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Old 05-05-2006, 05:00 PM   #1
skribb
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This is probably the wrong category, moderators, feel free to move the thread anywhere you like.


I was just thinking of this phenomena. Ghosts I mean. I am quite certain they don't exist, no, I KNOW they don't exist. But for me, this is kind of a dilemma, because you see, I have witnessed alot of "supernatural" activities (i.e ghost sightings) in my relatively short life (I'm 17). And I have been told many times by my father that he has met his dead father, which doesn't make sense of course, but he's one of those people that NEVER lie. I've had experiences like seeing blue veils flying in the air, invisible hands touching me, and the classical seeing dead persons in ghostlike states walking about, and also sounds of footsteps, creaking, and voices.


Now, I wonder, am I, as well as my father completely out of our minds (as in schizo, paranoid, whatever), or is there a scientific explanation? I know there is one, I'm a nihilist. But my knowledge in the scientific field is very sparse.


Enlighten me. I'd rather be psycho than superstitious
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:10 PM   #2
antix
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I am no expert by any means, but I can say that the brain is a very touchy organ. I wouldn't doubt for one second that your father was telling the truth about what he percieved as reality-- as he saw it. Emotions-- fear, desire, anguish, joy-- all of them, can make the brain think there is something more that what is really there. And no, don't fret. You are obviously aware of these false realities. No matter how real they may seem you recognize theem as false. Always remember that. If it doesn't have-- or cannot have-- any rational scienteific explenation, then it is a figment of your imagination. That is the real beauty of atheism-- IMHO. We can have all the strange imagionings, fantasies, visions, etc... but in the end we always realize that is our minds playing tricks on us.

This isn't much in the way of "enlightenment" I don't imagine, but its my 2 cents.
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:13 PM   #3
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Schizophrenia is linked with auditory hallucinations (often taking the form of voices making fun of you) and general delusions of grandiosity (being jesus) and persecution (the robots are out to get me). It is also occasionally linked with visual hallucinations, though these are much more rare. The hallucinations are often tailored to the specific delusions of the person (an atheist is unlikely to to believe God is talking to them, but a theist is).

As for your assertion that your dad never lies, he does. Everyone deceives another person everyday, most often more than once.

Persons with dissociative personality traits have tendencies to account for things as being supernatural in nature. When a person experiences something odd they tend to deem it supernatural if they have previously done so to other events (gee golly, something weird happened, it must be like that other supernatural thing).

"When science was in its infancy, religion tried to strangle it in its cradle." - Robert G. Ingersoll
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Old 05-05-2006, 06:20 PM   #4
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skribb wrote
But for me, this is kind of a dilemma, because you see, I have witnessed alot of "supernatural" activities (i.e ghost sightings) in my relatively short life (I'm 17). And I have been told many times by my father that he has met his dead father, which doesn't make sense of course, but he's one of those people that NEVER lie. I've had experiences like seeing blue veils flying in the air, invisible hands touching me, and the classical seeing dead persons in ghostlike states walking about, and also sounds of footsteps, creaking, and voices.


Now, I wonder, am I, as well as my father completely out of our minds (as in schizo, paranoid, whatever), or is there a scientific explanation? I know there is one, I'm a nihilist. But my knowledge in the scientific field is very sparse.
Could you provide any examples of paranormal activities you believe you've witnessed? I'm fairly good at explaining them, but I need specific details. Often if people experience something they cannot explain at the time then the event will solidify in memory owing to that fact, which tends to make them less likely to seek a logical explanation. This is especially true if there are other people around who claim to have seen the same thing, owing to the pressure to go along with the group. Coincidences and subconscious thought processes can easily be mistaken for supernatural / psychic events.

So if you feel like sharing any of them I'd be glad to interpret them for you.
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Old 05-06-2006, 01:17 AM   #5
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Quote:
skribb wrote
This is probably the wrong category, moderators, feel free to move the thread anywhere you like.


