Debate Rounds (4)
Con is supposed to start with a argument in the 1st round, why he/she thinks that astrology and related isn't supposed to be banned.
Good luck to Con.
First, does it effect you? If astrology isn't doing you any sort of emotional or physical harm, and you could very easily just ignore it, why don't you? If your solution to things you don't agree with is banning them, aren't you infringing a little bit on other people's rights to buy into things like that, even if neither of us do?
Secondly, just because something doesn't necessarily have a practical application (according to you and I, perhaps astrology will one day be verified as scientifically accurate and we'll both be wrong) doesn't immediately mean that it should be banned. If your argument for banning astrology is valid, it should therefore logically also work to explain why we should ban the following other things for the same reasons:
- Fortune tellers
- Ear Candling
- Color Therapy
- Magnetic Therapy
- Earthquake Prediction
- Feng Shui
Every one of these can be argued to be an invalid or unverified set of ideas, but why would we just say "ok, ban them all"?
Lukas8 forfeited this round.
Pro is supposed to provide any sort of argument in any form, at all! Disappointing that I didn't get to see one... Perhaps in the 3rd round?
Well, I disagree. I think that we"ve to ban astrology, numerology, fortune telling, pseudo-sciences (except if its proved to be true) and similar activities for commercial use. It"s quite a big business and there are many channels around the world. A business based on non-evidence, lies, spiritual documents... is simply a scam. At least regulate that sort of business.
The history of these activities mainly originates from the knowing of the nature + religious blabla. Just like Alchemy, we all know that. But during its existence (who knows maybe it still exists) it was banned because of religious reasons. Today, we know that if you mix iron and "water with magic" you wont get gold at all. The origins of the astrology comes from a similar era and its been seriously influenced during that time. And the first organised astrology was the Babylonian astrological system. But, hey astrophysics weren't known, so everything was connected with religion and superstition. People fought that the stars were made by their gods and that stuff. But in the new ages the most of these activities rely on a combination of different spiritual documents and fantasy.
Physics makes it impossible. Stars aren't aligned to show off a symbol of the future or your personality. They are there because of:
*Because of their development and local environment
*Because our species sees a ghost everywhere
*Because the light of the stars needs some time to come to earth (distance of a star in ly= the amount of time needed for the light to travell from the star to us)
Psychics aren't real and even if they were. Then were is the strange activity in their brain that allows them to? And what is it?
Its just like you saw a UFO and because it was strange you're saying that there's a big government conspiracy and religious aliens are influencing them. But what evidence do you have? Because a UFO is a Unidentified Flying Object, its Unidentified.
The business of these activities. That is the main part. I couldn't find any source that was explaining how much money there actually is in that dark business. But I could find that strange but actual fact, even due to scientific advancement and development and rising atheism, the business of fortune telling, astrology, related stuff is actually growing. There were some suggestions how much these make, but the answers were too different. I was ready to do some math, but there wasn't enough information available. But you know, some are cheap and some are expensive. The developed world has many of these. But what about the undeveloped world? Actually yes, that money maker is quite active in the undeveloped countries. I was watching a documentary and then they presented a scammer who was lying to the poor and uneducated people, charging them high and doing some basic science like throwing potassium into water (what do you expect?) and telling lies about the sky on the sky map.
If there is no scientific proof bout these astrologists, fortune tellers... Why should we allow a big business to run on lies to disuse our modern educated society?
Well, its time for your argument. Good Luck.
I will start by pointing out that my criticisms of banning astrology (etc) went unanswered: as I previously stated, the law exists to protect its people and Astrology is not harming anyone (you can just choose not to do it), and no comment was made on this or my note that a logical argument would need to be made to ban all pseudosciences. I will first offer a rebuttal to my opponent's arguments, and then come back to the importance of this at the end.
