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Do you believe in ghosts / spirits of the dead?

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Taluntain, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I believe that ghosts are based on something, and these somethings are very real. You can shrug off ghostly lights and bouts of dizziness/nausea and still die in the morning from carbon monoxide poisoning.

    As far as ghosts being actual energy imprints left by the deceased, I'm undecided. A lot of the hauntings I personally know of in the small communities I've lived in have ended up being caused by "real-life" phenomena (a lot of them dangerous) though there are a few that still has everyone stumped.
    I do not believe in ghostly/demonic possessions though. As far as personal experience goes, these are never real and the reality is much harsher.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  2. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Silvery, look up a thing called "cold reading".
     
  3. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
    Latest gem: Star Sapphire


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    Weird, I thought they usually verged on large :p .
     
  4. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    The supernatural doesn't exist. If it has effect on this world, it is subject to study and thus part of this world. If it doesn't have effect on this world, then we shouldn't care.
     
  5. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    My decessed step-fathers (where Mum has lived for the last 7 years) house is supposedly haunted by a lady raped and murdered during the English Civil War. A number of different and entirely unrelated witnesses, with no prior knowledge of the posibility of a ghost, have said they have seen her (some didn't even realise it was a ghost until they asked who she was after the event), including Mum's boyfriend who is a very religious, no-nonsense Scotsman. When she had builders in, they refused to work unless she was in the house.

    Mum has never seen her, but says she has a pervading sense of security and welbeing she's never felt anywhere else.

    Just up the road from hers, a number of car-crashes have occured in the same straight stretch of road (none fatal fortunately) with different car occupants stating a cowled figure appeared in the road.

    One school friend supposedly had a poltergeist, with different friends saying they had seen objects moved when they were there.

    When visiting a family acquaitance, the people I was with all complained of feeling very cold in one particular room. We later found out someone had hanged themselves in it a few years before.

    One of my Uncles claims his Grandmother appeared to him as a teenager. He later found she had died at that time, on that day about 200 miles away.

    Our next-door neighbour says they have ghosts of children, have heard childrens footsteps and laughter, and everyone they know exclaims what a lovely feeling one of the bedrooms has.

    Me, I have all the sensitivity of a rock. Never experienced anything in the remotest bit supernatural, unexplained sensations, mystic vibrations or whatever. If such a thing exists, it doesn't like me!
     
  6. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't think cold reading would explain the watch.
    More likely, whoever gave her the "message" gave her a lot more information as well (and probably was in possession of the watch).
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    I agree. That's why I said I don't believe in them. If I saw some evidence, I may reconsider, but up to now, I don't.

    It was Splunge - I don't have any such experiences.
     
  8. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Yes, I'm sure. Trust me - I had no emotional attachment to Mrs. X whatsoever, so there would be absolutely no reason for my subconscious to invent a dream that I never had. Also, see my post #17 (subsequent to yours).
     
  9. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    The majority of dreams are forgotten before you wake up, and memories are very fragile to modification. Each time you think about a memory, that specific memory is changed.

    There was a cool study about a group of hikers who all had cameras strapped to their helmets while trekking through a desert. They stumbled upon a crash site of a weather balloon that was being guarded by a single unarmed soldier (specifically put there by the designers of the experiment.) A month afterwards they had completely convinced themselves [between the trip and the debriefing a month afterwards, there was no contact with the experimenters] of the idea that there were multiple soldiers, that these were heavily armed, and that they were forced away by said soldiers who aimed their weapons at them. They were certain that there was some major coverup. They were stunned when they saw the videos made by the cameras they were wearing. (It's been a few years since I saw a documentary about the study, so anything I misremember only demonstrates my point :p)

    Memories should absolutely not be trusted. You might think that you remember certain events pretty well, but that is normally just a feeling of confidence given of by the same brain that is feeding you those memories. There is a very cool TED presentation by Daniel Dennett (one of the best living philosophers) and he tries to show you how your consciousness is actually constantly being "fooled" by the brain: link
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  10. Splunge

    Splunge Bhaal’s financial advisor Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    One thing you're forgetting here - there was no time lapse between the time that my mom mentioned that Mrs. X had died, and my recollection of the dream. And, while I forgot to say this before, I mentioned the dream to my mom right after I remembered it (she believed in the afterlife, so she said maybe it was Mrs. X's way of saying goodbye (although I have no idea why Mrs. X would want to say goodbye to me)). So my subconscience would have had no time (and again, no reason) to invent a dream that I actually didn't have.
     
  11. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    Sorry Splunge, my post wasn't specifically targeted at your post. As soon as I start talking about consciousness, I tend to ramble on :)

    I am not saying that your memory of the dream is forged (although the recollection you tell us about could have been modified because, I assume, you often think about it), but that the message from your mother could have caused the recollection of an otherwise completely forgotten dream. Who knows what exactly we dream about? Some people don't wake up with any recollections of having dreamed. So they claim they don't dream, at all. So experimenters :evil: wake them up at various stages of their sleep. It turns out that they do dream. :)
     
  12. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    That's what I thought but the watch had been lost for a while. The only person who could have told her about it at all was my mum and she didn't know I was going
     
  13. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Weed or Mushrooms?
     
