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View Poll Results: Do you believe in astrology?

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  • Yes

    33 18.13%
  • No

    142 78.02%
  • I have no idea what it is? So I'm not sure.

    7 3.85%
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  1. #81
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    There has been little serious scientific attempt to validate or invalidate astrology because it does not fit the belief systems of most of those who practice and fund science, I suspect.
    No. There is little scientific interest in astrology because it is a non-science.

    Here. You even answer your own question earlier in your analysis.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    If a genuine correlation can be established, with a degree of statistical association between aspects significantly higher than would occur by chance, astrology has the potential to be a useful psychological tool, if not a scientifically falsifiable one.
    Fair enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    We're still far from having an adequate explanation for the mechanism behind counter-intuitive scientific principle of quantum uncertainty, for example, but since the phenomenon has been experimentally verified, we accept its existence.
    I see this a lot with New Agers (not necessarily you, ragashree), in that they try to make a fuzzy connection between legitimate theory - like quantum uncertainty - and the validity of their pet theory on the basis that quantum uncertainty is not very well understood at this point, much like their theory fails to be understood.

    What hard data can you offer that connects quantum uncertainty with astrology?

    Developing a bridge between psychometrics and quantum mechanics sounds more like misdirection away from the faults of astrology and onto an ideal that suggests somehow that astrology and quantum principle share a commonality because they are individually difficult to understand (for profoundly different reasons, of course).

    I don't see any real validity with the comparison beyond distorted rhetoric.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    If we were to try to do so the best method would probably be to determine an set of psychological tests to examine a large number of people for particular traits, then correlate the results with their birth charts and the corresponding astrological predictions. This is a formidable task due to the number of variables involved, but I'm sure it could be done if someone ever had the will and funding. At the moment the debate is mostly going round in circles, anecdote squaring off against easy fallacy, and I don't see it ending any time soon.
    Sounds like you have a good working methodology to prove your particular belief.

    And, no - the debate isn't "going around in circles". Astrology is entertainment. The only real debate is whether or not you individually find it entertaining.

    Quote Originally Posted by ragashree View Post
    Indeed. I suspect this is all too often because it doesn't fit their belief system, which is often at heart a mechanistic one. Arguments against it in this case are almost inevitably straw men, serving more to validate the non-believer's lack of belief than to change the opinion of those who do believe.
    The onus is on you. Providing negative evidence (as in "your belief system is skewed because you adhere to x philosophy") doesn't provide positive data proving your theory.

  2. #82
    almost half a doctor phoenix13's Avatar
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    My question is this: Is the planet-personality connection based on interplanetary magnetic fields? ...and, if I held a magnet to a baby's head as they came out or while they were in the womb, would that make the whole thing obsolete?

    "OMG I FEEEEEEEEEL SO INTENSELY ABOUT EVERYTHING OMG OMG OMG GET ME A XANAX" -Priam (ENFP impersonation)

  3. #83
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    I generally agree with your points Ragashree, it is all about the correlation. I'd add that a valid study of the correlation Astrology claims would have to include full natal chart analysis, and a third party checking the correlation.

    As far as I know, any studies so far have relied on self-reporting. MBTI and even psychologically validated theories fail self-reporting studies, as people are very biased about themselves and fall for the Forer's effect easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I see this a lot with New Agers (not necessarily you, ragashree), in that they try to make a fuzzy connection between legitimate theory - like quantum uncertainty - and the validity of their pet theory on the basis that quantum uncertainty is not very well understood at this point, much like their theory fails to be understood.
    I think I know what point those people are normally trying to get across.

    It's the point that our current world-views often fail to match reality, and that certain theories have shown this on a very deep level. The Quantum theories are most famous for this at the moment, and demonstrate the very large and fundamental lack of understanding human's have of the world we exist in. I don't think it's a very hard point to get across, it's just that Quantum mechanics is the current celebrity to demonstrate it with. (Gravity's discovery had a similar effect, for example)

    It fails to be a good point in this context though. As it doesn't place anything in Astrology's favour. It just slightly undermines all theories that aren't solely based on a priori evidence. It would undermine Astrology too, if it had empirical evidence to begin with.

