Archive for February, 2020

Robert Serra and Paramilitaries

February 29, 2020

Reality is always much more complex than fiction. According to official statements and multiple observers, the emblem of the Venezuelan Socialist State, young legislator Robert Serra, was killed by the same minors, who were part of the civilian paramilitaries called “colectivos,” whom he sexually exploited. It should not surprise us that his acerbic and cunning way of expressing himself as a politician, representative of Chavism, was parallel to his intimate life as a sadomasochist: Another manifestation of the moral and political terpitude that reigns in Venezuela.

For the past 20 years, these “colectivo” paramilitaries, have been carrying scot free the function of murdering, and inflicting fear in a wide wave of criminal activity, while armed and protected by the Venezuelan de facto regime of Nicolas Maduro. The Colectivos assume the role of defenders of “revolutionary freedoms” by enforcing the justice of gangsterism in a tyrannical state of anarchy. At the same time Maduro’s dictatorship attempts to dissociate from its own creation, its relationship with these groups, by creating false accusations against Colectivos and elevating Robert Serra as a revolutionary martyr. The Colectivos in turn threaten to join a coup d’etat against the Maduro’s government, which for the general population’s misfortune may not lead any where.

Let us be clear that gangsterism and the defense of freedom cannot coexist in solidarity, and that a socialist revolution supported by gangsters is any thing but a revolution.

The Chavista propaganda aims to propagate the idea that the hunger experienced by the Chavista followers, be colectivos or the likes of Robert Serra is not caused by the ineptitude of their leadership, that the current economic collapse of Venezuela is in fact the result of something other than the ineptitude of its governance. The threats carried by gangsters such as Robert Serra as well as Colectivos are aligned as one and the same terror of the dictatorship. They are intended at suppressing freedom to dissent against Maduro’s regime while maintaining a populist tyrannical government, centralized in a paternalistic false economy: like the retrograde and barbaric conditions of Russia today. The real war of the Russian legacy is the hunger war imposed by its own rulers (as in the history of Cuba, Romania, and now in Venezuela) monopolizing national resources to keep their ruling in power on a permanent basis.

Venezuelan nationals cannot accept the muzzle of fear imposed by terror. It is easier for the Castros, Putins and Maduros of the world to incite hatred of an enemy other than themselves to obfuscate and misinform, with imaginary answers, which fail to respond to the state of shame and confusion promoted by them, mired as they are in a grotesque ambition for power.

Astrological Nonsense

February 19, 2020

Our perception of a changing reality is limited by our own finitude, by our limited ability to differentiate our perception of what is perceived. Is it possible to presume the meaning of destiny, when we interpret the changing flow of the universe, particularly by denying being outside our own perception of events? The changes that take place in nature can only be perceived as changes or opportunities for us to learn how our limited knowledge exists in any case; which cannot be entirely conclusive—certainly not to predict the future. Our capacity for story telling thrives in a false sense of reality: A quest for meaning where there is none; one sees reality only as a reflection of our own aspirations. We delude ourselves with the harmful effects inflicted by conditioning, however intense convictions may be.

So much has been written about debunking astrology (Astromancy) [*] throughout the ages, that it may seem absurd for some quarters to still discuss its validity today, albeit astrology continues being in business with a great following throughout the world. And yet astrology´s presuppositions simply amount to a placebo, and like any belief system, it lends itself as a profitable instrument for deception, not too distant from the way grafters of obscurantism aim to acquire confidence from the credulous suffering of human beings. Some astrologers would go as far as pretending that science is obliged to bear the burden of proving that Astrology is not a science, even if the burden falls on Astrology itself. 

Only those reluctant to face their own limitations are subordinate to the endeavors of stagnant knowledge. Ever since the Age of Reason, astrology is not an acceptable discipline, certainly not equal to the field of any scientific research. Astrology may purport to be rational, because it uses certain astronomical data in its particular arrangement of celestial bodies. It may claim as well the use of probing tools, to establish the relationship of the planets in astral charts, while providing a superficial and simplistic generalization about the sidereal movement of the planets: Adding to incongruence with its oblivion to recently astronomical findings (new planets such as Ceres and Haumea; as well as Pluto no longer cutting the status of a planet), astrology admittedly has no where to go but to dismantle its traditions. Practitioners of astrology can only generate expectations about future events pondered via divinatory exercises, which are based on a determination of fictitious archetypes, and the framework of a fictitious methodology, invalid as scientific evidence.

