afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
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13-03-2010, 04:25 AM
 
afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
I was just wondering what the atheist view was on afterlife? Do you beleive in having a spirit? Do you beleive in ghosts or paranormal? Or do you just not beleive in things that are unexplainable because there is no physical proof or evidence. Just wondering what some of your ideas were behind these topics Smile
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13-03-2010, 04:35 AM
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
Well I have heard first-hand accounts from people I am acquainted with and who are otherwise trustworthy, and I have no reason to doubt their sincerity. There are of course, things that cannot be yet explained by science, and I think there might be some sort of an afterlife (after all, I try not to leave out any possibility), still I prefer to remain skeptical until I have a definite proof of the existence of ghosts/spirits or until I have a similar experience. I may define myself as a 'spiritual' person, as opposed to a materialistic one, in the sense that I value intangible things such as imagination, sensitivity, dreams, emotions, empathy, over tangible ones, and I tend to be something of an escapist; however, I have no proof that 'spirit' is a separate entity that does not originate in the brain, so I have no grounds for believing in its existence, again unless proven otherwise.

All learning is quite useless if you haven't learned to question what you learn.
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13-03-2010, 06:26 AM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
Good day, shadowb123.

The following video posted by YouTube user QualiaSoup. Here is the definition of the video:

"Since ancient times, many attempts have been made to account for the relationship between mind and body. This video examines the inherent flaws in the philosophy of substance dualism, along with some of the fallacious reasoning often put forward to support it."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsPn5dXfTvA

So, basically, what he's arguing is that there is no 'spirit' or 'soul' in us, and that when we die, our consciousness dies with us. I will not do any justice trying to explain what he says, so please take a look at the video. Hopefully it will explain a lot!

As for ghosts/spirits, etc. No, I don't believe in any of it. I think that the 'visions' people see are by-products of our brains. My support for this?

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

Specifically, the one section under Presentation:

"altered sense of hearing, smelling, tasting, seeing, and tactile perception (sensory illusions and/or hallucinations), or feeling as though the environment is not real (derealization) or detachment from the environment (depersonalization)"

There is A LOT about the brain we don't know. However, seizures are the best known reason for things like visions of angels, gods, aliens, ghosts, spirits, etc. The article from Wikipedia also states "...a simple partial seizure may go unnoticed by others or shrugged off by the sufferer as merely a "funny turn"." So, seeing how a person could have an SPS without realizing it may explain the 'unexplainable experience'.

Our 'eyes' can also play tricks on us. I know that I, for one, have experienced both blue field entoptic phenomenon and floaters:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_field_...phenomenon

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

The blue field phenomenon freaked me out the first time it happened. I was at the top of my ladder putting up Christmas lights and I started coughing hard. After the coughing ended, these little blue 'sprites' starting zipping about my field of view. I took a few deep breaths and they were gone.

If I didn't think logically about the effect, I could have easily applied some sort of supernatural reasoning to it.
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13-03-2010, 12:22 PM
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
(13-03-2010 04:25 AM)shadowb123 Wrote:  I was just wondering what the atheist view was on afterlife? Do you beleive in having a spirit? Do you beleive in ghosts or paranormal? Or do you just not beleive in things that are unexplainable because there is no physical proof or evidence. Just wondering what some of your ideas were behind these topics Smile

Well, there is no consensus "atheist view on the afterlife". I've met atheists who believe in souls and ghosts and the paranormal, though I'm not among them.
The problem is that the only qualification for being an atheist is the lack of belief in a god, so the other beliefs atheists hold don't have to meet any kind of standard. Atheists can believe whatever they want about ghosts and the afterlife.

