U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-09-2012, 06:57 AM
 
1,229 posts, read 1,005,415 times
Reputation: 667

Advertisements

I want to set this post straight as far as what I believe before my question. I do not believe in ghosts and demons. I love to take ghost walking tours and watch supernatural shows at the movies and TV but its in the way of SiFi to me.

That said, one question keeps coming up, when you watch TV shows about supposed paranormal stories that are true like A Haunting, there are a lot of people who testify that these things happened to them. I have come to believe that these people do in fact believe or at least some of them do that there really are paranormal things they have experienced. I don't think that you can get that many people to lie about the same thing, although I am sure some are doing it for a scam or to make their B&B more profitable. But I think some really think that they had problems with Ghosts and Demons.

So my question is what is the real cause for the people who think they have experienced real problems with the supernatural? If it was a reality one would think you would get some good video instead of the crap orb [dust in a flash] and the like. But alas nothing with all our technology not anything that is unexplained or can be repeated. This supports my view that it does not exist but these people some of them really believe they have had problems with ghosts. Any thoughts?

When I was a Christian in the Jehovah's witness cult, I talked to an Elder who was not a liar. He would cut his arm off before he lied. So I do not believe he was making up a story to sell but really believed what he was telling me. He said that one of the congregation had trouble with things in the house moving and the normal paranormal stuff. He said they found a box of dishes with crosses on them in the crawl space and was moved to feel it was these dishes that were the source of the trouble. He removed them and took them to the dump, and it was not good enough to dump them he had to break them. According to him some of the dishes got embedded into his gloves as it was winter in North Michigan and on his way from the dump his gloves tried to choke him. Now I know you will want to roll on the floor with laughter as I also do, but he then said he stopped the car and threw them out and that was the end of the problem.

He truly believed this and would fight you if you said different. What could make someone seem to experience this kind of thing? Can the mind make you seem to experience things if you have enough belief that its real, can it make you think you see things? Can you beleive so strong that you can convince others who may not have a strong skeptical mind to also seem to experience things? On these shows many times people will say "I was a skeptic and thought my wife, daughter , son, bla bla was just crazy until it happened to me. " Anyhow, your thoughts.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-09-2012, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Niflheim
1,307 posts, read 1,716,083 times
Reputation: 1080
My ideas may suck, but I don't think there is anything paranormal about it.
I think these people that cn see and hear this have the ability to "shift".

We are like old radio tuners and some can shift frequency slightly beyond the normal spectrum and our timeline.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 09:42 AM
 
Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
335 posts, read 288,730 times
Reputation: 195
I know people who have seen ghosts: rational, creditworthy, skeptical, honest people. So what am I to do about it?

Probably they are misinterpreting what they see. A "ghost" is "the spirit of a dead person." When you see a manifestation, how do you know that that is what it is? The manifestation doesn't cooperate with inquiries and tends to go away. It can't be replicated in a controlled environment.

Because of the money to be made from gullible people and the general aura of wishful thinking that surrounds all these sorts of things, it is not possible for a creditable scientist to really study these reports. There is too much hype and fraud. All that can be done is take reports and interview people, and this never produces the sort of strong evidence required of extraordinary claims.

One should not dismiss ghosts, either. The absence of scientific evidence is a consequence of the nature of the phenomenon, not a consequence of the absence of phenomena. Therefore a skeptical attitude is needed -- one that neither denies nor affirms, and probably one that refuses to spend much time on a fruitless issue.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 10:35 AM
 
794 posts, read 1,221,320 times
Reputation: 743
When I've just watched doctor who every creak and gust of wind seems scarier.

