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Thread: Supernatural?

  1. #41
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Well, to be fair, I’m sure I worded it differently the first time. But I do hope you see my difficulty. I have no idea what it means when someone says they experieced something ‘not of this world’ or ‘supernatural’. When someone uses phrases like these, I think “HOW DO YOU KNOW it’s not of this world? Do you know THIS WORLD so well that you recognize things that are not a part of it?”

  2. #42
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    You ARE kidding me right?

    If natural law (IOW that which makes our universe even possible) were suspended in the way Christians claim, and it affected the whole universe instead of a specific time/place we wouldn't be here to discuss it, as the universe as we know it would cease to exist.
    My point is that you canít say that theists are arguing that a supernatural act is limited in scope whilst simultaneously expanding it. Thatís not the first contradiction that theists make but it does not make sense.


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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    This is trivial to conclude. If there was a reproducible ghost event, or many ghost events, then we can collect together all the information and recordings and make some determinations. We can interview the witnesses and we can explore alternative explanations.
    True. And not coincidentally, there are books about such things.

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Seems to me ghosts are easy to generate since they're nearly always suffering from an unjust life or an unjust death.
    Assuming that is the one and only criteria for ghosts being generated.




    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I think it is incumbent upon those that know better to spread their knowledge and not keep things secret. If I think ghosts and gods are a sham, as is anything supernatural, then I am doing the world a favor by reducing one believer of nonsense by one. You're welcome!
    Sure. If you have solid evidence that it's all fake, then you should be educating others. But just ignoring the issue because you don't think it's worth considering ("Ghosts? Who cares?") is not doing. Nor is saying "I think it's all BS" without providing evidence that will convince others who don't already agree with you.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    My point is that you can’t say that theists are arguing that a supernatural act is limited in scope whilst simultaneously expanding it. That’s not the first contradiction that theists make but it does not make sense.


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    Would you expand on:
    "you can’t say that theists are arguing that a supernatural act is limited in scope whilst simultaneously expanding it."

    Or give me an example of what you mean. I don't understand how the act is being "expanded"?

    Again, my point is, natural law can only be broken in very specific instances or the would be no universe as we know it.

    ---------- Post added at 04:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Assuming that is the one and only criteria for ghosts being generated.
    How is a ghost supernatural? It is a human soul!!

  5. #45
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    Right, but the accelerating expansion of the universe DOES seem to be "in clear violation of natural mechanisms we observe and discover" given that a term had be invented to account for the phenomenon. So what I'm saying is that the definition you proposed doesn't make sense in light of things like that.
    It doesn't seem like that to me. It's just a placeholder for something we don't yet fully understand. We don't know what makes the universe expand. We had suspected it was energy from the big bang, momentum if you will, but our observations showed it was actually accelerating and that doesn't happen with traditional momentum. What we seem to be seeing is that spacetime itself is stretching out and taking all matter with it for a ride. We realy don't know why or how that happens. Lots of ideas but no clear natural mechanisms to be violated since we don't really know why or how its happening, only that it does seem to be happening. (there are possibilities that would make those observations have a different meaning but they seem less likely at this point).

    I thin in order to have a violation, you need to have a firm grasp of what is happening, and wtih quantum mechanics and spae-time, I don't think we are there yet.
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  6. #46
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    It doesn't seem like that to me. It's just a placeholder for something we don't yet fully understand. We don't know what makes the universe expand. We had suspected it was energy from the big bang, momentum if you will, but our observations showed it was actually accelerating and that doesn't happen with traditional momentum. What we seem to be seeing is that spacetime itself is stretching out and taking all matter with it for a ride. We realy don't know why or how that happens. Lots of ideas but no clear natural mechanisms to be violated since we don't really know why or how its happening, only that it does seem to be happening. (there are possibilities that would make those observations have a different meaning but they seem less likely at this point).

    I thin in order to have a violation, you need to have a firm grasp of what is happening, and wtih quantum mechanics and spae-time, I don't think we are there yet.
    Yes, I agree entirely, which is exactly why I don't see your definition as being useful; it lacks useful precision. And because it lacks useful precision, it boils down to being no different than what was offered in the OP: "that which is not accounted for by current scientific understanding".

