Debate and Discussion

Ghosts, spirits, all that sorts that stuff...
simonitro at 10:23AM, March 11, 2006
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Do you believe in them?

Well, in a way!

Because sometimes, I feel that the dead spirits are walking everywhere and anywhere. It sounds silly and stupid.


Enjoy… Las Vegas-y
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:37PM
Ian Jay at 11:14AM, March 12, 2006
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McDonald's early-Nineties kid-oriented ad campaign based around the somewhat ludicrous concept of a rule-free 'McWorld'
Hey, it could happen.

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
ozoneocean at 11:50AM, March 12, 2006
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Ghosts and spirits are all part of the pre-Christian belief systems. They were once 100% real to people the way Christianity is to us now, belief in them was just a fact of life. I find it wonderful that those religions and beliefs were that strong that they’ve managed to survive over a thousand years of the onslaughts of later religions, but it’s very sad that they’ve ended up as such wimpy superstitions…Still, they’re very much a part of some of the other real religions left over today (I don’t include silly things like Wicca and Druidism who only pretend at tradition), especially in Africa, Asia, South America, etc…

Once these spooky spirits and ghosts were gods to be worshiped, or demons to be feared, but now they’re just faded remnants of old history. To a lot of us anyway.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
ccs1989 at 2:36PM, March 12, 2006
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I like to believe in things that I can see or that can rationally be explained to be. So therefore no, I don't believe in them.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:37AM
Ian Jay at 3:45PM, March 13, 2006
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ccs1989
I like to believe in things that I can see or that can rationally be explained to be. So therefore no, I don't believe in them.

You've never been to Montana, have you? And do you know of anybody who's ever been to Montana? (My guess is that you don't. Even if you live in Idaho or something. There is no concievable reason that anybody would ever want to go to Montana.) Therefore, since you haven't seen it, and nobody else you know has, there's no way of proving that Montana exists. As you mathletes say, Q.E.D.

~IJ
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:56PM
Adariel at 7:26PM, March 13, 2006
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Ian Jay
ccs1989
I like to believe in things that I can see or that can rationally be explained to be. So therefore no, I don't believe in them.

You've never been to Montana, have you? And do you know of anybody who's ever been to Montana? (My guess is that you don't. Even if you live in Idaho or something. There is no concievable reason that anybody would ever want to go to Montana.) Therefore, since you haven't seen it, and nobody else you know has, there's no way of proving that Montana exists. As you mathletes say, Q.E.D.

~IJ

ha ha, yet somehow i saw that coming
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:45AM
Miruku at 9:01PM, March 13, 2006
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Mr. Neil
For a ghost to exist, there would have to be a mind without a brain, which doesn't make any sense to me.

I don't suppose you believe in souls? I tend to believe that, while ghosts/spirits may no longer be attached to their brain, and hence their mind, they are still very much attached to their soul.

That's probably why they keep harping on about the same thing in the same place for years and years and years. They can't think of anything else to do(not very creative, these ghosties of mine).

I thought I saw a ghost once when I was about 6. But everyone convinced me that my eyes were playing tricks on me…. If that was true, my eyes can do some pretty awesome tricks (maybe I should give them a treat).
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:02PM
Miruku at 2:43PM, March 14, 2006
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Well, to me a spirit would be a form of ghost, whereas a soul is the, I don't even know what to call it, I guess, the “heart” of a person that is most likely attached to the brain but I like to hope that that's not wholly true.

I'm not actually saying the ghosts would “think”, seeing as it would be physically impossible. It was a hypothetical proposition that maybe they stick to that one thing in all those ghost stories because that's all they can do. Perhaps their supposed soul is void of everything but sadness or anger or whatnot, and that is the emotion the ghost portrays? Just an idea.

