Forums Archive Non RPG Chatter Non Gaming Chat Do you Believe in Ghosts?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 24 total)
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  • #553125
    XRayLexx
    • Posts : 202
    • Orc

    Yes or No.

    And Reasons.

    🙂

    #580646
    Dragonkin
    • Posts : 485
    • Thri-kreen

    Nah, don’t believe in ghosts. They lie a lot…

    #580647
    suncrafter
    • Posts : 51
    • Bullywug

    No.

    #580648
    centauri
    • Posts : 1275
    • Owlbear

    I don’t believe in ghosts mainly because I don’t believe in an afterlife.

    #580649
    Thing
    Admin
    • Posts : 4512
    • Drider

    I don’t disbelieve in ghosts, but I think most of what people call ghosts are something other then what they think.

    #580650
    Sinister-Ornament
    • Posts : 935
    • Gelatinous Cube
    Quote:
    Do you believe in Ghosts?

    Yes or No.

    And Reasons

    Cynic that I am, when reading this question I though is XRayLexx getting us to do his English essay homework for him? 🙂

    Interesting question, XRayLexx but I don’t think it as cut and dried as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    Here’s some thoughts to help you with your essay 😆 .

    All in a haphazard and unstructured order, because I can type faster than I can think!

    Clearly a lot of people have seen things they can explain. These get labelled as ghosts, apparitions etc.

    Patterns

    The human brain is very good at spotting patterns and trying to interpret them, because we’re human the human face is the image that has most meaning to us and so we often spot faces in arrangement of inanimate objects or things occurring in nature. I remember one being scared when I was little because the way the curtain in my bed room was hanging combined with the pattern on it looked like a eerie face, but it was my mind finding and sorting patterns where their wasn’t any.

    Categories

    This pattern theory could be extended outwards to encompass UFO, Ghosts and Goblins – if say an encounter happens does the human brain push the experience into one of these category drawers in an attempt to rationalise something our senses can’t fully experience?

    I think it is curious that their are categories of these encounters

    UFO – popular at the moment

    Ghost – Pretty constant sightings

    Fairies – popularity declined

    Perhaps the rise of the UFO over the older Fairy sighting is because more people live in a highly technical urban environment than a rural environment that is closer to the food production cycle.

    And of course the sky is a place a normal person isn’t capable of dominating in our concrete and tamed landscape.

    Hard wired human Instinct

    Nature, red in tooth and claw, as we know it is, then we know predators exist that endanger other animals existence.

    For example the bird that feels that something isn’t right and, well pisses off quickest – to put it very crudely – is the one that lives the longest even if, nine times out of ten it is just the wind blowing the grass and not the cat that the bird instinct’s imagined it is.

    Something like this must be inherent in our makeup too for us to have survived so long on the planet and fought, eaten, and shagged our way to the top of the predator tree.

    So when the right conditions are met our brain tells us ‘danger’ – fight or flight. A typical ‘haunted house’ starts our brain ticking of the checklist of dangerous things and so our mind switches on to high awareness mode where the slightest thing could cause us to bolt or stand and fight it out.

    Isolated – help is far away,

    abandoned – why was it abandoned danger?

    Dark Night – vision impaired predators hunt at night.

    Rain – movement impaired, could slip and fall

    etcetera.

    These little factors start to combine and overlap, if you fall over in the rain in the street someone’s there to help, but if you’re in a isolate place then help might be far away.

    Folktales

    Legend and stories must also contribute to the existence of ghosts, every culture has their legends of spirits and such, so it is clearly part of the human experience.

    The God Pan– gives his name to the word ‘Panic’ – the intense and overwhelming feeling that you’ve got to flee.

    Supernatural is one term I detest immensely as it suggests that something is ‘above’ nature. If their is ghosts their they are wired into natures inescapable cycle just like anything else.

    Religion/Afterlife

    Clearly if you don’t believe in a religion, then the religion aspect fits in with the folktale aspect. I’m suspicious of most religions because most of them have, and to a major extent still are, methods of controlling a group of people.

    Most religions feature ghosts, wandering spirits, demons and devils and give them various assorted names. Again. this seems quite common across the whole planet.

    People have seen ghosts of inanimate objects like motorcars and boats, so they don’t have to be restless souls.

    How come some sightings are one offs and others reoccur? Why don’t we see things like Cavemen ghosts? Do ghosts have a radioactive like half-life term which they slow dissipate into the atmosphere?

