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kevin1981
2010-Oct-29, 01:18 PM
My younger 20 year old brother told me today that, he saw our dead grandad of 5 years last night, twice.

The first time was the clearest and he was only 3 meters away and it lasted for about 5 seconds, the other was outside the window doors in the front room as he was sleeping in there and lasted about 10 seconds he said. My brother also claims he can often smell our grandads pipe smoke and it is not the first time he has seen him.

I do not disbelieve him, as i am open minded and cannot disprove his claims, plus he is quite a sensitive person and would not make it up.

My brother said that he was trying to get to sleep for about half an hour and then he felt like someone was in the room, so maybe it could have something to do with being in a dream like state?

What are you thoughts on people who say they have seen ghosts?

Has anybody had any experience themselves or do you think it is all in the "mind" ?

Are "ghosts" real ?

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 01:30 PM
I used to be inclined to believe in the "ghostly realm." Now, not so much. I think there's more to it than just make-believe. We've all experienced weird things, and ghost stories go back thousands of years. But that doesn't mean it's ghosts. Or even anything particularly 'paranormal'.

In the case you relay in the OP, I think your 'dream-like state' is the more reasonable. I don't dream about "real" people (as in, people I know) all that often. But the one dream I had about my dead grandfather was so vivid that I still remember it. And he was a ghost in the dream. Leaves you with an eerie feeling when you wake up; but that doesn't mean he was reaching out "from beyond the grave."

Memories and sensations are a fickle thing too. I've heard -- but don't know how true it is -- that smell is one of our most powerful memories. 'Smelling his pipe tobacco' could easily just be a memory triggered by another unpercievable sense. For instance, maybe there's a memory of him reading or telling your brother a story while smoking his pipe on some sunny morning. When the light comes through the windows just right, it triggers the 'visual memory' which in turn triggers the 'smell memory' and suddenly he thinks he can detect just the faintest hint of 'ghostly pipe-smoke'.

Sleep paralisys , while it doesn't sound applicable here, is a huge cause for 'ghostly experiences' at bedtime. Pareodolia . . . which I'm sure I spelled wrong . . . also contributes to ghostly feelings and 'sightings.'

Hell, I could go on and on forever. I think 'ghosts' are similar to 'ufos' in that there's sooo many varied and different circumstances that can result in a "sighting" or "ghostly happening" that we'll never be able to explain away all the stories. And I think that's why ghost stories have lived on and gathered so many believers over the years. That still doesn't make them ghosts though.

Buttercup
2010-Oct-29, 01:35 PM
Believe is a strong word.

I don't believe in ghosts, but will admit I'm intrigued with the notion, and have had 2 experiences in life which made me wonder.

Will also admit I watch "Ghost Hunters." It's a guilty pleasure and I sort of like spooky stuff. :)

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 01:41 PM
Will also admit I watch "Ghost Hunters." It's a guilty pleasure and I sort of like spooky stuff. :)
Oh dear Buttercup; that's something you should never admit to!

I do like shows about ghosts, like the Travel Channel used to have all the time. The stories are fun, even if they're just stories. And sometimes you still get to learn about real events from history (because they supposedly caused the hauntings; like ship-wrecks.) Now, not all these "real events" are "real". But it's entertaining either way.

But all these stupid 'paranormal investigator' shows with a bunch of college-aged idiots talking up their 'ghost hunting prowess', then followed by an hour of running around in the dark yelping and screaming like little school girls . . . it's sickening. I do love the parody of these 'paranormal investigators' that have appeared in a few episodes of 'Supernatural' though. ;) Brought up the interesting thought; just imagine these jerks if ghosts and ghouls turned out to be real, and they actually came face to face with one. Priceless.

Buttercup
2010-Oct-29, 02:08 PM
But the guys of "Ghost Hunters" (TAPS) are more professional. They do meticulously go through "the evidence," try to give a rational explanation to everything, don't freak out for the cameras (in fact one guy was nearly fired for doing just that), and will admit if they got nothing on video/audio, or if there's something which seems found which they cannot rationally explain. Only rarely will they assert it is something paranormal, or they think it might be. Frankly they do a rather decent and honest job, imo. :)

SeanF
2010-Oct-29, 02:17 PM
Buttercup, just tell him that "Tara" makes you watch it. :)

slang
2010-Oct-29, 02:27 PM
No.

And the fact that your brother's description includes sleep is a very big red flag to me. It's funny how people tend to 100% fully trust their own brains, despite the enormous amounts of evidence that the brain does not always work as expected. Optical illusions are just one of those examples. Changed behavior under the influence of alcohol is another. Meds, drugs, dehydration, sleep*... who hasn't had very real dreams? Who hasn't been on the edge of sleep for a long time, wondering if he/she actually did sleep for a minute or not? Anyway, I don't believe he made it up, and I can't blame him for thinking it is real. But thinking/believing it doesn't make it so.

Sleep fascinates me. The whole body keeps functioning as intended, while you're not "keeping watch". How exactly does the transition from awake to sleep go? Which stages of sleep? Do you really need to be fully asleep before the brain starts acting funny? Etc., etc.

*) My own brain just pulled a funny on me. It keeps insisting that sleep is spelled wrong, and that it's a very strange word, and I have to resist the urge to go to dict.org.

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 02:46 PM
But the guys of "Ghost Hunters" (TAPS) are more professional. They do meticulously go through "the evidence," try to give a rational explanation to everything, don't freak out for the cameras (in fact one guy was nearly fired for doing just that), and will admit if they got nothing on video/audio, or if there's something which seems found which they cannot rationally explain. Only rarely will they assert it is something paranormal, or they think it might be. Frankly they do a rather decent and honest job, imo. :)

Those are the worst kinds; feigning being rational and scientific in order to make a few cases seem all the more "paranormal". Don't they still use EMF and audio recording playback as evidence? The first can't possibly be tied to ghosts (how can you say, "We're not sure if ghosts exists. To prove it, we're going to look for electromagnetic fields, because ghosts cause EMF anomalies." ? How do you know the properties of ghosts before you've proven they even exist? And the later is just hearing what you want out of white noise.


Buttercup, just tell him that "Tara" makes you watch it. :)
She won't watch any of that stuff -- but probably because she gets tired of my smirking and constant complaining about how stupid some of those people are. I can't blame her. I get tired of hearing myself too!

Swift
2010-Oct-29, 03:04 PM
No I do not.

kevin1981
2010-Oct-29, 03:41 PM
Memories and sensations are a fickle thing too. I've heard -- but don't know how true it is -- that smell is one of our most powerful memories. 'Smelling his pipe tobacco' could easily just be a memory triggered by another unpercievable sense. For instance, maybe there's a memory of him reading or telling your brother a story while smoking his pipe on some sunny morning. When the light comes through the windows just right, it triggers the 'visual memory' which in turn triggers the 'smell memory' and suddenly he thinks he can detect just the faintest hint of 'ghostly pipe-smoke'.

That to me seems like a rather reasonable explanation and maybe someone on this board has some experience in this subject. I myself have never seen a "ghost", but it does seem some people have more experiences than others.


Sleep paralisys , while it doesn't sound applicable here, is a huge cause for 'ghostly experiences' at bedtime.

When i was in my early 20's and i lived in a shared house, in a room on my own, i used to suffer from sleep paralysis quite a bit. Not loads, like once a week, but fairly often. I used to wake up and think there was someone behind me and i was too scared to move, eventually i did, turning really slow, even through i wanted to move around quickly !

I also have been dreaming and have been wanting to wake from the dream, and when i do my body is frozen and i wake up but can not move. I have also experienced the feeling of screaming loud in a dream and suddenly waking up, very bizzaire stuff !

Sleep paralysis is very weird and can be scary at times.

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 04:13 PM
I also have been dreaming and have been wanting to wake from the dream, and when i do my body is frozen and i wake up but can not move. I have also experienced the feeling of screaming loud in a dream and suddenly waking up, very bizzaire stuff !

Ah, I find those interesting after-the-fact. Within the last year or two I've had two occasions that were quite memorable. The first, I 'woke up', but had been going in and out of a restless sleep to the point that I couldn't tell what was real and what was a dream. Suddenly I knew there was something bad in the room. I just knew it was a demon, for some reason. And I could feel the hot, moist breath on my face as it closed in. Proof of ghosts or ghouls, right? Naw. The most likely explanation is a funny but mundane one; my dogs will put their face right in yours if they think you're awake but still laying in bed, because they're excited for you to get up and play with them. Since my sleep was restless, I probably moved, which probably prompted my dog to come sniffin' around me to see if I was awake. Hence the warm breath. (And if you knew my dog, her breath could easily be mistaken for demon-stench! ha!)

The other was too similar, though didn't involve a dog, for me to feel like typing out.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-29, 04:15 PM
I've joked many times that, had a certain episode of Haunted History been available to me five years earlier than it was, I might have gone to my high school prom. The hotel where we had it is said to have a bathroom haunted by Marilyn Monroe. While I don't actually believe that she would have appeared, it would have been more interesting than actually going to prom.

A while ago, I watched a documentary about a community garden in Los Angeles. Now, the only real connection I have to this is a vague awareness of about where the garden was and having done yardwork at my mother's own garden in nearby Altadena. And yet, while watching it, I could smell wet, fresh-turned earth and the rich and damp smell of the store where Mom buys her plants. Scent is, they say, one of the strongest mental triggers. It's the one deepest connected to memory. And while it's certainly true that smelling can trigger memory, I think memory can trigger smelling as well.

WaxRubiks
2010-Oct-29, 04:39 PM
yes, I believe in ghosts.
They're just a function of reality.

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 04:51 PM
It's the one deepest connected to memory. And while it's certainly true that smelling can trigger memory, I think memory can trigger smelling as well.
It's funny, but anecdotally, I'd say smell is the deepest followed by taste. I *think* science backs me up, but I could be wrong. It would follow, since taste is so closely tied to smell. But everything is woven together in it's own unique ways. I know there's certain colors I can see that bring back taste or smell memories. And certain smells that can bring back image memories of a time or place long forgotten. It's a wonderful system.

The Backroad Astronomer
2010-Oct-29, 05:30 PM
But the guys of "Ghost Hunters" (TAPS) are more professional. They do meticulously go through "the evidence," try to give a rational explanation to everything, don't freak out for the cameras (in fact one guy was nearly fired for doing just that), and will admit if they got nothing on video/audio, or if there's something which seems found which they cannot rationally explain. Only rarely will they assert it is something paranormal, or they think it might be. Frankly they do a rather decent and honest job, imo. :)
I hope you were being sarcastic. There are many sources of EM radiation in the natural world let alone in the modern world with electrical wiring, cell phones and all the electrical gadgets in the world.

