If you have not yet read them, here are links to the articles:
The articles are about Bro. Carmelo Cortez, a Filipino visionary who, believers claim, works miracles by producing religious images on rose petals.
As I said earlier, the articles elicited comments from readers. Some of them believe Bro. Carmelo’s supposed miraculous petals are genuine. A few skeptics, though, dismiss the rose petal images as trickery. However, everybody, including me, can’t understand exactly how it is done by trickery, if at all Bro. Carmelo is using trickery.
One reader’s comment stood out, because it prompted me to write, cursory though it may be, about atheism among magicians.
Here’s the comment from reader saulsaul:
“I just wonder if any professional magician would every say he witnessed an actual miracle? Such a statement would cause severe ridicule by such super stars as the not so great Randi and other atheist magicians.”
Here’s my superficial reply for the readers’ edification:
Not all professional magicians are atheists. On the part of Inner Magic Club, we always start our weekly meetings and annual public shows (usually staged in theaters) with a prayer. We also have members who are gospel magicians. They preach the Scriptures, using magic as a visual aid.
However, a magician well-versed in his art will not easily accept unexplained phenomena as miracles. Over the years, most of them have developed pragmatic views of life’s mysteries. Just as a surgeon would become less squeamish at the constant sight of blood and gore on the operating table, a magician will regard miracles with disinterest, if not utter disbelief. This is because trickery, artifice, subterfuge, and illusion have desensitized him over the years of performing his own brand of miracles he calls magic.
The sad thing about being a magician is that most of them have lost their sense of wonder—the very thing that drew them to magic in the first place. They no longer have the childlike enthusiasm to marvel at wondrous things they don’t understand. This is true when they watch other magicians perform magic. This is equally true when they watch someone perform “miracles”, or hear him claim supernatural powers.
In most part, a magician’s skepticism emanates from the lost of his childlike wonder, and not from the possibility of being ridiculed by his peers.
In fairness to saulsaul, he did not say magicians are, by default, atheists.
Here’s his rejoinder:
“Thanks. Excellent response. I did not mean to indicate that you or even most professional magicians were atheists. Mostly I was trying to figure out why you did not seem curious enough to try to witness one of these services. Surely I am not the only person who wants you to tell us what the trick is if there is one.”
Thanks to all those who wrote and contributed their thoughts to this blog. I appreciate your opinion.
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