Necromancy .. Why is it Claimed to be Evil?

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nasteypenguin:

TheVioletBandit:

If that's the case then why not simply use machines rather than desecrating a grave site, and disturbing at the very least a human body? You could even use human-size wooden dolls, as long as they have all the joints necessary for movement it would be the same thing, plus the dolls wouldn't rot. No, in the end there has to be a reason to use a corpse rather than utilizing the ways I have described above or something similar, and that reason is souls.

(sake this is such a nerdy debate, but) Like tobi said, you can't really replicate the movement of fleshy bodies with any sort of current technology let alone in most rpg medieval settings. The term "soul" is quite ambiguous really but I understand what you mean - I always figured Necromancy never involved any part of the deceased's life other than the physical, with animation provided purely by the magic that a necromancer supplied. Using the only example I know of, that's what separated Necromancers and Ritualists in guild wars, in that Ritualists used the spirits of the departed and Necromancers only used the remains left behind them.

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

TheVioletBandit:

nasteypenguin:

TheVioletBandit:

If that's the case then why not simply use machines rather than desecrating a grave site, and disturbing at the very least a human body? You could even use human-size wooden dolls, as long as they have all the joints necessary for movement it would be the same thing, plus the dolls wouldn't rot. No, in the end there has to be a reason to use a corpse rather than utilizing the ways I have described above or something similar, and that reason is souls.

(sake this is such a nerdy debate, but) Like tobi said, you can't really replicate the movement of fleshy bodies with any sort of current technology let alone in most rpg medieval settings. The term "soul" is quite ambiguous really but I understand what you mean - I always figured Necromancy never involved any part of the deceased's life other than the physical, with animation provided purely by the magic that a necromancer supplied. Using the only example I know of, that's what separated Necromancers and Ritualists in guild wars, in that Ritualists used the spirits of the departed and Necromancers only used the remains left behind them.

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

How would ball joints supplement actual ligaments? in flexibility, maybe but they lack the structural integrity to be of any use. You have a wooden machine swing a sword and a raised corpse with a sword, one has muscle, bone and ligaments to absorb the attack and ensure the joints don't snap. The other is held by a flimsy socket. Keep in mind, Necromancy (and in this case, mechanical magic manipulation counterpart) wouldn't increase the durability of the risen being but only provide it with autonomy. The magic doesn't suddenly give the machine the ability to move around like it has muscles, it just allows it to move.

And to your other point, That sounds like a really interesting degree but it only falls within the confines of past cultures, not current ones or even video game cultures.

Can I point out that "necromancy" is a bit of a misnomer? Because the ending -mancy means divination. so necromancy is using the spirits of the dead to learn things or predict the future. A more correct term for what we are discussing here would be "Necrokinesis" which uses the ending -kinesis meaning movement or motion, so moving dead. see also pyrokinesis.

as for the evil of it, that falls to context, raising corpses to do your bidding is frowned upon, but the idea of a family member protecting you from beyond the grave is the stuff sappy power of love stories are made of.

as for the cloning thing, that depends on your opinion on Locke's sock.

tobi the good boy:

TheVioletBandit:

nasteypenguin:

(sake this is such a nerdy debate, but) Like tobi said, you can't really replicate the movement of fleshy bodies with any sort of current technology let alone in most rpg medieval settings. The term "soul" is quite ambiguous really but I understand what you mean - I always figured Necromancy never involved any part of the deceased's life other than the physical, with animation provided purely by the magic that a necromancer supplied. Using the only example I know of, that's what separated Necromancers and Ritualists in guild wars, in that Ritualists used the spirits of the departed and Necromancers only used the remains left behind them.

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

How would ball joints supplement actual ligaments? in flexibility, maybe but they lack the structural integrity to be of any use. You have a wooden machine swing a sword and a raised corpse with a sword, one has muscle, bone and ligaments to absorb the attack and ensure the joints don't snap. The other is held by a flimsy socket. Keep in mind, Necromancy (and in this case, mechanical magic manipulation counterpart) wouldn't increase the durability of the risen being but only provide it with autonomy. The magic doesn't suddenly give the machine the ability to move around like it has muscles, it just allows it to move.

And to your other point, That sounds like a really interesting degree but it only falls within the confines of past cultures, not current ones or even video game cultures.

So now your saying that the magic has to have muscles to work? Well shit, I guess I wasn't aware of all the rules you've made up. In my imagination the magic is basically using the body like a puppet, as in the magic makes it move not muscles which are being stimulated by I guess small shots of magic electricity? Also why does the socket have to be flimsy? The wooden dummy could be of the best elven craftsmanship possible. The dummy doesn't even have to be made of wood per say. Seeing as how they have swords in most of these games the fact that they can shape steel is pretty obvious, so why not a steel dummy oiled up at the joints.

In regards to the degree, It was extremely interesting, and I recommend taking some classes if you get a chance. Also, we study modern cultures, interview people, and study cultural happenings as they happen. Its not simply studying the past.

TheVioletBandit:

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

I'm not disputing your third point, but I will say that I'm mainly talking about necromancy in modern fiction, most folklore regarding necromancy is all about communing with the dead as far as I know anyway, rather than reanimation.

