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relativity of astrology, or belief systems and astrology
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Joined: 09 Jul 2012
Posts: 380
Location: Scottish Borders

Posted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: relativity of astrology, or belief systems and astrology Reply with quote

james_m wrote:

so, i find myself constantly being challenged by others belief systems around astrology which mostly seem to be so that i can be very clear on why i would hold to a particular belief different from others.

Consider. Do scientists believe in scientific theories?

No, absolutely not. The philosophy which underpins "science" is called Logical Positivism, which (briefly) states that any physical theory is an approximation with only limited validity. Too, if the theory and the experience of the real world (the experiment) disagree, it is because the theory is wrong.

This is how science advances. Somebody does some measurements and formulates a theory to predict the experimental results. Somebody does some more accurate experiments, or experiments in a different context (different temperature, say) and and finds the theory does not predict the new experimental results, so the theory is modified in a consistent way so that it does. That is the scientific method.

Scientists know that the theories and methods they use are useful and describe the world reasonably well, but they also know that sooner or later, the theories they teach their students in universities will be proved wrong.

How can you "believe" in something that is constantly changing and is dynamic with time, responding to increased knowledge and experience like science? You can't. In contrast, the pantheon of gods which form the basis of the world's religions are unchanging and timeless. And if some religious reformer wants to change the nature of the god in even a tiny way, the result is invariably a schism, where the believers split into two groups, one carrying on the old beliefs and the other group taking on a new set of beliefs. That is not the way science works and this is the basic difference between science and religion. Religion is about a belief in a supernatural being. Scientists don't believe in anything.

Let us look at this word "belief" for a moment. What is a belief? Here is a definition:- "A belief is an idea or proposition which is accepted without any evidence to substantiate it."

So, do astrologers believe in astrology? I would say, no. The history of astrology starts with the Babylonians some five thousand years ago where the priest/astrologers start looking for correlations between events happening here on earth and events happening in the cosmos. They establish principles and properties for the planets and they test to see if the fortunes of the king and his court is mirrored by the events in the sky. If the principles work, they keep them. If they do not work, they ditch the idea and derive a principle which does correlate happenings here on earth with happenings in the cosmos.

As time progresses over the next five thousand years, astrology changes and becomes richer in a consistent way to correlate happenings here on earth in finer detail and with greater precision than before. There are no schisms, no great wars, merely the continuous testing of the ideas and predictions of astrology against what is actually observed here on earth.

If this sounds like the scientific method I outlined above, that is exactly right. Astrology is a science, the first science. It is not a religion and it is not a belief system.

Note that I use the word "correlations" above, not "explanations". There is nothing in astrology which offers any explanation whatsoever about the mechanism by which the movements of the planets can predict happenings here on earth, and astrologers need never concern themselves with that.

This has a parallel in physics, where quantum mechanics gives us the most successful, accurate and complete description of the atomic world we know. But Shroedinger did not invent his equation to "understand" or "explain" atomic physics, but merely to describe it. Physicists do not concern themselves with why quantum mechanics works. Similarly, General Relativity gives an excellent description of the relationship between space, matter and time - but it gives us no idea what gravity actually is.

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Joined: 05 Dec 2011
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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi geoffrey

thanks for sharing your perspective here. i like the manner in which you have used science to suggest that it isn't beliefs that guide astrologers, but more observation and that when a better theory comes along astrologers might replace one theory with one more in line with what they observe. i think if this was actually the case there would be no uncertainty which house system to use and this is just one example of the many conundrums that face astrology. this is also why i think it comes down to what a person wants to believe.

maybe there is a better way for me to communicate this by analogy. there are those who have been following astrology for a long time and those new to astrology that need to learn and start somewhere with choosing or not a particular house system - to continue with my original example. i see it like trying on a set of clothes to see how they fit. it seems we can't all fit into the same set of clothes and each one of us needs to find what best suits our particular outline. hopefully our use of different astro techniques, ideas or approaches to astrology is based fully on observation, but my own impression is there is a large degree of herd mentality among astrologers as well as in any other area of human activity.. it would be nice to think we can remove the subjective element which i mostly think of as human nature, and have a system based entirely on observation only, but it is not my observation, or - i note how many astrologers can view the same chart quite differently and come up with astro rationale for their particular use of one system over another.. thus, i maintain beliefs are very much a part of modern day astrology whether the person is practicing traditional or modern or up the yin yang astrology.. it really doesn't matter, as it all comes back to holding to a particular belief and that this is probably the area most folks are unwilling to examine or consider -a 12th house blind spot perhaps that is a silent influence on the more headstrong energy of the ascendant to use some astro imagery..

perhaps i don't completely understand your position, but don't let that detract from continuing on with a response to mine here.. i continue to be curious about how others view astrology, and not just the nuts and bolts of it, but a bigger view outside the purely technical is something i am interested in too..
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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


You might enjoy this chat with Cochrane, Forrest and Terry discussing where Astrology is in 2012. Unless you have already seen it ?
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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks nixx!

i had seen that and found it difficult to hear properly, but did my best to listen.. i was able to hear cochrane the best and enjoyed what i could pick up.. i sent the fellow who made it a message saying it would be good if the audio was louder... both terry and forrest were hard to hear. kelly lee phillips did mention he was going to be putting some other video up as well, but i don't know that he has yet.. if you see any other one pop up, keep us posted. thanks! james
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Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find if you use headphones it comes through better and ignore the wobbly visuals.

Cochrane was echoing some of your thoughts on this thread. You're not alone! Laughing
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