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C. S. Lewis brought to my attention that magic and technology are often treated as two forms of the same philosophy. The idea is that we live in a world that we have to find or develop some sort of technique to manipulate an otherwise lifeless world.

I think what I would consider fantasy is not some kind of methodological magic, but rather a kind of world that is living, that we can converse with, and it can respond in a sentient kind of way. For example, in Lord of the Rings, Mount Cahadras (I can't remember the name) was displeased with the fellowship and would not let them pass (in the movie, they depicted Saruman working magic over the mountain). Or in Chronicles of Narnia, Aslan calls to life the trees of the forest. I don't think of either as magic, but rather as agents interacting with an already living world.

In this sense, I think God converses with the material universe that has a kind of life of its own. I don't think of God as having mastered techniques to manipulate the world; at least, that is not the rhetoric I find in scripture. Rather, Christ says to the storm, "Peace, be still", and the storm responded to him. He converses with nature, and nature reacts by honoring His requests.

The only essential difference between science and magic is the understanding of its audience.

Is religion more like magic and fantasy or science and science fiction?

I think C. S. Lewis's point is that it was like neither. Religion seeks "how to conform the soul to reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique." He adds that a scientist "rejects magic because it does not work; but his goal is that of the magician."

I think of the goal of religion as very different---how do I change myself to submit to the way things are?

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