Bearing in mind that magic is by definition an entirely ambiguous concept, yes I guess you could be right. But regarding technical details on necromancy, I would argue that magic serves as a replacement for a soul, rather than just a power that can manipulate objects. If you did have a wooden dummy that can move in the same way as a human, it's not the same as having a human. Human bodies can move given correct nerves, muscles, bone placements etc and commands from the brain (you have better understanding of what I'm referring to than I have the ability to describe it.)
Wooden dummies however lack this capability, and have never been able to move without direct manipulation from an outside source. What I generally think of necromancy as, is replacing this ability of the a body to move with thought (from a soul or whatever), with magic. Rather than a way of just moving an object with magic like you would with a wingardium leviosa type dealy.

Again, I have to reiterate that we're debating magic; it really is ambiguous and we're probably just having differing ideas on what that concept is.

TheVioletBandit:

tobi the good boy:

TheVioletBandit:

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

How would ball joints supplement actual ligaments? in flexibility, maybe but they lack the structural integrity to be of any use. You have a wooden machine swing a sword and a raised corpse with a sword, one has muscle, bone and ligaments to absorb the attack and ensure the joints don't snap. The other is held by a flimsy socket. Keep in mind, Necromancy (and in this case, mechanical magic manipulation counterpart) wouldn't increase the durability of the risen being but only provide it with autonomy. The magic doesn't suddenly give the machine the ability to move around like it has muscles, it just allows it to move.

And to your other point, That sounds like a really interesting degree but it only falls within the confines of past cultures, not current ones or even video game cultures.

So now your saying that the magic has to have muscles to work? Well shit, I guess I wasn't aware of all the rules you've made up. In my imagination the magic is basically using the body like a puppet, as in the magic makes it move not muscles which are being stimulated by I guess small shots of magic electricity? Also why does the socket have to be flimsy? The wooden dummy could be of the best elven craftsmanship possible. The dummy doesn't even have to be made of wood per say. Seeing as how they have swords in most of these games the fact that they can shape steel is pretty obvious, so why not a steel dummy oiled up at the joints.

In regards to the degree, It was extremely interesting, and I recommend taking some classes if you get a chance. Also, we study modern cultures, interview people, and study cultural happenings as they happen. Its not simply studying the past.

Well I assumed we were talking animation of the dead and inanimate vice-versa. In which the dead gets up and moves around using what it is comprised of, the machine would do the same. Also when I said flimsy socket, I meant structurally, as in the shape of a ball socket itself not what it's made out of, terribly sorry if that wasn't clear.

Also you sort of helped lead onto another point I was tossing around in my head. Accessibility. To make a wooden Golem or even more-so a Metal Golem would require resources and manpower. A necromancer merely needs to find a cemetery or perhaps the poor sod who tried robbing him on the road (Still not evil if they attack you) and raise the body. Plus If we're talking about the actual feasibility of a Golem vs a Zombie: You must keep in mind the fear factor that comes into play and the versatility of it combat wise. The zombie would be organic meaning you could infect it with a disease perhaps even mend it's flesh in the same way a mage would heal a man. These can both be powerful tools that could decide the outcome of a battle.

nasteypenguin:

TheVioletBandit:

1. You don't need advanced technology or engineering for what I am talking about.

2. In terms of dexterity a wooden dummy with ball joints would have more dexterity than a human being. Remember, where not talking about tec were talking about magic, the magic makes the body move, so all it needs is correct proportions and joints.

3. I have a bachelors degree in folklore with an emphasis in supernatural folklore(and a bachelors in fine art, but that's beside the point), and I'm pretty sure you would be unable to find any folk/magic beliefs regarding necromancy that did not involve the enslavement of a human soul or other spiritual being.

Again using a simple wooden dummy, is far more logical than a rotting corpse; if the point is simply to have a vessel that the magic moves or that you move through magic like a puppet master.

I'm not disputing your third point, but I will say that I'm mainly talking about necromancy in modern fiction, most folklore regarding necromancy is all about communing with the dead as far as I know anyway, rather than reanimation.

Bearing in mind that magic is by definition an entirely ambiguous concept, yes I guess you could be right. But regarding technical details on necromancy, I would argue that magic serves as a replacement for a soul, rather than just a power that can manipulate objects. If you did have a wooden dummy that can move in the same way as a human, it's not the same as having a human. Human bodies can move given correct nerves, muscles, bone placements etc and commands from the brain (you have better understanding of what I'm referring to more than I have the ability to describe it.)
Wooden dummies however lack this capability, and have never been able to move without direct manipulation. What I generally think of necromancy as, is replacing this ability of the a body to move with thought(from a soul or whatever), with magic. Rather than a way of just moving an object with magic like you would with a wingardium leviosa type dealy.

Again, I have to reiterate that we're debating magic; it really is ambiguous and we're probably just having differing ideas on what that concept is.

I'm going to go ahead and say we're both right, or at least either of us could be right. It really all depends on what rules the magic must abide by. It's possible that magic takes the form of an artificial soul, and thus needs a brain, muscles, etc to move. It's also just as likely that my interpretation of magic is correct, and it acts more as a puppet master than an artificial soul.

