Have you experienced a ghost?

Discussions on UFOs, ghosts, myths etc.

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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#161  Postby Will S » Apr 20, 2011 5:48 pm

HPrice wrote:
Will S wrote:It's that 'man of straw' again! Who doesn't acknowledge it? (Once we admit your very important proviso: 'impossible' in the opinion of the person making the claim - not necessarily 'impossible' in the opinion of impartial investigators.)


Good, so that means everyone agrees with my definition of a ghost! Hurrah!

Alas, it doesn't mean anything the kind. :(

What's happened is that, when I've pressed you slightly, you've put up a very wide and comprehensive definition of the word 'ghost', so wide and comprehensive as to make it undeniable that ghosts exist.

But then, on the other hand, you appear to be complaining that some, unreasonable people try to 'rubbish' (your word) the idea that ghosts exist.

I've pointed out that this amounts to nothing more interesting than a muddle about the meanings of words.

And there the matter rests.
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#162  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 20, 2011 6:39 pm

Do intelligent people really believe in this crap? REALLY?

I feel sorry for them. Very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very sorry. I really do. :what:
Yes really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really do. Yes really do :what:
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#163  Postby jerome » Apr 20, 2011 6:41 pm

Fallible wrote:How did the burglar get out if both doors were blocked?


The window? :) I don't know. That was how the Coventry folks exited their house when the poltergeist allegedly held the door closed against them :)

This is what I love about my research - it throws up endless nonsensical patterns which I am sure might make sense, if only I could see what the seemingly meaningful behaviour actually means...

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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#164  Postby Fallible » Apr 20, 2011 6:44 pm

Well yeah, but I thought the windows were slat affairs.
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#165  Postby jerome » Apr 20, 2011 6:48 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:Do intelligent people really believe in this crap? REALLY?

I feel sorry for them. Very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very sorry. I really do. :what:
Yes really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really do. Yes really do :what:



Yes. In fact there is a positive correlation between higher education, and higher degrees, and certain types of paranormal belief. Also Prof French mentioned at Skeptics in the Pub last month, there is also a positive correlation between intelligence and some paranormal beliefs. That tells us nothing about the truth of the paranormal; it just tells us clever people can believe funny things, and as seven Nobel prize winners have published in the JSPR as I recall (a peer reviewed parapsychological journal) and Einstein wrote the introduction to Sinclair's Mental Radio, a book on ESP and Carl Sagan developed one theory to explain alien abduction and NDE/OBE reports, well I guess it's just as likely clever people are pretty open minded and exploratory and hence willing to consider stuff. Neither of those two thought it was likely as far as I know - but they were interested enough to enter in to the debate. Actually Sagan was interested in Stevenson's reincarnation work and the GAnzfeld ESP experiments as well - see last pages of Demon Haunted World for more.

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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#166  Postby jerome » Apr 20, 2011 6:50 pm

Fallible wrote:Well yeah, but I thought the windows were slat affairs.


Well spotted! Farcus, you have been there, are there any photos of the house or interior? Can you thinkl of any other potential exit for burglars? It's your ghost story! :)

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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#167  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 20, 2011 6:51 pm

jerome wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:Do intelligent people really believe in this crap? REALLY?

I feel sorry for them. Very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very sorry. I really do. :what:
Yes really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really do. Yes really do :what:



Yes. In fact there is a positive correlation between higher education, and higher degrees, and certain types of paranormal belief. Also Prof French mentioned at Skeptics in the Pub last month, there is also a positive correlation between intelligence and some paranormal beliefs. That tells us nothing about the truth of the paranormal; it just tells us clever people can believe funny things, and as seven Nobel prize winners have published in the JSPR as I recall (a peer reviewed parapsychological journal) and Einstein wrote the introduction to Sinclair's Mental Radio, a book on ESP and Carl Sagan developed one theory to explain alien abduction and NDE/OBE reports, well I guess it's just as likely clever people are pretty open minded and exploratory and hence willing to consider stuff. Neither of those two thought it was likely as far as I know - but they were interested enough to enter in to the debate. Actually Sagan was interested in Stevenson's reincarnation work and the GAnzfeld ESP experiments as well - see last pages of Demon Haunted World for more.

j x


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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#168  Postby HPrice » Apr 20, 2011 6:53 pm

Will S wrote:What's happened is that, when I've pressed you slightly, you've put up a very wide and comprehensive definition of the word 'ghost', so wide and comprehensive as to make it undeniable that ghosts exist.


