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Thread: Supernatural?

  1. #121
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Couldn't agree more. If we can't even define what it is that we're claiming exists, then it doesn't exist because there is nothing there that can exist -- be it ghost or god or subatomic particle.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It's possible that a ghost might exist, but it's just not likely at all. It's probably less likely that a ghost exists than that we've been visited by extraterrestrials (another proposition which isn't at all likely).

    Of all the good, solid evidence, which if discovered would make it somewhat more probable that ghosts exist, none of it has been discovered.
    How do you know that? There are alleged recordings of ghosts - pics, audio, and video. I did a search for "ghost recordings" and found several links to such recordings.

    But of course the question is "are these genuine recordings?". It's entirely possible that none of them are actual recordings of ghosts but either tricks by the creators or recordings of some kind of genuine phenomena that is something other than a ghost.

    And the answer to the question of "are these genuine recordings is "we don't know". To the best of my knowledge, they have not been analyzed by some credible authority to determine whether they are real or fake. So MAYBE some of them are genuine and MAYBE they are all phony.

    So the notion that no one has ever recorded a real ghost is not valid because maybe someone has recorded a real ghost.

    If you are going to argue that no one has ever recorded a ghost, you will need to support that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Add to this the fact that it is completely unknown how ghosts might physically manifest and the odds become even longer against their alleged existence.
    That doesn't logically follow. For one, there are theories on how ghosts manifest and it's possible that one of them is correct (assuming ghosts exist). And secondly, even if we don't know how ghosts, if they do exist, manifest, the does not support that ghosts don't exist.

    Not knowing Y about X does not support that X does not exist. When it gets down to it, there's probably nothing that science knows EVERYTHING about. There's always more that can be learned.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    All in all, it's not a difficult call to say that ghosts don't exist.
    I would say it depends on your preconceived bias on the issue.
    Last edited by mican333; May 27th, 2018 at 08:04 AM.

  3. #123
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    How do you know that? There are alleged recordings of ghosts - pics, audio, and video. I did a search for "ghost recordings" and found several links to such recordings.
    I never said that no "alleged" recordings of ghosts (and Big Foots and witches and ETs and fairies and Nessie and on and on) exist. I said that none of them, as far as I know, constitute good, solid evidence.

    And none of them do.

    Interesting that you would merely find "links" to alleged ghost recordings before implying that you've defeated my argument about the lack of evidence for ghosts, yet apparently not bother so much as to click on a couple of the links to peruse the information provided by the link to check out the "evidence" for yourself. Maybe you should do that. I'm sorry but most of what you apparently consider "good, solid evidence" in this case is laughable. Check out the links and you'll probably agree with me.



    But of course the question is "are these genuine recordings?". It's entirely possible that none of them are actual recordings of ghosts but either tricks by the creators or recordings of some kind of genuine phenomena that is something other than a ghost.
    Interesting that you would say only that "MAYBE some of them are genuine and MAYBE they are all phony."

    Are you saying that it's not at all likely that "MAYBE all of them are genuine"!

    All I ask is that you, at a minimum, look at the "ghost recordings" yourself before implying, as you seem to be doing, that the sheer number of "ghost recordings" imply that some of the are genuine. Please link any that seem convincing (beyond reasonable doubt) to you.

    And the answer to the question of "are these genuine recordings is "we don't know". To the best of my knowledge, they have not been analyzed by some credible authority to determine whether they are real or fake. So MAYBE some of them are genuine and MAYBE they are all phony.
    By your implied method of determining rational belief, it's virtually impossible to come to a rational belief about the nonexistence of anything; for unless every alleged sighting of some so-called supernatural phenomenon is definitively proved to be a hoax then we must allow for the possibility that it's genuine -- and that's not how this stuff works.

    So the notion that no one has ever recorded a real ghost is not valid because maybe someone has recorded a real ghost.
    False! It is a valid claim (even though it's not a claim that I personally made). It's valid because there is no reason whatsoever to believe that "real ghosts" exist. It follows from this that it's highly unlikely that anyone has recorded a "real ghost."

    What isn't a valid claim is to say, more or less, that because there are a number of links on the internet to alleged ghost sightings, we should allow for the reasonable probability that ghosts exist! To think thus is nuts!

    If you are going to argue that no one has ever recorded a ghost, you will need to support that.
    Please quote the passage where I made any such claim.




    That doesn't logically follow. For one, there are theories on how ghosts manifest . . .
    Please cite (and link, if possible) a few of the theories that you believe explain in a reasonable manner how ghosts manifest.

    . . . and it's possible that one of them is correct (assuming ghosts exist).
    We're not talking about what is possible. We're talking about what is probable.

    And secondly, even if we don't know how ghosts, if they do exist, manifest, the does not support that ghosts don't exist.
    Sure it does. If we can interact with ghosts in a physical way with ghosts (and by allegedly "videoing" them, by recording sounds they make, etc., we are interacting with them physically) then ghosts are a part of the physical world. If no current physical model of the world allows for the physical existence of ghosts then that is a reason to believe that their alleged existence is unlikely.

    Not knowing Y about X does not support that X does not exist. When it gets down to it, there's probably nothing that science knows EVERYTHING about. There's always more that can be learned.
    The case against X's existence, here, is more than just not knowing Y about X. It's also not knowing Q,R,S,T,U,V,W... about X. If some physical entity is purported to exist (say like the Higgs boson) it should fit into our current well-tested, well-evidenced physical model of the universe. If it doesn't . . . well let's just say it's more likely that the alleged entity doesn't exist than it is that our entire theory of the physical universe is incorrect.


