordinary people. Power is transferable, through physical contact, sensory perception, or mere proximity. The idea is exemplified in the biblical concept of divine "glory," as halos over the heads of saints in medieval art, and in contemporary New Age "auras" and "psi energy." It is belief in supernatural power that defines the concept of "sacred," and that distinguishes holy water.


In some belief systems, "forces" and "power" may seem to merge; e.g., in the concept of "vital force" that exists in so many forms: Polynesian and Melanesian mana, Iroquois orenda, Algonqian manitou, Sioux wakan, Malay kramat, Indian brahma, Greek dynamis, Chinese qi, ashé among the Yoruba of West Africa and its Caribbean derivatives (aché, axé), "karma" and "chakras" in Hindu and Buddhist healing systems, the alleged "energies" in Therapeutic Touch and Reiki, etc.; and ideas of flowing streams of power in Earth, like "leylines" in Britain and Europe and earth energies addressed in the Chinese geomantic system of feng shui.


A coherent, interconnected cosmos(コヒーレントで、すべてがつながった宇宙).
It is widely believed that everything in the cosmos is actually or potentially interconnected, as if by invisible threads, not only spatially but also temporally-past, present, and future. Further, every thing and every event that has happened, is happening, or will happen was pre-programmed into the cosmic system; and after it has happened, it leaves a record of itself in the cosmic program.


Symbols are words, thoughts, things, or actions that not only represent other things or actions but can take on the qualities of the things they represent. The American flag is a good example; if the flag is mistreated it is more than the material that is damaged. If the thing the symbol stands for has power, the symbol will become powerful. Some symbols with power appear to be universal, e.g., eggs, horns, and the color red; most are understandable only in their specific cultural contexts.


Words are extremely powerful, as they embody their own meaning, and speech is usually part of the magic act. It is universally believed that spoken words, activated by the life force and the intent of the speaker and borne on his or her breath, carry the power of their own meaning directly to their intended target. Unspoken thoughts can do the same, although less effectively. Telepathy, telekinesis, and the projection of "psi energy" are thus explained.


Frazer's principles (フレイザーの原理).
Sir James George Frazer, in his monumental work on religion and kingship, The Golden Bough, explained his famous principles of sympathetic magic in most detail in the third edition, 1911-1915. Heir to the eighteenth-century Positivist assumption of "laws" governing nature and society, Frazer said that sympathetic magic was of two types. "Homeopathic" magic works according to the "law of similarity"-things or actions that resemble other things or actions have a causal connection. "Contagious magic" obeys the "law of contact"-things that have been either in physical contact or in spatial or temporal association with other things retain a connection after they are separated. Frazer is rightly credited for his detailed explication of sympathetic magic and his collection of numerous examples from world ethnology. But ideas of causality based in similarity and contact had been expressed by philosophers since Classical times (e.g., Hippocrates), were integral to the medieval and Renaissance Hermetic systems (e.g., Paracelsus), and had been noted, and dismissed as lazy thinking, by Francis Bacon in his Novum Organum, 1608-1620.


Intercessory Prayerの呪術思考

Stevens[2001]はDr. Elisabeth TargのIntercessory Prayer研究[Sicher et al.1998]が、パワーと自然とのつながり(コスモロジー)とシンボルと類感呪術をベースにしていると評した:
Methods in her 1998 study involved forty American "experienced distant healers" from several different traditions ("Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Native American, and shamanic;" p. 359), who were given five "subject information packets" containing personal data: subject's first name, a current color photograph, and written notations on blood count and current symptoms. Healers were instructed to open their packets on certain dates and "to work on the assigned subject for approximately one hour per day for six consecutive days with the instruction to 'direct an intention for health and well-being' to the subject" (p. 359). Assuming that Targ's current methods are similar, we can now recognize that her generous government grants support testing of a modern form of ancient and universal image magic, involving at least four classic principles of magical thinking: power, interconnections in nature, symbols, and similarity.



A clear example is homeopathy. Fallacies in homeopathic claims have been discussed by many, including Barrett[1987] and Gardner[1989] in this journal; but it is curious that this healing system has not been more widely recognized as based in magical thinking. The fundamental principle of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), similia similibus curentur ("let likes cure likes"), is an explicit expression of a magical principle. The allegedly active ingredients in homeopathic medications were "proved" effective against a particular disease when they produced in healthy people symptoms similar to those caused by the disease.

わかりやすい例はホメオパシーだ。ホメオパシーの主張の誤りはBarnett[1987]やGardner[1989]など本誌記事を含む多くの人々によって論じられてきた。しかし、興味深いことに、この治療方法は呪術思考を基盤としているとは見なされていない。ホメオパシーの基本原則の樹立者Samuel Hahnemann(1755〜1843)は、"similia similibus curentur"(似たものに似たものを癒させよ)[wiki:Classical homeopathy]という、呪術原則そのものの表現を使っている。ホメオパシー薬の成分が病気に起因する症状と類似した症状を健康な人々にもたらすなら、そのホメオパシー薬の成分はその病気に有効だと"証明される"。

Barrett S: "Homeopathy: Is it medicine?", Skeptical Inquirer, 12(1), 56-62, 1987.
Gardner M: "Water with memory? The dilution affair", Skeptical Inquirer 13(2), 132-141, 1989.
まさに、類感呪術(Homeopathic magic)である。



英語版WikiにはMagical thinking(呪術思考)の項目があり、特に論争状態にはなく:
In psychology, magical thinking is non-scientific causal reasoning. Like science, magic is concerned with causal relations; but unlike science, magic often attributes correlation to causation. For example, someone who wins a bowling competition while wearing a certain shirt might conclude that it is a "lucky shirt"; this is an example of magical thinking.


Such scholars as James George Frazer and Bronislaw K. Malinowski have emphasized that magic is more like science than like religion, and that societies with magical beliefs have often had separate religious beliefs and practices.


また、SkepDicにもStevens[2001]を引用するかたちで、Skepdic:magical thinkingという項目がある。

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