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 #61

Post by Athetotheist »

Diagoras wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 3:03 amI should have made it much clearer earlier on that I wasn't demanding you 'prove' your experience was real. Just to explore its likelihood in a slightly more scientific way, as befits the forum.
Exploring its likelihood in as scientific a way as I can manage was precisely my intention. That's why I proposed certain mundane explanations and, along with them, gave my reasons for considering them unlikely since the conditions necessary for them did not seem to be present.

If someone could show me an EEG run on me during my experience indicating that my brain was in an illusory state, I would have to accept that as evidence against what I perceived. The problem is that if we exhaust all other mundane explanations and then arbitrarily fall back on a "trick of the mind" conclusion with no medical evidence to back it up, we make a mundane explanation unfalsifiable and just as subjective as any other conclusion.

Even if there's no conventional explanation for my experience, I'm not proposing that the answer is automatically "ghosts". What intrigues me about my experience isn't so much the ghost angle as it is the seeming inadequacy of more familiar phenomena to account for it. It's certainly prudent to consider every familiar possibility before moving beyond them, but we shouldn't let our exploration of an unusual phenomenon deteriorate into an endless search for a familiar explanation simply for the sake of finding one.

If it reduces your discomfort with the "supernatural", I tend to dislike the word; I think it draws too heavy a line between what we know and what we don't know. Even if ghosts do exist, there's no need to label them "supernatural" since existing would make them part of what is and, in that sense, natural.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #62

Post by Aetixintro »

[Replying to Kylie in post #1]

Ghosts - A Perspective

Science has developed a lot. Follow me.

Medieval times are there, uninformed in terms of modern age.
But modern times have given us a number of achievements:
Thermal imaging
Infrared imaging
Low-light image intensification
and to this topic: Ghost imaging by use of advanced radiology

And if ghosts exist as minds without bodies then certainly, substance dualism is proven as well.

So to "ghost-denialists": if you speak to a person who denies the existence of bacteria, then that is outrageous in these times, not so in medieval times.
Similarly too with ghosts! Answer: Time to update on the science!

Here we have a world where the best books can be printed by quantum data generation at the click of a button (artificial intelligence).
And the existence of God is given by radio-astronomy and advanced radiology, results given on pc-tablets.
So too, the ghost imaging!

Anything unclear?

The World is fantastic! Start believing, folks!

Scientific Realism (SEP): https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-realism/
Thermography (Thermal Imaging, Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermography
Night Vision (Infra-Red Vision, Low-Light Image Intensification, Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Night_vision
Image Intensifier (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_intensifier
Infra-Red Search and Track (Wikipedia): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infrared_search_and_track

The Ghost-Imagers and other facts are not widespread yet, but they are coming. As always, truth comes first to the Inventor, the Scientist who makes the discovery!

All the best, yo!
I'm cool! :) - Stronger Religion every day! Also by "mathematical Religion", the eternal forms, God closing the door on corrupt humanity, possibly!

