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Thread: what are our signs?

  1. #1 what are our signs? 
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    So i was talking with my friend and he started discussing his co-worker's ideology behind everyone having "signs" and how it reflects our character as well as the things we do. My friend did not explain it too well. However, this is the basics of what I was able to grasp.

    The co-worker stated that there are set behavioral patterns for each "sign." understanding it may help deal with relationships, fears, etc.
    For example your sign may be capricorn or scorpio. So I'm guessing (though there was no real indication in my conversation as to which these signs are) that my friend was trying to talk about birth signs or zodiac signs. horoscopes, perhaps.


    despite the 156,000,000 results from Google, but I would like to look at it from another perspective, so I shall post here.

    What are these horoscopes/signs?

    Is there any merit to the use or consideration of these signs?

    May it be helpful?

    May it be harmful?


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  3. #2  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    So I'm guessing (though there was no real indication in my conversation as to which these signs are) that my friend was trying to talk about birth signs or zodiac signs. horoscopes, perhaps.
    Your friend's sign is stupid.

    This is a science forum, take astrology to a woo-woo forum where it belongs.


    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    What are these horoscopes/signs?
    The signs are the signs of the zodiac. Horoscopes are a method that supposedly can determine character and to some extent future expectation based upon the position of the sun and the planets at the time a person is born. There are twelve such signs. I am sure there is a wikipedia article on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Is there any merit to the use or consideration of these signs?
    They are an amusing passtime and quite harmless as long as they are not taken seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    May it be helpful?

    May it be harmful?
    Never helpful, but potentially very harmful if one believes it. There is no scientific evidence to support the belief in any way. One requires a considerable amount of self-delusion or a suprising lack of intellect to think there was anything to it. Asking for information about these on a science forum was a smart move. Ignore AlexG's remarks - they were unhelpful.
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  5. #4  
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    I know this is a science forum, which is why I posted this here. I'm looking for an explanation as to how astrology's concept may influence a person in a good/bad way, despite what ever supernatural factors may or may not exist. so basically, I'm interested in how one's interaction may influence them and how it may be good or bad. that is purely observational.

    I did not want to post in psychology sub forum because of the unique topic, but I did not want to rely purely on how a person may think.
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  6. #5  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    I'm looking for an explanation as to how astrology's concept may influence a person in a good/bad way, despite what ever supernatural factors may or may not exist
    There is no explanation, because it doesn't happen. Unless the person believes, in which case you have what is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy. The person is influenced because they believe they will be influenced.
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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    I know this is a science forum, which is why I posted this here. I'm looking for an explanation as to how astrology's concept may influence a person in a good/bad way, despite what ever supernatural factors may or may not exist. so basically, I'm interested in how one's interaction may influence them and how it may be good or bad. that is purely observational.
    I want to repeat my points, since I am not sure from your reply that you had noted them.
    1. You were sensible to ask about this on a science forum. Ignore those who reacted to the idea of astrology, rather than to your enquiry.
    2. There are no supernatural factors involved. Self delusion is a very natural habit practiced by many people.
    3. Astrology does not work.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    What are these horoscopes/signs?
    The signs are the signs of the zodiac. Horoscopes are a method that supposedly can determine character and to some extent future expectation based upon the position of the sun and the planets at the time a person is born. There are twelve such signs. I am sure there is a wikipedia article on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Is there any merit to the use or consideration of these signs?
    They are an amusing passtime and quite harmless as long as they are not taken seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    May it be helpful?

    May it be harmful?
    Never helpful, but potentially very harmful if one believes it. There is no scientific evidence to support the belief in any way. One requires a considerable amount of self-delusion or a suprising lack of intellect to think there was anything to it. Asking for information about these on a science forum was a smart move. Ignore AlexG's remarks - they were unhelpful.
    How might it be harmful?
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  9. #8  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    What are these horoscopes/signs?
    The signs are the signs of the zodiac. Horoscopes are a method that supposedly can determine character and to some extent future expectation based upon the position of the sun and the planets at the time a person is born. There are twelve such signs. I am sure there is a wikipedia article on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Is there any merit to the use or consideration of these signs?
    They are an amusing passtime and quite harmless as long as they are not taken seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    May it be helpful?