I guess my last, and only question regarding your theory is this: If your correct the muscles will need more then electrical stimulation, both the muscles and the brain will need blood and oxygen to function meaning the heart and vascular system must still be functional. And then the heart, muscles, and brain will need energy from a food source as well, which means that the digestive system will also have to be functional. Seeing as how this is a dead persons corpse, how much damage has decay had on these systems? Also, what about the walking skeleton type of necromancied corpse, they have neither brain nor muscles?

Considering this is a video game site, I would say the usual VG image of someone using magic to make dead people raise up and fight for them isn't all that "good".

But generally the term rest in peace comes to mind. When family and friends bury a loved one they say their good-byes and take whatever little comfort there is that the decreased can at least rest comfortable. Seeing that person raise up again would be shocking as hell, knowing that person was risen up by some sorcerer to do his bidding would be horrific.

I think it is mainly a respect for the dead thing. And that people generally don't take well to dead stuff.

I on the other hand love necromancy. Hell one of my best original characters is a necromancer.

TheVioletBandit:
Seeing as how this is a dead persons corpse, how much damage has decay had on these systems? Also, what about the walking skeleton type of necromancied corpse, they have neither brain nor muscles?

I'm really glad you brought those things up, because it allows me to say that I haven't really put that much thought into this, and I could still therefore be a sane person.

erm... magic?

nasteypenguin:

TheVioletBandit:
Seeing as how this is a dead persons corpse, how much damage has decay had on these systems? Also, what about the walking skeleton type of necromancied corpse, they have neither brain nor muscles?

I'm really glad you brought those things up, because it allows me to say that I haven't really put that much thought into this, and I could still therefore be a sane person.

erm... magic?

I have only thought about it as I have written these replies, which means not very much. Still, I could be crazy. I don't think I am, but then I wouldn't think I was crazy if I was, so that doesn't mean much.

TheVioletBandit:

I think your confusing religious beliefs with general cultural beliefs.

And in the case of America, those two have been confused too often in the past by Christian leaders who insist on Christian norms for everyone, whether they can actually find it in the bible or pull it out of their ass, and mold both legal and social rules as such. I'm optimistic that this sort of behavior is becoming a relic as institutional religious authority is being questioned more and more.

Caramel Frappe:

the Dept of Science:
I would take a good necromancer over a psychic medium every day. At least they would have pretty undeniable evidence of their powers.

"Hmm... I'm getting a message from the other side that someone in this room has had a personal tragedy at some point. I'm getting the letter "E"... or perhaps "F"..."

vs.

"Hey, I've raised your late husband from his eternal slumber, we've got him backstage. Let's bring him out. You can sit down and have a coffee with him"

image

Just take it. Your joke made me bust out of my chair.. literally.
I'll probably get no sleep now thanks to you lol.

Also you brought up a point- necromancy (if used right) could get the dead to answer questions on how they died. Example: A murder case, I bring the victim back up and they can tell me what happened. Or have them see their family to make up before moving on. Sounds cheesy but hey.. imagine that.

There was a show called pushing daisies...... It is about that. Really good show too. You should check it out.

TheVioletBandit:

If that's the case then why not simply use machines rather than desecrating a grave site, and disturbing at the very least a human body? You could even use human-size wooden dolls, as long as they have all the joints necessary for movement it would be the same thing, plus the dolls wouldn't rot. No, in the end there has to be a reason to use a corpse rather than utilizing the ways I have described above or something similar, and that reason is souls.

In most settings, whether it requires soul-binding or not, it's cheaper/easier to bring them to pseudo-life. The logic/fluff behind it is that all the magical pathways and yada yada are already present in things that were already alive, while constructs of various kinds need those painstakingly etched into them and may require magical gems or some equivalent to act as focuses and so on and so forth.

*edit*fixed quote.

Caramel Frappe:
OP

Hey Caramel, it's been a little while! As for my opinion, Necromancy is considered evil because of three main reasons - 1) it involves messing with dead bodies which is generally taboo. 2) the act of reanimating something through magic often involves Primal Evil ForcesTM, like D&D's "Negative Energy Plane". 3) Historical reasons. Historically, Necromancy involved seeing the future by dealing with spirits. The Church definitely did not approve with consorting with demons and spirits and such, so that makes it evil.

As for my opinion on the evilness of Necromancy - other than the squickiness of using peoples corpses, so long as it doesn't involve "Inherently Evil Things" and doesn't involve sacrificing people or anything, it is at worst morally gray.

As for [SCIENCE!]Necromancy.... I don't think that cloning qualifies. Taking a body that is currently completely dead and making it alive, through... I dunno, science or cyborg things or something would be necromancy. But cloning is just making a photocopy of someone, not truly reanimating them.

Zen Toombs:
2) the act of reanimating something through magic often involves Primal Evil ForcesTM, like D&D's "Negative Energy Plane".

The Plane of Negative Energy is explicitly neutral like all the other elemental planes in D&D.

TheVioletBandit:

nasteypenguin:

TheVioletBandit:
Seeing as how this is a dead persons corpse, how much damage has decay had on these systems? Also, what about the walking skeleton type of necromancied corpse, they have neither brain nor muscles?

I'm really glad you brought those things up, because it allows me to say that I haven't really put that much thought into this, and I could still therefore be a sane person.

erm... magic?

