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Fears And Application Of Skepticism Towards Witchcraft Essay

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The Heightening and Application of Skepticism towards Witchcraft
Throughout the period ranging from the late 16th to early 18th century, the witchcraft mania and trials dominated the religious, secular, and popular spheres of life. Within the mainstream popular beliefs in magic and the prosecution of such acts, there existed the few, but strong voices of skepticism. These skeptical works did stir up these popular beliefs; however, these opposing views did not generate much change. Where these views are able to clear a path towards to the decline and eradication of witchcraft trials is ultimately within the application of these views. While the authors and speakers from the skeptical texts written in the late 16th to early 18th century were interested in combating and reformulating the popular beliefs in witchcraft and its many faces, the major manifestation of their skepticism results in a critique of the process of witchcraft trials, their legal methodology, and their validity in a moral and reasonable society.
Many of the skeptics within the time in and surrounding the 17th century were concerned, as many early writers had been, with the reality of magic as a whole. Living within the uprising of witchcraft trials and beliefs in 1584, Reginald Scot appeared as an unaided voice of skepticism against a sea of passionate belief. In his text, Discoverie of Witchcraft, Scot outlines the crimes witches are often committed for, but omits the crimes of magical sorts. He sites
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