Astrological credence aligns with the trends of climate change deniers and anti-evolutionists. They all have in common archaic and superstitious literature. In such opposition to science, a profitable market is increased fomenting political and religious sectarianism, besides deeply rooted mental illnesses.

From its origins, Astrology followed the accumulation of mythologies propagated throughout Indo-European cultures, approximately since the third millennium BC: an evolution that spread throughout India, China, the Western Hemisphere and the Middle East. Theology and liturgical rituals that encompassed prescriptive and divinatory complexities of the world of antiquity, then converged on the creation of astral charts during the time of the Babylonians. These modalities came from a social and cultural legacy when myth acted as a tool of governance according to how the Oracle and priests perceived the influences of the stars and planets over their lives. The life of an individual was thus conceived by how the interpretation of his destiny depended on such astral influences. A dualistic iconography of “positive and negative attributes, strengths and weaknesses” was thus recreated: The notion that an individual was mentally and circumstantially affected by fate, traced, as it were, by the influence of the planets. Inevitably, tribal as was the human mind of antiquity, the meaning given to the planets also misrepresented a philosophy based on prejudice towards certain associated signs, as well as a kind of favoritism and deference towards other planetary signs, which was a reflection of its own mythological hierarchy. This kind of ideation contributed to the euthanasia of descendants born under an evil sign. Superstition also extended on the ground of other phobias such as siderophobias or kosmikophobias: fears based on cultural beliefs of ancestral origins, such as signs with angelic or demonic properties, and many other forms of esotericism on adverse relationships at the level of macrocosm or microcosm—interpretations and obscurantisms that have remained persistent from the Middle Ages to the present day.

With the evolution of science, after the seventeenth century, astrology could not be subject to the same rules and hermeneutics of scientific research. Astrology and astronomy collided without any relative congruence. Astronomy, the study of objects and phenomena originating beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, became a widely studied science and academic discipline. Whereas, astrology’s use of the apparent positions of celestial objects—as the basis for the prediction of future events—, remained a form of divination, without scientific validity.

Astrology is an entertainment trade, which profits from the gullibility of its clientele. Random game entertainment, sleight of hand and magic come to perform much more honorable functions than the practice of divinatory astrology. Astrologers stubbornly cling to obsolescence over the centuries, in detriment of the individual’s conscience and freedom of thought: In fact, by paying homage to the superstition of all ages, astrological traditions have contributed for millennia to the vices of mankind.

Destiny does not belong to a system, since life is always in motion, always regenerating and transforming. Systematizing life, therefore, is to force it by denying its vital qualities. Pure reason cannot understand destiny, nor can its antithesis, which is pure feeling, never understand it. Compassion would be perhaps the most intelligent requirement for the understanding of destiny and life, while mere superstition will always be weak and useless.

TIMELESS CITATIONS ON ASTROLOGY:

The stars never lie, but the astrologers do lie about the stars

HOMER, The Iliad

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeits of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and stars: as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treacherous by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star!

WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, King Lear

Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy: the mad daughter of a wise mother.

VOLTAIRE

Astrology is like any other superstition: It has no power unless people allow it to direct their lives.

BILL MYERS, “The Haunting”

The boats that brought Puritanism, Quakerism, Catholicism, Judaism and Islam — all the old world religions — [to America] brought astrology and magic as well.

JON BUTLER, “Astrology is an Age-Old American Fascination”, New York Times, December 22, 2015

Astrology is like religion itself, in a very equivocal state. There is a well-grounded reason for belief that it is a truth; but it is impossible for any man to read the details with accuracy. The quackery of astrology lies, like Pharisaical religion, in overt pretensions.

JAMES ELISHAMA SMITH, The Coming Man

“In the ancient and medieval world, the exploration of physical influences among heavenly bodies, and between the heavenly bodies and objects on earth, was generally called ‘astrology.’ But we must not confuse this with the current socially acceptable form of bigotry that seems to entitle the human beings who believe in it to prejudge the character of others based solely on their dates of birth.”

ROBERT P CREASE, The Great Equations: Breakthroughs in Science from Pythagoras to Heisenberg

If people were a little more ignorant, astrology would flourish; and if a little more enlightened, religion would perish.

ROBERT GREEN INGERSOLL


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