The brain is vary powerful, look at conversion syndrome. There are also a lot of weird things that happen between sleep and waking with your brain (I'm thinking of sleep paralysis). Then there are seizures where you feel a presence. Also think about false memories, like in abuse cases. What was that case in WA state with the supposed satan cult childcare worker?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,286 posts, read 9,415,266 times
Reputation: 6190
My stepson, an atheist through and through, nevertheless enjoys Ghost Adventures so we took him to a ghost hunt as a high school graduation gift. Things happened at this hunt that I can't debunk, however, I don't have enough information to do anything with it ... to draw any conclusions. Plus, an attempt to reproduce the experience on a subsequent visit utterly failed, and a subsequent "lockdown" in a different location was also a non-event. So I file it under "unknown / unexplained" and it does not on balance have any impact on my beliefs or worldview; the most it does it slightly elevate the possibility in my mind that consciousness can operate sometimes independently of the body.

What I did notice is that people who frequent these events are very quick to superimpose their own assumptions / beliefs on things that happen. If they seem to encounter a sentience they assume it's from beyond the grave if they believe in an afterlife, and if they're Christians they further assume that it's some version of heaven, or angels, or whatever supernatural beliefs they have and find pleasing. I will say only that what happened to us on that first over-nighter appeared to be a discarnate sentience communicating through divining rods which I empirically verified are basically impossible to invisibly manipulate in any kind of controlled manner. But if you're truly not superimposing your beliefs on something like that you really have to run through the whole gamut of possible explanations, including your own mind, the collective unconscious, deliberate manipulations of third parties, and aliens from the planet Zetar who enjoy screwing with us via subspace radio.

Finally, in every instance where there are alleged EVPs, objects moving in response to requests, strange mists or other visual phenomena, they are always very subtle and usually not very relevant or specific to the matter at hand. You will note that on the ghost investigation type shows, every EVP is subtitled ... if you close your eyes and don't read the subtitles often you'll come up with a different interpretation or gibberish. In other words what people are hearing is a stretch at best. Worst in my view are so-called "spirit boxes" that simply cycle through radio frequencies rapidly and inevitably pick up fragments of actual people speaking and noises that eventually happen to string together into something that sounds like an intelligible phrase that is vaguely apropos. That's just a matter of odds combined with the human mind's documented facileness at filling in missing details, especially when somewhat anxious or afraid.

My guess is that if you had one of those RF or "Mel-meters" turned on at any random location in the civilized world (which is always heavily polluted with radio frequency "noise") you will get random readings that stand out. Do this in an environment where everyone is "primed" and psyched to expect ghostly happenings and it becomes self-reinforcing: I got chills down my spine just when that meter spiked! I felt a cold draft just when those lights went off! Clearly a ghost!!

My late 2nd wife had MCS with mild electrical hypersensitivity and I had our house professionally measured for unusual RF sources nearby. We discovered a cell tower just over the crest of a nearby hill that we didn't know about and every 60 seconds or so a very strong "ping" which turned out to be from a radar sweep that was part of the airport approach system, on a mountain top about two miles away. I don't see any of these paranormal "investigators" systematically controlling for this kind of interference before doing an actual investigation in an area. Since they establish no "baseline" for a location (which to do right would probably take a few nights of readings and analysis before even getting started) every reading they get is somewhat questionable. In other words their investigations do not approach scientific rigor and they also usually seem to have a strong preconception or desire about what they will find rather than coming in with a completely open mind. They'll make a show of "debunking" some things (they usually throw "orbs" under the bus to show that they're "objective" -- orbs being one of their weakest findings as it's almost always dust, insects, or digital artifacts / noise) ... but they aren't nearly skeptical enough IMO.

The last "lockdown" we went on was in an old insane asylum and the owner insists on a rather long-winded tour of the place before leaving you alone to explore. During this she did a lot of "set up", for example she named one hall "the hall of shadows" as it was supposedly a prime place to see "shadow beings". She went so far as to suggest you might see "creepers", crawling on the floor, but this is nothing to be afraid of, it's just some of the crippled inmates crawling their way to wherever they are going. Now this is an unlighted hallway with skylights at both ends and of course if you stare into near total darkness, of course you'll see "floaters" that are normally in your aqueous humor, stray impulses from your retina, and then because there's nothing else to see and you're concentrating, you can easily turn this into shadowy figures. My wife happens to be wired particularly well for this, she's capable of staring at plaster dapples in the walls of a fully lit room and sort of "letting go" and they begin to take various forms and movements on their own. So she saw such figures in that hallway but thought nothing of it, as it's what her mind normally does when it's idle. I saw nothing because that's what MY mind normally does when it's idle. So it goes.