I have only thought about it as I have written these replies, which means not very much. Still, I could be crazy. I don't think I am, but then I wouldn't think I was crazy if I was, so that doesn't mean much.

Perhaps they're the same magic? Maybe the skeleton is treated the same was as a Golem.

infinity_turtles:

Zen Toombs:
2) the act of reanimating something through magic often involves Primal Evil ForcesTM, like D&D's "Negative Energy Plane".

The Plane of Negative Energy is explicitly neutral like all the other elemental planes in D&D.

It the blackest night.
It is the heart of darkness.
It is the hunger that devours souls.
The Negative Energy Plane is a barren, empty place, a void without end, and a place of empty, endless night.
Worse, it is a needy, greedy plane, sucking the life out of anything that is vulnerable. Heat, fire, and life itself are all drawn into the maw of this plane, which hungers for more.
To the observer, there's little to see on the Negative Energy Plane. It is a dark, empty place, an eternal pit where a traveler can fall until the plane itself steals away all light and life.

Negative energy is the opposite of life. It is not technically evil, but it is often treated as such.

[/nerd]

Is it evil? I don't know, but not all masters of the dark art of necromancy are necessarily villains.

Caramel Frappe:
Question: This is going to sound pretty weird, but... I am very interested if not taken in by necromancy. I'm not just talking about video games (though I really have a blast being one in Skyrim), but I've also looked up necromancy and read up on it. However, a lot of sources summarize necromancy as an evil element, a forbidden power no one should withhold (whether you believe in myths or not).

Why is it seen as evil? Can't necromancy possibly be used for good? In most TV shows, games, and books/novels, anything relating to necromancy has a villain behind it. I don't admire that concept, because it's like saying fire is an evil element because it burns everything it touches. Fire can be used to warm places, cook food, inspire art (like tattoos, ect.) and so forth. So why does necromancy gets no love from anyone unless it's from an evil person or monster (if you're including fiction)?

Science Related Question: Just thought of something... scientists try to create animals from mere samples. Since they're trying to bring back mammoths even to this day, can that be seen as necromancy? Also scientists cloning from an animal that was already dead.. like a dog or sheep- can that be necromancy too? Sure it's not magical powers or anything but the definition behind necromancy is bringing back the dead (despite that it's done differently in this case).

Note: Even if you disagree with me, I would still love to hear your answers.
Also note I am not into preforming necromancy, just the ideal makes me curious and enlightened if that makes sense.

On the Science question. No, Necromancy is the binding of a soul to a corpse. In this case, a rotted mammoth corpse (or skeleton) will be bound with a soul (not necessarily of a Mammoth or elephant) and reanimated.

What science proposes is to grow a new animal from old DNA and new DNA (that being from the closest living relative, the Elephant) to make a hairy elephant... not exactly a Long Dead Mammoth, but as close as we can get to it. We're essentially fucking about with the genetics of modern elephants, with the genes of their extinct cousins.

That in itself raises other ethical issues, but this is neither the time nor the place. (shut up, I know where we are and that time is irrelevant here).

LetalisK:

TheVioletBandit:

I think your confusing religious beliefs with general cultural beliefs.

And in the case of America, those two have been confused too often in the past by Christian leaders who insist on Christian norms for everyone, whether they can actually find it in the bible or pull it out of their ass, and mold both legal and social rules as such. I'm optimistic that this sort of behavior is becoming a relic as institutional religious authority is being questioned more and more.

If blaming Christians for everything is a hobby of yours, that's okay with me. maybe your mad at your mom and dad for taking you to church and giving you spankings, or maybe your club footed and blame God for your awkward stance, I don't know. Whatever your reason may be I'm sure you believe your justified in your hatred, and I am also sure there is nothing I can say to help you let go of that bigotry; so I'm not going to try. Nevertheless I wish you the best in your endeavors...unless of course those endeavors involve killing theists that your disagree with.

TheVioletBandit:
If blaming Christians for everything is a hobby of yours, that's okay with me.

No it's not, but clearly it's not okay with you even if it was.

maybe your mad at your mom and dad for taking you to church and giving you spankings,

They never did either(despite being religious themselves for the former) and my parents were some of the best a kid could possibly hope for, so there is no resentment there and I don't appreciate the attack on my parents and upbringing.

or maybe your club footed and blame God for your awkward stance, I don't know.

Oh goody, let's throw out personal attacks because you're angry. Edit Note: Also, being mad at God for how he created me would be incredibly retarded since he would have made me pretty damn well, save the future male pattern baldness I'm not thrilled about. But there are a few decades until I get to that.

Whatever your reason may be I'm sure you believe your justified in your hatred,
and I am also sure there is nothing I can say to help you let go of that bigotry; so I'm not going to try.

Yes, clearly I'm a hateful bigot even though I routinely defend Christianity, especially the LDS church, against other atheists. Obviously condemning the past actions of organized religion MUST mean I hate everyone currently associated with the religion, right down to the individual and that I might just kill them.

But thanks for resorting to such outlandish personal attacks. Now I know I shouldn't care at all about what you say. Next time you get into a discussion with someone, don't start personally attacking them and their parents.

Spartan1362:

Jack the Potato:
The dead deserve their dignity. It's not a matter of religion or belief in the afterlife either; we also should respect the memories of the dead. Just because someone is dead gives us free reign to fuck around with their bodies as we please? No. It's about basic human respect, is all.

