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Tom B

To all the skeptics out there

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Tom B

Hey guys,

To the regular readers of this forum you would know by now that we've had a influx of skeptics vs non-skeptics discussions thats been rather out of control. Now for the record as many should know by now, I am a believer in the paranormal, not to the full extent, but in certain areas. But I am glad that we have our share of both on this forum, it balances everything out and gives people more to think about.

Now comes my question. This is for the skeptics out there who constantly disagree with everything that this board has to offer. I know you are somewhat interested in the subject or why would you be here, right?

So my question to you is what would convince you that ghosts / shadow entities exist.

This is not a post to try to convince you of anything, frankly it matters little to me. Most people that have seen the things that go bump in the night do not feel the need to convince anyone. So thats not the point of this thread.

And I am not looking for answers like "simple, they simply do not exist". If thats how you truly felt, then I really don't think you would be here every single day and in every single thread. Theres got to be some reason why you come. So that sort of answer is not really what I am looking for.

So, what sort of proof would you want that would change your viewpoints?

and finally, lets have a good discussion here, no flaming, trolling and please keep it civil, we're all friends here.

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callis

I think I might be stealing the words out of another members mouth here, but if ghosts are to be proven, it would most likely be from the field of neurology. First creating a theory supporting consciousness as a separate structure from the brain and body and then a second theory describing the mechanism by which is can be sustained and observed without the body as a medium. The latter seems counter intuitive to the "brain as antennae" idea, since there would no longer be a receiver to the conscious' signal, but that idea never made much sense anyway. It was more of a special pleading argument to get around the fact that physical damage to the brain can clearly show conscious altering results, such as stroke and alzheimers.

Edited by shadowofadoubt

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FlyingAngel

Skeptical is a lack of belief. It's not that the skeptics have proof of anything. Basically, the "show me real proof" mantra can end any discussion.

If we have proof of anything, it's not called a unexplained paranormal forum anymore.

Edited by FlyingAngel

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The Paranormal Skeptic

Yes, this is a question I am asked ALL the time. First like shadow said, we have to figure out what consciousness is. I don’t think any assumptions of ghosts can or should be made without us fully understanding what consciousness is. However even if we can prove consciousness exists independently from the brain, that doesn’t mean ghosts exist. We would have figure out of a way to measure consciousness independently of the body and how aware it is. Now that being said, say consciousness exists independently from the brain, how are ghosts communicating without vocal chords? How is it that ghosts from the 17th and 18th century understand and know how to work mechanical devices such as digital and analog voice recorders? How are they moving objects without hands? How can they be seen wearing clothes? How can they defy physics? Why is it that they can walk on a floor (a hard surface), then right through a wall (a hard surface)? These are questions that have to be answered without a paranormal explanation with things such as ESP and psychokinesis, remember they don’t have a brain anymore, so they can’t use their mind.

Remember I was an active paranormal investigator, I was a believer for a long long time. I was just sharing an article I wrote in only 2009 where I was writing “theories” on the existence of ghosts and how they manifest and what not. However I got into this field for what everyone else claims they got into it for, the truth. The first rule in my opinion is, in order to investigate one must shed belief, use the null hypothesis. This is something hardly anyone in the paranormal field uses, let alone know what it is. Instead all I see are people hypothesizing something very weak and saying they are theories. Once I understood how science and testing work, I realized I was on the road to finding truth. And if the truth it out there, it will present itself with positive evidence, not blurry photos and anecdotes.

So I although I don’t believe in ghosts (because of the lack of positive evidence), I do believe it is possible that they can exist. However when I am asked this question I love to ask the same question back, I even make a very similar post a while back, so let me ask you – You know what it will take for me to believe in ghosts, what would it take for you to give up the ghost?

Also remember consciousness does not mean intelligence.

Edited by The Paranormal Skeptic

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The Paranormal Skeptic

Skeptical is a lack of belief. It's not that the skeptics have proof of anything. Basically, the "show me real proof" mantra can end any discussion.

Nor do we claim to have proof, we just dont rely on blind belief.

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aquatus1

I do not really need an explanation for why ghosts happen right now. What I need is evidence that ghosts do actually happen. In other words, before people spend the time and effort to explain the phenomena to me, I want to confirm that the phenomena actually exists.

To that end, what I would require would be the repeatable and scientifically valid "summoning" of a ghost, preferably the same one. This means that whatever system was designed would a statistically significant amount of times result in either an apparition or a pre-defined ghostly phenomena, as well as accounting for the various variables that would invalidate the test.

This would be the bare minimum for me to believe in ghosts. Now, bear in mind that this does not mean that I would agree that ghosts are anything in particular, be it free-floating former-alive person, semi or fully sentient spectral entity, or Casper the Friendly Ghost. All it would mean to me was that the phenomena was real and divorced from human psychology.

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Rafterman

And I am not looking for answers like "simple, they simply do not exist". If thats how you truly felt, then I really don't think you would be here every single day and in every single thread. Theres got to be some reason why you come. So that sort of answer is not really what I am looking for.