As for my personal experience, I have long since accepted that I was most likely asleep at the time. If I was, however, awake (unlikely, I know), young as I may have been, there could have been no trick of the eye, in my opinion. It was far too complex of an image to have been created by a chance configuration of light.
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Aurora Moon at 5:10PM, March 14, 2006
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it's been actually suggested that the “ghosts” that people see and experience is actually nothing but imprints of the people who used to live around the area.

so basically, if those ghosts can't think or feel for themselves, and they keep on “haunting” an spot that they especially were around a lot when they were alive, then wouldn't that mean they were nothing but a imprint?

people tend to bring an presence with them when they frequent an area they like to visit or were simply around a lot, and they tend to make their mark on that area. so the “ghosts” could be nothing but psychic or energy imprints left behind.

and that type of imprint could easily become stronger after that person died. you could say it could possibly be the person's subconscious desire to ensure that they would not be forgotten, or the subconscious fear that they would had left the world of the living without even having left a mark to let others know that they were there once.

come to think of it, this kind of imprint doesn't even have to mean that an person died at all. if you were an creature of habit, and you kept on going to certain areas at certain times.. and then for some reason, you had to go somewhere else due to reasons… that's when the people who goes to the same exact areas would feel this odd presence.. which would actually be the imprint of YOUR past activies. they'd just think it was an ghost because they'd sense that something was missing from this area that they were visting. They may not had known you or even seen you, but they'd sense that there was somebody who often came to this area, and wasn't here anymore.

ack, I hope this makes sense, I'm starting to ramble.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM
Duhawoah at 8:32PM, March 14, 2006
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It's hard to say really. Though the theory of the needing a brain is plausable. It is simply impossible to just not exist anymore. Sit for a while and try to imagine not being alive or being a ghost. Just beeing dead in the ground not thinking. Or seeing rather. It's physicly impossible. Even in our sleep we think. Ghost though not very plausible may very wellexist. Re-incarnation seems the better explanation. To me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:18PM
Inkmonkey at 8:49PM, March 14, 2006
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If there's one thing that will get you to believe in ghosts, it's spending a number of years in the Navajo Reservation (or just the “Rez,” as I've come to know it).

For example, for a number of years my grandparents' house was haunted. Nobody took notice of it at first, because it wasn't the dramatic “Hollywood” style of haunting; nothing was glowing, nothing was moved, no apparitions were seen.

Essentially, while sitting on my grandparent's sofa one day, I began crying, which was understandable because my best friend Jonas had just died in front of me. He had wrapped his head in saran wrap, and I was too stupid to tear it off of him. Then it dawned on me that I'd never seen that, and furthermore, I didn't know anyone named Jonas. I'm pretty sure I'd never seen anything close to that on TV or in my dreams, and I wondered why I would care so much about something that had never happened.

But that was just how the haunting worked. In the house, you would occasionally remember things that had never happened to you, or more often, feel emotions you had no reason to feel. I remember eating dinner and suddenly being angry; not at anything in particular, just generally angry. I looked around for something to be angry at, and the feeling passed before I acted on it.


One day I went to my grandparents house, and I felt no unusual emotions or strange memories. I hadn't mentioned them to any other members of my family at this point, because I was afraid they'd think I was making it up, and I just assumed that I had imagined these occurences in the past. A few years passed without the strange visions before I finally brought it up to the other members of my family, and it was revealed that a traditional Medicine Man had blessed the house to remove unwelcome spirits, and the haunting immediately ceased.

So, no, I don't believe in “ghosts” as most people define them today. But I do believe in a consciousness existing beyond death, and in the concept of spirits and souls. I could regale you for pages on strange occurances on the Navajo Reservation, but they're all fairly dismissable in their own way, and I suppose a number of people will find a way to dismiss my story as well, but it was as real to me as any other occurance in my life, and no science I've found yet has been able to disprove it to me.
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Juliechan at 12:08AM, Dec. 14, 2006
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I believe very much in ghosts/spirits. More than that I'm open to the idea of sprites/fairies and almost anything else.
I feel I have had personal experiences with ‘spirits’ in my lifetime and have no reason to doubt any of it. I admit to be skeptical when somebody talks of spirits and what not, but I can't help what I personally know is out there.