    Consider that in order to say that some physical law has been violated, we'd have to know those laws so completely that we recognize a violation when we see it. The reason the accelerating expansion didn't align with expectations is because we don't understand the phenomenon given what we DO know; it's a set of knowledge we simply do not possess. So if we observe ANY phenomenon that doesn't align with any of our knowledge-based expectations, what is the actual, useful distinction between that phenomenon not aligning with our knowledge-based expectations, and a phenomenon violating our knowledge-based expectations?

  7. #47
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dionysus View Post
    If a person experiences something from INSIDE the natural world, how do they possibly conclude that what they experiened is something OTHER THAN natural?
    The research work of Dr. Bruce Greyson and his colleagues at the University of Virginia begins to address this question. What they have found and published in their papers/books from studying thousands of case studies of people around the world (theists-atheists) who have had a near death experiences and who have lived and regained consciousness, have some common unnatural traits in how they describe their experience. They include:

    Life Review (See some being of light showis them scenes from their life and as they watch they feel the joy or pain of the moment they are watching);

    God -- whatever their religion is, they experience the Godhead;

    Unlimited knowledge;

    Shown the future;

    Some have seen colors never seen on earth;

    Musicians have heard music notes not known to man;

    Tunnel of light


    Here’s another question: When you say that “X” is immaterial, what does it mean for that thing to BE? If it doesn’t exist in ANY material way (even abstracts such as ideas materially exist in SOME way; in brains, on paper, etc) in what sense does the immaterial thing EXIST?
    Perhaps one way it exists is at a higher frequency/ vibration rate that we can’t yet measure.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye4magic View Post
    The research work of Dr. Bruce Greyson and his colleagues at the University of Virginia begins to address this question. What they have found and published in their papers/books from studying thousands of case studies of people around the world (theists-atheists) who have had a near death experiences and who have lived and regained consciousness, have some common unnatural traits in how they describe their experience.
    Sorry, but these experiences are quite natural and have zero to do with god or religion. It;s just the brain having a last few moments of hyperactivity.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-23672150

    "The lead author of the study, Dr Jimo Borjigin, of the University of Michigan, said: "A lot of people thought that the brain after clinical death was inactive or hypoactive, with less activity than the waking state, and we show that is definitely not the case.

    "If anything, it is much more active during the dying process than even the waking state."

    They also bring up a VERY important issue that I have brought up for years whenever this issue comes up:

    But he added: "One limitation is that we do not know when, in time, the near-death experience really occurs. Perhaps it was before patients had anaesthesia, or at some safe point during an operation long before cardiac arrest.

    So yes. There is zero supernatural about NDE's.

  9. #49
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Belthazor View Post
    Would you expand on:
    "you canít say that theists are arguing that a supernatural act is limited in scope whilst simultaneously expanding it."

    Or give me an example of what you mean. I don't understand how the act is being "expanded"?
    Well, with prayer, theyíre asking God, who, per you, supposedly performs limited miracles, yet they keep asking for stuff all the time and constantly. Whether its for external material changes to the universe or whether it is for inner strength to overcome some emotional problems, it is still a large number of people each asking for a bunch of interactions that directly affect a bunch of other people.

    I think there was one time during the Texas drought that there was a massive prayer held in some stadium. Thatís not a limited action in scope is it

    Again, my point is, natural law can only be broken in very specific instances or the would be no universe as we know it.
    Got it. I just think this is a true definition. Where are you even sourcing this? Itís in direct conflict with how theists treat miracles.


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    ---------- Post added at 08:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:27 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    True. And not coincidentally, there are books about such things.
    So what if there are? Doesnít make any of it true.

    Assuming that is the one and only criteria for ghosts being generated.
    Well, that seems to be one reliable way claimed in the literature. So we should expect tons of ghosts from the holocaust yet here we are, with ghosts being a very rare occurrence.

    Sure. If you have solid evidence that it's all fake, then you should be educating others. But just ignoring the issue because you don't think it's worth considering ("Ghosts? Who cares?") is not doing. Nor is saying "I think it's all BS" without providing evidence that will convince others who don't already agree with you.
    Much like nearly every other supernatural claim, including gods and demons and possessions and poltergeists and such, it all boils down to what people are claiming exists whether those claims are plausible.