    I would say it depends on your preconceived bias on the issue.
    True, I don't believe just anything that someone says, especially if it is a highly unusual claim, simply because they have the ability to articulate it in a well-formed sentence.

    In my experience I've learned that sometimes people are mistaken. Sometimes they lie. Sometimes they kid around. Sometimes they have cognitive ailments that make them "see" things that aren't there. Sometimes they misinterpret phenomenon that they do accurately perceive. Etc.

    Given these facts, I require good, solid evidence to believe an extraordinary claim. I do this because, sans good, solid evidence, it is infinitely more likely that an extraordinary claim is false than that it is true. I try to believe things that are likely to be true.

  4. #124
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I never said that no "alleged" recordings of ghosts (and Big Foots and witches and ETs and fairies and Nessie and on and on) exist. I said that none of them, as far as I know, constitute good, solid evidence.
    Sure. But so what?

    Are you arguing that absence of evidence is evidence of absence? If so, that is engaging in the straw man fallacy.

    And if you are arguing "if ghosts exist, we would have recordings of them", you can't say that we don't have recordings of them. I agree that we can't look at the recordings as say "that's evidence for ghosts" but we also can't say "there are no recordings of ghosts" because we don't know if all of the recordings are phony.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Interesting that you would merely find "links" to alleged ghost recordings before implying that you've defeated my argument about the lack of evidence for ghosts, yet apparently not bother so much as to click on a couple of the links to peruse the information provided by the link to check out the "evidence" for yourself. Maybe you should do that. I'm sorry but most of what you apparently consider "good, solid evidence" in this case is laughable. Check out the links and you'll probably agree with me.
    I didn't say any of them are good solid evidence. I am not taking the position that ghosts exist. I'm taking the agnostic position and say that neither side has presented a strong case that ghosts do or don't exist.

    And that's why I'm not bothering to see how valid the recordings are. I have no burden to show that any of them are genuine since I am making no such argument.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Interesting that you would say only that "MAYBE some of them are genuine and MAYBE they are all phony."

    Are you saying that it's not at all likely that "MAYBE all of them are genuine"!

    All I ask is that you, at a minimum, look at the "ghost recordings" yourself before implying, as you seem to be doing, that the sheer number of "ghost recordings" imply that some of the are genuine. Please link any that seem convincing (beyond reasonable doubt) to you.
    I am not arguing that any of them are genuine. My position, again, is that we don't have sufficient evidence to conclude either way. And I would think that if someone got a genuine recording of an actual ghost, there's a pretty good chance that it would not qualify as "evidence" because there would be no way to confirm that what's on the recording is a genuine ghost instead of some trick or natural phenomena that resembles a ghost but isn't really a ghost.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    By your implied method of determining rational belief, it's virtually impossible to come to a rational belief about the nonexistence of anything; for unless every alleged sighting of some so-called supernatural phenomenon is definitively proved to be a hoax then we must allow for the possibility that it's genuine -- and that's not how this stuff works.
    That is not at all the logical conclusion of my argument so I will dismiss that as a straw man.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    False! It is a valid claim (even though it's not a claim that I personally made). It's valid because there is no reason whatsoever to believe that "real ghosts" exist. It follows from this that it's highly unlikely that anyone has recorded a "real ghost."
    Please support that there is no reason whatsoever to believe that "real ghosts" exist. I consider that a subjective statement based on your own bias on the subject.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    What isn't a valid claim is to say, more or less, that because there are a number of links on the internet to alleged ghost sightings, we should allow for the reasonable probability that ghosts exist!
    Straw man. I didn't say that we should allow for a probability because of internet links.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    "If you are going to argue that no one has ever recorded a ghost, you will need to support that."

    Please quote the passage where I made any such claim.
    I didn't say you did. But I do say IF you are going to make such a claim, you will need to support it.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Please cite (and link, if possible) a few of the theories that you believe explain in a reasonable manner how ghosts manifest.
    I will give one.

    Typically when a person dies, their soul travels to another plane. Sometimes for some reason, perhaps due to not being able to emotionally let go of some aspect of Earthly existence, a soul gets stuck between this dimension and the dimension to where souls usually go. So they can't travel to where they are suppose to go so they stay here and sometimes become detectable.

    Please keep in mind that I am not saying that what's above is true. I'm just forwarding a theory as requested. And per my argument, no one has shown that that theory is not true so it could be correct.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Sure it does. If we can interact with ghosts in a physical way with ghosts (and by allegedly "videoing" them, by recording sounds they make, etc., we are interacting with them physically) then ghosts are a part of the physical world. If no current physical model of the world allows for the physical existence of ghosts then that is a reason to believe that their alleged existence is unlikely.
    But then you have not supported that no current physical model of the world allows for the physical existence of ghosts.

    I mean have we proven that the soul does not exist? If so, please show me how the current understanding of the world shows that such a thing as the soul does not exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    The case against X's existence, here, is more than just not knowing Y about X. It's also not knowing Q,R,S,T,U,V,W... about X. If some physical entity is purported to exist (say like the Higgs boson) it should fit into our current well-tested, well-evidenced physical model of the universe. If it doesn't . . . well let's just say it's more likely that the alleged entity doesn't exist than it is that our entire theory of the physical universe is incorrect.
    If it's existence CONTRADICTS known scientific laws, then you definitely have a point. But not knowing enough about X to develop a scientific theory does not show that X does not exist. It pretty much leaves the question open.

    In other words, if "science" is a person and someone asks Science "Do ghosts exist" and Science says "I never really looked into it", then Science's answer is "I don't know".





