ForumsWEPRGhosts/Can atheists believe in them?

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pangtongshu
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pangtongshu
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So..I'm sure this was once a thread...but I haven't seen it at all recently so I don't want o go looking for the possible previous one

Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not? etc

"But pang..why is this in WEPR? This should go in The Tavern!"
Don't worry..I gots this covered..

Do you believe ghosts, if they were real, would be valid proof that there is an afterlife as believed by many religions? (which, I'm sure if you go deep enough, would eventually become a "does god exist argument"...but that isn't the question...so...yeah)

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MageGrayWolf
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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.
Devoidless
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Devoidless
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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.

MageGrayWolf
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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!
Devoidless
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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 'aranormal activity' has loads of screwy effects on the brain. Quick list here.
Add this to all the above and bam!, ghosts.
MageGrayWolf
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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.
BurnKush420
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yes they can believe in them because it just means that the ghosts arent in heaven or hell with a god or a satan, i think it would be logical to believe in ghosts if youre an atheist

Kasic
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Kasic
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i think it would be logical to believe in ghosts if youre an atheist


Not at all. It's contradicting in reasoning on why someone would not believe in a god, but would believe in ghosts. Not to say an atheist can't...but, they're being hypocritical on a likely number of reasons as to why they believe in one and not the other.
nichodemus
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Not at all. It's contradicting in reasoning on why someone would not believe in a god, but would believe in ghosts. Not to say an atheist can't...but, they're being hypocritical on a likely number of reasons as to why they believe in one and not the other.


No it isn't. Lots of people can reasonably and have reasonably believed the ''evidence'' they capture, such as film, photo and recordings are evident of ''spirits'' or whatever they are.
Kasic
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Kasic
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Lots of people can reasonably and have reasonably believed the ''evidence'' they capture


Evidence which is just as non-replicable and up to interpretation as belief in ancient books.

Let's go over some of the commonly mentioned points for people believing in ghosts.

1) A &quotresence" can sometimes be felt.
2) Concept of a soul or some nonphysical part of someone continuing after death.
3) Supernatural/weird acts.
4) Seeing someone who isn't there or who died.
5) Hearing voices.

Out of these 5, which are common to religion (specifically those with a god?)

All of them. The presence of said god, the idea of an afterlife, actions taken by said god, hallucinations/dead prophets (saints) and being spoken to...

There is still no evidence for them that is any better than what religion can provide for a god. Personal testimonies, "miracles" or sheer coincidence, rituals such as prayer or sacrifice...are all just as unsubstantiated as blurry photos, sensing of presences, personal stories of things moving or happening, hallucinations...etc.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
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1) A &quotresence" can sometimes be felt.
2) Concept of a soul or some nonphysical part of someone continuing after death.
3) Supernatural/weird acts.
4) Seeing someone who isn't there or who died.
5) Hearing voices.

Out of these 5, which are common to religion (specifically those with a god?)

All of them. The presence of said god, the idea of an afterlife, actions taken by said god, hallucinations/dead prophets (saints) and being spoken to...



This is but one angle on ''ghosts'' or whatever they are. Lots of people believe in them, but not in God, and they don't link God into the process. They believe for all sorts of reasons, that they are either emotional remnants (stone taps and such), electrical forces, and the like. There doesn't need to be a God or any higher power in the equation.

All of them. The presence of said god, the idea of an afterlife, actions taken by said god, hallucinations/dead prophets (saints) and being spoken to...

There is still no evidence for them that is any better than what religion can provide for a god. Personal testimonies, "miracles" or sheer coincidence, rituals such as prayer or sacrifice...are all just as unsubstantiated as blurry photos, sensing of presences, personal stories of things moving or happening, hallucinations...etc.


Those 5 as stated, are a pretty narrow range of the beliefs and theories on ghosts.
Kasic
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Kasic
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There doesn't need to be a God or any higher power in the equation.


I know there doesn't need to be. I was pointing out how the reasoning people use for existence of a god is almost exactly the same as the most common arguments for the existence of ghosts.

Those 5 as stated, are a pretty narrow range of the beliefs and theories on ghosts.


Really? Because one or more of those 5 account for nearly every person I've heard who believed in ghosts.
partydevil
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partydevil
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Lots of people believe in them, but not in God, and they don't link God into the process.

but they all link a afterlife to ghosts right?
and a afterlife is a creation of religion right?
...

They believe for all sorts of reasons, that they are either emotional remnants (stone taps and such), electrical forces, and the like.

those are evidence of there being no ghosts.
emotional remnant or any other mental disorder is for that person only not being real for the rest.
electrical forces... well said enough. electrical.
nichodemus
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nichodemus
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but they all link a afterlife to ghosts right?
and a afterlife is a creation of religion right?


Errr....no? I know serious people who believe in ghosts but not an afterlife. As mentioned, ''ghosts'' to those people are not souls.

those are evidence of there being no ghosts.
emotional remnant or any other mental disorder is for that person only not being real for the rest.
electrical forces... well said enough. electrical.


Read above.
MageGrayWolf
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No it isn't. Lots of people can reasonably and have reasonably believed the ''evidence'' they capture, such as film, photo and recordings are evident of ''spirits'' or whatever they are.


often such evidence is poorly examined and the result of confirmation bias. This would not support a well reasoned position.

emotional remnant or any other mental disorder is for that person only not being real for the rest.


Emotional remnants isn't referring to a psychological disorder but the belief that emotions can be left behind in places. A bit like how bad gas leaves behind a lingering odor. This is also known as psychic impressions.

"How Not to be a Paranormal Investigator" - TAM 2012
nichodemus
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often such evidence is poorly examined and the result of confirmation bias. This would not support a well reasoned position.


Often. But doesn't science teach us to be open minded? The majority of cases are easily explained, but many still perplex.
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