No I do not believe in ghosts in traditional sense. But I believe I have ghosts in my head and they are welcome there.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-29, 05:37 PM
yes, I believe in ghosts.
They're just a function of reality.

What does that even mean?


It's funny, but anecdotally, I'd say smell is the deepest followed by taste. I *think* science backs me up, but I could be wrong. It would follow, since taste is so closely tied to smell. But everything is woven together in it's own unique ways. I know there's certain colors I can see that bring back taste or smell memories. And certain smells that can bring back image memories of a time or place long forgotten. It's a wonderful system.

The brain is certainly a fascinating thing.

MAPNUT
2010-Oct-29, 06:01 PM
Do you really need to be fully asleep before the brain starts acting funny? Etc., etc.
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From my experience, absolutely not! I often nap lightly on my daily train rides into New York, and after catching myself in a really weird thought or incipient dream, say to myself, "Whoa! my brain definitely went on vacation just then!"

captain swoop
2010-Oct-29, 07:02 PM
I don't believe in ghosts. Show me some evidence that they exist and I will admit to they are there. Belief doesn't come into it.

WaxRubiks
2010-Oct-29, 07:21 PM
What does that even mean?






I just mean they are a function of reality in the same way that other things we experience are, like the stars, or apple trees....well, I suppose that is obvious if you believe in them.

Supernatural is just part of a set that "natural" is part of. Just the untestable part I suppose.

astromark
2010-Oct-29, 07:27 PM
Do I believe in ghosts ? No.

Buttercup
2010-Oct-29, 07:43 PM
I hope you were being sarcastic.

No, I wasn't. :confused:

But I know how conversations like this go: One must NOT believe ABSOLUTELY.

Just like religionists MUST believe ABSOLUTELY...

"or else."

And hence I avoid these conversations for the most part. :hand:

Basically the only other option the guys of TAPS/Ghost Hunters have is to absolutely 100% NEVER be curious about unexplained phenomena again (isn't that still lightning too?) and NEVER try to figure it out (I thought curiosity was a basis of science?), or otherwise they're goofballs(?). Seems a bit harsh to me.

But to each their own. :)

Moose
2010-Oct-29, 07:46 PM
Short answer: No.

Longer answer: Noooooooo.

I defer belief until the strength of the evidence outweighs the strength of the claims.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-29, 07:50 PM
I just mean they are a function of reality in the same way that other things we experience are, like the stars, or apple trees....well, I suppose that is obvious if you believe in them.

Supernatural is just part of a set that "natural" is part of. Just the untestable part I suppose.

So "ghosts exist because they just do"?


Basically the only other option the guys of TAPS/Ghost Hunters have is to absolutely 100% NEVER be curious about unexplained phenomena again (isn't that still lightning too?) and NEVER try to figure it out (I thought curiosity was a basis of science?), or otherwise they're goofballs(?). Seems a bit harsh to me.

No, that's a logical fallacy. The fact is, they don't know that the tools they're using work for what they're using them for. Therefore, they can't know what results they should be getting if what they're looking for is really there or if they'll even get results at all. The most scientific place to look for solutions to "unexplained phenomena" is to consider mundane explanations. I've never known any "ghost hunters" to really do that. Of course, it makes for bad television to follow an actual scientific investigation if you're trying to lure in people who believe it's all ghosts. However, there are a wide array of solutions to the puzzle, including the power of suggestion. If there are strange EM readings, isn't looking at the wiring a better place to start, especially because there's no reason to assume that ghosts have anything to do with EM readings?

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 07:50 PM
. . . But to each their own. :)

Sorta. But fact is fact. I'm not that familiar with 'TAPS', other than their name. But don't they use EMF as part of their "investigation"?

My problem with that is, you're basically saying, "We're trying to find out if these things are real. To do so, we're going to use a test that detects this effect that we know they have."

How can you use a property of an unknown as proof of discovering the unknown? That's like saying "I assume that trolls eat spaghetti. Therefore, if we find spaghetti, I've just proven that trolls are real!"

The Backroad Astronomer
2010-Oct-29, 08:01 PM
No, that's a logical fallacy. The fact is, they don't know that the tools they're using work for what they're using them for. Therefore, they can't know what results they should be getting if what they're looking for is really there or if they'll even get results at all. The most scientific place to look for solutions to "unexplained phenomena" is to consider mundane explanations. I've never known any "ghost hunters" to really do that. Of course, it makes for bad television to follow an actual scientific investigation if you're trying to lure in people who believe it's all ghosts. However, there are a wide array of solutions to the puzzle, including the power of suggestion. If there are strange EM readings, isn't looking at the wiring a better place to start, especially because there's no reason to assume that ghosts have anything to do with EM readings?


Sorta. But fact is fact. I'm not that familiar with 'TAPS', other than their name. But don't they use EMF as part of their "investigation"?

My problem with that is, you're basically saying, "We're trying to find out if these things are real. To do so, we're going to use a test that detects this effect that we know they have."

How can you use a property of an unknown as proof of discovering the unknown? That's like saying "I assume that trolls eat spaghetti. Therefore, if we find spaghetti, I've just proven that trolls are real!"

They don't take everyday things into account with the EMF meters, everything in modern life emits some kind of EMF.

This point was for Buttercup not Fazor and Gillianren.

Moose
2010-Oct-29, 08:12 PM
My problem with that is, you're basically saying, "We're trying to find out if these things are real. To do so, we're going to use a test that detects this effect that we know they have."

Yup. That's the challenge, all right. At some point, you have to validate your methodology. That's an essential part of what it takes to produce strong evidence, particularly of an undiscovered phenomenon.

Hlafordlaes
2010-Oct-29, 08:16 PM
Even if my PC is named GastlicCraeft (ghostly machine), no, I do not subscribe to a belief in ghosts, nor would I be pleased to find I am wrong. Their detectable existence in the natural world would mean that existential tedium drags on after biological death, only with no beer or cigars, and no place to go. Notnicenothanks.

Fazor
2010-Oct-29, 08:18 PM
. . . and no place to go.
No place to go? I know quite a few places I would visit if I were a being that was sentient but could only be seen if I wished to be.
. . . though I suppose even those places would get old after an eternity.
. . . ETA: Just gave me a great line for my sig! . . . ETA2: On second thought, probably best I stay away from that one.

WaxRubiks
2010-Oct-29, 08:22 PM
So "ghosts exist because they just do"?



well something must lead to their existence, the same as with apple trees.

LaurelHS
2010-Oct-29, 08:25 PM
Do you really need to be fully asleep before the brain starts acting funny? Etc., etc.
In my experience, no. Do you know what the Tetris effect (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetris_effect) is? I often experience something like this before I fall asleep. In August I went on a ferry ride and that night in between waking and sleeping, my bed felt like a moving boat. Or if I've been in a busy social situation in the day, talking to several people, some part of my brain will continue to hear their voices at night. Then there was the night last December when the Olympic flame came to my city; everyone at the event had tambourines and when I was waiting to fall asleep, I started hearing the tambourines again. Sometimes this effect is a little unnerving, but I actually enjoyed it that time. :)

As for the ghosts, I love ghost stories. I've actually written a few things with paranormal elements in them, but whether I actually believe, I'm not quite sure.

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-29, 08:27 PM
well something must lead to their existence, the same as with apple trees.

You need to establish their existence first. Unlike ghosts, there is good evidence for apple trees.

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-29, 09:01 PM
No, I wasn't. :confused:

But I know how conversations like this go: One must NOT believe ABSOLUTELY.

Just like religionists MUST believe ABSOLUTELY...

"or else."


For me, it's not a matter of absolute disbelief, but a lack of evidence. I am open to evidence, but the experiments would have to be done well. Now, I do have strong feelings about the fakers. I know some of the tricks, and I am very much against con artists using tricks to fool people. Also, I consider fakers that pray on people that have lost loved ones to be despicable.




Basically the only other option the guys of TAPS/Ghost Hunters have is to absolutely 100% NEVER be curious about unexplained phenomena again (isn't that still lightning too?) and NEVER try to figure it out (I thought curiosity was a basis of science?), or otherwise they're goofballs(?). Seems a bit harsh to me.


That's an entertainment show. It does not give me any impression that they are seriously investigating the subject.

KaiYeves
2010-Oct-29, 09:09 PM
No, but stories about them still scare me.

kleindoofy
2010-Oct-29, 09:48 PM
Do you believe in Ghosts

No. Absolutely not.

No ghosts. No spirits. No contact with the dead. No etc.

novaderrik
2010-Oct-29, 09:53 PM
probably just some really low frequency sound waves and the human brain's need to "fill in the blanks"..

http://www.cracked.com/article_18828_the-creepy-scientific-explanation-behind-ghost-sightings.html

yes, i'm using cracked.com as a reference- yes, i know it's a humor site based off a magazine that was a ripoff of Mad Magazine, but they do have links to actual scientifical type research within the articles.

Gillianren
2010-Oct-29, 10:00 PM
You need to establish their existence first. Unlike ghosts, there is good evidence for apple trees.

I was going to say. This is Washington State; there are places here, more than a few of them, where you can't throw a rock without hitting an apple tree. Even with my aim. You can tell they are apple trees, because apples grow on them. I know of no such handy test for the existence of ghosts.

pzkpfw
2010-Oct-29, 10:12 PM
I believe that some people have experienced things that made them believe in ghosts.

(I believe they are wrong in their interpretation of those experiences.)

thoth II
2010-Oct-29, 11:31 PM
I don't believe in ghosts, and Gillian made the best statement on this thread about the ghost hunters.

But I am probably getting soft and fuzzy headed in my old age so I am still going to keep listening to coast to coast, like tonight for example is below show on EVP's hosted by our old friend Art Bell, if nothing else, those voices are good for a spooky thrill :

http://www.coasttocoastam.com/show/2010/10/29

captain swoop
2010-Oct-29, 11:54 PM
Unfortunately so called 'Paranormal Investigators' and TV 'Ghost Hunters' seem to start by assuming that ghosts exist and their investigations and tests are to confirm this belief.

Invisible Garden Dwelling Elves spring to mind.

slang
2010-Oct-30, 12:07 AM
I believe that some people have experienced things that made them believe in ghosts.

(I believe they are wrong in their interpretation of those experiences.)

Short and sweet. Nice. But ghosts do make for great stories. So do telepathy, elves, orks, magical rings, FTL and aliens.

Van Rijn
2010-Oct-30, 12:15 AM
Short and sweet. Nice. But ghosts do make for great stories. So do telepathy, elves, orks, magical rings, FTL and aliens.

Yes. I have to agree with that. I like a good ghost story, as long as it's labeled as fiction. If somebody is seriously claiming (not just pretending) that it's real story, I get very picky about the details and it's no longer fun.

kevin1981
2010-Oct-30, 08:53 AM
For me, believing in ghost's is the same as believing there is a "god". I am 99% sure that there is not a "god" and the same goes for ghost's and the supernatural, but never say never !

