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Sheetz

A question for skeptics and non-believers

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Like the title suggests, I have a question for the skeptics and moreso for the absolute non-believers that frequent here. I would like to add that I am a skeptical believer. While I would certainly like proof of something in order to believe its true, I'm not close-minded to think there aren't things out there that we cannot prove or see - which is what separates us all...our own personal beliefs. (please don't infer that I'm calling you close-minded either, it was a reference to myself)

That said, I was wondering about that elusive proof.

For all skeptics and non-believers, what proof (or type of proof) would you need in order to change your mind. Is there anything you can think of that, if shown to you, would make you believe in ghosts? (outside of you actually witnessing your own event of course) Can you give us those things whether its scientific or otherwise which would be deemed as proof and believable by you once said evidence was shown or exhibited?

here's why I ask. As we all know, a photograph is not proof to the non-believer. All will be deemed as faked. same goes for video, same goes for audio recordings, same goes for any digitally recorded anomaly, whether auditory or visual. so....what kind of evidence do you need to have your mind changed...what kind of evidence is there....scientific? if so, in what way is that evidence presented and how? I'm curious to see what could possibly be offered to a non-believer to change their minds...I'm guessing there is nothing, but would like to hear otherwise.

What we do know:

no photographs - all non-believers will say in this digital age anything can be doctored

no recordings - will be deemed as outside RF interference or our brains trying to form words from the "noise"

no videos - same outlook as photos

no evps - same as recordings

so...what is left as what could be considered actual and real evidence?

note, I'm not trying to be facetious - I'm genuinely wondering if there is anything at all that could be presented that made you a believer.

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Simple: Verifiable evidence that stands up to objective and scientific analysis.

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Posted (edited)

Like the title suggests, I have a question for the skeptics and moreso for the absolute non-believers that frequent here. I would like to add that I am a skeptical believer. While I would certainly like proof of something in order to believe its true, I'm not close-minded to think there aren't things out there that we cannot prove or see - which is what separates us all...our own personal beliefs. (please don't infer that I'm calling you close-minded either, it was a reference to myself)

That said, I was wondering about that elusive proof.

For all skeptics and non-believers, what proof (or type of proof) would you need in order to change your mind. Is there anything you can think of that, if shown to you, would make you believe in ghosts? (outside of you actually witnessing your own event of course) Can you give us those things whether its scientific or otherwise which would be deemed as proof and believable by you once said evidence was shown or exhibited?

here's why I ask. As we all know, a photograph is not proof to the non-believer. All will be deemed as faked. same goes for video, same goes for audio recordings, same goes for any digitally recorded anomaly, whether auditory or visual. so....what kind of evidence do you need to have your mind changed...what kind of evidence is there....scientific? if so, in what way is that evidence presented and how? I'm curious to see what could possibly be offered to a non-believer to change their minds...I'm guessing there is nothing, but would like to hear otherwise.

What we do know:

no photographs - all non-believers will say in this digital age anything can be doctored

no recordings - will be deemed as outside RF interference or our brains trying to form words from the "noise"

no videos - same outlook as photos

no evps - same as recordings

so...what is left as what could be considered actual and real evidence?

note, I'm not trying to be facetious - I'm genuinely wondering if there is anything at all that could be presented that made you a believer.

As you said the most likely way i'd believe in the paranormal is witnessing my own event that i can't explain . I'm a sceptic but i do believe in the possibility of ghosts or something of that nature . To answer your question the only way i'd accept it is some unbiased group of scientific merit analyzing the evidence and deeming it real with an explanation how they've came to this conclusion. Admittedly i become more sceptic everyday mostly from visiting sites like this seeing so many pics,videos etc without seeing anything i believe to be real but that's my opinion i may be wrong . Another thing is the people who post once and never return wasting the good people here's time who try to help them out even though they most likely just made the story up.

Edited by Camarel

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Speaking only for myself, what I am looking for is not something to make me "believe", per se, but to understand. There is no denying that people are experiencing something. The question is what? Saying that a ghost is a disembodied person, or an echo of someone who used to be alive, is irresponsible, because when asked how you know, it all comes down to belief.

What I want is someone to show me "what", not "if". I know that people are seeing things, but just labeling it then sitting back all pleased with finding proof, isn't enough. I must know why and how! :yes:

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Scientists would probably have to catch a ghost, "demon", or whatever. Then display it. Even then many would call it a hoax unless it jumped out and bit them.

Honestly the most success I have had with convincing people of the wider realities is through personal experiences. When I teach people how to have OOBEs and they are committed enough to practice, the first time the exit from their body... Their whole world changes. It certainly did for me.

