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skeptics say the darndest things


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#1 tommyhancock

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 07:01 AM

i've had my own experiences. seen some stuff. but thats not exactly what i'm here to talk about. have you ever been in or heard of a situation where there is no logical explanation as to why it happens. in these situations majority of believers would say "ghost", even without "proof",but some of the things i've heard skeptics say to explain how it could have "logically" happened make less sense than it being a ghost. if you have any examples of this i would love to hear them.

short ex: i was alone in my kitchen,2 other people were in the dining rook which is,obviously seperated by a wall but no door.as i was looking for something in a cupboard a good...15 feet away from the fridge i heard a sound(i didnt then think "ghost" i thought it was the fridge). i looked towards the fridge because the sound caught me off guard,and when i did a box of rice krispies,that was pushed securely back away from the edge,flew off the top of the fridge and landed past where i was standing BEFORE it hit the ground,and then slid almost all the way into the dining room.
the 2 people in the dining room heard the box hit and came to see what it was. i was still standing by the cupboard,top ramen in hand,and i told them exactly what i typed here.

could i explain what it was after inspecting where ti was?no
does that mean it COULDN'T have been something natural?no,im no expert of how fridges work,maybe they twitch, who knows haha.
was it a ghost or other paranormal "thing"i have no idea

now if you want to call em a liar,be my guest. the story is 100% true,i have no proof,but this stuff DOES happen and its the kind of stuff people base their belief/disbelief on.please,if you think it wasnt a ghost,feel free to say so.just dont say i or my tiny cat bumped into the fridge. didnt happen

please give examples of storys+what skeptics said

#2 lillycat

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Posted 31 October 2009 - 10:16 PM

People are often skeptic until they experience the paranormal. No 2nd hand story will be meaningful to them. I was a solid skeptic until I moved into a 100 plus yr old house that we rehabbed while living in it. It was a frightening experience that changed how my family looks at the world.

#3 tommyhancock

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 04:14 AM

oh no,im not questioning that at all.i understand how crazy a story can sound unless you experience something similar yourself.heck i've been experiencing EXTREMELY crazy things my whole life and some things still sound crazy.AND i still dont assume anything unexplainable is a ghost.
what im getting at is if they hear a story,or even are there to experiece something first hand,and instead of admitting that its weird they try to find a "logical" explananation.like in my story was it a ghost that threw a box of snap crackle pop?i dont know.could it have been?yes it could have.could it have been me and/or a cat bumping into the fridge?no way.
thats what im asking for explanations that make absolutely no sense that are deemed logical simply because theyre arent involving the supernatural.in my case if 1 person said "it was definetly a ghost" and another said "you ran into the fridge and it slid across the floor" in my mind,the 2nd one is just reaching.

pretty much im asking for explanations that are rediculous,not mocking people just for not believing in ghosts or wondering why its so hard for them to grasp it.ya know?

id like to hear more about that house you were talking about if you dont mind btw haha

#4 Mercury

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Posted 01 November 2009 - 10:43 AM

While I am a believer, I also am very carefull (to the point of being called a skeptic) to come to conclusions. It is no exageration to say that 97 percent of what people attribute to things that go bump in the night can be logically explained. I have studied physics a little in college and alot on my own as a hobbie, though my area is more in Astronomy, and astro physics.

I've read a case of a haunted house where the spirit loved to open doors, and thats all it did. The reality was, the house sat several miles from a set of Railroad tracks and when ever a train went down a certian stretch of the track the doors on this house that werent latched shut, opened.

Further probing found that the vibrations from the train going by transmitted into the ground and onto bedrock and it just so happened that this house sat directly on that bed rock.

This of course was in a rural area, but it does show that sometimes the craziest "rationlization" can be accurate.

