Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Walsingham

ghosts

Recommended Posts

UFO topic

 

 

In the old topic we were looking at means of producing credible scientific proof of 'weird goings on'.

 

i was going to suggest two things:

 

1. We try to take a naturalistic proof, which we'd accept, and extract the key features of that proof

2. We try to suggest novel proofs, we hadn't considered.

 

 

On, perhaps, both options I'd suggest one I'd accept is destroying a ghost. That is, if one can define a ghost as purposive system, then one can break it. break the ghost, break the ghostly phenomena. Break the phenomena, measurable effect. My suggestion is, therefore, that we range the various hypthetical causes for a ghostly phenomena and then find something which will break ONLY the paranormal explanation. Apply the intervention, measure the result.

 

... and yes, I may well be a violent maniac.

 

Ghosts don't exist.

 

God doesn't exist.

 

Aliens do exist - but the ones near us (near/in our galaxy, which really isn't 'near') may or may not be sentient or sapient.

 

The end.

 

Did you know that peeling scotch tape produces x-rays? The Soviets discovered it at the end of WW2, but everyone thought they were crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
* the term ghost should not be used when a readily available, albeit odd, phenomenon exists by which it could be explained.

In the spirit of agreement, I suggest we retitle this thread "Wishful Thinking - let's try to take it seriously."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow and the thread was going so well... :grin:

 

Nah, it was mostly just skeptics replying to skeptics playing devil's advocate. Ze substance was lacking.

 

Err, unless somebody in this thread actually believes in ghosts and feels robbed of legitimate intellectual discussion?

 

not that I am disagreeing with you but what it is about the concept of "ghosts" that makes you see their potential existence as so less possible than UFOs?

 

We have hard proof that aliens can evolve from within the framework of science (c.f. life on Earth). No such case exists for ghosts, nor is one even plausible.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wow and the thread was going so well... :p

 

Nah, it was mostly just skeptics replying to skeptics playing devil's advocate. Ze substance was lacking.

 

Err, unless somebody in this thread actually believes in ghosts and feels robbed of legitimate intellectual discussion?

 

I feel robbed of a slightly more interesting discussion than "OMG! Ghosts don't existorz LOLZ"

 

I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts; I do think the idea of finding a scientific approach to putting the matter to rest (rather than assuming that absence of evidence is evidence of absence) intriguing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts; I do think the idea of finding a scientific approach to putting the matter to rest (rather than assuming that absence of evidence is evidence of absence) intriguing.
Dito.

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If anyone is looking for a good book on the subject try Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife by Mary Roach. :p


"A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
-H. H. Munro

 

"Geez. It's like we lost some sort of bet and ended up saddled with a bunch of terrible new posters on this forum."

-Hurlshot

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Err, unless somebody in this thread actually believes in ghosts and feels robbed of legitimate intellectual discussion?

 

 

I don't believe in "ghosts" per se, since no one has ever produced proof of one despite thousands of years of looking, nonetheless I remain open to their existence and spend a decent amount of time conversing with those who do believe.

 

 

No such case exists for ghosts, nor is one even plausible.

 

 

By ghost, you mean a spirit of a dead human? Or what? SOmething else?


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
* the term ghost should not be used when a readily available, albeit odd, phenomenon exists by which it could be explained.

In the spirit of agreement, I suggest we retitle this thread "Wishful Thinking - let's try to take it seriously."

 

 

Hey there, blue, I didn't know you were still around. *waves*


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel robbed of a slightly more interesting discussion than "OMG! Ghosts don't existorz LOLZ"

 

I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts; I do think the idea of finding a scientific approach to putting the matter to rest (rather than assuming that absence of evidence is evidence of absence) intriguing.

 

Really, so you have an equal 'belief' in unicorns and Xenu too, do you?

 

Err, unless somebody in this thread actually believes in ghosts and feels robbed of legitimate intellectual discussion?

 

 

I don't believe in "ghosts" per se, since no one has ever produced proof of one despite thousands of years of looking, nonetheless I remain open to their existence and spend a decent amount of time conversing with those who do believe.

 

Again, what about unicorns and Xenu? I don't take you as a fence-sitter agnostic, so surely you have some sort of justification for singling out ghosts of all the random supernatural creatures out there?

 

No such case exists for ghosts, nor is one even plausible.

 

 

By ghost, you mean a spirit of a dead human? Or what? SOmething else?

 

Any 'imprint' or whatever you want to call it.

 

Working on the premise that an afterlife doesn't exist (or else this becomes a topic about religion), you will then require some framework within which ghosts could conceptually exist, yes?

