by Alex T. Arnold
When most commentators critique Astrology, the most common complaint is with its truthfulness. However, the strongest argument against it is the fact that its entire premise is based on the post hoc ergo propter hoc (after this, therefore because of this) fallacy.
Other arguments include that it’s unverifiable and coincidental, that “identical” twins will often have different futures and personalities from each other. Also, astronomy tells us that because of the slow wobble of the Earth’s axis, and because the position of stars continuously change over time, the old calculations that modern astrologers still use are now outdated by thousands of years.
In fact, there are 13 zodiacs in astronomy, Ophiuchus being the one that most Astrologers don’t count.
I want to appeal to pathos and address the ethical issues with Astrology.
My birthday is on September 24th, which means that I would be classified as a Libra. Because of this, the leading voices in Astrology say that I should have the natural negative traits of narcissism, lacking commitment, indecisiveness, people-pleasing, shallowness, self-pity and an inclination to hold grudges and get revenge, among others. The overwhelming philosophy among Astrologers is that they were simply born a certain way, thus they should live that same way with free reign.
Spend any significant amount of time with them, and you will be guaranteed to hear them excuse their immoral behavior by placing the blame on their zodiac and attributing no actual fault to themselves (There are obviously many who don’t act this way, but they should if they want to be logically consistent). I am frankly shocked that in a society where discrimination and stereotypes based on race, gender, nationality and income are not tolerated, it would be allowed, even endorsed, for people’s birthdays. I’ve heard jokes that it should be referred to as “space racism,” and although it’s a joke, I can’t help but agree.
I’ve witnessed people who refuse to date or be friends with someone because of the “incompatibility” of their zodiac. A person’s beliefs cannot be separated from their opinions. Anyone who tries to claim that this is just some harmless little game is naive. I believe that if it is given any more traction in the United States, it will cause people to develop prejudiced attitudes against others and will further divide the country.
Setting that aside, I’m even more concerned with the ramifications it has on personal morality. It undoubtedly leads to a superiority complex, where Astrologers themselves can do no actual wrong since the fault is dependent on their star signs. Why should anyone hold themselves accountable when they could instead blame a higher power that was forcefully acting on them?
So, it is no wonder why Astrology is still around in the modern day: because its appeal is quite alluring. It serves to give a sense of relief to its believers so that they are comforted in thinking they have no need to change; because they’ll always be the way they are.
The most frustrating part of this is that many of these same people claim they are spiritual. To them, I direct this question: isn’t the entire purpose of spirituality progress towards something greater? To be spiritual is to seek what is beyond the material world, into what cannot be seen by worldly eyes. It is to dive deeper into what is ahead of us, not behind us. To look inside yourself is the exact opposite of anything spiritual since we are material beings. To be spiritual is to look beyond.
Yet in Astrology, “spirituality” is only going backward into the desires of your body and mind.
Astrology is not a spiritual belief; it is a material one. It teaches that we ought to hold steadfast to the position we are in, no matter how horrendous that condition is. It only offers the benefits of spirituality without the moral accountability involved.
If I feel that I am and always have been inclined to be selfish and led to steal and cheat to get what I want, should I still do it? Of course not.
Astrologers will claim that they are discovering themselves, and this is true. What they fail to realize, however, is that human beings at our core all fall short of natural moral law that we all know we should abide by. Yet they will remain content in the laziness that their belief promotes, refusing to make any true progress.
This is not a choice between knowing yourself or not. Instead, it is a choice that decides the direction of the soul, either backward or forward.