Everybody believes in something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:11PM
skoolmunkee at 3:30AM, Dec. 14, 2006
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I was listening to an episode of This American Life, and Ira Glass had on a guy who was an expert in carbon monoxide poisoning. It turns out that almost all the classical symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide are also all the classical symptoms of ghost sightings and supernatural phenomena. Light spots, dark spots, unseen things moving around the room, pressure on your chest, hearing voices, feeling cold, etc… it was actually quite funny how plausible it seemed that history's ghost sightings could have come from being in a room with a clogged fireplace flue. :)
  IT'S OLD BATMAN
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lothar at 7:10PM, Dec. 24, 2006
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the human brain is just a relay device to a higher dimension that we 4 dimensional beings cannot see ! thats why children see ghosts far more offten than adults , the device is not yet working at full power and they are still getting interferance allong the wires! as for ghosts , that's simple; "the 3 space dimensions are just the beggining of this multi-dimensional universe - these 3 dimensions and prolly time as well , are irrelevant to the spirit world. that's why these spirits look like they are everywhere, because their dimension surrounds our entire universe ! also they are likely not individuals in the sense that you and i are individual beings … they are more like puzzle peices all baked into a cake .. .
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Peipei at 12:36PM, Dec. 25, 2006
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lothar
the human brain is just a relay device to a higher dimension that we 4 dimensional beings cannot see ! thats why children see ghosts far more offten than adults , the device is not yet working at full power and they are still getting interferance allong the wires! as for ghosts , that's simple; "the 3 space dimensions are just the beggining of this multi-dimensional universe - these 3 dimensions and prolly time as well , are irrelevant to the spirit world. that's why these spirits look like they are everywhere, because their dimension surrounds our entire universe ! also they are likely not individuals in the sense that you and i are individual beings … they are more like puzzle peices all baked into a cake .. .


Wow. That's an amazing point you got there :3 similar to what I had in mind actually. I believe that ghosts and spirits do exhist and that the spirit world is part of the universe. I think that when people die, they become part of the spirit world, and sometimes, we may see them on rare occasions, accidently. :s There've been some strange happinings in the new house that my family and I are living in. They're's been dark sihlouettes of people lurking around the house in the middle of the night, including a tall hooded figure (spotted by myself and my brother), an angry girl (spotted by my brother) and a chef by the stairwell (spotted by my mother). So yes ^^; I believe these things really do exhist :o.
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Ronson at 9:30AM, Dec. 26, 2006
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The human brain is pretty amazing. With very limited perception, we can usually accurately interpret the things that happen around us.

But sometimes, this ability to “fill in the gaps” leads us astray. We see familiar faces in shadows and wall stains. We think we see someone out of the corner of our eyes, but it turns out to be just a hat rack. Most of the time, these “gaps” are interpreted to be people.

Then there's overactive imaginations, which can virtually create an image with almost no perceived data. Hearing voices, feeling something touching your shoulder … we all do it.

Ghosts are “seen” with our limited perception. They don't exist anywhere but between the gaps of what we think is there and what really is. Our imagination gives them shape, and that shape is vaguely human because the human brain is always interpreting very small bits of information into people.

The reality of the world is pretty wonderful. We don't need to clutter it up by fooling ourselves with actual ghosts.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
ccs1989 at 9:28AM, Dec. 28, 2006
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Ian Jay
ccs1989
I like to believe in things that I can see or that can rationally be explained to be. So therefore no, I don't believe in them.

You've never been to Montana, have you? And do you know of anybody who's ever been to Montana? (My guess is that you don't. Even if you live in Idaho or something. There is no concievable reason that anybody would ever want to go to Montana.) Therefore, since you haven't seen it, and nobody else you know has, there's no way of proving that Montana exists. As you mathletes say, Q.E.D.

