The Existence of Ghosts

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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.
8
53%
Other (please clarify in the thread).
3
20%
 
Total votes: 15

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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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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #41

Post by Athetotheist »

Difflugia wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:00 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:13 amThey don't write off an observation as illusion just because they haven't found a place for it in the grand scheme of things.
They do if there's no apparently plausible mechanism and they can't reproduce it when they try.
Actually, that would spur them on to look more closely for a source of the observation.
Difflugia wrote:It's unnecessary to assume that you imagine things any more than anyone else, because humans qua humans imagine quite enough.
This relies on humans all imagining the same things to the same degree, and that isn't the case.
Athetotheist wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:13 amIf that's the case, why don't I imagine such things on at least a semi-regular basis? The infrequency of such "imagination" on my part weighs against that hypothesis.
Difflugia wrote:Unfortunately, the implausibility of the experience reflecting reality is more powerful evidence than how infrequent you perceive your imaginings to be.
Being unfamiliar doesn't make an experience implausible.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #42

Post by Athetotheist »

Tcg wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 2:05 pmAnd as we can imagine, if someone dies and comes back as a ghost, their favorite pastimes will be shutting doors and walking partially across a floor and then disappearing. Who could ask for a more fulfilling afterlife than that?
You're now appealing to ridicule, which suggests that you're running out of more substantial rebuttals.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #43

Post by Diagoras »

Athetotheist wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 11:13 amPhysicists have long pursued their beloved "Theory of Everything" to explain all known physical phenomena. They don't know how it all fits together, but observation tells them that it does. They don't write off an observation as illusion just because they haven't found a place for it in the grand scheme of things.
<bolding mine>

You are somewhat correct here. Outlying results from repeated experiments that don’t ‘fit’ the theory shouldn’t be ignored. Rutherford’s experiments on atomic scattering would be an excellent example: the very few ‘odd’ results he observed led to a new theory of atomic structure. The Large Hadron Collider (and similar experiments) throw up ‘rare outliers’ from time to time that suggest new theories. But scientists are very careful to apply proper statistical techniques to differentiate between something that is real but rare, from a simple error. There’s a ‘gold standard’ called Five Sigma, which invariably means hundreds or thousands of repeated experiment in order to have confidence in a particular result.

Applying such techniques to a third-party recollection of a one-time personal experience simply isn’t possible.

However, you were asked whether you could provide at least a theory to explain what you heard. That was following you saying the ‘best’ way forward was to:
…provide an explanation (or a testable hypothesis) of how any given supernatural phenomenon works.
I saw nothing like that in your answer, so I wonder if you still consider it possible?

If the suggestion that an observation is "imagination" is being applied to me, I think it fair to point out that it's somewhat ad hominem since it assumes that I'm prone to such imaginings. If that's the case, why don't I imagine such things on at least a semi-regular basis? The infrequency of such "imagination" on my part weighs against that hypothesis.
Rest assured, no assumption is being made that you are prone to imaginings any more often than the average person.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #44

Post by Diagoras »

nobspeople wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 1:55 pmI have many experiences with what some would call 'ghosts'. I've had many experiences with things some would call 'energies'. I don't know what they are, but I've never had an experience with a 'ghost' of someone I know.
I think it's possible, and I believe there are things 'out there' that we don't know about or understand. What they are... :?:
Would you be willing to share one of your most compelling ghost experiences here? I don’t have the stats to back me up but someone having ‘many’ such experiences seems notably rare.

Also, could you elaborate on what you mean by ‘energies’? Since we’re in the Science forum, it would be appropriate to ask for quite a bit of detail.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #45

Post by Athetotheist »

Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:19 pmyou were asked whether you could provide at least a theory to explain what you heard. That was following you saying the ‘best’ way forward was to:
…provide an explanation (or a testable hypothesis) of how any given supernatural phenomenon works.
I saw nothing like that in your answer, so I wonder if you still consider it possible?
Actually, it was AgnosticBoy who said that in post #13.

