May I ask you an impertinent question? Are professional magicians atheists?
I have talked to many magicians, friends and acquaintances alike. I noticed they were all skeptical of miracles and unexplained phenomena.
During their shows, they talk about psychic abilities, teleportations, apparitions, vanishes, and a host of mysteries, but in real life they doubt their existence. To them, miracles and inexplicable occurrences can be explained by secret methods and trickery.
Why the wholesale skepticism about things science has no definitive answers yet?
Hi Mr. Curious,
Your impertinent question deserves an impertinent answer.
Rejecting the concept and existence of a deity is not a requirement for pursuing a magic profession. Trust me, there are lots of abilities required of a performer to become good at magic, but atheism is not one of them.
Of course, not all professional magicians are atheists. For 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 teachings of 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.
I believe 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 readiness 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 loss of his childlike wonder. Don’t be surprised if one of these days you bump into a magician whose mind is so steeped in skepticism that he thinks the law of nature like gravity can be defied by the Balducci levitation.