    Being plausible begins with a definition of what theyíre talking about and then understanding their reasons for believing such a thing exists and then examining the evidence and then reproducing those experiences.

    Every supernatural claim has failed in at least one of those qualities and asking those questions donít yield great answers either. They tend to raise even more questions. Take ghosts - granted that itís manifestation of a dead human but what does that mean exactly? Where does manifestation exist outside of the brain and a body? Why do they choose obscure ways to communicate their desires rather than simply writing it down on a piece of paper?

    Usually at some point with supernatural claims we run out of answers because we have run out of evidence and people start making stuff up. And those less credulous tend to take those new claims as gospel and before you know it thereís a whole religion around it.

    So in the list of supernatural claims worth spending time, the latter, the ones that cause religious acts are more worth the time to spend than ghosts which affect no one and are unimportant to anyone except those selling tickets to see them.


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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    So what if there are? Doesn’t make any of it true.
    Nor did I argue that it does. As far as "so what?" goes, I directly responded to your argument. If my response is "so what?", then your argument is likewise "so what?".

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Well, that seems to be one reliable way claimed in the literature. So we should expect tons of ghosts from the holocaust yet here we are, with ghosts being a very rare occurrence.
    I don't recall seeing any claim or definition of ghosts that say that is the one and only criteria for ghosts being generated.




    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Much like nearly every other supernatural claim, including gods and demons and possessions and poltergeists and such, it all boils down to what people are claiming exists whether those claims are plausible.

    Being plausible begins with a definition of what they’re talking about and then understanding their reasons for believing such a thing exists and then examining the evidence and then reproducing those experiences.
    And if we have no way to reproduce the experiences in scientific setting and/or never really attempted to, then lack of reproduced results leaves the question of the validity of the claim scientifically untested.

    I'm sure you know that scientifically confirming an unusual phenomena takes a very high level of evidence. And failing to meet that level does not mean that the opposite of the claim has been proven. In other words, failing to scientifically verify that ghosts exist does not verify that ghosts do not exist.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Every supernatural claim has failed in at least one of those qualities and asking those questions don’t yield great answers either. They tend to raise even more questions. Take ghosts - granted that it’s manifestation of a dead human but what does that mean exactly? Where does manifestation exist outside of the brain and a body? Why do they choose obscure ways to communicate their desires rather than simply writing it down on a piece of paper?

    Usually at some point with supernatural claims we run out of answers because we have run out of evidence and people start making stuff up. And those less credulous tend to take those new claims as gospel and before you know it there’s a whole religion around it.
    That really does not seem accurate as far as I can tell.

    You'll have to take my word for it but I know someone who genuinely believes that there's a ghost in his house and claims to have seen the ghost and experience some physical manifestation (small objects moving). And what you are describing does not apply to him at all. First off, he hasn't run out of answers to questions and started making stuff up. I will admit that that is primary because, at least with me, I didn't ask him for more and more detail (I don't think I asked him a single question) but I'm pretty sure if I asked him a question he didn't know the answer to, he would say "I don't know" and therefore would not make up answers. And he certainly is not doing anything like forming a religion around his belief.

    And we are referring to beliefs, not claims anyway. Because he thinks there's a ghost in his house does not mean that he necessarily will claim that there is. Just keeping his mouth shut about it is a perfectly reasonable reaction to thinking that there really is a ghost in his house. In fact, that's probably what I would do for the most part if I thought I had a ghost in my house.

    It's only when one has a goal of convincing nonbelievers is when one has to field questions. And even then, I think "I don't know" is a likely answer when they don't know the answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    So in the list of supernatural claims worth spending time, the latter, the ones that cause religious acts are more worth the time to spend than ghosts which affect no one and are unimportant to anyone except those selling tickets to see them.
    Well, I was referring to your argument that you would do non-believers a favor by educating them. I will consider that argument dropped.
    Last edited by mican333; May 12th, 2018 at 08:14 AM.

  11. #51
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    I don't recall seeing any claim or definition of ghosts that say that is the one and only criteria for ghosts being generated.
    Doesnít matter. This is one we know doesnít work.

    And if we have no way to reproduce the experiences in scientific setting and/or never really attempted to, then lack of reproduced results leaves the question of the validity of the claim scientifically untested.