    May it be harmful?
    Never helpful, but potentially very harmful if one believes it. There is no scientific evidence to support the belief in any way. One requires a considerable amount of self-delusion or a suprising lack of intellect to think there was anything to it. Asking for information about these on a science forum was a smart move. Ignore AlexG's remarks - they were unhelpful.
    How might it be harmful?
    Because believing in things which are not true is always harmful, especially if people base their actions on the false beliefs.
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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    There is no explanation, because it doesn't happen. Unless the person believes, in which case you have what is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy. The person is influenced because they believe they will be influenced.
    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment, but you also state that there is such influence if you believe in it?

    clearly, there is some sort of influence for some people. perhaps not you, but for some. so how or why?

    so they choose to believe in it and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. what created or could have created that mental dependency or attachment? what could detach it?
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  11. #10  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment
    The position of astronomical bodies having no interaction with earth is not part of one's environment.

    what created or could have created that mental dependency or attachment? what could detach it?
    A lack of education and critical thinking.

    I've found that there isn't much which can detach people from mistaken beliefs. They tend to cling to them, rather than admit they could have been wrong.
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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chero
    How might astrology be harmful?
    Because believing in things which are not true is always harmful, especially if people base their actions on the false beliefs.
    Incorrect. believing an apple to be a cornify does not damage damage your well being. you may still eat it, or what ever nutritional benefits could have been gained could still be gained in another food item.

    Doing good acts because you believe it to be a means of spiritual well being (though arguable) will not hinder or cause harm. in fact, good deeds have been proven to boost moral and possibly rejuvenate the body.

    besides the above, and the lack of any premise, your conclusion appears to invalid and incorrect just as it appears to not be scientific.

    so supernatural aside, what (astrological) conditions may be harmful?


    The position of astronomical bodies having no interaction with earth is not part of one's environment.
    I'm not talking about that part. I'm focusing on what is said in astrology and the connection some people have to it.

    to narrow the subject down, let's refer to o.p. your zodiac sign explains what kind of person you are, what character you have (I guess, I'm no expert in this stuff). so that information may influence you. you may consider it or not. apparently you do not. but for those who do, how might it be harmful to them to believe or follow the concept that a "sign" determines or explains their character?


    A lack of education and critical thinking.

    I've found that there isn't much which can detach people from mistaken beliefs. They tend to cling to them, rather than admit they could have been wrong.
    If there is a lack of education, how does education influence what people believe?
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  13. #12  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chero
    How might astrology be harmful?
    Because believing in things which are not true is always harmful, especially if people base their actions on the false beliefs.
    Incorrect. believing an apple to be a cornify does not damage damage your well being. you may still eat it, or what ever nutritional benefits could have been gained could still be gained in another food item.

    Doing good acts because you believe it to be a means of spiritual well being (though arguable) will not hinder or cause harm. in fact, good deeds have been proven to boost moral and possibly rejuvenate the body.

    besides the above, and the lack of any premise, your conclusion appears to invalid and incorrect just as it appears to not be scientific.

    so supernatural aside, what (astrological) conditions may be harmful?
    It's my position that all stupidity harms people. And I view a belief in astrology as stupid.

    You may, of course, believe in whatever woo-woo nonsense you like. But as I said before, people cling to their nonsensical beliefs.
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
    Prof Richard Feynman (1979) .....

    Das ist nicht nur nicht richtig, es ist nicht einmal falsch!"
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  14. #13  
    Forum Senior chero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    clearly, there is some sort of influence for some people.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    NO, there is no basis to astrology whatsoever, there is no influence except what is in their head.
    so there is an influence. simply because something does not exist does not mean it has no influence. that it does not play a part in some people's lives for determining some important lively action.
    if someone makes a decision on you telling them that bornci-beans will help their health, then that sentence (though a lie) influenced that person.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    so they choose to believe in it and create a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Exactly.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what created or could have created that mental dependency or attachment?
    Ignorance.
    In what?

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what could detach it?
    An education and critical thinking skills.
    education in what?
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  15. #14  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Incorrect. believing an apple to be a cornify does not damage damage your well being. you may still eat it, or what ever nutritional benefits could have been gained could still be gained in another food item.
    Or, your goofy superstition might suggest that apples are the devils fruit and you just so happen to be stuck in a giant orchard with nothing else to eat. In your desperate attempt to remain good, you try to subsist on grass and dirt and you die in a way which can never be made dignified on a headstone, so it simply reads, "Moron".