 

Well, science doesn't have one. The most people can come up with is pseudo-science like "holographic impressions" or whatnot, which is about as scientific as explaining away KITT or Replicators with the word 'nanotechnology'. Actually, at least nanotechnology can accomplish some of those amazing things (especially w.r.t. KITT).

 

Ghosts are very much unlike Aliens. Aliens are a matter of probability. Ghosts are a matter of "is it even physically possible?".

 

I'm not saying ghosts don't exist: I'm saying there's no plausible reason to believe they do anymore than unicorns, which is why I find a thread full of skeptics taking ghosts seriously to be amusing. If it's about wanting to believe, well, that's why we have TV and computer games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Any 'imprint' or whatever you want to call it.

 

 

So are you saying that you believe ghosts are imprints of a former human AND that you don't believe these imprints exist?

 

 

 

Working on the premise that an afterlife doesn't exist (or else this becomes a topic about religion), you will then require some framework within which ghosts could conceptually exist, yes?

 

 

Of course. There are many possible frameworks. Perhaps ghosts are actually aliens.

 

 

Well, science doesn't have one. The most people can come up with is pseudo-science like "holographic impressions" or whatnot, which is about as scientific as explaining away KITT or Replicators with the word 'nanotechnology'. Actually, at least nanotechnology can accomplish some of those amazing things (especially w.r.t. KITT).

 

Science may or may not have a framework at the moment, but that does not preclude the possibility of a framework existing. Again it is important to note here that I am not arguing that ghosts exist, as a proven fact, I am simply stating that I don't believe or knowledge has advanced to such a point that we have total knowledge of all possibilties.

 

Ghosts are very much unlike Aliens. Aliens are a matter of probability. Ghosts are a matter of "is it even physically possible?".

 

 

I would say that we don't yet know all that is physically possible.

 

I'm not saying ghosts don't exist: I'm saying there's no plausible reason to believe they do anymore than unicorns, which is why I find a thread full of skeptics taking ghosts seriously to be amusing. If it's about wanting to believe, well, that's why we have TV and computer games.

 

There's no real equation between ghosts and unicorns. Our knowledge of our world has advanced to the point where we know that unicorns, ie horse-like creatures with a horn on their head that like to lie in the laps of virgin females, do not exist. Explorers have past hither and yon throughout the world and haven't seen one. Nor do people randomly report seeing them even anecdotally.

 

If it's about wanting to believe, well, that's why we have TV and computer games.

 

Not really. Its more about recognizing that my belief (or lack thereof) does not preclude the existence of something, and recognizing that there are still limits to what humans know and experience.


Notice how I can belittle your beliefs without calling you names. It's a useful skill to have particularly where you aren't allowed to call people names. It's a mistake to get too drawn in/worked up. I mean it's not life or death, it's just two guys posting their thoughts on a message board. If it were personal or face to face all the usual restraints would be in place, and we would never have reached this place in the first place. Try to remember that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel robbed of a slightly more interesting discussion than "OMG! Ghosts don't existorz LOLZ"

 

I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts; I do think the idea of finding a scientific approach to putting the matter to rest (rather than assuming that absence of evidence is evidence of absence) intriguing.

 

Really, so you have an equal 'belief' in unicorns and Xenu too, do you?

 

I find it odd to gather how you get I can get that I have some sort of "belief" in unicorns or Xenu from professing to neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts.

 

My general feeling is that if someone says ghosts exist, they should try to the best of the ability to prove that they do exist. If someone wants to claim they don't exist than IMO they need to prove such impossibility.

 

Otherwise, my general feeling is to accept that some people feel like they have seen a ghost, while others will try to rationalise that it had to be something else. I have never experienced anything ghostly, so have no personal experience I could say fuels a belief in ghosts.

 

While I tend to think the possibilty of extraterestrial life - whether it visits us or not - is strong, I think that ghosts are more interesting to theorize about. Should an extraterestrial visit us, I think that understanding the why of it without some form of interaction to be near impossible.

 

More interesting instead to look into ghosts because then it means that either there is an intangible spirit connected with humans or some sort natural "distortion" of time/space/whatever which in turn would be worth probing or it indicates something about the psychology of human beings and/or physiological perception problems.

 

Its easy to reject human perception and just assume that the cause was due to some physiological or psychological issue or even just the human ability to create patterns where none exist, but I just tend to favor not leaping to conclusions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I feel robbed of a slightly more interesting discussion than "OMG! Ghosts don't existorz LOLZ"

 

I neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts; I do think the idea of finding a scientific approach to putting the matter to rest (rather than assuming that absence of evidence is evidence of absence) intriguing.

 

Really, so you have an equal 'belief' in unicorns and Xenu too, do you?

