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Ghosts/Can atheists believe in them?

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 6:57am

nichodemus

nichodemus

12,178 posts

Knight

Course. There are theories that ghosts are just leftover emotions, or baloney like that; nothing soul related whatsoever. Who knows?

Not everyone who believes in ghosts think they go:

I am thy father's spirit,
Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
And for the day confined to fast in fires,
Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
Thy knotted and combined locks to part
And each particular hair to stand on end,
Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
But this eternal blazon must not be
To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
If thou didst ever thy dear father love--

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 9:52am

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,715 posts

Of course Atheists can believe them, in fact it proves almost that there is no Heaven if some people are trapped on this Earth rather than in Heaven or Hell.

How does that prove there is no Heaven or Hell? The argument against that would be purgatory or "they just have one more thing to do before they move on"

It could be argued that ghosts are in Purgatory but if that was the case there would be so many more ghosts around.

What makes you say that? You say this quite definitively...any proof to back this up?

hence why many ghosts don't respond to you,

From my experience and experiences many others I know have had..this isn't the case. They can be quite responsive and act on their own accord, instead of acting out the same scene over and over

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 4:25pm

HahiHa

HahiHa

5,086 posts

Knight

How does that prove there is no Heaven or Hell? The argument against that would be purgatory or "they just have one more thing to do before they move on"

I don't remember hearing of any instance where the bible mentions purgatory, nor any where it mentions that some people have to do something before entering heaven. Nor do I remember hearing of anything like an in-between state. I'm convinced those are just popular beliefs generally integrated without a question in people's religious belief. Which is why I agree with partydevil on this one.

My critique to partydevils post is more that you say you don't believe in ghosts, but then elaborate quite specifically on how it would work if they existed, basing it on others experiences. Nothing.. wrong with it, just peculiar.

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 4:47pm

pangtongshu

pangtongshu

8,715 posts

I don't remember hearing of any instance where the bible mentions purgatory, nor any where it mentions that some people have to do something before entering heaven. Nor do I remember hearing of anything like an in-between state. I'm convinced those are just popular beliefs generally integrated without a question in people's religious belief.

I don't know if there was an idea before hand...but I know The Divine Comedy has Purgatory. Also the the idea of souling in the late medieval times So chalk that up to popular beliefs

I'm pretty sure the "just having one more thing to do" is also a fabrication of popular beliefs...something along the lines of the soul wanting to be at peace etc

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 7:49pm

partydevil

partydevil

5,109 posts

Which is why I agree with partydevil on this one

what did i say? =o

the mirror trick thingy?

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 9:04pm

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,691 posts

Knight

I don't remember hearing of any instance where the bible mentions purgatory,

Purgatory is just people interpreting the Bible to say what they want it to say because they realized how unjust the system of Heaven and Hell was. It also has basis in the Jewish practice of prayer for the dead.

 

Posted Nov 28, '12 at 11:10pm

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,553 posts

Here is me throwing my hat into the ring:

Even though I realize that there is more than just one definition for what is a 'ghost', I'm going by the commonly held belief that a ghost is the spirit/soul of a deceased person which can not move on into either heaven or hell. That idea seems to be the one I see and hear most when people are speaking of ghosts.
Being an atheist, I can not believe in ghosts. Well, I should rephrase that. Being an -actual- atheist, I recognize that such ideas are absurd. To believe in ghosts, I would also have to acknowledge the existence of some god along with an afterlife. Along the same train of thought, I also do not believe in angels or demons, evil spirits or otherwise, leprechauns or unicorns.

I'll go into more detail so far as how these experiences can be explained without the existence of ghosts if people wish to hear such things.

 

Posted Nov 29, '12 at 1:41am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,691 posts

Knight

Being an -actual- atheist, I recognize that such ideas are absurd.

Re-rephrase, you're using the same rational critical thinking skills and requirements for evidence you apply to the existence of a god.

To believe in ghosts, I would also have to acknowledge the existence of some god along with an afterlife.

afterlife yes, god no. I'm failing to see how an afterlife necessitates a god.

I'll go into more detail so far as how these experiences can be explained without the existence of ghosts if people wish to hear such things.

Yes please!

 

Posted Nov 29, '12 at 3:55am

Devoidless

Devoidless

3,553 posts

Re-rephrase, you're using the same rational critical thinking skills and requirements for evidence you apply to the existence of a god.

*blinks*
So, um, I should use other rational critical thinking skills and such? That whole statement does not compute,

afterlife yes, god no.

Those were meant as two separate yet connected points. Did not mean to imply that both were needed to believe in ghosts, just that typically one or the other (sometimes both) are frequent precursors to belief in the bogeyman under the bed. 
Besides, I can not recall many religions where there is an afterlife and no gods. Or the other way around. Granted, I am only taking into consideration the more common ones. Which for me is a lot, considering I tend to think little of even those on an average day.

Yes please!

This is going to be a little terse simply because I need to run out to the store before it closes up. Sorry.
Main bullet points:
- Man is not nocturnal, night and darkness scared the crap out of our ancestors thus making night/dark evil. Still in genes to stay out of dark, lest we be eaten
- Being alone tends to make one more alert to minor things and react far too emotionally to them. Also a bored and alone mind tends to conjure up random things to keep it amused.
- EMF in large concentrations (often linked to 'paranormal activity') has loads of screwy effects on the brain. Quick list here.
Add this to all the above and bam!, ghosts.

 

Posted Nov 29, '12 at 5:12am

MageGrayWolf

MageGrayWolf

9,691 posts

Knight

So, um, I should use other rational critical thinking skills and such? That whole statement does not compute,

I would wager that you don't accept the existence of god because of lack of evidence and the "evidence" you have been presented (if any) is lacking to convince you. Please correct me if I got that wrong. I would wager similar lines of reasoning went into the existence of all sorts of things, in this particular instance ghosts.

I can not recall many religions where there is an afterlife and no gods.

That's probably because there are very few that don't include a god of some sort.

- Man is not nocturnal, night and darkness scared the crap out of our ancestors thus making night/dark evil. Still in genes to stay out of dark, lest we be eaten
- Being alone tends to make one more alert to minor things and react far too emotionally to them. Also a bored and alone mind tends to conjure up random things to keep it amused.

Those are interesting points on our genetic predisposition.

 
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