Why?
They are dead, inanimate, useless, waste of space and resources, why do non-living things deserve dignity because they were once living?
They aren't a human anymore, so who cares what happens to them?

Well, for starters, that's just what you believe. Other may hold different beliefs about the dead and we should respect those beliefs. And even if you don't believe in any sort of spirituality regarding the dead, their memories are important too. I know I'd be pretty freaking upset if someone say... dug up my grandmother's body or something. She lived a full life, made awesome food, taught me many things and was just a nice person to spend time with. If someone were to take her body as a plaything? Come on, that's just wrong.

LetalisK:

TheVioletBandit:
If blaming Christians for everything is a hobby of yours, that's okay with me.

No it's not, but clearly it's not even if it was.

maybe your mad at your mom and dad for taking you to church and giving you spankings,

They never did.

or maybe your club footed and blame God for your awkward stance, I don't know.

Oh goody, let's throw out personal attacks because you're angry.

personal attack or joke? I not angry, in fact I have had a pretty good day.

Whatever your reason may be I'm sure you believe your justified in your hatred,
and I am also sure there is nothing I can say to help you let go of that bigotry; so I'm not going to try.

Yes, clearly I'm a hateful bigot even though I routinely defend Christianity, especially the LDS church, against other atheists. Obviously condemning the past actions of organized religion MUST mean I hate everyone currently associated with the religion, right down to the individual and that I might just kill them.

The only thing I am able to judge your ideals on is what you say here now to me. I can't be expected to know what you do outside of this discussion.

But thanks for resorting to such outlandish personal attacks. Now I know I shouldn't care at all about what you say. Next time you get into a discussion with someone, don't start personally attacking them and their parents.

Wow, I wouldn't call those personal attacks, I was goading you sure, but wasn't meant as an attack. Anyway, do you know how many hardcore anti-theist frequent this site? What from any of your previous statements would lead me to believe you were anything other than that?

edit: I wrote some stuff above to your responses, but I not sure how to do that "take the persons post apart thing" so you'll have to find them.

Zen Toombs:

It the blackest night.
It is the heart of darkness.
It is the hunger that devours souls.
The Negative Energy Plane is a barren, empty place, a void without end, and a place of empty, endless night.
Worse, it is a needy, greedy plane, sucking the life out of anything that is vulnerable. Heat, fire, and life itself are all drawn into the maw of this plane, which hungers for more.
To the observer, there's little to see on the Negative Energy Plane. It is a dark, empty place, an eternal pit where a traveler can fall until the plane itself steals away all light and life.

Negative energy is the opposite of life. It is not technically evil, but it is often treated as such.

[/nerd]

Yes, it definitely gets treated as such, but there are rules governing whether a plane is Evil or not. Just like the other elemental planes, it's has no affinity for any alignment. How it gets treated versus whether it actually is Evil is sort of basis behind the thread, so that being the justification for it is a little silly.

Zen Toombs:
Hey Caramel, it's been a little while!

As for my opinion on the evilness of Necromancy - other than the squickiness of using peoples corpses, so long as it doesn't involve "Inherently Evil Things" and doesn't involve sacrificing people or anything, it is at worst morally gray.

Sup Zen, it's great to have you in my thread bro! :}

Gray huh? Though I read up on your entire post, I wanted to quote you specifically on this part because from what i've seen- mostly everyone says that a necromancer revives a corpse to use them in battle, but what about a necromancer who say... gives someone a 2nd chance? Like if a person (guy or girl) wasn't very noble in life and died- would it be right to bring them back and have them relive their lives making up for the 'sins' (or wrongfulness I would say) in order to have no regrets? That is, if the spirit of that corpse is willing.

But what just came to me is that zombies may not be controllable at all even if necromancy existed in real life (like, the magic worked and all). Why? Because if someone is dead long enough after say an hour or more- their brain cells are gone. So bringing someone back despite if their soul is in there or not.. the zombie would probably fail to do anything. It can't think nor understand commandments (as in obeying). What is your look on this? Would the brain cells even matter if they're brought back or..?

TheVioletBandit:
Which form of Christianity?
Are you saying it's the influence of Christianity alone?
Where in the bible does it talk negatively about women's reproductive rights?
Where in the bible does it talk negatively about interracial marriage?

You bring up a relevant point, TheVioletBandit albeit an issue outside the scope of (and bigger than) the topic of this thread.

Part of the problem is the common use of inclusive language by opponents of women's reproductive rights, interracial marriage, gay marriage and so on, who avoid specifying which denominations for whom they speak so they can pretend to represent all of Christendom. What becomes telling to us non-Christians is the silence from the liberal denominations (probably what is the majority of parishes) that actually oppose the radically conservative agenda of these vocal groups (e.g. prohibiting abortion and contraception, prohibiting gay marriage, creationist and abstinence only sex-ed school curricula). While I, personally, am aware of the diversity of Christianity and the political stances contained within, your typical layperson may not be, and so might need to be informed that a) Your denomination does not side with, say, the Southern Baptist Convention in their misogynistic, homophobic, literalist and dominionist positions, nor do you appreciate being identified by them as their allies on these positions and that b) as another Christian, you are equally appalled as us secularists in such open efforts to disrupt the progress of social equality. You might also want to try to publicize more the plurality that is Christianity in the US and Europe, because it's commonly portrayed in the media and online that all Christians are not only sectarian extremists, but righteously proud of it, and are eager to condemn the rest of us to eternal suffering for the crime of not being one of them.