    In all seriousness, you're not really suggesting that ignorance is harmless....are you?
    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by AlexG View Post
    There is no explanation, because it doesn't happen. Unless the person believes, in which case you have what is basically a self-fulfilling prophecy. The person is influenced because they believe they will be influenced.
    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment, but you also state that there is such influence if you believe in it?

    clearly, there is some sort of influence for some people. perhaps not you, but for some. so how or why?

    so they choose to believe in it and create a self-fulfilling prophecy. what created or could have created that mental dependency or attachment? what could detach it?
    Any influence is caused by their belief. If you believe that a horoscope is true, you will act as if it is true. My wife used to work weekends at the circulation dept of the Local paper. She'd get calls from people if they somehow got a paper in which the horoscope was missing, and would be asked to read it to the caller. The callers would be frantic because, get this, without their horoscope, they didn't know how to act that day! Some were so bad that they were afraid to leave the house without knowing their horoscope.
    "Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feelings for the strength of their argument.
    The heated mind resents the chill touch & relentless scrutiny of logic"-W.E. Gladstone


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    @ chero
    If someone with few mechanical skills is persuaded by astrology to pursue a career as a car mechanic they will experience disappointment and failure. If they had instead objectively, with the help of others, considered where their talents and interests lay they would be much more likely to make a succesful decision. This is towards one end of the spectrum of the magnitude of decisions one might make, but even in more trivial instances allowing ones decisions to be based, not on chance, but a false view of reality will not produce, on average, positive results.

    Ignorance of the absence of evidence for valid astrological predictions can easily lead the gullible to the type of error discussed above. That is the kind of ignorance referred to by others in this thread. The education they speak of is in the results of science in this arena to date and in the development of critical thinking skills.

    Earlier you asked this:
    If there is a lack of education, how does education influence what people believe?
    This is, to me, self evident, so I sense you must have some deeper meaning in your question. Perhaps you will clarify.
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  18. #17  
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    I was born in a maternity suite, under the sign "No Smoking". It turned out to be wrong.
    "Ok, brain let's get things straight. You don't like me, and I don't like you, so let's do this so I can go back to killing you with beer." - Homer
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    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    What are these horoscopes/signs?
    The signs are the signs of the zodiac. Horoscopes are a method that supposedly can determine character and to some extent future expectation based upon the position of the sun and the planets at the time a person is born. There are twelve such signs. I am sure there is a wikipedia article on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Is there any merit to the use or consideration of these signs?
    They are an amusing passtime and quite harmless as long as they are not taken seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    May it be helpful?

    May it be harmful?
    Never helpful, but potentially very harmful if one believes it. There is no scientific evidence to support the belief in any way. One requires a considerable amount of self-delusion or a surprising lack of intellect to think there was anything to it. Asking for information about these on a science forum was a smart move. Ignore AlexG's remarks - they were unhelpful.
    How might it be harmful?
    For one it reinforces prejudices. If you find out some is a sign that you are supposed to not get along with, you may not trust them or avoid them and miss out on a meaningful friendship. On the other hand, if astrology tells you that you and a particular person are a good match you may pursue a relationship with them on the assumption that it MUST work because the horoscope said so, only to find out that they are nothing like what the astrology predicted and you could end up in a detrimental relationship instead.

    Going into a relationship with pre-existing assumptions about who the other person is, is never a healthy approach.
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    Moderator Moderator Cogito Ergo Sum's Avatar
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    "It should be apparent that those individuals who continue to have faith in astrology do so in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."


    Source:
    Bok, B.J., Jerome, L.E., Kurtz, P. (1975), "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists", The Humanist 36(5)
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    "It should be apparent that those individuals who continue to have faith in astrology do so in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."


    Source:
    Bok, B.J., Jerome, L.E., Kurtz, P. (1975), "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists", The Humanist 36(5)
    Funny- because that same statement applies to God.

    Yet, people get all politically correct where the God Delusion is concerned and omit the part about "and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary" sticking only with "one cannot prove nor disprove God."
    It softens the blow, you see...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Yet, people get all politically correct where the God Delusion is concerned and omit the part about "and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary" sticking only with "one cannot prove nor disprove God."
    It softens the blow, you see...

    I think this statement can be applied to many pseudo-scientific concepts, going from Intelligent Design to chakras and auras.
    But as we both know, faith does not demand evidence.
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    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    Yeah, I know- I'm just griping about how so many people walk on eggshells with some topics and say it straight on others.

    Say it straight on all of them and screw political correctness.
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    You raise a good question, chero, and it is one that perhaps people should consider from a broader perspective.

    Why is it that so many newspapers, magazines and websites offer the basic astrological forecast for people's Sun signs? I would suggest because it is profitable for them to cater to people's interests and it would seem that astrology fills some kind of a need for many people, even as does religion. Perhaps astrology is more of a playful take on the same theme?