The other thing I find with a lot of skeptics is that they are mostly followers. They will not accept something until a large body of mainstream gurus do. Obviously the people wiling to experiment themselves not included.

A good example is Sakari. He is willing to put his energy where his mouth is. I can't take any skeptic seriously until they do. Discoveries are not made by people parroting other people. They are made by the people willing to be on the frontlines and the fringe.... The rest of the bantering is irrelevant.

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Posted (edited)

alright...off to an awesome start. thanks for the replies so far. I want to bring one example to the table, and before everyone flames me and tears apart the source, know I'm approaching this from a purely objective viewpoint and not advocating the show, its "actors" or anything. Meaning if you take the content presented, then how it was analyzed, what conclusions can we draw?

(Zips up flame retardant suit here! LOL)

In the original GA documentary, the very first one produced by the three guys who formed 4Reel Productions, LLC (not produced by the Travel Channel as this was the first thing they did and didn't have a contract yet) you may be familiar with a scene where the guy exits a room that has a static night vision camera. As he exits to the right, quite easily seen is a transparent apparition entering from the left, strolls across the field of view going to the right (in essence, following the guy who just exited to the right). Ok, cool enough right?!? Cool that they played the tape back while still on camera within minutes of it happening...making it more believable.

Where it gets interesting is in the scientific examination. They take the footage to a studio engineer...an expert. He loads the footage and begins to run a series of filters, and most importantly a vectorscope. If any of you are in the video industry, a know what a vectorscope does, it can analyze the very makeup of video footage. If compositing, layering, or tampering of the footage in ANY manner was done, the vectorscope will reveal it with ease. If a digital layer was added (i.e. with After Effects, or any other editing software) it is IMPOSSIBLE to hide it from the vectorscope. The layers will be separate and different and shown. In this instance through all the filtering attempts (using filters will also reveal if a layers pixels are different from the ones beneath) which showed it was untampered footage, and lastly the vectorscope showed that no layers were added, the digital information was untouched and therefore HE deemed the video to be clean from tampering. IMPORTANT, he didn't make a comment or state that he believed the ghost in the video to be real, he ONLY stated that he could 100% verify that the footage he had been given in no way was tampered with, altered or otherwise fabricated. A vectorscope will prove added layers and effects instantly. You could use it on today's most expertly added CG in a feature film and the vector scope will separate and show the composited layers....even done by the most expert film house fx people. A vector scope is not analyzing what we see in the video as real or not, it analyzes the actual digital signals and layering recorded. It looks at the recorded signal that produces a picture, NOT the picture itself.

Anyhow.....I'm not giving this example as proof or as real or as a plug for that show. I'm giving the example in reference to my question. Does that kind of scientific analysis (about the only kind you can definitively do on video footage to see what lies beneath the signal) fall into a category where something could be deemed as real and therefore believable. Like Seeker states.....what's left, the only proof that would then be accepted is capturing a ghost in a bottle. Of course a magic bottle. LOL

I am going to do a search and see if I can find the clip of just the expert analysis....but until I find it...what are your thoughts in that instance.

OK guys, the only thing I can find is the full documentary. So, if you scroll all the way to 35 minutes in (sorry its actually 35:50), you will see the engineers analysis. Again, I'm only referring to this as a question of: Is this type of analysis valid enough?? Or should there be more.

[media=]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlfDp-PCARA[/media]

Edited by Sheetz

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Without pictures, videos, EVP, and personal encounters for non-believers, even if a non-believer had a personal encounter...What else do you expect to do to make someone believe? I guess I really don't get the question you're trying to ask.

I ask because there a few known skeptics on here that are more than just skeptics. One in particular has his own paranormal group, yet is very serious about the scientific part of all this. So my question stems from a standpoint of available evidence, since pretty much always, any evidence that is given in the form of a picture, evp, or video, that the skeptics automatically deem it as tampered with or a hoax all together. So I pose the question as to what type of evidence or scientific analysis IS THERE that would be acceptable and therefore thought of as actual or authentic....being that ALL photographs for instance are just hoaxed. Or video is just altered.

From that viewpoint, I'm trying to understand what if anything is left to be given as "proof". That's why I gave the youtube example above. While the show is thought of as cheesy or hokey by many, in this one particular example, they go the extra step and have an expert forensic video engineer put it through the paces. Does the fact that he found without a doubt that the video has not been altered prove anything?? Not sure that helps at all...but the best way I can explain my viewpoint.

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Posted (edited)

Seen things like that before.... 10 independent experts would be better.... I still doubt it would convince others though. Honestly... I'm a believer in many things and I'm not even convinced.

