Kemo's Church

 

Astrology

Welcome back, today we gonna talk about the biggest scam of all and that's astrology. Scientists in a variety of fields have become concerned about the increased acceptance of astrology in many parts of the world. Those who wish to believe in astrology should realize that there is no scientific foundation for its tenets.

 

In ancient times people believed in the predictions and advice of astrologers because astrology was part and parcel of their magical world view. They looked upon celestial objects as abodes or omens of the gods and, thus, intimately connected with events here on earth; they had no concept of the vast distances from the earth to the planets and stars.

 

Now that these distances can and have been calculated, we can see how infinitesimally small are the gravitational and other effects produced by the distant planets and the far more distant stars. It is simply a mistake to imagine that the forces exerted by stars and planets at the moment of birth can in any way shape our futures.

 

Neither is it true that the position of distant heavenly bodies make certain days or periods more favorable to particular kinds of action, or that the sign under which one was born determines one's compatibility or incompatibility with other people.

 

So, why do people believe in astrology? The answer to the question lies very much in the same realm as why people believe in just about any superstition. Astrology offers a number of things which many people find very desirable: information and assurance about the future, a way to be absolved of their current situation and future decisions, and a way to feel connected to the entire cosmos.

 

Astrology shares this with many other beliefs which tend to be categorized as "New Age," for example the idea that nothing in life is truly coincidental. On this view of life, everything which happens to us, even the smallest or seemingly most insignificant event, happens for some particular reason. Astrology then claims to provide at least some of the answers as to why they happen, and perhaps even a way to predict them in advance. In this way, astrology purports to help people understand their lives and the world around them - and who doesn't want that?

 

In a sense, astrology does work. After all, most of those who visit an astrologer end up feeling satisfied and feeling that they have benefited. What this really means is not that astrology has accurately predicted the person's future, but rather it means that visiting an astrologer or having a horoscope cast can be a fulfilling and personally satisfying experience.

 

Think about what happens during a visit with an astrologer: someone holds your hand (even if only figuratively), looks you in the eye, and explains how you, as an individual, are actually connected to our entire cosmos. You are told how mysterious forces in the universe around us, far greater than ourselves, work to shape our intimate destinies. You are told relatively flattering things about your character and life, and in the end you are naturally pleased that someone cares about you. In the hectic and generally disconnected modern society, you feel connected - both to another human being and to the world around you.

 

Most likely, you even get some vaguely useful advice about your future. Daniel Cohen wrote in the Chicago Tribune in 1968 that:

The core of an astrologer's popularity stems from the fact that he can offer something that no astronomer or any other scientists can give - reassurance. In an uncertain time, when religion, morals and ethics are shattered so regularly that one hardly notices that they are gone, the astrologer holds out a vision of a world ruled by forces that operate with clockwork regularity.

In addition, astrology is glorifying. Instead of feeling himself a mere slave in the hands of different hostile forces, the believer is uplifted by his connection with the cosmos. ... The sort of misty character analysis that astrologers engage in cannot be considered proof at all. Who can object to a flattering description of themselves? One astrologer told me that under my hard exterior I was a sensitive person. How was I to reply to a statement like that? Could I say, "No, I am really a hardheaded clod"?

What we have, then, is personal advice and personal attention from a kindly authority figure. Planets? They don't really have anything to do with the matter - the planets are simply the excuse for the meeting. All the talk about ascensions and quadrants serve to make the astrologer appear to be an expert and authority figure, thus setting the stage for the quality of the encounter.

 

In reality, the charts and horoscope are just smoke screens to deflect your attention from what is really going on, which is a cold reading. This is simply an old carnival trick, employed today with great success not just by astrologers, but psychics and mediums and hucksters of all brands.

 


One would imagine, in this day of widespread enlightenment and education, that it would be unnecessary to debunk beliefs based on magic and superstition. Yet, acceptance of astrology pervades modern society. I’m especially disturbed by the continued uncritical dissemination of astrological charts, forecasts, and horoscopes by the media and by otherwise reputable newspapers, magazines, and book publishers.

 

This can only contribute to the growth of irrationalism and obscurantism. We believe that the time has come to challenge directly, and forcefully, the pretentious claims of astrological charlatans.

 

Like a telephone psychic, even though the advice is usually very vague and general, it can often be better than no advice at all. Some people just need another person to listen to them and show some concern for their problems. On the other hand, astrologers who recommend against particular marriages or projects because of the "stars" might be providing disastrous advice. There is, sadly, no way to differentiate between the two.

 

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.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
www.beyondgenes.com

           

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