Though I found little substance in my opponent's arguments aside from the (already agreed upon) facts about how astrology doesn't really make accurate or scientific predictions, I will now refute the two new statements that I was able to find:
1. "The business of these activities. That is the main part. I couldn't find any source that was explaining how much money there actually is in that dark business. "
Response: There is a lot of money in pseudoscience, but that's my point as much as it is yours. We can agree that it's a large industry, and that's why it's economically important not to just 'ban' it. See my final point for more information on this.
2. "If there is no scientific proof bout these astrologists, fortune tellers... Why should we allow a big business to run on lies to disuse our modern educated society?"
Response: Because people want it. Regular people that subscribe to these things are the very reason that the businesses are big- even though a quick Google search can tell you all about how fortune tellers are quack-science, they still make a lot of money because people still go to see them. Some people do it for comfort, or just a sense of wonder that there might be something at play that they don't really understand at all, or for the superstitious hope that it would be a lucky thing to do. This is coming curiously close to religion, which is a nice segway for the next argument I would like to make (below).
As I previously mentioned, any valid argument for banning astrology would logically have to encompass every other pseudoscience, as well as any concept or idea without sound scientific backing. A prime, aforementioned example is religion! My opponent stated: "If there is no scientific proof bout these astrologists, fortune tellers... Why should we allow a big business to run on lies to disuse our modern educated society?". Religion is an enormous business. While no one outside of the Vatican actually knows how much money the Catholic Church has (because religious groups don't need to follow regular accounting or disclosure rules), a 2012 study estimated the Church's annual spending to be roughly $170 billion. Because we can draw so many similarities between astrology and religion (not to insinuate that they are both invalid, just that neither have strong, scientific backing), any argument to ban astrology would also be an argument to ban religion. Likewise, any reason my opponent can find that would save religion from being banned in the instance of an astrology ban will similarly work to save astrology.
Both religion and astrology have a good side, and something to offer to the people. It is my belief that each could be taxed more (along with every pseudoscience mentioned in my last argument), but it's never an economically wise decision to close such a profitable set of markets. If fortune tellers bring in millions of dollars, let them. Just tax the income so that if people want to go to fortune tellers they can, but some of the proceeds come back to fund better industries.
On a similar note, my opponent stated: "A business based on non-evidence, lies, spiritual documents... is simply a scam. At least regulate that sort of business". There are a few consequences to this, however: either my opponent needs to do some quick footwork to remove any possibility of religion from this statement, or he/she is advocating that religion is a scam. In the case of the latter, I would like to see a tenable argument made for why religion should be banned from the world (for I think that there is not one). The other consequence is that every business in discussion IS regulated. A fortune teller at the town fair has a small business permit or a busking permit depending on the municipality, and they are paying money straight to the city and the government. They are regulated already, making the above statement by my opponent a moot point.
Finally, some ending notes that I feel it is important to include though my arguments have covered the points made therein (quoted from source ):
Why is astrology not banned?
- "Astrology - like most divination practices - resides at the intersection of archetypal, universal symbolism and the realm of personal experience. A reading can be profoundly meaningful to one person, and meaningless to another (just like a song, a seemingly mundane event, or a breakthrough realization at a therapy-session). Aside from that, calling for an outright ban of something you "so clearly" know very little about is a slippery slope, my friend..."
- "In the US at least, the answer is because we value the right to choose your own beliefs, even if that right enables some people to choose worthless beliefs."
- "The same reason, religion isn't! It caters to the needs of the society, even if its not completely scientific."
 - http://www.slate.com...
 - http://www.csicop.org...
 - https://explorable.com...
 - http://www.quora.com...
The ball is in your court, Pro! I believe you hold the burden of proof to make a sound argument for why astrology should be banned but religion not be, OR why religion should be banned (though I don't believe this to be a tenable position). Thanks!
First, before I begin with mine argument. I didn't mention even once to ban religion. But I agree that its very connected to astrology and related activity, because spirituality is a important part of these businesses. But freedom of religion is important.
You mentioned that people simply want astrology, fortune tellers...
