Are Witches and Wizards in the Harry Potter universe selfish?

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

I am currently reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in Spanish (for language learning purposes), and there’s one thing that caught my attention that I hadn’t noticed before (perhaps because the wording in Spanish reinforces the message). Consider the following dialogue between Harry and Hagrid:

‘But what does a Ministry of Magic do?’
‘Well, their main job is to keep it from the Muggles that there’s still witches an’ wizards up an’ down the country.’
‘Why? Blimey, Harry, everyone’d be wantin’ magic solutions to their problems. Nah, we’re best left alone.’

Imagine the secret society were modern-age doctors during the Middle Ages who would be enjoying long, moderately healthy and satisfied lives while many people would not live beyond 30 and would live in poverty, hunger, and suffering. The dialogue would read something like:

‘But what does a Ministry of Health do?’
‘Well, their main job is to keep it from the masses that there are doctors up and down the country.
‘Why? Blimey, Harry, everyone would be wanting medical solutions to their problems. Nah, we’re best left alone.’

Blimey, indeed. This is exactly what’s happening in the Harry Potter universe. Wizards could have helped millions of people suffering from terrible diseases without much effort, as it was mentioned several times in the series that treating Muggle diseases and injuries was an easy task for a trained wizard (with the exception of Gilderoy Lockhart), and yet they chose not to.

And why did they do that? Because they didn’t want Muggles to bother them by asking for help. They had better things to do. They were too busy working for an organization whose main task was to keep the wizarding world secret. Nah, definitely not enough time to save other human beings from terrible suffering.

And that, children, is why you should learn science. Say no to magic. Say no to selfishness. And don’t take this article too seriously.

By the way, I have written several educational ebooks. If you get a copy, you can learn new things and support this website at the same time—why don’t you check them out?