    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    True, I don't believe just anything that someone says, especially if it is a highly unusual claim, simply because they have the ability to articulate it in a well-formed sentence.

    In my experience I've learned that sometimes people are mistaken. Sometimes they lie. Sometimes they kid around. Sometimes they have cognitive ailments that make them "see" things that aren't there. Sometimes they misinterpret phenomenon that they do accurately perceive. Etc.

    Given these facts, I require good, solid evidence to believe an extraordinary claim. I do this because, sans good, solid evidence, it is infinitely more likely that an extraordinary claim is false than that it is true.
    And again, that view is heavily influenced by a preconceived bias against the supernatural and while you are certainly free to think that way, it's not the only one and correct way to view it. For example, by your statement you seem to give little credibility to anecdotal evidence of supernatural experiences ("I saw a ghost"). And it's entirely possible that you are giving too little credibility to the anecdotal and therefore will have a less realistic view of reality than those who give more credibility to anecdotal claims (but falls far short of just believing whatever they are told). I'm not saying that your view is flawed but it is heavily based on subjectivity (like anyone's) and therefore is not really a good basis for an argument.

  5. #125
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    Re: Supernatural?

    One, all I'm saying is look at the silly links listed for ghost sightings like I did. If you find one or two that look promising to you, that is, that look as if they are strong evidence for the existence of ghosts, then let me know about them. I actually took the trouble to look at the first 15 videos that I found and found them extremely disappointing. Maybe you'll have better luck.

    Two, based on what you've experienced (this includes not only perceptually but also heard or read from others, etc.) do you believe the existence of ghosts is:

    A) very likely,
    B) more likely than not,
    C) about as likely as not,
    D) more unlikely than not, or
    E) not very likely?

    I'm an E). Actually I have much less confidence that ghosts exist than just "not very likely" but the scale is what it is, so I'm an E).

    Since ghosts are clearly non-evident [if not, then tell me where I might find one?], the burden of proof for the existence of ghosts rests squarely with those who believe ghosts exist and secondarily with those who believe the existence of ghosts is as likely as not (for it is only evidence that can make a proposed entity's existence likely to any degree).

    To the best of my knowledge, here's a brief summary of the evidence presented thus far in the thread for the existence of ghosts:

    1) Science discovers more facts about our world everyday so it's not impossible that at some point in the future science will discover the fact of ghosts (and/or gods and/or witches and/or fairies and/or [insert your favorite fantasy here]).

    2) Some people claim to have seen ghosts (Of course, some people claim to have seen witches and some people claim to have seen fairies and some, dragons and some, talking bushes and statues that produce milk and yada yada yada).

    3) There are links on the internet that purport to lead to ghost sightings . . . yes, seriously, you read that right. "There are links on the internet that purport to lead to ghost sightings" has been given as evidence that ghosts exist.

    Forgive me if I find this evidence woefully short of convincing.

  6. #126
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If we can't even define what it is that we're claiming exists, then it doesn't exist
    I think this is weak reasoning.

    Did gravity exist before it was defined?
    Did black holes exist before they were defined?
    Did subatomic particles exist before they were defined?

    because there is nothing there that can exist
    Are you claiming that gravity, black holes, subatomic particles, to name just a few… did not exist before they were defined and came under the radar of science?

    Can you support that lack of definition means non-existence?
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  7. #127
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    Re: Supernatural?

    If we can't even define what it is that we're claiming exists, then it doesn't exist [so far as we have reason to believe.]

    Since we have defined gravity, black holes, and subatomic particles, none of those things fit under the rubric of "Things we can't define."

    Generally, the things we have trouble defining are things like god, ghost, spirit, etc.
    Last edited by Rodriguez; May 28th, 2018 at 11:16 AM.

  8. #128
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    One, all I'm saying is look at the silly links listed for ghost sightings like I did. If you find one or two that look promising to you, that is, that look as if they are strong evidence for the existence of ghosts, then let me know about them. I actually took the trouble to look at the first 15 videos that I found and found them extremely disappointing. Maybe you'll have better luck.
    I don't claim that any of the videos are strong evidence for the existence of ghosts so I don't see the point in me looking at them to find out if they are strong evidence. So I'll take your word for it that you didn't find any of the 15 videos you watched to be convincing. When I make an argument that requires me to support that any of the videos are convincing is when I'll take the time to look at them so I can formulate an argument. In the meantime, looking at them would be a waste of my time so I choose to not waste my time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Two, based on what you've experienced (this includes not only perceptually but also heard or read from others, etc.) do you believe the existence of ghosts is:

    A) very likely,
    B) more likely than not,
    C) about as likely as not,
    D) more unlikely than not, or
    E) not very likely?

    I'm an E). Actually I have much less confidence that ghosts exist than just "not very likely" but the scale is what it is, so I'm an E).
    And I'm a C. And that's not because that's what I actually think. What I actually think is not relevant in this debate and also what you think is not relevant either. The only relevant thing is what we can support with evidence and logic. So I might be 100% convinced that ghosts exist because I actually saw a ghost, but so what? Would me telling you this support any particular side of the debate. Not at all. So I can only go with the side that I think evidence and logic will support and that's, as far as I can tell, C.

