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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Brian Williams NBC Nightly News talks about astrology
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Mike N



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
Posts: 49

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zoidsoft wrote:
Mike N wrote:
I don't know what happened to astrologers in Arizona..


I was referring to the nut who shot Gabby Giffords and several others in Tucson recently (Obama came to Tucson and made it a national event). Astrologers are just another variation of what the public views as harmless nuts, but if that changes from harmless to harmful, the legality of it could be brought into question again. In Nevada, you have to go into a "booking" process where you are fingerprinted in the same way that criminals are treated after having been arrested for a crime if you want to do readings for people legally as a business, which is why I only sell software in Nevada. It's Nevada's way of saying "we've got our eye on you, so behave and don't cause trouble".


The Nevada idea is interesting. Is this in case an astrologer today does a Broughton and tells someone a period of grave danger may occur. If this happened then the person may do all sorts of things in response which could put himself and others at risk.

I work in the 'care' business and if I was aware a vulnerable or impressionable person had been told this by an astrologer I would consider alerting the authorties, as it is a straightforward abuse of a persons mind.

This is taking us into astrological ethics territory but as least this is one way of ensuring astrologers keep the law at arms length. Particularly in places like the USA it seems where tolerance of this practice is currently more problematic.
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GR



Joined: 14 May 2005
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Location: USA

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike N wrote:

The Nevada idea is interesting. Is this in case an astrologer today does a Broughton and tells someone a period of grave danger may occur.


No I imagine it's done with the intent that all astrologers are potential frauds and this is done to dissuade them, like they were "gypsy" tarot readers. Very icky.

Also, the idea that dangerous periods can be predicted is part of the traditional(tm) astrological practice, and while it shouldn't be done in a reckless manner, people do at times want to know such things. If they can seriously ask, they have responsibility for having the info.

I sorry, but I keep getting the impression that you've been on Skyscript before under a different name ... but it might be nothing.
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 300
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now the astronomer who originally made these claims seems to be backtracking:
http://io9.com/5733004/your-zodiac-sign-may-have-changed-this-week

Of course, the horse is already out of the barn, so we'll see if this actually does any good.
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently, and I just did a cursory reading, the good professor referred to an astrology critic who wrote a perfectly idiotic debunking of astrology and it is this Phil Plait to whom our anger should be directed. Not that Plait has said anything others haven't said ad nauseum. Plait makes a plea for critical thinking, which apparently means thinking that agrees with his. He then goes about setting up a long winded straw man argument as evidence of his critical thinking skills.
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Mike N



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
Posts: 49

Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="GR"]
Mike N wrote:



Also, the idea that dangerous periods can be predicted is part of the traditional(tm) astrological practice, and while it shouldn't be done in a reckless manner, people do at times want to know such things. If they can seriously ask, they have responsibility for having the info.




Fair enough if it is done in a more advisory and sensible way. If it is given as certainty, or forcefully, then it will inevitably install a sense of impending doom in someones mind.

Seemingly the Nevada authorities aren't mainly focused on the 21st century ethical debates relating to the place of prediction in astrological consultations.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rumor has it in Las Vegas that there was a feud between 2 astrologers decades ago and one of them had a connection to politics and drew up a law to make things difficult for the other astrologer. I vaguely remember some details of this from an NCGR meeting over at Eldorado Estates on the west side, but the exact details escape me at the moment. I suspect though that there had been developments in the mean time and because the casinos are big in the area and frown upon any sort of advantage one might try to use to even the odds against the house (even if they think its bunk), it is discouraged because Vegas had to fight to keep their gambling legal in some eras of its history (gaming was illegal for a while here around the 20's). Of course Vegas would not survive at all without gaming and so I think this stays on the books to help keep the gaming industry on the up and up and keep out potential riff raff.
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Mike N



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Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All seems a bit strange.

You would have thought a clever casino owner in Nevada would want to set up their own astrologers in the area and get them to tell people tonight was their lucky night.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Following this logic through, Steve Wynn, Trump and others with big financial stakes in the gaming industry here have a lot to protect because there is a huge segment of the population of Nevada who generates income from this, so any potential threat to that is taken very seriously. If gambling became illegal in Nevada, the state unemployment rate would probably be well above 50% which of course would devastate the tax base. Given the current political and economic climate, I don't think it would be wise to try to change the laws regarding the practice of astrology in Nevada.
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Mike N



Joined: 20 Sep 2010
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Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be risky and probably not worth it as the casinos make loads anyway, particularly from those with stelliums in Sagittarius, in theory(or one of them).

