3

There is an issur to ask astrologers (Pess. 113; Shul.Ar. YD 179,1). And Rashi says (Dev. 13, 18) התהלך עמו בתמימות ותצפה לו ולא תחקור אחר העתידות So, is then a problem to

  1. ...compute probabilities?
  2. Learn their mathematical theory? (without the goal of using them... for example, among other units to pass a degree)
  3. And even, to check the weather predictions?...

A few thoughts:

  • Maybe there is a difference with astrology, because probabilites do not "predict" the future, but just give the "weight" of an event. Even a "zero" probability can happen (for example, taking a random point of the real line, every single point has a zero probability but at end there is a result).

  • Maybe probability is more like a סימן , like בית תינוק ואשה , that is permitted (Chulin 95b)?

  • Do we use רוב (Chulin 11a) to "predict" that a child "will be" fertile in the future, or do we say that "now" he is not a סריס ?

  • The Targum on Kohelet 11, 4

שומר רוח לא יזרע ורועה בעבים לא יקצור

indeed seems to compare meteorology and asrology?...

  • 1
    This seems a little too broad. Consider breaking it up into multiple smaller questions. – mevaqesh Jan 1 '17 at 15:24
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    Much of human behaviour is predicated on educated predictions of future events. Obviously this is not forbidden. | Are you assuming that astrology is an effective tool of prediction? According to Rambam it is nonsense, and the Torah is commanding us not to be superstitious fools. | If you think weather predictions are forbidden, how about looking outside to check if it looks like it will rain? – mevaqesh Jan 1 '17 at 15:28
  • לחקור אחר העתידות is not not included in stats. Statistics is a rational way of thinking. To look for meteorological issues by satellite is not חוקר עתידות – kouty Jan 1 '17 at 15:54
  • What sort of evidence are you looking for in an answer? I am pretty sure that the possibility that learning statistics is forbidden, is so outlandish that you will not find the classical literature addressing it. – mevaqesh Jan 1 '17 at 16:40
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    From what I understand about meteorology, I would not consider them "predictions" in any sense similar to how witches or psychics predict the future. The better term is "forecast". Meteorologists use actual current tools based on events that occur now in some part of the country. E.g. a radar shows precip. somewhere and they constantly watch the movement of that radar. Based on that and mathematical models combined with cloud observance, and other measuring tools, they tell you what the weather should be in your area during the next few days. – DanF Jan 3 '17 at 17:21

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