    Perhaps we shouldn’t ever find out what ghosts are – preserve some of the mystery because Ghosts, clearly one of the many weird things that make the planet a more interesting place to be.

    I’ll stop waffling on now, hope some of this ramble made sense 😀

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_hitchhiker

    Quote:
    There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, than are drempt of in your Philosophy

    *Edited to add*

    Found this http://www.roadghosts.com/road_ghosts-mechanism.htm some good arguments there.

    #580651
    Lindsay
    • Posts : 2669
    • Succubus
    Sinister-Ornament wrote:
    Quote:
    Do you believe in Ghosts?

    Yes or No.

    And Reasons

    Cynic that I am, when reading this question I though is XRayLexx getting us to do his English essay homework for him? 🙂

    Interesting question, XRayLexx but I don’t think it as cut and dried as a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    Here’s some thoughts to help you with your essay 😆 .

    All in a haphazard and unstructured order, because I can type faster than I can think!

    Clearly a lot of people have seen things they can explain. These get labelled as ghosts, apparitions etc.

    Patterns

    The human brain is very good at spotting patterns and trying to interpret them, because we’re human the human face is the image that has most meaning to us and so we often spot faces in arrangement of inanimate objects or things occurring in nature. I remember one being scared when I was little because the way the curtain in my bed room was hanging combined with the pattern on it looked like a eerie face, but it was my mind finding and sorting patterns where their wasn’t any.

    Categories

    This pattern theory could be extended outwards to encompass UFO, Ghosts and Goblins – if say an encounter happens does the human brain push the experience into one of these category drawers in an attempt to rationalise something our senses can’t fully experience?

    I think it is curious that their are categories of these encounters

    UFO – popular at the moment

    Ghost – Pretty constant sightings

    Fairies – popularity declined

    Perhaps the rise of the UFO over the older Fairy sighting is because more people live in a highly technical urban environment than a rural environment that is closer to the food production cycle.

    And of course the sky is a place a normal person isn’t capable of dominating in our concrete and tamed landscape.

    Hard wired human Instinct

    Nature, red in tooth and claw, as we know it is, then we know predators exist that endanger other animals existence.

    For example the bird that feels that something isn’t right and, well pisses off quickest – to put it very crudely – is the one that lives the longest even if, nine times out of ten it is just the wind blowing the grass and not the cat that the bird instinct’s imagined it is.

    Something like this must be inherent in our makeup too for us to have survived so long on the planet and fought, eaten, and shagged our way to the top of the predator tree.

    So when the right conditions are met our brain tells us ‘danger’ – fight or flight. A typical ‘haunted house’ starts our brain ticking of the checklist of dangerous things and so our mind switches on to high awareness mode where the slightest thing could cause us to bolt or stand and fight it out.

    Isolated – help is far away,

    abandoned – why was it abandoned danger?

    Dark Night – vision impaired predators hunt at night.

    Rain – movement impaired, could slip and fall

    etcetera.

    These little factors start to combine and overlap, if you fall over in the rain in the street someone’s there to help, but if you’re in a isolate place then help might be far away.

    Folktales

    Legend and stories must also contribute to the existence of ghosts, every culture has their legends of spirits and such, so it is clearly part of the human experience.

    The God Pan– gives his name to the word ‘Panic’ – the intense and overwhelming feeling that you’ve got to flee.

    Supernatural is one term I detest immensely as it suggests that something is ‘above’ nature. If their is ghosts their they are wired into natures inescapable cycle just like anything else.

    Religion/Afterlife

    Clearly if you don’t believe in a religion, then the religion aspect fits in with the folktale aspect. I’m suspicious of most religions because most of them have, and to a major extent still are, methods of controlling a group of people.

    Most religions feature ghosts, wandering spirits, demons and devils and give them various assorted names. Again. this seems quite common across the whole planet.

    People have seen ghosts of inanimate objects like motorcars and boats, so they don’t have to be restless souls.

    How come some sightings are one offs and others reoccur? Why don’t we see things like Cavemen ghosts? Do ghosts have a radioactive like half-life term which they slow dissipate into the atmosphere?

    Perhaps we shouldn’t ever find out what ghosts are – preserve some of the mystery because Ghosts, clearly one of the many weird things that make the planet a more interesting place to be.

    I’ll stop waffling on now, hope some of this ramble made sense 😀

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_hitchhiker

    Quote:
    There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio, than are drempt of in your Philosophy

    *Edited to add*

    Found this http://www.roadghosts.com/road_ghosts-mechanism.htm some good arguments there.

