But what about regular ghosts?
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17-08-2015, 07:00 AM
But what about regular ghosts?
To me, religions and ghosts (like the ones you hear about in tv shows about haunted houses)
are separate things, even if they are both supernatural. So after I became an atheist I begun thinking "but what about regular ghosts, wouldn't it be ridiculous to not apply that to my new anti-supernatural rational thinking?"

Yet, I'm not sure I would dare to set my foot into a supposedly haunted house or spend a day/night in it...

Have you ever had thoughts familiar to these?
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17-08-2015, 07:11 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
(17-08-2015 07:00 AM)Typho2k Wrote:  To me, religions and ghosts (like the ones you hear about in tv shows about haunted houses)
are separate things, even if they are both supernatural. So after I became an atheist I begun thinking "but what about regular ghosts, wouldn't it be ridiculous to not apply that to my new anti-supernatural rational thinking?"

Yet, I'm not sure I would dare to set my foot into a supposedly haunted house or spend a day/night in it...

Have you ever had thoughts familiar to these?

I've been in several supposedly haunted buildings, including time spent alone. If there really was such a thing as ghosts then considering the number of people who have died, even just those under tragic or violent circumstances, we'd be finding traces of ghosts everywhere. The evidence would be indisputable.

The most likely answer to me is that ghosts are the result of an over-active agency detection system reacting to shadows and sounds. They only exist as far as you allow them to in your mind.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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17-08-2015, 07:14 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
The only people who see ghosts are those who already believe in them and want to interpret something that is not a ghost as being a ghost.

Watch Neil Tyson's UFO video and apply the same logical fallacies to ghost sightings.



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17-08-2015, 07:16 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
I can say in all honesty that I never think about ghosts, regular or otherwise. It wasn't a part of my culture or religion growing up so these ideas just never took root.

I can say that the only people who seem to see ghosts are those who already believe in them.



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17-08-2015, 07:31 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
I actually love going on "ghost hunts". Maybe it's because I'm kinda a dick, but I love fucking with those people.

I've taunted Annabelle. Sat in a supposedly "cursed" chair that EVERYONE who ever sits in it dies within 24 hours. I've challenged "evil spirits" and "demons" to come hurt and/or posses me... Guess what... I'm still alive and not possessed.

I did one in Gettysburg that was particularly fun. Knowing a little about photography, you can make all kinds of "spirits" appear in your photos.

Excuse me, I'm making perfect sense. You're just not keeping up.

"Let me give you some advice, bastard: never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." - Tyrion Lannister
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17-08-2015, 08:21 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
(17-08-2015 07:14 AM)yakherder Wrote:  The only people who see ghosts are those who already believe in them and want to interpret something that is not a ghost as being a ghost.

Watch Neil Tyson's UFO video and apply the same logical fallacies to ghost sightings.



Along the same vein an article in the NYT on alien life.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/04/scienc....html?_r=0

SPACE & COSMOS

The Flip Side of Optimism About Life on Other Planets
AUG. 3, 2015

OUT THERE

If you dream of close encounters of the alien kind, this has been a hopeful summer.

In July, on the 46th anniversary of the first moon landing, Yuri Milner, the Russian Internet entrepreneur and philanthropist, said he would spend $100 million over the next decade on the search for alien signals, known as SETI, giving the field a financial stability and access to telescopes it had never had. That same week, NASA announced the discovery of what might be the most Earthlike planet yet beyond the solar system, Kepler 452b, a mere 1,400 light-years from here.

In a news conference accompanying Mr. Milner’s announcement, Geoffrey Marcy, a planet hunter from the University of California, Berkeley, noted that “the universe is apparently bulging at the seams with ingredients for biology.”

He said he would bet Yuri Milner’s house, reportedly also worth $100 million, that there is at least microbial life out there.

An artist's concept of Kepler 452b orbiting its star, 1,400 light-years from Earth. The planet's size puts it right on the edge between being rocky like Earth and a gas ball like Neptune.NASA Says Data Reveals an Earth-Like Planet, Kepler 452bJULY 23, 2015
Yuri Milner, with Stephen Hawking on Monday, promised to spend $100 million to search for signals from alien civilizations.Stephen Hawking Joins Russian Entrepreneur’s Search for Alien LifeJULY 20, 2015
You might think the discovery of microbes on Mars or fish in the oceans of Jupiter’s moon Europa would have scientists dancing in the streets. And you would probably be right.

Kepler’s Tally of Planets
NASA’s Kepler mission has discovered more than 1,000 confirmed planets orbiting distant stars.

But not everyone agrees that it would be such good news. For at least one prominent thinker, it would be a “crushing blow.”

That would be Nick Bostrom, a philosopher at the University of Oxford and director of the Future of Humanity Institute there, one of the great pessimists of this or any other age.

In an article published in Technology Review in 2008, Professor Bostrom declared that it would be a really bad sign for the future of humanity if we found even a microbe clinging to a rock on Mars. “Dead rocks and lifeless sands would lift my spirit,” he wrote.

Why?


Out There
A collection of “Out There” columns published in The New York Times.
A Window Into Pluto, and Hopes of Opening Other Doors JUL 15
The Telescope of the 2030s JUL 13
Reaching Pluto, and the End of an Era of Planetary Exploration JUL 6
Black Hole Hunters JUN 8
25 Years Later, Hubble Sees Beyond Troubled Start APR 24
See More »

It goes back to a lunch in 1950 in Los Alamos, N.M., the birthplace of the atomic bomb. The subject was flying saucers and interstellar travel. The physicist Enrico Fermi blurted out a question that has become famous among astronomers: “Where is everybody?”

