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Skyscript Astrology Forum

The Sceptical Attack of Dean et al on Astrology
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Violin



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 39
Location: Croatia

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2003 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Sorry, but I find that bizarre.

Be as it may, thanks for your post that provided an opportunity for me to express my opinion on this ethical issue
Quote:
There are two interpretations for the word ‘exploit’. One is “to make use of selfishly or unethically”; the other is “to employ to the greatest possible advantage”. I used the word in the latter sense.

I didn't really question your motives here, but the possible results of the action suggested by you. There is sometimes a very thin dividing line between these two and it gets very difficult to determine where getting of "the greatest possible advantage" ends and "unethical use" begins. At least this is so for my simple mind. Therefore I decided to stick to the rules.
warm regards
V.
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 945
Location: Australia

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mathew wrote:
Understanding the mindset that motivates his criticism may place us in a better position to respond more effectively.


And this is perhaps what worries Dean when he refuses to give out his birth data. He is someone who chose not to give out these details to Garry Phillipson to include in the book 'Astrology in the Year Zero.' Of course, there are all sorts of reasons why people do not wish to make this information available. However, if there is nothing in astrology as Dean seems to be claiming, then it shouldn't worry him if astrologers have this information since they can learn nothing from it anyway.
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LindaR



Joined: 17 Oct 2003
Posts: 89
Location: Australia

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


And this is perhaps what worries Dean when he refuses to give out his birth data. He is someone who chose not to give out these details to Garry Phillipson to include in the book 'Astrology in the Year Zero.


The data I posted was obtained many years ago he was a member of the FAA in Perth. Subsequently Dean has denied it, and refused to give his data on several occasions as a way to 'fudge' the fact that some of us 'oldies' have it up our sleeves . The data has been confirmed - I always confirm sources and make it my business to track down as many confirmations as I can. You'd be surprised who is lurking up my sleeve!

So far as 'exploiting' - I do think there are two alternative views on this. I do prefer to use the word optimise as a more positive connotation, but why go to all that trouble? He is entitled to his point of view - he is one in a stuck place and the more astrologers give his opinions light, the happier he and those like him feel.

They are looking for arguements, why bother to give them one. Acknowledging their existence only validates them.

Hamish Saunders wrote an excellent response in the NZ journal and I have a lovely video of my friend Garth Carpenter who put the whole shemozzle into perspective. I am hoping to get Garth to let me transcribe it, but have to contact the TV station too. I'll put it on my website eventually.

Different fishes in the same ocean!
Linda
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graelhaven



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 82

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2003 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well just to ad fuel to the flames, Chaos theory suggests that scientific data is fantasy, and not fact. When you get to the micro level everything changes with the least amount of suggestion. merely observing an incident changes the data, which refuses you accurate data. Ergo, his scientific data has no credence. But that is the Physicist in me speaking. I really havn't much patience with people whose sole purpose in life is to abuse some other groups ideals. Reminds me entirely too much of religious persecution. (I'm not getting technical cause Deb gets annoyed with me for getting technical, lets just say the heisenburg uncertainty principle applies to everything) :-) As does Schroedengers fictiteous cat, whos name by the way is Finian.
(Yes Deb, I'm being a brat)

MissB
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Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beth when have I ever got annoyed with you or anyone else for getting technical?
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graelhaven



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 82

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually when I used the explaination that E = MC2 is identically equal to F=Ma, though not the reverse, etc...in a post. but my former response was meant in much lighter terms. It was not a huge blow out or anything, but exactly what I said, an annoyance. and I also meant what I said when I said I was being a brat, as in teasing people for letting someone like Dean get to them.

the post was "on the lighter side" so to speak, I did not mean to hurt anyones feelings, or anything.

