I think that this could turn out to be a good discussion as from time to time we get the Good vs Evil concepts in different forms. This is something that is drawn out of proprtion as to how one should react to situations and others.
This is not a lecture on ethics. I think that subject has been
over-done in the Pagan community and if you pick up any 101 book on the Craft, the largest chapter in the book is usually about ethics. My
opinion is that ethics is a lame subject for Philosophers to have
something to argue about.
First off I'd like to dispel some of the myths about Sorcery that put off most people from ever learning it or studying it.
#1 "Sorcerers are selfishly motivated" - okay so we are. Whoopee.
Although what's wrong with looking out for number one? Plus how can I
help make the world better if my own personal universe is all in a
shambles? How can one be spiritual if one does not have the money to
pay the rent, bills, to buy needed medicines? Rather than be a pariah
upon society, the Sorcerer is one who first looks out for him/herself
THEN takes an active role in helping others around them.
#2 "Sorcery is evil" - Nonsense! Sorcery is merely a system of practice not a religion. To become a Sorcerer all one needs to do (in theory) is dedicate himself to bettering his life with the aid of Magical rites, spells and ceremonies. Are there evil sorcerers? Sure! But there are also crooked cops, quack doctors and stupid people in this world so
don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. But not all who practice
the arts of Sorcery are evil.
#3 "To practice Sorcery I must sell my soul to a Demon" - again this
pure non-sense! If someone tells you this don't buy it! It's nonsense.
Occasionally you may summon one to ask some questions or bargain for some needed help in a sticky situation but to sell your soul? No. The selling of one's soul is a lurid fantasy for those bored with their
lives or half-rate hucksters of dime store Enquiring minds genre.
#4 "Sorcerers don't care who they hurt on their way to Occult mastery"
- another unsupported myth. There are those who abuse the arts just
like there are those who abuse the laws of the land with loopholes.
I've heard Sorcerers likened to the 1980's corporate raiders -
heartless, cold and cruel. Again there are "some" Sorcerers out there
who don't care about trampling anyone in their way to their goals and
that includes other Sorcerers who get in their way!
* * *
Sorcerers DO believe in taking responsibility for their own actions -
this may come as a surprise but we do have a conscience. We have to be able to sleep with ourselves at night. We may not buy into the eastern concept of 'karma' nor do we believe in any 'threefold laws' but we also don't believe that it's okay to go around bullying others just so
you can get your own way.
No one likes a bully. In the annals of the Occult, there have been many
tales of Sorcerers who've met their demise due to their bullying others
less fortunate. Bullies rely on the weaknesses of others for them to
feel superior. Once you stand up to one, even on the occult planes of
existence, then you'll find they're not as tough as they'd have you
think they are.
We don't live by any 'thou shalt nots" nor do we ascribe to 'karma' but
we do ascribe to the Modified Golden Rule. "Do unto others as they do
* * *
If you cast a spell for a job promotion and Gwynneth gets fired, your
actions are not necessarily the ones that 'caused' that to happen. Why?
#1 Perhaps it simply was Gwynneth's time to go?
#2 It is foolish to think that every spell you send out will always work - spells do sometimes fail!
#3 It is equally foolish to think that every spell you cast will cause
misfortune to another especially if the spell was done in a positive or
personally selfish manner
#4 There could be other factors at work, either systematic or purely
chance and random that were unknown to you causing the Infinite to deal out Fate as it was dealt to Gwynneth. You cannot know-it-all nor SHOULD you know-it-all.
Do not fall into a trap of thinking "Gee I'd better not cast that spell
in cause it might fail or someone might have something bad happen to
them or I might...." See what I'm getting at? Continually Second
Guessing yourself is both an excuse and a reason for laziness.
1. Plan your spells!
2. Work your spells!
3. Forget your spells were ever performed!
Finally, if you're seriously hung-up about ethics, then I suggest read
'Situational Ethics' by Joseph M. Fletcher. Fletcher shows you how to
apply ethics to a given situation rather than as some sort of ultimate
moral code or cosmic lesson. Just use good old common sense, your
noggin and you should know right from wrong.