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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:30 am 
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And as for the question of the powers whose actions are studied in astrology, I can do no better than refer you to the classical text of astrology, the Tetrabiblos of Ptolemy of Alexandria (2nd century AD).

Here he is discussing the nature of those powers - and it is clear that nothing non-natural or 'superhuman' in a religious sense is involved:

CHAPTER II

(This is not the best translation of Ptolemy available, but it is free on-line.)

KNOWLEDGE MAY BE ACQUIRED BY ASTRONOMY TO A CERTAIN EXTENT

Quote:
THAT a certain power, derived from the æthereal nature, is diffused over and pervades the whole atmosphere of the earth, is clearly evident to all men. Fire and air, the first of the sublunary elements, are encompassed and altered by the motions of the æther. These elements in their turn encompass all inferior matter, and vary it as they themselves are varied; acting on earth and water, on plants and animals. 1

p. 3

The Sun, always acting in connection with the Ambient, contributes to the regulation of all earthly things: not only by the revolution of the seasons does he bring to perfection the embryo of animals, the buds of plants, the spring of waters, and the alteration of bodies, but by his daily progress also he operates other changes in light, heat, moisture, dryness and cold; dependent upon his situation with regard to the zenith.

The Moon, being of all the heavenly bodies the nearest to the Earth, also dispenses much influence; and things animate and inanimate sympathize and vary with her. By the changes of her illumination, rivers swell and are reduced; the tides of the sea are ruled by her risings and settings; and plants and animals are expanded or collapsed, if not entirely at least partially, as she waxes or wanes.

The stars likewise (as well the fixed stars as the planets), in performing their revolutions, 1 produce many impressions on the Ambient. They cause heats, winds, and storms, to the influence of which earthly things are conformably subjected.

And, further, the mutual configurations of all these heavenly bodies, by commingling the influence with which each is separately invested, produce a multiplicity of changes. The power of the Sun however predominates, because it is more generally distributed; the others either co-operate with his power or diminish its effect: the Moon more frequently and more plainly performs this at her conjunction, at her first and last quarter, and at her opposition: the stars act also to a similar purpose, but at longer intervals and more obscurely than the Moon; and their operation principally depends upon the mode of their visibility, their occultation and their declination.

From these premises it follows not only that all bodies, which may be already compounded, are subjected to the motion of the stars, but also that the impregnation and growth of the seeds from which all bodies proceed, are framed and moulded by the quality existing in the Ambient at the time of such impregnation and growth. And it is upon this principle that the more observant husbandmen and shepherds are accustomed, by drawing their inferences from the particular breezes which may happen at seed-time and at the impregnation of their cattle, to form predictions as to the quality of the expected produce. In short, however unlearned in the philosophy of nature, these men can foretell, solely by their previous observation, all the more general and

p. 4

usual effects which result from the plainer and more visible configurations of the Sun, Moon, and stars. It is daily seen that even most illiterate persons, with no other aid than their own experienced observation, are capable of predicting events which may be consequent on the more extended influence of the Sun and the more simple order of the Ambient, and which may not be open to variation by any complex configurations of the Moon and stars towards the Sun. There are, moreover, among the brute creation, animals who evidently form prognostication, and use this wonderful instinct at the changes of the several seasons of the year, spring, summer, autumn, and winter; and, also, at the changes of the wind.

In producing the changes of the seasons, the Sun itself is chiefly the operating and visible cause. There are, however, other events which, although they are not indicated in so simple a manner, but dependent on a slight complication of causes in the Ambient, are also foreknown by persons who have applied their observation to that end. Of this kind, are tempests and gales of wind, produced by certain aspects of the Moon, or the fixed stars, towards the Sun, according to their several courses, and the approach of which is usually foreseen by mariners. At the same time, prognostication made by persons of this class must be frequently fallacious, owing to their deficiency in science and their consequent inability to give necessary consideration to the time and place, or to the revolutions of the planets; all which circumstances, when exactly defined and understood, certainly tend towards accurate foreknowledge.

When, therefore, a thorough knowledge of the motions of the stars, and of the Sun and Moon, shall have been acquired, and when the situation of the place, the time, and all the configurations actually existing at that place and time, shall also be duly known; and such knowledge be yet further improved by an acquaintance with the natures of the heavenly bodies--not of what they are composed, but of the effective influences they possess; as, for instance, that heat is the property of the Sun, and moisture of the Moon, and that other peculiar properties respectively appertain to the rest of them;--when all these qualifications for prescience may be possessed by any individual, there seems no obstacle to deprive him of the insight, offered at once by nature and his own judgment, into the effects arising out of the quality of all the various influences compounded together. So that he will thus be competent to predict the peculiar constitution of the atmosphere in every season, as, for instance, with regard to its greater heat or moisture, or other similar qualities; all which may be foreseen by the visible position or configuration of the stars and the Moon towards the Sun.