    Results of Harris Poll in the USA 2009
    Question Total Catholic Protestant Jewish Born Again
    Belief in Astrology 26% 26% 20% 19% 21%




    Most women in the UK consider that their sign fits their personality

    Research conducted amongst a sample of students in England found that 100% know their star sign, 70% read their horoscopes regularly and 85% agree that the description of their birth sign describes their personality. (Blackmore 2000)
    Is Astrology a belief? Many people view astrology as a belief. However, it is not like a religion where followers believe in a God where there is no tangible or external proof of God's existence. Astrology can be tested and verified by solid evidence like choice of career or relationship experience. However, because astrology works on a unique individual level and the experimenter is part of the experiment, strict scientific tests are often fundamentally flawed. So for most practitioners the evidence must come from personal experience of an individual's birth chart and then from reviewing others. This evidence combined with the study of astrology becomes knowledge. So we can either know about astrology or we don't know. Any belief or disbelief without knowledge is prejudice.


    So, in conclusion, these studies are interesting but limited as researchers failed to ask a real question. It's like asking do you believe in nutrition or do you believe there is a fish called Wanda in the Gobi Desert or asking non-drivers to comment on a car they have never seen.
    More information at the link that follows.

    Statistical evidence of the extent of belief in Astrology
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    On the subject of astrology being a proxy for religion or in some way thematically related IIRC from Sunday school (a long time ago) the Bible (particularly the OT) is actually quite set against astrologers (for the same reason modern fundies are against science I guess - the church have all the answers). From this I would expect people who follow a religion based on the OT parts of the Bible to be anti-astrology and the more fundamentalist the more anti-astrology (for religious not logical reasons). The poll results without an error bar are close enough to be inconclusive but maybe there is a correlation of this type...
    The following information from the link I posted.

    Results in the United States are based on telephone interviews with 1,002 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 6-8, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup USA.

    Results in Canada are based on telephone interviews with 1,005 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 22-31, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup Canada.

    Results in Great Britain are based on telephone interviews with 1,010 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Aug. 26-Sept. 8, 2005. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±3 percentage points. The survey was conducted by Gallup UK.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The whole capitalistic system is predatory because it specializes in catering to our fears and desires. No wonder astrology is such a good fit with commerce. There is a whole body of research done by Jung and Freud which has provided plenty of insight as to how best to manipulate individuals and populations.

    Jung created some of the best known psychological concepts, including the archetype, the collective unconscious, the complex, and synchronicity. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular psychometric instrument, has been developed from Jung's theories.

    Jung saw the human psyche as "by nature religious",[4] and made this religiousness the focus of his explorations.[5] Jung is one of the best known contemporary contributors to dream analysis and symbolization.
    Though he was a practicing clinician and considered himself to be a scientist,[6] much of his life's work was spent exploring tangential areas, including Eastern and Western philosophy, alchemy, astrology, and sociology, as well as literature and the arts. His interest in philosophy and the occult led many to view him as a mystic.[6]
    Carl Jung - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment
    What?
    It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
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  29. #28  
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhDemon View Post
    If something doesn't exist by what mechanism are you suggesting an effect (other than the one in your head) can exist?
    Ignorance in what? How about physics, biology, biochemistry, psychologyetc, etc, as I said any effect is in your head (placebo effects do exist but in the absence of the belief that an effect is already present the effect disppears).
    Education in what? Just a broad enough education not to be a credulous fool.
    I believe I must clarify that I was not referring to how or why astrology effects or influences a person as to what might make it work. it was more towards "how does a placebo effect influences a person. largely interested in the psychology behind it. however, I did not want to post this in that sub-forum because of the subject matter.

    biology, biochemistry, and the such I find unrelated to the subject or what ever a the subject may be to cause a person to take a serious look into astrology.

    I find psychology potentially helpful. perhaps I may read up on some of it. any suggestions as to where to start for this particular area?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flick Montana View Post
    Or, your goofy superstition might suggest that apples are the devils fruit and you just so happen to be stuck in a giant orchard with nothing else to eat. In your desperate attempt to remain good, you try to subsist on grass and dirt and you die in a way which can never be made dignified on a headstone, so it simply reads, "Moron".
    A superstition would first have to exist in order to establish such a perspective. otherwise I would just leave the field or eat the leaves.

    In all seriousness, you're not really suggesting that ignorance is harmless....are you?[/QUOTE]Ignorance in what? you can not know everything, so we are all ignorant in that sense. you are ignorant to some things and that which you do not know or understand have not harmed you - have they? or is it improbable to measure an unknown cause?

    either way, yes. ignorance in general, does not harm you. it just might not help. personally I see it as a sort of neutral indifference.

    like astrology. I don't know a whole bunch about it, therefore I may be ignorant. yet, have I been harmed?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    You could try a variety of searches in Google Scholar.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    @ chero
    If someone with few mechanical skills is persuaded by astrology to pursue a career as a car mechanic they will experience disappointment and failure. If they had instead objectively, with the help of others, considered where their talents and interests lay they would be much more likely to make a succesful decision. This is towards one end of the spectrum of the magnitude of decisions one might make, but even in more trivial instances allowing ones decisions to be based, not on chance, but a false view of reality will not produce, on average, positive results.

