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lestatdelioncourt

Response to "no scientific evidence" of ghost

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Frank Merton

It won't do to present nothing but personal feelings and fallacious logic and then accuse the other side of having a closed mind.

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Angel1510

It's not just my personal feelings. I have experienced things which lead me to believe there is 'something' to investigate. Many, many other people have also experienced things since time began. I'm not saying that ghosts definitely exist...I am saying there is no proof that they do not exist.

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Frank Merton

Of course there's no proof they don't exist. There is no proof no end of things we might imagine and others have imagined over the ages do not exist.

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Angel1510

You don't just believe in something for the sake of it, there has to be something which 'suggests' it's existence. You could argue the blue spaghetti monster but that is just silly!

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Frank Merton

You don't just believe in something for the sake of it, there has to be something which 'suggests' it's existence. You could argue the blue spaghetti monster but that is just silly!

Ghosts have as much standing.

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Angel1510

Ghosts have as much standing.

Really? How many people have claimed to have actually seen the blue spaghetti monster?

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Frank Merton

There is no arguing with religious belief, which is pretty obviously what you have.

You might do a little research on how reports of ghosts have changed over history or how they differ from culture to culture. It's mainly a cultural phenomenon of people reporting what others have reported. For example ghosts here in Vietnam are not at all what we get in Western movies.

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Angel1510

There is no arguing with religious belief, which is pretty obviously what you have.

You might do a little research on how reports of ghosts have changed over history or how they differ from culture to culture. It's mainly a cultural phenomenon of people reporting what others have reported. For example ghosts here in Vietnam are not at all what we get in Western movies.

I do not have religious belief! To be honest, I am not really concerned what other people have reported, I was only making the point that there is more evidence to suggest the existence of ghosts than the blue spaghetti monster.. Seeing is believing. I too am not certain of the existence of ghosts. What people experience and attribute to ghosts/spirit may be simply other forces of nature. What I am saying is that I have an open mind and don't discount them just because science can't prove it.

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Avallaine

The argument seems to be that because scientists were mistaken about meteorites a few hundred years ago therefore ghosts exist because I testify to them.

No, it's not.

The argument is that because scientists were mistaken about meteorites a few hundred years ago (and hand-washing, and continental drift, and many other things throughout the history of science), therefore they are probably mistaken about some things now...we just don't know about what, yet.

But, knowing the history of science, its devotees (both actual scientists and those who are mere "fans" of science) should always remember that some of science's greatest mistakes have come from refusing to look at evidence because it seemed to violate the laws of reality (as they were currently understood), and do their best to avoid making the same mistake.

Some rules of thumb that may be useful for that are:

Remember that reality always trumps theory. Figure out IF something happens first; worry about why and how it happens later.

Never dismiss evidence just because the theory behind it is bunk. Approach the evidence separately and judge it on its own merits.

Many things not thought possible once are known facts now; therefore, the most foolish thing a scientist can do is to declare something is impossible. The only rational response to what seems impossible is to say "the evidence doesn't show it's possible yet." A scientist's attitude toward the unknown should always be more agnostic than atheistic.

How all this applies to ghosts is...well, let me just restate what I originally posted in this thread:

What would you say to those who say there is no scientific proof of paranormal (ghosts)?

I would say: "...yet."

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Avallaine

You might do a little research on how reports of ghosts have changed over history or how they differ from culture to culture. It's mainly a cultural phenomenon of people reporting what others have reported.

I've done a lot of that, since I'm interested in folklore as well as "real" ghost reports. Admittedly, I've mostly read Western sources, since that's what I have access to; but I've noticed that, while the folklore of ghosts changes with time and culture, when you actually track down first-person accounts, there's a surprising amount that remains consistent. For instance, what we call "residual hauntings" - the ones that seem like recordings that play repeatedly in the same way - are reported from ancient Rome to the middle ages to the Enlightenment to the present day.

For example ghosts here in Vietnam are not at all what we get in Western movies.

Well, if you're going off movies to get your info on Western ghosts, no wonder they seem unbelievable! Real ghost reports are usually not nearly exciting enough for fiction; Hollywood ghosts have about as much in common with real hauntings as...as James Bond movies have with the real world of international espionage.

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Frank Merton

No, it's not.

The argument is that because scientists were mistaken about meteorites a few hundred years ago (and hand-washing, and continental drift, and many other things throughout the history of science), therefore they are probably mistaken about some things now...we just don't know about what, yet.

But, knowing the history of science, its devotees (both actual scientists and those who are mere "fans" of science) should always remember that some of science's greatest mistakes have come from refusing to look at evidence because it seemed to violate the laws of reality (as they were currently understood), and do their best to avoid making the same mistake.

Some rules of thumb that may be useful for that are:

Remember that reality always trumps theory. Figure out IF something happens first; worry about why and how it happens later.