#5 tommyhancock

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:25 AM

to mercury

i also am very careful in just assuming something is a ghost. admittedly i dont have the knowledge that you have when it comes to physics,and i know seemingly crazy things can be rationalized if you put the time into figuring it out. that much i totally respect and encourage. what im talking about here is basically someone jumping to insane conclusions without looking into,JUST because they think the idea of it being supernatural is crazy.

for instance, lets say you were there and saw something happen. something completely weird but unexplainable. unexplainable here meaning completely weird but not necessarily a ghost, but at the same time,we have no other explanation as to what it could be. you and i would come to the conclusion that its unexplainable, or sense youd be there with your knowledge of physics we could investigate it more thoroughly than if i was alone looking for more obvious answers haha
if someone immediately said "a ghost did that!"you and i along with any skeptic would think "not necessarily" while a skeptic would think "yeah right!"
i'm completely fine with skepticism and even partake in it quite often on more cases tan just ghosts.
but what if they said "the wind" pushed say...a loveseat 3 inches to the left?and we knew THAT very answer was impossible,being a light breezy day and having no doors or windows open.

basically in a case like that i would say a ghost moving the loveseat is more likely than the wind,not saying that there is absolutely no other way of it happening,but there are skeptics,not all but atleast some, who will jump to this kind of conclusion and think theyre either absolutely right or atleast more than likely right because;wind exists, ghosts do not.

do you know if the people checked the doors themselves in the story you gave me as an example? pulling on it etc?
and also curious,does the fact that it was on the bedrock actually rule out that a ghost could open a door in the house? i mean if someone says a ghost turns on their sink and they have a loose valve or socket etc. and the water COULD come out on its own,do you believe that rules out the idea that a ghost could do it?
i know all should be taken into consideration, and in my opinion the house being on the bedrock gives an alternative perspective and another possibility as opposed to ruling out a ghost that opens doors.that is of course unless the was more to the investigation/story than you put here.
but i do think ghosts could open less than perfectly secure doors, turn on less than perfect faucets, and walk down hallways regardless of if outside lights cast perfectly reasonable shadows.

just curious on your thoughts there, in fact that might be a whole new thread

#6 CaveRat2

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:56 AM

I agree regarding crazy explanations some skeptics put out there. In the UFO field the classic "swamp gas" ranks up there, as well as meteors which make turns in flight. Some good ones come out of that field as officials try to explain something that has been reported..

But even a door opening doesn't expalin anything by itself. Train vibrations alone will not open or close a door since vibrations are symetrical; forces in one direction are offset by forces in the other. However if a door is out of balance, off square, tilted or any of several other conditions exist vibrations can be the trigger which causes it to move. But these other factors are measurable, Is the door plumb and level? How much force to move it? Latch secure? Air currents? All these can and should be tested by any investigator seeking the truth, skeptic or believer.

#7 stevenedel

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 04:21 PM

To my (skeptic) eyes it seems that one very basic point is missed in the above discussion, and that is that generally the assumptions made by believers are far more 'crazy' than the most convoluted alternative, rational explanations. We may argue to what extend wind can move certain items of furniture, or passing trains can open doors; but we do have irrefutable evidence that wind exists and can move objects, and that trains cause vibrations that can have a similar effect.

We do, however, have no real evidence at all that ghosts exist. We may still theorize that they do, but that theory raises a lot more questions than it answers. For instance the question how an immaterial phenomenon can move material objects. You cannot just assume that this is possible and leave it at that - if you want to throw overboard half the laws of established physics you will need to come up with a pretty impressive alternative theory backed up by several heavy cartloads of evidence.

A light wind moving a loveseat three inches even with the windows closed, while indeed highly unlikely, still sounds infintely more probable to me than a disembodied spirit moving that same item around (I must admit that I've always thought that if the dead would actually return to us, they would probably find better things to do than move around furniture or throw boxes of cereal to the floor).
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#8 OMPRDave

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 06:28 PM

That's why as a skeptic and a researcher I don't consider what anyone says as crazy when it comes to the paranormal. Sure I've heard some things that I would just consider impossible on first hearing it, but it would do them no justice if I didn't listen and then do my best to help them figure out what was happening.

And here in a forum what you are going to get are basically just uninformed decisions. There is no way to properly examine the situation in a physical way, so therefore it's impossible to give an properly examined and informed opinion. This makes for great arguments, but does little in the way of helping answer the question.