    Ignorance of the absence of evidence for valid astrological predictions can easily lead the gullible to the type of error discussed above. That is the kind of ignorance referred to by others in this thread. The education they speak of is in the results of science in this arena to date and in the development of critical thinking skills.

    Earlier you asked this:
    If there is a lack of education, how does education influence what people believe?
    This is, to me, self evident, so I sense you must have some deeper meaning in your question. Perhaps you will clarify.
    first, thank you for your response. it places a stone out of my shoe and into my bag.
    also, I don't think I made my statement clear enough. it may be too broad.

    Education is a neutral. Knowledge is neutral. it will not take you anywhere and can not. you must wield it in order for it to work for you. So how would it influence a person away from astrology or into any direction?

    also, education is rather broad topic that would include astrology, would it not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    "It should be apparent that those individuals who continue to have faith in astrology do so in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."


    Source:
    Bok, B.J., Jerome, L.E., Kurtz, P. (1975), "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists", The Humanist 36(5)
    I have not seen any evidence...
    I need to study psychology, so is there anything besides that you may suggest?
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    You know what... To be blunt... If you have not seen any evidence it must be that you've been walking around your whole life with your eyes closed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyoko View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment
    What?
    there is no explanation as to how you are influenced by your environment, but you also state that there is such influence if you believe in it?
    must consider the whole question, which relates to what I replied to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    You know what... To be blunt... If you have not seen any evidence it must be that you've been walking around your whole life with your eyes closed.
    har har har.
    I meant in relation as to astrology. which I gladly will admit, yes. I do not know much about it, nor how something else may either relate to it or disprove it.
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    Here is evidence for you then. I am a capricorn and Neverfly is a gemini. We are supposed to hate each other. Yet we get along like best friends, as if reincarnation were real and we were best friends in every life time. If I believed in soul mates, I'd say it applies to us. On the other hand I am supposed to get along beautifully with virgos and cancers. My first husband was a virgo and my second a cancer. I hate them and they hate me.

    So there ya go. Evidence supplied. Astrology is bunk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    I have not seen any evidence...
    I need to study psychology, so is there anything besides that you may suggest?

    You have not observed evidence of what?
    Astrological beliefs being true or the studies that conclude that there is no verified scientific basis for astrological beliefs?
    "The only safe rule is to dispute only with those of your acquaintance of whom you know that they possess sufficient intelligence and self-respect not to advance absurdities; to appeal to reason and not to authority, and to listen to reason and yield to it; and, finally, to be willing to accept reason even from an opponent, and to be just enough to bear being proved to be in the wrong."

    ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, The Art of Being Right: 38 Ways to Win an Argument (1831), Stratagem XXXVIII.
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    I am actually a typical Aquarius, and as such I don't believe in astrology at all.
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    i used to be very into astrology. I didn't attempt to predict the future with it but I would try to anticipate personality types. I knew how to locate positions of planets and everything. And your sun sign isn't that interesting when you take into account EVERY planet is supposed to have some influence. it is so convoluted that there isn't any real precise way of dictating what it all means. Vague mysticism is what keeps it intriguing. And what feeds its status as being a faith based system rather than anything remotely scientific.

    I can still remember a big chunk of my chart.

    sun - capricorn
    moon - cancer
    rising - virgo
    mars - gemini
    venus - sagitarius

    Those are supposedly most influential aspects. And when taking them ALL into account, you just get a muddy indiscernible mess. You may as well be playing with tarot cards or using one of those folded paper things little girls make to find out who they will marry out of 4 celebrity "possibilities" or maybe even a magic 8-ball.
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    Strange but true:

    My mother was an astrologer who worked up full birth charts with a 10 page interpretation (and took donations for them which she gave to cancer research), and I used to do Tarot readings for people. No, seriously.
    "Ok, brain let's get things straight. You don't like me, and I don't like you, so let's do this so I can go back to killing you with beer." - Homer
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    I think would be the appropriate response. I wasn't joking.

    I was influenced at an early age by my mothers mysticism. She was a Wiccan, and by that I mean a proper "white witch", doing it seriously in a coven, part of the "Alexandrian" white witchcraft resurgence in England in the 1960's, did astrology and was also a fortune teller at fetes (all non-profit). I was actually initiated into Wicca myself.