  14. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    :D Ha-ha ... no, I was not under the influence of any drug. Nor am I given to flights of fancy or hallucinations.

    One thing I find interesting about this stuff is that the science crowd is often more strident and vocal in their insistence that NOTHING IS THERE than the believers or those who are on the fence. It's sometimes like you're offending their sensibilities if you even hint otherwise; but they should have no sensibilities on the matter if their position is based on logic and not emotion. Possible conclusion: they've got an emotional stake in it, some reason they don't want to believe, and that reason may be as irrational as a believer's reason for believing. How's that for a loop? :p
     
  15. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    :D
    Ah! She slipped ya a mickey, did she? Did ya go to bed at 2 with a 10 and wake up at 10 with a 2 that night?:D
     
  16. Gaear

    Gaear ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful

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    No - I kicked the 10 out of the car at 2:30! ;)
     
  17. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    or more that the idea of something so rediculous insults intelligence, my wife believes in ghosts and claims she's seen them, but is very quick to simply shoot down suggestions of what she may have seen, Ive said to her once "how can someone so intelligent be so stupid"
     
  18. Silvery

    Silvery I won't pretend to be your friend coz I'm just not ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Coming from the guy who spelled 'ridiculous' wrong? :lol:

    There's a lot goes on in this world that we know nothing about...so who knows? More to the point, who cares? Someone believing in ghosts doesn't hurt anyone else. If it gets you through the day then what's the problem?
     
  19. Morgoth

    Morgoth La lune ne garde aucune rancune Veteran

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    I care. Here's the thing: believing in anything that defies rational explanation is intellectual laziness. It is the morbid obesity of the mind.

    People who believe in the supernatural do not hurt anyone but themselves. They become the willing victims of frauds like Uri Geller, Derek Ogilvie and thousands of others. I'm pretty sure that Uri Geller owns a few million dollars, but never worked a day in his life. He made all that millions by deceiving people. How is it, that almost all of these self proclaimed psychics have declined James Randi's offer of a million dollars for proof of their psychic abilities? A notable exception is Ogilvie, who was so self-confident in his psychic abilities that he paid Randi a ton of money to skip the initial test. He turned out to be a total fraud by spectacularly failing the main test by scoring worse than average chance. He still considers himself a psychic: he claims he was tired, and those who have disabled their critical thinking and replaced it with idolation for Ogilvie, continue to believe him.
    Randi, btw, is a conjurer. His expertise is fooling people to believe the absurd. He knows all the tricks that Geller is playing, and he can fool you in the same way that Geller or any medium does. In the following video, Randi shows how easy it is to do that: video

    People might claim that my belief in science is just as valid as their belief in the supernatural, but they're wrong because I *do* have rational explanations for my belief in science. Science is a self-correcting system. We have this thing called the scientific method: we come up with theories and test them. Theories that cannot be tested are worthless. Theories that elegantly explain how the universe works, but are untestable, are worthless. Theories that elegantly explain how the universe works, but are shown to be wrong by demonstration, are simply wrong. We design experiments to falsify our beliefs. We test them, and when our beliefs are shown to be wrong, we discard them. Ever since the enlightenment, science has shown us that there is absolutely no correlation between the elegance of a theory and its validity. Quantum mechanics completely boggles the mind, but results in such extremely accurate predictions that it has been likened to predicting the width of North America to an accuracy of one human hairs breadth.
    Thinking a belief to be true simply because it is simple and elegant, is completely unjustified. Also, there is nothing inherently special about belief. Belief is only valid when it reflects reality and willingly believing in that which you know doesn't reflect reality is willful ignorance.

    Things that affect the world around us, are subject to investigation and thus testable. If people have such strong belief in the supernatural, why don't they show that whatever they belief in, is true? They can! Come up with theories and try to falsify them. Those that are testable and remain standing after dozens of failed falsifications deserve confidence.

    P.S.
    Yeah I'm pretty ****ing angry about this. For 25 years I lived in a neighborhood filled with people who lived on the lower edge of society. OK, so they had a bad start when they were young, or made stupid mistakes. OK, so they need to believe in God and the supernatural to keep on living because a world without is too hard for them to bear. What pisses me of is that they are now permanently stuck because those damned dustmen (PST reference) got into their heads and then locked the door. They claim to be completely satisfied with a life of utter apathy because this isn't true life anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
    T2Bruno likes this.
  20. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] Just because some people will blindly follow any 'celebrity' that claims to have supernatural powers does not mean the rest of us are as deluded.

    Look back the past several hundred years in scientific fields and you will see developments that people would never have dreamed of, many in the realms of perception - being able to examine single cells, atoms, take pictures in different spectrums of light not normally visible to the naked eye, being able to take pictures of peoples bones through skin and clothing, using magnets to create images of internal organs and brain activity.

    It's simple arrogance to believe that science can explain EVERYTHING at this point in time. To dismiss anything science has not reached the level to be able to provide a full and detailed analysis as 'superstitious nonsense' is to say the humans have reached the pinnacle of thinking, that there is no more to discover, analyse and explore.

    That to me smacks more of insanity than the possibility that there is more out there that we do not understand and to pass phenomina people do experience as delusion is just as insulting to intelligence.
     
    Gaear and LKD like this.
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