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Old 04-14-2009, 11:05 AM   #1
Arcesious
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The Supernatural/Paranormal?

I really don't know what to think about it. No, this thread has nothing to do with religion. It's a thread about things like ghosts and whatnot.

I hear a lot of people claim experiences about this sort of thing, and I when someone says they themselves tried to find a rational explanation but do not, I figure; "Are they lying, are they mistaken, or did they really see/feel a 'real' ghost?"

Now, shows on TV, such as Ghosthunters, that is in no way evidence for ghosts. Neither are claims with no solid evidence.

A lot of times, I've watched Ghosthunters just for laughs, but, sometimes, I think; "What if they didn't actually fabricate this?"

If it's on TV, you can do the Hollywood thing. special effects, clever acting... If it's a claim by a person you know, family, friend, a person on the internet, the problem is that you can't usually confirm it.

I have never, ever had any sort of supernatural/paranormal experience. I have to wonder though...

So, let's make this a debate... Are there ghosts or can every single claim of such be explained away with a solid debunking?


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Old 04-14-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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There has never been any evidence sufficient enough support the irrational conclusion that there are ghosts and other supernatural claims.

Indeed, the very term, supernatural, implies that the perceived phenomena are outside of nature. There simply isn't anything that exists outside of the natural universe that has ever been observed.

There are, however, many different psychological and physiological reasons why humans might perceive something to which they assign a supernatural claim, but closer investigation reveals an absence of any reason to consider that a ghost was there (or other supernatural phenomenon).

Ghosts, ostensibly, result from the "spirits" or "souls" of the deceased. There are just too many questions and assumptions that arise when you start assuming that this can occur. For instance, a ghost assumes that there actually is a "spirit" or "soul" which is problematic by itself (and perhaps worthy of its own thread).

Also, ghosts are said to be incorporeal and yet sentient or independent agents. These are contradictory qualities since to be an independent agent requires that you have some ability to think. Deciding to visit a living relative, to roam the halls of a hotel, look for a lost object/person, etc. are all indications that something is making decisions. Such cognitive ability is the result of brain activity and, being incorporeal, ghosts have no brains (the brain is decaying/cremated with the body).

Also, how does an incorporeal being creak floorboards, open doors, operate machinery, etc. Ghosts float through walls/doors, but never seem to fall through floors.

There are just too many questions and assumptions to fulfill in order to believe in the possibility of a ghost, particularly when no substantial and sufficient evidence has shown that any exist. A more parsimonious set of explanations involve people intentionally (and perhaps unintentionally) deceiving others, people being fooled by their minds (we all are at some point/level), memories corrupted by bias and expectation, etc.

Eye witnesses are nearly always the "evidence" for ghosts and the supernatural. Eye witness testimony is the worst kind and is always subject to many, many human fallibilities.


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Old 04-14-2009, 07:33 PM   #3
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Well, I remember Tommycat posting not too long ago about a 'ghost' experience he had that he couldn't come up with a rational explanation for. The whole 'I had scratches down my back thing' he talked about.

Well, it can't be confirmed. I can't tell if he was lying or not. It's things like that that make me wonder.

For the time being, beyond saying: 'it can't be confirmed by evidence', I consider, if it really did happen, that it wasn't a 'ghost' of any sort.

My hypothetical explanations are pretty pseudoscientific when I consider if such claims really might have happened. That is the problem.

IE:

-"Objects moving seemingly by an outside force? It could be just a fluctuation in Earth's magnetic field that somehow effects gravity."

-"Something looks like a humanoid ghost? Oh it could be some sort of shadow reflecting and refracting off of surfaces in such a way that it looks like a humanoid blob in the air, or its a coincidence of some gases condensing together in one area."

-"Noises? Speaking? Oh it's probably the wind, or some sort of transfer of gases though an area that creates a sound that is erratic enough to seem like coherent speech."

-"Someone got scratched or injured by something seemingly ghost-like? it could be some sort of spacial anomaly."

The problem is, it's impossible to be consistent, and pseudoscience isn't science. The idea that there could be something weird out there that other people experience that I have not makes me wonder all the same.

In summary, I tend to like to have a solid explanation for every seemingly peculiar thing I learn about.


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Old 04-14-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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I would be careful trying to make sense of the extraordinary claims made by others (especially if circumstances prevent you from being able to view the evidence for yourself, or if the "evidence" is mostly comprised of subjective experiences).

The human mind is a fickle thing and we often interpret signals to be one thing when they are actually something else. Each of us probably remembers a time when we were children that odd shape partially obscured by an odd shadow in a poorly lit room was most certainly, without a doubt, some "monster" that could only be there to do us harm.