I was just thinking of this phenomena. Ghosts I mean. I am quite certain they don't exist, no, I KNOW they don't exist. But for me, this is kind of a dilemma, because you see, I have witnessed alot of "supernatural" activities (i.e ghost sightings) in my relatively short life (I'm 17). And I have been told many times by my father that he has met his dead father, which doesn't make sense of course, but he's one of those people that NEVER lie. I've had experiences like seeing blue veils flying in the air, invisible hands touching me, and the classical seeing dead persons in ghostlike states walking about, and also sounds of footsteps, creaking, and voices.


Now, I wonder, am I, as well as my father completely out of our minds (as in schizo, paranoid, whatever), or is there a scientific explanation? I know there is one, I'm a nihilist. But my knowledge in the scientific field is very sparse.


Enlighten me. I'd rather be psycho than superstitious
I just want to say you can believe in ghosts AND be atheist. I believe in ghosts myself, (this of course means I believe there is an afterlife). Actually perhaps I'm not really an atheist though (it's debatable at least). Sorry. Anyway, ghosts interest me and excite me though--indeed, I want to believe in an afterlife, although I wouldn't want to not have a body (i.e. not be able to get off). I would imagine that not having a body would really suck. The theory is though that ghosts have "unfinished business" whatever that means. I read on a website that 5% of ghosts "never had a body" and are "bad news" (there was a link on "bad news" but I was too spooked to click it). Seriously though while it's interesting, I don't want to know too much about it because of the freakiness factor. Indeed this is something I consider anathema.

If you are seeing ghosts you are not crazy, but chances are that the ghosts aren't malicious. I would try to ignore them. Try to avoid drugs too (i'm not implying that you are taking them, just as general advice). There's a class of drugs called "barbituates" you might be familiar with that can cause hallucinations.

Being overly superstitious is probably to be avoided as well, although I myself am a rather superstitious person.
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Old 05-06-2006, 04:51 AM   #6
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The brain is a high powered pattern recognition system, it can pull a familiar shaped pattern out of anything. Who hasn't seen a face in a wall? Heard what they thought was a footstep when none was there?

Invariably, if you catch yourself doing it, and focus your mind you'll see that it was just your mind making a mistake.

Now. That doesn't mean ghosts don't exist. Here is why ghosts don't exist:

2 possibilities: Ghosts can think, or they cannot. Even rudimentary thought is adequate.

If ghosts exist, and can't think, then any schmuck with whatever equipment it takes to photograph a ghost would be snapping off shots on a daily basis. Scientists would be studying them.

If ghosts CAN think, even in a rudimentary way, then some percentage of them will be glory hounds and SEEK people with even the most rudimetary equipment to photograph them.

But no. Apparently, only people who really want to believe in ghosts ever actually see them, and the 'excuse' for OTHER people not being able to see them is they must be 'ghost hostile' or some other shit. Sounds like your standard psychic scam, doesn't it?
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Old 05-06-2006, 06:26 AM   #7
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Once you see a phenomenon, say a drifting glowing veil in the dark (easily caused by retinal fatigue or unusual pressure in the eye), every other sensation, like feeling a draft, becomes a pall of ghostly cold, a squeek in the floor under your feet becomes the wail of some distant spirit, even a sudden whiff of your own excitment can transform into the aroma of ancient Lilac. This is not superstition nor insanity, it is your very capable mind doing its best to make all of the pieces fit.

On the other hand, just because one is prone to hallucinations doesn't mean that plate didn't slide of the shelf and crash to the floor. Sometimes unexpected and unexplained things do happen without any supernatural cause.

My "floating glowing veil" turned out to be a moonlight-illuminated spider web that was almost totally invisible in normal lighting.

"Those who most loudly proclaim their honesty are least likely to possess it."
"Atheism: rejecting all absurdity." S.H.
"Reality, the God alternative"
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Old 05-06-2006, 07:16 AM   #8
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Thanks for all of your replies, they all make sense to me. My brain is having some kind of meltdown right now, so I can't think of anything else to say. Stay tuned :P
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:02 AM   #9
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There was once a great Korean Buddhist monk called Wonhyo who was travelling to China to study Buddhist texts, along with another monk. One night they were forced to find shelter and, locating a cave of some kind they spent the night there. However, the next morning Wonhyo found to his astonishment that it wasn't a cave, but an ancient tomb. There were skulls littered inside (over the night he became thirsty and drank some water from some gourd which actually turned out to be someone's head!). They spent the night again in the tomb and this time Wonhyo was visited by ghosts and spirits who haunted him throughout the night. This event sparked his enlightenment and he realized that everything was inside the mind; it was only when he realized he was inside a tomb that ghosts appeared. It's possible that your father telling you he saw ghosts and the stories of ghosts you've heard brought into existence your own ghosts. The important thing to remember is that it's all in the mind, and your awareness (even subconscious awareness) is what causes them to exist.