    In Ragashree's case, I accept it as a proof that how the correlation is explained isn't an important issue, as we don't understand nearly enough to debate it. It's whether or not the correlation is there in the first place that we might be able to prove.

  4. #84
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    I think I know what point those people are normally trying to get across.

    It's the point that our current world-views often fail to match reality, and that certain theories have shown this on a very deep level. The Quantum theories are most famous for this at the moment, and demonstrate the very large and fundamental lack of understanding human's have of the world we exist in. I don't think it's a very hard point to get across, it's just that Quantum mechanics is the current celebrity to demonstrate it with. (Gravity had a similar effect, for example)
    No, it's clear what they're doing.

    Look, it's easy to "borrow" credibility for the purpose of advancing an unsubstantiated theory, like astrology. The association remains unfair to the casual observer who might really believe that there is some actual validity linking the theories together, beyond stilted rhetorical strategy.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    No, it's clear what they're doing.

    Look, it's easy to "borrow" credibility for the purpose of advancing an unsubstantiated theory, like astrology. The association remains unfair to the casual observer who might really believe that there is some actual validity linking the theories together, beyond stilted rhetorical strategy.
    Why then, would they be linking Quantum theories to Astrology?

    I remain reasonably certain they aren't claiming one is responsible for the other. It would be a simple enough claim to make, and yet Ragashree or others don't seem to make it.

    Granted, it's deceptive to the casual observer. That's not in doubt.

  6. #86
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    No, it's clear what they're doing.

    Look, it's easy to "borrow" credibility for the purpose of advancing an unsubstantiated theory, like astrology. The association remains unfair to the casual observer who might really believe that there is some actual validity linking the theories together, beyond stilted rhetorical strategy.
    Sure, astrology is a confidence trick. And the confidence tricksters borrow a bogus authority to suspend disbelief in the victim.

    And when disbelief is suspended the confidence trickster can make suggestions which will be received without criticism.

    And just watch - what the confidence tricksters most hate is criticism.

    And they hate criticism most of all because criticism wakes us up from the trance of suspended disbelief.

  7. #87
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    Why then, would they be linking Quantum theories to Astrology?

    I remain reasonably certain they aren't claiming one is responsible for the other. It would be a simple enough claim to make, and yet Ragashree or others don't seem to make it.

    Granted, it's deceptive to the casual observer. That's not in doubt.
    As I stated, it's likely due to the fact that they're trying to "borrow" credibility from the reliable, scientifically-defensible theory and project it onto, in this case, astrology - a known pseudoscience.

    In doing so, they obfuscate validity and try to blur the distinction between scientific uncertainty and unverifiable superstition. At best, this is disingenuous.

    I don't think I've offered the argument that they're suggesting one is "responsible" for the other - only that they've posited a theoretical link, to which I've offered a challenge for them to explain their reasoning.

  8. #88
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    i voted no. i think it's silly.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  9. #89
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by almost rosey View Post
    i voted no. i think it's silly.
    This. I am surprised that this discussion has evolved past 'no, it's silly' and 'yes, but I know it's silly'. It infuriates me when people say Astrology is as useful as other personality systems.

    People keep explaining what astrology is, but the only rationale I am hearing of why it works is something to the effect of: "Dude, there's more to this world than what we can see, therefore anything we believe in could be technically true. And if it could be true, doesn't that mean it IS true?"

    I could make up several vague personality portraits, and say all brown haired people are type A, all red haired people are type B, etc. Then I could claim some greater force then we know of is at work here that we can't understand that is making this happen. Then I could say you can't disprove it because no one can understand it yet. Then every once in a while some brown haired person would read his type A description and happen to identify with it and conclude that the system is valid.

    A good system doesn't tell you what you are regardless of what you are. If astrology was a clothing store it would tell you what clothes size you wear based on when you were born, and Myers-Briggs would have 16 sizes and ask you to try them on and see which fits. I don't care what the astrology salespeople tell me, if I am 300lbs I am not going to wear the size 1 speedos just because I was born in November. Every once in a while they would guess someone's size right, and it would seem amazing; But that doesn't make their system valid.

  10. #90
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    no, because it's for silly gooses.

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