    If I thought that any of the videos would be so convincing that it would prove that ghosts exist, then I would change my position to A or B and provide that video as support for A/B. But I honestly think that even if there is a video of a real ghost, it would not be conclusive to a skeptic because one can always say that what's recorded is a trick or something.

    so while MAYBE there are actual recordings of ghosts, none of the qualify as solid evidence that ghosts really exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Since ghosts are clearly non-evident [if not, then tell me where I might find one?], the burden of proof for the existence of ghosts rests squarely with those who believe ghosts exist and secondarily with those who believe the existence of ghosts is as likely as not (for it is only evidence that can make a proposed entity's existence likely to any degree).
    NO! I've heard this kind of argument numerous times and it's always wrong. So let me make a statement and put it in bold and this will be forwarded again whenever it needs to address this kind of argument.

    The burden of ANY argument belongs to the person who makes the initial claim.

    If one says "Ghosts don't exist", then the have the burden to support that ghosts don't exist before the other side has any burden to support the opposite conclusion.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    To the best of my knowledge, here's a brief summary of the evidence presented thus far in the thread for the existence of ghosts:

    1) Science discovers more facts about our world everyday so it's not impossible that at some point in the future science will discover the fact of ghosts (and/or gods and/or witches and/or fairies and/or [insert your favorite fantasy here]).
    Agreed. Assuming mankind keeps acquiring knowledge forever, we will eventually have solid evidence that ghosts do exist (assuming they do) or that ghosts don't exist (assuming they don't). And calling ghosts "fantasy" is sneaking in a premise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    2) Some people claim to have seen ghosts (Of course, some people claim to have seen witches and some people claim to have seen fairies and some, dragons and some, talking bushes and statues that produce milk and yada yada yada).
    Okay. And throwing out other stuff is engaging in a red herring argument.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    There are links on the internet that purport to lead to ghost sightings . . . yes, seriously, you read that right. "There are links on the internet that purport to lead to ghost sightings" has been given as evidence that ghosts exist.

    Forgive me if I find this evidence woefully short of convincing.
    I didn't say you should find it convincing. I'm not convinced that ghosts exist either and don't know of any solid evidence for their existence. But lack of evidence for ghosts is not evidence that ghosts don't exist. To argue otherwise is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.

    So neither of us are convinced that ghosts exist. But to me "unconvinced" means "unconvinced", not "pretty much convinced that ghosts don't exist".

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If we can't even define what it is that we're claiming exists, then it doesn't exist [so far as we have reason to believe.
    Spirit, God and ghosts have definitions. I will assume you have access to a dictionary. If not you can find several online. The problem is not that these acceptable concepts by many don’t have a definition. The problem is a priori. A priori that has changed historically and a priori that will most likely continue to change as long as science remains in the business of discovery and following the evidence. The current a priori, as valuable as it is, according to some scientists, can be counter-intuitive, unsubstantiated, limited and mystifying.

    Since we have defined gravity, black holes, and subatomic particles, none of those things fit under the rubric of "Things we can't define."
    So if subatomic particles, gravity and blackholes existed long before we defined them in order to investigate them, it was just a matter of time and the appropriate instruments and evidence to come along to follow the evidence.

    Decades ago Einstein called the scientific principle of entanglement voodoo (spooky action at a distance) before the Irish physicist, John Bell came along several years after Einstein’s death with the right instruments and proved Einstein was incorrect. Entanglement was not voodoo but was real and repeatble despite being mysterious and perplexing physicist to this day (the principle where a particle can instantaneously communicate with its counter part regardless of the distance between then without anything connecting them. Voodoo turned science.

    I have little doubt that we will one day have instruments that will be able to detect conscious energy fields that do not have distinctive physical properties but perhaps have other properties to be discovered and defined. It’s just a matter of time. Meanwhile the possibility of such energy fields remains.
    Last edited by eye4magic; May 29th, 2018 at 06:04 AM.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    I wrote: "Of all the good, solid evidence, which if discovered would make it somewhat more probable that ghosts exist, none of it has been discovered."

    You replied: "How do you know that? There are alleged recordings of ghosts - pics, audio, and video. I did a search for "ghost recordings" and found several links to such recordings."

    I replied: "All I ask is that you, at a minimum, look at the "ghost recordings" yourself before implying, as you seem to be doing, that the sheer number of "ghost recordings" imply that some of the are genuine. Please link any that seem convincing (beyond reasonable doubt) to you."

    You replied: "I don't claim that any of the videos are strong evidence for the existence of ghosts so I don't see the point in me looking at them to find out if they are strong evidence."

    My original point that there is no good, solid evidence to sustain a reasonable belief in the existence of ghosts remains unscathed.
    ========================================

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    So I can only go with the side that I think evidence and logic will support and that's, as far as I can tell, C [that it's about as likely as ghosts exist as not].

    If I thought that any of the videos would be so convincing that it would prove that ghosts exist, then I would change my position to A or B and provide that video as support for A/B.
    But how do you get to a "C"? If there is no evidence to support the existence of a proposed entity then there is no reason to believe that it has a 0.5 probability of existence. IOW, if someone out of the blue says, "Plutonians are an ancient race of human-like beings who live deep beneath the surface of Pluto" there is a non-zero probability that this is true.

    If astronomers later discover unexplained activity apparently emanating from Pluto's interior perhaps the probability that Plutonians exist increases somewhat.

    If still later a non-human manufactured object is discovered by our space program on Pluto's surface, the probability that Plutonians exist increases even more.

    If some sort of long dead human-like being is found on the surface of Pluto and returned to earth for examination, the probability that Plutonians exist increases yet more.

    But are we even at 0.5 likelihood of Plutonian existence yet?

    So what is the evidence that has convinced you it's as likely as not that ghosts exist?
    ============================================

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    The burden of ANY argument belongs to the person who makes the initial claim.
    John Doe says "Trees exist [points to a tree]." OK, so now the burden has clearly shifted to anyone who denies the existence of trees.