Also, many folks already have their explanation in hand when they pose the question to the skeptic. And unless the questions posed back or ideas given match that preconceived idea it won't matter. I've seen plenty of this in the evidence sections of every forum I belong to, and is part of the reason I am pretty choosy in who I will give an opinion to in them. It can be as bad as arguing politics or religion in my book, and about as big a waste of time.

What it comes down to is if anyone is ready to ask for an opinion that they also be ready and willing to listen to the explanation given. Test the ideas given by the skeptic and see if it helps explain what may have happened before calling the skeptic closed minded. It makes no sense to ask an opinion with one's own answer already firmly in place.

And the door swings both ways...sometimes believers say the darnedest things. A good skeptic will not question what is said, however outrageous, without first examining all possibilities.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#9 tommyhancock

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 06:23 AM

CAVERAT: though im a noobie to this forum, you seem to grasp the concept of what im saying more than anyone else so far. skeptic or believer. and so far i have agreed completely with just about everything youve said, kudos to you ;)

just curious, since you brought up ufo stuff, do you believe in aliens?

STEVENEDEL: this i already know, i think most the believers here will admit that some of the things we hear people say are sure signs of a haunting are insanely crazy. this is the kind of stuff i hear all the time, and while i dont disagree, since so many other people are saying it, i just let them. i decided to tackle this subject to get others points of views because, while most believers will admit when something is explained logically and accept "defeat" as it is.also if another believer tells a story and it sounds fishy, i've known more believers to look into it and find other possibilities, far more so than skeptics will say, "i dont know what else it could be, maybe..."

and, not to insult you, but just because we dont have prove of something does that mean its wrong? many people who are now considered the greatest minds in history were shunned in their own time as fools because science in their age couldnt possibly comprehend what was being presented.isnt there some possibility that this could be such a case? or should we follow histories arrogance and say "if we cant find the proof, theres no way it can exist"

and since we do know for a fact that,unlike ghosts, wind and trains for sure exist, shouldnt we also have to take what we know of their limitations and put them realistically into the situation?
a breeze from inside of a house moving a loveseat inches across carpet on a generally still day with the windows and door shut isnt unlikely, its impossible. a ghost is unlikely, but since we dont know about them, we cant just say that THAT is impossible and just leave it at that. to assume it is or isnt a ghost in either scenario without at least trying to make sense of it believer or skeptic, its just called being ignorant and neglectful towards the TRUTH just to serve ones own belief. again i say i dont care about peoples beliefs, you can think a ghost didnt move anything, and someone else can think it did(look back at everything i've said so far, and note that i havent claimed anything to be a ghost)think what you will, to each their own, but i dont think anyone should try to give a definitive answer if theyre going to trust too little in science or practical proof, or if theyre gunna trust too much in it. again if youre not an investigator or anything like that be as skeptic as you want, but wind existing doesnt make it more likely just because we have knowledge on the subject, it just makes it more comfortable

OMPRDAVE:
being a sensible skeptic while being a researcher/investigator i have no problem with and in fact recommend. also as a researcher you have to take in every single thing even if it sounds crazy. again something i respect. quick question, do you believe in ghosts at all? if not at least the possibilit of them?

and i agree you wont get many informed answers, thats why if you read my 1st post its asking for examples of other peoples stories and what skeptics have told them, as opposed to me just saying "i dare a skeptic to defy my tale" which again i say, i never claimed wasa ghost and used as a vague example of what i was looking for in the post


"Also, many folks already have their explanation in hand when they pose the question to the skeptic. And unless the questions posed back or ideas given match that preconceived idea it won't matter. I've seen plenty of this in the evidence sections of every forum I belong to, and is part of the reason I am pretty choosy in who I will give an opinion to in them. It can be as bad as arguing politics or religion in my book, and about as big a waste of time."

agreed wholeheartedly with the above quote. people can be unreasonable and some expect more "wow. oh my god. oooh" sorts of praise as opposed to answers. but it can be just as frustrating when you do FOR A FACT know that the answers you get back can not be right. i'll tell you right now, if i post something and you or any skeptic give me an example of what to check out to find a logical explanation, done. and il come back and say it checks out. but when it doesnt some skeptics treat you like youre an idiot or you did something wrong because, lets face it, it cant be a ghost theyre not real.
this is, in fact, not an argument, but an agreement and a furthermore if you will, to what you said about how much a waste of time these discussions can be.because while some people seek answers, others want to wow you. and while some skeptics pose questions to try to help, as you do, others pose questions to prove that theres no way it can be a ghost. as long as skeptics can admit to a stalemate in some cases i respect them completely