Moose
2010-Oct-30, 11:15 AM
This thread is very close to the line (religious/no-religious advocacy) defined by Rule 12. There should be no digressions into personal religious beliefs.

kevin1981, please avoid making statements about your religious beliefs (or lack thereof). Such discussions are not permitted on BAUT.

Paul Beardsley
2010-Oct-30, 01:04 PM
No, but stories about them still scare me.

That pretty much sums up my feeling. Similarly, for all that I am comfortably certain that ghosts don't really exist, I might well be spooked, so to speak, if I walk through a graveyard at night and I hear a strange noise.

I also like the idea that ghosts by their very nature can never be established as anything more than a subjective experience. I do not believe this to be true, though.

PhillipJFry
2010-Oct-30, 01:04 PM
I believe that some people have experienced things that made them believe in ghosts.

(I believe they are wrong in their interpretation of those experiences.)

There's another category of people, the ones that experience weird things but know it's their mind playing tricks. I wrote with a fella, a schizophrenic, that absolutely had to stay away from horror-movies. He told me about one instance where he had watched "The Ring", and several days after, the girl from the movie would appear before him every bit as real as any other person. This must be scary as hell, but still he never claimed to have witnessed anything supernatural.

cosmocrazy
2010-Oct-30, 04:24 PM
No I don't believe in ghosts.

Show me some hard scrutinised evidence with no other possible explanation and I might consider it! :)

Its funny how most people claim to have seen ghosts when its either :- late in the evening, dull and murky weather, just as they are going asleep, just as they are waking up, in old run down buildings, in dark dense forests, on lonely roads, in churches and cemeteries and so on.....

Don't you get the feeling a bit of a pattern is emerging from this? Like when our minds are either less alert, stressed or feeling isolated!

Ghosts and goblins and all the rest of that malarkey is nothing more than figments of our over active imaginations!

Although I do have an over active mind myself and am open minded to most things :lol:

mike alexander
2010-Oct-31, 02:11 AM
I may as well throw my sheet in the ring and say no, no ghosts.

But I'm human enough to be given a fright under the proper circumstances.

Fazor
2010-Oct-31, 02:59 AM
You know what? When I logged in just now and saw this thread title, it finally dawned on my why 'Do you belive in magic?' has been stuck in my head since yesterday.

As for what other's have said; I agree. While I don't believe in them, every now and then I can let myself get freaked out by . . . well, nothing. In fact, I don't think there's anything scarrier than nothing. Dark, quiet, lonesome, nothing. Which makes it all the more maddening when you know there's absolutely no rational reason to be scared, but yet you are.

Ara Pacis
2010-Oct-31, 04:51 PM
The whole concept of ghosts may as well be off limits as it presumes to step into the territory of religion, if the claim is life after death.

If we are wondering if there is a scientific explanation for that which can be perceived as a ghost exists, then that's more of a semantic argument as to whether or not a discussion of it is a discussion of ghosts.

swampyankee
2010-Oct-31, 05:02 PM
Do I believe in ghosts? No.

SkepticJ
2010-Oct-31, 05:53 PM
As a philosophical materialist, I don't see how they can exist.

I don't think there's such a thing as a metaphysical spiritual essence to people, so if we truly are just sacks of meat, how would you get ghosts?

CosmicUnderstanding
2010-Oct-31, 10:10 PM
I have only experienced one very convincing and realistic dream of visiting my dead grandmother in her own house. I was frightened deeply in the dream to see her alive again and my significant other shook me awake telling me that I was screaming very loudly in bed. I don't think for even one second it was actually my grandmother there watching me. Just a trick of the mind, but a very spooky one at that!

Salty
2010-Oct-31, 10:55 PM
My younger 20 year old brother told me today that, he saw our dead grandad of 5 years last night, twice.

The first time was the clearest and he was only 3 meters away and it lasted for about 5 seconds, the other was outside the window doors in the front room as he was sleeping in there and lasted about 10 seconds he said. My brother also claims he can often smell our grandads pipe smoke and it is not the first time he has seen him.

I do not disbelieve him, as i am open minded and cannot disprove his claims, plus he is quite a sensitive person and would not make it up.

My brother said that he was trying to get to sleep for about half an hour and then he felt like someone was in the room, so maybe it could have something to do with being in a dream like state?

What are you thoughts on people who say they have seen ghosts?

Has anybody had any experience themselves or do you think it is all in the "mind" ?

Are "ghosts" real ?

Hi, Kevin,

There's very few things I believe in.
However, there are many things that I believe could be. And, ghosts is one of them.

Granted, some people with emotional or mental problems or on drugs could be hallucinating. All that notwithstanding, in my mind, a ghost is not precluded.

As a matter of fact, I don't watch TV series such as "Ghost Busters", because I think, if there are ghosts, we should leave them in peace. That's the same reason I don't pay money to go through a local haunted house that's open year 'round. Like the car insurance salesman, "Just in case".

Regards,
Salty

swampyankee
2010-Nov-01, 01:08 AM
My younger 20 year old brother told me today that, he saw our dead grandad of 5 years last night, twice.

The first time was the clearest and he was only 3 meters away and it lasted for about 5 seconds, the other was outside the window doors in the front room as he was sleeping in there and lasted about 10 seconds he said. My brother also claims he can often smell our grandads pipe smoke and it is not the first time he has seen him.

I do not disbelieve him, as i am open minded and cannot disprove his claims, plus he is quite a sensitive person and would not make it up.

My brother said that he was trying to get to sleep for about half an hour and then he felt like someone was in the room, so maybe it could have something to do with being in a dream like state?

What are you thoughts on people who say they have seen ghosts?

Has anybody had any experience themselves or do you think it is all in the "mind" ?

Are "ghosts" real ?

When somebody is in the transition between the waking and sleeping states, they can have very real-seeming dreams.

If he starts hearing and seeing his dead grandfather when wide awake, I'd seriously consider the possibility that he needs to see a psychiatrist.

kevin1981
2010-Nov-01, 12:56 PM
If he starts hearing and seeing his dead grandfather when wide awake, I'd seriously consider the possibility that he needs to see a psychiatrist.

:lol: Things are'nt that bad !

tnjrp
2010-Nov-01, 01:17 PM
One would have to start by defining what "ghost" is exactly -- what phenomena are being proposed here? Souls of the restless dead hanging around? Purposeful messages from beyong the grave? Are poltergeists ghosts? Etc.

jrkeller
2010-Nov-01, 03:27 PM
No,

But ghosts do make for scary stories.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-02, 04:19 AM
One would have to start by defining what "ghost" is exactly -- what phenomena are being proposed here? Souls of the restless dead hanging around? Purposeful messages from beyong the grave? Are poltergeists ghosts? Etc.

I don't know if I'd consider messaging the same as ghosting. One is a presence, the other is merely communication. I sometimes think I get messages from the future, so I won't rule out getting them from the past. But I don't believe in ghosts, per se.

gzhpcu
2010-Nov-02, 10:59 AM
Here is an example of a ghost story, which happened to my grandfather during the Second World War:

He lived with his family in a small village close to the Italian border with Switzerland. Every morning he would read the newspaper on the porch in front of his home, and, a friend of his, a doctor, would cycle by on his way home.
One day, he and my mother were both seated on the porch reading the newspaper. My mother heard grandfather greet his friend and say, "there goes Dr. so and so...". She thought nothing about it and went on reading.
At lunchtime, grandfather turned on the radio for the local news, and heard that his doctor friend had died early that morning, struck by an automobile on his bicycle....

He was convinced he saw his friend bid a last farewell. My mom had not looked up from the paper and saw nothing.

Question is what did he see? Maybe just a cursory glance at a cyclist, confusing him for his friend. In any case, he was convinced he saw a ghost...

tnjrp
2010-Nov-02, 11:14 AM
This is a very common story type in fact: a Doppelgänger as a harbinger of death. In Finnish, this type of sighting is called "etiäinen". It's not entirely clear if they should be included with the ghost phenomena, as they are usually singular events unlike "proper" hauntings.

Buttercup
2010-Nov-02, 11:19 AM
Here is an example of a ghost story, which happened to my grandfather during the Second World War:

He lived with his family in a small village close to the Italian border with Switzerland. Every morning he would read the newspaper on the porch in front of his home, and, a friend of his, a doctor, would cycle by on his way home.
One day, he and my mother were both seated on the porch reading the newspaper. My mother heard grandfather greet his friend and say, "there goes Dr. so and so...". She thought nothing about it and went on reading.
At lunchtime, grandfather turned on the radio for the local news, and heard that his doctor friend had died early that morning, struck by an automobile on his bicycle....

He was convinced he saw his friend bid a last farewell. My mom had not looked up from the paper and saw nothing.

Question is what did he see? Maybe just a cursory glance at a cyclist, confusing him for his friend. In any case, he was convinced he saw a ghost...

A former acquaintance of mine (R) had a similar experience. Her then-boyfriend was many hundreds of miles away, on the East Coast (USA), on a business trip. He was due to arrive home in the late afternoon of a certain day. The night before his expected return, R was preparing for bed. Her young son came into her room; he seemed oddly upset and asked to sleep with her. R was very surprised as her son had never made that request before. As she was tucking son into one side of her bed, R's attention was drawn to the bedroom doorway. She was shocked to see her boyfriend standing there -- when she'd just spoken to him via telephone a few hours prior from New Jersey! :surprised He couldn't have gotten here that quickly, not even by airplane. He just stood there benignly watching them; she couldn't speak and was afraid, so closed her eyes and pretended to go to sleep.

The next day she got a phone call. Her boyfriend had been murdered the night before, on the East Coast.

You tell me.

This is the only time R ever related such a story in my hearing. I knew her for years. She wasn't a blabbermouth or a liar. Rather quiet and reasonable woman.

SkepticJ
2010-Nov-02, 05:57 PM
Couldn't she have dreamed it, or confused the days, or any of the other reasonable possibilities?

I've had dreams I thought were real after I woke up--I didn't remember having the dreams consciously, I just remember the content of the dreams. That is until I happen to think back upon them and realize they weren't real.

Why don't ghosts ever do anything besides scare the crap out of people? Especially their supposed loved ones?

Buttercup
2010-Nov-02, 07:20 PM
Couldn't she have dreamed it, or confused the days, or any of the other reasonable possibilities?


But her son came into her room and made a never-before-made request to sleep there with her, because he was troubled by something. That'd stand out in her mind. Also, she'd just finished tucking him into one side of the bed (an awake, conscious and deliberate act), then naturally turned -- and saw her boyfriend in the doorway.

Seems to me she was fully awake.

