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Tom B

To all the skeptics out there

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JGirl

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.

you specifically geared your post to this:

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

yes, in doing so,you have rehashed the same old back and forth. you will get the same old responses.

btw, you aren't bringing things back to the table. these other threads are still active.

Edited by JGirl

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eqgumby

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

Quite simply, the lack of verifiable, repeatable evidence is in and of itself, evidence that ghosts don't exist. Much like the lack of verifiable evidence (DNA maybe) of bigfoot is evidence that bigfoot does not exist.

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Sakari

I also have answered this in at least 3 threads I know of ( no offense )......

I agree with about everything the other " skeptics " are saying , and really have nothing more to add to it......

Edit : I do not think "skeptics" do not say everything is not real.It is a thread by thread basis , and there really has not been much that I have sen that make me say " maybe "..I have yet to see a thread with good solid evidence....There are things such as " earthlights" and others that I do not think people come and scream " fake "...It is , as said , the complete lack of any evidence , other than a written experience , or blurry pictures....When Universities start studying these things , that would show me there may be some basis to it , and I do not even see that....

To many topics have this " over whelming " evidence from the supporters , yet they have excuse after excuse as to why they will not show it...." I don't want to be labeled a freak" , " I don't have to prove it to anyone " , " I don't want anyone to hurt them " , etc....

A lot of people's claims on here ( if true ) could easily be proven , yet they are not willing to do so , they want the fantasy to continue....

I do want to say things like below are just ridiculous , and these threads turn into that every time...

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

Edited by Sakari

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booNyzarC

I now believe in the paranormal because clearly Sakari read my mind.

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aquatus1

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.

I disagree. The implication here would be that the sightings that are occurring would that of ghosts, or at least some external, objective event which people see. We cannot even confirm that, as the vast majority of the counters found in this forum consist of psychological explanations.

One has to specify exactly which phenomena one's explanation is addressing. If it is simply the phenomena of one person seeing a ghost, that is one thing; in that case, yes, the prevalence of cases would be sufficient. If, on the other hand, the phenomena is the existence of ghosts, the eyewitness accounts are no longer sufficient. The claim is far too extraordinary for such ordinary evidence.

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Agent D. Scully

My take on all of this:

Being totally skeptic means being closeminded. Such as people who say "I know that aliens and ghost do not exist, until I have 100% positive evidence I will not believe they exist, and I will disprove anyone who says they do"

Believing in everything you see online or in a magazine, "Oh my goodness! Someone took a picture of a ghost! It has to be real!" or "Oh my goodness this man says he has had contact with aliens. He says they told him the world will end! We have to get ready! You can't convince me he's wrong!" Are just as bad.

People who's attitude that is "I think that this may be unlikely but there is always a possibility as it is not proven or disproven," and people whos attitude is "I believe strongly that this event occured but I understand why you may not, and I accept your more rational theory could be correct" are the kind of people I'd much rather hold a conversation with. The people who fall into the middle ground, neither completely skeptical or completely gullible. When dealing with the paranormal, nobody is definately right or definately wrong because it is simply not yet known. That is why this forum is called UNEXPLAINED MYSTERIES. Can we not settle our differences? It would be boring if we all held the same beliefs, but we need not argue about it.

Realise that this is just my opinion.

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Paranormalcy

Just for clarification, I think you probably can go few places more representative of the contemporary idea, definition or method of the skeptical approach of a subject, than Skeptic.Com, boasting members such as Michael Shermer, James Randi, Bill Nye and Brian Dalton.

Some people believe that skepticism is the rejection of new ideas, or worse, they confuse “skeptic” with “cynic” and think that skeptics are a bunch of grumpy curmudgeons unwilling to accept any claim that challenges the status quo. This is wrong. Skepticism is a provisional approach to claims. It is the application of reason to any and all ideas — no sacred cows allowed. In other words, skepticism is a method, not a position. Ideally, skeptics do not go into an investigation closed to the possibility that a phenomenon might be real or that a claim might be true. When we say we are “skeptical,” we mean that we must see compelling evidence before we believe.