Bottom line, if there are ghosts and they want to communicate with us, let them do so plainly. There is no need to be coy. If 100% of the "evidence" is only seen from the corner of your eye when it's dark and the mood is right this is a good indication that it's virtually all of no significance.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 19,618,049 times
Reputation: 14025
I'm a religious nonbeliever but I also live in a "haunted house" and have personally experienced some really weird phenomenon.

My belief is the "supernatural" is undiscovered, incompletely understood and/or misinterpreted natural phenomenon that actually exists but is virtually impossible to identify or verify with today's science due to the same limits which keep science viable for 95% of the other things in our world. You can only take science so far in other words... it has limitations.

We are bumping our heads on the "scientific ceiling" demonstrably already, just look at Quantum Mechanics!

Anyway, we try to interpret and understand things through our cultural lenses and without some kind of mostly objective system (like science) to keep things in perspective we are bound to misinterpret what we are seeing.

For example, it's easy to see and a ghost of a person who is deceased and draw the conclusion that it's the disembodied "spirit" of that person who doesn't want to leave.

But in reality that behavior is a lot like the old tale of Indians in the 19th century believing a photographer was "stealing their soul" by taking their picture. From the Indian's perspective with no prior knowledge of photography or how it works that would be the logical (and completely wrong) conclusion.

And much like the photo, the phenomenon exists even if the interpretation is wrong. People have been experiencing "ghosts" for as long as we have been capable of writing about them and probably for FAR longer than that. Such things may have even given rise to ideas of an afterlife and god(s) running the universe "behind the curtain" in the first place as attempts by early man to explain what they were experiencing.

Add to that the fact the vast majority of paranormal claims ARE explainable by today's science and/or are complete bunk. It's some seriously muddy waters and it's easy to understand why science prefers to completely ignore the subject.

That's my take anyway...

Last edited by Chango; 12-09-2012 at 12:04 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
44,484 posts, read 19,370,270 times
Reputation: 19669
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Bottom line, if there are ghosts and they want to communicate with us, let them do so plainly. There is no need to be coy. If 100% of the "evidence" is only seen from the corner of your eye when it's dark and the mood is right this is a good indication that it's virtually all of no significance.
Very good post. I would take matters a step further and ask if there is god with a program of desires concerning our behavior, why would this god fail to make itself unambiguously manifest as well as making the rules equally clear and proven? Instead we are provided with a huge menu of competing claims, none of which come with anything close to normal standards of proof or reliability.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 01:06 PM
 
Location: Front Range of Colorado
1,635 posts, read 2,239,683 times
Reputation: 661
There is a good reason that personal accounts and anecdotes are NOT evidence.

People lie, exaggerate and hallucinate, but evidence does not.

Real things leave real evidence, it is just that simple.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,145 posts, read 19,618,049 times
Reputation: 14025
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmicstargoat View Post

Real things leave real evidence, it is just that simple.
When is the last time you saw an atom?

...or a Black Hole?

How about dark matter?

Maybe you can quantify and create consciousnesses in a laboratory setting?

...or explain how quantum entanglement works?

The world is full of "real things" that can't be put in a test tube. The universe isn't nearly as simple as that.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-09-2012, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
3,334 posts, read 5,348,374 times
Reputation: 2057
That was an awful throw.

Sorry...i was talking on the the Cowboys forum...LOL


Ghosts...I don't know how to explain the phenomenon. I also enjoy watching "A Haunting" though I don't necessarily believe in it. One thing I've noticed about those types of shows is that these things only seem to happen non-ethnic people. What's up with that?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top