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #63

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:09 am Ok, I'm going to jump back a little bit to address an earlier point:
AgnosticBoy wrote: Mon Jul 05, 2021 8:42 pm [Replying to Diagoras in post #13]However, I think the best method (not sure how practical it is given the nature of the supernatural) is to provide an explanation (or a testable hypothesis) of how any given supernatural phenomenon works. Then test it. This would be in contrast to just going by a process of elimination of simply ruling out all natural explanations. I honestly believe that there are laws to the supernatural so it should be explainable, in theory.
Can we put up a reasonable hypothesis for exactly how a ghost makes sound?
If there are laws to the supernatural, and if they are understandable, then in theory we should be able to. One reason why we haven't done so is because scientists are not committed to studying anything supernatural. There would probably be a lack of funding, a lack of seriousness, but I think the issue is even more deep rooted than that. Science is also built on a philosophy that shuts out the supernatural and that impacts the thinking and methods of scientists accordingly. I mean, hek, even UFOs are considered off limits, but thankfully that is changing.
Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:09 amWhat could be some possible foundations for such a theory (e.g. ghosts only have an incorporeal form, they are somehow associated with a real but dead person, etc)? Could a ghost 'hear' sounds made in the real world (if so, how?) and is it possible to communicate with them somehow?
Let's take a step back. I think it would go a long way if we could at least establish that such class of phenomenon exist (similar to my point about UFOs - observation vs. explanation). Once we gather observational data, then we'd be in a better position to come up with explanations that describe it more precisely. The religious of course have their explanations, and even some atheists have their own explanations based on their encounters. Rather than just looking at their explanations as being loony or just false (as many skeptics tend to do), we should also consider them as just being imprecise - explanations based off of simple/untrained observation. The more observational data we can get, than the more precise we can become and that's where science comes in.
Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:09 am That's only one small part of the problem though, because such a hypothesis would need to fit into a cohesive larger framework. For instance, is a 'spirit world' possible, and if so, under what conditions is it possible for ghosts to interact with individuals? Why are these events so few and far between, usually at night in unfamiliar locations and so infrequently witnessed by more than one person? Given the number of dead people must far outweigh the number of living people, why aren't we inundated by ghost sightings at all hours of the day? Do ghosts experience similar incidents in their world when the fabric of reality momentarily tears and they see the image of someone living? I could go on, but to fairly say, "yes, it was most likely a ghost", you'd have to make at least a basic attempt at answering all these questions that arise from a set of footsteps.
,
I disagree. What you're saying is a luxury, but would not be necessary to establishing footsteps occurring without the usual physical source. But at least you did not say that the larger framework is what's currently known to science and that the data has to be consistent with that. I can accept that all of the facts of reality may fit together harmoniously or neatly like a puzzle (although that's an assumption), but I don't accept that current scientific understanding can tell us much about that puzzle when some of the pieces that it holds are subject to being incorrect, incomplete, and even modified.
Diagoras wrote: Tue Jul 13, 2021 4:09 am Or, y'know, it might have been in your imagination.
I'm sure imagination is the cause in a lot of cases involving ghosts. But we must be careful not to look at all other cases in the same light because it's possible for a small group of cases to be valid. The same can be said for UFOs.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #64

Post by Tcg »

Kylie wrote: Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:12 am 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.
I'm not convinced that ghosts exist. If they do, so far they've only shown themselves to be tricksters of some sort and present no true threat to humans or anything else for that matter. If they ever become I true threat I'll begin to worry about them at that time. There is no reason to conclude this will ever be the case.

I know this pragmatic approach is much less fun than the "ghosts must exists because one time that thing I couldn't explain happened" approach. Some simply seem to find practical explanations less satisfying. I figure we've enough things that are known to exist to worry about. In fact, I think we ignore very real threats while worrying about ghosts, earth visiting aliens, bigfoots, etc. It's much more fun I suppose to ponder these things than face the fact we are destroying the only environment we at this point know we can exist in.


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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #65

Post by Diagoras »

AgnosticBoy wrote: Sat Jul 17, 2021 3:43 pmIf there are laws to the supernatural, and if they are understandable, then in theory we should be able to. One reason why we haven't done so is because scientists are not committed to studying anything supernatural. There would probably be a lack of funding, a lack of seriousness, but I think the issue is even more deep rooted than that. Science is also built on a philosophy that shuts out the supernatural and that impacts the thinking and methods of scientists accordingly.
Then this is one point upon which we disagree strongly. To say supernatural explanations are “shut out” of science is wrong. Any claim, any explanation of an event, definitely falls within the scope of science. That’s because science is a method of investigation.

Anything that has a physical, measurable manifestation is within the realm of science. Which leaves the point: there is no such thing as the supernatural. If something exists outside of imagination then it is real, and it is natural.

The lack of funding and seriousness probably just comes down to the fact that such few observations we have to study come (usually) second-hand and unrepeatably.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #66

Post by Athetotheist »

Tcg wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:55 pmIt's much more fun I suppose to ponder these things than face the fact we are destroying the only environment we at this point know we can exist in.
Or maybe it's more fun to make ad hominem attacks on those who've experienced something they haven't experienced.

Allowing ourselves to be reminded of how much we don't know about the nature of existence doesn't prevent us from acknowledging and addressing our pressing issues. It's actually possible to do both!

