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I'mConvinced

Ghosts and God

18 posts in this topic

Does belief in ghosts and the paranormal always go hand in hand with a belief in a deity? 

Are there any atheists out there who believe in ghosts but not in a creator? If so, what do you think ghosts are if not part of an afterlife?

I'm agnostic. I believe in the possibility of a creator but not a benevolent one, nor one as described by any religion I have ever read about (benevolent, personal, directly in communication with us).

I find the idea of ghosts fascinating but the evidence for them spurious at best. If they really do exist what in the world are they?

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11 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

Does belief in ghosts and the paranormal always go hand in hand with a belief in a deity? 

There is a strong correlation but not a logical necessity.

12 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

I'm agnostic. I believe in the possibility of a creator but not a benevolent one, nor one as described by any religion I have ever read about (benevolent, personal, directly in communication with us).

I am a pantheist myself. Abrahamic religions posit a duality (God and creation are two). Many eastern thinkers posit a non-dualistic pantheist view (God and us are not-two). I see God/Brahman/Whatever as the One source of all reality. It is a ray of this One consciousness, that animates all living things and we are on the path to learning it is all an interconnected One consciousness. Brotherly love and peace with others leads to experiencing more of this Oneness.

20 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

I find the idea of ghosts fascinating but the evidence for them spurious at best.

I find the evidence overwhelming at this point.

21 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

If they really do exist what in the world are they?

IMO, the key to understanding this is the framework that there are levels of material existence from the dense physical plane to the subtle higher planes. Our physical senses and instruments at this time only tell us about the gross physical plane. A person is actually a physical body interpenetrated by subtle bodies (astral, mental, etc.). At death of the physical body, the subtle bodies separate and when attempting involvement or reminiscing with the physical they can use energy (not currently understood by science) to produce ghostly phenomena. There are other types of things that fall under the umbrella term 'ghosts'.

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Posted (edited)

55 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

If they really do exist what in the world are they?

Ghosts don't exist but that doesn't mean the belief that they do, doesn't have its purpose.

Here's something you might find interesting.

 

 

The Personification of Chance

86:2.1

Anxiety was a natural state of the savage mind. When men and women fall victims to excessive anxiety, they are simply reverting to the natural estate of their far-distant ancestors; and when anxiety becomes actually painful, it inhibits activity and unfailingly institutes evolutionary changes and biologic adaptations. Pain and suffering are essential to progressive evolution.

86:2.2

The struggle for life is so painful that certain backward tribes even yet howl and lament over each new sunrise. Primitive man constantly asked, “Who is tormenting me?” Not finding a material source for his miseries, he settled upon a spirit explanation. And so was religion born of the fear of the mysterious, the awe of the unseen, and the dread of the unknown. Nature fear thus became a factor in the struggle for existence first because of chance and then because of mystery.

86:2.3

The primitive mind was logical but contained few ideas for intelligent association; the savage mind was uneducated, wholly unsophisticated. If one event followed another, the savage considered them to be cause and effect. What civilized man regards as superstition was just plain ignorance in the savage. Mankind has been slow to learn that there is not necessarily any relationship between purposes and results. Human beings are only just beginning to realize that the reactions of existence appear between acts and their consequences. The savage strives to personalize everything intangible and abstract, and thus both nature and chance become personalized as ghosts—spirits—and later on as gods.

86:2.4

Man naturally tends to believe that which he deems best for him, that which is in his immediate or remote interest; self-interest largely obscures logic. The difference between the minds of savage and civilized men is more one of content than of nature, of degree rather than of quality.

86:2.5

But to continue to ascribe things difficult of comprehension to supernatural causes is nothing less than a lazy and convenient way of avoiding all forms of intellectual hard work. Luck is merely a term coined to cover the inexplicable in any age of human existence; it designates those phenomena which men are unable or unwilling to penetrate. Chance is a word which signifies that man is too ignorant or too indolent to determine causes. Men regard a natural occurrence as an accident or as bad luck only when they are destitute of curiosity and imagination, when the races lack initiative and adventure. Exploration of the phenomena of life sooner or later destroys man’s belief in chance, luck, and so-called accidents, substituting therefor a universe of law and order wherein all effects are preceded by definite causes. Thus is the fear of existence replaced by the joy of living.