Skepticism has a long historical tradition dating back to ancient Greece, when Socrates observed: “All I know is that I know nothing.” But this pure position is sterile and unproductive and held by virtually no one. If you were skeptical about everything, you would have to be skeptical of your own skepticism. Like the decaying subatomic particle, pure skepticism uncoils and spins off the viewing screen of our intellectual cloud chamber.

Modern skepticism is embodied in the scientific method, which involves gathering data to formulate and test naturalistic explanations for natural phenomena. A claim becomes factual when it is confirmed to such an extent it would be reasonable to offer temporary agreement. But all facts in science are provisional and subject to challenge, and therefore skepticism is a method leading to provisional conclusions. Some claims, such as water dowsing, ESP, and creationism, have been tested (and failed the tests) often enough that we can provisionally conclude that they are not valid. Other claims, such as hypnosis, the origins of language, and black holes, have been tested but results are inconclusive so we must continue formulating and testing hypotheses and theories until we can reach a provisional conclusion.

Also from that site, related to a skeptical approach to a subject:

If you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results (1988, p. 247).

And a potentially representative quote for a lot of skeptics:

I’ve been caught, so to speak — like someone who was given something wonderful when he was a child, and he’s always looking for it again. I’m always looking, like a child, for the wonders I know I’m going to find — maybe not every time, but every once in a while (1988, p. 16).
Edited by Paranormalcy

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callis

My take on all of this:

Being totally skeptic means being closeminded. Such as people who say "I know that aliens and ghost do not exist, until I have 100% positive evidence I will not believe they exist, and I will disprove anyone who says they do"

That is not what being skeptical means.

colloquially, this word seems to be changing. Just like the word theory. I strongly suggest that people learn their terms if they're going to be outspoken about them.

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The Paranormal Skeptic

That is not what being skeptical means.

colloquially, this word seems to be changing. Just like the word theory. I strongly suggest that people learn their terms if they're going to be outspoken about them.

I couldn't agree more.

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Sakari

Well.....I just have to....

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booNyzarC

Well.....I just have to....

Thank you for that, it was awesome. :tu:

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aquatus1

So, Tom B, has your question been answered? We generally get a thread like this every couple of months, but it never seems to go anywhere. I honestly think the believers don't expect the skeptics to have an answer, and are shocked into silence at getting one.

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LadyHay

I, for one, think that topics like these SHOULD be brought up from time to time. I don't think I've learned everything there is to know about everything and each time this is discussed, I think I might learn something new. Also, don't forget, there are new people here all the time, and we know how much people hate it when a topic from 2009 is brought up and freshly commented on.

My slant on the OP's question is this:

I know that (for convenience sake, I'll use the OP's terms) shadows and ghosts exist. But I would like to know what they are. Are they a figment of imagination? Are they physical? Why do they affect some people and not others?

BTW, the onus is not necessarily ONLY on the claimant. For instance, when a disbeliever replies to a poster's experience and disagrees with them by saying "ghosts don't exist", that is making a claim, and the disbeliever should in good manners, explain their stance and why they disagree. Otherwise, they are no better than the claimant.

We are not in a position - unless we are present at the time - to argue someone's experiences. We can argue the cause of said experience due to our own past personal experiences but we cannot refute someone's experience. I have often argued the need for more objective observances to be used to alleviate this ongoing problem with sceptics/skeptics and believers alike. For instance:

"I saw a human-shaped shadow cross my living room." (using descriptive words or "likeness" descriptions)

is more accurate than

"I saw a ghost in my living room."

I hope to remind people that skeptic/sceptic is not a dirty word. Sceptics are necessary in this field to balance things out. Sceptics are NOT debunkers. Then there are "sceptdebunkers". http://www.torontoghosts.org/index.php?/20080825518/Courses-Notes-Tips-and-Tricks/Our-Glossary-Of-Terms.html

According to the late Marcello Truzzi, sceptics should be "doubters", not "deniers". Sceptdebunkers tend to deny without study. Sceptdebunkers rarely, if ever, use true investigation or research to validate their point but tend to simply preach their "non-belief" from their self-proclaimed "sceptical" pulpits.

