Monday, December 06, 2004

More on Astrology

I was thinking more about Astrology, and thought about how some religions treat Astrology. To many Christian sects, for example, astrology is lumped into a broad category of things called "the Occult," and that makes it part of a set of reviled and feared taboos. Why would religions treat such things with such a strong reaction?

Such Christians state that they are tools of the devil intended to lead us astray. No, not that they are whimsical superstitions. Nor that they are mere empty pursuits that waste people's time and energy. They are reviled.

It's an interesting phenomenon that such religions would not simply state that they are simply an empty waste of time. Instead they are associated with evil. Why would religions want to cast them to the dark side when they could simply lay them aside as meaningless? The reason is that to do so would require debunking the superstitions. Debunking things is a problem, as skepticism is not merely a tool, but a world view that ultimately conflicts with religion. Once you learn to debunk ESP and astrology, you're on the path to debunking just about anything. So it's a short step to debunking religion.

Belief dries up quickly when skepticism takes ahold of people's minds. Religions that encourage skepticism, if there are any at all, are few because they produce their own end. Therefore, there are only two routes for competing worldviews: incorporation or intolerance. Incorporation melds separate world views together and you get The Protestant Work Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, for example. Intolerance is the other route, which we see in the presence of having a much-tabooed world known as The Occult.

I encourage anyone who is deeply religious not to cower from the occult, but to shout at the devil--learn the science behind disproving how anything from Tarot cards to telekinesis can be disproved. In the name of the Lord, become a practiced skeptic.


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