If the suggestion that an observation is "imagination" is being applied to me, I think it fair to point out that it's somewhat ad hominem since it assumes that I'm prone to such imaginings. If that's the case, why don't I imagine such things on at least a semi-regular basis? The infrequency of such "imagination" on my part weighs against that hypothesis.
Diagoras wrote:Rest assured, no assumption is being made that you are prone to imaginings any more often than the average person.
But the assumption is being made that I imagined the experience I have related. As I've said, I don't claim to be able to prove anything here and I did qualify my position as being that ghosts may exist, but even that possibility seems to be too far outside the comfort zone of some, to the point that I have to be accused of unsubstantiated self-deception (I have defended my physical and psychological state at the time against several suggestions of a lack therein) to bring the universe back into compliance with how the limited human mind is used to having it behave.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #46

Post by Diagoras »

[Replying to Athetotheist in post #46]

Apologies for confusing you with another poster. My error.

But the assumption is being made that I imagined the experience I have related.
I disagree. It is simply one of several hypotheses created to explain your experience - all of which you have found unsatisfactory. I never thought that any would be sufficient to make you change your mind, but simply wanted to present the position that “on the balance of probability”, a natural cause for such events was still much more likely than a supernatural cause.

A well-thought out explanation for how a ghost or spirit could make a real sound, or open a real door would go a long way to address the imbalance here. On the one side: plausible but unprovable natural causes; on the other: nothing as yet that a Science forum could properly debate.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #47

Post by brunumb »

Athetotheist wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:50 pm The specific type of heel it sounded like wasn't central to my earlier post and I believe I mentioned the sound moving across the floor, which would reasonably imply the straight line in which someone would normally walk.
You don't have to have an actual sound to hear a sound, and although it is common in people with various neurological disorders, it's not a necessity. The main thing is that there is obviously a mechanism within the brain whereby a sound can be heard when there is no external source generating the sound. Auditory hallucination or hypnagogic hallucination can explain one's hearing of footsteps when there is no one or no thing actually producing them.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #48

Post by Athetotheist »

brunumb wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:16 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:50 pm The specific type of heel it sounded like wasn't central to my earlier post and I believe I mentioned the sound moving across the floor, which would reasonably imply the straight line in which someone would normally walk.
You don't have to have an actual sound to hear a sound, and although it is common in people with various neurological disorders, it's not a necessity. The main thing is that there is obviously a mechanism within the brain whereby a sound can be heard when there is no external source generating the sound. Auditory hallucination or hypnagogic hallucination can explain one's hearing of footsteps when there is no one or no thing actually producing them.
Then Diagoras stands corrected. It is being assumed that I imagined what I related.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #49

Post by brunumb »

Athetotheist wrote: Wed Jul 14, 2021 1:02 am
brunumb wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:16 pm
Athetotheist wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 8:50 pm The specific type of heel it sounded like wasn't central to my earlier post and I believe I mentioned the sound moving across the floor, which would reasonably imply the straight line in which someone would normally walk.
You don't have to have an actual sound to hear a sound, and although it is common in people with various neurological disorders, it's not a necessity. The main thing is that there is obviously a mechanism within the brain whereby a sound can be heard when there is no external source generating the sound. Auditory hallucination or hypnagogic hallucination can explain one's hearing of footsteps when there is no one or no thing actually producing them.
Then Diagoras stands corrected. It is being assumed that I imagined what I related.
Not really. I think that having some form of auditory hallucination could be described as something imaginary. How would you make a distinction between those terms?
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #50

Post by Athetotheist »

Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 10:06 pmA well-thought out explanation for how a ghost or spirit could make a real sound, or open a real door would go a long way to address the imbalance here.
I'm still working on a "well-thought out" explanation, but what I was driving at when I brought up the ToE was that even the pieces that physicists have to date don't yet all fit together clearly. They can observe the classical world and it makes sense. They can observe the quantum world and it makes sense. Try to observe them together as a cohesive system and it all goes wonky, but they're still obviously related. As with quantum entanglement over vast distances and particles spinning in opposite directions simultaneously, we're talking about the "counter-intuitive", an expression scientists use for something which works in a certain way when it seemingly shouldn't. If "ghosts" are comprised of a type of energy yet to be defined, another "counter-intuitive" principle might eventually be accepted.

And remember my mention of others telling me of the door moving on other occasions? Several of them were in the room during my observation of this and saw it along with me (it was in their house). Of course, it will be assumed that I've made up----or "hallucinated"----this detail as well, so there's no point in going any further with it, but again, it wasn't central to my first mention of what I observed.

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