Since it is thus clearly practicable, by an accurate knowledge of the points above enumerated, to make predictions concerning the proper quality of the seasons, there also seems no impediment to the formation of similar prognostication concerning the destiny and disposition of every human being.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:52 pm 
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canpakes wrote:
Are you saying that there are no guidelines?

Can I just hit you with a shot of Pam cooking spray, instead?

but you brought up the whole "rubbing" thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:08 pm 
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Chap wrote:
OK. I leave to one side the futility of using a dictionary definition to represent the immense social and intellectual complexity and variety of actual existing religions.

Instead, I shall just point out that the use of astrology as a predictive tool does not, in itself involve any acts of worship.


I do see some aspects of religion in how people apply it today, which by the way is not a compliment to religion. Early development of astrology does seem from what I know about it an attempt to understand the world in a more secular and scientific way. It predates when most scientific methodologies were well developed so not a surprise it made some really poor assertions/assumptions.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Themis wrote:
Early development of astrology does seem from what I know about it an attempt to understand the world in a more secular and scientific way.


Yup. That was what my long quotation from Ptolemy of Alexandria was intended to show. Do you think it made the point effectively?

Themis wrote:
It predates when most scientific methodologies were well developed so not a surprise it made some really poor assertions/assumptions.


Well, I am not sure anybody today has the right to look down on Ptolemy's assertions and assumptions as being 'really poor'. They turned out to be wrong in the end, but that's not the same thing at all, and it took many centuries before it was possible to be reasonably sure that he was wrong. At the time, and on the basis of what was then known, he was an admirably clear thinker and a very able mathematician.

Have you ever tried to read some pages of the Almagest?

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:43 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
canpakes wrote:
Are you saying that there are no guidelines?

Can I just hit you with a shot of Pam cooking spray, instead?

but you brought up the whole "rubbing" thing.

I’m adaptable.

So we’re good to use Pam© for priesthood blessings, then?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:46 pm 
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canpakes wrote:
subgenius wrote:
but you brought up the whole "rubbing" thing.

I’m adaptable.

So we’re good to use Pam© for priesthood blessings, then?

you're not pulling me into your whole anti-strict -guidelines debauchery.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:44 pm 
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Chap wrote:
Yup. That was what my long quotation from Ptolemy of Alexandria was intended to show. Do you think it made the point effectively?


Sure.

Quote:
Well, I am not sure anybody today has the right to look down on Ptolemy's assertions and assumptions as being 'really poor'. They turned out to be wrong in the end, but that's not the same thing at all, and it took many centuries before it was possible to be reasonably sure that he was wrong. At the time, and on the basis of what was then known, he was an admirably clear thinker and a very able mathematician.


Maybe it would be more accurate to say it would be poor reasoning with what we know today.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:22 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
canpakes wrote:
So we’re good to use Pam© for priesthood blessings, then?

you're not pulling me into your whole anti-strict -guidelines debauchery.

S’oK. I’ll leave you to your healing oil and magical peep stones.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 2:46 am 
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Themis wrote:

Quote:
Well, I am not sure anybody today has the right to look down on Ptolemy's assertions and assumptions as being 'really poor'. They turned out to be wrong in the end, but that's not the same thing at all, and it took many centuries before it was possible to be reasonably sure that he was wrong. At the time, and on the basis of what was then known, he was an admirably clear thinker and a very able mathematician.


Maybe it would be more accurate to say it would be poor reasoning with what we know today.


Well, yes. If you have excellent physical and observational reasons to think that the sun is so much bigger that the planets that they are, in effect, in orbit about it, and if you understand the physics of gravitation and of the motion of planets in elliptical orbits you won't start, as Ptolemy did, by assuming that the earth is stationary at the centre of the cosmos. If Newton had known what we know now, he would not have constructed his dynamics the way he did, based on a steadily flowing universal time. If we knew what cosmologists will know in a couple of centuries, Stephen Hawking would have known that he was wrong about ... something,

But that knowledge is the fruit of many centuries of careful observation, and argument about what model or models of the cosmos makes best sense of observation and is consistent with current knowledge of how the universe works. Ptolemy's work on mathematical astronomy, commonly called the Almagest, is the most ancient surviving example of a careful and consistent attempt to unite two things:

1. A physical model of the cosmos, in his case based on a spherical earth that is not moving, and on circular motion of the heavenly bodies. These were not arbitrary or baseless assumptions in the context of his time. (Just try imagining that somebody starts asking you why we can't feel that the earth is spinning daily and moving through space at high speed: you won't find it an easy task to explain away their objections. Dammit, there are even people who still think the earth is flat - a notion that Ptolemy disposed of very carefully and thoroughly early on in his book.)