I fully agree, to be honest. Because it has psychological origins. Its strange, but its quite similar to the neuropsychologic description of religion. People simply want to believe in something, because our logic-seeking brain needs explanation. Its the origin of religion as well. But the problem is that its quite connected to growing up, amount of scepticism and lacking the scientific method... As a matter of facts, its known that many people (especially the more cultured or less educated ones) rather rely on faith instead of their family, society, science..."
"Empirical studies of many groups dealing with major life stressors such as natural disaster, illness, loss of loved ones, divorce and serious mental illness show that religion and spirituality are generally helpful to people in coping, especially people with the fewest resources facing the most uncontrollable of problems."
Sounds familiar right? Both astrology and religion have got to do something with major life factors and stressors.
"A growing body of research has linked these spiritual struggles to higher levels of psychological distress, declines in physical health and even greater risk of mortality." While other studies"ve showed that it actually good for mental health and a more positive life.
But that's more religion than astrology, thus both are connected. At astrology, fortune telling, numerology people mostly search answers that they actually want to believe in it. And that's where this businesses come in place. They need someone to show them that their "belief" is right. I recommend watching the National Geographic"s Brain games episode about "superstition". The show explained things great.
But what I"ve been arguing about is not ban religion, astrology... for non-profit uses. I"d like to ban the commercial use of these activities. So every profit organisation would be banned or at least regulated. A higher tax as you recommended is also a good option, and I agree if we cant ban it. Then we should set some basic limits to these activities.
We"ve to mention the Church, especially the catholic church and its high incomes. The organised religious institutions have been often untaxed, "because they are something special." Lucky, today's governments are secularist. And many religious institutions are behaving like a business, however they seem or are non-profit. But could you imagine a profit-based spiritual institution or institutions grabbing money from the people. Its just like here. Ban the "profit-based" part of astrology, and you keep all the freedoms. But more in the next paragraph.
In my logic at least, I think that businesses have to be regulated (to a healthy degree, of course), especially if they"re having bad parts of the business in it. For instance its just like the Food & Tobacco industry. They"ve been both (and the food industry still is) denying science and selling their products to the society (that needs them because of addicting additives) and in every case of regulation, the debate of "freedom" comes in. As a matter of facts, its good if we regulate businesses that hurt the society, however not take their freedom for food. About the economical part. Yes, we both know that the incomes of these astrological activities are different but they"re high. And regulating a big business is a big impact on the economy. Unlike many people I agree that the economy gets hurt after a mass regulation. Because the evidence is showing so. But I always prefer to look into two perspectives. China for instance, has since 1978 (the year of its economic liberalisation and market orientation) made a big economic growth. The second perspective however is Scandinavia, especially Sweden. The Nordic countries have made a big success with their social democracies. Aldue the Norwegian economy rose by the help of Oil. But progressive policies and regulation of food industry have lead to better health conditions in average. And while regulating, they keep the freedoms and the most of the success, meanwhile living great. As you might know, Denmark, Sweden and Norway are one of the best countries to live in according to many factors.
Religion or spirituality or similar actually isn't that needed. Why? A quite secular, atheist or at least agnostic country/ organised society based on science works. China has a high atheism rate. And in Europe Sweden, France and the Czech republic have one of the highest atheist rates. While being one of the top countries. Especially China, Sweden and France keeping large economies. New Zealand is a country that I like to mention as well, because its irreligious grows quite linear. But the freedom of religion is important. Unlike the USSR"s idea of atheism that has influenced their socioeconomic system. I believe that regulating religious business is needed, but allowing the freedom of religion and freedom of choosing your beliefs.
The industry of astrology, fortune tellers... is quite a big (but not that big) business. If they really think that their non-scientific version of astronomy, physics... is real. Then they should open their own non-profit organisations. After banning or regulating the business of astrology and related. People still can do astrology and related but not for profit.
[something about the psychological influence #1]http://www.apa.org...
Thanks for the debate Con, Good Luck. I cant write anymore (out of space)
I didn't mean that you had said religion should be banned, only that the next logical progression of your argument would be that it should be. Your first four paragraphs affirmed that religion and astrology are tightly connected in the ways that become important for our debate, but don't actually provide a reason of why you think they are different and should be treated differently in terms of the ban you are proposing.
