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  #1  
Unread 06-28-2017, 09:19 PM
Albatrossprox Albatrossprox is offline
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Ethical questions of predicting events

I have heard that a 80% success rate for a predictive technique is considered excellent in astrology; in fact, many astrologers work with techniques that will give not much better than 50%. Even if a technique works 80% of the time statistically, that's still 20% of the time that it doesn't.

Many people who see astrologers are highly superstitious and I think you have to question if their motivations for "knowing" their future are the best for their psychological health. In fact, I think a lot of the centuries-old seedy reputation for astrology comes from feeding into peoples' insecurities with techniques that may or may not work in the first place. My question is, how is a practicing astrologer comfortable with potentially changing a whole person's mental outlook for a technique that will fail so often?

Let us say that, sometimes, the astrologer will predict a difficult time related to the home, for example, and caution an individual to take care of the home life. At that point you can say, "better safe than sorry". But ultimately, predicting things like misfortune, marital strife, disease, or on the other hand good fortune, a promotion, good health... all these things must carry some psychological burden for the individual. I have phrased this a little strongly, but I never see this question covered. If ethics is important in law or accounting we can all agree it's important in astrology.

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Unread 06-28-2017, 10:20 PM
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JUPITERASC JUPITERASC is offline
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albatrossprox View Post

I have heard that a 80% success rate for a predictive technique is considered excellent in astrology; in fact, many astrologers work with techniques that will give not much better than 50%. Even if a technique works 80% of the time statistically, that's still 20% of the time that it doesn't.

Many people who see astrologers are highly superstitious and I think you have to question if their motivations for "knowing" their future are the best for their psychological health. In fact, I think a lot of the centuries-old seedy reputation for astrology comes from feeding into peoples' insecurities with techniques that may or may not work in the first place. My question is, how is a practicing astrologer comfortable with potentially changing a whole person's mental outlook for a technique that will fail so often?

Let us say that, sometimes, the astrologer will predict a difficult time related to the home, for example, and caution an individual to take care of the home life. At that point you can say, "better safe than sorry". But ultimately, predicting things like misfortune, marital strife, disease, or on the other hand good fortune, a promotion, good health... all these things must carry some psychological burden for the individual. I have phrased this a little strongly, but I never see this question covered. If ethics is important in law or accounting we can all agree it's important in astrology.
That's a popular topic on our forum
for example:
Relationships and Morality of Predicting Those
In Natal As Well As Horary Astrology

http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum...light=morality

Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post

It is not unusual for members to request information regarding astrological prediction of their possible future relationship prospects. Asking a relationship Horary question is a popular method of seeking answers/advice to such questions

Obviously then, because anyone may well be justifiably depressed/upset if they were told that their future relationship prospects are nil
/negligible/unlikely

- and given that not everyone believes in astrology and many are simply curious -

and since many have implicit belief that the astrologer in particular is qualified to tell them their future relationship prospects


THEN

(A) are astrologers morally justified in predicting that future relationship prospects are nil/negligible/unlikely if that is their opinion of the chart in question?

AND IF

an astrologer may have led a client to believe in a definite prospect/likelihood of a relationship within the next few months or so

AND THEN NO SUCH PROSPECTS OCCURRED

and the client became depressed
Then

(B) are astrologers morally justified in predicting that future relationship prospects are excellent?

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  #3  
Unread 06-28-2017, 10:21 PM
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JUPITERASC JUPITERASC is offline
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

also

Morality of Predicting Death?

http://www.astrologyweekly.com/forum...light=morality
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-D...eature=related Hippocrates Let food be your medicine: let medicine be your food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchhSIVwMdY Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else. VETTIUS VALENS FREE http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/...s%20entire.pdf
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Unread 06-30-2017, 06:59 AM
Albatrossprox Albatrossprox is offline
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

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Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
Thank you a lot, Jupiter. I am excited to see your posts on this, especially since they contain some back-and-forth and disagreement. (I like those things ).