I've heard of "crisis apparitions" before. Not saying this was that...but it's compelling imo.

Unless she was flat-out lying. I knew R rather well, would be surprised if she were. R only mentioned it once, and never said another outlandish thing all the time I knew her.

Hlafordlaes
2010-Nov-02, 08:27 PM
Sorry not to provide a link, but I read recently (last coupla years) that there are actually more nerve connections from the brain to the sense organs than vice-versa. One possible explanation is to enhance perception with memory of similar events and hasten the needed survival or even social response. At any rate, if I have my facts straight, this purported wiring scheme certainly would go a long way toward explaining an important contributing cause of the perception of non-present stimuli.

Fazor
2010-Nov-02, 08:53 PM
Unless she was flat-out lying. I knew R rather well, would be surprised if she were. R only mentioned it once, and never said another outlandish thing all the time I knew her.

Why flat-out lying? Having a loved one murdered would have to be extremely traumatic (fortunately, I wouldn't know.) I could see, after the fact, that the mind would make up the occurrence of seeing him in the doorway as a result of a deep-seeded need to know you at least saw the person one last time. That you got to, in some otherworldly and very meaningful way, got to at least exchange a "goodbye" glance. [To clarify; that it didn't really happen, but after learning of the death, falsely remembering that it had]

The fact that her kid came into her room could have been pure cooincidence. Or maybe he had asked to sleep in her room before, but those times weren't memorable. *shrug*

I'm not trying to give a definitive answer, just point out that there are reasonable solutions that don't involve ghosts.

SkepticJ
2010-Nov-02, 09:10 PM
Seems to me she was fully awake.

I've heard of "crisis apparitions" before. Not saying this was that...but it's compelling imo.

Unless she was flat-out lying. I knew R rather well, would be surprised if she were. R only mentioned it once, and never said another outlandish thing all the time I knew her.

And I'm fully awake when I recall something that happened in a realistic dream, only to realize that it didn't actually happen. Take away that realization, and you've an event "that really happened".

If R isn't a particularly skeptical person, even rather unlikely or impossible things that happen in dreams can be accidentally transposed to "real" memories.

She probably wasn't lying. Just like most people who see weird things in the sky and come to the conclusion it's alien craft, or things going bump in the night in the woods, and it's monsters, Bigfoot, or whatever.

These people get laughed at, so unless you have someone who likes any sort of attention, or they stand to profit monetarily in some way (say from writing books), then they probably genuinely believe they saw something.

What's more likely, there were some coincidences, faulty memory etc., or ghosts really exist?

If things get moved in your garden, is it more likely an animal or a frat boy moved it, or faeries are messing with you?

rommel543
2010-Nov-02, 09:17 PM
Do I believe in ghost. Yes and no. I do know that there are things in the world that science has not yet discovered or explained and I feel that the ghost phenomenon is one of them. I don't believe the majority of the stories that I watch on TV or hear about. All matter is made up of energy and as living creatures I feel that there is additional energy that is with in us. That energy can increase with heightened emotions. I think it's that energy that it hanging around in certain locations, not a spirit of a dead person.

I think it was one of those shows like paranormal state or ghost hunters where they had a catholic priest relay a story where he had stayed in the location the show was reporting on. During his stay he was walking down a hall way and at one of the junctions, and around the corner where he couldn't see them, someone else sneezed. The sound made him jump which caused him to step backwards and trip, all of which caused a 'heightened emotion'. People have then since reported seeing his 'ghost' at the corner of the hallway where this occurred, yet he was still alive.

From my own experiences I've been witness to odd occurrences. In our previous house we used to get things happening all the time. I was at home alone one day, sitting on the couch in the living room working on my laptop, when I heard running foot steps going back and forth upstairs. From the sound of them it was like two small children playing. It went on for about 2 minutes until I went upstairs and found no one there. Numerous times you could hear what sounded like someone walking up the stairs then thump, thump, thump of a ball falling down the stairs over and over again. Usually until you went and looked. My son's bedroom always felt cold even with a portable heater, yet a candle wouldn't flicker in the room so it didn't have drafts. When walking in there one night with a candle I felt a cold breeze go right across me yet the candle flame didn't move. We had numerous occurrences like this until we renovated they house. About 2 years before we moved the roof leaked and caused damage to some of the interior walls. Since we had to rip these walls out anyways we decided to do the other interior walls at the same time. In the end both kids room, the living room and the entire upstairs were completely gutted down to boards and re-done. After that, no more noises no more odd cold spots in the house. As an odd note, we found some old children's toys from back in the 1940s, when the house was built, in between the upstairs floor and the ceiling of my son's bedroom. There used to be openings between the two levels for the old coal stove piping to run that had been long since covered over, but the original (or near original) ceiling and hardwood flooring was in place.

Do I think I had 'ghosts' in the house. Not in the traditional sense of spirits hanging around. More like latent energy that was somehow embedded in the walls (and maybe the old broken toys in the ceiling) of the house. When we gutted them and got rid of that stuff the latent energy was removed, thus no more ghostly activity.

Buttercup
2010-Nov-02, 09:21 PM
Why flat-out lying? Having a loved one murdered would have to be extremely traumatic (fortunately, I wouldn't know.) I could see, after the fact, that the mind would make up the occurrence of seeing him in the doorway as a result of a deep-seeded need to know you at least saw the person one last time. ...

I see your point. :) I was simply typing out a bit of frustration. Seems lots of people (not saying it is anyone here) chalk stories like these up to lying or mental illness or one too many shots of tequila, etc. :(

slang
2010-Nov-02, 11:04 PM
We had numerous occurrences like this until we renovated they house.

I don't know where in Canada you live, and which kinds of animals tend to exploit older houses there, but over here renovating houses leads to less access for all kinds of rodents, to the point of some finding it difficult to get nesting places.

Salty
2010-Nov-03, 01:35 AM
I used to have squirrels in my attic. They would skitter around playing and their feet were loud on the attic floor boards. Then, they would start playing with pecans, rolling them around. What a sound!

Sometimes, I think some people have to rationalize away other people's experiences with the unexplained, because the rationalizers cannot leave something unexplained, bless their hearts. That's for you and your friend R, Buttercup.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-03, 01:48 AM
I see your point. :) I was simply typing out a bit of frustration. Seems lots of people (not saying it is anyone here) chalk stories like these up to lying or mental illness or one too many shots of tequila, etc. :(

Not, generally, lying or mentally ill, actually. Being fooled by their own brain, which is different. Everyone is fooled by their own brains all the time. We know that.

SkepticJ
2010-Nov-03, 03:49 AM
Sometimes, I think some people have to rationalize away other people's experiences with the unexplained, because the rationalizers cannot leave something unexplained, bless their hearts. That's for you and your friend R, Buttercup.

Isn't figuring out the mysteries of the world the whole point of science?

In the state I live in, there's a phenomena called the Gurdon Light. It was recently explained, and the explanation, I think, is far more interesting than spooks.

The Lights are seen around railroad tracks in a certain part of Gurdon, Arkansas. The tracks themselves are one of the keys to the phenomena. Quartz rocks in the ground under the tracks produce electricity by piezoelectric action (there's tectonic action in the area, thanks to our fault line), the electricity is conducted along the rails, and plasma is formed when the electricity sparks across gaps between the rails.

It's not unlike the plasma balls that form on crinkled aluminum in a microwave oven. Which, incidentally, is perfectly safe to do. It's pretty cool, give it a try; just don't have the aluminum anywhere near the oven wall, and have it atop a ceramic plate (if yours doesn't have a glass turntable) as an electrical insulator to keep it from conducting to the magnetron, which will shorten its life.

Now, isn't that much cooler than some spooky ghost swinging a lantern? All these things came together by chance to create something unusual. Before the tracks, the Light didn't exist. Someday, when they're gone, so will It be.

kleindoofy
2010-Nov-03, 04:00 AM
... Now, isn't that much cooler than some spooky ghost swinging a lantern? ...
Well, dressing up as quartz rocks for halloween isn't exactly hip or cool. ;)

tnjrp
2010-Nov-03, 07:06 AM
I used to have squirrels in my attic. They would skitter around playing and their feet were loud on the attic floor boards. Then, they would start playing with pecans, rolling them around. What a sound!Indeed squirrels in the attic, bats in the bellfry and rats in the walls are probably the cause of many a ghostly sound phenomenon.

BONUS: those interested in ghost phenomena and their study might like to read Chris Jensen Romer's blog on the subject:
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/

Mr. Romer is a very nice person (at least online) and has made a kind of a career of studying these phenomena. With some, but not too much skeptisism involved ;)

SeanF
2010-Nov-03, 02:17 PM
Everyone is fooled by their own brains all the time. We know that.
Well, we think we know that, but our brains might be fooling us. :p

rommel543
2010-Nov-03, 05:19 PM
I don't know where in Canada you live, and which kinds of animals tend to exploit older houses there, but over here renovating houses leads to less access for all kinds of rodents, to the point of some finding it difficult to get nesting places.

Winnipeg, Mb. I grew up on a farm and have experiences with mice, rats, squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons. Nothing that happened in the house was rodent related. With the sounds of the running back and forth, something would have to been able to run through 2x8 joices and the main support beam for the direction they were going. I did catch the odd mouse once in a while but they were on the main floor and I know where they were coming in and finally was able to seal it when they replaced the furnace. Also it would have to be a REALLY big mouse to make those noises.

Salty
2010-Nov-03, 05:52 PM
Isn't figuring out the mysteries of the world the whole point of science?

In the state I live in, there's a phenomena called the Gurdon Light. It was recently explained, and the explanation, I think, is far more interesting than spooks.

The Lights are seen around railroad tracks in a certain part of Gurdon, Arkansas. The tracks themselves are one of the keys to the phenomena. Quartz rocks in the ground under the tracks produce electricity by piezoelectric action (there's tectonic action in the area, thanks to our fault line), the electricity is conducted along the rails, and plasma is formed when the electricity sparks across gaps between the rails.

It's not unlike the plasma balls that form on crinkled aluminum in a microwave oven. Which, incidentally, is perfectly safe to do. It's pretty cool, give it a try; just don't have the aluminum anywhere near the oven wall, and have it atop a ceramic plate (if yours doesn't have a glass turntable) as an electrical insulator to keep it from conducting to the magnetron, which will shorten its life.

Now, isn't that much cooler than some spooky ghost swinging a lantern? All these things came together by chance to create something unusual. Before the tracks, the Light didn't exist. Someday, when they're gone, so will It be.