952

The savage looked upon all nature as alive, as possessed by something. Civilized man still kicks and curses those inanimate objects which get in his way and bump him. Primitive man never regarded anything as accidental; always was everything intentional. To primitive man the domain of fate, the function of luck, the spirit world, was just as unorganized and haphazard as was primitive society. Luck was looked upon as the whimsical and temperamental reaction of the spirit world; later on, as the humor of the gods.

 

 

86:2.7
Edited by Will Due
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35 minutes ago, I'mConvinced said:

Does belief in ghosts and the paranormal always go hand in hand with a belief in a deity? 

Iirc correctly there are streams in Buddhism and some Ancient Greek philosophies that don't have deities (or where deity-like beings are no more divine than mortals), but do have souls and restless spirits. I think the ancient Jain religion as well.

Quote

 If so, what do you think ghosts are if not part of an afterlife?

There's  a lot of possibilities on what Ghost could be, independent of an afterlife; some sort of psychic echoes of past events, or some cast off bits of a person's spirit that aren't sentient or sapient on their own and just replay relatively simple chains of events, or they are just some sort of extra-dimensional being that gets misinterpreted.

Personally I believe in "the Divine" and in an existence after the physical death. I do however have problems believing in the ability of dead people to stay in and influence the physical realm, so if ghosts exists I don't believe they are the spirits of dead people.

No matter how much I look but I can't find the quote anymore that explains pretty much what I think. Somebody asked a rural 19th century lady from the British Islands (I believe Ireland) whether she was afraid of hell or ghosts, which she declined stating "Hell is merely a tool the priests use to fill their bags and I can't imagine departed souls would be allowed to leave the afterlife. But if you ask me about the Fair Folk (fairies), can tell you they are everywhere."

It was one of the quotes that influenced my growing spirituality as a kid.  

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It wouldn't be a huge leap to suppose that a spirit entity, call it a ghost, demon, angel, or whatever can take on any shape or form. There are references in the Bible where angels have taken on human form.

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I don't think the two go hand in hand necessarily, though the two often go together. From the folks I've known, it's more common for folks that believe in souls/ghosts/afterlife to also believe in a deity(s) or other higher or more powerful "others" than us. It's much more rare, but I've known atheists that also believe in souls/ghosts/afterlife, and from my understanding- just because there ain't a deity, don't mean that there aren't souls/ghosts/afterlife. Lack of a deity just means we do it on our own. Sometimes folks with belief in a deity don't believe in souls/ghosts/afterlife.. or sometimes believe in some of it but not all of it. Agnostics seem to be all over the board and everywhere on it in the spectrum of belief or not- sometimes their deity beliefs tie into the ghostly ones, sometimes not so much.

In some very real ways, our religious cultures go hand in hand with our death cultures- our death cultures are a large part of what forms our soul/ghost/afterlife cultures. What we hope for with our soul/ghost/afterlife cultures directly reflects back into our religious cultures. All three are totally linked, yet can be their own thing independent.

I find ghost stories fascinating too. I think there's good evidence out there that weird happens- but weird does not automatically mean ghosts to me. Until whatever it is is explained, ghosts is a good enough title for these events. Way less cumbersome to say than some sort of acronym to indicate "CMA of not dead people or deity/other/whatever related, but hasn't been sufficiently explained by other means yet". Just like UFO's. UFO's exist. I'm ok with the term for that whole category. Acronym "CMA of UFO's that clearly aren't spaceships for alien life, but haven't been positively identified yet" is cumbersome.
 

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Im agnostic, and i believe in ghosts and entities. 

I have a friend who is religious but doesnt believe in ghosts. He thinks when one dies, they go to either heaven or hell. I dont believe its always that simple. 

I have seen entities (not exactly ghosts of humans) for years, but ive never seen god. Ive never seen Jesus except for paintings. 

I believe people have a life spark. They may pass on but leave their energy behind. I think some people are so tortured or angry they have issues with leaving this realm. Maybe theres an afterlife, but not necessarily a heaven or hell. 

 

 

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I know it's just a movie, but I found Doctor Strange to be interesting in that it presented a multiverse (a belief common amongst the atheist community) along with magic and things like astral projection, so people clearly had souls.