Grieve, stress, sleeping disorders, etc can all cause us to "see" things that aren't there. The desire to believe something to be true can also cause us to cloud our better judgment.

My dad tells stories of seeing the ghost of my dead grandfather watching over my crib when I was a baby. My dad is a very intelligent man that I have a great deal of respect for, however even that isn't enough to cause me to accept this story. I imagine that my father's grief over his father's death, combined with his apprehension over being a new father and his deplorable sleeping habits () could have contributed to him seeing things that may not have been there.

Or maybe ghosts are real and the story is completely legitimate. However without empirical evidence, there is no good reason to accept that it is. Especially if we have perfectly reasonable explanations that cannot be ruled out

I hope that helps.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:12 PM   #5
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If ghosts and whatnot are real, then how are they paranormal/supernatural any longer?


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Old 04-15-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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My experience is not unique among people who have visited the basement of the Pikes Peak Community Center(Colorado Springs, CO). Though the question is now that you've heard the story will it change your perception of the situation should you yourself go there.

I think it's still possible that I was part of some elaborate hoax. Possibly people trying to scare the skeptic. So should you not believe, there is still a rational explanation. Humans can't see in the dark. Our mind tends to create things when we are plunged into complete darkness.


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Old 04-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #7
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When I was like, 12 I was on a cruise ship sleeping in my cabin. It was like, midnight and I burst awake to see a transparent like, 17 year old with a red ball cap looking down at me. He said "hi", and then zoomed out of the room and floated right through the door.

It was cool, but it was a hallucination in the end I was actually still dreaming at the time. Either way, I can see how some people could let an event like that have them believe in he paranormal. It just didn't turn me.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:35 AM   #8
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If ghosts and whatnot are real, then how are they paranormal/supernatural any longer?
They aren't.

My apologies if the question was rhetorical.
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Old 04-16-2009, 01:20 AM   #9
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Our mind tends to create things when we are plunged into complete darkness.
This is hereby declared an epic quote. It is a stroke of brilliance. Aside from how it was intended in the post, when you consider it closely, it has great philosophical meaning.


---------------

As for ghosts, I wonder, how long the idea of such entities been around? From where might it have spawned forth? Ancient mythology?

Perhaps such things really do exist. but our understanding of them is so limited that I'd say that the very notion of calling whatever it is 'ghost' is very hasty leap to a conclusion.

Hypothetically, let us say there is something colorful and textured that looks like a rock, but not much is known of it from study of it, and that there are tons of these rocks only found on one place on Earth, in a small lake, surrounded by algae that seem attracted to the rocks. Attempts to crack it open prove futile and whatnot and research doesn't reveal anything. Then, half a century later, technology advances enough to allow the discovery that this colorful thing is in fact a form of life, that they are colonies of archaebacteria that form an incredibly tough, colorful lump that only seems to be like a rock, that are symbiotic with a certain type of algae.

In summary, I think that this sort of situation, as suggested above, is what is going on with what some people may classify as 'ghosts'.


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Old 04-16-2009, 01:57 AM   #10
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I would be careful trying to make sense of the extraordinary claims made by others (especially if circumstances prevent you from being able to view the evidence for yourself, or if the "evidence" is mostly comprised of subjective experiences).

The human mind is a fickle thing and we often interpret signals to be one thing when they are actually something else. Each of us probably remembers a time when we were children that odd shape partially obscured by an odd shadow in a poorly lit room was most certainly, without a doubt, some "monster" that could only be there to do us harm.

Grieve, stress, sleeping disorders, etc can all cause us to "see" things that aren't there. The desire to believe something to be true can also cause us to cloud our better judgment.

My dad tells stories of seeing the ghost of my dead grandfather watching over my crib when I was a baby. My dad is a very intelligent man that I have a great deal of respect for, however even that isn't enough to cause me to accept this story. I imagine that my father's grief over his father's death, combined with his apprehension over being a new father and his deplorable sleeping habits () could have contributed to him seeing things that may not have been there.

Or maybe ghosts are real and the story is completely legitimate. However without empirical evidence, there is no good reason to accept that it is. Especially if we have perfectly reasonable explanations that cannot be ruled out

I hope that helps.
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Old 04-16-2009, 02:05 AM   #11
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The idea of ghosts predates writen languages.