Hi,

Your story reminds me of Marfa, TX spook lights near the Chianti Mountains. I've always wanted to go see them.
I read another book, a long time, about Ghost Trains and Other Lights, something like that for the title. The author did some physical research along the RR right of way. Even when there aren't tracks, piezoelectric charges can still form from the material used on the RR bed.
So, one time, I got a map of Texas and looked for RR tracks near Marfa. There was a RR line on the map, near Marfa. But, it wasn't between Marfa and the Chianti Mountains, the area where the spook lights occur, if I remember rightly. I'd still like to go down there, sometime. An uncle told me the best time was in September to early October. I think their seasonal nature may rule out RR beds and/or tracks for their power source. I wonder what the ground's mineral composition is, where the lights occur? That's the only other thing I can think of.

Yes, I love to read about mysteries and the actual research that went into exploring them.

Only, as far as I know, Buttercup's friend, R's sighting has not been physically researched. So, explanations without research seem like either guesswork or unfounded personal opinions. R's sighting falls into a class of phenomena which has yet to be explained: sighting of the image of a loved one at time of death, when demise was distant from the location of the sighting. These stories are common and there's a lot of them. They all remain unexplained, to my knowledge.

Salty
2010-Nov-03, 05:58 PM
Indeed squirrels in the attic, bats in the bellfry and rats in the walls are probably the cause of many a ghostly sound phenomenon.

BONUS: those interested in ghost phenomena and their study might like to read Chris Jensen Romer's blog on the subject:
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/

Mr. Romer is a very nice person (at least online) and has made a kind of a career of studying these phenomena. With some, but not too much skeptisism involved ;)

When you mention ghostly sounds, I'm reminded of my theory about haunted houses. At least abandoned houses not close to other houses. I postulate that children can be exploring one, see somebody come, and pretend to be ghosts. Heh heh.
A variation of my theory, has adult outlaw(s) or homeless sheltering in an abandoned house and scaring away other people that come by. So they can continue to shelter there. However, these are unresearched hypothesis based upon my general experience with human nature. Just guesswork, on my part.

BTW, thanks for the link. I bookmarked it for further perusal.

Fazor
2010-Nov-03, 06:02 PM
A variation of my theory, has adult outlaw(s) or homeless sheltering in an abandoned house and scaring away other people that come by. So they can continue to shelter there.

And they'd get away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and that dog too!

. . . sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-03, 06:17 PM
Only, as far as I know, Buttercup's friend, R's sighting has not been physically researched. So, explanations without research seem like either guesswork or unfounded personal opinions. R's sighting falls into a class of phenomena which has yet to be explained: sighting of the image of a loved one at time of death, when demise was distant from the location of the sighting. These stories are common and there's a lot of them. They all remain unexplained, to my knowledge.

I don't know why you consider them unexplained. They fit in with known behaviour of the human mind. Just because we can't go to the exact time one happens--transitory phenomena, I believe Jay calls it--and run tests on the person's brain doesn't mean that it isn't perfectly reasonable to assume natural causes such as misremembering and coincidence. I mean, I think about my mother all the time. If I happened to think about her around the time she died, that in my head might become "I thought about her the minute she died." From there, the next steps are pretty obvious. And none of that would be on purpose. We know humans' brains just do that.

rommel543
2010-Nov-03, 06:51 PM
One of the theories that I read about regarding ghost sightings is a build up of EM energies can occur in places and when someone walks through it, the build up can cause memories to fire and get mixed up in what the person is seeing. Therefore if you happen to be thinking about a particular person, like R would have probably been thinking about her BF after he called, thats what you would happen to see. Someone walking down a railway track sees a ghost train or someone at the shore sees a ghost ship just because of the location they were in. Is it your brain playing tricks on you? Sort of, more like it's mis-firing.

Grey
2010-Nov-04, 04:07 AM
And they'd get away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and that dog too!

. . . sorry, I couldn't help myself.I often wonder if in the past people really did try to keep others away from someplace by making it appear haunted. I think it likely would have worked well once, but now it wouldn't work at all. At the first sign of haunting, you'd have the place crawling with people waving EM detectors around, self-proclaimed psychics trying to commune with the spirits of the dead, and somebody would likely try to book it for the next episode of Ghost Hunters or something.

today
2010-Nov-04, 07:51 AM
Nope

rommel543
2010-Nov-04, 05:47 PM
I often wonder if in the past people really did try to keep others away from someplace by making it appear haunted. I think it likely would have worked well once, but now it wouldn't work at all. At the first sign of haunting, you'd have the place crawling with people waving EM detectors around, self-proclaimed psychics trying to commune with the spirits of the dead, and somebody would likely try to book it for the next episode of Ghost Hunters or something.

Poor ghosts.. can't get any rest. :)

Salty
2010-Nov-04, 08:13 PM
And they'd get away with it, if it wasn't for those meddling kids and that dog too!

. . . sorry, I couldn't help myself.


Meddling kids and their dog are great! I love both children and dogs.

Salty
2010-Nov-04, 08:20 PM
I don't know why you consider them unexplained. They fit in with known behaviour of the human mind. Just because we can't go to the exact time one happens--transitory phenomena, I believe Jay calls it--and run tests on the person's brain doesn't mean that it isn't perfectly reasonable to assume natural causes such as misremembering and coincidence. I mean, I think about my mother all the time. If I happened to think about her around the time she died, that in my head might become "I thought about her the minute she died." From there, the next steps are pretty obvious. And none of that would be on purpose. We know humans' brains just do that.

Some humans' brains just do that...haven't tested all people.

Ma'am, when it comes to human experiences, I don't like to assume anything.

Sometimes I have memories of my parents. As far as I recall, I haven't had any experience where the memories of my parents tried to talk to me in my mind. Also, after they died, I had dreams of being with them in one residence or another where we had lived. Only, in the dream, the companionship was in the present, not in the past. That's why the setting of a prior residence was so curious.

The mind...sleep...all these yet have unsolved mysteries.

Sorry, I'm just skeptical of claims of all people this and all people that. My experience with people in a life time of public service has taught me there is no uniformity of anything among "all people".

Gillianren
2010-Nov-04, 08:37 PM
We all have shared autonomic functions. You may not think so, but studies actually do a pretty good job of summarizing the population at large, if they're done right. This is not just an assumption. This is science. What you are proposing is speculation, not what the studies show.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-05, 07:02 AM
Indeed I also very much doubt the statement "no uniformity of anything". I contrariwise rather believe there is a lot of uniformity in humans once one scratches away the veneer of the fiddliest detail. By the way of a most trivial example, I've had quite similar dream experiences as Salty tho I doubt we share much in terms of detailed background or exact mindset.

Salty
2010-Nov-06, 09:43 PM
We all have shared autonomic functions. You may not think so, but studies actually do a pretty good job of summarizing the population at large, if they're done right. This is not just an assumption. This is science. What you are proposing is speculation, not what the studies show.


Well, Gillianren,

From your original post # 80, "...doesn't mean it isn't perfectly reasonable to assume...".

I'll stick with my two cents' that it's not wise to assume anything about human nature.

I'm not arguing about what actuarial studies show in common among all people's autonomic functions. My experience has also shown me that sometimes people can have a lot in common. As a night cabdriver and as a night watchman at different apartment complexes, it was sometimes my job to handle drunks. I'm just saying that drunkeness or drug use can change ordinary human behavior.

Best Regards,
Salty

Salty
2010-Nov-06, 09:54 PM
Indeed I also very much doubt the statement "no uniformity of anything". I contrariwise rather believe there is a lot of uniformity in humans once one scratches away the veneer of the fiddliest detail. By the way of a most trivial example, I've had quite similar dream experiences as Salty tho I doubt we share much in terms of detailed background or exact mindset.

Hi, tnjrp,

I respectfully submit that you have quoted out of context from my post # 86, the phrase, "...there is no uniformity of anything among "all people". That is to say, there's no one method of doing anything common to all six billion plus souls on this planet.

And, a similar dream experience is not the same dream.

Regards,
Salty

Gillianren
2010-Nov-07, 03:44 AM
I think you're looking for it to be beyond science instead of using the information which shows that it isn't.

Tobin Dax
2010-Nov-07, 05:14 AM
I don't know why you consider them unexplained. They fit in with known behaviour of the human mind. Just because we can't go to the exact time one happens--transitory phenomena, I believe Jay calls it--and run tests on the person's brain doesn't mean that it isn't perfectly reasonable to assume natural causes such as misremembering and coincidence. I mean, I think about my mother all the time. If I happened to think about her around the time she died, that in my head might become "I thought about her the minute she died." From there, the next steps are pretty obvious. And none of that would be on purpose. We know humans' brains just do that.

Salty, I have to agree with Gillian.

My maternal grandmother died this past March. She was on her way out when I was visiting family around Christmas, so this was something I was waiting for. I probably thought about it rather often over those months. I was thinking about it again at the end of my drive home from work on the day she died. When my father finally got ahold of me that evening, I found out that she had died around the time I got home. While I find that an interesting coincidence, I understand that it was a coincidence. My brain latched right on to the idea of thinking about her the minute she died, but I know better. My father tried to not let me dismiss it so quickly, however.

I know that my brain is different from the norm in a number of ways, but this isn't one of them.

Heck, I'll make this post even longer. A couple hours ago, I watched an interview with Carl Sagan where he said that he would hear his parents' voices on occasion after they had died, but it was just an auditory hallucination. Heck, that's happened to me after moving across the country while my parents are still alive. It's my brain playing tricks on me, nothing more.

Salty
2010-Nov-08, 12:57 AM
I think you're looking for it to be beyond science instead of using the information which shows that it isn't.

What do you mean by "...it..."?
I don't mean to be dense. Yes, I do think there's different topics beyond science, because the information in them refer to the immaterial and contemporary science limits itself to the material side of nature.

Salty
2010-Nov-08, 01:03 AM
Salty, I have to agree with Gillian.

My maternal grandmother died this past March. She was on her way out when I was visiting family around Christmas, so this was something I was waiting for. I probably thought about it rather often over those months. I was thinking about it again at the end of my drive home from work on the day she died. When my father finally got ahold of me that evening, I found out that she had died around the time I got home. While I find that an interesting coincidence, I understand that it was a coincidence. My brain latched right on to the idea of thinking about her the minute she died, but I know better. My father tried to not let me dismiss it so quickly, however.

I know that my brain is different from the norm in a number of ways, but this isn't one of them.

Heck, I'll make this post even longer. A couple hours ago, I watched an interview with Carl Sagan where he said that he would hear his parents' voices on occasion after they had died, but it was just an auditory hallucination. Heck, that's happened to me after moving across the country while my parents are still alive. It's my brain playing tricks on me, nothing more.

Hi, Tobin Dax,

Well you're free to agree with Gillianren and she may certainly disagree with me. I'm neither an expert nor authority on anything much. However, I would like to point out, that we have two interpretations of the same data. A science interpretation and an humanities interpretation. Both are valid fields of study.

