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Logic and thought

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In Defense of Astrology: A Case is not Made The article “ In Defense of Astrology” attempts to establish the notion that astrology should be taken asa serious art on the grounds that it is more reliable and efficacious than a medical diagnosis. The author supports this claim with the following five arguments to show that astrology is efficacious: astrology has been practiced for over six-thousand years, Michel Gauqelin, a noted French statistician, established the truths of a number of claims, Jean Dizon, a noted astrologer, predicted that John F. Kennedy would be assassinated, ninety-six participants in a survey reported that astrology is accurate in predicting personality types, and psychologists use astrology when conducting diagnoses. Although these are all relevant considerations, the author’s key premises do not fully support the claim that astrology is reliable source and that it should be taken more seriously as an art. This paper contains analysis for each sub-argument and suggests how these arguments could be strengthened. The first argument is based on the claim that, until the eighteenth century, diagnoses and prescriptions of astrology were considered more reliable and efficacious than those of the medical practitioners. The arguer simply asserts their argument without citing any original sources to prove that astrology is more trustworthy than the medical profession. These original sources could include official documents or ancient artifacts; however, the arguer does not provide anything to back up their argument and thus we must dismiss it on this reason alone. For example, in Korea over 1000 years ago, rulers from the Koryo dynasty used astrology as political reference and this was an accepted practice at that time. If the arguer had provided these kinds of documents, then their argument would have been stronger and would have been taken more seriously. The argument that astrology needs to be taken more seriously as art and science comes from Michel Gauquelin, a noted French statistician who established the truth of claims that proved a relationship between the planet Mars and outstanding athletes. The argument was based on athletes performing outstandingly in their discipline due to the position of Mars. This is a really bad argument because we cannot say that astrology is a reliable source just because the argument is based only on this example. The arguer generalizes the topic using this one example. Also, I know that famous people are well-respected, but that doesn’t mean that astrology is a dependable source just because of this French statistician. The author needs to find more information to come up with a convincing argument. The claim that the predictions that astrologers make have high rates of success is a weak argument. Jeanne Dizon, a noted astrologer, predicted the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but this does not mean that the event occurred just because she predicted it. Again, the arguer attempts to generalize based on only one example. They could have a stronger argument by providing more examples of predictions that were made and were then proved to be true. There is a high chance that this prediction was a one-off and may not happen again in the future. The fourth argument is based on the claims of a study that ninety-six percent of participants surveyed reported that astrology could be an accurate predictor of personality. The arguer tried to back up their claim with the twelve-sign system of astrology, but this cannot be considered as firm evidence. The arguer commits the genetic fallacy—there is no evidence to support their claim. They mentioned that about one study; however, we need to know what this study is and where it came from. Otherwise, this claim doesn’t support this argument very strongly. Also, the arguer needs to provide more information about the twelve-sign system of astrology. We cannot believe astrology is accurate just because of the twelve-sign system because it has not yet been proven statistically significant. The final argument suggests that astrology is effective in psychological diagnoses and treatments because some psychologists use astrology to treat their patients. The arguer tries to support this claim by saying that studies have proven this to be true, but the arguer does not provide any evidence of such studies. If astrology is used in medical treatment, then it may have an effect, but there is no evidence that psychologists who use astrology are more effective in treating their patients. The arguer needs more specific information to backup their claim. This argument is not convincing enough based on the claims given by the arguer. Each of the supporting arguments rests on an undefended and questionable claim or a false assumption. The author needs to provide more information about why astrology is reliable and effective. In order to prove that astrology can be effective, one needs to provide more sources such as historical or scientific proof. The author’s arguments are relevant, but are not sufficient enough to establish their case.

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