"Test the ideas given by the skeptic and see if it helps explain what may have happened before calling the skeptic closed minded. It makes no sense to ask an opinion with one's own answer already firmly in place."
again i agree wholeheartedly and will add to this.i will test anything given to me, and still not call the skeptic closeminded, until they give me reason to believe otherwise.it does no good to ask opinions with your answer already in place, but it also does no good to GIVE opinions with your answer firmly in place.not saying you do this, but some do.its exactly the same as believers not wanting to hear that theyre wrong, skeptics dont wanna hear it either.2 way street. again this is less than half the skeptics iv met, believers are more guilty of the kind of thing im getting at, but i dont see what im talking about being addressed sensibly and so THAT is my goal here.

and il do you one better: HALF the time believers say the darndest things, more often than skeptics. and a good skeptic wont question what is said without looking into it, but some will. and some after looking into it, will still say the darndest thing, as the believers will, because they dont want to accept that they just might be wrong, its not a believer or skeptic flaw, its a people flaw, but believers catch way more heat than skeptics.

also, this is in this thread where i would have assumed most believers dwelled, and in the skeptic ones, so i could see both sides, give everyone a chance to speak their mind. more skeptics show up here to defend themselves/their views and more people sho up as believers in the skeptic area. just found that interesting

#10 OMPRDave

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:14 AM

To answer your question I'd have to say I'm on the fence. I've experienced my own phenomena as many have, but have always been unable to just accept that what I saw was the spirit of a dead person. If today somebody came out with a scientifically proven explanation for what I saw and experienced I would accept it, but until then I can't even label my own experience without some sort of proof. I don't let it close my mind to all the possibilities, either.
"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation." Herbert Spencer

#11 stevenedel

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:02 AM

Tommy, it would appear to me that great minds of the past are recognized as such because they derived their theories from good evidence (e.g., Darwin), or in the case of Galileo or Copernicus, because they ruthlessly applied Occam's Razor (if two theories explain the same phenomenon equally well, the simpler of the two is usually the correct one), or in the case of Einstein came up with a theory that looks more complicated than earlier theories, but that has stronger predictive and explanatory power (as well as being backed up by evidence).

If your loveseat is moving around on its own and there truly is no explanation you can think of, why then assume it might be a ghost? To me, that assumption looks completely random, and could be replaced by any number of equally random alternatives, e.g., the seat has come alive and decided to move of its own accord; the seat is being remote controlled by an advanced civilization on Jupiter; an unknown chemical proces has liquified the floor underneath the seat and sent it drifting; a local aberration in the gravitational field has occurred; or the seat is being carried around by very tiny, very strong invisible pixies. Until evidence for one of these or yet another is forthcoming, I don't see any point in saying "maybe..."; I'd prefer to stick to "I don't know."

Of course al this is fictional anyway, as furniture in closed, quiet rooms simply doesn't move around on its own, period. There is no (sound) evidence whatsoever that it ever does. You say believers are prepared to 'admit defeat', but in my experience they never really do, but always keep a foot in the door. "OK, 97% of reports are bogus, but..." So where are those other 3%, and why aren't those bogus too?

Moreover, this isn't a competition with winners or loosers, this is simply about establishing what is real, and the only way to do that is through evidence. All a skeptic does is ask for that evidence, and look at it really critically. If 'skeptic' is almost a term of abuse in some circles of believers, it is simply because the supposed paranormal hasn't yet produced a single piece of evidence that will stand up to such scrutiny. It has only spawned an astonishing array of unfounded theories, that all share the problem that they raise more questions than they answer.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#12 CaveRat2

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:44 AM

CAVERAT: though im a noobie to this forum, you seem to grasp the concept of what im saying more than anyone else so far. skeptic or believer. and so far i have agreed completely with just about everything youve said, kudos to you :headbang:

just curious, since you brought up ufo stuff, do you believe in aliens?


