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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Astrology is bullshit, but we can still have fun

Photo credit: Madison Holmes

Astrology is fake.

This statement shouldn’t be unfamiliar to you. Either it is a fact that you are aware of or it is a common criticism of a belief you hold. But even though accepting this is necessary to be rational and functional, it doesn’t mean astrology itself is useless.

You can have fun with astrology and claim that your sign describes your personality. That’s harmless. Under the surface, personality profiles of the signs rely on Barnum statements – psychologically manipulative statements that every human being can find relatable.

And your weekly reading will never tell you what will happen; it’ll tell you what you “may” “be able” “to make” happen, so that you’re never disappointed when you don’t achieve financial success that night. After all, the horoscope never said you would.

So astrology is fun on the surface, partially because it says everyone is good in bed, but it gets ridiculous when people take it seriously. I don’t have a Tinder, because I’m not a loser, but I know that a huge amount of profiles include their astrological sign.

Most of these people don’t treat “sign compatibility” as a dating prerequisite but some actually do, and this is nuts. Most of the columnists that create horoscopes don’t even believe in the truthfulness of it so it makes no sense to be any more believing than they are.

When we treat astrological signs as a, say, “Which Wu-Tang Member Are You?” questionnaire, instead of a intricate Meyers-Briggs personality test, it’s a harmless exercise in relatability.

When modern day soothsayers, like complete quack Deepak Chopra, or proponents of “universal attraction theory” propound their pseudoscience as science, however, religious belief in absurdity starts to confound our understanding of the universe.

For example: flat-earthers believe the globe is a lie, and the movement is actually growing everyday. This conspiracy theory was on the rise before rapper B.o.B. started spearheading it on Twitter (accompanying it with claims of human cloning, multiple intersecting universes, mind control and government assassinations), but it mostly lurks around shady internet corners, the same place where theories of reptilian overlords make their home.

All these ideas have something in common: they run counter-intuitive to our own experience and data, they’re ancient and they’re not supported by people in any respectable scientific position.

It’s fine and perfectly tolerable for an average Joe to entertain ideas about reptilian humanoids running the planet, and it’s fine when these ideas are in bed with anti-Semitism and antisocial personality disorder (as they so often are).

It’s not fine when someone with influence advocates for these archaic ideas – someone with the power to influence children, or those with delicate faculties of reason.

When you occupy a position of power or influence you have an ethical responsibility to not misinform the public. This is the same if you’re the president of the United States, a Boy Scouts leader, a university professor or a writer for a college newspaper. You are responsible for not teaching lies. That is a criterion for your position.

Just like selling predictions from a crystal ball to poor, heartbroken passerby is a depraved thing to do, writing nonsense and pretending it is factual is a demented thing to do. But so long as everyone involved accepts it as nonsense, we can all have fun.

At the end of the day astrology is really just ridiculous. We’re better off knowing if we’re GZA or Method Man than Cancer or Taurus, anyway.

William Rein can be reached at [email protected] or @toeshd on Twitter.

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    Blue sapphire // Jul 2, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    Yeah, it’s a great way to have fun with the astrology. Nothing is serious with the astrology. Gemstone exporter.
    Thanks and regards..!!