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08 November 2003 @ 05:32 pm
Have been having something of an argument via email about astrology and its validity or lack thereof.

I can understand that my scepticism over this kind of mysticism may seem hypocritical, given my belief in God and all that, but the thing that amazes me is that people can believe in something that you can easily prove false.

Read this.

Astrology has been shown in many numerous studies to be a big load of crap. Simple as that.

I'm very open about most of these things, and you won't find me immediately dismissing your claims about Feng Shui, aura reading, Tarot cards, ghosts, crystal energy, out-of-body experiences, or most "New Age" beliefs. The reason I will usually spit venom on your beliefs in astrology is that I've done my reading. I have seen it time and time again dismissed through scientific examination. Even more importantly, I have read plenty of books on astrology, and plenty of daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/lifelong horoscopes, and I am aware of the kind of generalised mumbo-jumbo language they use to trick people into thinking it is accurate. It is the psychobabble trickery that I object to. Astrological readings are deliberately formulated to trick you into believing them - so I have difficulty believing that the authors of these books aren't fully aware of the scam they are pulling.

Just finished watching Series 5 of Buffy. Good stuff.

Who wants to go and see a David Lynch double feature at the Astor on Monday December 15th?
Blue Velvet and Lost Highway.
Current Mood: predatorypredatory
Current Music: Bob Dylan
...: mookitty by kikilonsunflowrgoddess on November 7th, 2003 11:35 pm (UTC)
Some would say you could easily prove God false.

It is a matter of perspective, I suppose. Having faith in things you cannot see?

But I try not to judge others for their faith. Faith is a wonderful thing as long as it doesn't impinge on the individual choices of others. Nobody knows who is 'right' yet about God unless you've died and come back and spoken to him yourself...

I think there is a validity to astrology. Not so much that I can prove it with factual evidence (which I am not sure which religion you believe in but just because you can prove a prophet or son of God walked the earth doesn't mean he was indeed the son of God and not a clever person with brilliant ideas trying to tell people about right and wrong that they did not instinctively know for some crazy reason) but I believe in things I can't see or prove sometimes. I think there is much to the world than what you see with your eyes or prove with facts, you know?

:-) But... I've believed its BS before, too. Somethings are just too uncannily accurate to let go though. Granted there are some REALLY bullshit astrologers out there talking out their asses don't know their talking about.
Jacobyak_boy on November 7th, 2003 11:42 pm (UTC)
If you can prove God false, go ahead.
Prove it.

On the other hand, I believe there is already sufficient proof that astrology is a load of baloney. There have been plenty of scinetific studies that have shown astrologers to be contradictory, inaccurate and just plain wrong. Click on the above link, read what it has to say.

As far as I can see astrologers are at best guessing, at worst lying. Show me different.
(no subject) - sunflowrgoddess on November 8th, 2003 12:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 8th, 2003 12:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
God...dog....and death... - (Anonymous) on November 8th, 2003 03:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: God...dog....and death... - yak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Xhanthilast_reprise on November 8th, 2003 01:33 am (UTC)
Do you not perhaps think that you should refrain from stomping all over someone else's beliefs? It doesn't matter if it's true or bullshit, no one is trying to convert you, so why do feel the need to constantly attack?

Just let it go. You complain about the way people react to you when they find out that you're a christian, you say you don't agree with the way other christians try to cram their religion down people's throats, yet here you are doing exactly that.

Just let her be.
Jacobyak_boy on November 8th, 2003 01:48 am (UTC)
I actually like it when someone challenges my beliefs.
I have had some very interesting discussions with sinisterglint and parakleta on the topic.

Maybe I'm a little heavy-handed with my criticism of astrology, but I really think that it is a big money-making con-job. Go check out a bookstore and see how many books there are on the subject.

If a friend of mine came up to me and said, "I bought this snake oil from a travelling salesman", then you betcha I'd tell them they were conned.

I was involved in the discussion of astrology, am I not allowed to have my beliefs too? I didn't bring it up, I merely spoke my mind on the subject.

