Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

Moderators: kiore, The_Metatron, Blip

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#21  Postby LIFE » May 13, 2010 5:01 pm

JWG wrote:I will actually plan on trying your proposed experiment, though. :cheers:


Okay, just to make sure I'm not responsible for this experiment :D
Be careful though, it's not exactly the healthiest thing you can do to your body ;)
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7155
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#22  Postby jerome » May 13, 2010 5:03 pm

I managed 71 hours sleep deprivation once. I had quite a complex hallucination of a conversation with a friend, who in fact was not present (he'd fallen asleep). Still it was in a good cause - a charity record attempt (the sleep deprivation was a by product, not the aim of the exercise, and the rules allowed me rest periods I simply did not take.) I lost my sense in the order olfactory/taste, then hearing, then finally my sense of touch (or possibly fine motor control) started to go. I was ill for a good week afterwards. I final;ly fell asleep face first in a Sunday lunch while trying to eat!

I don't think anyone doubts we can hallucinate - most of us have dreams after all, and they are technically hallucinations, and Luis' accounts sounds like a classic fever hallucination - and i would love to hear more.

Given that we have a mechanism to hallucinate in our brains, it is absolutely no surprise that people hallucinate "ghosts". In fact, if we did not, I would be more surprised. As such a ghost experience of "I saw a figure in my room dressed in old fashioned clothes" is not only likely, I'd day it was almost inevitable. Now, lest I sound like i am arguing against "ghosts" from this i'm not in the slightest - I just think most "ghosts" are hallucinations. What is interesting is the small number of "veridical hallucinations"; the multiple -observer cases; and those which are connected with physical manifestations. :) Those will form the cornerstone fo my arguments.

And yep, "God is many factors more unlikely that ghosts" seems pretty sensible a position to me. I certainly don't believe ghosts are supernatural though: at least I think it unlikely. Paranormal, maybe :)

j x
Yours sincerely, Jerome -- a threat to reason & science

I am an Anglican Prejudice declared - My blog: http://jerome23.wordpress.com/
User avatar
jerome
THREAD STARTER
 
Name: CJ
Posts: 2047
Age: 52
Male

Country: UK
Denmark (dk)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#23  Postby LIFE » May 13, 2010 5:19 pm

If M-theory and its implications would turn out to be established fact, the closest thing I could imagine what ghosts could be were entities that probably live in other dimensions and somehow are temporarily visible to some in our "domain". That's a big if though and entirely speculative, I wouldn't for a second try to claim its validity.
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7155
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#24  Postby Atheist Evolution » May 13, 2010 5:40 pm

jerome wrote:I believe people experience "ghosts". I doubt anyone denies that people have spooky experiences. I however believe some such experiences represent "real ghosts" -- ghosts that are in some sense objective entities: that they stand independent of the observer, and i do not believe that any current naturalistic explanation, for example infrasound, underground water, gauss variation, etc, etc, accounts for some aspects. These independent entities often appear to display intelligence, possibly self awareness, and be reactive to their environment, leading me to suspect they may represent some form of discarnate intelligence, or a human consciousness operating remotely. I hope that is reasonably clear.

but I just took that list from a paper i am about to submit, so it is not inclusive. I'm happy to define the debate parameters as my opponent desires. Does that help AE?

Thanks guys, look forward to it..

j x


Indeed it is. Thanks

Peace
The invisible and the non-existent look a lot alike.
User avatar
Atheist Evolution
 
Posts: 48

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#25  Postby Atheist Evolution » May 13, 2010 5:53 pm

jerome wrote:I managed 71 hours sleep deprivation once. I had quite a complex hallucination of a conversation with a friend, who in fact was not present (he'd fallen asleep). Still it was in a good cause - a charity record attempt (the sleep deprivation was a by product, not the aim of the exercise, and the rules allowed me rest periods I simply did not take.) I lost my sense in the order olfactory/taste, then hearing, then finally my sense of touch (or possibly fine motor control) started to go. I was ill for a good week afterwards. I final;ly fell asleep face first in a Sunday lunch while trying to eat!