~IJ

What's a Montana? I don't believe it exists.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Ronson at 10:19AM, Dec. 28, 2006
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Sorry, Ian Jay, you're Montana analogy isn't very good. There is evidence of Montana in pictures and in people and in maps. Satellite pictures show very clearly evidence of Montana. Which is not to say that there isn't a huge conspiracy to pretend that Montana exists, but eventually you have to use the preponderance of evidence.

Now, contrast that with ghosts. There is no evidence of the existence of ghosts besides eyewitness accounts. In a large majority of those accounts, it's obvious that the unexplained is being replaced by the supernatural. In some cases, the exact explanation (sans ghosts) might be harder to find, but that doesn't make it proof of ghosts.

Also, take the laws of physics as we know it today. If a ghost is see-through, why don't we see the back of the ghost through the front? If a ghost is floating, what is it made of … something lighter than air that also has some sort of musculature to make gestures and motions? What makes them “glow” … if they do? Why do they usually only appear when conditions are dark, or only for a few seconds in the corner of people's eyes? How does a ghost know when it's in the corner of your eye … and then know when it isn't?

No answer to any of these questions can be answered with physical laws. You need to say “we don't know everything, and there can be exceptions to existing laws or laws we haven't discovered yet.”

Okay, fine. What else should we believe in so readily that also belies the laws of physics? Leprechauns, fairies, magic and unicorns? How are they any different from those who try to support the existence of ghosts?
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mapaghimagsik at 10:25AM, Dec. 28, 2006
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If ghosts and gillies and bugaboos are all pre-Christian, what's up with this “holy ghost” stuff?

I put belief in ghosts in the same bucket as religion. One's more codified, but its still an issue of faith. I know that's going to get some noses bent out of shape among my religious friends, but just remember as they said in Jesus Camp,

“you're not the judge of me”
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ozoneocean at 11:04AM, Dec. 28, 2006
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Faith? Ha! Most things are about faith if you really think about it. What is faith? Not needing proof to believe in something…? That works for love, mortality, the existence of the universe, the concept of intelligence, my knowledge of how a car engine works… I could study how a car engine works and even build one myself in order to better understand them, but I haven't yet so I may as well just have faith in them for now.

Dismissing things as faith issues is almost the same as trying to explain the unexplained using the supernatural; it's just taking an easy way out. ;)

There may be real, physical phenomena that ghosts are based on, we just don't know and until we do all we can do is speculate. Aside from that you have to realise that ghosts are primarily socially constructed; the real interest lies not in their existence (or lack there off), but in the stories and histories involving them.
 
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Ronson at 12:16PM, Dec. 28, 2006
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I see it more of a sliding scale.

On one side of the scale are things that require very little faith for belief because I can clearly perceive them with one or more of my senses. These are the things that I KNOW exist to a degree of certainty that you have to get metaphysical to deny their existence. (i.e.: How do you know for sure that anything exists and this isn't all a dream?)

On the other side of the scale are the things that are imperceptible to my senses and have absolutely no physical proof of existence. (souls, Santa Clause, leprechauns).

Everything is classified between these two categories. At a certain point, with enough evidence I'll believe something exists even if I haven't personally sensed it. At another, I'll believe theories and explanations on how things work based on reliable sources of information – even if I can't completely understand the theories or explanations.

But things like ghosts, aliens, gods and the like are just too far toward the other side of my scale. They aren't completely impossible - very little is - but they're impossible enough that I feel a degree of certainty that they don't exist that you would have to get metaphysical to accept their existence. (i.e.: If the universe is infinite and if there are things that have not been discovered or figured out, how can you know for sure that leprechauns aren't watching you at this very minute?)

But we're all wired differently, and we all believe things according to differently constructed belief scales.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
mapaghimagsik at 12:43PM, Dec. 28, 2006
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I agree Ronson, though I do consider myself an anthiest.