If ya'll don't mind, with all due respect to your interpretation, I'd like to stick to my understanding, which includes both science and humanities viewpoints. I don't find them contradictory, but rather I find the two different views complimentary. I will always try to avoid being nailed down to solely a science viewpoint. In my mind, that blots out too much of the rest of the truth.

Regards,
Salty

Gillianren
2010-Nov-08, 03:01 AM
I graduated from college in the humanities. In this case, science's explanation for the "phenomenon" of seeing ghosts right after someone's death has evidence and therefore is to be preferred. I don't find the humanities or science contradictory, either--the place to examine this is science. The place to discuss its impact on things like art and government is the humanities. What actually causes the phenomenon is irrelevant to the humanities. How people deal with it is the humanities' job here.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-08, 06:28 AM
I respectfully submit that you have quoted out of context from my post # 86, the phrase, "...there is no uniformity of anything among "all people". That is to say, there's no one method of doing anything common to all six billion plus souls on this planetI must apologize for quotemining then of course. However I also still think you'll be hard pressed to find two persons who have no responses, reactions and opinions at all in common. Depending of course on how you define "common"...

And, a similar dream experience is not the same dream...because if you require it to mean exactly the same in every minutes detail then any occurence of such would be truly weird as opposed to having great similatiries under surface level of minute difference. Of course I was already saying that above so I need to say this only once more and it becomes the truth ;)

I'm not sure if this sort of debate is really relevant here tho because I'm not entirely sure there is anything much to debate in the usual sense. It's a "belief" discussion after all, so no analysis and no evidence can be strictly necessary. Personally, I'm only interested in what people are believing in when they say they believe in ghosts. That's, I believe, "humanties" for you :)

SkepticJ
2010-Nov-08, 06:41 AM
Yes, I do think there's different topics beyond science, because the information in them refer to the immaterial and contemporary science limits itself to the material side of nature.

Because it has to.

If there are such things as immaterial phenomena, they are of necessity outside the scope of science, any science.

If something isn't capable of being studied empirically, how can you even be sure it's something real?

tnjrp
2010-Nov-08, 07:28 AM
Ghosts are quite widely supposed to create empirically observable effects tho, which would be in the realm of quite normal science even if the cause thereof is assumed to be supernatural.

Which again is one reason why I'm pestering for a clearer definition of what type of phenomena I'm being asked about. Does seeing your dead parents in a dream count as "haunting", for example?

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-08, 04:11 PM
Does seeing your dead parents in a dream count as "haunting", for example?

I don't see why it would "count". I occasionally dream about my deceased parents and at no time have I misinterpreted those dreams as being anything other than what they were...dreams.

Salty
2010-Nov-09, 12:06 AM
I graduated from college in the humanities. In this case, science's explanation for the "phenomenon" of seeing ghosts right after someone's death has evidence and therefore is to be preferred. I don't find the humanities or science contradictory, either--the place to examine this is science. The place to discuss its impact on things like art and government is the humanities. What actually causes the phenomenon is irrelevant to the humanities. How people deal with it is the humanities' job here.

Well, ma'am,

I respect your preference. With your science interest, that makes sense. When science puts aside references to the immaterial, then why is science the place to examine claims of seeing ghosts?
You already know, that, if and only if there were ghosts, I handle it by leaving them alone. For example, one day last week, one of my dog's was looking into the corner of the ceiling in my bedroom. I looked and saw nothing. So, I continued about my activities and after awhile Spike, the dog I mentioned, resumed going about his doggy business. Was it a spirit? I don't know. Could it be explained otherwise? The answer to the second question is yes. I've had squirrels and another time I've had rats in the attic. I've poisoned all the rats. It's likely that Spike heard some material critter in that attic corner that I couldn't hear. So, the common sense answer, not a scientific one, becomes applicable and applied.

Like I titled my first post on this thread, my native viewpoint of ghosts is, they "could be". And, like last week, I will generally look for a reasonable explanation to mysterious phenomena. I think I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, I've a life time of experience working with people: employers, co-workers and customers all as well as the occasional law officer when stopped for driving infractions as a cab driver and when they respond to my dispatcher's call for help as a security guard. So, although I don't have the college humanities background that you do, I do have a life time of experience with human nature, conditions and situations to guide me. I respect your college education. Please, I respectfully request that you respect my experiential education. OK?

So, I will repeat, that none of us were there, when Buttercup's friend's son had his experience. We were and are in no position to scientifically nor in any other way, to examine that. It happened. We weren't there. I accept the situation as reported and I can't think of any words you offer that will change my viewpoint on how to respond to that particular situation: it happened and this one case science has no answer about what happened, because no scientists have examined the locale, people nor friends involved. There is no scientific basis to claim a scientific explanation. In my humble opinion. And, I'm not likely to change that opinion.

Best regards,
Salty

Salty
2010-Nov-09, 12:12 AM
Ghosts are quite widely supposed to create empirically observable effects tho, which would be in the realm of quite normal science even if the cause thereof is assumed to be supernatural.

Which again is one reason why I'm pestering for a clearer definition of what type of phenomena I'm being asked about. Does seeing your dead parents in a dream count as "haunting", for example?

Hi, tnjrp,

Now, that's a fair question. In my mind, dreaming of being with dead relatives (I've recently had a dream where I was with a deceased aunt and uncle) is not a haunting. It's a dream. These dreams don't come frequently and have no pattern. They're just dreams about people who loved me and who I love. They come every once and awhile. Part of the results of living alone, I guess.

Regards,
Salty

Gillianren
2010-Nov-09, 02:02 AM
I respect your preference. With your science interest, that makes sense. When science puts aside references to the immaterial, then why is science the place to examine claims of seeing ghosts?

If ghosts are a real phenomenon and not the product of the mind, there should be a way of showing their existence. If there is no testable way to show that ghosts exist, what's the point in believing it's possible that they do? Ghosts and unicorns have the same value unless there is some evidence in favour of either.


Like I titled my first post on this thread, my native viewpoint of ghosts is, they "could be". And, like last week, I will generally look for a reasonable explanation to mysterious phenomena. I think I mentioned in a previous post on this thread, I've a life time of experience working with people: employers, co-workers and customers all as well as the occasional law officer when stopped for driving infractions as a cab driver and when they respond to my dispatcher's call for help as a security guard. So, although I don't have the college humanities background that you do, I do have a life time of experience with human nature, conditions and situations to guide me. I respect your college education. Please, I respectfully request that you respect my experiential education. OK?

I'll show it the respect it's worth in any given situation.


So, I will repeat, that none of us were there, when Buttercup's friend's son had his experience. We were and are in no position to scientifically nor in any other way, to examine that. It happened. We weren't there. I accept the situation as reported and I can't think of any words you offer that will change my viewpoint on how to respond to that particular situation: it happened and this one case science has no answer about what happened, because no scientists have examined the locale, people nor friends involved. There is no scientific basis to claim a scientific explanation. In my humble opinion. And, I'm not likely to change that opinion.

So science can't say anything about a murder with no witnesses? Science deals with things that weren't directly observed all the time when evidence is left. In this case, the evidence is the known working of the human mind. Whereas belief in ghosts in this situation has nothing but anecdotal evidence, and we know how valuable that is.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-09, 07:25 AM
I occasionally dream about my deceased parents and at no time have I misinterpreted those dreams as being anything other than what they were...dreams.Some people however do so. But if we can rule out such "visitations" out as being ghost phenomena then we are of course one step closer to defining what it is that I'm asked to believe or disbelieve here.

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-09, 04:44 PM
Some people however do so.

Misinterpret dreams??


...if we can rule out such "visitations" out as being ghost phenomena...

You're a little ahead of yourself...first you have to demonstrate that ghosts actually exist in reality. Then you can decide what is, and what is not "ghost phenomena".

Gillianren
2010-Nov-09, 07:22 PM
I think the goal here is to isolate which things to look at in order to seriously consider the reason for the alleged phenomenon.

Salty
2010-Nov-09, 11:30 PM
If ghosts are a real phenomenon and not the product of the mind, there should be a way of showing their existence. If there is no testable way to show that ghosts exist, what's the point in believing it's possible that they do? Ghosts and unicorns have the same value unless there is some evidence in favour of either.

Frankly, I'm not arrogant enough to believe that life or people are limited to the evidence of any one of our culture's establishment. Science, law, military, religion, education, industry, economics, commerce and so forth are all respective establishments of our culture and each has its place.
And none of them can have it both ways.

In short, lack of evidence means "We don't know". Evidence has nothing to do with existence. I exist, and Medical, economical, political and religious establishments have evidence of my existence. However, the science establishment has little to no "evidence" of my existence since all my entries in this forum are anecdotal, which is not accepted as science evidence. Heh heh heh.


I'll show it the respect it's worth in any given situation.



So science can't say anything about a murder with no witnesses? Science deals with things that weren't directly observed all the time when evidence is left. In this case, the evidence is the known working of the human mind. Whereas belief in ghosts in this situation has nothing but anecdotal evidence, and we know how valuable that is.

Well, if and only if science has anything to say about a murder with no witnesses, it should wait to be asked to comment by the appropriate authorities.

In my opinion, psychiatry and psychology are not only not science but arts, but also either is still to young to trust infallibly.

Dear Ma'am, science is not an authority. And people should not get their noses bent out of shape when they bump into that fact.
The government is an authority; the military and law are authorities. All the other establishments, to my knowledge, have to lobby for funds and legislation from the authorities to do what they want to do, except for religion, in this country.

Gillianren, you're probably much smarter and definitely more educated that I am. But, you are definitely no better than me. Just FYI. I'm just as entitled to my opinions based on different types of evidence and sources than yours, as you are entitled to your opinions based on different kinds of evidence and sources than I have. I have the same right to stand up to you and disagree with you as you have to look down at me and disagree with me.

Salty
2010-Nov-09, 11:43 PM
Misinterpret dreams??



You're a little ahead of yourself...first you have to demonstrate that ghosts actually exist in reality. Then you can decide what is, and what is not "ghost phenomena".

Hi, R.A.F.,

You have touched upon the crux of this discussion.

In my opinion, we need a definition of a ghost acceptable to all, before we can examine events to see if there's any evidence of that definition in events. Yes?

May I offer "intangible lifeform" as a working definition of what a ghost comprises?

Gillianren
2010-Nov-10, 12:46 AM
Gillianren, you're probably much smarter and definitely more educated that I am. But, you are definitely no better than me. Just FYI. I'm just as entitled to my opinions based on different types of evidence and sources than yours, as you are entitled to your opinions based on different kinds of evidence and sources than I have. I have the same right to stand up to you and disagree with you as you have to look down at me and disagree with me.