2. A large body of observations, some of them from ancient Babylon, and some from nearer his own day, to which Ptolemy applied some quite difficult trigonometry to derive such basic constants as the radii of the various orbital circles involved, and their speeds of rotation.

Ptolemy's theory was clearly structured and observation-based. It made predictions that were clear and hence subject to testing (a basic requirement for any piece of science). It was changed and developed by later astronomers for centuries (much of that work took place in the Arab-speaking world), and when Copernicus proposed his new model it used nearly all the theoretical structures that Ptolemy had built. We might go so far as to say no Ptolemy, no Copernicus. Hence no Galileo, no Newton, no Einstein and so on. (That's a simplification, of course, but there is some truth in it.)

Science is cumulative and critical. We go forward from one stepping stone to another, and Ptolemy's work was a large and firm stone that helped us advance in our journey to ... where?

And back to the opening post: astrology was not a stupid idea once. Now, as you rightly say "it would be poor reasoning with what we know today".

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:15 am 
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Astrology is more accurate than religion, when done professionally and precisely by zodiac sign.

Granted it is still esteemed as a pseudo science, but it is still used by intelligent people for guidance - just not as a precursor of outcome. We each at the end of the day, shape our destiny. Or our destiny shapes us.

I believe in God and have faith in a higher power that is irrespective of astrology. That being said, God is in charge and control of the stars, so I believe he controls our birth and timing to some degree.

Adding a caveat: We are made from STARDUST. Half of the stardust in our bodies come from faraway galaxies. Doesn't that make you wonder at the marvel of it all?


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:29 am 
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AmyJo wrote:
Astrology is more accurate than religion, when done professionally and precisely by zodiac sign.

Granted it is still esteemed as a pseudo science, but it is still used by intelligent people for guidance - just not as a precursor of outcome. We each at the end of the day, shape our destiny. Or our destiny shapes us.

I believe in God and have faith in a higher power that is irrespective of astrology. That being said, God is in charge and control of the stars, so I believe he controls our birth and timing to some degree.

Adding a caveat: We are made from STARDUST. Half of the stardust in our bodies come from faraway galaxies. Doesn't that make you wonder at the marvel of it all?

a significant part of our bodies are also from Dinosaur Dust, and that is the tru wonder...like how I wonder about the alignment of a waning brontosaurus informing my rising velociraptor.
:biggrin:

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 11:04 am 
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AmyJo wrote:
Astrology is more accurate than religion, when done professionally and precisely by zodiac sign.


The study I cited in an earlier post suggests strongly professional and precise astrology is not in fact accurate:

viewtopic.php?p=1127227#p1127227

The conclusion of that study, published in the scientific journal Nature, included these words:

Quote:
We are now in a position to argue a surprisingly strong case against natal astrology as practiced by reputable astrologers. Great pains were taken to insure that the experiment was unbiased and to make sure that astrology was given every reasonable chance to succeed. It failed. Despite the fact that we worked with some of the best astrologers in the country, recommended by the advising astrologers for their expertise in astrology and in their ability to use the CPI, despite the fact that every reasonable suggestion made by advising astrologers was worked into the experiment, despite the fact that the astrologers approved the design and predicted 50% as the "minimum" effect they would expect to see, astrology failed to perform at a level better than chance.


Did you read that post, where I quoted full information on the study conducted and its results? If so, don't you think that it suggests that the 'expert astrologers' who were involved were, perhaps, not able to perform as promised?

Quote:
Granted it is still esteemed as a pseudo science, but it is still used by intelligent people for guidance - just not as a precursor of outcome. We each at the end of the day, shape our destiny. Or our destiny shapes us.


It would be more accurate to say that astrology was once esteemed as a respectable branch of science, but (sometime around the 17th century) it ceased to be so esteemed, because it was found not to cut the mustard.

I'm not sure quite what you mean by 'guidance'. If you just mean that an open-ended meditation on the future and what you can (or wish to) make of it can be helped by making use of culturally familiar structures without treating them as reliable predictors or determinants, sure - so long as what those structures suggest is vague and open-ended enough to allow for pretty well any interpretation.

Quote:
.... God is in charge and control of the stars, so I believe he controls our birth and timing to some degree.


Do you mean that your deity controls things through controlling the stars? Why can't he just act directly on the mechanisms of conception and intra-uterine development? Why bring in the stars?

Quote:
Adding a caveat: We are made from STARDUST. Half of the stardust in our bodies come from faraway galaxies. Doesn't that make you wonder at the marvel of it all?