UFOs is actually my primary area of interest. Regarding aliens I will say that based on the probabilities and using Drake's equation, the likelyhood of alien life is very high, although unproven. It also is very likely such life may be microbial, not the aliens seen on Startrek. Based on that I would say yes, there probably are aliens, but as for them piloting spacecraft and coming to earth, very unlikely. I know the stories of aliens being captured and secret government conspiracies, but until I see the alien and can verify it is in fact just that, I remain skeptical of their existence here.

So to sum it up in a couple words, aliens are possible but unlikely.

#13 tommyhancock

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:58 AM

OMPRDAVE: on the fence is a good place to be haha. personally i've seen things that have proven to me personally theres something going on that us as living humans cant fully comprehend. again thats not entirely for this very post, but i've seen things that, while theyre just personal meaning i wouldnt dare try to change someones mind based on them, proved to me and only me that things were paranormal. if you havent had something so crazy as some of the things that i have seen i wouldnt blame you for not taking that leap to the other side of the fence haha. honestly most of the things i hear as claims of ghosts still sound kinda sketchy, but if ghosts are real then youd figure each one would be different so, maybe the ghost is sketchy, who knows.

but yeah still even though ive seen things that pushed me over the edge to where i do believe in ghosts i still scrutinize the more "normal" happenings that half believers would immediately assume is a ghost. if not id be like a crazy cat lady, well...crazy cat gentleman.


STEVENDEL: the evidence in some cases, while great, sounded crazy to society then because their minds were beyond anyone elses in the time. now i am in no way saying that a believe= greater mind than skeptic. far from it. what i am saying is nobody has been able to come up with that great scientific answer as of yet to even be able to prove it or disprove it. and anything that can come close to scientific "proof" or investigation is just considered a joke or uncircumstantial by any skeptic and even half the believers, emf readings, evp, heat readings, none of this is good enough but as of now its all there is. and even if someone were to catch something hard on film its just going to be considered a hoax by 1 out of every 4 skeptics that cant find an obvious answer.

all of those claims are more rediculous than a ghost. they just are. and again im not saying a ghost is a definite possibility, but theres atleast arguable data to show a slight possibility of a humanoid shaped mass that shouldnt be there, is. and no im not talking orbs, get them orbs outta here. but, as a skeptic im sure your first reaction to about every single piece of video evidence is "hoax" or "rationally explained" even though theres cases where experts will openly say the image is on the negative and they can think of absolutely no other explanation as to what could form this image. there 20+ years of experience ina field of video/photography be damned though, since you know, theyre not using a theorem or formula to come to such a conclusion. to me though thats enough to atleast consider MAYBE this could be what it appears.

you tell me HOW someone would prove such a thing and i'll spread the word. and dont give me the same kind of test test test answers most would say, and then STILL deny any possiblity that it could MAYBE thats where the maybe comes in, be something.

and yes, these things do happen. i lack proof so i may not be able to confirm it happens. but just because there is no proof doesnt give anyone else the right to write it off as fictional nonsense simply because you have no solid proof that it did happen. you also have no proof that it didnt. we can argue this case all you want but the fact remains i cant prove to anyone that it happens, nor you that it doesnt. if we need scientific proof to say something is a ghost, dont you need scientific proof then that a couch has never moved inexplicably? forget it being a ghost all together, but for you to saywe need scientific proof of this or that and then say its simply fiction, sounds quite contradictory to me. lack of data does not equal proof of nonexistence.

also the other 3% to me wouldnt be considered bogus because it hasnt been proven bogus, so i label it as "i dont know" as opposed to bogus.

and i know its not literally win-lose. thats why my "defeat" was in quotes because some oddly do look at it that way. but also if its about proof of what is real, its about proof of what isnt. and by throwing 100 more half formed crazy ideas at anyone, you have proven nothing. they may not have proven anything, but neither has anyone else from the other side. so its basically just opinions. but thanks for a good example of something a skeptic would throw out as oppsed to answering would COULD move a couch, you named more things that couldnt, and lumped the previous question into that category. if you havea right to be that rediculous in your saying that ghosts dont exist, in my opinion you lose tons of credibilty as far as saying someone elses claims that they DO exist is crazy

#14 stevenedel

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 10:05 AM

STEVENDEL: the evidence in some cases, while great, sounded crazy to society then because their minds were beyond anyone elses in the time. now i am in no way saying that a believe= greater mind than skeptic. far from it.