Sorry... :innocent: what was the question, again?

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Alienated Being

Ghosts can not be proven, just like they can not be dis-proven. Therefore, any argument supporting their existence or a lack thereof is rendered as being theory, opinion and assumption. That is all. It all comes down to personal belief. I believe in a number of things, such as divination, spirits, a god, etc. They may not have particular irrefutable, solidified and undeniable evidence to support their existence... but I still have my faith, and I will always stay true to that.

Edited by Alienated Being

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TheBloom

How can we even begin to discuss things with each other when you can't even explain what sceptic means.

Scepticism (scep·ti·cism)

"A doubting or questioning attitude or state of mind; dubiety."

From the dictionary. "Doubting" or "questioning" is not the same as "total disbelief". It simply means you ask questions and research before marking it as the opposing view.

If the "believers" are too close-minded to accept that sceptical doesn't mean closed-minded then there is really no point in discussing anything on this forum at all because clearly we're all as bad as each other.

Are any of you capable of having a discussion on a topic without turning it incredibly childish or basically turning it into a game of "point scoring"?

A bit pathetic if you ask me.

EVERYONE is entitled to their own view. We all think OUR views are better than other peoples (other wise they wouldn't be our personal views) but you don't need to make it known all the time. To think you're better than everyone else's opinion is neither intelligent or mature. In my opinion, THAT is closed-minded. The sceptics are no more closed-minded than the believers, in my opinion.

:)

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coldethyl

What Paranormalcy said.

Loved the youtube song, Sakari!

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Tom B

So, Tom B, has your question been answered? We generally get a thread like this every couple of months, but it never seems to go anywhere. I honestly think the believers don't expect the skeptics to have an answer, and are shocked into silence at getting one.

Actually I am quite pleased with the thread, it has more responses then I thought it would. And as for not going anywhere I have to disagree. The main point of this thread is to for the skeptics to voice their thoughts (which they did), just as last week the non-skeptics voiced theirs. As for being shocked into silence, nah.. I stated in the OP that I wasn't going to take what people said and to convince them otherwise, it was a thread for people to just talk about the main question. As for threads like this popping up every few months, well I see more threads that are directed towards the believers of the paranormal then the other way around.

/cheers

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FlyingAngel

The cynics won't admit to be cynic anyway.

What's funny is that lots of skeptics instead of saying "it's possible, we'll believe until there's a real evidence", they start to argue things like "it's impossible because it defies science, go against physic" bla bla ...

Seriously? It's not the first time something defies our temporary knowledge of physics. If it's 1 century ago, people argued the same, used the same words to apply to whatever uses quantum mechanic today.

I call that close-minded.

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ShadowSot

What's funny is that lots of skeptics instead of saying "it's possible, we'll believe until there's a real evidence", they start to argue things like "it's impossible because it defies science, go against physic" bla bla ...

Well, yes. Because no evidence is being offered why this is so except sketchy alien sightings.

These can also be considered unknown spacial phenomena, time traveling humans, magical creatures, ect.

We are listing the current understanding of science, it is the job of those supporting the opposite side to prove their contention, that what is being evidenced are indeed alien life forms visiting Earth.

Seriously? It's not the first time something defies our temporary knowledge of physics. If it's 1 century ago, people argued the same, used the same words to apply to whatever uses quantum mechanic today.

No, they didn't. They offered reasoned counter explanations (Einstein was not in favor of Quantum mechanics, but I'd hardly call him close minded.)

They were wrong, yes, but that's progress.

SO far, all we have is people calling others close minded without following the own method they are claiming the others are ignoring.

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The Paranormal Skeptic

The cynics won't admit to be cynic anyway.

What's funny is that lots of skeptics instead of saying "it's possible, we'll believe until there's a real evidence", they start to argue things like "it's impossible because it defies science, go against physic" bla bla ...