If this is something you find worthy of additional discussion, feel free to PM me or start a new thread.

Do you know that using the term relic implies that there are no longer Christians in society?

Actually it doesn't. The expression he used, a relic of Christian influence on society implies that it's an influence that is no longer the driving force. In this case, it's mere cultural habit, like putting slender pointy-eared elves and bearded dwarves into our medieval fantasy fic.

On the other hand, the same influence that does inform the whole necromancy = evil thing also informs issues in modern politics, such as human personhood of a zygote being legally defined by Abrahamic moralists as early as possible, rather than by a scientific or logical metric, on the basis that the soul gets involved at some unknown point, but of course, creating some dire moral implications in the process.

Anyway, as I said, meat for a different stew.

Regarding the original topic, the demonization of necromancy, there's a few things going on.

Necromancy is art of prophecy by reading the entrails of the dead (commonly, a freshly killed chicken or other small livestock beastie). This is the same way that cartomancy is the art of prophecy by the use of playing cards . Bibliomancy is prophecy by randomly choosing a passage of a book (originally the bible, usually the only book in town). You get the idea. Prophecy, both means and license, were the purview of gods and priests, so in any society in which religion was mandated or otherwise non-pluralistic, sources of prophecy outside the orthodoxy were demonized and criminalized. So, for example, astrologers and mathematicians following the end of the Islamic Golden Age were branded as sorcerers and executed.

Necromancy as magics dealing with death were, during the early medieval period considered a challenge to God's will. Only God, via Jesus could resurrect, hence any other means to raise the dead was always depicted as a perversion or corrupting element, hence the realm of Faustian deals with the Devil or the animation of unlife.[1] As late as the nineteenth century, this corrupting or doomed-to-fail attitude was applied even to science, as per Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, in which a creature is formed of the parts of corpses and animated with alchemy. It didn't end well.

But science marched on, and mad scientists became caricatures on radio and television, and while we've not been able to raise the dead, we do take chunks of the dead and imbed them into the living to prolong their lives. We call it organ transplants. And we're now figuring out how to culture body parts (like growing a replacement ear on the back of a mouse), essentially allowing us to restore lost limbs and organs.

Prophecy has become it's own business in this post-Newtonian world of consistent natural laws in which the positions of celestial objects can be accurately predicted. We're pretty good at the forecasting the weather as well. Not so much, economic or social trends. As for talking to the dead, we've developed amazing sciences by which to determine a corpse's cause and time and circumstances of death, and enough to accurately finger the murderer. These fall under the realm of forensic medicine.

And none of these contemporary magics are considered evil at all.

238U

[1] Not so, in classical Helenistic mythology, in which the passage to Hades was long and guarded, but otherwise unsealed. Specters of your long dead friends were still your friends, and would still behave as they once did (whether mischievously or benevolently towards you depended on the person, of course).

"Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world."
-Dr. Victor Frankenstein

"Sometimes, dead is better."
- The Central Theme of Pet Sematary

The idea of necromancy being bad, forbidden, a sin of science, cheating death, foulest of the dark Arts, "an unholy of unholies," stems from the premise that it requires grave-robbing, desecrating burial grounds to animate remains; corpses, skeletons, etc. to create obedient minions/thralls to do your bidding. (And by extension a re-enactment of Thriller.) is morally objectionable.

Essentially it is violating social norms and etiquette. Using those raised servants to accumulate a large body count by purging towns and villages of their populace, spreading plagues of undeath, and then summoning "things that should not be" from being the mortal coil and bargaining with them for support to produce a sizable militia to conquer the kingdom... that's where it leads too.

It starts as skeleton burlesque on Broadway, ends with the countryside being turned into veritable boneyard of restless horrors that leap unbidden into unnatural life-like existence.

But on a serious note when thee endeavour is sought out from despair, malice or inquisitive hubris, the would-be necromancer finds their Lazarus project at bringing a beloved family member or anything from the dead gives undesired results, botched big-time, it seems that which leaves the mortal coil cannot be returned. What comes back isn't the same as what left.

The many types of hideous, horrifying, shambling, bloodthirsty and soulless insane monstrosity.

Type I: Soulless Shell
A fully adult human in a vegetative state.

Type II: Damaged Soul
Serial Solipsistic Sociopath

Type III: Monster From Beyond The Veil
Like Type-II except with diabolical otherworldly powers and distinctly non-human intelligence.
An Unspeakable blasphemy a nameless horror utterly devoid of Humanity intent upon devastation!

Type IV: Inhuman Human
In this case the soul is absolutely fine... it's the body that's a complete mess. And the poor fella or madam brought back is pissed! "What Have I Become!?"

Type V: Destination Host Unreachable
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DestinationHostUnreachable

When people transgress against the supposed natural order they then feel the temptations that knowledge and power provide when ethics and morality is diminished and become hubristic aberrations that want to test the worlds limitations and then shatter them.