Never dismiss evidence just because the theory behind it is bunk. Approach the evidence separately and judge it on its own merits.

Many things not thought possible once are known facts now; therefore, the most foolish thing a scientist can do is to declare something is impossible. The only rational response to what seems impossible is to say "the evidence doesn't show it's possible yet." A scientist's attitude toward the unknown should always be more agnostic than atheistic.

How all this applies to ghosts is...well, let me just restate what I originally posted in this thread:

I'm sorry but this is crap. We are supposed to believe in ghosts because a few times you can mention scientists were wrong. That tends to ignore the vast majority of the times scientists were right.

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aimlesswalk

I see very little in the way of objective evidence to validate the existence of ghosts and maybe the believers should ask themselves why do they have the right to see ghosts and spirits etc. when others don't. What makes them so special? Until everyone can see ghosts and spirits I think it's right that the topic shouldn't be taken seriously.

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NewAge1

I see very little in the way of objective evidence to validate the existence of ghosts and maybe the believers should ask themselves why do they have the right to see ghosts and spirits etc. when others don't. What makes them so special? Until everyone can see ghosts and spirits I think it's right that the topic shouldn't be taken seriously.

Your logic is flawed. A phenomenon or a condition, whatever it may be is not necesserely experienced by everyone. Why do certain persons develop mental illnesses? Why some people a born with defects? Why some people are gay? For a long time, the factors were not understood and these people were marginalized. Today, we have better outlooks through years of researches and experiements but have yet to to do more studies and the stigma can still be felt in our societies...

Not understanding the conditions and the mechanisms of a phenomenon doesn't make it any less real.

Edited by sam_comm

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Frank Merton

No the logic is not flawed; we may not all be gay or insane, but most of us can all see and hear.

That however is a side issue; the real problem is that is we depended on testimony, there is no end of things we would believe in.

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aimlesswalk

Your logic is flawed. A phenomenon or a condition, whatever it may be is not necesserely experienced by everyone. Why do certain persons develop mental illnesses? Why some people a born with defects? Why some people are gay? For a long time, the factors were not understood and these people were marginalized. Today, we have better outlooks through years of researches and experiements though the stigma can still be felt in our societies...

Not understanding the conditions and the mechanisms of a phenomenon doesn't make it any less real.

Well it still doesn't change that there isn't any incontrovertible proof that ghosts exists and furthermore I wouldn't compare those who see ghosts to any of the aforementioned people you describe because they are provable conditions and don't make any claims or pretences unlike those who report ghosts. So until everyone can see ghosts the topic shouldn't be treated any differently then it already is. Also the insinuation that people who see ghosts are marginalised like the examples you use once unfairly where is laughable as no one forces them to make these claims but suffering from a mental health problem or having a physical defect is something which the person has no choice over. I often get the impression that these people who claim to see ghosts feel like there is something special about themselves and like to boast of their experiences even if they act like they don't want to have these experiences.

Edited by aimlesswalk

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NewAge1

That depend what you mean by ''incontrovertible proof''. Nothing is incontrovertible in science. But if you mean ''proofs reproducable through experiment'' then no there isn't. It may well be that this phenomenon is elusive to this filter though not everyone like to consider this possiblity. We may not have the technology and the right technique to detect it consistently.

People claiming to have paranormal experience were marginalized, you didn't want to bring that up to your doctor, collegue or your religious institution. They still are, though to be fair it is less so these day, with the rise of the Paranormal reality TV. People are more inclined to open up themselves.

Still, you make a general assessment which is inacurate. Far from everyone even speak of their experiences, and many do feel crazed rather than special. Not sure why you would ''boast'' your household or personal problems. But there si nothing wrong to talk about it.

Boasters are in all area of life. I am sure even the scientific community is not exempt of that type of personality.

Edited by sam_comm

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aimlesswalk
People claiming to have paranormal experience were marginalized, you didn't want to bring that up to your doctor, collegue or your religious institution. They still are, though to be fair it is less so these day, with the arising of the Paranormal reality TV. People are more inclined to open up themselves.

The difference is nobody forces the people who have paranormal experiences to go around telling others about their unfounded claims but those with mental health problems and physical defects can't help being the way they are so your assertion that those who see ghosts are just as marginalised as those with mental health problems and physical defects is not only deeply flawed but flagrantly untrue.

Still, you make a general assessment which is inacurate. Far from everyone even speak of their experiences, and many do feel crazed rather than special. Not sure why you would ''boast'' your household or personal problems. But there si nothing wrong to talk about it.

No it isn't inaccurate if they are that troubled they should seek medical help because they are suffering from some kind of mental strain which is making them delusional and anyway most people probably only claim to have seen ghosts to make themselves or their own lives more interesting.