 

I find it odd to gather how you get I can get that I have some sort of "belief" in unicorns or Xenu from professing to neither believe nor disbelieve in ghosts.

 

Let's please not get into semantics. A lack of commitment to belief or disbelief is itself a form of 'belief', hence the quotes.

 

My general feeling is that if someone says ghosts exist, they should try to the best of the ability to prove that they do exist. If someone wants to claim they don't exist than IMO they need to prove such impossibility.

 

Agnostic to the last eh?

 

Do you think everything you don't have evidence against is possible? For example: we're all in a virtual reality, or that you're a product of my imagination?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's please not get into semantics. A lack of commitment to belief or disbelief is itself a form of 'belief', hence the quotes.
You're writing. We're trying to understand it. Semantics. Also, stating not to disbelieve is the same as belief is a rather weird semantic. What's not white is black or what? Man, why are you so keen on breaking this topic? Just because you think ghosts == rubbish, people willing to give it some more thought than you care to invest must not continue to do so?

 

Do you think everything you don't have evidence against is possible? For example: we're all in a virtual reality, or that you're a product of my imagination?
That is the case, and this should be clear to you especially as you're the one trying (not very successfully) to use the science club to beat people to silence... To deem everything impossible which you do not have a positive proof for is not scientific at all. And don't come telling us now that in this matter you don't think in terms of black and white... :( Edited by samm

Citizen of a country with a racist, hypocritical majority

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's please not get into semantics. A lack of commitment to belief or disbelief is itself a form of 'belief', hence the quotes.
You're writing. We're trying to understand it. Semantics. Also, stating not to disbelieve is the same as belief is a rather weird semantic. What's not white is black or what? Man, why are you so keen on breaking this topic? Just because you think ghosts == rubbish, people willing to give it some more thought than you care to invest must not continue to do so?

 

If you don't disbelieve something, then that involves a facet of belief, yes; belief in its possibility.

 

Anyway, I'm not 'keen on breaking this topic'. I truly did initially think it was just skeptics vs skeptics playing devil's advocate in a light-hearted manner. If people here are willing to believe in ghosts or earnestly discuss their possible existence, than by all means, I won't begrudge them that.

 

Do you think everything you don't have evidence against is possible? For example: we're all in a virtual reality, or that you're a product of my imagination?
That is the case, and this should be clear to you especially as you're the one trying (not very successfully) to use the science club to beat people to silence... To deem everything impossible which you do not have a positive proof for is not scientific at all. And don't come telling us now that in this matter you don't think in terms of black and white... :(

 

'Science club' hey? Sorry for requesting scientific evidence. But right now it's at most metaphysics ("space-time distortion"), so why should I treat it as any more relevant than some other aspect of metaphysics?

 

I actually highly doubt that you think those examples I quoted are as probable as eachother, or as ghosts or god existing, so you've already made some sort of essentially arbitrary decision about their likelihood right there, no? It's all fine and well to tell me I'm seeing in black and white, but making discrete choices is built into human decision making - specifically inference. Presuming all things possible because you can imagine them might seem like a morally superior stance to you, but it's hardly realistic unless you place some restrictions on it (e.g. 'right now, all signs point to this concept being highly unlikely, so until something changes that, I won't seriously consider it'), which as a human you will inevitably do unless certain parts of your brain have been decoupled (from memory, without the emotional centre - the amygdala - you become incapable of choosing between two logical possibilities).

 

And lastly, I have not tried to silence anybody, samm. I am a skeptic, and since Amentep complained initially, I've responded seriously. Is that OK? Didn't you want a discussion? Or did you want one only between those agnostic of the supernatural?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And lastly, I have not tried to silence anybody, samm. I am a skeptic, and since Amentep complained initially, I've responded seriously. Is that OK? Didn't you want a discussion? Or did you want one only between those agnostic of the supernatural?

I think you missed the point of the thread somewhere Krezack... try reading Walsinghams original post again.

 

Using the black and white logic on a quote from Arthur Strahler (Arthur Strahler: "Understanding Science: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues" - Prometheus Books (1992):

 

Supernatural forces, if they can be said to exist, cannot be observed, measured, or recorded by the procedures of science--that's simply what the word "supernatural" means. There can be no limit to the kinds and shapes of supernatural forces and forms the human mind is capable of conjuring up "from nowhere." Scientists therefore have no alternative but to ignore the claims of the existence of supernatural forces and causes. This exclusion is a basic position that must be stoutly adhered to by scientists or their entire system of evaluating and processing information will collapse.... To find a reputable scientist proposing a theory of supernatural force is disturbing to the community of scientists. If the realm of matter and energy with which scientists work is being influenced or guided by a supernatural force, science will be incapable of explaining the information it has collected; it will be unable to make predictions about what will happen in the future, and its explanations of what has happened in the past may be inadequate or incomplete.[

 

If science is capable of explaining the gathered information, make correct predictions about the future and explain everything that happened in the past, there can be no supernatural phenomena. Does that then automatically infer that if there is information that science can not explain, predict correctly or explain everything from our past, that there then has to exist something supernaturally?

