Magic is interesting, it changes annually and while we all derive different ways to power our magic or present it, they all effectively fit under 50 or so different magical effects.
I will like to take us on a journey to examine magic, it's impact on society and our impact on it.
First and foremost I will like to discuss the most reviled and consistent magic, that is necromancy. I say consistent because while healing magic, alchemy, and blacksmithing all can be presented, and powered with different "Flavors" a necromancer is almost always "A shady figure who defies death for his own convenience." Evil is implied.
However I believe necromancy at it's root is misinterpreted. After all the powerful and frequent mocker of death has never been the necromancer. It is the healer, who denies death so utterly we do not even bear the scars of suffering, whose capacity to fix is bottomless. Death's a mild concern really.
The reason for this is very simple. Necromancy actually isn't about the dead, atleast not initally.
The most consistent thing about necromancy is the ability of control, over yourself and others. As such necromancy is actually a "Commanding magic" that implants decrees like "Follow this man". However the brain gives such commands rapidly and thus any order like "Follow" can be overrulled by thoughts like "Hunger" or "Indignation". Even Death Wish, a fifth circle spell, can only give a living body simple orders. To handle this the spells can only be cast while dead, which will allow the commands to be uninterrupted and obeyed faithfully by the body.
Disease Weapon is similar except that what it gains domain over is a virus, the virus then infects a body. The presence of this living thing interferes with healing magic, which has difficulty recognizing the body as dead, which is why a diseased body has to have twice the magic expended to heal it, as most of it gets burned away. Unexpectedly the virus is entirely benign otherwise, which is why the disease doesn't actually make living harder, just healing.
Embrace Death likewise gives one a state of undeath so one can master his own body, that way in your undead state one can command your body to repair itself and restart your own consciousness by controlling your body remotely from your phylactery.
Finally I have a theory on the nature of the undead. While they do have the same memories and can disobey certain commands, they clearly are not the same soul, if that was so then things ike protect the soul wouldn't work and they wouldn't have the specific signal of undead that is so distinct from "Dead".
The reason is that the spell itself is actually sentient, a artificial half soul that uses the mind and body of the target as proxy. This is why they are absolutely loyal to there maker, and why you can usurp someone's control by casting a necromancy spell after someone else.
This means it may be able to be used in rituals o create golems or other artificial life.