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Do you believe in ghosts/ spirits


  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you believe in ghosts/ spirits?

    • Yes, I've had personal experience with them
      2
    • Yes
      5
    • No
      11


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Okay, so this question might have been asked before but I thought I'd start a new topic (and this seemed like the best place to post it). I've read a book by Mary Ann Winkowski (When Ghosts Speak) and I'm reading another one by Sylvia Browne (Visits from the Afterlife) and I'm starting to believe that ghosts are real, and they usually are not what they are depicted like by the media. I've never actually had any personal experience with ghosts (or maybe I have but just haven't taken notice of it and forgot) but the more I read about it the more interesting and believable it seems. What do guys have to say?

Edited by Twinbird24
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Our senses are flawed to an extent. That's why we try to use devices to measure for us. A good example:  

Is Klaynos a Puppet ? Klaynos , maybe you could take the time to read what is here ! You have defragmented a conversation that is totally relevant to the original posters questioning . These questions

i see the rules can be bent? just like time and space?

TwinB - I was interested to see the results of your poll, and not a little surprised when I did; I will say no more to avoid prejudicing others.

 

I think the more interesting question is "Why do so many people feel the need to believe in ghosts?" Is there a deep need within the psyche that causes a majority of most populations to believe in supernatural phenomena? We replace thunder gods with an abrahamic god, which we subsequently replace with healing crystals; why do we, as a species, need a supernatural crutch?

 

Hal - are you just trolling cos you are way off base

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TwinB - I was interested to see the results of your poll, and not a little surprised when I did; I will say no more to avoid prejudicing others.

 

I think the more interesting question is "Why do so many people feel the need to believe in ghosts?" Is there a deep need within the psyche that causes a majority of most populations to believe in supernatural phenomena? We replace thunder gods with an abrahamic god, which we subsequently replace with healing crystals; why do we, as a species, need a supernatural crutch?

 

Hal - are you just trolling cos you are way off base

 

Crystals precede thunder gods.

 

We need a supernatural crutch because we are afraid like little monkeys.

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I think we need to carefully define ghost/spirit here.

 

Do I believe people have experiences they cannot explain?

 

Yes.

 

Do I believe they are the remains of past human beings or some other sentient being?

 

I've never been presented with any evidence that suggests this to be the case, so no.

 

Do I believe these experiences are unexplainable?

 

Often if there is video footage, with good audio etc. then, yes they are explainable. Trying to explain the eyewitness account of a group of people even is quite difficult, people are not good witnesses at all, there are FAR too many variables.

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Is Klaynos a Puppet ? Klaynos , maybe you could take the time to read what is here ! You have defragmented a conversation that is totally relevant to the original posters questioning . These questions and answers have resulted from questions and answers which were relevant , so they are also relevant .

Edited by hal_2011
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Now I see there are two Yes and one No in this poll. It is unfair. I would suggest a 4th option : No, I never had personal experience with them. Just to make it more stupid, because a single affirmative vote from any hurluberlu (crank) will make the decisive entry.

Edited by michel123456
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Is Klaynos a Puppet ? Klaynos , maybe you could take the time to read what is here ! You have defragmented a conversation that is totally relevant to the original posters questioning . These questions and answers have resulted from questions and answers which were relevant , so they are also relevant .

 

!

Moderator Note

http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/56569-are-science-theories-faith-based/

 

^^^ Look there. It is not relevant to the OP.

 

Please do not reply to moderator actions in thread, it causes further derailment to the thread

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The poll question is irrelevant. Science isn't about belief, it's about empirical evidence. The reason I don't "believe" spirits exist is because there is absolutely zero evidence showing they do, and because the hypothesis raising the possibility of their existence is, most often than not, just not scientific (as in, it is not falsifiable and has no testing mechanism).

If someone comes with a valid collection of evidence that can be empirically tested, I'm open to change my "belief".

 

Also, I would suggest to the OP to do some checking about the "psychics" that wrote these books. Of course in their OWN books they sound convincing, but their track record (Specially miss Sylvia Browne) is absolutely far from convincing, if not utterly appalling. I would be more convinced by others, honestly, she's just a pure crank.

