‘Witches’ can practise craft, for now

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Ockham (June 26, 2008, 12:29:03 PM):
Thanks to http://www.subtleshift.blogspot.com/ for finding this little gem of backwards thinking. Will rationality and reason ever prevail? The Soweten reports on this as if it is a good thing that the poor suppressed witches will be able to continue their craft.
bluegray (June 26, 2008, 14:35:08 PM):
Anyone know more about this bill?
Ockham (June 26, 2008, 14:44:34 PM):
O my goodness. Wikipedia has some info and links here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mpumalanga_Witchcraft_Suppression_Bill_of_2007 I quote from said article:
The Suppression Bill defines Witchcraft as:

…the secret use of muti, zombies, spells, spirits, magic powders, water, mixtures, etc, by any person with the purpose of causing harm, damage, sickness to others or their property.

Self-defined Witches have rejected this definition on the grounds that it stereotypes witchcraft as harmful and portrays Witches as a danger to the communities within which they live and work. The proposed definition will merely serve to justify public fear of witchcraft and promote malice and violence against suspected witches.

SAPRA has called on Provincial and national government authorities to halt the passage of the Suppression Bill and has provided the authorities with the following preferred definition of Witchcraft: Witchcraft is a religio-magical occupation that employs the use of sympathetic magic, ritual, herbalism and divination.

If legal documents start referring to zombies, spirits and magic powders, is there any chance for reason to prevail? Ever?
bluegray (June 26, 2008, 16:00:41 PM):
Yeah I agree. It is already against the law to physically harm or kill someone, that includes for muti. And any medicine should be subjected to the same strict protocols for safety and efficacy, so there is no need for a separate bill that includes something as fictitious as zombies and spells. A witchcraft bill implies that witchcraft is real, which only enforces people's uncritical belief in it.

As for casting spells. I don't really care if someone resorts to superstitious magical ways to strike me down. If it makes them happy, go for it. It won't affect me unless they let me know, in which case I will most likely respond with an amused chuckle ;)
But the public should be protected from people that charge for these "services" just like any other unproven, superstitious, or pseudoscientific claim.
Mefiante (June 26, 2008, 18:03:17 PM):
Crikey! Next, we’ll be having legislation that mandates the use of sextant and hourglass for navigation in airliners and passenger ships, together with severe penalties for any captain who is so careless as to steer his command off the edge of the world. That will legitimise the local Flat Earth Society chapter’s views concerning the geometry of our home planet.

Is there no end to the folly? It appears not.



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