    Joe Blow says "Ghosts exist. One was just there [points to an empty space] but now it's gone and you can't see it."

    Has Joe Blow met his initial burden in proving the existence of ghosts in the same way that John Doe met his initial burden in proving the existence of trees? I don't think so.

    The burden of proof in the debate "Ghosts exist" as with the burden of proof for any other non-obvious entity rest with those who insist that they exist. I am under no obligation to disprove anyone else's fantasies before I dismiss them out-of-hand.

    It isn't as likely as not that some non-obvious, purportedly-existing entity exists. A non-obvious entity's existence only becomes probable to any degree as evidence is discovered that supports the claim for its existence.

    If someone pointed at a ghost the way someone can point at a tree and claimed "Ah Ha! Ghosts exist!" then the case for the existence of ghosts would be much stronger. But that's not what happens. Instead people point to empty spaces and claim "It was there!"

    The latter is not nearly as convincing as the former.

    Rodriguez wrote: To the best of my knowledge, here's a brief summary of the evidence presented thus far in the thread for the existence of ghosts: 1) Science discovers more facts about our world everyday so it's not impossible that at some point in the future science will discover the fact of ghosts (and/or gods and/or witches and/or fairies and/or [insert your favorite fantasy here]).

    mican wrote: Assuming mankind keeps acquiring knowledge forever, we will eventually have solid evidence that ghosts do exist (assuming they do) or that ghosts don't exist (assuming they don't).
    One, you may be misconstruing what I'm saying here. I'm saying that the claim "One day science may discover evidence for X" is a true claim (assuming X is a possibly existing entity) but that this statement is not itself the slightest bit of evidence for the existence of any particular entity's existence.

    All one is really saying by "One day evidence of X's existence might be discovered" is "What might exist, might exist."

    So OK, tautologies are true. So what?

    Two, I think it's a pretty safe assumption that mankind will NOT continue to acquire knowledge forever.




    Rodriguez wrote: Some people claim to have seen ghosts (Of course, some people claim to have seen witches and some people claim to have seen fairies and some, dragons and some, talking bushes and statues that produce milk and yada yada yada).

    mican wrote: Okay. And throwing out other stuff is engaging in a red herring argument.
    Nope. Merely pointing out and giving a few examples to show that anecdotal evidence about unusual or extraordinary events is NOTORIOUSLY unreliable.

    If this is the best evidence the prop "Ghosts exist" has, it's in deep doo doo.

    I'm not convinced that ghosts exist either and don't know of any solid evidence for their existence. But lack of evidence for ghosts is not evidence that ghosts don't exist. To argue otherwise is to engage in the argument from ignorance fallacy.
    I am under no obligation to present a case for the nonexistence of something whose purported existence is non-obvious. If you point at a tree and say "Trees exist", OK, point made.

    If you point at an empty space and say "Ghosts exist" then what are you talking about? If you go on to say that ghosts are the spiritual remains, as it were, of once living human beings . . . then again, what are you talking about?

    “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist, then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern, and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.” -- Brian Cox https://www.thealternativedaily.com/...proves-ghosts/

    Maybe Plutonians exist, but I shouldn't believe it's as likely as not that they do exist just because it's possible that they do. Give me a good solid reason to believe that they exist and I'll reconsider my stance. Same with ghosts.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I wrote: "Of all the good, solid evidence, which if discovered would make it somewhat more probable that ghosts exist, none of it has been discovered."

    You replied: "How do you know that? There are alleged recordings of ghosts - pics, audio, and video. I did a search for "ghost recordings" and found several links to such recordings."

    I replied: "All I ask is that you, at a minimum, look at the "ghost recordings" yourself before implying, as you seem to be doing, that the sheer number of "ghost recordings" imply that some of the are genuine. Please link any that seem convincing (beyond reasonable doubt) to you."

    You replied: "I don't claim that any of the videos are strong evidence for the existence of ghosts so I don't see the point in me looking at them to find out if they are strong evidence."

    My original point that there is no good, solid evidence to sustain a reasonable belief in the existence of ghosts remains unscathed.
    I'll concede that none have been presented in this debate. But until all of the recordings have been gone over by credible authorities to determine if any could be considered valid evidence of ghosts, we don't know if any valid evidence exists.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    But how do you get to a "C"? If there is no evidence to support the existence of a proposed entity then there is no reason to believe that it has a 0.5 probability of existence.
    Sure there is. If we have no evidence X exists and we have no evidence that X does not exist, then the evidence equally supports its existence and its nonexistence. 50/50.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    IOW, if someone out of the blue says, "Plutonians are an ancient race of human-like beings who live deep beneath the surface of Pluto" there is a non-zero probability that this is true.

    If astronomers later discover unexplained activity apparently emanating from Pluto's interior perhaps the probability that Plutonians exist increases somewhat.

    If still later a non-human manufactured object is discovered by our space program on Pluto's surface, the probability that Plutonians exist increases even more.

    If some sort of long dead human-like being is found on the surface of Pluto and returned to earth for examination, the probability that Plutonians exist increases yet more.

    But are we even at 0.5 likelihood of Plutonian existence yet?
    We aren't debating Plutonians so this is a bit of a red herring.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    So what is the evidence that has convinced you it's as likely as not that ghosts exist?
    The evidence presented for and against ghosts existing equals out. I've seen neither for either side and since 0=0, the evidence is even for or against.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    John Doe says "Trees exist [points to a tree]." OK, so now the burden has clearly shifted to anyone who denies the existence of trees.