The fact that there was no evidence outside supermarket tabloids that aliens had ever visited Earth convinced Fermi that interstellar travel was impossible. It would simply take too long to get anywhere.

The argument was expanded by scientists like Michael Hart and Frank Tipler, who concluded that extraterrestrial technological civilizations simply didn’t exist.

The logic is simple. Imagine that one million years from now Earthlings launch a robot to Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to our own. It gets there in a few years, and a million years later sends off probes to two other star systems. A million years after that, each of those sends off two more probes. Even allowing for generous travel times, in 100 million years roughly a nonillion stars (1030) could be visited. The galaxy contains maybe 200 billion stars, so each could be visited more than a trillion times in this robot crisscrossing.

The interstellar probe part of this is not so crazy, by the way. Serious people are already contemplating sending a probe to another star, using technology that could be achievable in the near future. See, for example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and its 100-Year Starship Study.

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There are billions of potentially habitable planets in the galaxy, moreover. If only a small fraction of these develop life and technology, that would be enough to turn the whole galaxy into Times Square.

The Milky Way is 10 billion years old. So where are those aliens or their artifacts? We’ve found zilch. If life is so easy, someone from somewhere must have come calling by now. This is known as the Fermi paradox.

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GRAPHIC
Recipe for a Small Planet
Astronomers have found a recipe for rocky, Earth-like planets orbiting other stars.


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There are many loopholes in this argument, including the possibility that we wouldn’t sufficiently recognize alien life if it camped in our front yards. The simplest explanation, Dr. Bostrom and others say, is that there are no other spacefaring civilizations.

There must be something, he concludes, that either stops life from starting at all, or shuts it down before it can conquer the stars. He calls it the Great Filter.

You can imagine all kinds of bottlenecks in the evolution of life and civilization — from the need for atoms to first combine into strands of RNA, the genetic molecule that plays Robin to DNA’s Batman, to nuclear war, climate change or a mishap of genetic engineering — that could constitute a Great Filter.

The big question for Professor Bostrom is whether the Great Filter is in our past or our future, and for the answer he looks to the stars. If there is nothing else out there, then maybe we have survived whatever it is. As bizarre as it sounds, we are the first ones in the neighborhood to have run the cosmic obstacle course.

If there is company out there, it means the Great Filter is ahead of us. We are doomed.

This is a staggeringly existential piece of knowledge to have obtained at what seems to be a tender age as a species, based on a cursory examination of a sliver of our cosmic neighborhood. It is also a truly brave exercise of the power of human reason.

Maybe too brave. But there is a precedent of sorts in an old riddle known as Olbers’ Paradox, after Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers, a 19th-century amateur astronomer who enunciated a problem that had bothered some astronomers since the 16th century: Why is the sky dark at night? In an infinite eternal universe, every line of sight would end on a star, the thinking went, and even dust clouds would glow as bright as day.

Luminaries as disparate as the Scottish physicist Lord Kelvin and the writer Edgar Allan Poe suggested that the dark night sky was a clue to the fact that the universe is finite, at least in time, and had a beginning, a notion now cemented by the Big Bang.

If Olbers saw the dawn of time, perhaps Fermi and Bostrom have seen the sunset. We should hardly be surprised. Nothing lasts forever. The fathers of SETI, Carl Sagan and Frank Drake, stressed that a key unknown element in their equations was the average lifetime of technological civilizations. Too short a lifetime would eliminate the possibility of overlapping civilizations. Forget about the mythical brotherhood of the galaxy. The Klingons left the building long ago.

The best we could have hoped for was to be another evolutionary phase in the zigzag development of earthly life on the way to who knows what. But in a few billion years, the sun will die, and so will the earth, and our descendants — if they are still on it. The universe will not remember us or Shakespeare or Homer.

We can’t really blame Professor Bostrom for that. But he has a history of disturbing thoughts. In 2003, he argued that we were probably all living in a computer simulation, something he said would be easy for “technologically mature” civilizations to do.

What his and other sci-fi-style calculations have in common is that they are extrapolations, of the doubling of chip capacity decreed by Moore’s Law in the case of computer simulations, or the doubling of space probes over the eons. Believe them at your peril. Chips can’t get smaller forever. Untended machines far, far from home break or forget why they are there. Apple can’t keep doubling iPhone sales eternally.

As the great science writer and biologist Lewis Thomas liked to say, we are an ignorant species. This is why we do the experiment.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-08-2015, 08:35 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
I'm going to be staying at a haunted B&B on New Year's Eve. I'm going for the 5 course dinner, wine, and romantic scenery--not the supposed ghosts, but if you have any questions for the spirit world--I will be sure and ask them for you Big Grin
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17-08-2015, 08:39 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
"Regular".... "ghosts".

...... how are those two words going together, again?

Okay, fine. I'll completely grant that theism versus atheism has nothing to say about ghosts. You could, in principle, have ghosts or not have ghosts, with or without an active god.

That said, most of the factors that lead us to deconversion -- skeptical inquiry, understanding the null hypothesis, noticing how much scammed money is at work, et cetera -- will also undo a belief in ghosts.

If that's not enough to explain regular ghosts? Well, just figure they're getting a lot of fiber.
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17-08-2015, 08:48 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
Regular as opposed to the weird ones, like Betelgeuse.

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17-08-2015, 08:51 AM
RE: But what about regular ghosts?
Every once in a while I see one of my friends post something online about haunted houses for sale. Then they'll go on to say they could never live in a haunted house.
I think this is hysterical, this house is only haunted because they were told it was haunted.
It makes me wonder, if some "ghost hunter" told them the house they have been living in without issue was suddenly haunted, would they move? Consider
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