So the necromancer, scientist, etc will either have a nervous breakdown when they go too far and have a "My God, What Have I Done?" moment.

"I've created a monster!"
- Dr. Frankenstein

Or you cross the moral event horizon and become a complete irredeemable monster and have the "A God am I?" moment.

"The right to be a god? You? Arrogant even until the end. Only one truly capable of being a god deserves that right."
-Albert Wesker, Resident Evil 5

But more often than not it ends in failure: See what goes wrong (not if something goes wrong - something always goes wrong.)

"I have brought to light a monstrous abnormality, but I did it for the sake of knowledge. Now for the sake of all life and Nature you must help me thrust it back into the dark again."
-H.P. Lovecraft, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward"

Caramel Frappe, it's obvious that you are not performing necromancy, you're probably trying to build super soldiers, or readily made cannon fodder, or youth restoring formulas to sell to a cosmetics company.

But it will only end in tears and screams: No one should have to fend off slavering zombie hordes. The world has enough problems.

Hideous experimentation, questionable applications of phlebotomy and failed resurrections/repurposed cellular reanimation are not exactly legal.

You also shouldn't be killing those investigators either just because they want to see whats "really going on." This usually results in a desperate and futile cover-up. If instead you get investment from the military you can carry out the operation with comfortable transparency.

A necrotechnician is not a licensed practice... being offered money to do so is ostensibly legal.

You will get lots of dough if you offer the military mass-produced vat grown thralls too clog their enemy's efforts with sheer numbers.

Application-wise electrochemical zombies serve as efficient shock troops in sufficient numbers.

________________________________________________________
In regards to Uriel-238's comment about "astrologers and mathematicians following the end of the Islamic Golden Age were branded as sorcerers and executed."

Being good at maths means your a wicked sorcerer!

10th Century cleric Gerbert D'Aurillac (later Pope Sylvester II) was led to a contemporary reputation as a necromancer because he could calculate how much to tip a waiter, in his head!

"Scientist are satanists with spectacles and pockets full of pencils and rulers."
-Mrs Doris Whitaker, Landover Junior High School teacher

Even the Bible specifically calls out necromancy as bad. See Deuteronomy 18:10-11.

For a little background that's more specific than your favorite translation, via our friends at religioustolerance.org:

The original wording of these verses condemned individuals who followed practices defined by these 8 Hebrew words:

yid'oni: knowers; wizards; persons who make contact with spirits who are not of God. (Some Wiccans have engaged in spiritism and have attempted to contact the dead. However, this is not necessarily an integral part of the Wiccan religion).

sho'el 'ov: making forbidden contact with the dead. (Ditto) .

qosem q'samim: predicting the future by using lots or a similar system. (Many Wiccans as well as Christians sometimes use tarot cards, runes, scrying etc. to foretell the future, but this is not an integral part of the Wiccan religion) .

m'onen: predicting the future by interpreting signs in nature. (Ditto) .

m'nachesh an enchanter (perhaps a snake charmer, because "nachash" means snake. We have never heard of Wiccan snake charmers) .

chover chavar: use of knot-tying to perform magic. (Wiccans sometimes engage in knot-tying, but only for positive healing magic. Again, it is a practice that some engage in, but is not an integral part of their religion).

m'khaseph: an evil sorcerer (as in Exodus 22:18); a person using spoken spells to harm others. (Wiccans do not engage in this activity; they are specifically prohibited from doing so by their Wiccan Rede).

doresh 'el hametim: a person who makes contact with the dead - probably by another method than sho'el 'ov. (Again, there are some Wiccans who engage in spiritism, but it is not necessarily an integral part of their religion).

Precise terms that accurately describe the activity should be used. We suggest:

yid'oni: acting as a medium;
sho'el 'ov: communicating with the dead;
qosem q'samim: predicting the future using lots;
m'onen: predicting the future by interpreting signs in nature;
m'nachesh snake charming;
chover chavar: using knot-tying to perform magic;
m'khaseph: evil sorcery;
doresh 'el hametim: channeling.

Jack the Potato:

Spartan1362:

Jack the Potato:
The dead deserve their dignity. It's not a matter of religion or belief in the afterlife either; we also should respect the memories of the dead. Just because someone is dead gives us free reign to fuck around with their bodies as we please? No. It's about basic human respect, is all.

Why?
They are dead, inanimate, useless, waste of space and resources, why do non-living things deserve dignity because they were once living?
They aren't a human anymore, so who cares what happens to them?

Well, for starters, that's just what you believe. Other may hold different beliefs about the dead and we should respect those beliefs. And even if you don't believe in any sort of spirituality regarding the dead, their memories are important too. I know I'd be pretty freaking upset if someone say... dug up my grandmother's body or something. She lived a full life, made awesome food, taught me many things and was just a nice person to spend time with. If someone were to take her body as a plaything? Come on, that's just wrong.

What you remember is a person, what they dig up is an inanimate mass of rotting flesh/bones. There is quite a large difference.

To you perhaps. A lot of other people wouldn't see it that way, and it's very easy to see why.

It's probably the same reasons with witchcraft in that it is assortated with evil, dark or even Satan related despite that if the person isn't using it for evil (e.g. the witches in the Harry Potter universe). Since it was originally use for evil intent some people think anyone using it is automatically evil.