    Joe Blow says "Ghosts exist. One was just there [points to an empty space] but now it's gone and you can't see it."

    Has Joe Blow met his initial burden in proving the existence of ghosts in the same way that John Doe met his initial burden in proving the existence of trees? I don't think so.

    The burden of proof in the debate "Ghosts exist" as with the burden of proof for any other non-obvious entity rest with those who insist that they exist. I am under no obligation to disprove anyone else's fantasies before I dismiss them out-of-hand.
    But that in no way alleviates your burden to support that ghosts (probably) don't exist if you argue as much. If you don't support your position that ghosts don't exist, then your claim is just as dismissible as Joe's claim that they do exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    It isn't as likely as not that some non-obvious, purportedly-existing entity exists. A non-obvious entity's existence only becomes probable to any degree as evidence is discovered that supports the claim for its existence.
    Because you say so?

    Let me put it this way. What are the odds that X exists? Since I've told you absolutely nothing about X, the only reasonable answer is 50/50. And the odds don't change unless someone starts providing evidence that shows that its existence or nonexistence is more likely than the other.

    And when it comes to personal assessments, first and second-hand experience is valid. If my friend says he saw a ghost and I think he's a reliable judge of such things, then my PERSONAL assessment of whether ghosts exist inches up towards "does exist". But of course in THIS debate, personal assessments are irrelevant. My friend seeing a ghost does not constitute evidence in this debate and therefore is not entered no matter how much influence it has on me or how justified I might be in weighing it as I do. And likewise what you happen to think doesn't really matter either. The only thing that we can provide is evidence and without it, the odds remain 50/50.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If someone pointed at a ghost the way someone can point at a tree and claimed "Ah Ha! Ghosts exist!" then the case for the existence of ghosts would be much stronger. But that's not what happens. Instead people point to empty spaces and claim "It was there!"

    The latter is not nearly as convincing as the former.
    You should stop trying to argue that there is no evidence for ghosts. I'm not saying that there is evidence so saying there's no evidence does not forward the debate.

    I will concede that within this debate no evidence for the existence of ghosts has been presented. To avoid redundancy, I will not respond to further arguments that forward that there is no evidence that ghosts exist.




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    I am under no obligation to present a case for the nonexistence of something whose purported existence is non-obvious.
    You ALWAYS have the obligation to support your own arguments. if you argue that ghosts don't exist, then you have the burden to support that ghosts don't exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    If you point at an empty space and say "Ghosts exist" then what are you talking about? If you go on to say that ghosts are the spiritual remains, as it were, of once living human beings . . . then again, what are you talking about?
    What are YOU talking about? Pretty much everyone I know has a basic understanding of what ghosts are. If you want to hold that you are so ignorant of what is a "ghost" that you can't actually engage in a discussion regarding ghosts, go ahead. But "I don't understand what ghosts are" is not a basis for arguing that they don't exist.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist, then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern, and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider."
    "A PAIR of world-renowned quantum scientists say they can prove the existence of the soul.
    American Dr Stuart Hameroff and British physicist Sir Roger Penrose developed a quantum theory of consciousness asserting that our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells.
    Their idea stems from the notion of the brain as a biological computer, "with 100 billion neurons and their axonal firings and synaptic connections acting as information networks".
    Dr Hameroff, Professor Emeritus at the Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology and Director of the Centre of Consciousness Studies at the University of Arizona, and Sir Roger have been working on the theory since 1996.
    They argue that our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects inside these microtubules - a process they call orchestrated objective reduction (Orch-OR).
    In a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed. Or in layman's terms, the soul does not die but returns to the universe."


    https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/qu...29d758c54e6a8d

    To be clear, I do not consider this link to be proof, or even evidence, that the soul exists. I forward it to show that there is no scientific consensus on whether souls do or do not exist. Different scientists think different things. But if someone has proven that the soul does not or cannot exist, I haven't see the proof and I would imagine that such a momentous discovery would not be kept secret.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Maybe Plutonians exist, but I shouldn't believe it's as likely as not that they do exist just because it's possible that they do. Give me a good solid reason to believe that they exist and I'll reconsider my stance. Same with ghosts.
    I don't care if you reconsider your stance. I'm seeing if you can support your stance.
    Last edited by mican333; May 29th, 2018 at 04:32 PM.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    “If we want some sort of pattern that carries information about our living cells to persist, then we must specify precisely what medium carries that pattern, and how it interacts with the matter particles out of which our bodies are made. We must, in other words, invent an extension to the Standard Model of Particle Physics that has escaped detection at the Large Hadron Collider. That’s almost inconceivable at the energy scales typical of the particle interactions in our bodies.” -- Brian Cox
    Why should information about our cells need to persist in a physical medium for abnormal effects to have a way to propagate? They can most likely propagate through a non-traditional/unknon method, such as some type of information storage system that operates outside of our current classically observable comfort zones.

    The biggest assumption in this statement is that we exist in a materialistic reality. But Cox should know that Quantum Mechanics experiments have disproven this. The material is fundamentally immaterial. And more mind-bending is that human observation, i.e. consciousness is intrinsically connected to what we observe verses what is real, while science tries to reconcile two fundamentally clashing theories about our world and reality, relativity and quantum mechanics. Both are genuinely incompatible descriptions of reality.

    Can the Hadron Collider measure consciousness?
    Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.
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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican
    I'll concede that none have been presented in this debate. But until all of the recordings have been gone over by credible authorities to determine if any could be considered valid evidence of ghosts, we don't know if any valid evidence exists.
    Two points here. First, your position on this is not a reasonable position to take if one's epistemic goal is to have as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible. This is so because it will always remain the case -- ALWAYS -- that there is some evidence somewhere that is currently undiscovered that if discovered will change our belief about some proposition. If your standard for evidence is such that it requires all POSSIBLE evidence to be examined before belief is reasonable, then you will never believe anything.