To many avenues for deception especially on television. Submit the footage for a scientific paper. Even then, a materialist will come up with a creative unvarified answer within the scope of possibilities and it will ring true to skeptics.

Even with 10 video experts... The next step would ultimately be to have the skeptic him/her self go there and see it for themselves. If that didn't happen... Then no go. You see skepticism is a state of mind not really a choice.

Edited by Seeker79
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Seen things like that before.... 10 independent experts would be better.... I still doubt it would convince others though. Honestly... I'm a believer in many things and I'm not even convinced.

To many avenues for deception especially on television. Submit the footage for a scientific paper. Even then, a materialist will come up with a creative unvarified answer within the scope of possibilities and it will ring true to skeptics.

Even with 10 video experts... The next step would ultimately be to have the skeptic him/her self go there and see it for themselves. If that didn't happen... Then no go. You see skepticism is a state of mind not really a choice.

Why don't you produce a striking piece of evidence then i guarantee i'll follow you as a saviour ? Didn't think so whatever religion you're butthurt about is also '' a state of mind '' as you describe it.

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Seeker, so would a better question be, are there any skeptics who have seen or read or watched some evidence that still keeps them on the fence?? what would that evidence be. Why you may ask? because there is a fine line between being a skeptic and a total non-believer. So with that...what is it that exists around us that keeps a skeptic still wondering and questioning (some kind of evidence keeps them partially believing) versus a non-believer who is so determined that nothing exists. You cannot sway a non-believer without actual proof. But the throngs of "skeptics" here must have something in mind or witnessed or other that separates them from the total non-believer herd. What exactly is that skeptic scientific proof (albeit not definitive) that keeps them coming back. Or is a true skeptic just a non-believer in waiting? Again, it brings me back to the first question. what kind of evidence would have you change your mind if the other things construed as evidence are too easily tampered with??

Sorry everyone for what seems like talking in circles. Its hard to type the thought process of what to explain....I know what I'm trying to discuss but maybe this is one that works better as speaking about it over typing out my ridiculous thoughts. LOL oh well.

Edited by Sheetz

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Why don't you produce a striking piece of evidence then i guarantee i'll follow you as a saviour ? Didn't think so whatever religion you're butthurt about is also '' a state of mind '' as you describe it.

Well I'm not looking for any followers... I think I made my opinion about that earlier. Yes all things are a state of mind. Back to the op.... What is a striking piece of evidence in your mind? Oh... I have no religion :)

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Seeker, so would a better question be, are there any skeptics who have seen or read or watched some evidence that still keeps them on the fence?? what would that evidence be. Why you may ask? because there is a fine line between being a skeptic and a total non-believer. So with that...what is it that exists around us that keeps a skeptic still wondering and questioning (some kind of evidence keeps them partially believing) versus a non-believer who is so determined that nothing exists. You cannot sway a non-believer without actual proof. But the throngs of "skeptics" here must have something in mind or witnessed or other that separates them from the total non-believer herd. What exactly is that skeptic scientific proof (albeit not definitive) that keeps them coming back. Or is a true skeptic just a non-believer in waiting? Again, it brings me back to the first question. what kind of evidence would have you change your mind if the other things construed as evidence are too easily tampered with??

Sorry everyone for what seems like talking in circles. Its hard to type the thought process of what to explain....I know what I'm trying to discuss but maybe this is one that works better as speaking about it over typing out my ridiculous thoughts. LOL oh well.

I have been hinting at it the whole time. It's personal experience. even a skeptic can't deni what they themselves have experienced. They will find every creative way to explaine it.... But those folks are not just being skeptical, they are being a material fundamentalist. They have as much faith in their world view as do a religious fundamentalist. But most will never admit to that because it's their Anthima.

emphiricism is flawed.... Just as anecdotes.... Just as personal experience can be flawed, just as circumstantial evidence can be flawed. It takes a greater awareness of the flaws and the strengths of each kind of evidence to start to form a picture of the truth. Fundamentalism is completely flawed and quite useless.

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The Amazing Randy giving away his 1 million bucks. :yes:

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The Amazing Randy giving away his 1 million bucks. :yes:

Haha his fake controlled challenge.... Hey I'll offer a million if Somone proves it dosnt exist.

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Haha his fake controlled challenge.... Hey I'll offer a million if Somone proves it dosnt exist.

Well he asked, I answered.

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What we do know:

no photographs - all non-believers will say in this digital age anything can be doctored

no recordings - will be deemed as outside RF interference or our brains trying to form words from the "noise"

no videos - same outlook as photos

no evps - same as recordings

I think it is impotrtant to distinguish between single items of evidence and "suits" of evidence.