Religion - it gives people hope in a world torn apart by religion.
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Old 05-06-2006, 08:20 AM   #10
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Excellent post, Demigod. Skribb, also keep in mind that the things we're told as children will stay with us through life as Truth, even if later proven wrong. It's just part of the trusting nature of a human child. This could explain some of it, especially if your Dad, in his role as authoritarian told you this as a truth.

"Science and Mother Nature are in a marriage where Science is always surprised to come home and find Mother Nature blowing the neighbor." - Justin's Dad
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Old 05-06-2006, 09:03 AM   #11
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I have a good friend who's an atheist, in her 60's, and a fairly heavy drinker Irish. After many years of her friendship I was astounded to learn recently that she believes in ghosts -- and 'wee people.'! It's true what Tenspace says: these fairy tales are from her childhood and had such a profound enough effect on her that they remain, even though she's managed to outgrow that other Big Fairy Tale.

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Old 05-06-2006, 10:42 AM   #12
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skribb wrote
I've had experiences like seeing blue veils flying in the air, invisible hands touching me, and the classical seeing dead persons in ghostlike states walking about, and also sounds of footsteps, creaking, and voices.
I've had something like this happen to me once. Just felt like someone poked my leg. It was weird though, because it felt like a hard poke, but I only felt it close to the surface of my skin. When I asked my mother about it (she's a nurse), she said it was just a small malfunction of the nerves in that region. Of course, when I heard that, it made sense, but at the time I could've sworn on my life that someone was in my room, hiding.
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:48 AM   #13
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Demigod79 wrote
There was once a great Korean Buddhist monk called Wonhyo who was travelling to China to study Buddhist texts, along with another monk. One night they were forced to find shelter and, locating a cave of some kind they spent the night there. However, the next morning Wonhyo found to his astonishment that it wasn't a cave, but an ancient tomb. There were skulls littered inside (over the night he became thirsty and drank some water from some gourd which actually turned out to be someone's head!). They spent the night again in the tomb and this time Wonhyo was visited by ghosts and spirits who haunted him throughout the night. This event sparked his enlightenment and he realized that everything was inside the mind; it was only when he realized he was inside a tomb that ghosts appeared. It's possible that your father telling you he saw ghosts and the stories of ghosts you've heard brought into existence your own ghosts. The important thing to remember is that it's all in the mind, and your awareness (even subconscious awareness) is what causes them to exist.
Exactly. Since we created god and the supernatural with our brains, memes can be induced by the suggestions of others and our imagination. The brain is restless, it must keep imagining creating thoughts or die..just like a shark must keep swiming to stay alive. A brain with it advanced evolved circuitry fears non existence, so god and life after death concepts are created. This become the neurological anesthesia (hope) to keep us going. IMHO, depression erodes this, so people could become suicidal. A healthy brain (those found in atheists) is the only one that could cope with the realities of life turning them into knowledge induce happiness. Religious-psychotics are miserable people living in a world of fantasy which are constantly threatened by reality!...:)

Christians and other folks infected with delusional beliefs think and reason like schizophrenics or temporal lobe epileptics. Their morality is dictated by an invisible friend called Jesus.
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:22 PM   #14
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You are absolutely right Demigod, good post. I read some stuff on Wikipedia, and came to the conclusion that I could of been suffering from hypnogognia as well (a condition in which the mind is dreaming even though your body is awake).
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Old 05-06-2006, 03:43 PM   #15
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On a more morbid note...

If ghosts were real, there would be huge teams at Auschwitz studying the ghosts there. Scientific knowledge of ghosts and the afterlife would have increased by leaps and bounds after world war 2.
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