As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Not everyone is entitled to their own facts.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-10, 12:59 AM
Personally, I don't believe in the concept of spirits haunting a location. However, personal experience leads me to speculate that some sort of clairvoyance/ESP might allow certain individuals in certain circumstances to perceive or become aware of past or future events which they may imagine are actual sensory input.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-10, 07:24 AM
I think the goal here is to isolate which things to look at in order to seriously consider the reason for the alleged phenomenon.Indeed. If we don't even have an idea what phenomena we should be looking at, we'll be hard pressed to express opinion as to their potential cause. Which brings us this:

As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinionInformed opinion, that is... The other kind are just like certain bodily orifices related to excretion I'm not at liberty to mention by their colloquial name here: almost everybody has one but they still don't smell like roses.

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-10, 07:44 AM
As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Not everyone is entitled to their own facts.

some people are entitled to their own facts?

:think:

tnjrp
2010-Nov-10, 08:58 AM
Some people feel they are thus entitled in any case.

Substantia Innominata
2010-Nov-10, 11:54 AM
I don't believe in ghosts. Show me some evidence that they exist and I will admit to they are there.

Never say never... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghosts_of_departed_quantities)

Something -- always -- remains. ;)


...and yet, while watching it, I could smell wet, fresh-turned earth and the rich and damp smell of the store where Mom buys her plants. Scent is, they say, one of the strongest mental triggers. It's the one deepest connected to memory. And while it's certainly true that smelling can trigger memory, I think memory can trigger smelling as well.

Absolutely!


It's funny, but anecdotally, I'd say smell is the deepest followed by taste. I *think* science backs me up, but I could be wrong. It would follow, since taste is so closely tied to smell. But everything is woven together in it's own unique ways. I know there's certain colors I can see that bring back taste or smell memories. And certain smells that can bring back image memories of a time or place long forgotten. It's a wonderful system.

There's little doubt here either, as concerns the smell-taste-compound. Wouldn't it be for those schnozes, we couldn't naturally taste much at all. Thanks to the sniffles, everyone gets reminded of this from time to time.

But that one: "or smell memories.." ..I really love it. Rings a dozen bells! Memories & smells.. they really go hand in hand for me (too). I find this phenomenon so hard to grasp, it's practically the sole reason I once began reading Proust's 'In Search of Lost Time' -- and, no, I did not finish it. *g* Maybe I'll come back to it, sometime. Now this may sound funny, or even bizarre, but when I was a child, I frequently used to stay at my grandparents. Inside their house, down in the hallway, they had this clock. One of these beautiful, old Grandfather's- or longcase clocks. Personally I think it's a pity they've become such a rare appearance, nearly exotic; one often sees them in older movies or old-fashioned (or luxurious?) households, anyway, we certainly never had something like it at home. It seemed rather alien, and I was like spellbound by it, though not so much, as you might deem appropriate for a kid, by the sound of its chime, or the mechanisms inside, but most notably by its "smell"! I mean, there was a smell, it smelled like.. "something", and this smell was distinctive, like nothing else. Also neither pleasant, nor bad, just.. neutral. Could only have been its wooden case.. the wood it was (or is) made of, a special kind of wood, or some special treatment they applied to it, whatever.

By now my grandparents both passed away, a couple of years ago. Their house had to be sold then, and this clock, well, is gone with it, who knows where. I never even asked anyone. As I said, I've spent quite some time in this place, yet, strangely, there's not too much detail I remember about it.. apart from the clock! (..and my grandparents :razz: ) And sure enough, whenever I think about it, or get reminded of it, there it is: this seemingly-unique smell! As if the very clock stands right next to me?! That's not all of it. In fact I can't even (re)picture the clock, visually, in my memory, without the smell accompanying it; nor recall the sound of the stroke of the hour, nor the chimes, nor anything. Every notion, even marginally connected to the thing, has the smell to it, as if obligatorily immersed in it. This holds just as well for sightings of other grandfather's clocks, no more than superficially resembling 'my' original. Spotting one on TV does it. Same with just hearing the sounds they make. The smell is always there.

That, of course, is an example, only. Albeit an odd one. Smells are mighty triggers. And you'll never get rid of them, as they're apparently etched onto the memories, here to stay. No matter how long ago the last "refreshing" by any corresponding physical agent might've been. So it seems. And all of this is perfectly 'normal', that is, as could be expected, since science, from what you can learn -- really -- backs us up; at least for all we (mean to) know up to now. Especially the sense of smelling is very probably connected to what is called the episodic-autobiographic (part of) memory, and, interestingly, this is thought to be chiefly visual in nature. However, it seems the brain just has to fall back on this, even in order to store 'smells', because there are no specific mappings to specific 'smells' in the olfactory part of the cortex. At the same time, mappings to visual impressions, or 'contents', abound -- so they can serve the olfactory system as well, at least partly. In a sense it'd be somewhat necessary, yet also quite effective, and economic. This then, also, is the possible reason why many people (me included) can actually and without much trouble manage to 'smell' notions like that of 'Christmas', for example. (Just think of the smell of a Christmas tree, or that of the smoke from blown out candles, or that of sweets, or cookies, or.. or..)

Fascinating stuff.. and fascinatingly far off topic, isn't it? :shifty: Sorry! There's been a question I gather...


Do you believe in Ghosts?

I don't.

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-10, 03:11 PM
May I offer "intangible lifeform" as a working definition of what a ghost comprises?

"Non-existent intangible life form" would be a better descriptive term.

Salty
2010-Nov-10, 04:40 PM
Because it has to.

If there are such things as immaterial phenomena, they are of necessity outside the scope of science, any science.

If something isn't capable of being studied empirically, how can you even be sure it's something real?


Hi, Skeptic J,

I apologize for not posting sooner. I didn't see your post yesterday and stumbled across it today.

Well I recognize anecdotal as well as empirical and legal forms of evidence. Although it is quite specific, empirical is not the only kind of evidence available.

Salty
2010-Nov-10, 04:42 PM
As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Not everyone is entitled to their own facts.

Okedoke, that's a nice saying.

Salty
2010-Nov-10, 04:47 PM
"Non-existent intangible life form" would be a better descriptive term.


Oh, good grief. Well, anyway, I tried.
It's like walking into a brick wall, trying to communicate across our differences, with some of the people here.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-10, 05:15 PM
Oh, good grief. Well, anyway, I tried.
It's like walking into a brick wall, trying to communicate across our differences, with some of the people here.

Some people don't understand the concept of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

Salty
2010-Nov-10, 05:22 PM
Some people don't understand the concept of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

Bingo and, thank you.

I think I'll leave this thread alone, now.

Happy factual opinionating, ya'll.

BioSci
2010-Nov-10, 10:37 PM
Some people don't understand the concept of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".

And as long as we are using truisms as arguments, I happened to note this signature line:

"When you admit there's no proof for some particular idea, it's poor form to try to take others to task for not believing it." -- JayUtah

Each can decide on what basis they choose to believe - evidence or ??

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-11, 04:42 AM
And as long as we are using truisms as arguments, I happened to note this signature line:

"When you admit there's no proof for some particular idea, it's poor form to try to take others to task for not believing it." -- JayUtah

Each can decide on what basis they choose to believe - evidence or ??

Yeah, pretty much.

ggremlin
2010-Nov-11, 05:58 AM
I see ghost lights every night when there are no clouds in the sky. Visions of past events at least 4 or more years old. ;)

tnjrp
2010-Nov-11, 07:29 AM
Some people don't understand the concept of "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence".And some (quite a few, as it happens) people like to think that baldfaced assertion can make up for absence of evidence.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-11, 04:40 PM
And some (quite a few, as it happens) people like to think that baldfaced assertion can make up for absence of evidence.

Yep. And some assume that the evidence they need to find is physical and/or empirical.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-11, 07:47 PM
Yep. And some assume that the evidence they need to find is physical and/or empirical.

What other kind of valuable evidence would you suggest? Anecdotal? You can find anecdotal evidence for anything, and we all know how much value it has.

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-11, 07:57 PM
what about personal experience?

Gillianren
2010-Nov-11, 08:06 PM
How is that different from anecdotal evidence?

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-11, 09:16 PM
Oh, good grief. Well, anyway, I tried.

Tried what? Did you expect that people here would just accept the idea of ghosts without credible evidence? This is a science board after all.


It's like walking into a brick wall, trying to communicate across our differences, with some of the people here.

Ya know, I really get tired of posters implying that I (and those that require evidence before belief) MUST be closed minded simply because we don't blindly buy into all manner of pseudo-scientific "junk".

Gillianren
2010-Nov-11, 09:52 PM
It's like walking into a brick wall trying to get some people to understand that of course we're going to apply the same rigorous standards to any investigation.

Noclevername
2010-Nov-11, 10:05 PM
Personal experience or anecdote doesn't constitute "evidence" by the scientific definition of the term. For it to be scientific evidence, it has to be repeatable-- in this case, meaning it has to be something more than one person can observe.

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-11, 11:25 PM
It's like walking into a brick wall...

I always thought the expression was talking to a brick well.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-11, 11:49 PM
What other kind of valuable evidence would you suggest? Anecdotal? You can find anecdotal evidence for anything, and we all know how much value it has.

Yes, among others varieties. Sometimes anecdote is all you have to go on. That's not meant to rule out physical evidence, only to mean that sometimes none is obtained and without confirming observations it might not be possible to determine the validity of personal experiences. Then there are "ghost hunters" who look for physical evidence that may simply not exist as they predict. If the ghost experience is due purely to psychology or some physical cause that induces that psychological experience, there may not be evidence detected.

Of course, we cannot rule out actual supernatural events by definition, but neither can we rule out anomalies in a universe-as-a-simulation.

KaiYeves
2010-Nov-12, 12:09 AM
I see ghost lights every night when there are no clouds in the sky. Visions of past events at least 4 or more years old. ;)
:clap:

Gillianren
2010-Nov-12, 01:42 AM
Yes, among others varieties. Sometimes anecdote is all you have to go on. That's not meant to rule out physical evidence, only to mean that sometimes none is obtained and without confirming observations it might not be possible to determine the validity of personal experiences. Then there are "ghost hunters" who look for physical evidence that may simply not exist as they predict. If the ghost experience is due purely to psychology or some physical cause that induces that psychological experience, there may not be evidence detected.

They have no reason to expect the "physical evidence" they predict. They are going by anecdotal evidence, which we know to be so flawed as to be completely unscientific, to claim that certain phenomena "must" prove there are ghosts, even when it's the only thing approaching evidence for what they're looking for. Circular logic. As is "we may not have found evidence because it may not have left evidence." Isn't it more likely that we haven't found evidence because there isn't anything to leave it?


Of course, we cannot rule out actual supernatural events by definition, but neither can we rule out anomalies in a universe-as-a-simulation.

Quite. And therefore using anecdotal evidence to establish the supernatural is essentially worthless.

