The Existence of Ghosts

Creationism, Evolution, and other science issues

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What is your view on the existence of ghosts?

I believe ghosts exist and nothing will change my mind.
1
7%
I believe ghosts exist, but I would be willing to change my mind if presented with good evidence to do so.
1
7%
I believe the existence of ghosts can never be shown one way or the other.
1
7%
I believe ghosts do not exist and nothing will change my mind.
1
7%
I believe ghosts do not exist, but I would be willing to change my mind if presented with good evidence to do so.
7
50%
Other (please clarify in the thread).
3
21%
 
Total votes: 14

Kylie
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The Existence of Ghosts

Post #1

Post by Kylie »

From a discussion in another thread with Purple Knight.

Do you believe in ghosts? Please feel free to add any more information as a post in this thread, such as a story where you encountered something you believe was a ghost, etc.

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Diagoras
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #81

Post by Diagoras »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:45 am Your definition does not mention the laws of nature. Those that say it doesn't exist usually define it out of existence when they say everything is natural, as opposed to proving that it doesn't exist and that's faulty. Before dismissing anything, I would think logic and evidence should be used to answer the following:
- Are there regularities and limitations in the Universe? In other words, do laws of nature exist?
- If something or someone transcends those limitations, does that mean the law does not exist or is it that the law is not binding in all cases?
To the first question, yes.

To the second, a 'breaking' of a law would just demonstrate that our understanding of the law in question was at least partially wrong. If we observe a particle travelling faster than light, then we may have to work on our understanding of what a 'particle' is, or what 'light' is, for instance.

When someone says that everything is natural, they are basically saying that if someone was discovered walking on water (unaided by man-made technology), then that automatically means that it's a natural ability. If it is then why can't everyone do it? How do you know that there aren't laws, and that the law wasn't violated? You would either have to deny it was a natural event or remain agnostic, at the least.
I have no trouble agreeing that walking on water is a natural ability - for those people who have been observed to do so. In the general case: any observation of an event which appears to break a natural law simply provides some evidence that the law is being expressed imperfectly. Science doesn't have a 'Grand Unified Theory of Everything', so we know that at some level, our 'laws' of quantum mechanics, relativity, etc. fall short of perfection. But they do a fantastic job of explaining a lot of the 'real world'.

If we discover more about 'dark matter' and subsequently understand that it can interact with normal matter in certain circumstances to appear 'ghostlike' (to provide my own hypothetical example), then there would be no need to continue to define ghosts as supernatural. They'd be 'brought into the science tent' at that point and be able to be described and experimented upon, just like other natural phenomena.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #82

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Tcg wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 4:42 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 3:51 pm No. I was claiming that supernatural events can be physical, like for instance, the resurrection. That's an event that can be witnessed and examined.
Whose resurrection? Certainly not Jesus'. He died almost 2,000 years ago, according to the tales. How could an event from 2,000 years ago be witnessed and examined today?
Well let's just say that if a resurrection happened today then it would be an observable event. You can confirm that someone is dead. If that same person comes back to life then you have yourself a resurrection case. You can observe and examine the person to confirm that he or she was really the person who was dead just a few days ago.

Even Jesus's disciples examined examined the resurrected Jesus. They touched his wounds, asked questions, etc.

In fact, I know I've said before that the supernatural isn't just limited to the non-physical, but I'll also say that the natural world isn't just limited to the physical either. Consciousness is considered a natural phenomenon but when you get down to its subjective level, then you come to realize that it can't be characterized as physical. That's why scientists once rejected studying it, but then realized they had to take it up again.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #83

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Diagoras wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:32 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:45 am Your definition does not mention the laws of nature. Those that say it doesn't exist usually define it out of existence when they say everything is natural, as opposed to proving that it doesn't exist and that's faulty. Before dismissing anything, I would think logic and evidence should be used to answer the following:
- Are there regularities and limitations in the Universe? In other words, do laws of nature exist?
- If something or someone transcends those limitations, does that mean the law does not exist or is it that the law is not binding in all cases?
To the first question, yes.

To the second, a 'breaking' of a law would just demonstrate that our understanding of the law in question was at least partially wrong.
That's possible but where I disagree with you is that i don't consider that to be the only option. It's also possible that our knowledge of the law was correct but that the law can be broken.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #84

Post by AgnosticBoy »

brunumb wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:09 pm Those that argue that there's no need nor room for the concept of the supernatural being applied to the real world, need to provide an explanation for what they'd call an occurrence that violates a law of nature (assuming that they accept that laws/regularities exist).
I am not aware of any verified occurrences that violate a law of nature. Do you have any in mind?
Come on, brunumb. Jeez!

Are you being so skeptical that now you're not wanting to even accept the concept of the supernatural?
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #85

Post by brunumb »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:40 pm
brunumb wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:28 pm
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 11:09 pm Those that argue that there's no need nor room for the concept of the supernatural being applied to the real world, need to provide an explanation for what they'd call an occurrence that violates a law of nature (assuming that they accept that laws/regularities exist).
I am not aware of any verified occurrences that violate a law of nature. Do you have any in mind?
Come on, brunumb. Jeez!

Are you being so skeptical that now you're not wanting to even accept the concept of the supernatural?
Jeez AgnosticBoy! Can't you even provide one verified occurrence that violates a law of nature.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #86

Post by Purple Knight »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:42 pmOftentimes the difficulty of distinguishing between supernatural and natural is epistemic, as in our ability to have correct knowledge about regularities in nature. But a genuine supernatural case would have to be one where we are very certain of a regularity and then call it supernatural when it is violated, as opposed to just saying that the regularity wasn't in fact a regularity but a misunderstanding that needs updating.
Then I'll use your example which is dead vs alive. Now here's the irregularity: The incredible resurrecting frog.

https://www.cbc.ca/wildcanadianyear/m_b ... ern-winter

Now you will say, this isn't really an irregularity. All of these type of frogs are able to do this, so it's regular. But at some point, there was a first frog to do this; one that had the new adaptation just sufficiently to freeze and come alive again. Was that frog supernatural?

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #87

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Purple Knight wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:32 am
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 5:42 pmOftentimes the difficulty of distinguishing between supernatural and natural is epistemic, as in our ability to have correct knowledge about regularities in nature. But a genuine supernatural case would have to be one where we are very certain of a regularity and then call it supernatural when it is violated, as opposed to just saying that the regularity wasn't in fact a regularity but a misunderstanding that needs updating.
Then I'll use your example which is dead vs alive. Now here's the irregularity: The incredible resurrecting frog.

https://www.cbc.ca/wildcanadianyear/m_b ... ern-winter

Now you will say, this isn't really an irregularity. All of these type of frogs are able to do this, so it's regular. But at some point, there was a first frog to do this; one that had the new adaptation just sufficiently to freeze and come alive again. Was that frog supernatural?
Not necessarily. If a law or how something operates changes, then that is not supernatural. It would only be supernatural if the new or current law is violated.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #88

Post by Purple Knight »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:52 amNot necessarily. If a law or how something operates changes, then that is not supernatural. It would only be supernatural if the new or current law is violated.
Then you're asking for a chaos universe where some occurrences are not governed by laws to have anything supernatural happen.

In your definition, if laws apply universally, there cannot be anything supernatural. I happen to agree because I think people only have this word to apply to things they don't understand, so they think a natural has been violated. But if you're as I am, and believe that everything that exists is governed by laws, then supernatural equals impossible.

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