I don't think anyone doubts we can hallucinate - most of us have dreams after all, and they are technically hallucinations, and Luis' accounts sounds like a classic fever hallucination - and i would love to hear more.

Given that we have a mechanism to hallucinate in our brains, it is absolutely no surprise that people hallucinate "ghosts". In fact, if we did not, I would be more surprised. As such a ghost experience of "I saw a figure in my room dressed in old fashioned clothes" is not only likely, I'd day it was almost inevitable. Now, lest I sound like i am arguing against "ghosts" from this i'm not in the slightest - I just think most "ghosts" are hallucinations. What is interesting is the small number of "veridical hallucinations"; the multiple -observer cases; and those which are connected with physical manifestations. :) Those will form the cornerstone fo my arguments.

And yep, "God is many factors more unlikely that ghosts" seems pretty sensible a position to me. I certainly don't believe ghosts are supernatural though: at least I think it unlikely. Paranormal, maybe :)

j x


Here is my difficulty. I think that it is pretty reasonable to say that if something can be deemed to be real, it must manifest in reality. If it manifests then it can be tested, observed, falsified or proven. If it doesn't manifest, then it doesn't exist.

Your position is that they DO manifest. If so, why is there no evidence that points to ghosts as the singular cause of whatever manifestation that we are studying?

It is difficult for me to accept ghosts because any study of them is rife with confirmation bias. We are starting out with a conclusion and trying to verify it through observation. That is clearly the wrong way to study things.

Either way, I have never seen even the confirmation biased evidence that would lead one to the sole conclusion that ghosts exist.

We are going about this debate the wrong way here too.

FIRST in order to determine the answer to the question, we have to define what a "ghost" is. IF you say that a ghost is a soul disembodied, then we have to prove that they exist before going on to attributing their involvment in some observable occurance.

Make sense?
The invisible and the non-existent look a lot alike.
User avatar
Atheist Evolution
 
Posts: 48

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#26  Postby LIFE » May 13, 2010 6:59 pm

Atheist Evolution wrote:We are starting out with a conclusion and trying to verify it through observation. That is clearly the wrong way to study things.


Conclusion = String theory makes sense.
Trying to verify it through observation = Large Hadron Collider.

No?

ETA: I'm not disagreeing with you here, just trying to apply it to another scenario.
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7155
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#27  Postby HughMcB » May 13, 2010 7:06 pm

The LHC was built to probe into elementary particles and understand the laws/interactions between them. I don't think it was built to confirm string theory hypothesis. It may do so in the process though. ;)
"So we're just done with phrasing?"
User avatar
HughMcB
RS Donator
 
Posts: 19113
Age: 37
Male

Country: Canada
Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#28  Postby Luis Dias » May 13, 2010 7:22 pm

LIFE wrote:
Atheist Evolution wrote:We are starting out with a conclusion and trying to verify it through observation. That is clearly the wrong way to study things.


Conclusion Hypothesis = String theory makes sense.
Trying to verify it through observation = Large Hadron Collider.

No?

ETA: I'm not disagreeing with you here, just trying to apply it to another scenario.


Small correction there ;)
User avatar
Luis Dias
 
Posts: 1536
Age: 39
Male

Portugal (pt)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#29  Postby Lion IRC » May 13, 2010 7:25 pm

Use Matthew 27:53 as a definition and use the witness testimony as proof.
I dont think it matters whether the appearance of the exact same single "ghost" is observed by more than one person.
I would think the debate should focus on the phenomenon as a whole.
The "same ghost" might not be identically described by two eye witnesses - so what?
Lion (IRC)
FORMAL DEBATE - Lion IRC (affirmative) vs Crocodile Gandhi (negative)
Topic - Gay marriage should not be legalised in society.
Moderator - Durro
Now Showing HERE.
User avatar
Lion IRC
Banned Troll
 
Posts: 4077

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#30  Postby wunksta » May 13, 2010 7:26 pm

aural/optical hallucinations via infrasound and magnetic frequencies, among other things
The night is dark and full of terrors...
User avatar
wunksta
 
Posts: 1350
Age: 37
Male

United States (us)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#31  Postby Luis Dias » May 13, 2010 7:34 pm

Lion IRC wrote:The "same ghost" might not be identically described by two eye witnesses - so what?