    But that was another life. I sort of grew out of it in my late teens/early 20's.

    Not a lot of people know that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    I think would be the appropriate response. I wasn't joking.

    I was influenced at an early age by my mothers mysticism. She was a Wiccan, and by that I mean a proper "white witch", doing it seriously in a coven, part of the "Alexandrian" white witchcraft resurgence in England in the 1960's, did astrology and was also a fortune teller at fetes (all non-profit). I was actually initiated into Wicca myself.

    But that was another life. I sort of grew out of it in my late teens/early 20's.

    Not a lot of people know that.
    OMG you are so outted now!! jk

    I grew out of it in late teens early 20s too. I guess once the blur of puberty hormones mellows out we are able to start thinking clearly and for ourselves.
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    This is my sign
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Cogito Ergo Sum View Post
    "It should be apparent that those individuals who continue to have faith in astrology do so in spite of the fact that there is no verified scientific basis for their beliefs, and indeed that there is strong evidence to the contrary."


    Source:
    Bok, B.J., Jerome, L.E., Kurtz, P. (1975), "Objections to Astrology: A Statement by 186 Leading Scientists", The Humanist 36(5)
    I have not seen any evidence...
    I need to study psychology, so is there anything besides that you may suggest?
    Astrology: Does It Work?
    That link contains a list of studies that investigated the accuracy of Astrology.

    Zodiac signs off the mark for true love, research showsHere is a more recent study - one which Astrologers have criticized for not taking moon phases (or some other nonsense) into account.

    The Gauquelin work 1 (Abstract+Article)An overview of Gauquelin's work, which has largely found no significant correlation between Astrology and Personality - and also explains why Gauquelin's unexpected Positive Correlations were a result of Bias - which even Gauquelin, to some extent, acknowledged as a factor.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post

    What are these horoscopes/signs?
    Sun sign dates are as follows, although they do vary slightly from year to year:
    Aries (March 21 to April 19)
    Taurus (April 20 to May 20)
    Gemini (May 21 to June 20)
    Cancer (June 21 to July 22)
    Leo (July 23 to August 22)
    Virgo (August 23 to September 22)
    Libra (September 23 to October 22)
    Scorpio (October 23 to November 21)
    Sagittarius (November 22 to December 21)
    Capricorn (December 22 to January 19)
    Aquarius (January 20 to February 18)
    Pisces (February 19 to March 20)

    As you asked about the signs of the zodiac, here they are complete with links to information about each.

    Astrology 101, as it were.
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    what if someone might say, "well part of it is true, its not like it can get everything right 100%. so its still real" or something like that.
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    They'd be wrong.
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    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
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    Denial of evidence is very common among Believers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    also, education is rather broad topic that would include astrology, would it not?
    I hope not. Except, perhaps, as a case study for lessons on confirmation bias, delusional beliefs, and critical thinking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what if someone might say, "well part of it is true, its not like it can get everything right 100%. so its still real" or something like that.
    They would need to show evidence of what part is "true" and what that actually validates.
    For example, "African Americans were denied equal opportunities for employment (TRUE) so affirmative action is the cure (Not necessarily- it leaps to an unsupported conclusion. Just because one part is true, does not make the conclusion accurate or true)"

    Reasonable accuracy is required. Yes, we cannot reach 100%, but we have a high standard to get close to it, you know, eh, 50% accurate simply won't cut it. You need to be above 95% just to get away with calling it a Theory, really.
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    Yeah I wondered if I could get away with that...:P
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    Astrology should be a subject in school as part of a course about myths, critical thinking and group psychology, so people can understand the psychological mechanisms that can lead someone to believe in complete fairy tales

    Forer effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


    And while there they should also include criticism of/defense against blindly following figures of authority,
    and basic self-defense or awareness about Propaganda ("official" government sources say, "trusted" media says [BBC: Yes, 911 terrible, WTC7 has collapsed, or at least thats what my script says, oops Its still up, we can see it in the background, huh, pretend all is normal, the emperor is naked, quick, we have technical difficulties, cut, cut, switch to commercials! ] ).

    Such courses would probably be very beneficial for humanity
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    Astrology works much like placebos, because people think it does and influences things that happen to them in way to meet their expectations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    Astrology works much like placebos, because people think it does and influences things that happen to them in way to meet their expectations.
    We are a species that learns largely through observation and pattern recognition. We build upon experience and extrapolate additional possibilities from patterns that prove beneficial to us.

    Fear of the unknown is common across species and we attempt to use experience to extrapolate the potentials of further actions, especially as we venture beyond our comfort zone and the familiar. I can imagine that astrology has evolved somewhat along such lines. As we learn more, we move beyond our previous boundaries and limitations yet history demonstrates that we are slow to abandon past practice and belief.

