Posted: May 13, 2010 5:53 pm
by Atheist Evolution
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?