Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

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Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#1  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 1:36 pm

Nice piece by Hayley here http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/the-ethics- ... -research/ Dave and I wrote a paper on the subject in ANOMALY 2011 which sis sadly not available on the web, but if you are interested in these issues Hayley's article a great resource. :)

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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#2  Postby mattthomas » Jun 06, 2012 1:39 pm

jerome wrote:Nice piece by Hayley here http://hayleyisaghost.co.uk/the-ethics- ... -research/ Dave and I wrote a paper on the subject in ANOMALY 2011 which sis sadly not available on the web, but if you are interested in these issues Hayley's article a great resource. :)

j x

I really must write a paper on the ethical issues involved in leaving teeth for the tooth fairy.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#3  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 1:50 pm

I think if you read it you will see why this matters... Still if you disagree say why. Thousands of self-procalimed experts are messing about in peoples homes and workplaces, and the results are not always pretty... Have a look before dismissing it. :)

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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#4  Postby mattthomas » Jun 06, 2012 1:52 pm

jerome wrote:I think if you read it you will see why this matters... Still if you disagree say why. Thousands of self-procalimed experts are messing about in peoples homes and workplaces, and the results are not always pretty... Have a look before dismissing it. :)

j x

Oh no, I read it... people scared of ghosts even more scared of ghost hunting techniques...

idiots :coffee:
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#5  Postby campermon » Jun 06, 2012 4:14 pm

NEVER cross the proton streams.

;)
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#6  Postby Hayley » Jun 06, 2012 4:34 pm

Ghost hunting must appear quite quirky and silly to the outsider who doesn't have an interest it in, and a lot of the stuff ghost hunters do and believe is silly.

However, once I dealt with a case where another ghost research group had gone into someone's house and told them that the ghost of a rapist who had been drowned in a nearby pond was haunting their daughters bedroom.

The home owners weren't "stupid" for being scared or thinking that may be so, they were misguided and possibly naive - but what they were told by people acting irresponsibly harmed them.

I also find it concerning that a ghost hunter who was convicted for paedophilia had been entering peoples homes as a ghost researcher for years before he was convicted - the risk that put people in is unimaginable.

I think that's a serious matter and a problem and I personally find it saddening that people who believe themselves to be rational can't see past the giggles ghost hunters provide to see the problem here.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#7  Postby Scot Dutchy » Jun 06, 2012 4:52 pm

I was shoked to hear from my over rational sister who lives in Mexico that she believes in ghosts. :oops: :oops:

There are no issues in ghost hunting as ghosts like god do not exist.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#8  Postby BlackBart » Jun 06, 2012 4:54 pm

So, Ghosthunters should avoid making absurd, unsupported claims and have a current extended Criminal Record Bureau check.

Seems logical to me. :thumbup:
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#9  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 5:06 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:I was shoked to hear from my over rational sister who lives in Mexico that she believes in ghosts. :oops: :oops:

There are no issues in ghost hunting as ghosts like god do not exist.



By this logic religious practitioners should not be required to act ethically as God does not exist? :)

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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#10  Postby Zwaarddijk » Jun 06, 2012 5:17 pm

jerome wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:I was shoked to hear from my over rational sister who lives in Mexico that she believes in ghosts. :oops: :oops:

There are no issues in ghost hunting as ghosts like god do not exist.



By this logic religious practitioners should not be required to act ethically as God does not exist? :)

j x

That's just Scot's usual hate for anything that isn't within the category of things he approves of. See, if you aren't in orthodox agreement with him, you're a heretic and should be shut up forever. Because that, my friends, is how rationalism rolls. Apparently. :|
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#11  Postby Wiðercora » Jun 06, 2012 5:20 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:There are no issues in ghost hunting as ghosts like god do not exist.


Did you even read the article in question?

It seemed quite reasonable to me.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#12  Postby dinkum » Jun 06, 2012 5:41 pm

Perhaps ghosthunters should be licensed and bonded.

You know, like plumbers.