I would have thought they use plenty of psychologists to teach them how to get people to part with their money, without them realising they are being subliminally motivated to do so.

Which in some ways is just as unethical, albeit pure capitalism.
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GR wrote:


No I imagine it's done with the intent that all astrologers are potential frauds and this is done to dissuade them, like they were "gypsy" tarot readers. Very icky.


Just go into any Psychic Eye bookstore in Vegas and ask for an astrology reading and you will probably get a Tarot reader who pretends to know astrology. I did this as a test a few times and grilled one of them giving them a history lesson. The guy was shocked when he found out who I was and looked pretty embarrassed and then he didn't want to charge me. This is what happens when standards aren't met in a field of study or in a profession and the need for quick cash lowers standards of ethics. I've seen it happen, so personally I'm not a bit surprised about the law in Nevada because there are some pretty nefarious characters who have tried to prey on tourists gambling in casino's by any means possible.
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Eddy



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Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe the real danger to astrology comes from astrologers themselves. I feel worried about the plain hostility of some astrologers towards science. When I was searching a bit about Blavatsky, I found this:
Blavatsky wrote:
This is the great difference between the Semitic and the Aryan Cosmogony; one materializing, humanizes the mysteries of nature; the other spiritualizes matter, and its physiology is always made subservient to metaphysics.
When I read this, I realized that this rhetoric still prevails in todayís astrology, and it is because of this view that I sometimes have ambivalent feelings towards astrology.

Quote:
This is not as far-fetched as it might sound to people unfamiliar with the extreme right wing religious faction in the US. I keep an eye on that segment of the sociopolitical spectrum by monitoring a thriving religious television station based in Midland, Texas: there, the guests continually decry God's wrath against "occultists" who practice astrology and yoga (of all things).
I have the impression that the motivation behind anti-astrology positions in the US is rather religious than scientific. It seems that little has changed in four centuries. See for example Keith Thomas - ĎReligion and the decline of magicí, about the wane of astrology in the 1700ís, p.418
Quote:
The clergy and the satirists chased it to its grave but the scientists were unrepresented at the funeral.
Itís quite contradictory that the US, once a safe haven for deviant religious groups of any kind during the 17th century religious wars in Europe, accommodate Christian intolerant fundamentalists whilst fighting Islamic fundamentalism at several places in the world.
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some astrologers might seem hostile to science Eddy, but I donít believe that most of us are. In general when astrologers are defensive it is because some of the attacks used to discredit astrology are based on disingenuous reports that obfuscate the real issues. Take this 13th sign nonsense Ė we all know that there are intelligent arguments to be made against astrology, because it is embedded with a lot of symbolic contradictions, but astrologers are usually more than willing to engage with the serious issues, and we can be very critical of the subject ourselves within our own communities. But itís the same old tactics that get used to discredit astrology at a popular level, and it is time that the old chestnuts like this one were put to bed. I donít have much to time to comment in the forum at the moment unfortunately Ė my January days are jam packed with commitments, but I have prepared a comment about this issue which I was intending to publish on the next ingress as part of the next set of updates. Since the issue is so current Iíve decided to publish today instead. But I would like to say that although these kind of issues infuriate me Ė I donít have a dim view of science generally. Even so, when astrologers are placed under attack, itís only fair that we get our own chance to respond to the accusations.
http://www.skyscript.co.uk/13thsign.html


(PS - I would much prefer to see this thread focussed on the opening topic, rather than sliding into an off-topic discussion)
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
Posts: 300
Location: Colorado, USA

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Deb, that's a great piece and I'm glad you decided to publish it now - I'll be referring people to it, as I'm still getting calls and e-mails about this business.
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zoidsoft



Joined: 10 Feb 2006
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Location: Pulaski, NY

Posted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
...But itís the same old tactics that get used to discredit astrology at a popular level, and it is time that the old chestnuts like this one were put to bed.


There are even more old chestnuts... I wrote an article in the late 90's about the kinds of historical arguments that have been used against astrology and their refutations, precession being but a modern twist:

http://www.astrology-x-files.com/x-files/geocoincidence.html
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Astraea



Joined: 04 Oct 2004
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Posted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Curtis, that is an excellent article. Thank you for posting the link.
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