Updated date:

Difference between Magic and Religion - Difference between Magic and Science

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.

Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.


Magic is a ritual practice applying the belief that supernatural powers can be compelled to act in certain ways for good or evil purposes by recourse to certain specified formula.

Frazer identified two types of magic; they are Homeopathic which means like produces like and Contagious which means once in contact is always will be in contact.

Raymond Firth classified magic into three types basing on the aims that it serves. They are Productive, Protective and Destructive.

Classification of Magic

Productive Magic: It includes magic of hunting, magic of fertility, magic of rain making, magic of security, magic of successful or abundant harvesting, making of successful fishing and magic of successful love making and courtship. Productive magic is performed by either private individuals or by magicians. It is socially approved. It serves as a stimulus afford/effort and as a part of organisation of economic and social activity.

Protective Magic: It includes taboos to guard property, magic to access collection of debts, magic to avert mis-fortune, magic for the cure of the sickness, magic for safety in travel and magic to counter mis-fortune and danger in travel. Protective magic is performed either by private individuals by themselves or by specialist magicians for another or to a group or to the whole community. To protective crops, skull of cattle, effigies or decorated pots are placed upright in the fields. To protect cattle amulets are hung around their necks or horns. To safeguard oneself against misfortune, against malevolent spirits and other forms of evil one may wear amulets. To cure the sick, a magician use spells, rites/rituals, medicines, amulets and any other magical elements. All such protective measure are socially approved.

Destructive Magic: It includes magic to destroy others' property, magic to produce sickness, magic to bring death, magic to bring storms, magic to produce scarcity of game, magic for destruction done to plants, individuals, group of the whole community. Destructive magic is in the form of harmful sorcery or witchcraft.

Difference between Magic and Religion


Controls supernatural powers.

Supplicates oneself to supernatural powers.

Uses rites and spells.

Uses prayers and rituals.

Involves sorcery.

Highlights public activity.

Involves coercion to achieve desired end.

Involves submission to achieve the desired result.

It is individualistic.

It is communalistic.

Serves both benevolent and malevolent ends.

Serves only benevolent ends.

Distinguish between good and evil.

Distinguish sin from that which deffers from merit.

Presumes rigid relation of cause and effect.

Presumes the roles of supernaturals to bestow desired ends.

Difference between Magic and Science


Magic deals with supernatural world.

Science deals with natural world.

Magic is based on wrong assumption of cause and effect relations.

Science is based on right assumption of cause effect relations.

It is a matter of uncertainity.

It is a matter of facts and certainity.

Magic presumes occult causes.

Science predicts natural causes.

Magic cannot be experimentally justified.

Science can be experimentally justified.

It is based on wrong association of ideas.

It is based on correct association of ideas.

Magic is mysterious and sometimes a part of the sacred.

Real and part of the world of profane activities.


nana on January 18, 2015:

Can u explain me about the sentence "control supernatural power" and "supplicate oneself to supernatural powers". What those sentences refer to? Give example plz...?

Sky9106 from A beautiful place on earth. on February 24, 2012:

Good to know dilip, always great to know a little more on a topic as Magic. David Blaine is my favorite.

Give Thanks.

markbennis on February 20, 2012:

Interesting to read and contemplate over, I wonder if magic is connected to our consciousness and will of spirit?

wisha on February 18, 2012:

magic is nothing . i am not trusted in it

Dilip Chandra (author) from India on February 05, 2012:

Thank you Flickr, for the information :)

Manna in the wild from Australia on February 05, 2012:

I'd only disagree with one point. Science is, at this stage of our understanding actually based on uncertainty.

Flickr on February 05, 2012:

yes Merlin the magician, I'm sorry I made the assumption. I thought everyone knew about Merlin. Yes he dates back to the Arthurian period. I personally believe that he wasn't necessarily a magician but of course a real person who had 'unnatural powers' of knowledge mainly healing and folklore of his era. Love the hubs.

Dilip Chandra (author) from India on February 05, 2012:

Yep Hui, i agree with you.

Hui (蕙) on February 04, 2012:

Hi, dilipchandra12, "the needs of the people long ago" is what I meant by "wisdom". Think about the living conditions of ancient ancestors! They developed their imaginations about those phenomena that they were unable to understand and explain during the fighting between them and the crude nature then, which is also why the religion was born. Compared their living conditions with present world, is it fair to say "wisdom"?

Dilip Chandra (author) from India on February 04, 2012:

Hello Hui, Thanks for visiting my hub and commenting :)

Human Wisdom?? Ok, I agree but magic is based on wrong association of ideas and is a matter of uncertainty. However, i must say that it served the needs of the people long ago before science was developed.

Dilip Chandra (author) from India on February 04, 2012:

Hey Flickr, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Merlin, i've never heard of that name ever before but now i got it. Reffed the same from wiki.

Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures.

Thanks for the comment and thanks for introducing me a new name :)

Hui (蕙) on February 04, 2012:

This is precious knowledge. Even if it is supernatural, it shows human wisdom long ago, and our present people should cherish it.

Flickr on February 04, 2012:

cool love magic, Merlin is one of my favorites.

Related Articles