    Second, it seems reasonable to believe that if a genuine recording of a ghost were in existence, we'd know about it. I try to keep current on earth-shaking events and I've not been alerted to any reputable academic journals of any stripe reporting the existence of a genuine recording of a ghost.

    If we have no evidence X exists and we have no evidence that X does not exist, then the evidence equally supports its existence and its nonexistence. 50/50.
    Not true. If we have no evidence to support the truth of a proposition then the probability of our knowing the proposition is true is undefined. The proposition itself is always either 100% true or 100% false, but the probability that we know which of those two possibilities it is depends strictly on the evidence that we have for the proposition.

    Since you have no evidence that my given name is Peter and no evidence that it is not, you seem to be saying that it's a 50-50 proposition that my given name is Peter! But that's absurd. Isn't it just as likely from your perspective, since you have no evidence, that my first name is Paul or Mary or Jorge or Juan or Mohammed or Kaito or any other name as it is Peter? But if that's the case then the probability that my name is Peter isn't 0.5, but closer to somewhere just above 0.0, right?

    Only evidence makes our knowledge that a possibly true proposition is actually true, probable to any degree.


    Quote Originally Posted by eye
    Why should information about our cells need to persist in a physical medium for abnormal effects to have a way to propagate? They can most likely propagate through a non-traditional/unknon method, such as some type of information storage system that operates outside of our current classically observable comfort zones.
    Anything that possibly exists in the world is possible, right? But we're not talking about what is merely possible. We're talking about that which we have reason to believe. Just because it's possible that X is the case is not a reason to believe that X is the case.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Two points here. First, your position on this is not a reasonable position to take if one's epistemic goal is to have as many true beliefs and as few false beliefs as possible. This is so because it will always remain the case -- ALWAYS -- that there is some evidence somewhere that is currently undiscovered that if discovered will change our belief about some proposition. If your standard for evidence is such that it requires all POSSIBLE evidence to be examined before belief is reasonable, then you will never believe anything.
    The point is limited to the issue of whether the recordings can be considered valid evidence. So are discussing things that actually exist (the recordings) and to the best of my knowledge there has been no real effort from credible authorities to look into them and determine their validity. In this particular debate, we have to consider the recordings to be inconclusive as no one has shown that they are uniformly false or that some of them are genuine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Second, it seems reasonable to believe that if a genuine recording of a ghost were in existence, we'd know about it. I try to keep current on earth-shaking events and I've not been alerted to any reputable academic journals of any stripe reporting the existence of a genuine recording of a ghost.
    It's safe to say that before an alleged ghost recording could be proven genuine by credible experts, those experts would first have to take the time and effort to analyze the recording to determine their authenticity. As far as I know, there has been no concerted effort to analyze the alleged ghost recordings to determine their authenticity. So I very much doubt that if some of the recordings were genuine that we would know about because I doubt any credible expert has looked into whether they are genuine.

    And it's also questionable that a genuine recording would be recognized for what it is. I mean if a real ghost appeared in my room and I took a photo of it and got a picture of a wispy translucent vaguely human shape, how would an expert know that that was a picture of an actual ghost and not something else?




    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Not true. If we have no evidence to support the truth of a proposition then the probability of our knowing the proposition is true is undefined. The proposition itself is always either 100% true or 100% false, but the probability that we know which of those two possibilities it is depends strictly on the evidence that we have for the proposition.

    Since you have no evidence that my given name is Peter and no evidence that it is not, you seem to be saying that it's a 50-50 proposition that my given name is Peter! But that's absurd. Isn't it just as likely from your perspective, since you have no evidence, that my first name is Paul or Mary or Jorge or Juan or Mohammed or Kaito or any other name as it is Peter? But if that's the case then the probability that my name is Peter isn't 0.5, but closer to somewhere just above 0.0, right?
    Right. But then that's because I have KNOWLEDGE that per capita, most people are not named Peter and can use that as EVIDENCE to figure that odds are your name isn't Peter.

    But if we remove that knowledge and I have no idea what the odds are that any one person is named Peter, then I would, going by the evidence, have to conclude that the odds are 50/50 that you are named Peter. I have no reason to think that you are and I have no reason to think that you are not.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    The point is limited to the issue of whether the recordings can be considered valid evidence. So are discussing things that actually exist (the recordings) and to the best of my knowledge there has been no real effort from credible authorities to look into them and determine their validity. In this particular debate, we have to consider the recordings to be inconclusive as no one has shown that they are uniformly false or that some of them are genuine.

    It's safe to say that before an alleged ghost recording could be proven genuine by credible experts, those experts would first have to take the time and effort to analyze the recording to determine their authenticity. As far as I know, there has been no concerted effort to analyze the alleged ghost recordings to determine their authenticity. So I very much doubt that if some of the recordings were genuine that we would know about because I doubt any credible expert has looked into whether they are genuine.

    And it's also questionable that a genuine recording would be recognized for what it is. I mean if a real ghost appeared in my room and I took a photo of it and got a picture of a wispy translucent vaguely human shape, how would an expert know that that was a picture of an actual ghost and not something else?
    Have I got this right? You seem to be saying that because there are links on the internet to websites on which possible ghost recordings can be found, that this counts as possible evidence for the existence of ghosts?

    I agree, that's possible. But this possibility does not constitute even the tiniest piece of evidence that ghosts actually exist!