Your fifth paragraph then begun with: "But what I"ve been arguing about is not ban religion, astrology... for non-profit uses.". This suggests that you would in fact like to ban religion as well as astrology in terms of both their commercial use. You then followed by saying "So every profit organisation would be banned or at least regulated.", but did not address my previous point that astrology is, in fact, already regulated! Religion also undergoes a light amount of regulation, as I pointed out earlier. You did agree with me that raising the taxes is a good option if we can't ban these activities, which I appreciate, but that seems to further all of the points I have made.
I am having a hard time making sense of your sixth paragraph, because it seems to align nicely with many of the arguments I made in my last statement. As I mentioned in the tail-end of every one of my previous arguments, astrology and religion are synonymous in the discussion of banning a profit-based, scientifically-unproveable, spiritual business. You have to either make a logical argument that can divide this so that religion goes free but astrology can be logically shown to deserve a nationwide ban, or you need to include religion in the ban you've proposed we'll be stewing a whole new kettle of fish. I maintain that the former cannot be done in a logically progressive manner, and that the latter is a tough, perhaps untenable, argument that (now that we are in the final stages of this) would require an entirely new debate.
Paragraph seven is again difficult to address because it hinges on your point that these business should be regulated, and this is not a sound argument because it provides no response to my previously stated fact that they ARE already regulated. Furthermore, I would like to point out that there are many disanalogies between a fortune-teller booth and the tobacco industry. For starters, tobacco is very much harmful to one's person. Banning tobacco is an entirely new argument, and not without its own difficulties in today's world, but is irrelevant to this discussion on astrology.
"China for instance, has since 1978 (the year of its economic liberalisation and market orientation) made a big economic growth. The second perspective however is Scandinavia, especially Sweden. The Nordic countries have made a big success with their social democracies. Aldue the Norwegian economy rose by the help of Oil. But progressive policies and regulation of food industry have lead to better health conditions in average."
Response: Again, these are facts and I can agree with them- however, they are not relevant to this discussion on the grounds that other countries aren't economically thriving because they've banned astrology (because they haven't banned astrology), and also that, as I have mentioned a number of times now, the industries we are talking about are already regulated in the present tense and so arguing that they need to at least be regulated is going to be uphill.
In paragraph 8, with the opening statement "Religion or spirituality or similar actually isn't that needed. Why? A quite secular, atheist or at least agnostic country/ organised society based on science works.", I am now getting the vibe that you ARE at this point arguing that religion should be regulated by the government. However you have also said "But the freedom of religion is important.". Therefore, because your later statement "I believe that regulating religious business is needed, but allowing the freedom of religion and freedom of choosing your beliefs." is contradictory of and within itself, I cannot address it.
Finally, your final line was: "People still can do astrology and related but not for profit.". Again, though I think I've beaten this point to death, you haven't address many of my arguments that show that if you can have a valid reason to ban astrology being done for profit, you should also be able to logically show that any profit in religion (ie. the minister's salary, or the secretary's wage) should be banned as well. Since astrology does not have any cost associated with performing it, you're really not even arguing that it should be regulated into a non-profit exclusive type of business: you're just saying that fortune tellers can tell fortunes, but only for free. Because fortune tellers make the money they use to buy their food by telling fortunes, this equates to just banning fortune telling.
To summarize, I would submit to the voters that the majority of my points in previous arguments went ignored or otherwise unanswered, and my opponent's arguments became increasingly devoid of logical structure (please see above point that religion should be regulated, when it is).
On a more playful note, what if I want to make a paper fortune-teller with my son and tell him he'll be rich someday to support me in my old age? If you don't agree with the pseudosciences, that makes two us- but banning something is a pretty extreme measure and calls for enforcement, and ultimately more money put in to get less out of your economic system.
Thank you Pro for the healthy debate, and to voters for taking the time to vote! Cheers!
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