Anyway, it's certainly possible for there to be ghosts with no God.

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Hopeful agnostic here. 

My opinion on the matter is usually not liked by either the skeptics or the believers. 

We create our own ghosts, demons, etc., and then haunt ourselves. And I don't mean it's all necessarily hallucination. Some people can actually manifest phenomena to include apparitions of various sorts that can be seen by others who happen to be around. I know that from experience. 

Just as easily as they can be created, though, they can be dispelled. It's because they are not "real" in the same sense that everything else is. 

They're real in that they can be experienced, but hollow in that they are not independent. 

I also know that from experience.

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As for the religious, depending on how rigid and dogmatic they are, they might not even be open to the idea. Or they might think phenomena exists, but is all caused by da debbil. 

In a sense, they're right...it's just that they created the thing.

Edited by ChaosRose

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On 8/31/2017 at 0:09 PM, I'mConvinced said:

I find the idea of ghosts fascinating but the evidence for them spurious at best. If they really do exist what in the world are they?

If you're interested, the Urantia Book has a lot to say about ghosts and how the belief in them played a major role in the evolution of primitive religion and how this was (and still is) instrumental in arriving at the concept of a true Deity, a real God.

 

 

 

 

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As one who is a Theist I think the concept of Ghosts and God can co exist. We find many passages in the Bible of such things. One example the witch of Endor. If you would like a good work on Ghosts from a Theists perspective Michael Hesier is one I recommend. 

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We live in a complex universe, with many matters and elements at play. It is entirely possible for ghosts to exist but God doesn't exist, I think!

Edited by DragonFire22

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Bible says ghosts are demons trying to trick us, long story short.

So what you see IS the paranormal, but it's not what you think it is (when you see Grandma standing infront of you and she died 4 years ago... It's not really Grandma).

I'm religious, but I also believe in the paranormal and know the paranormal can portray itself as something it really isn't.

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No one knows what Ghost is made of! It is something elusive or may not exist. However, our universe is made of a lot of things such as dark matter, protons, molecules, atoms, etc that they are not visible to the human eyes.

Ghost may actually exist, with conscience from a human being or other living beings infused with these forementioned matters... but lacks something such as a human body.

 

 But the concept that God is ONE person (be him visible or invisible) controlling the entire large universe is simply more difficult to imagine than the concept of ghosts. Or maybe God is a powerful ghost himself, who knows?

LOL, not sure if that makes any sense or not.

Edited by DragonFire22

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10 hours ago, BeyondNormal911 said:

Bible says ghosts are demons trying to trick us, long story short.

So what you see IS the paranormal, but it's not what you think it is (when you see Grandma standing infront of you and she died 4 years ago... It's not really Grandma).

I'm religious, but I also believe in the paranormal and know the paranormal can portray itself as something it really isn't.

In a way, they're right. It's not Grandma. It's something people conjure from their psyche, and the subconscious can be unruly. 

Maybe they're going to punish themselves for not going to visit her enough when she was alive. 

It's not something you really want to engage. It's a sign things are out of balance, and something needs to be done about that. The thing that doesn't help is talking to it. That can actually make things worse. 

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43 minutes ago, DragonFire22 said:

No one knows what Ghost is made of! It is something elusive or may not exist. However, our universe is made of a lot of things such as dark matter, protons, molecules, atoms, etc that they are not visible to the human eyes.

Ghost may actually exist, with conscience from a human being or other living beings infused with these forementioned matters... but lacks something such as a human body.

 

 But the concept that God is ONE person (be him visible or invisible) controlling the entire large universe is simply more difficult to imagine than the concept of ghosts. Or maybe God is a powerful ghost himself, who knows?

LOL, not sure if that makes any sense or not.

Nah, whatever is conjured can be easily dispersed using any system. That wouldn't be true if they were actual spirits of the deceased, or other external and independent entities.

Edited by ChaosRose

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On many places in Bible is mentioned existence of some beings other than human. Devil and his angels, possession from demon of crazy man that lived in grave...Bible even talks about some strange beings that are between God and man and they came to live on earth (Old Testament).  

Bible talks about 2 coming of Jesus and people that died that did not came to Haven but they are waiting on earth for him!

If you want to know something than read it or research it on your own do not listen another's or Religion.

 

 

 

 

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