Your assessment of the majority of "ghost" claims is very likely. Having lived in Colorado Springs for some time, I was told of many locations where there were supposed ghosts. Most of them I checked out the answer to the "ghost" was something very simple. Fireflys in mist. wind, and in one case at least, near toxic levels of CO2. I used to go on ghost hunts. Not once in my time looking for ghosts did I find one. Every place that claimed they had a ghost turned out to be something very easily explained.

But there are handfulls of them that are unexplainable. Some houses that have more than the normal settling noises. Were they ghosts? I couldn't say. I do know that some defied my own ability to state exactly what they were. The noises of footfalls. the slapping sound of feet on concrete. While I didn't hear the wind, the footfalls could have been something blowing in the wind hitting the house in just the right acoustical spot to make it sound like echoing footfalls. Perhaps there was water splashing on the concrete that I didn't see.

On a side note: Don't trust anyone's stories about ghosts. Even mine, because you can't be sure that I'm being honest. I know I'm being honest, but you should never just take something like that as anything more than a reason to check it out yourself. Go out and find your own ghosts. Or debunk the ghost stories you come across. Besides, it's a great excuse to go and see strange parts of the country haha.

Incidentally since my experiences, I've had nothing but back problems.


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Old 04-16-2009, 04:32 AM   #12
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Uhh, I've had out of body experiences. They are like dreams but in real time. Except I'm not sure if this falls under paranormal or just some kind of metaphysical projection probably documented in numerous places but only one of those sort of things you can see or feel if you test/do for yourself. I just remember I cannot wake until I have concentrated on where I physically am and I have to pay a concerted effort to it, as well as adjust my own brain activity. No ghosts. No drugs or alchohol.

When I awaken, I notice I was in a cold sweat for the time and feel really stiff, though. It is Recurring, but irregular.

However, unless you have some kind of equipment that can measure this stuff...I'm afraid there is nothing I could contribute scientifically, though I'd be fascinated to find out what is really going on. Maybe have an ultra sensitive field ion detector or infrared camera monitor me. Again, happens unpredictably.


For ghosts: I think one time, though, I did somehow see that a pet rat of mine was "Alive" in a dream. Even if I knew he was dead in real life and that fact had not escaped me. Which made it wierd. I'm being completely honest. This would contradict what people and religion have said about souls being relegated to just humans. Well, unless you talk to some native American shamans. However, that falls under spiritual and not so much religious. Has no set rules. Just ackowledges possiblity and emphasizes mutual respect for your surroundings. Unfortunately, I cannot be sure what I saw. More questions than answers. Maybe just another dream.

Dreams...I don't have them often, either. Whatever.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:42 AM   #13
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Uhh, I've had out of body experiences. They are like dreams but in real time. Except I'm not sure if this falls under paranormal or just some kind of metaphysical projection probably documented in numerous places but only one of those sort of things you can see or feel if you test/do for yourself. I just remember I cannot wake until I have concentrated on where I physically am and I have to pay a concerted effort to it, as well as adjust my own brain activity. No ghosts. No drugs or alchohol.

When I awaken, I notice I was in a cold sweat for the time and feel really stiff, though. It is Recurring, but irregular.

However, unless you have some kind of equipment that can measure this stuff...I'm afraid there is nothing I could contribute scientifically, though I'd be fascinated to find out what is really going on. Maybe have an ultra sensitive field ion detector or infrared camera monitor me. Again, happens unpredictably.
Actually, I believe that is called a lucid dream and they are scientifically documented.
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:47 AM   #14
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Really now? Where would I look it up besides Wiki?
Is it under paranormal for this discussion?

...Or have I just been punched in the head one too many times?
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:48 AM   #15
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I'll have to see if I can find it again, but I remember hearing about some researchers who were able to induce "out of body" experiences in test subjects. Meaning that the phenomenon has a natural explanation and isn't "paranormal".

EDIT: Found it!

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Really now? Where would I look it up besides Wiki?
The wiki is well sourced. Try starting with some of those.

Off-topic: Stephen LaBerge is one zany scientist. I'm sure his work is great, but his ideas are definitely...inspired.

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:20 AM   #16
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I myself have had some Lucid dreams, and my dad has them very frequently. They are fun when they happen.

Last one I had I could spark fire on my hand, and in another I could web sling like spider man. It was disappointing to wake up in the morning and find it was all just a dream I was controlling.

From what I've seen, its a dream in which you realize you are in a dream and consciously take it over. Sometimes you don't know that you've taken it over, and other times its this sudden "oh, I'm in a dream. cool". My dads favorite thing to do when he falls into them is fly.