I really doubt that I can change anyone's mind about astrology, especially not someone who claims to be able to apply in a practical way, but why the fuck shouldn't I say what I think?

If someone wants to challenge my religion they can go ahead, I don't mind, I actually really enjoy it.

In fact, much of what I believe has been formed by my beliefs being challenged - forcing me to reform flaws of logic in my own thinking.

The only thing I really don't like, and believe shows true ignorance and bigotry, is when people say things like "fuck Christians" and "all Christians should die" and "so many Christians, so few lions". I especially cringe when I hear these sorts of things from a certain McFriend of mine, who I usually think would know better.

I don't wish any harm on believers in astrology. Quite the opposite, I am only trying to help.
Xhanthilast_reprise on November 8th, 2003 02:18 am (UTC)
There is a lot of difference between saying 'I don't believe in that' and 'you believe in crap'.

Just because you are entitled to an opinion doesn't mean you have to use it like a club. You aren't helping anyone, you're just stabbing people in the head with your arrogance. You do this sort of thing at any given opportunity and veil it under the guise "I'm entitled to my opinion" or "I'm helping" when all you're doing is hurting people.

It bothers me because you're smart enough to be above that sort of thing. It's disappointing to see you wielding your intelligence like a knife just because you can.

Anyway, I'm going off-line. I have lots of crappy movies to watch (that and Helen needs to hook-up or die).
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 8th, 2003 02:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tarleon on November 8th, 2003 04:22 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
sneaky, psychological trickery - (Anonymous) on November 8th, 2003 03:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: sneaky, psychological trickery - yak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Robet Éivaayvah on November 8th, 2003 05:02 pm (UTC)
Interesting. So I'm being invited to argue. I think I might find this pretty fun... *ahem*

I don't believe in astrology, because I've been given no reason to. I don't believe in astrology because what's in the newspapers is complete crap. As "anonymous" states, however, this doesn't mean that the "religion" is false, but merely its practitioners. I do believe that the stars might have some factor in people's lives, even if that factor is 0.0001%. At the very least, time of birth has different influences of radiation (from the moon, stars and sun), as well as seasonal influences that definitely affect you, though I don't think it's the effect of the time you're born, but more of the effect of the time after you're born. The season at least, is an influence (That's why animals tend to mate in spring, right?). It's not astrology, but it's related.

Now, to ramble about God. Firstly, I could argue that you don't even believe in "God". You're definitely not fundamentalist... and not being fundamentalist meas that you chose to ignore a lot of the bible. That means that text is completely irrelevant. That's really convenient, of course, because as I understand, the thing contradicts itself so much that it's more than enough proof that God doesn't exist (unless you decide to discard all logic, screaming, "God can do anything but he can't stop the devil" or "God loves everyone but he wants us to burn in hell").

So, we've established what you don't believe in, but what is it that you actually believe in? That God loves everyone? That God shares absolutely nothing in common with humanity except for this love? That God is merely some kind of supervisor over the universe, ensuring that the Earth doesn't get sucked into the sun?

I can't form any kind of argument against your beliefs until I know them...

Though there's still a major problem trying, because, afterall, it might not be hard to disprove real Christian beliefs, but it's even easier to make new beliefs. And that is why "Christianity" is so strong.
Jacobyak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:46 pm (UTC)
Well, I believe that God is the creator of all, and that He loves us all (as (sane) parents love their children). I believe that we are endowed with free will, and the ability to tell good from evil, so that any evil in the world is caused by us choosing to do the wrong thing and not from an external source (ie Satan). So God is like the parent that has sent His children into the world, and whilst He is sad when we do the wrong thing, He's hardly going to come after us and spank us (we've left home remember).

My beliefs of the afterlife are rather formless at the moment, but what I do believe is that there is some kind of afterlife. I'm not sure if that takes the form of moving up to a higher plane, reincarnation or what. I certainly do not believe in eternal damnation. Maybe bad people are removed from existance (no torment here, just oblivion), but I don't see why God wouldn't give them a second, third, fourth or seventy times seventh chance (Bible joke) - hence perhaps there is reincarnation.