Here is my tentative point of view on all this, which is getting less tentative and more firm:

1) Natal Chart Astrology: Because of the nature of reading a birth chart - sort of like an overall soul/karmic/psychological profile showing characteristics and tendencies in this life - people are likely to take a reading as reflecting on what they already think of themselves. Either "oh wow, that sounds just like me!" or "that doesn't really fit". If an astrologer is inaccurate, most people will notice this and it won't have a big effect. In other words, the client has quite a bit of power in this setting since they have something to compare the reading against: themselves.

2) Predictive/horary/Vedic dasa/any Astrology dealing with timing and the future: Now all of a sudden, the client is effectively at the astrologer's mercy. There is no knowledge to compare against, unless the client happens to be a psychic or clairvoyant and is accustomed to getting glimpses of the future. Thus, when an astrologer says "X will happen", or even "X is likely to happen", the client is a sitting duck. For this reason, in my opinion, (2) is much more dangerous to engage in without sufficient research and statistical evidence. "I've been practicing astrology for 40 years and so I know what works" is a puzzling justification. Are you saying that for 40 years you have followed clients for months, years, and decades after their meetings with you to see how life turned out? Can you come close to quantifying a success rate? Being able to approximately predict future events is impressive in any case, but maybe the actual success rate is something like 50%. That's an awful lot of clients to be leading astray.

I think these two branches of astrology need to be approached very differently. And, not to say that natal chart astrology is entirely free from statistical burdens, either. But I think people intuitively know how to evaluate a birth chart reading against the person they know as themselves. (Damage is limited.) Predictive astrology is a different ball game. Some astrologers may be stuck in the mode of wanting to prove to the world that "see, look! I really can read the future from the stars!" But this is a spark for research, something intellectual. When you are dealing with real clients with real issues, I don't see how you can escape the ethical problem. You don't really know what your accuracy is.

Business astrology, financial astrology, mundane astrology even, these I find more excusable since they are for professional contexts.
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  #5  
Unread 06-30-2017, 07:54 AM
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albatrossprox View Post

Thank you a lot, Jupiter.
I am excited to see your posts on this, especially since they contain some back-and-forth and disagreement.
(I like those things ).

Here is my tentative point of view on all this, which is getting less tentative and more firm:

1) Natal Chart Astrology: Because of the nature of reading a birth chart - sort of like an overall soul/karmic/psychological profile showing characteristics and tendencies in this life - people are likely to take a reading as reflecting on what they already think of themselves. Either "oh wow, that sounds just like me!" or "that doesn't really fit". If an astrologer is inaccurate, most people will notice this and it won't have a big effect. In other words, the client has quite a bit of power in this setting since they have something to compare the reading against: themselves.
on the contrary
"psychological astrology" of the variety you have described
regularly influences the clients thinking regarding themselves
AS WELL AS THE CLIENTS OPINIONS REGARDING OTHER PEOPLE
and changes the clients opinion
regarding whether or not an astrologers opinion "fits" or not
and so
the client loses power
by being influenced by a psychological astrologers opinion
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-D...eature=related Hippocrates Let food be your medicine: let medicine be your food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchhSIVwMdY Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else. VETTIUS VALENS FREE http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/...s%20entire.pdf
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Unread 06-30-2017, 08:02 AM
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JUPITERASC JUPITERASC is offline
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

Quote:
Originally Posted by Albatrossprox View Post

2) Predictive/horary/Vedic dasa/any Astrology dealing with timing and the future: Now all of a sudden, the client is effectively at the astrologer's mercy. There is no knowledge to compare against, unless the client happens to be a psychic or clairvoyant and is accustomed to getting glimpses of the future. Thus, when an astrologer says "X will happen", or even "X is likely to happen", the client is a sitting duck. For this reason, in my opinion, (2) is much more dangerous to engage in without sufficient research and statistical evidence. "I've been practicing astrology for 40 years and so I know what works" is a puzzling justification. Are you saying that for 40 years you have followed clients for months, years, and decades after their meetings with you to see how life turned out? Can you come close to quantifying a success rate? Being able to approximately predict future events is impressive in any case, but maybe the actual success rate is something like 50%. That's an awful lot of clients to be leading astray.