For me personally, I find the whole discussion very interesting and, while I've had a couple of experiences over the years, I'm not ready to make the leap into full belief. I'm interested in hearing other people's experiences and read the comments and thoughts of others on what they are presenting.

I'm also highly entertained by a lot of the stuff that gets posted around here and how utterly ridiculous a lot of it is. I'm also fascinated by those who want to believe so badly that they immediately jump to a paranormal cause when there are dozens of mundane everyday causes that aren't even considered first.

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Oppono Astos

The believers never quite grasp that rational and objective thinking is not skeptcism and debunking.

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Bendy Demon

The believers never quite grasp that rational and objective thinking is not skepticism and debunking.

Yet this IS what happens with rational and objective thinking, certain ideas get totally debunked. Skepticism leads to rational and objective thought...this what science is and this is how society advances.

If we have proof of anything, it's not called a unexplained paranormal forum anymore.

So what are you proposing then? That we all talk in circles yammering about the same limited things over and over but never getting anywhere for fear that we might actually discover something? Is it really so horrible to discuss something and examine it from all angles and not just the paranormal angles?

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Brian Topp

The thing that always concern me on this forum is there more just the skeptics VS believers topics/debates but a different breed of people that come to UM that kicks the pot. I call this breed "camp fire story folk", these are the type of people visit here and tell us some pretty hard to believe claims of paranormal activity.

Such titles as

"I think [insert dead celebrity name here] is haunting me",

"Help I AM haunted!!!1!" or "I have this rare haunted object that i can not throw away and i am going show little or no evidence of what I am claiming on what this haunted object is doing but I am going to sell it on ebay"

"I have an over active imagination from a movie/book I just saw and see how my creative writing is"

"I have this video yet I don't own the Youtube account" or

"I have a very easily explained photograph/video I have taken and claim it's paranormal and willing to argue till my face goes blue that it is paranormal". or

"Check out my photoshop/video editing skills"

"I have a friend who [insert superpower/ability/haunted]"

Now this portion does not state that every person are placed in two categories and how every thread topic would go through this process of debate/argument but i say about 60 to 70%...

Group "A" would ask for more evidence or can easily explain what the evidence the CFSF presents. Group "B" would come in for the defense because group "B" thinks "CFSF" are in group "B". Group "B" would claim that "A" is to harsh on the "CFSF" and group "B" will try and defend the OP regardless of how simple an explanation is. "CFSF" would post brief replies with argument to add fuel to the fire than always end up going into debate where the actual evidence or at hand gets neglected.

UM has changed over many years, if you go to the last posts you would have seen the first posts about "bed time ghost stories" and now we are trying to break away from that and focus on what can be considered real paranormal activity.

All I am asking is don't fall into this pattern. If it's a far fetched story then it's a far fetched story, if it's an easily explained photograph/video then settle for that. Just because some one typed it's real doesn't mean they are always telling the truth.

So in summary, don't feed the trolls.

Edited by Questos

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Rlyeh
So, what sort of proof would you want that would change your viewpoints?

What about some verifiable evidence?

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JGirl

Hey guys,

To the regular readers of this forum you would know by now that we've had a influx of skeptics vs non-skeptics discussions thats been rather out of control. Now for the record as many should know by now, I am a believer in the paranormal, not to the full extent, but in certain areas. But I am glad that we have our share of both on this forum, it balances everything out and gives people more to think about.

Now comes my question. This is for the skeptics out there who constantly disagree with everything that this board has to offer. I know you are somewhat interested in the subject or why would you be here, right?

So my question to you is what would convince you that ghosts / shadow entities exist.

This is not a post to try to convince you of anything, frankly it matters little to me. Most people that have seen the things that go bump in the night do not feel the need to convince anyone. So thats not the point of this thread.

And I am not looking for answers like "simple, they simply do not exist". If thats how you truly felt, then I really don't think you would be here every single day and in every single thread. Theres got to be some reason why you come. So that sort of answer is not really what I am looking for.

So, what sort of proof would you want that would change your viewpoints?

and finally, lets have a good discussion here, no flaming, trolling and please keep it civil, we're all friends here.

no offense, but why do we keep getting these types of threads here? it's not like this question hasn't been hashed over a million times already.

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Tom B

no offense, but why do we keep getting these types of threads here? it's not like this question hasn't been hashed over a million times already.

I really don't think its that rehashed. There was a topic last week regarding Ghost Theories from Shadowofadoubt, it asked the same question, only reversed.

"How do you rationalize ghosts? What "theories" do you or your paranormal team subscribe to? What do you personally believe ghosts are? I'm looking for information in this topic, not to debate or criticize anyone. "

http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=202336

I am simply point the question back at them, only in reverse.

Besides, its good to bring things back to the table and let the newer posters have a chance to speak.

Edited by Tom B

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callis

Piggybacking what paranormal skeptic said, I cant understand how a ghost/ spirit can exist without the brain, yet posses functions that we know are created by the brain.

Let Alone why they're wearing clothes, look like humans, and why they're fascinated with mundane things like closing doors and making lights flicker.