As discussed at length, it is a sound definition, used by paranormal researchers, based on the only consistently reliable distinguishing features of ghosts. If you consider this wrong then what SHOULD such a definition include?

But then, on the other hand, you appear to be complaining that some, unreasonable people try to 'rubbish' (your word) the idea that ghosts exist. I've pointed out that this amounts to nothing more interesting than a muddle about the meanings of words. And there the matter rests.


Words are important. When their definitions change, so do people's attitudes and ideas. If we move away from a flawed folklore-based definition of a ghost to one that demonstrably reflects the real world, it can improve general understanding about the subject.

At present a large chunk of the population thinks ghosts are spirits. As a result they consider such meaningless questions as 'do I believe in ghosts' when they should be asking 'what causes ghost reports'. Words have power! If people are going to have a rational debate about ghosts, they need to start with a logical definition of the word. If you want to debate folklore, the popular definition of ghosts is fine. If they want to debate people's experiences of ghosts in real life, they need something better.
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#169  Postby Farcus81 » Apr 20, 2011 6:54 pm

I think this was the house. Looks totally different now but 26 years ago the trim was red and there were three huge pine trees in the front yard that I remember making a fort under the branches of. Back then teh windows were either the slated type or they had slated shutters over them. I rememebr having to crank tehm open and tehy only opened a little bit. There was no way anyone could have gotten through them but I don't know if every window in the house was like that... I've been rolling up and down the street for the last few hours in google earth street view in between going out on jobs and this is the only house I could find thats the right style of house... It wasn't for sale when the google car rolled past and I don't see the oil lamp in the window. Anyone in Louisville want to go knock on the door and ask if anything strange has happened since they moved in? :shifty:

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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#170  Postby jerome » Apr 20, 2011 9:53 pm

Maybe best remove the picture just in case the house is identifiable - don't want local teenagers showing up? I'm guessing those of us interested have seen it now, or can pm you and ask. Thanks Farcus that was very helpful, and I now have a much better idea of the property. I'm still no closer to any answers, but it is fascinating! :)
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#171  Postby Will S » Apr 21, 2011 8:34 am

HPrice wrote:
Will S wrote:What's happened is that, when I've pressed you slightly, you've put up a very wide and comprehensive definition of the word 'ghost', so wide and comprehensive as to make it undeniable that ghosts exist.


As discussed at length, it is a sound definition, used by paranormal researchers, based on the only consistently reliable distinguishing features of ghosts. If you consider this wrong then what SHOULD such a definition include?

But then, on the other hand, you appear to be complaining that some, unreasonable people try to 'rubbish' (your word) the idea that ghosts exist. I've pointed out that this amounts to nothing more interesting than a muddle about the meanings of words. And there the matter rests.


Words are important. When their definitions change, so do people's attitudes and ideas. If we move away from a flawed folklore-based definition of a ghost to one that demonstrably reflects the real world, it can improve general understanding about the subject.

Yes, words are important. But why do you say that the folklore-based definition of ghost is flawed? What's wrong with it? As far as I can see, there's nothing much wrong with it at all.

Of course, it's almost certainly an empty concept. There's no reason at all to suppose that ghosts, thus defined, exist. But that doesn't make it sensible for you to redefine the word - and especially in such a way as to make it certain that ghosts do exist!

(It's now my turn to lecture you on how scientists think and behave. :smile: I do have a BSc, by the way.)

When biologists abandoned their belief in orthogenesis, or physicists abandoned their belief in the luminiferous aether, or astronomers abandoned their belief in the primum mobile, the one thing which they did NOT do was to redefine those words so as to enable them to go on asserting that (despite the sceptics!) orthogenesis really happens, or that the luminiferous aether, or the primum mobile really exists!

Why didn't they? I think the reason is obvious: to do so would have risked causing the utmost confusion.

So why do people like Jerome and yourself want to redefine the word ghost? And to redefine it in such an outlandish way as to make it literally meaningless to say, 'At first I thought I'd seen a ghost, but then I realised that is was only a trick of the light.'

I don't know the answer to that question, and I can only speculate. Perhaps you have some kind of residual emotional attachment to the word ghost, and you don't want to let go of it. (Religious people often behave in a similar way. They want to hang on to the word 'God', and they don't like the idea of saying, flatly, 'There is no God'. So they redefine God in a broader and vaguer way, so as to make it undeniable that God exists.)

But, be that as it may, can't you see the scope for confusion if you insist on making your definition of 'ghost' so totally subjective, and so far from what is normally meant by the word?