 

I don't think it is as black and white as you make it. Unless you refuse to accept only things that can currently be explained through science, but that is rarely the stuff progress and inventions is made of. Sometimes I think, scientist are the scholars documenting the results achieved by visionaries who doesn't put such restraints on themselves.

 

Disclaimer: All anecdotal and subject to subjective interpretation

 

Now, what I think Walsingham was looking for was a means of destroying ghosts. Besides dialling 1-800-BUSTER


“He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice.” - Albert Einstein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CREDULITY and PROGRESS

 

I think Amentep raises an interesting point. Investigating ghosts might prove practically very fruitful. I say this because we know that using existing methodology and equipment has failed to systematically observe anything. This suggests to me that whatever dimension/s the ghosts are in are not usually under observation. If we DID observe those dimensions in the ways required to observe the ghosts we'd probably learn a thing or two; and not just about ghosts.

 

And yes, the purpose of this thread is not to debate ghosts. It's to explore what we might do to investigate them properly. To do otherwise, and to simply hold forth on the sins of believing in pixies etc is in fact anti-science, not pro-science. One might just as well abandon the science of psychology because you can't take a slide-rule to the sub-conscious. Sometimes science happens outside laboratories, in hard to reach nooks and crannies, and the only meaningful way to react to that is to put on a helmet and go after the facts with both fists. Godsdammit, I want the truth!

 

~~

 

ETHICS

 

As for unethical treatment of ghosts I laughed at great length about this, then realised I should take the objection seriously.

 

1. Causing suffering is to be avoided at all costs in scientific endeavour.

2. We have no way of knowing currently if the phenomena we class as ghosts are purposive systems. If they are not purposive systems then they can't suffer.

3. Even if some ghosts suffer to prove they are purposive systems, then might this not be weighed against the possible benefits of establishing contact with them? We may eb able to improve the lot of ghosts in general.

4. Some theorists argue that ghosts are already suffering. If we destroy some in the process of observing them we may be doing them a favour!


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taken from the thread on UFOs:

 

CrashGirl said:

To me this is where paranormal investigtaion needs to start. FIrst you need to begin to test if there are actual correlations between paranormal phenomena and reported "hauntedness" or is it all just anecdotal. DO non-haunted locations display the same phenomena as non-haunted locations. Yes? No? Absolutely the test environements need to be controlled and experiments have to be repeated over and over again, adjusting hypotheses and methodolgy as you go along. I can imagine it would be a relatively tedious and unrewarding task, which is probably why most paranomormal groups don't even bother. MUch more fun to just wave your gear around in the dark and make things up.

 

Thought it was worth salvaging.


"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Let's please not get into semantics. A lack of commitment to belief or disbelief is itself a form of 'belief', hence the quotes.

 

Oooo, okay, I totally misread what you were getting at. Sorry.

 

Agnostic to the last eh?

 

Do you think everything you don't have evidence against is possible? For example: we're all in a virtual reality, or that you're a product of my imagination?

 

Generally speaking, yes I believe that baring an actual proof that something cannot without condition exist, then I have to accept the possibility that it could exist, even if I feel that it is incredibly unlikely to exist. In essence I'd liken it to a "probability of existence" with me having personal judgment calls about how I feel the probability of ghosts or whatever existing but accepting that there is a chance, no matter how small, that it could exist.

 

If that makes sense.

 

Taken from the thread on UFOs:

 

CrashGirl said:

To me this is where paranormal investigtaion needs to start. FIrst you need to begin to test if there are actual correlations between paranormal phenomena and reported "hauntedness" or is it all just anecdotal. DO non-haunted locations display the same phenomena as non-haunted locations. Yes? No? Absolutely the test environements need to be controlled and experiments have to be repeated over and over again, adjusting hypotheses and methodolgy as you go along. I can imagine it would be a relatively tedious and unrewarding task, which is probably why most paranomormal groups don't even bother. MUch more fun to just wave your gear around in the dark and make things up.

 

Thought it was worth salvaging.

 

Yeah that was actually one of the best bits about ghosts over there. Really liked that as its an interesting approach and one which I think if done could really assist in removing a lot of conjecture from various "ghost phenomenon" by trying to nail down things a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...