It's no problem if you manage to come up with a similarly good empirical test as double blind ones are.

If person A is the only one to have seen a "particular" ghost, we cannot confirm whether if it's an internal issue with their brain or an actual observable phenomenon. But if two people A and B confirm the exact same observation independently (without contact between them), at same time, preferable same place, then we have a good evidence that this is indeed an "outside" phenomenon, for it would be extraordinarily unprobable for two people having mental disorders at the same time with the same attributes.

From them on we might try to explain said phenomenon in various multitudes of ways.

Follow hypothesis, and then falsification. "Ghosts" as much are not even in this category. Mind you, the test I was referring is only important to establish that there is "something interesting" going on, it's still not a confirmation of "actual" ghosts. (It could still be an environmental phenomenon, or some environmental disease affecting both brains, etc.,etc.).

In order for "Ghosts" to be accepted, they would have to be very specifically defined so as to conduct tests of falsification (as in, if "Ghosts Theory" is true, then we *should not* expect result A with experiment B). If they pass such tests of science, then I'll be more interested.

As it is, it's just a good exercise on the powers of belief, suggestion and gullibility in general.
User avatar
Luis Dias
 
Posts: 1536
Age: 39
Male

Portugal (pt)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#32  Postby LIFE » May 13, 2010 8:27 pm

Luis Dias wrote:
LIFE wrote:
Atheist Evolution wrote:We are starting out with a conclusion and trying to verify it through observation. That is clearly the wrong way to study things.


Conclusion Hypothesis = String theory makes sense.
Trying to verify it through observation = Large Hadron Collider.

No?

ETA: I'm not disagreeing with you here, just trying to apply it to another scenario.


Small correction there ;)


So? Theoretical physicists can't draw conclusions from a hypothesis?

M-theory based on its mathmatical coherence and accuracy makes sense to them, no?
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7155
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#33  Postby Moridin » May 13, 2010 9:00 pm

Lion IRC wrote:Use Matthew 27:53 as a definition and use the witness testimony as proof.
I dont think it matters whether the appearance of the exact same single "ghost" is observed by more than one person.
I would think the debate should focus on the phenomenon as a whole.
The "same ghost" might not be identically described by two eye witnesses - so what?
Lion (IRC)


1. That is not a definition. It just provides relational attributes (X relates to Y, or X did Z), not primary attributes (X is Y).

2. Even if it was accepted as a definition, it would not necessarily be a ghost. The description is entirely consistent, perhaps even more so, with other mythological entities, such as vampires or zombies.

3. Does not resolve the special pleading aspect of such an argument. Far more people claim to be eyewitness to alien abductions, be sure that taking alternative medicine works or [enter any popularly believed delusion that opponent do not believe in], yet you do not believe this. Why? If your opponent provides a reason, why not apply this same reason to ghosts?

4. Does not resolve the problem of the fallibility of personal testimony or the invalidity anecdotal evidence.

5. In order to accept the bible as valid, we must presuppose a great deal of things, such as the existence of the biblical god, who is a brainless mind. But if we need to assume the existence of a brainless mind (the biblical god) in order demonstrate the existence of brainless minds (ghosts or spirits in Matthew 27:53), then that is merely a circular argument.

6. That approach opens up an entirely new aisle of criticism, such as biblical criticisms.
User avatar
Moridin
 
Posts: 810
Male

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#34  Postby Luis Dias » May 13, 2010 9:01 pm

LIFE wrote:
Luis Dias wrote:
LIFE wrote:
Atheist Evolution wrote:We are starting out with a conclusion and trying to verify it through observation. That is clearly the wrong way to study things.