 

http://www.quackwatc...Ind/browne.html

one example (video) of her idiotic crankiness, she's doing a lot of harm with her prediction: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=hRc4LkBRjIc

and this more famous case:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKX5yB-H2tI

This also shows why these "psychics" can be EXTREMELY harmful.

I love the "she can't be 100% right in all predictions"... isn't that what she's supposed to be if she truly is a psychic?

 

 

Really, all she's doing is guesswork, and the way she's abusing her "famous" powers is absolutely appalling.

 

~mooey

 

Here's a nice collection of videos about Sylvia Browne's predictions over the years. All absolutely wrong. It's not just "partially wrong", it's DEAD WRONG.

 

Predictions for 2007:

Predictions for 2008:

 

There are more, but I think we got the point, and she's making me angry just watching it.

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The task of science, imo, is to identify what people are perceiving when they claim to know that ghosts/spirits exist and then explain those in terms of empirically valid phenomena. Obviously thoughts and other information can be transmitted through sensory-based communication. Maybe there is less certainty whether communication and various psychological activities can occur unconsciously or subconsciously, but both Freud and Jung had theories of the subconscious and these are the most reasonable path to pursuing a more scientific explanation of what underlies phenomena ascribed as ghosts/spirits.

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If a person sees a person commiting a robbery that is evidence of a robbery .

 

If a person sees 2 old people at night-time standing in a room and with a turn of the face they are gone , is that evidence ?

 

 

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The task of science, imo, is to identify what people are perceiving when they claim to know that ghosts/spirits exist and then explain those in terms of empirically valid phenomena. Obviously thoughts and other information can be transmitted through sensory-based communication. Maybe there is less certainty whether communication and various psychological activities can occur unconsciously or subconsciously, but both Freud and Jung had theories of the subconscious and these are the most reasonable path to pursuing a more scientific explanation of what underlies phenomena ascribed as ghosts/spirits.

Sure, I'm not claiming people who claim they've seen ghosts are lying. They most probably felt SOMETHING they can't explain. What I am saying is that we need to *test* what they witnessed, and not jump to the conclusion that it's ghosts.

 

That's the point of science, as you say. Explaining reality, even if reality is the not-immediately-intuitive explanation. It usually isn't.

 

 

 

If a person sees a person commiting a robbery that is evidence of a robbery .

 

If a person sees 2 old people at night-time standing in a room and with a turn of the face they are gone , is that evidence ?

 

 

 

There's a difference between evidence for court and evidence for science. For science, eye-wittness testimony is unreliable. For a courtroom, it sometimes is. Empirical testing and the ability to re-test claims are crucial in science, and they seem to be nonexistent in the claim for ghosts.

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Yes, she is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proprioception

but it has nothing to do with ghosts.

 

 

"If a person sees a person commiting a robbery that is evidence of a robbery . "

If a robbery had been shown to take place then this would be supporting evidence.

 

"If a person sees 2 old people at night-time standing in a room and with a turn of the face they are gone , is that evidence ? "

 

It is evidence of something, but not necessarily of 2 people disappearing. It is much more likely to be evidence of someone making a mistake and "seeing" something that is not real. The brain is good at that.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martian_canal

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Mooeypoo , scratch your nose , Did you see your finger doing it ? . Scientifically , are you a reliable witness to the fact your finger scratched your nose ?

 

I don't understand your point.

 

But , the point I would be trying to make is , Are we going to accept sight as a form of proof ?

 

Depends for what, really.

Scratching my nose? Sure, why not. If someone comes along and brings a better proof that, in fact, I did not scratch my nose but rather just THOUGHT I did, then I shall examine it.

 

When a claim comes forth about seeing "weird things", the proper scientific course of action is to look for explanation, and not jump to the one we think is cool. Even by ockham's razor principle ALONE, there are about a dozen other explanations for most ghost/spirit "sightings" that explain these phenomena better. So why would I settle for an extraordinary claim that has zero corroboration, and better explanations?

 

I don't quite get your comparison, there. Scartching the nose is not the same as "ghosts exists". The 'scartching my nose' part assumes I have a nose (which you can prove independently from site) and that it can be scratched (which can be proven independently) and that I can do it myself (same).

 

The claim that ghosts speak to people or spirits communicate with people requires the assumption that ghosts exist (which requires evidence for that, and there is none so far), and then requires the assumption that ther'es a mechanism for them to communicate (which requires on its own some evidence this can happen, and there is none) etc.

