Whenever I think about questions like that, I always think back to that YOLO: Crystal Fantasy clip. "WHY DID YOU TURN ME INTO A POSSUM?!?" "BECAUSE YOU USED BLACK MAGIC! YOU'RE Clap NOT Clap SUPPOSED Clap TO Clap TOUCH Clap THAT Clap SH*T!".
Soft magic/middle ground all the way. Magic SHOULDN'T be defined for humans.... because it's friggin' MAGIC. It isn't science. When I read a magic story, I wanna read a MAGIC story lol. Mysticism. The unknown and all that. If I want things laid out, I'd read a science story... since that was always meant to be laid out to us.
Don't get me wrong... I'm okay with their being SYSTEMS, but I think magic is at its best when it feels like your handing a shotgun to a monkey. They can learn how to use it, but it's only a matter of time before they blow their head off... because they're not supposed to be TOUCHING that sh*t lmao :v
Speaking of which... Dr. Strange! I hate everything about how Marvel handles magic. The "Magic is just science we don't understand!" statement ruined Phase 4 for me. I know that line was from Thor: The Dark World and I understand a character like Thor saying that, but Phase 4 leans on that a little TOO hard. I rolled my eyes at the mirror dimension scene with Spider-Man: No Way Home. I mean, it's cool and all that Spider-Man outsmarted Strange with math, but... uck. It makes everything feel a little too limited if that makes sense.
So far, the DCEU has been doing magic better.
Hot take... I love how Love & Thunder seemed to retcon this rule. That was the ONLY THING I liked from that movie.