Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#41  Postby iamthereforeithink » May 13, 2010 10:12 pm

Great! Here's the popcorn: :popcorn:

I'll be back with the drinks.
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#42  Postby Kenaz » May 14, 2010 12:30 am

jerome-

I agree that the phenomena of what we as a collective have come to call "ghosts" is not "supernatural", but merely a phenomena we do not have sufficient empirical evidence and understanding of the circumstances that are involved in said phenomena. I agree with the notion (who's author and exact phrasing eludes me at the moment) can be paraphrased along the lines that the supernatural is merely the natural not known/understood yet. I don't think we should shrug off this encounter so many people obviously experience, but I don't think we should claim we know what is going on without sufficient evidence either, that's speculation. We have a lot of theories of what this phenomena is, but really, it's all assumption and speculation and lacking clear evidence still; at least to my knowledge. As always, I welcome this evidence, and my mind is always open to change where that evidence leads me.

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#44  Postby jerome » May 14, 2010 7:41 pm

JWG wrote:jerome-

I agree that the phenomena of what we as a collective have come to call "ghosts" is not "supernatural", but merely a phenomena we do not have sufficient empirical evidence and understanding of the circumstances that are involved in said phenomena. I agree with the notion (who's author and exact phrasing eludes me at the moment) can be paraphrased along the lines that the supernatural is merely the natural not known/understood yet. I don't think we should shrug off this encounter so many people obviously experience, but I don't think we should claim we know what is going on without sufficient evidence either, that's speculation. We have a lot of theories of what this phenomena is, but really, it's all assumption and speculation and lacking clear evidence still; at least to my knowledge. As always, I welcome this evidence, and my mind is always open to change where that evidence leads me.

:cheers:


Hi JWG - I think we are in full agreement here. Ghosts, if such exist, are to my mind products of and explicable by natural laws. As such, they are a valid subject for scientific investigation. Those law may well not yet be fully understood - but for a sizeable number of "ghost" experiences they are - hallucination, neurology, medicine and wishful thinking. Some re,main however outside our current understanding, and anomalies fascinate me.

To just add a little on my position -- o far, most of the theories have to my mind chipped away at the mass of experiences that are classified as "ghosts" -- I'm pretty certain this category contains many disparate phenomena. The evidence for infrasound or electromagnetic effects causing spook experiences is much weaker than many realise (the fault of over enthusiastic media reporting more than the researchers claims) - at best it's mildly suggestive and riddles with difficulties, and in the standard from one reads in say the Skeptic's Dictionary it bears almost no resemblance to the original theory as was put forward). I spent much of the 90's and 00's looking for environmental cues that could lead one to have an experience that might be classified as a "ghost". I know think that journey ultimately led nowhere - so I have been re-evaluating the case literature for a couple of years now, and what I have found surprised me. Hence my desire to debate what is really quite an interesting (to my mind) problem. As i have said before, external natural causes of misperception I think account for a small number of cases, hoaxing a smaller percentage, and internally generated causes (psychological, medical, neurological) a LOT more. Yet there remains some highly strange material that is explicable by no generally recognised scientific hypothesis -and that's what I want to look at.

I guess a good debate question might be "Ghosts exist and are more than misperception, delusion or imagination, but represent a phenomena currently unexplained by science". However Im happy to revise that, or for some one to come up with a better question - "Do Ghosts exist?" is brief and more to the point perhaps. If AE or Campermom are still interested I'd love to debate -- I accept happily. I'm out tonight with my girlfriend (whose PhD research is on this area) but will be about later. Campermom has already given a firm yes, but AE mentioned it first, but I am happy to have a multi-participant debate if you chaps are? Eases the work load I guess! :)

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#45  Postby jerome » May 14, 2010 7:43 pm

Atheist Evolution wrote:

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?



Yes indeed. I'll respond later tonight, and will discuss your points properly.
:)
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#46  Postby wunksta » May 14, 2010 8:19 pm

jerome wrote:
Some re,main however outside our current understanding, and anomalies fascinate me.

...