Edited by aimlesswalk
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aimlesswalk

I don't want and can't say that there hasn't ever been any genuine ghost sightings but I do think the field suffers a lot from attention seekers. I'm a lot more sceptical about ghost sightings than UFO sightings because at least the later has something approaching tangible evidence (even if interpretations wildly vary) but when it comes to ghost sightings a lot of it has to be taken on good faith from those who claim to have seen it which can be problematic.

For what it's worth my own view on ghosts concurs with "Place Memories" theory advocated by the philosopher H.H Price who also wrote on parapsychology.

Place memories

Price had invented the concept of "place memories". He proposed that hauntings could be explained by memories becoming lost from an individual's mind and then somehow attaching itself to the environment which could be picked up by others as hallucinations.He also believed that "place memories" could explain psychometry.

http://en.wikipedia....#Place_memories

The above is the most satisfying explanation I have heard in relation to 'ghosts' and 'hauntings' as some kind of dislocated hallucination.

Edited by aimlesswalk

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sinewave

Science may not say ghosts don't exist but there are plenty of people who say ghosts do not exist and quote science as the proof!

A true application of science principles would never state ghosts don't exist. You cannot really prove a negative. Besides, science does not prove anything. Rather it assigns a level of probability to a given hypothesis. Taking into account what is understood about the the Universe, the probability of ghosts existing is very, very low.

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sinewave

The thing is, many have been able to validate their experiences by audio recordings, pictures and footages. Unfortunately, frauds of paranormal activities have plagued the Internet which makes it difficult to sift through the documentations. But it's too often used as an exit door by skeptical scientists when the science fails to give a satisfying explanation, this way they can discard every possible phenomenon and avoid to look at them objectively and neutrally.

I would not call that a state of denial for there is a lot of room for speculations and interpretations but a ''disdain'' which makes it hard for those investigating seriously to be considered objectivelly or even to be heard at all by the mainstream.

As always, the burden of proof lies squarely with the claimer.

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sinewave

And what about the cases I mentioned a couple of posts ago? You could say that meteorites had only "anecdotes" as evidence (of course, those anecdotes were right, while the scientists were wrong); but medical hygiene and continental drift had the facts, and scientists refused to accept them because of their preconceived notions.

Scientific method challenges everything, even things that seem so obviously correct today. That is the vetting process in action. Nothing is accepted as probable without harsh trials. The fact that some theories had a hard road to acceptance does not in any way make other hypotheses like ghosts anymore likely. It is simple, no evidence - no credibility.

You really don't have a good historical perspective, do you? In spite of the fact that I just showed you how prevalent that kind of opinion was in the late nineteenth century, and how very wrong they were.

Besides, who's suggesting that ghosts violate the laws of thermodynamics? I'm certainly not. If you can't imagine ghosts existing except by violating the first law of thermodynamics, that's a failure of your imagination, not of the concept of ghosts.

Again, the successes of other hypotheses do not affect this one. See my previous response. The concept of free floating energy clouds stands in direct conflict with thermodynamic. Energy does not exist that way and until someone demonstrates otherwise. Taking it a step further, the ghost hypothesis suggests for each person some quantity of "life force" comes into existence but never dies. This implies energy is being added to the Universe every time a person is born. A notion that runs contrary to all accepted science about the energy budget of the Universe.

Again, who's suggesting we rewrite it? Einstein didn't "rewrite" Newton's laws, he just saw a bigger picture and realized there were situations beyond them in which other, more universal laws, applied. That's what I rather assume will happen when we figure out how what we now call "ghosts" work.

The very essence of your argument is inconsistent with the mechanics of thermodynamics. Einstein's work in no way contradicted Newton's work, he simply expanded upon it,

No, it doesn't. I never said it did. But the fact that great scientific minds have been so badly wrong at times does mean that they should be more open to the possibility that what we know now is NOT all there is to know.

That is why there is peer review. Even scientists can be wrong. That does not make this hypothesis any more acceptable. The lack of evidence is not a failing of science but a failing of the idea.

I agree that there is belief in science. But the Higgs boson is a terrible example. It was not "believed in," it was hypothesized as solution to a complicated problem. Scientists then asked, "So, if it exists, what would be necessary to observe it?" And they went out to make it happen. That's one of the ways in which science functions well, and I have no problem with that.

What counts as "belief" in science is when we become so entranced by the way our models and theories describe what we see that we start to consider the theory to be the fact. In actuality, the "laws" we invent are descriptive, not prescriptive. Reality itself takes precedence over any theory, not the other way around.

But mass could have been the function of something else entirely and not a component of a single particle. The belief part was the notion that a single particle provided mass.