It's largely to do basically with the taboo of death - death itself is still feared, massively, and rarely talked about, and hell, a lot of people would argue that religion was established just to answer the trillions of questions humankind has about 'the end', which has made it largely, in the eyes of the devout, a sacred thing, a final thing.

Necromancy, I think, is reviled essentially as the notion of it implies that death is just a simple thing, which discounts the relevance of God, an afterlife, or heaven. It means that death is just the absence of life, and that scares a lot of people.

Then again, it may just be because, y'know, it IS wrong - I'm not religious so I don't think it's against God or desecration, but it IS against nature; all things die, it's not to be tampered with.

Edit: Furthermore, 'The Monkey's Paw' springs to mind. Necromancy is impossible, by all current means, and any efforts to resurrect the dead would end only in someone's loved one being desecrated, and a crazy person who thinks that he's a wizard with a pile of bones in his basement.

Uriel-238:

TheVioletBandit:
Which form of Christianity?
Are you saying it's the influence of Christianity alone?
Where in the bible does it talk negatively about women's reproductive rights?
Where in the bible does it talk negatively about interracial marriage?

You bring up a relevant point, TheVioletBandit albeit an issue outside the scope of (and bigger than) the topic of this thread.

Part of the problem is the common use of inclusive language by opponents of women's reproductive rights, interracial marriage, gay marriage and so on, who avoid specifying which denominations for whom they speak so they can pretend to represent all of Christendom. What becomes telling to us non-Christians is the silence from the liberal denominations (probably what is the majority of parishes) that actually oppose the radically conservative agenda of these vocal groups (e.g. prohibiting abortion and contraception, prohibiting gay marriage, creationist and abstinence only sex-ed school curricula). While I, personally, am aware of the diversity of Christianity and the political stances contained within, your typical layperson may not be, and so might need to be informed that a) Your denomination does not side with, say, the Southern Baptist Convention in their misogynistic, homophobic, literalist and dominionist positions, nor do you appreciate being identified by them as their allies on these positions and that b) as another Christian, you are equally appalled as us secularists in such open efforts to disrupt the progress of social equality. You might also want to try to publicize more the plurality that is Christianity in the US and Europe, because it's commonly portrayed in the media and online that all Christians are not only sectarian extremists, but righteously proud of it, and are eager to condemn the rest of us to eternal suffering for the crime of not being one of them.

If this is something you find worthy of additional discussion, feel free to PM me or start a new thread.

Do you know that using the term relic implies that there are no longer Christians in society?

Actually it doesn't. The expression he used, a relic of Christian influence on society implies that it's an influence that is no longer the driving force. In this case, it's mere cultural habit, like putting slender pointy-eared elves and bearded dwarves into our medieval fantasy fic.

On the other hand, the same influence that does inform the whole necromancy = evil thing also informs issues in modern politics, such as human personhood of a zygote being legally defined by Abrahamic moralists as early as possible, rather than by a scientific or logical metric, on the basis that the soul gets involved at some unknown point, but of course, creating some dire moral implications in the process.

Anyway, as I said, meat for a different stew.

Regarding the original topic, the demonization of necromancy, there's a few things going on.

Necromancy is art of prophecy by reading the entrails of the dead (commonly, a freshly killed chicken or other small livestock beastie). This is the same way that cartomancy is the art of prophecy by the use of playing cards . Bibliomancy is prophecy by randomly choosing a passage of a book (originally the bible, usually the only book in town). You get the idea. Prophecy, both means and license, were the purview of gods and priests, so in any society in which religion was mandated or otherwise non-pluralistic, sources of prophecy outside the orthodoxy were demonized and criminalized. So, for example, astrologers and mathematicians following the end of the Islamic Golden Age were branded as sorcerers and executed.

Necromancy as magics dealing with death were, during the early medieval period considered a challenge to God's will. Only God, via Jesus could resurrect, hence any other means to raise the dead was always depicted as a perversion or corrupting element, hence the realm of Faustian deals with the Devil or the animation of unlife.[1] As late as the nineteenth century, this corrupting or doomed-to-fail attitude was applied even to science, as per Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, in which a creature is formed of the parts of corpses and animated with alchemy. It didn't end well.

But science marched on, and mad scientists became caricatures on radio and television, and while we've not been able to raise the dead, we do take chunks of the dead and imbed them into the living to prolong their lives. We call it organ transplants. And we're now figuring out how to culture body parts (like growing a replacement ear on the back of a mouse), essentially allowing us to restore lost limbs and organs.

Prophecy has become it's own business in this post-Newtonian world of consistent natural laws in which the positions of celestial objects can be accurately predicted. We're pretty good at the forecasting the weather as well. Not so much, economic or social trends. As for talking to the dead, we've developed amazing sciences by which to determine a corpse's cause and time and circumstances of death, and enough to accurately finger the murderer. These fall under the realm of forensic medicine.

And none of these contemporary magics are considered evil at all.

238U

Wow, I don't know what to say other than I agree. Thanks for the well thought out and interesting response.

[1] Not so, in classical Helenistic mythology, in which the passage to Hades was long and guarded, but otherwise unsealed. Specters of your long dead friends were still your friends, and would still behave as they once did (whether mischievously or benevolently towards you depended on the person, of course).

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