Ethics is always an interesting topic. A long time a go I wrote a lesson on ethics for part of a course I was teaching but I think, even now, my views have changed again somewhat.
So what are ethics?
1. (Used with a singular or plural verb) a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.
2. The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.
3. Moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.
4. (usually used with a singular verb) that branch of philosophy dealing with values relating to human conduct, with respect to the rightness and wrongness of certain actions and to the goodness and badness of the motives and ends of such actions.
I hold to ethical idea of personal responsibility. I don’t believe in, nor adhere to, the ‘karma’ or ‘threefold’ or ‘harm none’ philosophy. I find them quite unrealistic and honestly, a bit of a control mechanism. I do believe that the universe keeps a balance on its own, I tend to ascribe more to the ‘equal and opposite reaction’ idea. But I don’t believe that all magic attracts consequence or an opposite reaction. I think if you work magic for petty, mean-minded reasons then you more than deserve an ass kicking in return in equal measure, but if the actions are necessary, justified or for personal gain that is not at the (deliberate) expense of some one else, then there’s not going to be any sort of consequence or reaction. My personal theory of course, I’m sure there are many that would disagree. I do believe that some actions bring about our own destruction as much as they bring about good things for us – it depends on your perspective. To be clear, I do believe in cursing, hexing, binding and all manner of “black magic” (oh how I hate that whole shade thing – it’s just magic people, just magic!!) and I do believe that in some cases those actions are absolutely necessary.
Another of my personal ethics is never to discuss exact usages of entheogenic herbs in public, I’m a cynic, people tend to be stupid and not exercise much common sense (that sounds a bit harsh huh?) so to put that info out there where it could potentially end up in the wrong hands would be irresponsible of me. If I was to teach some one or was to work within a coven or circle I would share it, but not outside of that. I will discuss generalities though, it’s good to share some things, and information on certain topics can be hard to come by so if I know it, I’m happy to share it to the extent I’m comfortable with.
I suppose my ethics are pretty flexible, I’m not a malicious person so my nature isn’t toward magic of that sort, but I see no reason to not do magic to protect, gain or change. I’ve done all of those and will continue to do so.
What are your ethics when it comes to magic?