Discuss PseudoSkeptics and their Fallacies. Share strategies for debating them.
feeling suddenly cold ?
(im trying to remember all the things ghosthunters said on those tv shows)
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)
As for 'Ghost Hunters' (TAPS), they tend to use many different experiences before using the word paranormal. At least they used to in the early days.
Hopefully you noticed from my first post in this thread towards my last, I kind of moved away from the "define the ghost" to the "I'm not real sure that question can be answered." What would I need as proof of a ghost? I just really don't know. As I said, you are asking me what I need for proof of something that to me, makes no logical sense to begin with. What would you need as proof that my dog Mojo was actually that tree? I'm not sure that can be answered sensibly as I just don't know what it would take. The bottom line, I would believe in ghosts the day they are reported about in a peer reviewed, academic/scientific journal. However, proof of ghosts of any form would prove the existance of life after death which would change the way many, many people live their life. Proving the existance of ghosts could possibly mean we could tell which God is out there and if we know which God is out there, we would know who has been right and who has been wrong, and if we know that, we could either have a world peace or global destruction. Are you sure you want to prove ghosts?
i will have to paint my cat white first NP - prof , yes why not ?? - lets be fair whilst the proof of existence of ghosts would shake the fundamental beliefs of many to the core , as would proof of the existence of other life forms in the cosmos , it would also ultimately strengthen belief in god ( imo ) and most religions preach some sort of afterlife do they not ??
as to peace or war , well lets again be fair that "religion" has probably caused quite a few wars , and an awful lot of suffering over the centuries , and would more proof of the possibility that there IS some form of ultimate force ( lets call it god for the sake of argument ) in the universe change that ?? - chances are ,knowing mankind that all it would do is make fundamentalist religious views more prevalent and there for justify more extreme action in the name of any particular god , BUT this aside , can we also just stick our heads in the sand and NOT ask the question about the possibility of some form of continuance ?? , I say not , as taking in the bigger picture , such proof would give reassurance and comfort to all who have lost loved ones , and maybe actually make people stop and think a bit more about their actions whilst mortal .
but this theorising about the consequences of finding that proof is taking this away from my original question ( another tactic i have come across to diffuse discussion of awkward questions ) - OK so you say truthfully you don't know what you would consider proof - but would accept peer reviewed scientific journal reports , yet science does not actively investigate the subject or in many cases even acknowledge it , ( except to debunk in many cases ) , which is odd considering that a goodly percentage of the worlds population do believe there is or may be something more than the old 3 score years and 10 , and of course any one ( on the whole ) who believes in the preachings of most religions ,and considers what is in the various religious texts as "real " by default also believe in the promise of eternal life , or some sort of heaven ,nirvana, or whatever
and also if we look at the whole worlds population and the percentage of "scientists" in that population , really why are we so swayed by the pronouncements of the few ?? and peer review is only scientists approving of what other scientists think and write - which is as self defeating as believers only approving of what other believers write or conversely skeptics only approving of what other skeptics write - it is merely taking a view point and only backing those who agree with our chosen viewpoint - you and i have both seen this happen enough times , at least here we can examine and critique those viewpoints as i am sure you will mine , but that's what discussion is about
so OK lets assume that a scientist ( name your poison ) had an experience where a "ghost " manifested to him or her , do you seriously think they would write it up ?? - yea right , they would not because on the whole "science " is ruled by motive , and that motive is money , grants ,research funding etc etc ( and we must not forget the profit that research produces , again i ask ,do you think that science would be so well funded if there was no money to be made from it ?? , of course it would not , and that's why "proper" research into the paranormal is not funded , there's no money in it , oh yea there's money in the BS that SURROUNDS the subject , the "stars" and the book writers etc , but actual solid unbiased , genuine research - noooooooooooooo , and until someone comes up with a way to make it pay ,neither will there be
so that's pretty much ruled out science as the ultimate arbiter of proof , but what if YOU saw what i have described as a ghost ?? - would THAT convince you ?? - you say there is no logic in it , can you honestly say to me you apply logic to and in everything you do ?? just because something is "illogical" by the perceived wisdom of others , does that mean it is ?? - i have seen as you must have, things that if one went strictly by the tenets of supposed "logic" should not have been possible , YET they have happened - so where does that leave us ??
which then brings us back to "faith" - surly total reliance on the tenants and pronouncements of "science " is a form of "faith" after all can you personally dispute or disprove what scientists are pronouncing about quantum physics for instance ?? - probably not any more than I or anyone else here can , as we are not part of the club and can easily be dismissed as mistaken , uneducated ,plain wrong , or whatever by those with vested interest in maintaining position and the "status quo " and if we continue with QP as an example , is not most of that not speculation ( and a lot of incomprehensible math ) with little actual PROOF of what they are proclaiming as ( in some areas ) fact ?? ( and making a nice earner writing long winded books about it )
so yea - sorry if you feel you have been put on the spot here prof - at the end of the day you have answered truthfully and for that I do respect your stance
i recon at the end of the day it boils down to the fact that the ONLY way any skeptic is ever GOING to be convinced is when /if they actually encounter said ghost for them selves and then have to either reevaluate their standpoint - or just carry on denighing what has happened to them , and that i believe is where we start throwing the word "delusion " around ..........................................
right can of worms this ain't it ??
