Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.
right then - this was bound to come up eventually
a straight forward question for the skeptics - WHAT would you construe as acceptable evidence for the existence of ghosts/spirits ?? , for years we believers have been told that there's NO evidence , when there are in fact thousands if not millions of "anecdotal " reports of phenomenon throughout history , which the skeptical choose to totally dismiss , now even science ( take the possibility of life baring planets in the universe ) will concede that if you take millions of "possibilities" then rule out 99% , then take those and rule out 99% etc etc - one is still left with a sizable number of potential candidates
and as we ALL know the "requirement" for things to be "repeatable" is NOT something that can apply to most ghost sightings as they are usually by nature one off or seldom repeated events , every type of photographic evidence is debunked as faked ,manipulated etc , EVP is regarded as subjective , and witnesses are derided as mistaken at best and delusional at worst , or that its all in the mind , and of course any one claiming to have ANY "PSYCHIC" powers - ohh instant nutter
so basically as far as the skeptics go - they have it easy - they can sit back and just nay say - and of course trot out the old "we don't have to PROVE anything " line expecting the witness /claimant to prove all when we all know ,regardless of WHAT evidence is presented - it will be debunked /derided etc - and doing THAT is easy -
for instance i could sit here and just debunk the existence of skeptics , nah people who don't believe in ghosts ?? - who don't do any research to back up their claims of the non existence of paranormal phenomena , who deride every body and thing and seemingly know it ALL ??
IMPOSSIBLE such people just cant exist !! ( but what of the skeptic forums ?? ) just a bunch of "delusional" people , you can never prove to me that skeptics exist , I KNOW !! , ( but what proof have you of that ?? ) listen buddy ,I don't have to prove ANYTHING to you !! ,they have to prove they are skeptics and skepticism is real - i don't have to the claimant ALWAYS has to prove what they are saying ( but you cant measure skepticism ) - well i want to see scientific evidence of skepticism- accredited by leading scientific types and repeatable examples of skepticism under laboratory conditions , etc etc etc
see just HOW easy it is to be skeptical ?? .
so come on my skeptical friends , lets have a set of guidelines or whatever that you would accept as proof of the existence of ghosts
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
Yes, it is a good question Brett. Not sure it can even be answered. First, one would have to specify what a "ghost" is. Is it an orb? Is it a dead person come back to life? Is it a spirit manifistation, i.e. a body that is not physical? If it is a body that is not physical, why do they always wear clothes if they are non physical? Not to sound like an ass, but it really is up to the people who claim there are ghosts to identify just what it is they want to prove. To turn your question around a bit, skeptics can provide a rational explanation for virtually every ghost story, yet the believers know that we can't do that and the next piece of "evidence" could be the proof they need so their claims will continue for infinity. But then again, who doesn't love a good ghost story?
So, to get back to your question, just what proof would I need? Any evidence that cannot have a rational explanation to the contrary. Orbs, well, they are easy to dispute. Photograph? Perhaps if there was an experiment that allowed no possibility of trickery or rational explanation. One of the most popular ghost stories in recent years that was on the news was that ghost at the gas station. Turned out to be a bug. I think that whatever evidnce is presented must be such that it cannot be disputed. Personally, I would like to see a spirit provide information that could not have been known if it wasn't for the spirit. In the world of mediums, it would be easy to prove in my opinion. Get someone with a terminal form of cancer and have them hide something of value that no one else but the person knows. After they are gone, give them a "call" and have them tell us where they hid it. That would be an amazing start if it was done in a professional manner.
Excellent commentary ProfWag. So basically what you are saying is that the definition of 'ghost' requires some refinement? Not to mention that the proof in the pudding for you would be a medium who can be found to verify a previously set up experiment? So now we need two separate things that can't be proven at this point in time to prove that 'ghosts' exist? Hmmm, that's not going to be easy.
I also totally agree with ProfWag's question about the ghost clothing. It seems to me that human energy or spirits can certainly be a viable thing. However I don't think that cotton fabric has that same ability. Where does the clothing come from? I can't understand any woman wanting to go through eternity with a scratchy Victorian dress, complete with corset. That sounds more like being damned to hell in my book.
I've been thinking about this question all morning and I'm quickly coming to the conclusing that it simply can't be answered. I'm being asked what I would need as proof of ghosts. Well, since ghosts don't exist, how can I possibly answer that question? Take orbs for example. They are either dust particles or light reflections. Some people say they are spirit manifistations, yet I know they are either dust or light. So the first thing that must be determined before answering that question is "does spirits really manifest?" If so, are orbs the manifistation of those spirits? What would I need as proof? Well, first you have to prove that spirits really manifest. Let me reverse the question to help show what I'm being asked. Below is a picture of a bigfoot. What would you accept as proof that this is a bigfoot?
If the guy that lives in the house in the pic wears a size 14 shoe, then yes. Also, I would like to meet him.
Well now, that's not my house, but...
Okay, back to my point. Is the picture I posted proof of Bigfoot? Honest question here... (And no, I'm not talking about the house in the background.)
If you say "No, that's not proof of Bigfoot," then I ask, what would you accept as proof that what I posted was, in fact, Bigfoot? Can that question be answered? Keep in mind that I, as a skeptic, am being asked what I would accept as proof that dust and/or light reflections are the actual spirits of dead people.
IMO you are comparing apples to oranges. Bigfoot is believed to be a cryptozoology or biological thing. Ghosts are not in that same category.
Check this out and let me know what you think: http://paranormal.about.com/od/ghostpho ... st-Photos/
At least these are claimed to be ghost photos (apples to apples).
Okay, then let's clarify it even more. I am being asked what I would accept as proof that something (dust/light reflections) is something else (some kind of "ghost"). Let's change "Bigfoot" to my dog, Mojo. What would one accept as proof that something (Mojo) is something else (a tree)? Again, my point is that I don't think that someone who has virtually no belief in something can state what they would accept as evidence of something that isn't what is being claimed. That tree in the picture can sit, play dead, and not speak when told not too. So, it must be a dog named Mojo! I am telling you that it is and offering that picture as proof. So, what would you accept as proof that the thing in the picture is my beautiful Yellow Lab named Mojo? Can that question be answered without using the words "psychological examination?"
ah the old "define a ghost ploy " - ok for the sake of this discussion then , lets say we define a ghost as some sort of manifestation of a person ( shape , size some recognisable human type features ,that is or may be not quite solid and has the ability to appear /disappear at will ) who is known to have died ( ergo if it looks like a duck ,quacks like a duck - and waddles like a duck - its probably a duck ) - that is or has been seen by witnesses ( a reasonable enough test methinks without limiting things too much ) - thus we have some form of entity which is obviously NOT a mortal person since they are dead and their body has been buried /cremated - and thus must be for all intents and purposes what most people would understand as a "ghost "
AND again for the purposes of this discussion it is not an hallucination ( mass or other wise ) and all the witnesses are what are regarded by normal standards as "sane " ( though how one defines sanity ........................... )
hows that for starters ?? ( you will have of course to put aside your disbelief in such things for the purposes of discussion )
oh and the thing in the photo was a tree ( imo )
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
just a question
if a door closes or someone ¨hears something¨ .. that does not count as a ghost?
does it has to be seen?
could the proof just be auditive?
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
I would say 'no' as these do not fit into the description of the definition at this point in time.
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