Seriously? It's not the first time something defies our temporary knowledge of physics. If it's 1 century ago, people argued the same, used the same words to apply to whatever uses quantum mechanic today.

I call that close-minded.

Ok let us use your logic.

Let us go back 3000 years ago; people had supernatural explanations for a lot of things. They had these explanations because they had no idea how things worked in the world. For example, thunder, people would have said thunder is Thor or Zeus showing their anger, however that is no longer the case. In fact it always goes one way Things that have a supernatural explanation -----> become logically explained, usually by people using science. I have never seen it go in reverse - logically explained phenomena ----> turns back into the supernatural explanation.

And no, you have no idea what the meaning of being open minded is if that is what you think. I would argue the one who isnt open to the possibility ghosts and paranormal phenomena doesnt exist is the one being close minded.

Also I would argue, you have no idea how quantum physics work, please refrain from trying to use that as an example.

Edited by The Paranormal Skeptic

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callis

The cynics won't admit to be cynic anyway.

What's funny is that lots of skeptics instead of saying "it's possible, we'll believe until there's a real evidence", they start to argue things like "it's impossible because it defies science, go against physic" bla bla ...

Seriously? It's not the first time something defies our temporary knowledge of physics. If it's 1 century ago, people argued the same, used the same words to apply to whatever uses quantum mechanic today.

I call that close-minded.

Your "bla bla bla" comment shows me that you're close-minded to any viewpoint contrary to what you want to believe. It's pretty popular to point out when science has been wrong in the past, but those misunderstandings were corrected by more science, so it's kind of a moot point. So, when will science take the claims of the paranormal seriously? Maybe when the claimants take science seriously.

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HerNibs

Open-minded -

Being willing to consider any and all evidence provided. Logically evaluating the provided evidence and reaching a conclusion. Said conclusion is open to change based on additionally provided evidence.

Close-minded -

Willing to consider and accept ONLY "evidence" that supports your already held views. Not willing to re-evaluate any logically provided arguments against your views.

Just my opinion.

Nibs

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Pauly Dangerously

I disagree. The implication here would be that the sightings that are occurring would that of ghosts, or at least some external, objective event which people see. We cannot even confirm that, as the vast majority of the counters found in this forum consist of psychological explanations.

One has to specify exactly which phenomena one's explanation is addressing. If it is simply the phenomena of one person seeing a ghost, that is one thing; in that case, yes, the prevalence of cases would be sufficient. If, on the other hand, the phenomena is the existence of ghosts, the eyewitness accounts are no longer sufficient. The claim is far too extraordinary for such ordinary evidence.

I just saw this, sorry.

What I meant was a more general assertion that people in general are seeing things and calling them ghosts. That phenomena in and of itself does not need "proof". What you stated is what I meant by saying finding out what is causing people to see these things is the bigger issue. Finding out whether it is either psychological, a visual hallucination, or an otherworldly entity, be it intelligent or otherwise is the next logical step. People are seeing things, but what they are seeing is the question.

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Pauly Dangerously

As to the whole open vs. close minded argument...

It's just an attempt to throw a perceived insult back and forth in some twisted parody of "hot potato". The truth is we are all close minded about some things and open mnded about others. Arguing about who is more close minded isn't really helping anything. I am open minded about the existence of ghosts. I am close minded about the existence of unicorns. I make no apologies.

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HerNibs

As to the whole open vs. close minded argument...

It's just an attempt to throw a perceived insult back and forth in some twisted parody of "hot potato". The truth is we are all close minded about some things and open mnded about others. Arguing about who is more close minded isn't really helping anything. I am open minded about the existence of ghosts. I am close minded about the existence of unicorns. I make no apologies.

UNICORN HATER!!!!

Just kidding. :)

I mostly agree with you about the argument of open vs closed mind.

I'm generally considered a hard core skeptic (and actually accused of being a troll) but I go to haunted houses, religious groups, UFO discussions, etc. because I WANT and HOPE for something to convince me.

I just wanted to post what I considered close minded and why I don't consider myself close minded but do consider myself a "hard core" skeptic.

Nibs

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