    There is possible evidence for anything that can possibly exist but possibility is not evidence.



    Right. But then that's because I have KNOWLEDGE that per capita, most people are not named Peter and can use that as EVIDENCE to figure that odds are your name isn't Peter.

    But if we remove that knowledge and I have no idea what the odds are that any one person is named Peter, then I would, going by the evidence, have to conclude that the odds are 50/50 that you are named Peter. I have no reason to think that you are and I have no reason to think that you are not.
    No, you wouldn't have to conclude that and I hope you're smart enough NOT to conclude that. In the absence of all evidence, no probability can be assigned to our knowledge that a particular proposition about the world is true.

    Again, every proposition is either 100% true or 100% false. No proposition is 50% true or 20% true or 90% true. It is only our knowledge pertaining to the truth of a proposition that is probable. And the probability that we know a proposition is true without our having any evidence for it cannot be defined.

    Look at the example again. If you have no evidence whatsoever for the proposition "Rodriguez's first name is Peter," then you cannot define the probability with which you know that proposition to be true. The probability is certainly not 0.5 likely. It's undefined. Maybe every person in the universe is named Peter. If that turns out to be the case, then it's 1.0 certain that my first name is Peter. Maybe every other person is named Peter, then it's 0.5 likely. Maybe one in a 100,000 are named Peter, in which case (and all else being equal) it's very, very unlikely that my name is Peter.

    The point is, you have no reason to believe that any one of these scenarios is more likely than any other. If you do have a reason to believe something one way or the other about this, then what reason do you have?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Have I got this right? You seem to be saying that because there are links on the internet to websites on which possible ghost recordings can be found, that this counts as possible evidence for the existence of ghosts?

    I agree, that's possible. But this possibility does not constitute even the tiniest piece of evidence that ghosts actually exist!

    There is possible evidence for anything that can possibly exist but possibility is not evidence.
    And this in no way rebuts the argument that I made so I stand by what I said.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    No, you wouldn't have to conclude that and I hope you're smart enough NOT to conclude that. In the absence of all evidence, no probability can be assigned to our knowledge that a particular proposition about the world is true.
    If there are only two possibilities, in this case "name is Peter" and "name is not Peter" and there is no reason to think one is more likely than the other, then both options are equally supported and assuming one has to estimate which is more likely to be correct, the only logical guess one can make is that they are equally likely to be correct.



    Quote Originally Posted by Rodriguez View Post
    Again, every proposition is either 100% true or 100% false. No proposition is 50% true or 20% true or 90% true. It is only our knowledge pertaining to the truth of a proposition that is probable. And the probability that we know a proposition is true without our having any evidence for it cannot be defined.

    Look at the example again. If you have no evidence whatsoever for the proposition "Rodriguez's first name is Peter," then you cannot define the probability with which you know that proposition to be true. The probability is certainly not 0.5 likely. It's undefined. Maybe every person in the universe is named Peter. If that turns out to be the case, then it's 1.0 certain that my first name is Peter. Maybe every other person is named Peter, then it's 0.5 likely. Maybe one in a 100,000 are named Peter, in which case (and all else being equal) it's very, very unlikely that my name is Peter.

    The point is, you have no reason to believe that any one of these scenarios is more likely than any other.
    Which means that if I had to guesstimate the odds that your name is Peter, the only logical choice is to guess that it's equally likely that you are named Peter as it is that you are not named Peter.

    As far as I can tell, you are saying that I shouldn't even bother to make a guess. But if that's the case, then your scenario fails to represent the debate because I was specifically asked to pick from letters A - E that represent varying degrees of likelihood that ghosts exist

    Now, if we apply the A-E to the likelihood that your name is Peter and I HAVE TO PICK A LETTER (just like I had to pick a letter in regards to ghosts), it's pretty obvious that C (equally likely) is the best letter to pick.

    If you disagree, then tell me why in regards to "Peter", I should pick A, B, D, or E instead of C.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Which means that if I had to guesstimate the odds that your name is Peter, the only logical choice is to guess that it's equally likely that you are named Peter as it is that you are not named Peter.
    This reminds me of an old "blonde joke":
    Some astronomy students are doing a survey on their campus, asking people about other galaxies, planets, possibility of life, etc.
    They go up to a blonde and ask, "What do you think the chances are of you ever meeting some aliens in your lifetime?"
    "Oh, I'd say about 50/50," she replies.
    "Seriously? Why do you think so?" they ask her, incredulously.
    She answers, "Well, either I will meet some aliens, or I won't."

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    This reminds me of an old "blonde joke":
    Some astronomy students are doing a survey on their campus, asking people about other galaxies, planets, possibility of life, etc.
    They go up to a blonde and ask, "What do you think the chances are of you ever meeting some aliens in your lifetime?"
    "Oh, I'd say about 50/50," she replies.
    "Seriously? Why do you think so?" they ask her, incredulously.
    She answers, "Well, either I will meet some aliens, or I won't."
    The difference is that she has a lot of evidence to back up the notion that she likely will not see an alien.

    In the "Peter" scenario, the evidence for or against "being named Peter" is exactly the same.

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    The difference is that she has a lot of evidence to back up the notion that she likely will not see an alien.
    What evidence?

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    Re: Supernatural?

    Quote Originally Posted by futureboy View Post
    What evidence?
    For starters, all of the times she looked up at the sky and didn't see an alien. If out of, say, ten thousand skyward glances one doesn't see an alien, they have to figure the odds of seeing an alien at any particular time is at least ten thousand to one.

 

 
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