Why do people claim witches do not exist?

(104 Posts)
Rockpebblestone Sat 29-Oct-16 09:08:55

Watching the One Show last night and heard this. It made me wonder why.

Personally I view witchcraft as a sort of 'belief system' related to the practice of rituals in an attempt to influence events. Whether you believe there is any truth in this (belief system), or power behind the rituals, does not relate to the fact that there are people who regard themselves as practising witchcraft and thus are witches.

So why say there is no such thing as witches?

I used to know a number of wiccans but I can't remember how they felt about the term witch. Someone will rock up soon and tell us.

specialsubject Sat 29-Oct-16 17:05:30

There are witches, same way as there are proponents of other religions.

What none of them have is any special powers.

HallowedMimic Sat 29-Oct-16 17:08:04

Obviously, when people deny the existence of witches, they mean the 'flying around on broomsticks' type.

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 17:10:05

Are there people who call themselves witches? Obviously.
Are there people who can actually influence the world with spells and chants and curses? No, there are not.

I think its pretty obvious that people "believe" in the former but not the latter.

InvasionOfTheBodyShatners Sat 29-Oct-16 17:11:45

They're right to say there's no such thing as women with magic powers. Someone can call themself a witch, in the same way someone can call themself a psychic.

Rockpebblestone Sat 29-Oct-16 17:55:40

Yes but people do not casually deny the existence of, for example, Evangelical Christians, even though they might not share their beliefs. So I think it must be deeper somehow than simply not 'believing in' any power that a witch or witchcraft might be seen as holding.

PurpleDaisies Sat 29-Oct-16 17:58:40

So I think it must be deeper somehow than simply not 'believing in' any power that a witch or witchcraft might be seen as holding.

What do you think the "something deeper" is? I agree with the other posters-thete are people who call themselves witches but they don't have the ability to do magic. The psychic analogy is a good one.

InvasionOfTheBodyShatners Sat 29-Oct-16 17:59:06

No, having a belief is different to claiming that you have supernatural powers. I believe in all sorts of religious people because they exist. They're not claiming to be anything remarkable or magic.

I believe there are people that call themselves witches. I don't believe they are witches.

Qwerdy1234 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:02:56

My gf is a witch.

I don't know why people are OK with Christian priests turning water into wine and people praying and getting miracles performed but they don't believe that pagan spell work is real.

It's all about positive belief and putting out energy.

There are a lot of similarities in them (because a lot of the symbolism was stolen from the pagans) Alters, chalice, robes, candle work, incense...

But one is seen as accepted the other is 'woo'.

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:03:01

Yes but people do not casually deny the existence of, for example, Evangelical Christians, even though they might not share their beliefs

I think you are missing a very big point. What are you defining the word "witch" as meaning?
Nobody denies the existence of people who call themselves Evangelical Christians: they do deny the existence of a christ.
Nobody denies the existence of people who call themselves witches, they do deny the existence of magic/witchy-woo.

What is so hard to follow here?

PurpleDaisies Sat 29-Oct-16 18:04:14

I don't know why people are OK with Christian priests turning water into wine and people praying and getting miracles performed but they don't believe that pagan spell work is real.

Do people in general believe that Christian priests can do that and miracles happen now?

Qwerdy1234 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:05:11

So claiming to take a normal piece of bread and turn it into the ACTUAL body of Christ is not 'supernatural'?

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:05:21

I don't know why people are OK with Christian priests turning water into wine and people praying and getting miracles performed but they don't believe that pagan spell work is real

Again, not difficult to get. Most people don't believe that priests turn water into wine (Nobody, in fact, since I think you;re confusing a biblical story with a catholic mass and a catholic priest supposedly turning wine into blood hmm)

People who believe in a particular religion believe in theirs and not in others. MAny people believe in none of it. There is no dichotomy here.

Qwerdy1234 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:05:47

Well they are supposed to. It is the basis of their religion.

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:06:27

Which religion is that? And what is the basis of it?

PurpleDaisies Sat 29-Oct-16 18:06:27

I would dispute that most people believe that qwerty. Its certainly not a mainstream Christian view.

InvasionOfTheBodyShatners Sat 29-Oct-16 18:12:30

So claiming to take a normal piece of bread and turn it into the ACTUAL body of Christ is not 'supernatural'?

I don't know anything about this or other supernatural claims that some religious people make, but yeah, that's definitely another brand of bollocks. Remember though, one load of bollocks doesn't make another load of bollocks more credible.

Rockpebblestone Sat 29-Oct-16 18:18:31

user I have given my own definition in my opening post.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a witch. However I do think witchcraft can be seen to have a powerful psychological effect on people who do believe in it. Enough not to dismiss the existence of witches and witchcraft entirely. And if people are not doing this, why are they saying, 'There is no such thing as witches?'

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:23:03

Yes you did, but you from that it seems that you think that there are people who deny the existence of people who call themselves witches. Do you think people often deny the existence of people they can see and hear?
You arent making sense at all.
No-one at all denies that there are people that believe themselves to be witches. They deny that they actually are witches, using the definition of witches having some kind of magical power.

It's difficult to see why you are struggling with such a simple point.

Rockpebblestone Sat 29-Oct-16 18:29:34

user I think is culturally interesting that a comment regarding witches would be framed in such a way, as in 'do not exist' whereas a comment concerning a proponent of one of the mainstream religions would not be. This does not constitute 'struggling'.

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:33:38

It really does. You are not equating like with like.

witches would be framed in such a way, as in 'do not exist' whereas a comment concerning a proponent of one of the mainstream religions would not be

Because the former is commenting on what they can "do" and the latter is commenting on what they "believe".

You've failed to define your question properly.

IamtheZombie Sat 29-Oct-16 18:35:51

I would dispute that most people believe that qwerty. Its certainly not a mainstream Christian view.

When did the Catholic Church cease to be mainstream?

Elphame Sat 29-Oct-16 18:36:44

Society in general is afraid of us so it is easier to deny that we exist.

We stand outside the norm, are not subject to the fear peddled by the church (which still unfortunately has enormous power in Britain) and we think for ourselves.

Samhain blessings to all

user1474627704 Sat 29-Oct-16 18:39:02

Society in general is afraid of us so it is easier to deny that we exist

Really? Why do you imagine we are afraid of you? What do you do that is so scary?

I think its easier to deny "witches" exist because they don't, in the accepted sense of the word. Everyone knows that "people who claim to be witches" exist though, no-one denies their existence.

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