Where there is a human problem, someone has devised a magical incantation to deal with it.
If it actually worked, magic would be the easy way out. Human beings love the easy way out, the simplest route around an obstacle. I know I do. If I had a choice between working hard to get what I want and flicking a wand and having it appear, I’m not ashamed to admit I’d flick that wand.
I’d use spells to clear acne, stop a stomachache, ensure safe passage for traveling relatives, or make me speak another language fluently. I’d definitely use the one that allows me to teleport or be invisible. I wouldn’t think twice about it.
And because I’m a (relatively) good person, I’d like to believe that, should I be blessed with magical powers, I wouldn’t use those powers to do bad things, like curse those who scorn me with dandruff, bunions and red traffic lights.
Let’s imagine for a moment that magic is a natural ability one is born with and can’t acquire. This ability is gifted randomly, meaning to both good and bad people. It’s a chaotic and unpredictable ability, wielded by creatures with free will in a society that values individual rights.
Think of all the extra precautions and security measures that would have to be in place to prevent magically-facilitated crimes. Citizens could never let your guard down or relax, because at any moment anyone could be victimized.
And you know the victims would most certainly be the easiest, most vulnerable targets: people who were not blessed with magical powers and can’t really fight back.
As wonderful as Harry Potter makes it look, I think a world with magic would be an absolute nightmare. In that world, anyone could get anything they want, any time.
A world with magic would be a world rife with crime, because the obstacles preventing or stymieing crime wouldn’t exist. Magical powers meant for good would also be used for evil.
With this philosophy in mind, I’ve devised a rather grim list: seven hypothetical spells/incantations/charms that would most certainly be used to commit crime.
A Spell To Overcome Barriers
Without magic, burglars have to pick locks, break windows, or pry open doors to gain access to your home. That trail of destruction is a trail of evidence, leading back to the perpetrator.
Imagine a world where this criminal can just mutter a few nonsense words and the lock to your door simply unlatches for him. Or perhaps the window glass silently melts away and climbs right in. I couldn’t sleep soundly in such a world.
A Spell That Makes Objects Come to You
I’d use this one to fetch the remote control without getting up. Because I’m lazy.
The more criminally-minded would use it to lift your wallet from your pocket. Float your laptop off your desk and through an open window. Surreptitiously steal your prescription narcotics right from your medicine cabinet.
If a magical thief wants something, and there’s an open path to get it, he’d certainly use this spell.
A Spell To Slow People Down
In a foot chase with police, a criminal would have an advantage thanks to this spell. He could just flick his wand over his shoulder and recite the words and boom–the cop’s legs buckle beneath him and he falls to his knees. The criminal’s escape from the law is assured.
Or, alternately, a criminal is attacking a victim who’s just a little too feisty for his own good. He just uses this spell to slow him down and the victim is unable to defend himself. Perfect. The criminal is free to complete his felony without further impediment.
A Spell To Teleport Or Become Invisible
I would use teleportation to travel. Think of the money saved on airplane tickets!
But once again, being able to teleport from one location to another in a split second would just make the criminal’s life easier. With this power, he can leave the scene of a crime without a trace. He can get out of dodge, mid-misdeed, as soon as the police arrive.
As to being invisible–the advantages there are obvious. How easy would it be for a serial killer to stalk a victim if the killer couldn’t be seen? How hard it would be for a victim to fight back against an invisible attacker? And forget about witnesses. They can’t report what they can’t see.
A Spell to Wipe Memories
This is the perfect power to cover your tracks. If, somehow, the criminal’s powers of invisibility don’t work, he could simply wipe the witness’s memory. He could wipe the memories of the victims who remember critical details or the detectives close to tracking him down. He could wipe the memory of everyone who ever knew him and navigate society anonymously.
A Spell To Cause Pain
The violent magical criminal could cause physical pain in one of two ways, neither of which would require him to lay a hand on his victim. Unless that’s his thing, of course.
He could inflict pain that doesn’t leave a mark, igniting his victim’s sensory receptors and nerves from a comfortable distance, as much or as little as he wants. Or he could recite a spell that slashes and cuts and stabs flesh, or restricts airways without using his hands.
No physical contact means no physical evidence. It would be as if his victims were killed by a phantom.
A Spell to Control Someone’s Mind
While you could use any other of these spells for benign reasons–to lazily fetch the remote, travel to Paris, or cut veggies–this one doesn’t have an innocent application. If you want to manipulate someone else’s mind, no matter the reason, you’re simply up to no good.
Such a criminal could convince a detective to investigate another suspect. Force an innocent person to commit crimes for him. Create more willing victims. Or convince others that his crimes aren’t crimes at all.
So, to conclude, I don’t wish for a world filled with magic. If somehow mankind evolved enough to develop magical abilities, I think that would spell apocalypse. Call me cynical, but mankind must be limited.
Without the benefit of magical powers to make his plans easier to achieve, mankind has already wreaked havoc and destruction upon himself and the planet.
Let’s not give him magical powers, too.
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