Just a final thought: have you a therapeutic motive? Could it be that you have a kindly, honorable (but still, in my opinion, misplaced) desire to deliver consolation to people who think they're had an experience of the supernatural? Is it that you want to be able to reassure them that, despite all the debunking which you're done, that they really and truly did (in some sense!) see a 'ghost'?
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#172  Postby trubble76 » Apr 21, 2011 9:04 am

A word of warning. Several times in my life I have said "There's no way a human could get through that gap", every time I have been proven wrong. Humans can get through unbelievably small gaps sometimes. We can sometimes be too quick to label something a human impossibility.
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#173  Postby BlackBart » Apr 21, 2011 9:23 am

trubble76 wrote:A word of warning. Several times in my life I have said "There's no way a human could get through that gap", every time I have been proven wrong. Humans can get through unbelievably small gaps sometimes. We can sometimes be too quick to label something a human impossibility.


Heh. Reminds me of that old joke...

I was drunk one night and was taking a short cut through the local graveyard. Unfortunately, due to my drunken state, I managed to stumble into a freshly dug grave and spent several fruitless minutes trying to climb out again. After a while I gave up and settled down into a dark corner of the grave to sleep it off and wait til morning. A few minutes later I heard a heavy thud. I looked up and saw another drunk who had also fallen vicitm to the open grave and was now trying to climb out the way I had unsuccessfully tried.. I shook my head sadly and said 'You'll never get out of here'......

WHOOSH!! He fucking well did!
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#174  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 21, 2011 9:32 am

BlackBart wrote:
trubble76 wrote:A word of warning. Several times in my life I have said "There's no way a human could get through that gap", every time I have been proven wrong. Humans can get through unbelievably small gaps sometimes. We can sometimes be too quick to label something a human impossibility.


Heh. Reminds me of that old joke...

I was drunk one night and was taking a short cut through the local graveyard. Unfortunately, due to my drunken state, I managed to stumble into a freshly dug grave and spent several fruitless minutes trying to climb out again. After a while I gave up and settled down into a dark corner of the grave to sleep it off and wait til morning. A few minutes later I heard a heavy thud. I looked up and saw another drunk who had also fallen vicitm to the open grave and was now trying to climb out the way I had unsuccessfully tried.. I shook my head sadly and said 'You'll never get out of here'......

WHOOSH!! He fucking well did!


:lol: :lol: :lol:

The gulability level is down to a new low here :nono:
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#175  Postby trubble76 » Apr 21, 2011 9:35 am

jerome wrote:
trubble76 wrote:Here's my problem with this and similar stories; let's assume every word is completely true, we know where there is a place on Earth that is home to an active ghost. Anyone of us can go and examine the phenomenom of all the furniture pilling itself against doors, or messages from beyond the grave being written in flour. And yet, what would be undoubtably one of the greatest discoveries of humankind, more important even than the Irish peace process or the Moon landings, remains undocumented.

It's like someone telling me that they dug up a pre-Cambrian fossilised rabbit but haven't bothered to show it to a paleontologist. It makes no sense. Having said that, a cracking good campfire yarn is a good thing as long as people don't accept it as fact.


That's a pretty good point Trubble, indeed a vital one. Given such cases supposedly do exist, and given the tremendous importance they would have if proven legitimate, why do people not investigate them? Well I guess Sunchime I and HPrice (the poster or the original Harry Price) do, as do many others. However, there is a "common sense consensus" such cases are bollocks, and scientists in particular work in a hegemony that says these things don't happen, so why look? Of course there are exceptions -- including a few Nobel winners -- http://www.spr.ac.uk/main/page/past-pre ... psychology - gives the past Presidents of the SPR, a rather fun and surprising list -- but most people don't.

So maybe these cases just don't exist? Yet I can think of quite a few from the last two years that I dissected on my blog --

Coventry 2011
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2011/ ... ltergeist/

Pembrokeshire 2010
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... -haunting/

Doncaster 2010
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... yre-depot/
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... ot-part-2/
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... st-part-3/
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... 93-part-4/

Romiley 2010
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... ture-pose/

Cork 2010
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... -part-one/
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... -part-two/
http://polterwotsit.wordpress.com/2010/ ... st-part-3/

There were undoubtedly more but I have been so busy I don't always write them up...

