Sunday, July 6, 2008

Astrology and Free will


I usually need a good reason to blog, and i usually won't blog for a while if i really enjoyed my last one.

But sometimes, just going through the internet or life, i stumble over issues that philosophically i must address.

By the way, my last blog was one of the greatest writing experiences I've ever had, so it shows the severity of this one, to have to blog so early after my last one.

So what sparked such a huge reply in me?

I was reading the many discussions that go about online, through forums, youtube chat, and a number of other places when i ran across this:

I'm a redheaded Scorpio...passionate... I love or hate... I never accept being insulted.



And my reply before my commentary:

You actually let someone dictate your life by terms like Scorpio ? That's beyond astrology, you should get passed that, and live your life as your own, not what someone else thinks of creatively and ascribes to you based on your birthday.

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So lets define some points before we get deep into the commentary:

Scorpio:

  • 1. Astronomy. Scorpius.
  • 2. Astrology.
  • a. the eighth sign of the zodiac: the fixed water sign.
  • b. a person born under this sign, usually between October 23rd and November 21st.


Astrology:

  • The study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in the belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs.
  • A pseudoscience claiming divination by the positions of the planets and sun and moon.


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So what are we entailing here, what are we implying?

We're implying that celestial bodies(planets, sun, meteoroids), have a effect on us here on earth.

If this were a small effect, insignificant, no one would take time out of their precious lives to study it.

So we're implying again that these planets, starts, and meteors are actually having significant effects on our lives that we need to be aware of.

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So I'm not going to do what most people do at this point, because most don't understand that for humanity to get anywhere you must accept everything as true at one point or another.(Also as false, later on)

(The airplane, cars, radio, the internet, etc, would not be around if we didn't give credence to seemingly irrational ideas.)

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What i will do is assume truth in the given statements and premises and go from there.

So here we go, effects of astrology if given true:

  • 1) Humans essentially are being influenced in their daily lives significantly by celestial bodies.

Remember in those magazines how you read how you were going to have a good day, get a promotion, or maybe you were going to get pregnant!!!

Well now you know why, you understand how large an impact the shift of the moon is having on your life, and you now have a heads up on the FUTURE!!!!!!

IF you've gotten this far, like most people you will be amazed that this is actually what horoscopes are for and the ideas behind them.

Right now i recommend slowly reclining in your chair(if it reclines), because this subject will get harder to accept as we go further...

Problems with this effect:

1) Loss of free will: essentially there are certain significant things that will happen to you, that you have no control over.

I'm sure, if astrology is so important, that maybe some of these celestial bodies have such a huge affect on us that they may have caused someone to murder, or rape, or steal, and as a result get thrown in jail.

Now imagine for a second, being in a court room, and blaming your murder, rape, or other crime, on the sun or the moon and their positions....

Astrology implies in some way that significant things happen as a result of their movement, even if they arn't murder, they may be things that lead to it, such as anger, outrage, distrust, or revenge.

  • 2) Astrology is a science, and can be used to help steer clear of problems in the future:

Problems with this idea/effect:

If astrology truly is a science, how did it come into being?

It seems like a simple question, but when you dig deep you see what problems arise.

So i want to know the effects of the shift of the moon (by 2 degrees) on humans , or the sun, or some other object.

How do i go about doing that?
Lets say I'm observing someone to see what the effect of the moon has on them, and i see them trip and fall. Was that their fault or was it the moon? How would i know? How could i tell?

What if it was the sun? What if it was the interaction between the 2!!!

So even if we assume astrology is a science, there doesn't seem to be any way to actually find the real effects to celestial bodies on humans.

Why can't you isolate the effect?
Because you don't know what caused it, whether it was the sun, moon, or just the person's clumsiness.

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So what have we learned here so far.

1) That if Astrology exists we essentially have lost our control over free will (If astrology has a significant effects on our lives, if it doesn't than why would anyone study or care about it?).

As a result we might have to release prisoners for murder, rape, or stealing because they might be innocent bystandards; the result of the Universe's movement.