For example:

If there were four video recordings, 10 photos and 10 audios of the same phenomena, consistently and unquestionably untampered and from multiple angles etc, it would become very hard to deny. Or at least, a different kind of refutation would be needed than "that image is a hoax.. artifact...etc"

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Honestly the most success I have had with convincing people of the wider realities is through personal experiences.

"Personal experience" is the worst way to objective verify anything. The process of human perception is enormously flawed. If you want to know whether homoeopathy works, you go look at the data - and you'll see that it doesn't. If you went by personal experience, you'd find out that apparently homoeopathy cures everything from AIDS to cancer.

I If you want to know whether something is empirically valid, you do not go by personal experience, you go by scientific consensus. Which leads us to....

The other thing I find with a lot of skeptics is that they are mostly followers. They will not accept something until a large body of mainstream gurus do.

Because that is the best way to find out if something is valid. To know that the earth is round, I don't need to jet up in a rocket and see it for myself, I can comfortably go with the scientific consensus.

From that viewpoint, I'm trying to understand what if anything is left to be given as "proof".

Plenty, because scientific validity is never shown through just photos and videos.

For me, its the same as any other area of nature. It needs to be described empirically, and shown not just to be a factor of human perception. There also needs to be a mechanism described by which ghosts can actually exist, which is completely lacking at the moment.

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Scientists would probably have to catch a ghost, "demon", or whatever. Then display it. Even then many would call it a hoax unless it jumped out and bit them.

Really? Exaggerate much? Can I ask what sort of ghost or demon or whatever would be the best one as far as catchability, or actual, you know, EVIDENCE?

What's YOUR very best example of compelling evidence to date?

Honestly the most success I have had with convincing people of the wider realities is through personal experiences.

Well, naturally, given there isn't any actual evidence, what else could you possibly use?

When I teach people how to have OOBEs and they are committed enough to practice, the first time the exit from their body... Their whole world changes. It certainly did for me.

That's lovely. Have you tested this ability in any way, or must we just take your word (and who wouldn't...)? Some have done some very simple tests, and found that these out of body experiences didn't stand much scrutiny. Did the person 'experience' something? Yes, I'm quite sure they did. Just like I experience dreams...

The other thing I find with a lot of skeptics is that they are mostly followers.

Generalise and ad hominem much? I'm a skeptic, so I guess that means I'm likely one of those sheep..

They will not accept something until a large body of mainstream gurus do.

Yeah, that's such a BAD thing! :rolleyes: And it's a great example of a straw man argument. I DO think dreams are real. But is their content real? Similarly, if someone genuinely believes in an experience or perception, I also accept that experience or perception is real to them. Does that make that perception (or dream content..) truly real?

Discoveries are not made by people parroting other people. They are made by the people willing to be on the frontlines and the fringe...

I disagree. Most discoveries are made by those who are familiar with the topic and apply rigour and methodology to it in order to widen our knowledge base.

In fact I challenge you to name a good number of the discoveries made by those on the fringe.. And we'll compare that with the number made by those who are just doing their job.. I'd also point out that those discoveries were not accepted until they were verified as testable, repeatable.. by.. the mainstream.

The rest of the bantering is irrelevant.

Indeed it is. Like this:

even a skeptic can't deni what they themselves have experienced

Rubbish. EVERYTHING we perceive is processed by our brains. Every single image you see, sound you hear, etc is a perception, affected by your senses, your past experience, your brain's enormous storehouse of memories and the processing it does to meld the new information into the mix. Even the scene that you are seeing right now, no matter what it is, contains several inaccuracies (- I'm happy to elaborate). And the proliferation of things like optical illusions or even the effects of mind-altering substances, should tell you that perception is an extraordinarily tricky business. And I haven't even started on hoaxes..

My perceptions are often flawed. My memories are often inaccurate, even on important details. So YES, I can and sometimes do deny and/or question my personal experiences.

If you truly believe that you are different, you are simply kidding yourself.

BTW, what exactly is the problem with Randi's challenge? Is it the fact that the challenger gets to help design the tests and has to be happy with the methodology beforehand? Seems to me that it couldn't be much fairer..

And again, please give your very best evidence of the paranormal, and we'll apply a bit of rigour, shall we?

Would you like me to suggest a very simple test for your OOBE's? You will need a Justice of the Peace or Notary Public who is amenable to following some simple instructions and willing for their identity to be fully verified, but other than that it would only take a very small amount of effort.. Think of this as a simplified Randi-type challenge without the reward (other than the kudos if you were successful).. And yes, you'll get to agree to the (very few) conditions, but if you refuse any of them you will have to explain why and suggest better ones.