"But are not the dreams of poets and the tales of travelers notoriously false?"
- H. P. Lovecraft, "The Street"
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13-03-2010, 02:24 PM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
My mom died before my kids were born. When my oldest son was less than a year old he started crying in the middle of the night, needed food, changed or whatever. My wife and I both woke up and I told I would take care of it. It took maybe 5 or 6 six seconds to get to the hallway where I could see his crib. He had already stopped crying and I saw what looked like my mom standing over and leaning in his crib. I turned and walked back into the bedroom and my wife said "That was fast" I said "I think my mom was in there" I am sure supermanlives and I can finally agree that in the middle of the night a full blown crying kid does not stop crying, in less than 6 seconds. If I saw it and I was alone, I would think that I was seeing things. But that my wife also commented on it, proved it wasn't just me. What happened I don't know, I just know it did.
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13-03-2010, 02:38 PM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
One of my kids starting crying in the middle of the night as well. Just as I got out of bed to go tend to him, he stopped crying.

martin, sometimes kids cry for reasons known only to them. And, sometimes they stop on their own.

As for your mother, my condolence for your loss at the time. However, if her passing was close in time to when the situation with your son occurred, it was probably just a vision conjured up by your brain. These things happen, especially if the person who we just lost was very close to us. It can be classified as a post-traumatic stress symptom.

Quote:...My wife and I both woke up and I told I would take care of it. It took maybe 5 or 6 six seconds to get to the hallway where I could see his crib. He had already stopped crying and I saw what looked like my mom standing over and leaning in his crib. I turned and walked back into the bedroom and my wife said "That was fast" I said "I think my mom was in there" I am sure supermanlives and I can finally agree that in the middle of the night a full blown crying kid does not stop crying, in less than 6 seconds. If I saw it and I was alone, I would think that I was seeing things. But that my wife also commented on it, proved it wasn't just me. What happened I don't know, I just know it did.

So, I'm confused. By your post above, you said you '...would take care of it', and your wife's response was "That was fast" when you returned...yet further down you say '...But that my wife also commented on it, proved it wasn't just me'...

So, did your wife see what you saw, or did she remain in bed? If she commented on it doesn't mean she actually saw it. If she shares your belief of spirits/ghosts, she was agreeing with you to appeal to your shared belief, not because she saw it first hand.
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13-03-2010, 02:53 PM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
Myself? I have absolutely no idea. I've never seen a ghost and I've never had a near-death experience - unless you count the time I almost committed seppuku when my wife forced me to watch "Grey's Anatomy". And the "ghost stories" I've read or heard have all been from either people I don't know very well or people I know well enough to treat with skepticism.

I honestly don't have a firm belief about what happens when we die.
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13-03-2010, 03:05 PM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
I said I would take care of it and she stayed in bed, when I returned maybe ten seconds later if that, she said "that was fast". like I said, I have no idea who or what or how I saw it, only I saw it.

Here's another one, A friend was driving on the freeway, middle of the day with her kid in a car seat in the middle of the second row so that she could watch him out of her rear view mirror. She looks back an he is choking on something, she pulls the car over on the freeway, gets out of the car and is trying to get him out of the seat and she is having trouble, a guy comes up and says "let me help you" he takes the kid out of the seat, takes the thing out of the kids mouth hands her the kid, she is crying and hugging the kid, she turns around and the guy is gone. No car, no trace of him, all took place in a few seconds. Angel, spirit, hallucination, seizure don't know.
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13-03-2010, 04:06 PM
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
I reject god, an afterlife, a spirit, and free will(For now).

But atheists don't have to agree with 75% of what I just said.

I don't believe Jesus is the son of God until I see the long form birth certificate!
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13-03-2010, 11:26 PM
 
RE: afterlife? spirits ? ghosts ?
I think it really comes down to whether you define afterlife, spirits, and ghost as naturally occurring or supernatural. If such things can be scientifically verified, then I have no problem in "believing" in them, provided they actually are scientifically verified. if they're supernatural, then no. no I don't.

To clarify the meaning of natural and supernatural, here's a definition of my own making:

Natural means reality. It is the world of consistency and of science. Super means above, or beyond. so supernatural is above or beyond the natural. The natural world is that which is made up of patterns, which we call rules or laws. Meaning that the supernatural does not follow the rules of the natural world, that it is not a part of the natural world.

Science can only operate in the natural world. Science is the observation of the natural world, of the testable patterns. As a matter of definition, there can never be any evidence of a supernatural world. Evidence is observations of an applied patterns. and as such, supernatural is not and can never be defined by reality. It is a contradiction of terms and ideas.
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