Radiation cannot be "seen," but the effects of it can. Before we understood radiation, there would be no reason for a rational man to believe that one rock was harmless while another (radioactive) rock caused illness in those who stayed near it too long. Shown people with radiation poisoning, he would almost certainly assume they must have gotten sick through some other means than by closeness to some "cursed rock." And he would be dead wrong (though not as dead as the people who, trusting his educated opinion, stayed near the rock which could not possibly cause sickness...and eventually died from it).

Perhaps, like radiation sickness, what we call "ghosts" are not the phenomenon, but the effect of a phenomenon that we cannot yet directly perceive.

People claim to have seen and heard ghosts. People claim to have recorded ghosts using consumer grade video and audio equipment. People claim to be able to detect ghosts using EMF meters. All of these things are accepted as fact by believers but somehow our understanding of the Universe cannot be applied? You cannot have it both ways. They are either detectable or they are not. Postulating they are beyond the scope of science instead of accepting the possibility they are imaginary is a null hypothesis.

You are contradicting yourself. If ghosts exist, their likelihood of existing is 100%; if they do not, the likelihood is 0%. They either exist or they do not; the only thing that will change is our perception of the likelihood. And "likelihood," (unless we're talking hard probability, and in this case, we are not) is a subjective, emotional assessment.

That is a primitive way of looking at it, of course. Science deals in probabilities not absolutes. By not stating much as immutable fact, the door is left open for further understanding as our knowledge grows. Based on the evidence so far, the probability of ghosts existing outside of human imagination is very, very low.

It's damn hard to get love from "science" with facts...if the facts in question imply that a well-loved theory may not be as universally correct as it first appeared.

Yes, that is how it works. Unfortunately for ghost believers, the facts are just not there.

Edited by sinewave
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NewAge1

The difference is nobody forces the people who have paranormal experiences to go around telling others about their unfounded claims but those with mental health problems and physical defects can't help being the way they are so your assertion that those who see ghosts are just as marginalised as those with mental health problems and physical defects is not only deeply flawed but flagrantly untrue.

You got me wrong. A haunting or poltergeist activity happens and then stop. These are anomalies and we do not know what triggers and sustain them. We do not have conscious control over them. Not been able to pinpoint with accuracy the causes and effects of a phenomenon doesn't make it unreal and ''unfounded''.

It is a recurent Human behavior to marginalize phenomenon and persons who do not fit into specific models. It is often due to a lack of understanding and preconceived ideas.

Edited by sam_comm
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aimlesswalk

You got me wrong, A haunting or poltergeist activity happens and then stop. These are anomalies and we do not know what triggers and sustain them. We do not have conscious control over them. Not been able to pinpoint with accuracy the causes and effects of a phenomenon doesn't make it unreal and ''unfounded''.

It does to the person who hasn't experienced the phenomenon and until there is verifiable proof that there is an objective authenticity to this phenomenon that is how it will remain. I don't doubt that some people do actually think they see ghosts but whether or not this is something externalised outside their own perception and separate from their own minds I don't know.

It is a recurent Human behavior to marginalize phenomenon and persons who do not fit into specific models. It is often due to a lack of understanding preconceived ideas.

I don't disagree but the problem is we are expected to believe the testimony of others without so much as a shred of evidence.

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sinewave

You got me wrong. A haunting or poltergeist activity happens and then stop. These are anomalies and we do not know what triggers and sustain them. We do not have conscious control over them. Not been able to pinpoint with accuracy the causes and effects of a phenomenon doesn't make it unreal and ''unfounded''.

It is a recurent Human behavior to marginalize phenomenon and persons who do not fit into specific models. It is often due to a lack of understanding and preconceived ideas.

You see it as marginalization because you are invested in the belief and not looking at it objectively.

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Avallaine

I'm sorry but this is crap. We are supposed to believe in ghosts because a few times you can mention scientists were wrong. That tends to ignore the vast majority of the times scientists were right.

No, no, and again, no.

Let me be plain, because you keep misunderstanding me.

You are not supposed to believe in ghosts because scientists have been mistaken.

In fact, you are not "supposed to believe in ghosts" at all.

In fact, let's be even more clear than that: I do NOT want you to believe in ghosts.

In fact, I'd prefer that nobody "believed" in ghosts. Belief is a concept best kept to religion. I don't actually "believe in" ghosts; I just don't dismiss the possibility.

My only purpose in talking about the major mistakes of science is to point out a couple of consistent patterns: that dismissing evidence because it challenges a theory is foolish (because it's doing things backwards), and that saying that anything is "impossible" is foolish (because we don't know everything that's possible, and probably won't for many centuries).

I think the most sensible attitude toward ghosts (or any paranormal phenomenon) is one of open-minded doubt: doubt the concepts because there's not enough evidence to prove them, but remain open to the possibility that evidence could someday emerge. Until then, I don't see the point in worrying about them.

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