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-12, 02:40 AM
well, anecdotal evidence, witness reports, are good enough for courts of law....although that might not be scientific, it would seem to say that they are not considered worthless, if people can be sent to jail for years based upon it.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-12, 03:33 AM
If you're sent to jail on nothing but eyewitness reports, get a better lawyer.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-12, 04:43 AM
They have no reason to expect the "physical evidence" they predict. They are going by anecdotal evidence, which we know to be so flawed as to be completely unscientific, to claim that certain phenomena "must" prove there are ghosts, even when it's the only thing approaching evidence for what they're looking for. Circular logic. As is "we may not have found evidence because it may not have left evidence." Isn't it more likely that we haven't found evidence because there isn't anything to leave it?[quote]I won't argue against the circularity of the arguments of much of that type of research. Often, the best any such researcher can achieve is correlation, but not causation. While correlation may be evidence, it does not rise along the lines of inquiry of the scientific method much further than observation.

[quote]Quite. And therefore using anecdotal evidence to establish the supernatural is essentially worthless.Possibly the rules of the purported supernatural obey similar laws of the mundane natural world, possibly not.

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-12, 07:25 AM
If you're sent to jail on nothing but eyewitness reports, get a better lawyer.

yes, but eyewitness testimony is included even if it is weaker than scientific evidence. Would they do that if it was worthless? If so it would seem to waste everyone's time.

slang
2010-Nov-12, 08:27 AM
well, anecdotal evidence, witness reports, are good enough for courts of law....although that might not be scientific, it would seem to say that they are not considered worthless, if people can be sent to jail for years based upon it.

On the other hand, we have overwhelming amounts of independently verifiable evidence that crimes occur. Having someone describe exactly your face, your body, that unique BAUT RULEZ tattoo on your left arm, and the exact actions you did that made whatever you did a horrible crime must be consistent with whatever evidence there is that this particular crime happened. A judge (or jury) must make a judgment on whether the eyewitness report can be considered reliable too.

In the case of ghosts it's different. We have no independently verifiable evidence of the existence of ghosts. None. Any personal account or experience must therefor be scrutinized for alternative explanations, and much more so than in a court case. Unless there is independently verifiable evidence that supports the experience, and is not also explicable through other means.


yes, but eyewitness testimony is included even if it is weaker than scientific evidence. Would they do that if it was worthless? If so it would seem to waste everyone's time.

Weaker or not, it must still be consistent with evidence. Weak testimony isn't by default worthless in a court case, if it is weak evidence the judge (or jury) will take that into account.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-12, 10:17 AM
And some assume that the evidence they need to find is physical and/or empirical.As others have already said, there is little reason to settle for less than empirical evidence to get us started with the proposition that there indeed are hauntings as objective phenomena, not merely (probably mundane) phenomena subjectively interpreted as hauntings.

If you want to discard empirism that's fine of course. Then everything simply becomes a subjective belief issue, of the kind we are being proposed to give an answer to here as a matter of fact -- with the caveat that your facts may be different from my facts, of course ;)

And as an aside, I still haven't been told what I'm supposed to believe or disbelieve here.

Buttercup
2010-Nov-12, 12:02 PM
Tried what? Did you expect that people here would just accept the idea of ghosts without credible evidence? This is a science board after all.



Ya know, I really get tired of posters implying that I (and those that require evidence before belief) MUST be closed minded simply because we don't blindly buy into all manner of pseudo-scientific "junk".

In 1960, my mother visited the doctor because of menstrual cramps. Doctor privately told my father "It's all in her head." He'd never (obviously) experienced menstrual cramps; ergo, neither could my mother. Of course I could say it doesn't hurt a man to get kicked in the groin. ;)

That's what these discussions remind me of.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-12, 12:16 PM
I do believe menstrual cramps can be observed tho. I stand at attention to be corrected if necessary.

Buttercup
2010-Nov-12, 12:31 PM
I do believe menstrual cramps can be observed tho. I stand at attention to be corrected if necessary.

They've been proven now. As if some of us "needed" proof. :(

But weren't in 1960 (lack of technology).

tnjrp
2010-Nov-12, 12:58 PM
Yep. And do we thereby conclude that every proposition and subjective experience, no matter how incredible, is objectively "true" but merely awaiting scientific verification?

BTW, just a procedural note: science doesn't prove. Science observes evidence and forwards the most parsimonous explanation. A minor nitpick in practice, but sticking to it makes discussion easier.

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-12, 03:54 PM
In 1960, my mother visited the doctor because of menstrual cramps. Doctor privately told my father "It's all in her head." He'd never (obviously) experienced menstrual cramps; ergo, neither could my mother. Of course I could say it doesn't hurt a man to get kicked in the groin. ;)

That's what these discussions remind me of.

Your sense of "relevancy" is apparently broken.

Swift
2010-Nov-12, 04:29 PM
Your sense of "relevancy" is apparently broken.
And your sense of polite conversation for this forum is apparently not at 100% either R.A.F.. This is OTB, not ATM or CT.

R.A.F.
2010-Nov-12, 04:39 PM
And your sense of polite conversation for this forum is apparently not at 100% either R.A.F.. This is OTB, not ATM or CT.

My apologies...although I fail to see how comparing a womans menstrual cramps to a man getting kicked between the legs is in any way "polite".

Just sayin'. :)

Click Ticker
2010-Nov-12, 04:49 PM
Given the populatarity of Mythbusters, I'm surprised there isn't a Ghostbusters show. Not one that seeks to prove, but rather one that takes claims of hauntings and finds the mundane explanation for the experiences. Cold spot in the room? Using this instrument, we were able to locate a draft here. Electrical detection? The power is still on at the house, and we found that a rodent chewed throught he insulation on the wiring behind this wall. Etc...

That would be interesting TV. Hard to find candidates though. I think there is more profit in selling paranormal, so people don't want their title of "most haunted house in x county" taken away from them.

Speaking of dreams. I have a recurring dream of trying to navigate my way through a rather large labyrinth of a public restroom looking for a clean, functioning toilet with a door. I can never find one. They are either occupied, broken, or filthy beyond anything I'd consider using. Invariably I wake up and really need to go. I fear the day I find a toilet in my dream that is just right and thus fail to wake up.

Gillianren
2010-Nov-12, 06:24 PM
They've been proven now. As if some of us "needed" proof. :(

But weren't in 1960 (lack of technology).

Sounds like just a sexist doctor, not a problem with science. The fact is, there was plenty of evidence that menstrual cramps existed, not least being the presence of muscles around the uterus which obviously had to contract in childbirth and might logically be expected to cramp at other times as other muscles do. The Pill was approved for contraceptive use in 1960, for heaven's sake, and from the start, it was used by women with "irregular periods." Before 1960. And that included menstrual cramps.


Given the populatarity of Mythbusters, I'm surprised there isn't a Ghostbusters show. Not one that seeks to prove, but rather one that takes claims of hauntings and finds the mundane explanation for the experiences. Cold spot in the room? Using this instrument, we were able to locate a draft here. Electrical detection? The power is still on at the house, and we found that a rodent chewed throught he insulation on the wiring behind this wall. Etc...

The people who want real evidence aren't inclined to watch shows about ghosts, and the people who want to watch shows about ghosts aren't inclined to believe in a rational scientific explanation for the phenomena. Besides, it sounds like it would get very boring very quickly, since they'd all have the same four explanations.

SeanF
2010-Nov-12, 08:01 PM
yes, but eyewitness testimony is included even if it is weaker than scientific evidence. Would they do that if it was worthless? If so it would seem to waste everyone's time.
Bad analogy, Frog March. They use eyewitness testimony in trials because people accept it as valid evidence, but that's pretty much unrelated to whether or not it is valid evidence. :)

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-12, 08:29 PM
well this is the Bad Analogy Universe Today forum, isn't it?;)

KaiYeves
2010-Nov-12, 10:34 PM
Given the populatarity of Mythbusters, I'm surprised there isn't a Ghostbusters show. Not one that seeks to prove, but rather one that takes claims of hauntings and finds the mundane explanation for the experiences. Cold spot in the room? Using this instrument, we were able to locate a draft here. Electrical detection? The power is still on at the house, and we found that a rodent chewed throught he insulation on the wiring behind this wall. Etc...

That would be interesting TV. Hard to find candidates though. I think there is more profit in selling paranormal, so people don't want their title of "most haunted house in x county" taken away from them.
Hey, I'd watch it, as long as it was consistently skeptical enough not to be scary to people like me with overactive imaginations. My friend Erin is actually into both sorts of shows, so if we weren't just kids, maybe we could be the investigation team.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-15, 07:14 AM
I suppose the Brits here could push for BBC to give the aforementioned Mr. Romer a funding to do Poltawotsits -- the TV Show. I figure he'd be skeptical enough for most purposes (despite being a believer) and enthuasiastic enough to run around the country chasing spooks :)

Moose
2010-Nov-15, 07:28 AM
Given the populatarity of Mythbusters, I'm surprised there isn't a Ghostbusters show. Not one that seeks to prove, but rather one that takes claims of hauntings and finds the mundane explanation for the experiences. Cold spot in the room? Using this instrument, we were able to locate a draft here. Electrical detection? The power is still on at the house, and we found that a rodent chewed throught he insulation on the wiring behind this wall. Etc...

There was one. "Scooby Doo". It usually turned out that Old Man Jenkins was behind the whole thing, but the human angle makes for better TV.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-15, 03:54 PM
There was one. "Scooby Doo". It usually turned out that Old Man Jenkins was behind the whole thing, but the human angle makes for better TV.

Actually, I thought the animated dog was more engaging than the two dimensional humans.

William Thompson
2010-Nov-16, 06:39 AM
We are ghosts and what we call ghosts are real people.

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-16, 08:43 AM
well, I'm a zombie personally.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-16, 08:59 AM
Of a P-zombie, a viral zombie/rager or a rotting, shambling cadaver variety?

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-16, 09:43 AM
a veggie zombie.....we eat graaaiiiins.....

tnjrp
2010-Nov-16, 09:54 AM
http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/frech/o080.gif

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-16, 04:33 PM
badum-bum.

You guys should take that act on the road.

tnjrp
2010-Nov-18, 07:25 AM
Sorry, but I just don't look good in a sequin bikini.

Ara Pacis
2010-Nov-18, 07:32 AM
Sorry, but I just don't look good in a sequin bikini.

You speak from experience?

WaxRubiks
2010-Nov-18, 07:40 AM
come on, who hasn't put on a sequin bikini???!

tnjrp
2010-Nov-18, 11:33 AM
I would furthermore also move that a question like that is out-of-place on this scientific forum for scientific people who must have scientific evidence. It's therefore the null hypothesis that I have evidence for my statements.