    I'm sure you know that scientifically confirming an unusual phenomena takes a very high level of evidence. And failing to meet that level does not mean that the opposite of the claim has been proven. In other words, failing to scientifically verify that ghosts exist does not verify that ghosts do not exist.
    It doesnít take a high level of evidence at all. Being reproducible is the simplest and easiest thing to do! And failing to scientifically verify ghosts only makes sense if the concept of ghosts makes sense. Currently, ghosts donít make sense.


    But then this argument completely fails to educate those who believe in ghosts to realize that their beliefs are wrong. You are just saying that we shouldn't bother discussing it. And in all honesty, THAT is a valid approach that I can get behind (as opposed to trying to "educate" believers that they are wrong).
    I find that people that believe in the supernatural are usually so far gone that itís practically pointless to explain science. None of this knowledge is secret or hard to grasp and they likely already ignore this easily available information.

    I only care when the religious attempt to affect things outside of the religion. Ghost believers are harmless so they donít deserve much attention.


    Let me provide a real-world example. I have a friend who actually believes that he has a ghost in his house and has claimed to have seen her and even experience light physical manifestation (small things being moved). And it appears that he's gotten so used to it that he doesn't really concern himself with it. But he does believe that there's a ghost in his house. And what do I do about it? Not much, really. I don't know that he's right and I don't know that he's wrong and I actually don't care much either way so when he said it, I just listened and then we never spoke of it again. And it sounds like you would take a similar approach, except that you would think his claim is wrong, there must be some other explanation (or think he's lying to you). and like me, not speak of it again because as you said (and I kind of agree) - ghosts? Who cares?

    So I agree with "ghosts? who cares?" and disagree with "There are no ghosts and I can prove it".

    And I also think that both the claims "Ghosts exist" and "Ghosts don't exist" cannot be supported by evidence.
    I can easily prove there are no ghosts by asking believers what they think a ghost actually is. People that believe in the supernatural can barely explain what they are experiencing. In your ghost case, I suspect your friend was either lying or mistaken.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Doesn’t matter. This is one we know doesn’t work.
    I don't know what you mean.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    It doesn’t take a high level of evidence at all. Being reproducible is the simplest and easiest thing to do! And failing to scientifically verify ghosts only makes sense if the concept of ghosts makes sense. Currently, ghosts don’t make sense.
    Both of these comments seem very wrong to me and are not supported so I will ignore them until they are supported.

    I'm not really challenging that. I'm just saying that it sounds more like opinion than established fact and I don't really care to argue this point so I'm going to bypass it unless you want to try to argue that it IS so by supporting it.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I find that people that believe in the supernatural are usually so far gone that it’s practically pointless to explain science. None of this knowledge is secret or hard to grasp and they likely already ignore this easily available information.
    Again, that doesn't seem right either and I doubt you can support it.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I only care when the religious attempt to affect things outside of the religion. Ghost believers are harmless so they don’t deserve much attention.
    I pretty much agree with that, though.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I can easily prove there are no ghosts by asking believers what they think a ghost actually is. People that believe in the supernatural can barely explain what they are experiencing.
    Well, let's test that. My friend said he saw a ghostly female figure and has experience minor physical manifestations like small, light objects being moved. If I personally experienced that I would probably believe there was a ghost in my house. So I will hypothetically pretend that I did experience that and therefore believe in ghosts and I will also use what knowledge I do have of ghosts in my responses.

    So go ahead and prove to me that there isn't a ghost in my house. I will answer every question as sincerely as I can given that a few details will have to be made up.

    And to be clear, the burden is on YOU to prove to ME that there are not ghosts in my house. You remaining unconvinced of my claim does not count. You have to make a case that should convince me that I am wrong. Of course I will abide by any valid evidence and logic when considering whether I should change my mind and won't just say "I still believe in ghosts" even if you support that my prior belief in ghosts is incorrect.

    I'm curious to see if you can do it.

    So I'll start. When I'm being the hypothetical ghost believer, I'll be in italics and us normal text when commenting on it.