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Agent. Mulder

Skeptical is a lack of belief. It's not that the skeptics have proof of anything. Basically, the "show me real proof" mantra can end any discussion.

If we have proof of anything, it's not called a unexplained paranormal forum anymore.

Wrong again FA.

Skeptical is just not fully accepting something. You can be skeptical about anything really. Its not a lack of a "belief".

And in this case, the skeptics dont need evidence as theyre not the ones claiming the ghosts are real. However, they do have evidence to refute the claims that the people (or "believers") make.

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Pauly Dangerously

Here is a link to an article from noted skeptic Michael Shermer. It goes about explaining the skeptical mindset and what it means to him to be a skeptic.

A Skeptical Manifesto

Now this is just one mans view on being a skeptic, and most people will agree with certain views and disagree with others, and that's great. But in the end, what it comes down to for me personaly, is that Something happening once is a strange happening. Something happening twice is a coincidence. Something happening three or more times is a pattern. What I would take as definitive proof of something paranormal is a repeatable expeiment done by a respected and accredited body, that is able to not only show repeatable results, but have peer reviewed documentation showing duplicatable results from other respected accredited institutions. Joe Blow on UM saying ghosts are real will and should not convince anybody. Dr So and So from such and such showing results of thier study is a little more believable, but not enough to convince me of anything. The Mayo Clinic publishing peer reviewed documentation showing duplicatable and repeatable results is enough for me to offer temporary agreement that something is probably true. And if new evidence is found that refutes those claims, then I will be changing my opinion with regards to the level of authenticity and truth of the original claim.

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FlyingAngel

Wrong again FA.

Skeptical is just not fully accepting something. You can be skeptical about anything really. Its not a lack of a "belief".

And in this case, the skeptics dont need evidence as theyre not the ones claiming the ghosts are real. However, they do have evidence to refute the claims that the people (or "believers") make.

Oh really. What evidence you can give to refute that ghost doesn't exist?

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HerNibs

Oh really. What evidence you can give to refute that ghost doesn't exist?

Lack of evidence.

Lack of any event that CANNOT be explained by mundane events.

Besides, the person making the claim is who is to supply the evidence.

Grainy videos, personal experiences, bad tape recordings and groups of people going into "haunted" houses and "hearing" things are not evidence.

Nibs

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callis

Oh really. What evidence you can give to refute that ghost doesn't exist?

1. Can't really prove a negative.

2. The burden is on the claimant.

3. There is NO compelling evidence or even a true, falsifiable hypothesis supporting ghosts existence.

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HerNibs

Here is a link to an article from noted skeptic Michael Shermer. It goes about explaining the skeptical mindset and what it means to him to be a skeptic.

A Skeptical Manifesto

Now this is just one mans view on being a skeptic, and most people will agree with certain views and disagree with others, and that's great. But in the end, what it comes down to for me personaly, is that Something happening once is a strange happening. Something happening twice is a coincidence. Something happening three or more times is a pattern. What I would take as definitive proof of something paranormal is a repeatable expeiment done by a respected and accredited body, that is able to not only show repeatable results, but have peer reviewed documentation showing duplicatable results from other respected accredited institutions. Joe Blow on UM saying ghosts are real will and should not convince anybody. Dr So and So from such and such showing results of thier study is a little more believable, but not enough to convince me of anything. The Mayo Clinic publishing peer reviewed documentation showing duplicatable and repeatable results is enough for me to offer temporary agreement that something is probably true. And if new evidence is found that refutes those claims, then I will be changing my opinion with regards to the level of authenticity and truth of the original claim.

Yes yes yes, a thousand times yes.

I would LOVE to find evidence.

Nibs

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Emma_Acid

So my question to you is what would convince you that ghosts / shadow entities exist.

Discovering a scientific, empirical explanation for them - a biological explanation for the mechanism, and one that makes sense in terms of evolution.

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quillius

Discovering a scientific, empirical explanation for them - a biological explanation for the mechanism, and one that makes sense in terms of evolution.

should we not be looking for scientific proof that proves the phenomena first before trying to establish an explanation?

its similar to UFO's being alien craft, I think we need to prove they are or have been here (or even exist) prior to trying to determine what they are capable of and where they came from etc...

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Pauly Dangerously

should we not be looking for scientific proof that proves the phenomena first before trying to establish an explanation?

its similar to UFO's being alien craft, I think we need to prove they are or have been here (or even exist) prior to trying to determine what they are capable of and where they came from etc...

Ideally yes. But proof of the phenomena is, in this case, established through the prevelance of claims. Either through study or experimentation, we must deduce what the cause of the sighting are, not that they are actually occuring.

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quillius

Ideally yes. But proof of the phenomena is, in this case, established through the prevelance of claims. Either through study or experimentation, we must deduce what the cause of the sighting are, not that they are actually occuring.

Fair point Paul. :tu:

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The Paranormal Skeptic

Ideally yes. But proof of the phenomena is, in this case, established through the prevelance of claims. Either through study or experimentation, we must deduce what the cause of the sighting are, not that they are actually occuring.

Brilliant

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