    IAWS-O

    (I agree with Sinister-Ornament)

    😀

    #580652
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube

    Well, being the brain-dead mind-controlled religious type that I am 😉 I’ll go along with the Orthodox view on the subject that the “supernatural” is simply a part of the “natural world that the human animal is not normally capable of experiencing or measuring. It’s a part of, not apart from, the natural world. There’s a lot of developing scientific theories that go along with this idea (string theory is my current favorite), though I don’t think the theorists would appreciate the terminology of “supernatural”.

    Now, as for the idea that this unseen part of reality pops up every now and then as some kind of Casper, who knows. However, when I volunteered for brain-washing and converted to Catholicism, my over-lords never told me I had to be a literalist. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to imagine that the human mind could take something its not normally hard-wired to experience and translate it into something more recognizable or comprehensible, like dead Uncle Bob.

    Okay, now I’m rambling, but I just think its a little to early in the history of human development to automatically dismiss as much as we do cause we’re just so darn smart.

    #580653
    Sinister-Ornament
    • Posts : 935
    • Gelatinous Cube

    Eegah Inc I agree with your comments regarding the word supernatural I wonder if the derevation of paranormal is as objectionable as super(above)-natural(nature)?

    Quote:
    Now, as for the idea that this unseen part of reality pops up every now and then as some kind of Casper, who knows.

    The book The Mothman Prophesies by, I think it’s John Keel takes a similar line to this. After witnessing tons of weird events, he suggests there an intelligence behind the happenings.

    He postulates that, well lets have a quote;

    Quote:
    That unidentified flying objects have been present since the dawn of man is an undeniable fact. They are not only described repeatedly in the Bible, but were also the subject of cave paintings made thousands of years before the Bible was written. And a strange procession weird entities and frightening creatures have been with us just as long. When you review the ancient references you are obliged to conclude that the presence of these objects and beings is a normal condition for this planet. These things, these other intelligences or OINTs as Ivan Sanderson labeled them, either reside here but somehow remain concealed from us, or they do not exist at all and are actually special aberrations of the human mind–tulpas, hallucinations, psychological constructs, momentary materializations of energy from that dimension beyond the reach of our senses and even beyond the reaches of our scientific instruments. They are not from outer space. There is no need for them to be. They have always been here. Perhaps they were here long before we started bashing each other over the head with clubs. If so, they will undoubtedly still be here long after we have incinerated our cities, polluted all the waters, and rendered the very atmosphere unbreathable.

    Of course, their lives–if they have lives in the usual sense–will be much duller after we have gone. But if they wait around long enough another form of so-called intelligent life will crawl out from under a rock and they can begin their games again.

    (highlights are mine)

    I think the book is also a good source of ideas to terrorize your player’s characters with strange events.

    another good paranormal thing to look up;

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skinwalker_Ranch

    http://www.rense.com/general32/strange.htm

    *editied to add*

    I especially like the phrase

    Quote:
    One hundred or more yards away, beyond a barbed-wire fence and a little creek, are my fellow paranormal rangers, equipped with their own video cameras, night-vision glasses and assorted scientific gear. They are supposed to be watching me to see if anything happens.

    On this night, I am the bait. Bait for what, I wonder?

    Both the Skinwalkers and the Tulpas sound like good Cthulhu-esque villians that need developing up.

    #580654
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube

    I personally have no problem with “paranormal” by its strict dictionary definition, but the word probably has too much of a cultural stigma attached to it by now. (“Exactly what are you a doctor of, Mr. Venkman?”)

    I’ll have to check out The Mothman Prophecies. Interestingly enough, the old Carl Sagan book, Demon Haunted World, starts off with the same presumption that “sightings” from boogeymen to angels to flying saucers have always been an ingrained part of the human experience. Rather than attach any intelligence to it though, he writes it off as some kind of deep pyschological wish fulfillment.

    Yeah, the skinwalkers sound cool, but if any Keeper adds it to their game, please, pretty please, do it better than this http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433454/

    #580655
    centauri
    • Posts : 1275
    • Owlbear
    EegahInc wrote:
    Rather than attach any intelligence to it though, he writes it off as some kind of deep pyschological wish fulfillment.

    If someone managed to falsify the existance of ghosts as a phenomenon outside of the jiggery-pokery of the human brain, how would you feel?

