Wearing the guise of science one organization mounts attacks on paranormal subjects from Big Foot to psychic John Edwards. Included in their attacks is a quite well orchestrated war on astrology conducted with questionable tactics. These tactics include funding “studies” on astrology and declaring that astrology is disproved, setting up websites with disinformation on astrology, and influencing organizations like Wikipedia and the British Broadcasting system and using the argument that astrology is a pseudoscience pushing a point of view (POV) that treats astrology with derision.
One wonders why all this energy is expended to plant an image of fakery and disreputability to one profession. Real scientists know that there are more “things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophies” and don’t dismiss outright what they don’t understand.
As it turns out these individuals are not motivated by science after all. The tools of this organization are a group that now call themselves the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, but who are better know by their old name CSICOPS. This organization actually produces very little in actual scientific research as their mission is to influence public opinion (1). In fact any time this organization wanders into an actual scientific investigation they have gotten their noses bloodied. One famous study that purports to disprove astrology the so called “Time Twins” study was never published, the Berkeley Double Blind study which was touted to disprove astrology was found by independent study to support the efficacy of astrology, and their investigation of the Gauguelins’ Mars Effect was found to be riddled with sloppy methodology to put it nicely. CSICOPS was founded and are supported and motivated by a singular group, one that in their early years declared themselves the new religion of the human race. These people call themselves Humanists.
Humanists claim a provenance that goes to back to the Age of Reason or in some works to the ancient Greeks, though their organizations only formed in the early 20th century. Humanists believe that religion of any type is “a disservice to humanity” and the beliefs other than strict rationalism are deleterious to our race.
At first glance Humanists seem innocuous enough. Their website proclaims:
Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.
If you think by this statement that Humanists are organized atheists you would only be partially right. Their religion is belief system dressed up as rationalism with an all encompassing world view that includes:
Theology—atheistic (there is no God)
Philosophy—naturalist, or “only nature exists”
Ethics—man-made, relativistic morality
Psychology-denial of soul and spirit.
In other words, only man and nature exist, that morality is defined by man alone and that anything other than this is a delusion created for the purpose of denying man the right to act in a “rational” manner.
Wikipedia tells us:
In the Preface of Humanist Manifesto II, the authors Paul Kurtz and Edwin H. Wilson (1973) affirm that faith and knowledge are required for a hopeful vision for the future. Manifesto II references a section on Religion and states traditional religion renders a disservice to humanity. Manifesto II recognizes the following groups to be part of their naturalistic philosophy: “scientific,” “ethical,” “democratic,” “religious,” and “Marxist” humanism.
Remember that name Paul Kurtz as we’ll meet him again shortly.
Make no mistake, Humanism is as much a religion as any of the world religions. As Hinson and Caner point out:
“. . . if secular humanism were merely secular—that is, if human life were nothing more than complex bundles of atoms moving about in a meaningless universe or multiverse—there would be no need to propound an ethic, a psychology, an economics, a legal format or a world government. However, this is not the case. Secular humanists have addressed of the ten areas of their worldview, often in great detail and with great passion.
In fact the U. S. Government gives this organization religious tax exempt status even if this a religion with no god.
And lest you think that Humanists are a small potatoes player in the world of politics listen to their mission statement:
Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the AHA brings together humanists and nontheists of all stripes together toward the cause of progressive social change. We have a base of over 11,000 members and a network of over 100 grassroots organizations. We produce a variety of publications, including our award-winning magazine the Humanist.
With our extensive local and national media contacts, our lobbying and coalition efforts on Capitol Hill and the efforts of our grassroots activists, we ensure that the humanist point of view is represented—in the halls of power, down on Main Street, and everywhere in-between.
In addition to traditional media, we engage the public through a heavy online presence, which includes our Rant & Reason blog, profiles on MySpace and Facebook, twitter and flickr accounts, and a channel on YouTube. We also publish a weekly e-zine and podcast on a monthly basis.
Our adjunct organizations defend the Jeffersonian wall of separation between church and state (AHLC), advance humanist thought in the realm of education (KHEC), delve into the ethical and moral challenges brought about by advances in biotechnology (ABC), provide aid to those most in need (HC), and apply humanism to daily life (HS).
And from the International Humanist and Ethical Union:
Aims The long term aims of IHEU are: – to promote Humanism as a non-theistic life stance throughout the world; – to promote the identity of Humanism, including the name and symbol of Humanism; – to promote the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Values as a moral charter for the world; – to promote the humanist perspective within international organizations and the international community; – to strengthen organized Humanism in every part of the world; – to build a strong and effective global organization.
In other words, the Humanists don’t want to just be in their business they want to be in yours too. And make no mistake. They have no tolerance of a worldview, or a religious view that doesn’t mesh with their own. If the belief is non-rational or supernatural in any way it is not tolerated. In this they are just like any fundamentalist religion, closed minded and operating with a single purpose.
Humanists are not minor players in the halls of power either. In their stable of notable members were Carl Sagan, Issac Asimov, Brock Chisholm – physician and first Director-General of the WHO (World Health Organization), Julian Huxley – philosopher and first Director-General of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Social and Cultural Organization), John Boyd Orr – the first Director-General of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization).
And while the Humanists don’t list the “Committee of Skeptical inquiry” directly as one of their network of “over 100 grassroots organizations” it was founded in 1976 by the then editor of the Humanist Magazine, Paul Kurtz. Wikipedia tells us:
In the early 1970s, there was a significant upsurge of interest in the paranormal in the United States. This generated concern in some quarters, [my note: read the Humanists] where it was seen as part of a growing tide of irrationalism. It was against this backdrop that CSICOP, as it was to become known, was officially launched by philosophy professor Paul Kurtz at a specially convened conference of the American Humanist Association (AHA) at the Amherst campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo on April 30 and May 1, 1976. In 1975 Kurtz had previously initiated a statement, “Objections to Astrology,” which was endorsed by 186 scientists and published in the AHA’s newsletter The Humanist, of which Kurtz was then editor. In addition, according to Kurtz, the statement was sent to every newspaper in the United States and Canada. The positive reaction to this statement encouraged Kurtz to invite “as many sceptical researchers as [he] could locate” to the 1976 conference with the aim of establishing a new organisation dedicated to critically examining a wide range of paranormal claims. Amongst those invited were Martin Gardner, Ray Hyman, James Randi, and Marcello Truzzi
Astrology since aspects of it can and have been examined and validated by some scientific studies is especially threatening to the rationalist world-view of the Humanists. Astrology will always be viewed as “supernatural” by the Humanists and therefore must be eschewed.
While this astrologer is all for people living their personal truths, I don’t agree with any one organization dictating those truths for the whole of humanity. And in my opinion, representing a religious viewpoint in the guise of science is especially reprehensible.
Real scientists understand that the Universe operates on more than a strict linear rationalist fashion. They know that our gaps in knowledge are wide and our understanding of the Universe is toddler sized at best. A real scientist would hesitate to make definitive statements on any subject unless it was well proven by replicative studies.
Humanists on the other hand make hard and fast statements on a wide range of subjects and say they speak with the voice of science. In actuality since their worldview is so definitive they speak in the voice of a secular god. The next time you hear a skeptic propounding that astrology is rubbish keep in mind that this person is only tool of an agenda that is religious, not truly scientific, in nature.
1.) New Age Religion and Western Culture by Wouter J. Hanegraaff, page 2
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