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #67

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Diagoras wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:59 pm Then this is one point upon which we disagree strongly. To say supernatural explanations are “shut out” of science is wrong. Any claim, any explanation of an event, definitely falls within the scope of science. That’s because science is a method of investigation.

Anything that has a physical, measurable manifestation is within the realm of science. Which leaves the point: there is no such thing as the supernatural. If something exists outside of imagination then it is real, and it is natural.
If there is no such thing as the supernatural, as you claimed, then scientists would not be able to investigate it. If they're not investigating it, then it is basically left out of science.

I wish scientists were willing to study any subject just as long as some systematic methods were utilized, but sadly that is not the case. If you tell a group of scientists that you want to study psychic abilities, then because of the subject matter, and perhaps it's association with religion/spirit world, then you won't get far or you'll get marginalized.
Diagoras wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:59 pmThe lack of funding and seriousness probably just comes down to the fact that such few observations we have to study come (usually) second-hand and unrepeatably.
In my view, there are numerous reports of alleged supernatural sightings and experiences. I suspect that you can find a lot of internal and external problems (ranging from inconsistencies to obvious natural explanations), but I'm sure there are a small percentage of cases that can't be easily ruled out. Unfortunately, the former type of cases, especially when they are associated with religious belief, usually leaves a bad mark on the entire subject. I would think, more people would take the supernatural seriously if atheists and other non-believers were reporting them at the same rate. I believe that's how the study into NDEs gained some traction. Perhaps it was originally thought of as something that occurs to religious people, but of late, there have been documented cases involving atheists, even skeptics, and small children. Now instead of saying that these experiences can't happen, plenty of researchers accept that they do happen, and that they are hallucinations produced by a dying brain.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #68

Post by Purple Knight »

Diagoras wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:59 pmAnything that has a physical, measurable manifestation is within the realm of science. Which leaves the point: there is no such thing as the supernatural. If something exists outside of imagination then it is real, and it is natural.
Correct, unless the universe is chaos and has no laws that apply universally. But we absolutely must proceed on the assumption that the universe is logic because if it isn't, we can't know anything anyway and there's no use trying.

Here's a good example: People think reincarnation is supernatural, but the truth according to Purple Knight is that memories are just information and probably not entirely stored in the brain. When you understand this, the natural nature of what people understand as reincarnation is simple. Once it comes to light that some people do obtain true memories they did not create, and once people figure out how (that's the important bit, really) it'll come to the realm of the natural and that will be that.

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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #69

Post by AgnosticBoy »

Purple Knight wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 11:58 pm
Diagoras wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 6:59 pmAnything that has a physical, measurable manifestation is within the realm of science. Which leaves the point: there is no such thing as the supernatural. If something exists outside of imagination then it is real, and it is natural.
Correct, unless the universe is chaos and has no laws that apply universally. But we absolutely must proceed on the assumption that the universe is logic because if it isn't, we can't know anything anyway and there's no use trying.

Here's a good example: People think reincarnation is supernatural, but the truth according to Purple Knight is that memories are just information and probably not entirely stored in the brain. When you understand this, the natural nature of what people understand as reincarnation is simple. Once it comes to light that some people do obtain true memories they did not create, and once people figure out how (that's the important bit, really) it'll come to the realm of the natural and that will be that.
My disagreement with Diagoras is that he simply says the supernatural doesn't exist because of how he defines it. Defining things in or out of existence does not prove anything either way, otherwise I could just add my own definition. Logic and evidence should settle matters of existence.

More specifically to your point, I believe that the supernatural involves physical and non-physical aspects. In my understanding, the point of the supernatural is not to bring up things happening in some bizarre or magical way, but rather it's to say that everything of the physical universe has limitations. These limitations are enforced according to the laws of nature that govern the Universe. Anything that goes beyond those regularities and limitations is termed supernatural. However, if we remove the concept of the supernatural, then you're basically saying that there are not any limitations nor regularities.

However, I also believe that there are laws for the supernatural. The limitations for that world are not the same for the natural world. God can be bound by logic and other laws without being bound by our laws.
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Re: The Existence of Ghosts

Post #70

Post by Kylie »

Tcg wrote: Sun Jul 18, 2021 3:55 pm...bigfoots...
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