I think these two branches of astrology need to be approached very differently. And, not to say that natal chart astrology is entirely free from statistical burdens, either. But I think people intuitively know how to evaluate a birth chart reading against the person they know as themselves. (Damage is limited.) Predictive astrology is a different ball game. Some astrologers may be stuck in the mode of wanting to prove to the world that "see, look! I really can read the future from the stars!" But this is a spark for research, something intellectual. When you are dealing with real clients with real issues, I don't see how you can escape the ethical problem. You don't really know what your accuracy is.

Business astrology, financial astrology, mundane astrology even, these I find more excusable since they are for professional contexts.
Doctors predict
the weather forecast predicts - perhaps the forecast says "calm"
but then a hurricane occurs and lives are lost
- psychological counsellors make pronouncements regarding their clients mental states
psychiatrists wield enormous power
and by declaring someone as in their opinion "mentally ill"
can then medicate using legally prescribed medication
that causes horrendous side-effects and ruins lives
yet all of those "professions" are socially acceptable
astrological predictions are no more "dangerous" than any of those
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82p-D...eature=related Hippocrates Let food be your medicine: let medicine be your food. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvz9uSK3zXo Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead Tom Stoppard http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KchhSIVwMdY Every exit is an entrance to somewhere else. VETTIUS VALENS FREE http://www.csus.edu/indiv/r/rileymt/...s%20entire.pdf
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  #7  
Unread 06-30-2017, 06:11 PM
Albatrossprox Albatrossprox is offline
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Re: Ethical questions of predicting events

Quote:
Originally Posted by JUPITERASC View Post
Doctors predict
the weather forecast predicts - perhaps the forecast says "calm"
but then a hurricane occurs and lives are lost
- psychological counsellors make pronouncements regarding their clients mental states
psychiatrists wield enormous power
and by declaring someone as in their opinion "mentally ill"
can then medicate using legally prescribed medication
that causes horrendous side-effects and ruins lives
yet all of those "professions" are socially acceptable
astrological predictions are no more "dangerous" than any of those
Well my only aim was to compare natal chart astrology to predictive astrology. And then, if you like, natal chart astrology to these other professions you have described.

If an astrologer says "You have a tendency to act like X. Your chart suggests that you view the world as Y. Perhaps your childhood could be characterized by Z."... These are all statements that can be compared to known experience. I am not suggesting, either, that astrologers turn into psychologists or counselors. I am describing a natal chart reading in the most dry and bare-bones way possible.

If an astrologer says "Next month, it is likely that you will feel X. Next year, Y might happen in your job. In ten years, Z is almost certain to occur with your health." The astrologer is playing witch doctor, fortune teller, or God for the average person. Anyone at all who is superstitious or anxiety-prone is sent into an emotional drama over these predictions, and furthermore, they cannot do what they can with natal chart astrology-- compare and contrast with their experience.

As far as weather and medicine, I think these are valid comparisons, and for astrologers who employ statistical modeling, or who heavily test their methods, this is as good a justification as any. But few astrologers do these things. A good disclaimer for the average astrologer would be "I am using my intuition and employing untested techniques, and I have no idea how accurate my methods are beyond anecdotal evidence and the tendency of my clients to keep paying me." But this is an awkward thing to say, and even if the astrologer consistently says it, clients are there for their glimpse of magic and hocus-pocus and they will probably disregard it anyway. The equivalent to this would be a weather reporter who hasn't studied how climate systems, wind patterns, cold and warm fronts, etc. work. Doctors often give bad advice and make false predictions. But we should try to emulate the best. That's why I say that for predictive astrology especially, in my opinion, research and testing are key. That way, you can provide the client with some firm background on how they should and shouldn't understand your findings. (Even then, of course, there are ethical issues and philosophical questions regarding telling someone the future.)

Just by serendipity, last night I happened to click onto this interview. I highly suggest it for anyone interested in this topic. http://youtu.be/Zvr9ZfOfiEE. I suggest the sections around 11:00 and also 38:30 as especially relevant to astrological ethics. Also as you will see from the latter section, natal chart astrology has plenty of its own ethical issues! They are just perhaps different from those of predictive astrology.

Last edited by Albatrossprox; 06-30-2017 at 06:20 PM.
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