I think it would be much more fun for a number of Astrologers to post his chart and discuss his intellectual stagnation in detail in a completely non aggressive, very light hearted mode and make lots of interesting suggestions about his personal life, than to legitemize his so called experiments by dissecting them. But then I'm a bit brutal in some respects (hey, my aries ruler has to show up somewhere)

MissB
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Mathew



Joined: 06 Nov 2003
Posts: 16
Location: Berkshire, UK

Posted: Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think it would be much more fun for a number of Astrologers to post his chart and discuss his intellectual stagnation in detail in a completely non aggressive, very light hearted mode and make lots of interesting suggestions about his personal life, than to legitemize his so called experiments by dissecting them. But then I'm a bit brutal in some respects (hey, my aries ruler has to show up somewhere)


Why? That does sound like derogatory name-calling of the most futile kind. One can choose to take this argument seriously or simply ignore it. However, one approach that won't earn astrologers any respect is to use astrology to make 'lots of interesting suggestions about his personal life' in an effort to ridicule the man, and therefore, presumably undermine his work.

Terrible suggestion and if you don't want to take the argument seriously then you were free to ignore it and perhaps should have left the discussion to those of us who take a more reasoned view on these issues. Evil or Very Mad
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Minderwiz



Joined: 10 Jul 2004
Posts: 23
Location: Wigan, Lancs

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I'm new to the forum (in it's present incarnation) I apologise if I am repeating points already made in the lengthy discussions - I've tried to go through them as best I can but I might have missed something.

I was trained as a social scientist, studied the philosophy of science and teach statistics and methods of investigation. Firstly the scientific method is rooted in a materialist view of the world and in the collection and analysis of data observed through the five senses. What's more the data needs to be applied to a clearly defined set of concepts and relationships that have been put forward. Here lies one of the first problems that bedevils scientific research - there is often much disagreement about what such concepts are or how the should be measured - Economics (my own discipline) is a great case in point. It's quite possible for research to be carried out and then disputed because of its underlying definitions and assumptions. The end result is that it can be very difficult to change or challenge the prevailing orthodoxy - there is an inbuilt bias and conservatism. The orthodox view is that Astrology is 'superstious nonsense' and really, no amount of research is likely to change this.

Scientific approaches also depend on the 'law of large numbers' - they work at the 'general' level not at the specific. So in Economics there are theories which explain the behaviour of consumers on mass, but not individual consumers. Science is not very good at the specific level.

Scientific method also requires that the research is replicable. That if we carry out the same research again, in the same circumstances then the results will be the same. However Astrology is non-replicable. It is a series of individual and significantly different circumstances. Client A's problems are not the same as Client B's, etc. Indeed Client A's problems now are different from Client A's problems last month and from what they will be next month. Indeed our whole approach is based on the idea that individuals, events, and indeed moments in time are significantly different and cannot be generalised in any meaninful way.

Astrology doesn't really work at a General Level - the same planetary positions or combinations can mean many things. What they mean in a particular set of circumstances is where the art of Astrological interpretation comes in - and yes the Astrologer is vital to the process. What is more Astrologers rarely use one or two symbols in isolation - they look for repeated themes from a variety of symbols and it is quite possible for two Astrologers to come to the same conclusion based on different symbolism but symbolism conveying the same meaning.

I've just finished reading Moment of Astrology by Geoffrey Cornelius and I must admit that I agree largely with his view that Astrology is divination, not science. The Scientific paradigm so dominates our thinking that we rarely question it but there are other ways of viewing the world around us and we should not feel that in order to justify Astrology we have to show that it is scientific in the modern sense of the word.
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###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Sat Jul 10, 2004 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems that science as practiced is considered to be an objective experience, but many who practice it are unaware of their subjective involvement. Astrology is ultimately a subjective experience, but many who study and use it are seduced into justifying it in objective terms. The Trickster has plenty here to have fun with.

As in politics, religion, or whatever, true rational thought is lost when ego involvement takes over: I=my ideas. Attack my ideas=attack me. This is solidified and hardened by the desire to be right. Then we are stuck in the muck of irrationality and emotion.

I don’t want to involve astrology in proving the worth of my intellectual abiliites. Astrology gives me a palette to play with, and while playing in my corner of the room I will hopefully be continually changing.
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Minderwiz



Joined: 10 Jul 2004
Posts: 23
Location: Wigan, Lancs

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just so Kirk,

In my experience Scientists just don't recognise their own subjectivity entering into their analysis and research. Often their are subjective judgements underlying choice of methods, definitions of concepts and classification issues. The 'good' scientist shoud and does try to make explicit their subjective judgements but overall I've been shocked by the number that don't.

