A Killing Kindness – The Ethical Implications of Curative Magic in Dungeons and Dragons

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Social sciences, Humanities and Education

Year: 2021

DOI:

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A Killing Kindness – The Ethical Implications of Curative Magic in Dungeons and Dragons

Jack Whatley

 

ABSTRACT: 

It is often said that science is indistinguishable from magic; the nature of man is to marvel at anything so fantastical as the feats modern science can perform, but there is a great possibility for an in-depth analysis of science and the morality of advanced technology and procedures when one considers the alternative to a technological society – namely, a magical one. When we consider magic, we imagine a silver bullet, a wish granted or a panacea with no strings attached. But in truth, there will always be strings, but the restrictiveness of such ties changes upon the context they have tied us up in. Our question with this paper is to ask whether if, in some fantastical world, we gained the abilities of a magical healer of the ilk found in Tolkien, Lewis or the many worlds of Dungeons and Dragons, we should wield such power at all, with restraint or without regard for moderation.  If you can feed the world, cure any disease, or end a war with a word and a wave of your hand, we must think of if it is ethical to do so. Our technology is racing ahead at such speeds that soon it will be indistinguishable from the very magic we are examining now, so this allegory provides some food for thought at worst, and at most a means to prepare how to think about technology going forward.

Keywords: Ethics; philosophy; medicine; Sociology; technology.