Interestingly however, people like Darwin or Galileo got into trouble with their society because they torpedoed established supernatural notions, such a the centrality of a god-created man in the universe. They replaced supernatural beliefs with natural facts.

what i am saying is nobody has been able to come up with that great scientific answer as of yet to even be able to prove it or disprove it.

First of all I'd say that the main reason for this is the fact that the paranormal isn't the object of much serious scientific study. Which isn't surprising, as systematic observation hasn't yet yielded any questions that necessitate the assumption of the supernatural. The evidence presented thusfar is very weak and can easily be explained through known mechanism such as (self)-suggestion, misperception, coincidence, memory lapses, dream states, hallucination, jumping to conclusions ('it looks like a human shape, so it is a human shape, so it has to be a ghost'), hoaxing, etc.

Furthermore, disproving the existence of something is impossible under most circumstances. You think my invisible, very strong pixies are 'ridiculous' - why? Disprove their existence to me. See, you can't. I can think up a thousend nonsensical notions that nobody would ever be able to disprove. That doesn't make them any more real or less nonsensical. Fact is that the burden of proof is generally very much with the person making the extraordinary claim, and the claim that ghosts exist is definitely extraordinary.

and anything that can come close to scientific "proof" or investigation is just considered a joke or uncircumstantial by any skeptic and even half the believers, emf readings, evp, heat readings, none of this is good enough but as of now its all there is. and even if someone were to catch something hard on film its just going to be considered a hoax by 1 out of every 4 skeptics that cant find an obvious answer.

A lot of bad evidence still isn't evidence. It is a bit weird to say 'hey, it's garbage, but it's all we have so we'll have to make do with it.' If you can't prove the existence of ghosts, you have good reason to doubt their existence. If after more than a century of paranormal research there still isn't any good evidence at all, that in itself adds to the reasons to doubt the existence of the supernatural (in my country the last parapsychology department at a university was closed down decades ago because it failed to produce any positive findings in the twentyfive years of its existence).

all of those claims are more rediculous than a ghost. they just are.

This is where we fundamentally differ. None of my alternative claims are more ridiculous than a ghost. Like a ghost, each one is a hypothesis lacking any evidence. Stories about ghosts may be more common than stories about inhabitants of Jupiter playing with our furniture, but just beacuse one story is told more often than another doesn't make it more true (incidentally, here in The Netherlands a popular 'medium' has been active for years who claims she gets her instructions from the inhabitants of Jupiter, and thousands believe her. Does that make it true? Or even a realistic possibility requiring investigation?)

and again im not saying a ghost is a definite possibility, but theres atleast arguable data to show a slight possibility of a humanoid shaped mass that shouldnt be there, is. and no im not talking orbs, get them orbs outta here. but, as a skeptic im sure your first reaction to about every single piece of video evidence is "hoax" or "rationally explained" even though theres cases where experts will openly say the image is on the negative and they can think of absolutely no other explanation as to what could form this image. there 20+ years of experience ina field of video/photography be damned though, since you know, theyre not using a theorem or formula to come to such a conclusion. to me though thats enough to atleast consider MAYBE this could be what it appears.

But where does your idea of what is migt BE come from? After all, all you see is a 'humanoid shape mass'. A vague shape resembling a human. All you see is this appearance; how can you deduce from that that you may be dealing with a ghost? How do you know it isn't just a random pattern that happens to look vaguely human, something we humans are very much predisposed to recognize? (Why, indeed, would you assume a ghost would appear in a human form? It is after all immaterial, isn't it?)

you tell me HOW someone would prove such a thing and i'll spread the word. and dont give me the same kind of test test test answers most would say, and then STILL deny any possiblity that it could MAYBE thats where the maybe comes in, be something.