The thing Achilles linked is a pair of goggles that flickers light into your eyes. After enough training with it, your sleeping eyes can see the light through your eyelids and make you aware that you are now asleep. After that realization takes place, you are now in a Lucid dream. They are far more vivid and easy to remember than the random dreams that occur during sleep, and are attributed to many claims of out-of-body experiences.

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Old 04-16-2009, 05:29 AM   #17
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Ah. OK, thanks.

.........

Well, it does look to inspire some serious thought on 'mind control'. I have read on this in meditation and in martial arts.

I do know of one instance where one can experiment at home with an easily understandable and buildable device. A 'mind synchronizing generator'. However such discussion would be beyond the scope of this thread. I suppose it might be fodder for another.

Hmm. As far as this thread I guess I'll have to think over more ghost or strange phenomenon.

For now: Most my dreams are jumble or incredibly close to real life, just different. Not unlike what Nikola Tesla recorded in his journals.

I do have my earliest memories: those of a rather oddly built, tall large house. And a spiraling staircase. I might be able to flesh it out if I had some kind of modeling or CAD program. I'm pretty sure I haven't actually been there, though. Don't know if the place actually exists in real life, or ever did.

What of it? Beats the hell out of me.....

EDIT: Since Avery made the post just before I did, I'll respond here and say that this device I speak of is actually very similar.

What it comprises of (my version anyway) is an electrical circuit, no special parts. Based on 3 "555 timers" and other common components. All available at radio shack in the component drawers. (I *would* know that. )

I'm sure the design could be scaled up but yes it does comprise of "goggles" and earphones. Visual and audio.

The associated Data is relating to brain waves and points to the 25 years of research or Dr. Alex Bruck of Berlin Germany. Such info I am referring to is found in:

MORE electronic gadgets for the EVIL GENIUS: 40 new build it yourself projects, Ch 29, p.p. 223-230. By Robert E Iannini, 2006. McGraw Hill publishing.

Additional info (more like products, w/ a forum) can be found at Iannini's website "Information Unlimited". Yes I have bought and built some of their neat stuff. Talk to me if you do consider buying any of it, though.


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Old 04-16-2009, 07:35 AM   #18
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I've tried to have lucid dreams in the past, but I've never been able to pull it off. Of course, I'm one of those people who very infrequently remembers their dreams anymore, so...

It's actually quite depressing. I used to remember like every single dream when I was a kid, and now, I remember maybe 1/month.

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Old 04-16-2009, 08:23 AM   #19
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It must be all the pie.
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Old 04-16-2009, 08:55 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
When I was like, 12 I was on a cruise ship sleeping in my cabin. It was like, midnight and I burst awake to see a transparent like, 17 year old with a red ball cap looking down at me. He said "hi", and then zoomed out of the room and floated right through the door.

It was cool, but it was a hallucination in the end I was actually still dreaming at the time. Either way, I can see how some people could let an event like that have them believe in he paranormal. It just didn't turn me.
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Originally Posted by True_Avery View Post
I myself have had some Lucid dreams, and my dad has them very frequently. They are fun when they happen.

Last one I had I could spark fire on my hand, and in another I could web sling like spider man. It was disappointing to wake up in the morning and find it was all just a dream I was controlling.

From what I've seen, its a dream in which you realize you are in a dream and consciously take it over. Sometimes you don't know that you've taken it over, and other times its this sudden "oh, I'm in a dream. cool". My dads favorite thing to do when he falls into them is fly.

The thing Achilles linked is a pair of goggles that flickers light into your eyes. After enough training with it, your sleeping eyes can see the light through your eyelids and make you aware that you are now asleep. After that realization takes place, you are now in a Lucid dream. They are far more vivid and easy to remember than the random dreams that occur during sleep, and are attributed to many claims of out-of-body experiences.
420 smoke weed everyday avery



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Old 04-16-2009, 12:14 PM   #21
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420 smoke weed everyday avery
aww, but that's cheating.
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Old 04-16-2009, 12:43 PM   #22
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That, and it doesn't work, unless you count your time awake as one big lucid dream.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:43 AM   #23
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Oh gawd. >_<

You people.


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Old 04-17-2009, 06:30 PM   #24
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That, and it doesn't work, unless you count your time awake as one big lucid dream.
you can't prove that it's not



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Old 04-17-2009, 06:35 PM   #25
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But you can exercise total control over lucid dreams. You can't do that IRL. The 10+ years that I wasted being high 24/7 proved that much to me.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:04 PM   #26
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shut up figment



"No, Mama. You can bet your sweet ass and half a titty whoever put that hit on you already got the cops in their back pocket." ~Black Dynamite
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Old 04-17-2009, 07:15 PM   #27
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"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker
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