 

Ghosts are extraordinary claim - they're "outside" of natural explanation - and therefore require extraordinary evidence. Scratching my nose is within physical limits. You can prove it independently than simply my own feeling. I just don't feel compelled to do it every time I scratch my nose, because the fact I have a nose and it can be scratched was proven sufficiently for me to live with the very very small possibility that I might be wrong and, in fact, I didn't really scratch my own nose.

 

 

The scientific method has clear methodology exactly for these type of questions. Whatever was done so far with spirits/ghosts simply doesn't go by that at all.

 

~mooey

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Okay , mooeypoo ,

 

Seeing something happening is a form of proof , used all the time . People say , I saw such and such happening and that is taken to be proof . Especially when more than 1 person sees whatever it may be .

 

My point is , if a person or two people then ' see ' something undefined , is that proof of something happening ?

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If a person sees a person commiting a robbery that is evidence of a robbery .

 

If a person sees 2 old people at night-time standing in a room and with a turn of the face they are gone , is that evidence ?

The problem with your line of thinking is that no amount of logical explanation of each and every instance of supposed supernatural occurrence would get you to say, "It looks like ghosts don't exist". I could explain that the two old people were really a high-backed chair and a standing coat rack seen peripherally while I was thinking of my long-dead grandparents. You would still probably say, "OK, maybe this time it was a trick of the light, but many others have seen the real thing!" How many ghost-sightings could we explain using natural occurrences (so far, the number is: all of them)? How many would it take before you would admit there is no evidence?

 

Most importantly, would you continue to believe in ghosts if their was no evidence, ever?

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Okay , mooeypoo ,

 

Seeing something happening is a form of proof , used all the time . People say , I saw such and such happening and that is taken to be proof . Especially when more than 1 person sees whatever it may be .

 

My point is , if a person or two people then ' see ' something undefined , is that proof of something happening ?

 

It's used all the time for NATURAL things, because you already know it's the simplest explanation. Also, it's done in 'day to day life' in minor things. It is NOT done in science.

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Posts are a bit intermingled here ! They are not in order !

 

Sight as a form of proof is used a lot in science . Example from a report : I filled the test tube with 100mL of nitric acid . I read the temperature from a thermometer .

 

This relies on me seeing it being done and people will say , if it was seen being done , it happened .

 

Can I just say , I , being scientific , god help me , would like to think that sightings of ghosts can be explained somehow !

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Posts are a bit intermingled here ! They are not in order !

But they are perfectly understandable because we are using the quote function to time stamp what we are replying to. It's the best way for multiple people to discuss the same thing with each other.

 

Unless, of course, you were replying to a post I can't see....

 

Sight as a form of proof is used a lot in science . Example from a report : I filled the test tube with 100mL of nitric acid . I read the temperature from a thermometer .

 

This relies on me seeing it being done and people will say , if it was seen being done , it happened .

 

Can I just say , I , being scientific , god help me , would like to think that sightings of ghosts can be explained somehow !

For one thing, the tests where people note how much of what they fill the test tube with, and what temperature the thermometer reads, are reproducible by others. For as long as people have been hunting ghosts, there has never been any observations done that could lead someone else to reproduce the phenomena. Cold spots don't always remain cold, spirits who manifest themselves to someone never do it when anyone else is around (and never in a predictable fashion), and sounds heard by one group are never heard by anyone else, no matter how they try to recreate the original circumstances.

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Also, this is precisely how the scientific method comes to play. You're not JUST using your eyes or testimony for measuring 100ml, you're using a device, and you are testing it EMPIRICALLY a few times; that is, the beaker you buy that says "100ml is here" is not made by someone who just looked and marked where he thinks the 100ml line should be, it was measured by devices, as accurately and repeatedly as possible.

 

These "observations" are SUPPORTED by empirical evidence. Unlike ghosts.

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Mooeypoo , sidenote , if I have a page in front of me for 10 mins it won't update if other people post . When I post it could go after a post I do not see on my screen . So , they are not in order !

 

I understand the line of thought on reproducible actions and observations .

 

I just think that nobody is willing to say that ' evidence ' of weird things is ' things that were seen ' . People say there is no evidence , what are sightings ?

Edited by hal_2011
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