I think the underlying problem in science tends to be a belief that numbers and measurement are objective and value free. As a lecturer in statistics I know that, for example, even choosing one measure of average instead of another can lead to different conclusions but the impact of this decision is rarely evaluated to begin with. Much of the skill in statistics lies in interpretation and this is certainly not a value free area.

Unfortunately the same can be said of Astrologers, we rarely challenge the underlying axioms and often seem to believe that there is an 'objective' Astrology that can be discovered 'out there' rather than in our own hearts and minds.
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###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Sun Jul 11, 2004 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But is it even worthwhile discussing astrology with the scientific crowd? To answer my own question: Yes (maybe). If positions of belief are dropped and a spirit of exploration is allowed to enter, investigating other world views and disciplines can be a way to new perspectives and an appreciation of the different manifestations of fundamental energies and images. Otherwise it is a waste of time and we are back to ego vs. ego.

Perhaps we are spending too much time with the wrong academic people. Instead of screaming out the window at the scientists in the building across the way, our time may be better spent becoming acquainted with the art and literature professors who are a few doors down the same hall.
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Alex Trenoweth



Joined: 14 Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Location: London

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Guardian (the only newspaper that won't have a star sign column)recently published comments in a column from a well known astro sceptic. He began his bit on astrology by saying "a funny letter letter arrives. . ." He went on to make fun of an astrologer's qualifications behind her name (DFastrolS, RCastrol), he said he thought astrologers were deranged, that we couldn't agree on the most basic of concepts.
It really made me angry mostly because the astrologer he was insulting is one of my tutors from the faculty. I felt frustrated because there was no way I could respond to him without him answering back with more insults. The whole argument about the validity of astrology is so vast (as it should be) and so complicated (again as it should be) that we may never have an answer in our lifetimes. My point is this: I'm not looking for converts (clients perhaps). I really couldn't care less what Dean believes--but I would like to wipe the condescending smirk off his face, that I have to admit.
Is it really worth our time arguing when these sceptics are challenging us to "prove astrology works" when we already know it does because we se it in action every day. It is important to know what the other camp is saying because we can only benefit from exploring our our beliefs and toughening up our techniques.
I do get asked every now and again if astrology is a religion. I've always said "no" but I'm starting to have my doubts. Maybe faith (science can't measure that either) that Astrology works is just as important as our techniques.
Brilliant stuff from you guys--real food for thought.
And I'm late for work again!
See you,
Alex
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###



Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
...he said he thought astrologers were deranged, that we couldn't agree on the most basic of concepts.


Economists and politicians are allowed to get away with it. A fair number of them have sounded deranged to me. I don't want to allow myself to fall into the "they" trap, though. The world seems to have gone into high gear with the us/them, good/evil. either/or way of seeing and understanding the world. I can't do much about the the actions of other people, but I can stop myself from seeing things so simply and bludgeoning others with my views. When I was writing the two previous posts on this topic the current transit of Pluto in Sagittarius popped into my mind. There has been much written on the subject: Power and control in the realm of beliefs and ideas. Our job is to not get caught up in it.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex,

I think we all get angry with condescending jerks who attack people we care about. It shows your heart is in the right place.

As to proving of disproving astrology, I'm with you I dont get the need. the closest I can come to understanding this desire is that I think you should always question your philosophies to see if they still hold true for you personally, and you should never buy someones assertion that only "X" works, or is valuable, or is correct.... the only's in life are the pluto attractors!

to quote Dido "its just a thought"

Granny
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Tue Jul 13, 2004 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alex,

I think we all get angry with condescending jerks who attack people we care about. It shows your heart is in the right place.

As to proving or disproving Astrology, I'm with you I dont get the need. the closest I can come to understanding this desire is that I think you should always question your philosophies to see if they still hold true for you personally, and you should never buy someones assertion that only "X" works, or is valuable, or is correct.... the only's in life are the Pluto attractors! (Aha! a wall to break down, I can rebuild it!)

to quote Dido "its just a thought"

Granny
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