As for the question of natural disasters and the general unfairness of people being killed for no apparent reason - the idea that this is "bad" is rooted in our biological fear of death. So if God causes someone to die, this isn't necessarily causing that person torment or being unfair to them. I believe that everything life throws at us is a test. It may seem malicious at times, but if this life is merely a superficial reflection of our true nature, then anything that happens to us now pales in eternity.

Okay, got a little flowery there...
Robet Éivaayvah on November 10th, 2003 11:07 pm (UTC)
Wait a second. First I have to protest against the "Maybe bad people are removed from existance". My view is very likely different from most people, but I would choose eternal damnation over lack of existance.

The afterlife is a major issue I have with these religions, especially the idea that Heaven is eternal bliss, and that Hell is eternal suffering. I mean for one thing, people change... but that's kind of irrelevant here because you refuse to pick a belief on this matter.

Anyway, maybe I should go one step further into the question...

What is God?
Where does God come from?
How can he exist?
What's his personality?
What are his aims?

Please, answer as many of these as possible. I need a solid belief if I am to have a hope of contradicting it.
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 11th, 2003 02:18 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 11th, 2003 02:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 11th, 2003 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 11th, 2003 03:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 01:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 13th, 2003 02:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 07:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 13th, 2003 08:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 08:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 13th, 2003 08:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 09:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ayvah on November 14th, 2003 12:29 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 14th, 2003 03:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bleh. - ayvah on November 15th, 2003 12:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Bleh. - yak_boy on November 15th, 2003 12:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Bleh. - ayvah on November 16th, 2003 02:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Bleh. - yak_boy on November 16th, 2003 05:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mr Sinisterglintsinisterglint on November 8th, 2003 06:51 pm (UTC)
"Fight, fight, fight," chanted the circle of kids, as the combatants rolled around in the dirt.
A dislike I hold common to both religion and astrology (and, for that matter, all of what Popper termed 'pseudo-sciences') is that their exponents lay out arbitrary, often ludicrous postulations, and then turn and say "Go on, prove my religion/belief system/theory/whatever wrong." Um, no. You're making the claims; the onus is on you to prove them.
(Anonymous) on November 9th, 2003 01:53 pm (UTC)
combatants rolling around in JELLY.;-)
""""Go on, prove my religion/belief system/theory/whatever wrong." Um, no. You're making the claims; the onus is on you to prove them."""

Hmmm...after years of tinkering away using standard scientific and socratic models, the only thing I have to say is: for me,they don't hold up here. Thats not to say I don't keep trying, and I sincerely believe thats the way my brain needs to comprehend things (in a slow, scientific manner)... but they just 'seem' to fail. I'm slowly developing an astrology system that seems about 95% accurate. Now whether that is effective enough as a base point of human personality and behaviour I dont know. What it really allows me to do is increase my own 'understanding' of things. I mean if you want to talk in the semi-formed science of Mathematics....that means I can get 95% accurate for about a third of a contributing element of human motivation and thus activity. AND its slow going!

What I am wary of is holding science and scientific thought out as if it is a God too. I'm no fan of that model either. Always with this anecdotal modelling I remember that foremost - tis but a model, not the total reality. That make sense, or perhaps reveal my approach??

I'm open-minded about God, and open-minded about astrology...there are few absolute truths in my world. Except perhaps - needles are stupid, and comb-overs are NEVER sexy....thats all I got for 34 years of work...lol.:D

Jacobyak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:55 pm (UTC)
Re: combatants rolling around in JELLY.;-)
Mmm... jelly.