Conclusion Hypothesis = String theory makes sense.
Trying to verify it through observation = Large Hadron Collider.

No?

ETA: I'm not disagreeing with you here, just trying to apply it to another scenario.


Small correction there ;)


So? Theoretical physicists can't draw conclusions from a hypothesis?

M-theory based on its mathmatical coherence and accuracy makes sense to them, no?


It's a matter of chronology.

Hypothesis --> Test ---> validation ----> conclusion.
User avatar
Luis Dias
 
Posts: 1536
Age: 39
Male

Portugal (pt)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#35  Postby Moridin » May 13, 2010 9:04 pm

Luis Dias wrote:It's a matter of chronology.

Hypothesis --> Test ---> validation ----> conclusion.


That is a huge oversimplification.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/images/us101 ... active.gif
User avatar
Moridin
 
Posts: 810
Male

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#36  Postby Luis Dias » May 13, 2010 9:05 pm

Moridin wrote:
Luis Dias wrote:It's a matter of chronology.

Hypothesis --> Test ---> validation ----> conclusion.


That is a huge oversimplification.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/images/us101 ... active.gif


Yeah I know I'm half asleep :grin:
User avatar
Luis Dias
 
Posts: 1536
Age: 39
Male

Portugal (pt)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#37  Postby campermon » May 13, 2010 9:11 pm

jerome wrote:I enjoy formal debates - they make me think, and work through my position - and I'd love to have a formal debate related in some way to ghosts and apparitions. Anyone interested? I'm pretty mellow, not overly bothered by "winning", I just like exploring issues, and it's been a while. Anyone want to take me on? We can work out a title?

j x


I'm up for it!

I'm happy for you to define the exact point of debate.

:cheers:
Scarlett and Ironclad wrote:Campermon,...a middle aged, middle class, Guardian reading, dad of four, knackered hippy, woolly jumper wearing wino and science teacher.
User avatar
campermon
RS Donator
 
Posts: 17438
Age: 51
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#38  Postby melchior » May 13, 2010 9:14 pm

LIFE wrote:If M-theory and its implications would turn out to be established fact, the closest thing I could imagine what ghosts could be were entities that probably live in other dimensions and somehow are temporarily visible to some in our "domain". That's a big if though and entirely speculative, I wouldn't for a second try to claim its validity.


On the Dickie Dawkins forum I proposed a similar suggestion in order to try and explain alleged sightings of UFO's (I think that people laughed at me!!). Funnily enough my oldest son and I were having a chat on the way to school this morning about ghosts and I mentioned M-theory....he wasn't convinced!!

I think that ghostly sightings are a psychological phenomena rather than a paranormal one. I'd be very interested to read a formal debate on the subject.
Would you like a cup of tea with that?
User avatar
melchior
 
Posts: 386
Age: 111

Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#39  Postby Animavore » May 13, 2010 9:18 pm

Ghosts? Seriously? I'll be interested in watching the debate but purely for amusement.
A most evolved electron.
User avatar
Animavore
 
Name: The Scribbler
Posts: 44864
Age: 43
Male

Ireland (ie)
Print view this post

Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#40  Postby LIFE » May 13, 2010 9:38 pm

Luis Dias wrote:Hypothesis --> Test ---> validation ----> conclusion.


Gotcha. Language again: http://www.google.com/search?q=define:conclusion

I'm starting to hate this :(

Moridin wrote:That is a huge oversimplification.

http://undsci.berkeley.edu/images/us101 ... active.gif


Cheers for the chart, that's gonna come in handy.
User avatar
LIFE
Site Admin
 
Posts: 7155
Age: 40
Male

Country: Germany
Germany (de)
Print view this post

PreviousNext

Return to Paranormal & Supernatural

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 2 guests