There are many ways to do this. I've given several examples in other posts. In general, what you need is repeatability. What you need are independent observations from non-believers. What you need are control conditions (bring believers and non-believers to six different places, one of which has a reputation of being haunted. Make sure nobody knows where they are going or why. And just ask them to record anything unusual they notice.) Evidence gathered in such a way may offer some support for the assumption that MAYBE there is a ghost. Even such evidence, however, doesn't PROVE there is a ghost. For that, you need a theoretically strong (and eventually proven) mechanism that compellingly links such evidence to the spirit of a deceased person and to nothing else. I think that will be very difficult to achieve. But as long as the evidence itself is so weak as it is, we won't need to worry about that much yet.

and yes, these things do happen. i lack proof so i may not be able to confirm it happens. but just because there is no proof doesnt give anyone else the right to write it off as fictional nonsense simply because you have no solid proof that it did happen. you also have no proof that it didnt. we can argue this case all you want but the fact remains i cant prove to anyone that it happens, nor you that it doesnt.

That's the burden of proof issue again. If you say you experienced something out of the ordinary, I will believe that you had that experience. But your subjective experience is not evidence for an objective fact, and you cannot require me to accept it as a fact. If we had to take for a fact everything people say they experienced, we would have to accept a host of religions even though they are mutually exclusive, we (you included) would have to accept orbs and the inhabitants of Jupiter, and our mental hospitals would be full of real Jesuses and Napoleons.

if we need scientific proof to say something is a ghost, dont you need scientific proof then that a couch has never moved inexplicably? forget it being a ghost all together, but for you to saywe need scientific proof of this or that and then say its simply fiction, sounds quite contradictory to me. lack of data does not equal proof of nonexistence.

You seem to forget that we have very well tested and proven theories of physics that predict with a great measure of certainty that these things don't happen. Furthermore, we have no evidence to the contrary, so no reason to doubt these theories. And while lack of data indeed doesn't equal proof of nonexistence (this is exactly the reason why it is mostly impossible to disprove the existence of something), lack of data certainly doesn't mean that therefore anything goes, that you can just throw in a random theory that upsets lots of other, well-founded and time tested theories and demand it to be taken seriously without evidence to back it up.

also the other 3% to me wouldnt be considered bogus because it hasnt been proven bogus, so i label it as "i dont know" as opposed to bogus.

and i know its not literally win-lose. thats why my "defeat" was in quotes because some oddly do look at it that way. but also if its about proof of what is real, its about proof of what isnt. and by throwing 100 more half formed crazy ideas at anyone, you have proven nothing. they may not have proven anything, but neither has anyone else from the other side. so its basically just opinions. but thanks for a good example of something a skeptic would throw out as oppsed to answering would COULD move a couch, you named more things that couldnt, and lumped the previous question into that category. if you havea right to be that rediculous in your saying that ghosts dont exist, in my opinion you lose tons of credibilty as far as saying someone elses claims that they DO exist is crazy

The burden of proof discussion once again. It isn't just opinions. It is theories of physics, of perception, of psychology, all backed up by lots of evidence, against extraordinary claims not backed up by any evidence. I don't say ghosts don't exist; I do not know that. But I do say that both the 'theory' and the evidence concerning gosts thus far fall way short to even remotely consider the notion that aforementioned theories are wrong on key points and that ghosts exist.
Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence. (Carl Sagan)

#15 JimDe

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 02:18 PM

If I didnít know better, I could almost believe this drivel; in my book it gets an A for effort but not much else simply because itís a subjective opinion with an obvious personal agenda that is inaccurate, misleading and typical of a failed belief system whose followers have proven thus far to be incapable of producing competent results. In other words, itís a desperate attempt to overlook evidence recognized by esteemed members of the scientific/academic community as credible, unique and paranormal in nature.

The problem IMO is that now some of these so called skeptics/scientists will have to get off their butts and produce similar results under similar conditions (repeatedly as has been accomplished) or admit failure of a belief system that now has cracks in its armor. Apparently, the easy way out is to deny the existence of anything potentially supernatural rather than face the fact that there is an unknown/undiscovered/undocumented force of nature in the universe that the poindexters canít comprehend.
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