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
nah NP ,i would model myself on the original , i like my cats with hair on - and have always wanted to mutter the immortal words :ah Mr bond , we meet at last " - just before i shot him ( which is where bond villains always make their mistake and give him the time honored opportunity to escape , only to come back and shoot THEM later , honestly have they never heard of the theory that a DEAD enemy is no longer an enemy ?? - in the real world bond would not have lasted 5 minutes )
whoops going off topic there
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
Interesting post up there Brett and you make some good points. You're right that religions have caused most of the world's wars and proof of the existance of an afterlife would only shake that up, in my humble opinion.
As for skeptics seeing a ghost, please allow me to share a story. On October 20, 1975, I was laying in bed, watching TV. Something caught my eye in the corner of my room and it was my grandfather, standing there looking at me in his overalls. I looked at him for a few seconds and the phone rang. My eyes glanced out the door as I watched my Mom walk by to get the phone and when I looked back, he was gone. Turns out, the phone call was from my Dad and my Grandfather had just died. Honest ghost story there. Now, here is, "the rest of the story." Earlier that day I knew he had a heart attack and was in the hospital. He was all that I was thinking about that day. I am quite certain that I had drifted off to sleep and was dreaming. I could have actually seen a ghost as I was scared stiff for a while, but even at my younger age, I didn't realy believe I had seen a ghost. However, I can understand how others have honestly reported ghost stories. Hell, I may have actually seen one, but I doubt it.
I would like to see some stuff fly across rooms, I would like to see communication, and I would like to see a Ouiji board move without anyone touching it. I would also like to see more than orbs, creaky houses, and faked TV shows. I would also like to see ghost hunting with extremely riggorous controls. Temperature changes in a house is absolutely nothing, EVPs as they seem to exist in their present form do not stand up to scrutiny, and fuzzy pictures of light reflections don't make my heart go pitter patter. I think that if a ghost hunter can show more than what they are showing now, then academia WOULD take notice and hopefully, investigage further. Right now, I just don't think that the evidence is there for further research. I leave it up to you and/or the folks who are serious ghost hunters to provide serious evidence that would warrant further research.
Ahhhh, so you are ready to come over to the dark side? Brett had better bake some more cookies.
Yes, one unexplained (yet logically dismissed) experience, does not a believer make. But hey, it's a great start. At least you understand how others might begin their journey to explore with an open mind, the possibilities of a paranormal subject.
Hey now, I've always said I can understand how people believe in things! UFOs (alien types), Bigfoot, ghosts, psychics, etc. I've also always said that I believe that many people are sincerely honest in their claims. Doesn't make something paranormal, but that doesn't mean people aren't honest.
But unfortunately, I'm going to stay on the lighter side for a while...
aww cool prof , what you saw there was known in the trade as a "crisis apparition " , these have been widely reported when loved ones or family members pass over or are nearing death , so i would offer the opinion that you HAVE in fact seen a "ghost" ( well an apparition anyways )
OK i can understand you have probably thought on this since and looked for "rational" explanations , eg as you say i dreamed it , BUT given the fact of the actual phone call relating to the passing ,don't you think that even "dreaming" it would have been odd given the time tie up ??
well i am not going to "push " you to any conclusions as to what you saw or dreamed that day , that's a personal thing you must work out for yourself - but thanks for sharing that account
NP - send the man a dozen cookies with my compliments
LIFE - just filling the bits between birth, death and taxes
Sure Brett! I'd be glad to. One dozen of our best 'ghost' cookies for ProfWag!
I do hope that ProfWag realizes that ghost cookies are as hard to define as ghosts.
Hmmmm, looks like those ghosts have taken on their orb appearance.
Just more food for thought (if the ghosts don't get to it first), that was 34 years ago. I was 11 years old. I truthfully recounted the experience exactly as I remember it. However, could it be that my memory has been altered in that time period? Certainly. Memory is an amazing thing, but not always the most trustworthy. That's why physical evidence usually prevails.
Anyway, thanks for the cookies! The thought, anyway!
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