    So I've seen this ghostly wispy figure of a woman around my house every now and then and also I've noticed small objects moving from time to time even though there was no breeze or other force to move them. And while I've not studied the phenomena much, that sounds pretty consistent with other accounts of ghosts so I think I have an actual ghost in my house.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    [QUOTE=mican333;559693


    Both of these comments seem very wrong to me and are not supported so I will ignore them until they are supported.

    I'm not really challenging that. I'm just saying that it sounds more like opinion than established fact and I don't really care to argue this point so I'm going to bypass it unless you want to try to argue that it IS so by supporting it.

    [/Quote]
    All science begins observations. The same observations that are being claimed to have happened. It is very easy to record these said observations. I see no difficulty in this.

    Again, that doesn't seem right either and I doubt you can support it.
    Try arguing a theist.


    Well, let's test that. My friend said he saw a ghostly female figure and has experience minor physical manifestations like small, light objects being moved. If I personally experienced that I would probably believe there was a ghost in my house. So I will hypothetically pretend that I did experience that and therefore believe in ghosts and I will also use what knowledge I do have of ghosts in my responses.

    So go ahead and prove to me that there isn't a ghost in my house. I will answer every question as sincerely as I can given that a few details will have to be made up.

    And to be clear, the burden is on YOU to prove to ME that there are not ghosts in my house. You remaining unconvinced of my claim does not count. You have to make a case that should convince me that I am wrong. Of course I will abide by any valid evidence and logic when considering whether I should change my mind and won't just say "I still believe in ghosts" even if you support that my prior belief in ghosts is incorrect.

    I'm curious to see if you can do it.

    So I'll start. When I'm being the hypothetical ghost believer, I'll be in italics and us normal text when commenting on it.

    So I've seen this ghostly wispy figure of a woman around my house every now and then and also I've noticed small objects moving from time to time even though there was no breeze or other force to move them. And while I've not studied the phenomena much, that sounds pretty consistent with other accounts of ghosts so I think I have an actual ghost in my house.
    This is pointless exercise. You can easily fabricate whatever you need and I would simply go to your apartment and experience all this myself. Along with recording equipment.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    All science begins observations. The same observations that are being claimed to have happened. It is very easy to record these said observations. I see no difficulty in this.
    And again, there are books, videos, and audio regarding such recordings.

    So the "if they existed we could record them" argument does not really disprove ghosts since allegedly they have been recorded.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    This is pointless exercise. You can easily fabricate whatever you need and I would simply go to your apartment and experience all this myself. Along with recording equipment.
    If I were going to lie to you, I could fabricate whatever I wanted. But I can certainly take the role of someone who sincerely believes in it and therefore won't make up answers. While I will have to invent the scenario of seeing the ghost and such, I will only use whatever knowledge regarding ghosts that I have when answering your questions (which isn't a lot). I was just testing your claim that you could prove that ghosts don't exist by asking believers some questions. I guess you won't be supporting that assertion.

    And if you came to my house to test, that would not necessarily resolve anything. For one, even if there is a ghost, the ghost's appearance might not coincide with your testing. Secondly, if you test for ghosts, you might actually detect one and therefore just positing that you will test does not support that you will succeed in proving that ghosts don't exist. Maybe your test will confirm that ghosts exist (or at least that I'm not imagining or lying about what made me believe in ghosts).

    But anyway, I'm going to assume that you aren't going to be demonstrating that you can prove that ghosts don't exist.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    And again, there are books, videos, and audio regarding such recordings.

    So the "if they existed we could record them" argument does not really disprove ghosts since allegedly they have been recorded.
    Allegedly is not a good argument is it? Clearly there are doubts as to the accuracy or truthfulness of these books and recordings.


    If I were going to lie to you, I could fabricate whatever I wanted. But I can certainly take the role of someone who sincerely believes in it and therefore won't make up answers. While I will have to invent the scenario of seeing the ghost and such, I will only use whatever knowledge regarding ghosts that I have when answering your questions (which isn't a lot). I was just testing your claim that you could prove that ghosts don't exist by asking believers some questions. I guess you won't be supporting that assertion.
    My question is why do you think it is a ghost.

    And if you came to my house to test, that would not necessarily resolve anything. For one, even if there is a ghost, the ghost's appearance might not coincide with your testing. Secondly, if you test for ghosts, you might actually detect one and therefore just positing that you will test does not support that you will succeed in proving that ghosts don't exist. Maybe your test will confirm that ghosts exist (or at least that I'm not imagining or lying about what made me believe in ghosts).