2) If we assume astrology exists, we would never be able to interpret it, and we'd have no control over it. There would never be such things as horoscopes, our birth dates wouldn't matter, and we'd all be victims of celestial bodies.

Why is this? Because there is no way to know the affect of a celestial body, on a human.

I may trip and fall, and one person may blame the moon, another the sun, another an asteroid, while i blame my clumsiness.

Either way, there is no way to use astrology to our advantage because we can't know how planets affect us.

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So working on the basis that astrology is true, even then, we see huge gaps within this ideology.

That's why i was upset at the above poster about writing their comments on how they were a scorpio and they didn't forgive people.

Imagine that, someone labeling you a "scorpio" telling you that from your birth, because of the day you were born, you are not to forgive people for injustices.

You would say that is nonsense, that's just horrible to think that everytime someone does an injustice on you, you hold it against them forever.

I can guarentee you, that person will have a horrible life because even their parents will sooner or later do an injstice on them (parents arn't perfect).

But think... they believe this, because they were TOLD this... and ALL THIS IS BASED OFF OF THE DAY THEY WERE BORN!!!

I mean... to think, in America, with literacy rates through the roof.... we still believe that?



All i have to say is wow.... even logically if astrology is true, it still fails, because all it proves is all those horiscopes you read, or traits about yourself, are lies.

Why is it a lie, because you can't isolate the affects of the moon, or the sun, or the earth, on you.

Logically, illogically, whether considered true, or blatenly false, astrology fails the test of truth or atleast comprehensibility.

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So why do horoscopes exist, why do people give themselves traits based off what others say they are, why is astrology still accepted?

I think it's because no one has really delved into it, no one has been told: "Hey, you know that the reason they say you'll have a good day today, is because they say they can predict it by the shifting of the stars and the moon and the sun. They are so smart they know EXACTLY what each shift does to us, they'll tell you when you crave icecream before you even know it!!"

If people were told this and shown what astrology truly is, they wouldn't think twice about it.

So sadly it seems the thing that keeps astrology going is ignorance of it.
That and maybe because it's fun reading horoscopes, even if you know they arn't true, it's still fun looking through them.

Will i criticise you for looking through horoscopes for fun, no definitely not.

Will i criticise you for not forgiving people because someone said you're a "scorpio"; you better believe it.

~~Phoenix


Update:

[The person who sparked this debate replied back sarcastically and also implied to not get in the middle of their argument, here's a snippet:

Thank you very much for your lesson. I think my life will be a lot better now.


My reply:

It's not a lesson, I'm not trying to criticise, i just want you to be you, not what others tell you to be, and if you never forgive an injustice, you will end up hating everyone, including your parents (We all make mistakes). Except you right? No? Even you make mistakes?... Then why not give others the kindness you show yourself
]

1 comment:

Mohammed said...

One of the arguments you make against astrology is the following:

If astrology were to be true, then we would not be have free will, therefore astrology is false, for it would make some aspects of our lives absurd (e.g. culpability in a court trial).

Though I'm not one to defend astrology in any comprehensive way, I'll say that I don't think this argument can hold water. The conventional sciences take presume the absence of free will through its assumptions about the utter universality of the law of causality, but no one uses this to deny the legitimacy of science. I means some scientists who claim that our consciousness is an illusion, though few would use this as a reason to dismiss neuroscience.

I think its more interesting to study astrology from an anthropological perspective. Why did peoples of the past attribute significance to the celestial bodies? What sort of worldview did ancient peoples function in such that astrology could fit in in a way that would be acceptable to rational minds? What is it about our worldview that precludes us from granting astrology legitimacy?

There is a tendency amongst modern people to dismiss things like astrology as utter superstition that the stupid people of the past used to believe prior to being enlightened by empirical science. But we must also remember that there have been even scientific minds like Newton that lent credence to astrology. At the minimum, that should make us reconsider the fairly widespread assumption that only stupid, ignorant, unscientific people believe in astrology.

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