PS - my presence here can be a bit patchy, you may have to be patient..

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Just a somewhat unrelated question for those of you who are into video editing and video filters and stuff like that. What if someone filmed something, then used a filter to create a "ghost" then played that video on a high-resolution screen and then filmed it AGAIN (the screen itself playing the altered video)? Would it then be possible to see whether there are any filters? Because, the second movie is filming something that is simply in front of camera, together with the ghost.

Don't know if I've made the question clear, it's a bit hard to explain, but I hope someone understands :)

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Just a somewhat unrelated question for those of you who are into video editing and video filters and stuff like that. What if someone filmed something, then used a filter to create a "ghost" then played that video on a high-resolution screen and then filmed it AGAIN (the screen itself playing the altered video)? Would it then be possible to see whether there are any filters? Because, the second movie is filming something that is simply in front of camera, together with the ghost.

Don't know if I've made the question clear, it's a bit hard to explain, but I hope someone understands :)

I would think there would be some tell it was filed off a screen.

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For me, it would have to be a personal experience. Nothing else would convince me.

Unless they could somehow scientifically catch a ghost or something like that and prove it.

Edited by MisstreeDove

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I understand the viewpoints going back and forth, but have yet to see an answer to my question from any of the skeptics or non-believers. Can you give an example of a type of evidence that would be shown to you that might change your mind. I can only give the one example, and there are others that would be redundant, but stating that same again, a piece of video evidence is offered which was reviewed "in real time" while being filmed by another camera (to show that the evidence was caught in that moment). Then the evidence was put under what is considered "scientific" evaluation in the video world with a vector scope. That is just my example and while certainly anything we see on TV can be post produced, or even false altogether, what would it take for you to convince you?

For sake of argument, and is a hypothetical now being introduced here, what if this happened. A video of the most incredible offering was shot of a proposed ghost. The ghost was both witnessed by several people AND captured on video. The video was taken to an engineer (like in my main example above) and that forensic engineer confirmed that the video was not tampered with, was not a video composite by a computer or other FX trick and therefore confirmed as authentic. What more is needed?? Its not like you can run the video before a panel of scientists who can offer more input...they are merely now second hand witness to a video and can only comment on it. The witnesses' testimony from the video taped event will be thrown out as the above skeptic pointed out...the event, even though filmed (or reportedly) was their own "perception" which you shown can be flawed as human perception can and will be....even though it might be some type of mass halucination? I see what you say with dreams, they are real, but their content?? I think that cannot be compared as a dream in this case is a singular experience - to the person having it. But awake, having multiple people witness is again different, so you would have to say they were having some sort of mass hallucination OR it actually did happen. Regardless, the skeptic throws that out as flawed, since human perception is not a valid piece of evidence.

That said, what is there? I may also remind of another reason I bring this up. There are a few skeptics on here that are actually founders or members of their own paranormal investigative group and are some of the most discerning skeptics. They are very quick to denounce anything as real, so the question remains, what would it take for you? Since obviously you believe there is SOMETHING, or wouldn't be wasting your time going on investigations or meetings or whatever your group does. I'm looking for those as some basis for even being apart of a paranormal group when it seems apparent that nothing exists to those same people.

The common thread I am gathering is that there is nothing that can be shown, proven, or otherwise to change your mind, so in Seeker's defense (not that he needs it) I am summarizing that nothing outside a non-believer actually seeing or experience something paranormal on their own, with their own eyes and ears, will change their mind. Is this an accurate assumption?

Let's not let the thread deteriorate into an argument over who's right or wrong or show me your proof examples of arguing. I'm seriously asking what it would take in the way of evidence for a skeptic to become a believer. That's the intent of the question. The basis for the question is that most all skeptics deem all evidence as fake staged or hoaxed. In a nutshell, the usual answer is, "It's not real, because there is no such thing as a ghost" Followed by, "...when you show me some scientific evidence." What might that be I ask????

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Personal experiences, as we all know, are very subjective and thusly cannot count as evidence of any kind. Any sort of phenomena, to be proven, would need to be observable, testable, and repeatable, otherwise it may as well be dismissed as any kind of evidence.

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Personal experience, like being there. Photos don't do anything for me, or sound recordings. The only way to get me to really believe in anything is for me to experience it first hand :)

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"Personal experience" is the worst way to objective verify anything. The process of human perception is enormously flawed. If you want to know whether homoeopathy works, you go look at the data - and you'll see that it doesn't. If you went by personal experience, you'd find out that apparently homoeopathy cures everything from AIDS to cancer.

I did not say it was the best way to objectify something I said it was the best way to covince somebody of something.

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