    But anyway, I'm going to assume that you aren't going to be demonstrating that you can prove that ghosts don't exist.
    Iím proving that you canít explain what a ghost is and how it can manifest itself. What do you mean by ghostly?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Allegedly is not a good argument is it? Clearly there are doubts as to the accuracy or truthfulness of these books and recordings.
    Maybe they are all fakes and maybe some of them are real. But you can't say that there are no recordings of ghosts unless you can prove that the recordings are indeed all fakes.


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    My question is why do you think it is a ghost.
    Because if fits the description of ghosts as they are commonly defined by people. It also resembles the dictionary definition of a "ghost".


    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I’m proving that you can’t explain what a ghost is and how it can manifest itself. What do you mean by ghostly?
    The statement I'm challenging is "I can easily prove there are no ghosts by asking believers what they think a ghost actually is." So I'm seeing if you can prove there are no ghosts. Are you still claiming you can prove there are no ghosts?

    Either way, I will answer your question.

    What I mean by "ghostly" is that it looks like a human but is transparent and wispy - like how ghosts are typically described.
    Last edited by mican333; May 12th, 2018 at 12:59 PM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    I’m proving that you can’t explain what a ghost is and how it can manifest itself.
    One hypothesis about ghosts as far as explaining what a ghost is -- is that they are basically a disembody spirit. What’s a disembodied spirit? Well, if we consider that we are all spiritual beings at a fundamental level, having a human experience, a ghost would be a person who has passed on from the screen of life, but for a different array of reasons, a part of their consciousness remains locked up in an energy field tied to earth instead of moving on and being free of their earthly ties.

    As far as how this tied up restricted spirit (ghost) can affect material objects, perhaps depending on how long they are in that restricted state, they most likely figure out through trial and error how to exist in their imprisoned energy field and how to navigate within it.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    mican: "Maybe they are all fakes and maybe some of them are real. But you can't say that there are no recordings of ghosts unless you can prove that the recordings are indeed all fakes."

    Pardon the interruption, but Sharmak never said there were "no recordings of ghosts." I'm sorry but this is a classic absolutist ploy designed to shift the burden of proof.

    Sharmak wrote: "Clearly there are doubts as to the accuracy or truthfulness of these books and recordings."

    To rebut Sharmak's actual claim, it's necessary for you to say something like, "That's incorrect. There is at least one recording of a ghost about whose accuracy and fidelity there are no doubts."

    Is this in fact what you believe? If so, then where is this recording located? Why hasn't the scientific community spoken out about this ghost discovery? Where are the relevant articles in academic science journals that address this?

    By the standard for knowledge that says each and every individual claim made about any controversial subject has to be thoroughly debunked before it's OK to say "Subject Y seems to be hokum," nothing is known about the world nor will anything ever be known.

    Centuries ago, science moved on from the unreachable standard of certain knowledge about the world. Now what we have is provisional knowledge. Now what we have is rational belief. We believe (or should believe) what is most likely to be the case, not what is indubitably the case. This is what's led to the stunning transformation of the world that's taken place in the relatively short period of time since the mid-1600s. This, coming after millennium after millennium after millennium of virtual stasis.

    So just because we don't have all the evidence that will ever exist on a matter and just because the evidence that we do have isn't conclusive beyond any possible doubt, it's still OK (and some would argue ethically necessary) for us to say, "Since the consensus of the available evidence on this matter points in THIS direction, THIS is what I believe is most likely to be the case." Whatever "THIS" might be.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    mican: "Maybe they are all fakes and maybe some of them are real. But you can't say that there are no recordings of ghosts unless you can prove that the recordings are indeed all fakes."

    Pardon the interruption, but Sharmak never said there were "no recordings of ghosts." I'm sorry but this is a classic absolutist ploy designed to shift the burden of proof.
    I'm sorry but you are incorrect and apparently are not familiar enough with the debate to accurately judge where the burden lies.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Sharmak wrote: "Clearly there are doubts as to the accuracy or truthfulness of these books and recordings."