Still wouldn't help the type of person who freaks out at the sight of a ouija board.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#13  Postby tuco » Jun 06, 2012 7:00 pm

There are serious ethical issues in Ghosthunting, I imagine, just like in tarot reading or magic healing for example, not trying to compare mind you. As long as people believe in something, reflecting on their lives, strongly enough there are ethical issues by definition. Good to see some Ghosthunters trying to be responsible. Perhaps they should also present themselves with a disclaimer about the science behind their field. Just to make sure.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#14  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 8:07 pm

dinkum wrote:Perhaps ghosthunters should be licensed and bonded.

You know, like plumbers.
.



ASSAP www.assap.ac.uk is the Professional association of UK ghosthunters recognized by UK :)
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#15  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 8:08 pm

tuco wrote:There are serious ethical issues in Ghosthunting, I imagine, just like in tarot reading or magic healing for example, not trying to compare mind you. As long as people believe in something, reflecting on their lives, strongly enough there are ethical issues by definition. Good to see some Ghosthunters trying to be responsible. Perhaps they should also present themselves with a disclaimer about the science behind their field. Just to make sure.


I'm actually doing a talk next week on the Science of Ghosts by the looks of things at Cheltenham Sceptics in the Pub, for Science Festival week.

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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#16  Postby BlackBart » Jun 06, 2012 8:10 pm

Too right too - you can't have cowboy ghosthunters charging you 200 quid and then still not getting rid of the ghost! :nono:
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#17  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 8:14 pm

BlackBart wrote:Too right too - you can't have cowboy ghosthunters charging you 200 quid and then still not getting rid of the ghost! :nono:


:drunk: :mrgreen: :whine:
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#18  Postby Scarlett » Jun 06, 2012 8:20 pm

You see, to me, the ethical thing to do when someone claims they're experiencing a haunting is to tell them they're being unreasonable, there is not a shred of evidence to suggest ghosts/spirits exist. You can elaborate if you wish and talk about the power of the human imagination and that there will probably be a perfectly rational explanation for their experiences, but to actively hunt for these 'ghosts' is unethical.
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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#19  Postby jerome » Jun 06, 2012 8:25 pm

Paula wrote:You see, to me, the ethical thing to do when someone claims they're experiencing a haunting is to tell them they're being unreasonable, there is not a shred of evidence to suggest ghosts/spirits exist. You can elaborate if you wish and talk about the power of the human imagination and that there will probably be a perfectly rational explanation for their experiences, but to actively hunt for these 'ghosts' is unethical.


There is overwhelming evidence people experience "ghosts", and quite a bit of evidence for the spirit hypothesis too I guess. Short discussion here http://www.rationalskepticism.org/paran ... l#p1043372 and much more in formal debate between campermon and I on the subject. :)

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Re: Ethical Issues in Ghosthunting

#20  Postby virphen » Jun 06, 2012 8:28 pm

Hayley wrote:Ghost hunting must appear quite quirky and silly to the outsider who doesn't have an interest it in, and a lot of the stuff ghost hunters do and believe is silly.

However, once I dealt with a case where another ghost research group had gone into someone's house and told them that the ghost of a rapist who had been drowned in a nearby pond was haunting their daughters bedroom.

The home owners weren't "stupid" for being scared or thinking that may be so, they were misguided and possibly naive - but what they were told by people acting irresponsibly harmed them.

I also find it concerning that a ghost hunter who was convicted for paedophilia had been entering peoples homes as a ghost researcher for years before he was convicted - the risk that put people in is unimaginable.

I think that's a serious matter and a problem and I personally find it saddening that people who believe themselves to be rational can't see past the giggles ghost hunters provide to see the problem here.


How many of these points you raise in this post are related directly to the ethics of ghosthunting per se, as opposed to general ethics? Isn't scaremongering unethical in whatever context (say, a doctor who is prone to tell patients they have cancer on the slightest evidence, or me telling you your next door neighbour is a rapist without the slightest bit of evidence).

Isn't the issue of allowing a pretext for a predator into someone's whom also a general ethical issue... could it not apply to plumbers, electricians, odd-jobsmen as well as ghost hunters?

Now, when all that is addressed, what is left relating to the ethics of ghost-hunting that doesn't invite ridicule, to those for whom the whole idea of taking these things serious at all is ridiculous (and for the most part, unethical too)?
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