j x


But Jerome, those are just commentaries on stories, not scientific investigations. Quantum Physics is a virtually unfathomable mystery to most humans, including (like me) those with above average physics educations, but the science is solid, the experiments clearly defined and documented and the results fairly unambiguous. Given the correct equipment and processes as described in their notes, anyone can recreate their experiments, despite how unlikely the results seem.
If there are houses where obvious and unavoidable physical processes are happening that would seem simple to document and test, and there are giants of academia throwing their weight behind investigation, then why do we have little more tha campfire tales.
If tables can be piled against doors by a force, then the past Presidents of the SPR could surely devise a method to absorb this new information into our Laws of Physics. Why do we not cover Furniture Rearrangement By Spirits in our schooling? Why is there no section in out insurance claim forms for damage done by demonic possession?
This house is still there, I assume. It seemingly offers easy access to evidence of previously unknown physical processess.
To refer to my early point, there is a house with a fossilised pre-Cambrian rabbit. There are thousands of people that would make fame and fortune from being the first to scientifically document this rabbit, and all they have to do is go and look. And yet, there is no fossilised pre-Cambrian rabbit in any text book, museum or university course.
The only answer that makes any sense at all is, every single word of it is rubbish, from start to end. And proving otherwise is very straightforward, get thee to that house and document the gun-bender in action, or do the left-over spirits of humans murdered decades/centuries before get camera shy?
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#176  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 21, 2011 9:40 am

:this:

:thumbup: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Just imagine law courts based on the same evidence. :picard:
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#177  Postby tnjrp » Apr 21, 2011 9:43 am

The dog, the dog, he's at it again!
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#178  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 21, 2011 9:48 am



So true :rofl2:

I have found one here :ghost:

Or maybe it was a :vampire:
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#179  Postby Will S » Apr 21, 2011 9:49 am

trubble76 wrote:A word of warning. Several times in my life I have said "There's no way a human could get through that gap", every time I have been proven wrong. Humans can get through unbelievably small gaps sometimes. We can sometimes be too quick to label something a human impossibility.

Yes, indeed!

An extension of the same idea. My wife an I once went for walk in the country with some friends using their car. When we got back to the car park, Peter (Jerome - did you spot that? I've just done it too! :smile: ) pulled the car ignition key out of his pocket and found that the top 10 mm or so had been bent to a precise right angle. You'd think that, to do it, you'd have to have used two pairs of pliers, or a vice and a hammer - the bend was so neat and precise. Doubtless, it had happened at some time since Peter had last used the ignition key, but we were totally unable to work out how, when and where. (The best explanation I can offer is that, when he last removed the key from the slot, something had caused him to lurch sideways, thus bending the key. But none of us had any recollection of that happening.) Although it was a bright day, the experience was decidedly ... spooky.

So this is evidence for ... what? To be rational, all it's evidence for is that sometimes things happen for which we're very hard put to find a plausible explanation. Or is it evidence that there's a key-bending poltergeist on the loose in the neighbourhood of Pill? :shock: Actually, the car park we used, once served a mental hospital, so, obviously, in the past, there had been lots of mentally disturbed people around ... :shock: :shock:
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Re: Have you experienced a ghost?

#180  Postby Scot Dutchy » Apr 21, 2011 9:55 am

Will S wrote:
trubble76 wrote:A word of warning. Several times in my life I have said "There's no way a human could get through that gap", every time I have been proven wrong. Humans can get through unbelievably small gaps sometimes. We can sometimes be too quick to label something a human impossibility.

Yes, indeed!

An extension of the same idea. My wife an I once went for walk in the country with some friends using their car. When we got back to the car park, Peter (Jerome - did you spot that? I've just done it too! :smile: ) pulled the car ignition key out of his pocket and found that the top 10 mm or so had been bent to a precise right angle. You'd think that, to do it, you'd have to have used two pairs of pliers, or a vice and a hammer - the bend was so neat and precise. Doubtless, it had happened at some time since Peter had last used the ignition key, but we were totally unable to work out how, when and where. (The best explanation I can offer is that, when he last removed the key from the slot, something had caused him to lurch sideways, thus bending the key. But none of us had any recollection of that happening.) Although it was a bright day, the experience was decidedly ... spooky.

So this is evidence for ... what? To be rational, all it's evidence for is that sometimes things happen for which we're very hard put to find a plausible explanation. Or is it evidence that there's a key-bending poltergeist on the loose in the neighbourhood of Pill? :shock: Actually, the car park we used, once served a mental hospital, so, obviously, in the past, there had been lots of mentally disturbed people around ... :shock: :shock:


Metal fatigue? Maybe the design of the lock or a habit of constantly putting the key into the slot in a certain way. We never realise what we do out of habit.
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