    We are a species that moves forward by leaps and bounds in technology yet we are barely out of the cave from an emotional and psychological perspective, at least in my opinion.
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    Zodiac signs are self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Let's say everyone believes that red-headed people have hot tempers. A red-headed baby is born. Whenever the child displays a hot temper, no one bothers to discipline the child because, hey, its hot temper is inevitable due to it being red-headed. (The child may even think that it's supposed to have a hot temper.) So the child grows up never having to control his/her temper, and most likely becomes an adult with a hot temper. If all red-headed children are raised this way, then voila!, most red-headed people will have hot tempers.

    The idea that "boys will be boys" is something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    The pro golfer Tiger Woods is also something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. I understand that his father immersed him in golfing from when he was very, very young.

    I think the same thing happened in those famous musical families, such as all those Bachs. They were immersed in music from a very early age, and they simply grow up with music being second nature, as it were.
    Grief is the price we pay for love. (CM Parkes) Our postillion has been struck by lightning. (Unknown) War is always the choice of the chosen who will not have to fight. (Bono) The years tell much what the days never knew. (RW Emerson) Reality is not always probable, or likely. (JL Borges)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what if someone might say, "well part of it is true, its not like it can get everything right 100%. so its still real" or something like that.
    They would need to show evidence of what part is "true" and what that actually validates.
    For example, "African Americans were denied equal opportunities for employment (TRUE) so affirmative action is the cure (Not necessarily- it leaps to an unsupported conclusion. Just because one part is true, does not make the conclusion accurate or true)"

    Reasonable accuracy is required. Yes, we cannot reach 100%, but we have a high standard to get close to it, you know, eh, 50% accurate simply won't cut it. You need to be above 95% just to get away with calling it a Theory, really.
    however, there have already been support from those who deny astrology as fact based on their own experiences. some have posted this on this thread. so why can't personal experience be used to support astrology as fact?

    furthermore, might the self-fulfilling prophecy be true for those who refuse the ultimate power of the universe (thought I'd add that in)?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    however, there have already been support from those who deny astrology as fact based on their own experiences. some have posted this on this thread. so why can't personal experience be used to support astrology as fact?
    Nonsense. The onus is on the claimant to support their assertions. It is not on those that lack belief in such mumbo jumbo to 'prove it wrong.'
    So it doesn't matter if deniers say they don't believe in it because frogs have warts.
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    furthermore, might the self-fulfilling prophecy be true for those who refuse the ultimate power of the universe (thought I'd add that in)?
    There is no supportive evidence for this Ultimate Power even from those that believe in it. They cannot support their beliefs, they just assert them.
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    has lost interest seagypsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    what if someone might say, "well part of it is true, its not like it can get everything right 100%. so its still real" or something like that.
    They would need to show evidence of what part is "true" and what that actually validates.
    For example, "African Americans were denied equal opportunities for employment (TRUE) so affirmative action is the cure (Not necessarily- it leaps to an unsupported conclusion. Just because one part is true, does not make the conclusion accurate or true)"

    Reasonable accuracy is required. Yes, we cannot reach 100%, but we have a high standard to get close to it, you know, eh, 50% accurate simply won't cut it. You need to be above 95% just to get away with calling it a Theory, really.
    however, there have already been support from those who deny astrology as fact based on their own experiences. some have posted this on this thread. so why can't personal experience be used to support astrology as fact?
    If something is real or has ultimate power, such as influence of planets on personality, then it would be consistent. If astrology were accurate then all people would be affected by it equally. You wouldn't have some people having confirming experiences and not others.

    If you read and believe that you will have a stressful day. More likely than not, your belief in what you read will cause you to have a stressful day. Or it will at least make you notice stressful things and dismiss non-stressful things. If you disregard what you read, it is likely that you will have a day like any other, with as much stress as you normally face. While some people may by coincidence actually have an abnormally stressful day, such as coming home to find their house was blown up by some lunatic kid who didn't get enough attention from his priest, coincidences are usually a rarity and therefore a handful of coincidences vs countless cases of not working shows a high probability that astrology is BS.

    As far as some of us stating a few coincidences, being people of science doesn't make us incapable of being influenced by suggestion and flights of fancy. I even make stupid comments sometimes when I meet someone I dislike and say they must be a (insert sun sign here) just to acknowledge that my reason for disliking them is probably something superficial or unfair in my own perceptions of them. More often than not, I insert my own sun sign. Because sometimes when I dislike someone it is because they remind me of my own flaws, or at least the aspects of myself that I perceive as flaws. Other times it is simply because they are assholes and I may say they were born under the sign of asshole.