At the very least, the idea of gillies, ghosties, gnomes, elves, the Noah living over 800 years, jesus dying for my sins, cows being sacred burgers - er beasts…

well, nothing to get all bent out of shape about holidays over, or certainly go to war over.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
MagickLorelai at 1:29PM, Dec. 28, 2006
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Do I believe in ghosts/spirits? Yes. I've had my own experiences that have lead me to believe that way, but that's all they are; PERSONAL experiences. Do I think EVERYONE should believe that they exist? That's all individual.

Regarding the fact that we haven't been able to *prove* that ghosts exist definitively, that comes down to information that's currently available as well as what tools we have for measurement. People have moved away from the spiritual because we have a better understanding how a lot of things work that used to mystify us; why certain plants help us feel better when eaten, how a child is created and born, how we came to be on this planet(that's arguable, many people choose to ignore the information that's available in favor of the spiritual. Anyway), etc. I've always felt that just because we understand how it works doesn't make it any less “magical” or “spiritual”, but again, that's just personal feelings. ^^;

We can't (yet) prove the existance of spirits/ghosts. In that sense, it's natural to be skeptical. I agree that it's GOOD to be skeptical. Skeptics will continue searching for the truth, whatever that may be. I do think, though, that someday we will have a means to measure paranormal activity, and to understand it.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
lothar at 2:03PM, Dec. 28, 2006
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i used to think that the universe had to be all logical and scientific , when i didn't know very much about science. But the more i read on the subject the crazier it gets .
human brain = biology = chemistry = physics
everything is physics
and physics is an imprecise science because of the Uncertainty principle. that means everything humans think they know is not for sure .
Do we limit our imaginations to what our fleshy and electronic senses can see, hear, touch, etc. in THIS 4 dimensional reality ?
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hat at 8:45PM, Dec. 28, 2006
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What about mutiple people who witness the same ghost? I remember there was a portrait of a man with the ghost of Lincoln in the backgound. The photo was taken years after his death.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:45PM
mapaghimagsik at 9:32AM, Dec. 29, 2006
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And I remember waking up one night and my dog was standing above me, screaming at me in Yiddish.

Its true! ;)

Sorry hat, couldn't help but tease. But really, if two people see the same thing and come to the same conclusion, it doesn't make it right. It just means two people think they see Lincoln's ghost.

There are lots of not-readily-explained things. I think its a bit premature to jump to the idea that its the “holy ghost” or whatever. At the same time, there's the “absence of proof doesn't make proof of absence.” I agree with this as well, but whenever I'm forced with a choice, I go with the information I have, rather than what I hope to be.

I'm sure you've seen this one:



“Is it a vision of Christ?” the web page hosting this asks.

No Sherlock, its a fun physics trick with your eye. If there was a silhouette of the Taco Bell Chihuahua, would that mean Taco Bell died for our sins? No, it only tastes that way.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
lothar at 8:21PM, Dec. 29, 2006
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i cant see a jesus in that pic , does he pop out in 3D or what !

and why does this have to be about Xianity or lincoln ?
im talking about the whole universe . humans are like a bunch of deers who never look up into the trees cuz their necks don't bend that way !
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:21PM, Dec. 29, 2006
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Sorry. little obscure, responding to hat like that.

Carry on.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ccs1989 at 8:22PM, Dec. 31, 2006
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A healthy scepticism that doesn't extend into cynicism is, well, healthy, but so is keeping an open mind. Don't discount something just because it sounds kind of strange, but instead approach the so called truth with caution. Always question.
http://ccs1989.deviantart.com

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Henry David Thoreau, Walden
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:38AM
Aurora Moon at 10:53PM, Dec. 31, 2006
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ccs1989
A healthy scepticism that doesn't extend into cynicism is, well, healthy, but so is keeping an open mind. Don't discount something just because it sounds kind of strange, but instead approach the so called truth with caution. Always question.

exactly.
I'm on hitatus while I redo one of my webcomics. Be sure to check it out when I'n done! :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:09AM

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