Debate between Augustine and an astrologer on the validity of astrology. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. It was Augustine who gave the most prominent, compelling, and wide-ranging criticism of astrology during his period. He stated, in the Confessions, that earlier in his life he was fascinated by astrologers and astrology but after his acceptance of the Christian faith, he fervently condemned the astrology’s fatalism as ‘having the effect to persuade men not to worship any god at all’ (Ferrari 1977, 247). At the heart of other claims, Augustine recognized that valid astrological forecasts are attributable to the aid of demons and that although the stars influence earthly evolution, ‘it does not follow that the wills of men are subject to the configurations of the stars’ (Demetra 2001, 14).
Augustine, in another book, talked about the dilemma of the Star of Bethlehem and argued that it was a ‘new star that shone because Christ was born and its purpose was to point the way for the Magi to find the Word of God’ (Demetra 2001, 14). In contrast, as a challenge to these arguments of Augustine, Manuel Komnenos’s dilemma in forming a dispute where in astrology was not viewed as sacrilegious relied upon the claim that the will of God was greater than the stars’ authority (Demetra 2001). Hence, in his justification of astrology, Manuel should defend that the stars do not possess a self-sufficient will that transcends the omnipotence of God, but that the evident supremacy that prevails over them to influence outcomes in the world, is in reality God using the stars to communicate signs to the world (Demetra 2001).
This possibility is strengthened by another scholar. Regarding this, it is to be distinguished that immediately at the preface of second Enncod’s third tractate Plotinus puts forth the differentiation between the stars as embodying occurrences in the future, and the stars as revealing such occurrences (Scott 1995).