Yet there remains some highly strange material that is explicable by no generally recognised scientific hypothesis -and that's what I want to look at.

j x


then surely you can present such examples to be considered?
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#47  Postby jerome » May 14, 2010 9:16 pm

wunksta wrote:
jerome wrote:
Some re,main however outside our current understanding, and anomalies fascinate me.

...

Yet there remains some highly strange material that is explicable by no generally recognised scientific hypothesis -and that's what I want to look at.

j x


then surely you can present such examples to be considered?



yes of course, the onus will be entirely upon me to do so in the debate. :)

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#48  Postby wunksta » May 14, 2010 9:19 pm

i have to admit, i am fascinated by anomalies too. more that they are puzzles than any indication of paranormal activity though. like the dyatlov pass incident. crazy stuff
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#49  Postby The_Metatron » May 14, 2010 9:20 pm

So Jerome, what is your thesis statement? I will try a formal debate.
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#50  Postby jerome » May 14, 2010 9:25 pm

Greetings, The Metraton. I think I sort of tried to spell it out in the second post and my last one, but I'm happy to clarify. I believe some cases are suggestive of discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness: not just that people see "spooks", which I think is a given, given our known propensity to hallucinate, but that there appear to be forces in operation not accounted for by any currently accepted scientific hypothesis.

I am also (according to my girlfriend, whose PhD research is in the area of apparitional experience, so is not likely to find it dull) very boring on this subject. But I'll try to make it fun and interesting! :)
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#51  Postby The_Metatron » May 14, 2010 9:35 pm

I would like to suggest then, the thesis statement that ghosts exist. Nothing more. You defend, I will oppose. There used to be some ground rules laid out for this over at RDF. There don't seem to be any on the formal debate subforum here.

We could make up our own protocol now. For your consideration:
Five rounds each, five days to respond.
No photos.
1000 words each per round, discounting sources.
We should agree on a moderator, I think.

Is this a start?
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#52  Postby Kenaz » May 14, 2010 9:37 pm

jerome wrote:
JWG wrote:jerome-

I agree that the phenomena of what we as a collective have come to call "ghosts" is not "supernatural", but merely a phenomena we do not have sufficient empirical evidence and understanding of the circumstances that are involved in said phenomena. I agree with the notion (who's author and exact phrasing eludes me at the moment) can be paraphrased along the lines that the supernatural is merely the natural not known/understood yet. I don't think we should shrug off this encounter so many people obviously experience, but I don't think we should claim we know what is going on without sufficient evidence either, that's speculation. We have a lot of theories of what this phenomena is, but really, it's all assumption and speculation and lacking clear evidence still; at least to my knowledge. As always, I welcome this evidence, and my mind is always open to change where that evidence leads me.

:cheers:


Hi JWG - I think we are in full agreement here. Ghosts, if such exist, are to my mind products of and explicable by natural laws. As such, they are a valid subject for scientific investigation. Those law may well not yet be fully understood - but for a sizeable number of "ghost" experiences they are - hallucination, neurology, medicine and wishful thinking. Some re,main however outside our current understanding, and anomalies fascinate me[b]...As i have said before, external natural causes of misperception I think account for a small number of cases, hoaxing a smaller percentage, and internally generated causes (psychological, medical, neurological) a LOT more. Yet there remains some highly strange material that is explicable by no generally recognised scientific hypothesis -and that's what I want to look at[b]...I guess a good debate question might be "Ghosts exist and are more than misperception, delusion or imagination, but represent a phenomena currently unexplained by science".[/b][/b]


Could you provide some evidence of any case where said phenomena where a causality of "hallucination, neurology, medicine, and wishful thinking" were not involved? I am speaking of what you mention as the documented phenomena that remains as "highly strange...that is explicable by no generally recognised scientific hypothesis." Something that provides evidence that these phenomena are something "more than misperception, delusion or imagination, but represent a phenomena currently unexplained by science."

I am open minded, but of course skeptical. :thumbup:
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#53  Postby campermon » May 16, 2010 10:26 am

jerome wrote:

I guess a good debate question might be "Ghosts exist and are more than misperception, delusion or imagination, but represent a phenomena currently unexplained by science". However Im happy to revise that, or for some one to come up with a better question - "Do Ghosts exist?" is brief and more to the point perhaps. If AE or Campermom are still interested I'd love to debate -- I accept happily. I'm out tonight with my girlfriend (whose PhD research is on this area) but will be about later. Campermom has already given a firm yes, but AE mentioned it first, but I am happy to have [u]a multi-participant debate[/u] if you chaps are? Eases the work load I guess! :)

j x


A threesome eh? :naughty2:

It's AE's call as he volunteered first.