    Speaking of which, the non-falsifiabiliy of ghosts is one of the marks against them (and other “unexplained” phenomena) in my book.

    #580656
    Sinister-Ornament
    • Posts : 935
    • Gelatinous Cube

    Marks against them?

    I not sure I understand.

    You mean the fact that they can’t be faked means you believe in them less? 😕

    Hmmm, now I’m SURE I don’t understand 😆

    The Mothman Prophesies film is quite good – not really the same thing as the book but sometimes its nice when a project goes off in its own direction. But then what do I know I enjoyed the Silent Hill film.

    #580657
    EegahInc
    • Posts : 904
    • Gelatinous Cube
    centauri wrote:
    If someone managed to falsify the existance of ghosts as a phenomenon outside of the jiggery-pokery of the human brain, how would you feel?

    Fine, actually. I don’t accept the existence of something just because it can’t be disproved. Science can’t disprove the existence of Leprechauns, but I think I’ll keep my job instead of chasing rainbows.

    “centauri’ wrote:
    Speaking of which, the non-falsifiabiliy of ghosts is one of the marks against them (and other “unexplained” phenomena) in my book.

    Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not following this either. This does sound like you’re saying that the fact something can’t be disproved is evidence that its false.

    #580658
    centauri
    • Posts : 1275
    • Owlbear
    EegahInc wrote:
    centauri wrote:
    Speaking of which, the non-falsifiabiliy of ghosts is one of the marks against them (and other “unexplained” phenomena) in my book.

    Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not following this either. This does sound like you’re saying that the fact something can’t be disproved is evidence that its false.

    What I’m trying to say is that if there’s no way to falsify a theory, it’s not very scientific. That doesn’t mean that it’s wrong, just that it’s outside of what science deals with. For a better explanation of what I mean, take a look at:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falsifability

    “Falsifiable does not mean false. For a proposition to be falsifiable, it must be possible in principle to make an observation that would show that the proposition was false, even if that observation is not actually made.”

    “It is in any case useful to know if a statement or theory is falsifiable, if for no other reason than that it provides us with an understanding of the ways in which one might assess the theory. One might at the least be saved from attempting to falsify a non-falsifiable theory, or come to see an unfalsifiable theory as unsupportable.”

    “Finally, falsifiability is a necessary property of empirical statements — it is not a sufficient property. This means that it takes more properties for a proposition to qualify as being empirically meaningful.”

    #580659
    Sinister-Ornament
    • Posts : 935
    • Gelatinous Cube

    Wow, what a link!

    As I read it I felt my eyelids getting heavier! 😆

    So what your saying (Sinister Ornament screws his face up in an act of extreme concentration) is that;

    lets tackle this a chunk at a time and try to translate it into English favouring short words over all this long trying-to-sound-posh hocus-pocus for shorter more lucid wordage.

    The trouble is, when people write science articles they try to blind people with jargon – surely the point in writing it down is trying to communicate your ideas clearly.

    Quote:
    Falsifiable does not mean false. For a proposition to be falsifiable, it must be possible in principle to make an observation that would show that the proposition was false, even if that observation is not actually made.”

    Falsifiable does not mean false. For a theory to be falsifiable, it must be possible to see something that would show that the theory was wrong, this applies if the observation hasn’t been made .

    This last bit of this would be like trying to prove that Newton’s Laws or another physical law was valid in all parts of the universe without having to visit all parts of the universe. You have to dream up a set of circumstances where the theory wouldn’t work in order to examine it fully.

    I would assume by this then, that falsifiable would be a special version of the word flawed that is used when discussing theories?

    Quote:
    “It is in any case useful to know if a statement or theory is falsifiable, if for no other reason than that it provides us with an understanding of the ways in which one might assess the theory. One might at the least be saved from attempting to falsify a non-falsifiable theory, or come to see an unfalsifiable theory as unsupportable.”

    So it helps a theory if you can concoct a set of circumstance where the theory would not be valid – this helps you aassess the theory by attacking it.

    Quote:
    “Finally, falsifiability is a necessary property of empirical statements — it is not a sufficient property. This means that it takes more properties for a proposition to qualify as being empirically meaningful.”

    (Sounds like the meshing of gears comes from Sinister Ornament’s head)

    Groan

    🙁

    I need to lie down.

    Is this some new form of torture?

    So, Centauri how many shares do you have in Paracetamol companies? 😡

    Anyway back to ghosts – has anyone here seen anything weird and ghost like? 🙂

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