    To rebut Sharmak's actual claim, it's necessary for you to say something like, "That's incorrect. There is at least one recording of a ghost about whose accuracy and fidelity there are no doubts."
    If I were arguing that ghosts actually exist, you would be correct. But that was not what I was arguing at the time.

    Sharma was making a positive assertion that ghosts DON'T exist (so the burden is with him, not me) and essentially arguing that since ghosts are recordable, if they existed there should be some recordings of them. I pointed out that recordings do exist so his argument does not show that ghosts don't exist. He questions if the recordings are genuine. I forwarded that one can question that but unless one can show that they are fake, one cannot say that ghosts don't exist because there are no actual recordings of them. So I wasn't arguing that ghosts do exist because there are genuine recordings but that one cannot argue that ghosts don't exist because there are no genuine recordings because it is not supported that such recordings don't exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    By the standard for knowledge that says each and every individual claim made about any controversial subject has to be thoroughly debunked before it's OK to say "Subject Y seems to be hokum," nothing is known about the world nor will anything ever be known.
    If you want to say "seems to be", that's fine. If you are making the positive assertion that X does not exist, the burden is on you to show it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Centuries ago, science moved on from the unreachable standard of certain knowledge about the world. Now what we have is provisional knowledge. Now what we have is rational belief. We believe (or should believe) what is most likely to be the case, not what is indubitably the case. This is what's led to the stunning transformation of the world that's taken place in the relatively short period of time since the mid-1600s. This, coming after millennium after millennium after millennium of virtual stasis.

    So just because we don't have all the evidence that will ever exist on a matter and just because the evidence that we do have isn't conclusive beyond any possible doubt, it's still OK (and some would argue ethically necessary) for us to say, "Since the consensus of the available evidence on this matter points in THIS direction, THIS is what I believe is most likely to be the case." Whatever "THIS" might be.
    If you have a scientific conclusion based on evidence, even if the evidence isn't completely conclusive, then one can say that X is most likely the case even if it's not proven. On the other hand, if the claim is not investigated and one says "X does not exist" because of LACK of evidence that it exists and likewise ignores the anecdotal evidence that it does exist (such as people who claim to have seen ghosts), then the conclusion is not scientifically valid.

    I have a friend who says there is a ghost in his house (this is true, not hypothetical). I'm not saying that I absolutely believe him but at the same time, I've seen NO evidence or solid argument that leads me to the conclusion that he must be incorrect. So I find "maybe" to be a reasonable position on that. And likewise "I really doubt it" is reasonable also. But "It's a fact that he's wrong" is not backed by any valid evidence or logic that I know of.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Well, with prayer, they’re asking God, who, per you, supposedly performs limited miracles,
    Just to be clear, I totally agree with Mican on this point!
    On ODN I will take the side of agnostic. It seems the only defensibly position.

    ---------- Post added at 05:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Well, with prayer, they’re asking God, who, per you, supposedly performs limited miracles, yet they keep asking for stuff all the time and constantly. Whether its for external material changes to the universe or whether it is for inner strength to overcome some emotional problems, it is still a large number of people each asking for a bunch of interactions that directly affect a bunch of other people.

    I think there was one time during the Texas drought that there was a massive prayer held in some stadium. That’s not a limited action in scope is it
    But to get down to business.
    I understand your point and don't disagree, but where I am trying to go is more like:

    If Jesus were to walk on water, the natural law of gravity (not to mention fluid dynamics) would have to be suspended for just the period of time he wanted to do it, and pretty much only for him. For if it applied to the universe as a whole, all the time, the universe would cease to exist. So these types of "miracles" must indeed be of limited duration and to "who" they apply to.

    ---------- Post added at 05:58 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:56 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Got it. I just think this is a true definition. Where are you even sourcing this? It’s in direct conflict with how theists treat miracles.
    I sense a typo here and am responding accordingly.
    The way theists "treat" miracles is already in conflict. I merely call attention to it.

    ---------- Post added at 05:59 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:58 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by SharmaK View Post
    Well, that seems to be one reliable way claimed in the literature. So we should expect tons of ghosts from the holocaust yet here we are, with ghosts being a very rare occurrence.
    I would still like to hear why anyone thinks a "ghost" would qualify as supernatural???

 

 
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