:thumbup:
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#54  Postby campermon » May 16, 2010 10:29 am

jerome wrote:Greetings, The Metraton. I think I sort of tried to spell it out in the second post and my last one, but I'm happy to clarify. I believe some cases are suggestive of discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness: not just that people see "spooks", which I think is a given, given our known propensity to hallucinate, but that there appear to be forces in operation not accounted for by any currently accepted scientific hypothesis.



The underlined statement would make for an interesting discussion.
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#55  Postby jerome » May 16, 2010 4:18 pm

campermon wrote:
jerome wrote:Greetings, The Metraton. I think I sort of tried to spell it out in the second post and my last one, but I'm happy to clarify. I believe some cases are suggestive of discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness: not just that people see "spooks", which I think is a given, given our known propensity to hallucinate, but that there appear to be forces in operation not accounted for by any currently accepted scientific hypothesis.



The underlined statement would make for an interesting discussion.



OK, cool, let's do it Campermom? We need a moderator I guess, but I'm happy to make do without one. :)

"Some Ghost cases may represent discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness" -- I for, you anti. :) Shall we say up to 1,500 words a round each, six rounds, with a week turn around, extended if required by agreement between us? I say 1,500 because otherwise I will write huge long turgid mini essays. :( I'd love to debate you on this, and will cheerfully change the terms as required. I shortened it and strengthened the claim I'm making to stop me hedging all the time and equivocating. I'll post my first bit later this week, can LIFE set us up? ;)
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#56  Postby campermon » May 16, 2010 4:27 pm

jerome wrote:
campermon wrote:
jerome wrote:Greetings, The Metraton. I think I sort of tried to spell it out in the second post and my last one, but I'm happy to clarify. I believe some cases are suggestive of discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness: not just that people see "spooks", which I think is a given, given our known propensity to hallucinate, but that there appear to be forces in operation not accounted for by any currently accepted scientific hypothesis.



The underlined statement would make for an interesting discussion.



OK, cool, let's do it Campermom? We need a moderator I guess, but I'm happy to make do without one. :)

"Some Ghost cases may represent discarnate consciousness or the remote operation of a living human consciousness" -- I for, you anti. :) Shall we say up to 1,500 words a round each, six rounds, with a week turn around, extended if required by agreement between us? I say 1,500 because otherwise I will write huge long turgid mini essays. :( I'd love to debate you on this, and will cheerfully change the terms as required. I shortened it and strengthened the claim I'm making to stop me hedging all the time and equivocating. I'll post my first bit later this week, can LIFE set us up? ;)


:thumbup:

I agree!

Maybe LIFE can PM us when the thread is sorted out?

:cheers:
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#57  Postby LIFE » May 16, 2010 9:03 pm

campermon wrote:Maybe LIFE can PM us when the thread is sorted out?


Just set it up here: formal-debates/formal-debate-existence-of-ghosts-apparitions-t6927.html

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#58  Postby Thommo » May 16, 2010 9:08 pm

Is a peanut gallery being set up? I'd start one, but I don't know the best place to put it.
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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#59  Postby campermon » May 16, 2010 9:19 pm

Thommo wrote:Is a peanut gallery being set up? I'd start one, but I don't know the best place to put it.


I guess the best place for it would be in the 'paranormal and supernatural' forum.

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Re: Ghosts - anyone up for a formal debate?

#60  Postby Thommo » May 16, 2010 9:26 pm

campermon wrote:
Thommo wrote:Is a peanut gallery being set up? I'd start one, but I don't know the best place to put it.


I guess the best place for it would be in the 'paranormal and supernatural' forum.

:cheers:


Right, set myself up a nice seat! Hopefully this will be fun and interesting! :cheers:

paranormal/peanut-gallery-existence-of-ghosts-apparitions-t6933.html#p205330
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