Perhaps accuracy is not even a true measure of astrology's worth.
Even a staunch sceptic like one of my science heroes, Cecil (see link in original post) admits that astrologers make good amateur shrinks.
So, one can say that regardless of whether astrology is accurate or not, it is still a worthwhile pursuit in delving into the human psyche.
Outlier Manlukeii on November 9th, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC)
Re: "Fight, fight, fight," chanted the circle of kids, as the combatants rolled around in the dirt.
Actually, as I understood things, Science doesn't prove anything true, it only provides 'theories that work' and 'theories we have proven wrong'.

So, the onus is on you. :)
Jacobyak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:57 pm (UTC)
Re: "Fight, fight, fight," chanted the circle of kids, as the combatants rolled around in the dirt.
Yeah, and so far Christianity works.

God is mysterious and (as far as we know) good people go to heaven when they die (at least they don't seem to be coming back, so wherever they're going it must be better than here).
Jacobyak_boy on November 9th, 2003 03:50 pm (UTC)
Re: "Fight, fight, fight," chanted the circle of kids, as the combatants rolled around in the dirt.

You got me.

Sometimes I feel as a rational person that I should just lay down and accept defeat on a logical basis. Unfortunately for logic my belief in God goes far deeper than just believing what I've been told (particularly since I have rejected much of what I have been taught about religion anyway). Call it instinct, call it spirituality, call it faith. Whatever it is, it is strong and not easily shaken off.

But, nor do I really want to. Even if I am delusional, it is a benign and comforting delusion - that someone is watching over me.

I should take my own advice and accept the same in others - that if astrology is a delusion, it too is benign and comforting.
(Anonymous) on November 10th, 2003 01:45 pm (UTC)
Inspector Gadget in the Golden Bough....
Well I guess, as you tinker through, science becomes more like an art every day...which it wasnt supposed to - lol. But if you read Frazer's Golden Bough that seems to be a fair hypothesis of why it does, that holds true - IME??

The need for a succour is very real in humans. I'm not sure it matters what form it takes - as long as its effective. I think the popularity of astrology in magick is when the veneer of a moral god is stripped from you - the human mind naturally snatches for another template of definable and organisable methodology to form the basis of defining their life and crawling back out of the quagmire that is the elemental energies of the universe (which possibly sounds like gobbledegook, until you've dumped yourself out there and done it??). Thats all. Its a little analogous to being tipped out of the Garden of Eden if you want to parallel that *stuff* ;-) - when you realise that perhaps some things that occur in the world are not definable under the heaven and earth model and you search for more??

Its like being your own little inspector gadget and it doesnt matter if you believe in a god, or angels, or demons or in fact a glyph that signifies who you once were (astrology) they're the basis of the comfort - thats all??

I know something powerful exists out there - but I dont know that God suffices because it ventures into the 'babel label' territory; so many have a preconceived idea of what that means, you see. Saying GOD is likely to cause more confusion, rather than clarity. Now I know some peeps like Sinister and some of my friends think that is BIF but I think, as far as my little experiments have shown, that its just energy that needs to be understood/harnessed/manipulated. And, if your way, Jacob is to call that energy God, and that *feels* real to you, and offers you a salve, then go with that. See?? It neither takes from my beliefs nor enhances them that you have a *God* and I have another god/method?

So for me, astrology is the orientation point of some of these matters ...

I do wish I had have asked my gilligan's island question as a primer to the group instead....lol. Or perhaps the super hero/comic one....they are equally valid in finding more out about people...he he

Spandex - sinisterglint on November 10th, 2003 10:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Spandex - (Anonymous) on November 11th, 2003 01:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: polymerous pedantic tick ticking ...he he... - (Anonymous) on November 11th, 2003 01:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Yak Boy (superhero) - yak_boy on November 11th, 2003 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
A Giant Penny - sinisterglint on November 12th, 2003 01:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Daredevil's "heightened senses" - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 01:43 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Daredevil's "heightened senses" - (Anonymous) on November 13th, 2003 02:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Daredevil's "heightened senses" - yak_boy on November 13th, 2003 07:03 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: A Giant Penny - ayvah on November 14th, 2003 10:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - sinisterglint on November 15th, 2003 01:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - yak_boy on November 15th, 2003 05:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)