Yup. All the complex elements we are made of are quite rare - the cosmos is mainly composed of simple stuff like hydrogen and some helium - and come from the debris of dying stars. That is indeed an amazing thought - but what amazes me is that a bunch of monkeys like us could ever have worked that out in the (probably) all too brief interval between our discovery of speech and out self-induced extinction. It's been fun - for some of the time.

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That's the problem with this supernatural stuff, it doesn't really solve anything. It's a placeholder for ignorance.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:23 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
a significant part of our bodies are also from Dinosaur Dust, and that is the tru wonder...like how I wonder about the alignment of a waning brontosaurus informing my rising velociraptor.
:biggrin:

If you're going to be concerned about the cosmic effects from any portion of your body derived from extinct animals, you might do better to avoid bogarting the dodo dust.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:33 pm 
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canpakes wrote:
subgenius wrote:
a significant part of our bodies are also from Dinosaur Dust, and that is the tru wonder...like how I wonder about the alignment of a waning brontosaurus informing my rising velociraptor.
:biggrin:

If you're going to be concerned about the cosmic effects from any portion of your body derived from extinct animals, you might do better to avoid bogarting the dodo dust.

no worries, clearly you have had your fill.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:40 pm 
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I do recall being taught that the oil needed to be on the scalp of the person rather than just in their hair, and this required a little rubbing. It was not in the little white bible when I served a mission, however, and this was a subject of discussion at a District meeting where I learned I wasn't alone in having been taught this with the same rational but it wasn't supported in the official directions. Apparently it was a wide-spread corruption. Mormonism is a breeding ground for those but that's another topic.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:48 pm 
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AmyJo wrote:
Astrology is more accurate than religion, when done professionally and precisely by zodiac sign.

Granted it is still esteemed as a pseudo science, but it is still used by intelligent people for guidance - just not as a precursor of outcome. We each at the end of the day, shape our destiny. Or our destiny shapes us.

I believe in God and have faith in a higher power that is irrespective of astrology. That being said, God is in charge and control of the stars, so I believe he controls our birth and timing to some degree.

Adding a caveat: We are made from STARDUST. Half of the stardust in our bodies come from faraway galaxies. Doesn't that make you wonder at the marvel of it all?


I do wonder at the marvel of it all and that's why I study astronomy. Much more marvelous.

Astrology is *as* accurate as religion, which means double zilch.

The constellations are arbitrary connections of dots according to the pareidolia of our ancestors. They belong with all the other crackpot divination methods, from dowsing rods to peepstones to poking the guts of a goose. We have science, we put this behind us centuries ago. If it's entertainment, fine. But take it seriously? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:12 pm 
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Maksutov wrote:
AmyJo wrote:
Astrology is more accurate than religion, when done professionally and precisely by zodiac sign. ...

...

Astrology is *as* accurate as religion, which means double zilch.

... We have science, we put this behind us centuries ago. If it's entertainment, fine. But take it seriously? ...

The problem is that many people nowadays simply don't have the education and experience to distinguish between what is within the very broad and somewhat fuzzy-edged boundary of the real sciences (as physics, chemistry and genetics definitely are) and outside it (as astrology certainly is).

As a result, they see that modern astrologers use computers to cast a horoscope, and that they use the most accurate data possible for planetary positions and so on. To them, that looks 'scientific'.

They are wrong and ill-informed , but that does not mean that they are simply dumb.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Chap wrote:
They are wrong and ill-informed , but that does not mean that they are simply dumb.


You're right. They are simple. And they are dumb. But not simply dumb. :lol: I'm sorry, Chap, you will find little generosity in me on this subject. :biggrin: I shall have to disappoint you. :cool:

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:26 pm 
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subgenius wrote:
no worries, clearly you have had your fill.

Well, it does mix well with curelom and cumom.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:10 pm 
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AmyJo wrote:
Half of the stardust in our bodies come from faraway galaxies.

That's incorrect. Precisely 0% of the stardust in our bodies ("in" being a misnomer, because our bodies are 100% made of "stardust") came from faraway galaxies. . . things in faraway galaxies, other than light, can't get here.

Every element in our solar system heavier than helium--to include every element in us--was formed when our original star went supernova. The resulting nebulaic cloud condensed to form our current solar system as it exists today.

So, the "stardust" (a.k.a., every element heavier than helium) of our bodies didn't even come from faraway stars, much less faraway galaxies.

Quote:
Doesn't that make you wonder at the marvel of it all?

Not really. It's all quite predictable and mundane.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Astrology religion for those of us with no religion?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:26 pm 
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Just want to go on record saying that I think Astrology is BS.

Signed,
Pisces
;-)

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