    Quote Originally Posted by chero
    furthermore, might the self-fulfilling prophecy be true for those who refuse the ultimate power of the universe (thought I'd add that in)?
    NF already covered this.
    Speaking badly about people after they are gone and jumping on the bash the band wagon must do very well for a low self-esteem.
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    from another perspective.

    "many characteristics are hereditary, as observed in daily life. therefore some of our traits are already determined. if these traits are "determined", they may be observed and described as well as grouped (such as sociology). in this case, astrology is accurate and real. "

    comments?

    by this time, I would like to make certain that the reason I ask so many questions (and at times similar questions) is to examine every possible angle. hope I'm not being too much of a bother to anyone.
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    In addition; Astrology claims that planetary influence is the cause, not genetics. Even if it did get a detail right, astrology is still wrong.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    so why can't personal experience be used to support astrology as fact?
    Because people's experiences - more importantly, peoples recollections and conclusions about their experiences - are notoriously unreliable. People forget things. They change things when the remember them. They even remember things that didn't happen. Because of effects like confirmation bias, where someone is more likely to remember an event or a fact when it supports an idea, you get a highly selected and artificial set of data.

    For example, many people will tell you about remarkable coincidences like "I thought of this person I hadn't seen for years and then they rang me / I met them in the street."

    You might be tempted to think, "wow". But this ignores all the times that the person thought about someone they hadn't heard from for years and then ... nothing happened. Or all the times they heard from some when they hadn't thought about them. It also ignores the fact that they thought about Paul and then Bob rang them. It ignores the fact that there are 9 billion people on the planet so I would expect relatively unlikely events like this to be happening hundreds of times a day.

    Objective measurements of astrology show that it has zero predictive power for character, events or anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    from another perspective.

    "many characteristics are hereditary, as observed in daily life. therefore some of our traits are already determined. if these traits are "determined", they may be observed and described as well as grouped (such as sociology). in this case, astrology is accurate and real. "

    comments?
    You are wrong in two ways with this argument:

    1. Very few things are "determined" by genetics.

    2. Arguing from this to any conclusion about astrology is equivalent to saying that "My car has an automatic gear shift, therefore cabbages will be cheaper on Tuesdays." It is a non sequitur.

    Actually, it is worse than that. If you have some characteristics which are, to some extent, determined by genetics, then this argues against astrology. Those characteristics would be dependent on your genes not the random position of stars in the sky. Therefore there is even less room for your fantasy to have any effect.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    by this time, I would like to make certain that the reason I ask so many questions (and at times similar questions) is to examine every possible angle. hope I'm not being too much of a bother to anyone.
    I think you may be casuing mild frustration for a few members. Why? While it is important to look at a problem from many directions, certain directions are easily dismissed. Some of this dismissal can take place on the basis of critical thinking. Some of your questions suggest that you are not using those critical thinking skills, but are asking questions you should have been readily able to answer yourself and to answer in the negative. This can create the impression that you are inclined to believe, for example, in astrology, even though you have stated clearly that you don't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    I think you may be casuing mild frustration for a few members. Why? While it is important to look at a problem from many directions, certain directions are easily dismissed. Some of this dismissal can take place on the basis of critical thinking. Some of your questions suggest that you are not using those critical thinking skills, but are asking questions you should have been readily able to answer yourself and to answer in the negative. This can create the impression that you are inclined to believe, for example, in astrology, even though you have stated clearly that you don't.
    I am not one of them. In fact, I look at it rather positively.

    Critical Thinking appears to be an acquired trait- it must be learned.

    Whatever Chero's intentions are, the questions are exactly what would be asked by a believer and a non-critical thinker.

    To any lurkers, googlers, casual readers that read this thread, they will see Step By Step instructions on Critical Thinking in practice.
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  66. #65  
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    Quote Originally Posted by chero View Post
    from another perspective. "many characteristics are hereditary, as observed in daily life. therefore some of our traits are already determined. if these traits are "determined", they may be observed and described as well as grouped (such as sociology). in this case, astrology is accurate and real. "comments?by this time, I would like to make certain that the reason I ask so many questions (and at times similar questions) is to examine every possible angle. hope I'm not being too much of a bother to anyone.
    Behavioural traits are not determined. Personality is not like eye colour. There are many environmental factors influencing each aspect of personality.Besides the fact that even if personality were inherited, it wouldn't make astrology true.

    By the way, I don't mind astrology as long as it's seen as a part of culture and not a way to make decisions. For example, I can appreciate artwork that incorporates astrological themes.
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