Is there a spirit world?

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geometer said:
From Overdose:

" Really nothing that unuseall if you realise that they just exist in a higher dimension."


I think you missed an important point. By assumption 2, any event in the universe, including the 4 dimensions we experience directly, must be able to be traced back to one of the physical laws that govern the operation of the Universe. How do these "higher dimensional" beings accomplish this?
I have to admit i dont really understand your question, how do the 'higher dimensional' beings accomplish what? I cant work out what your asking me.
:smile:

By the way, we perceive/exist in the 4th dimension (time) too.
I know i tried to be careful with my wording to illustrate that fact, we exist in the 4th dimension absolutely but of course we only percieve it in a very limited fashion.


And finally, can anyone give an example of something that exists in only one dimension? Everything that I can think of exists in at least two dimensions, time and at least one spatial dimension. And, if you really want to get technical, I'm not sure anything can exist in less than 4 dimensions. Even the "one-dimensional" line you draw on a piece of paper has some thickness.

I never suggested that these spirtis ONLY exist in these higher dimensions, people frequently see ghosts, spirts, mothmen etc..
However it may well be that other beings beings exist in the very higher dimensions that cannot be seen atall by humans, since, as i understand it they would be occuping miniscule densley folded space. So yes they would be occuping the lower dimensions as well but to ours eyes they may as well not be.
 
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geometer said:
You know, it never fails. As soon as I offer some explanation of something, I think of a better way to say it. So, my apologies for repeating myself somewhat, but here's a slightly different, and better I think, version of my previous post

By assumption 2, any event in the Universe, including the 4 dimensions we experience directly must SATISFY all the physical laws that govern the operation of the Universe. For example, if something's state of motion changes in this Universe, by Newton's 2nd Law, a force must have been applied, and again by Newton's 2nd Law, you can't apply a force without having some mass. So, how do these higher dimensional beings accomplish this?
Ive no idea, its not as if ive developed any kind of theory on this, i just heard a scientist come up with an explaination for spirts/ghosts, and from the experiences ive had and the experineces of others its been the 'best fit' so far. Its the only explaination which has has consistantly made sense to me going from case to case.
 
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geometer said:
2. What is the physics by which we see spirits/ghosts?
The physics for the bulk of apparitions is to be found in the physics that underly the operation of the human brain. Normally, the brain recieves its imput signals from external sources and "decodes" them for us as the reality we percieve. Under strange circumstances the brain will accept signals that are from within itself, not externally generated, and erroneously "decode" them as external signals. These are mis-presented as external reality, and very vividly, too.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Of course this assumes that there are no real ghosts.
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
Of course this assumes that there are no real ghosts.
Pay attention to the fine print: I say "the bulk of apparitions". I always like to leave myself wiggle room incase it turns out I'm not omniscient. :-)
 

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Sorry, I skimmed right over that. Just keeping you honest :biggrin:
 
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From Zoobyshoe:

"The physics for the bulk of apparitions is to be found in the physics that underly the operation of the human brain. .....Under strange circumstances the brain will accept signals that are from within itself, not externally generated, and erroneously "decode" them as external signals. These are mis-presented as external reality, and very vividly, too."

I agree Zoobyshoe. I suspect that the bulk of "sightings" are just exactly this. Other than this explanation, I have been unable to come up with any acceptable answers to my questions myself or to have anyone else give me any acceptable answers.

Further, postulating the existence of beings composed of energy indicates a serious misunderstanding of the nature of energy (I'll admit, this misunderstanding could be mine!) Energy is not a THING, it's a CONCEPT. It's always associated with a particular system and does not have an independant existence. Further, a system can possess or not possess energy simply by changing the definition of the system. A classic example would be an object on a table. The object possesses energy with respect to the floor (gravitational potential energy), but has no energy with respect to the table.
 

loseyourname

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You know, I have to completely honest here. I'm not going to make any assumptions one way or the other. I've never experienced anything remotely paranormal. A good deal of ghost claims are very obviously bunk or can be explained away. On the other hand, I have seen some cases that seemed very well thought out, that genuinely could not been explained. I really hope that these turn out to be true, and that there does exist a great deal of reality that we have never had the means to detect.

I don't hope this is the case so that I can survive my physical death, but rather for the value of discovery. Imagine what a great discovery it would be. I think any scientific-minded person of curiosity should be enthralled at the thought of there being entirely new facets to existence that we have never even begun to explore. A whole new frontier, so to speak.
 
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geometer said:
Further, postulating the existence of beings composed of energy indicates a serious misunderstanding of the nature of energy...
People who believe these kinds of thing are generally totally untroubled by physics. The energy is "spiritual" energy, and wouldn't be subject to the laws of physics in their minds. I believe the ill-defined term "metaphysics" is sometimes used as a catch all for all this, and would be invoked to explain how a non-physical being might sometimes interact with matter and sometimes not.
 
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zoobyshoe said:
People who believe these kinds of thing are generally totally untroubled by physics. The energy is "spiritual" energy, and wouldn't be subject to the laws of physics in their minds.
Again, I agree zoobyshoe, I have heard the "spiritual energy" argument myself.

I have two comments in this regard. First, in the context of this discussion this is a circular argument. Since we are questioning whether the spirit world exists, we can't postulate the existence of "spiritual energy" until that question is settled. Second, again by my second basic assumption even if spiritual energy exists in the Universe, it must be subject to all the laws of the Universe.
 

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geometer said:
Further, postulating the existence of beings composed of energy indicates a serious misunderstanding of the nature of energy (I'll admit, this misunderstanding could be mine!) Energy is not a THING, it's a CONCEPT. It's always associated with a particular system and does not have an independant existence. Further, a system can possess or not possess energy simply by changing the definition of the system. A classic example would be an object on a table. The object possesses energy with respect to the floor (gravitational potential energy), but has no energy with respect to the table.
So you are demanding a ghost particle? The ghosticle? :biggrin: Really though your point is completely valid.

1. How does the existence of spirits square with the Laws of Thermodynamics?

2. What is the physics by which we see spirits/ghosts?

3. What is the physics behind their (the spirits) interactions with the material world? How do they satisfy Newton's Laws?

Clearly, if they even exist no one knows these answers; less one's that assume omnipotence in a creator that makes all things possible. But I don't think we can get into omnipotence in a very scientific way, less perhaps by example from Michio Kaku and others by using the idea of Type IV Beings. So, first and foremost, we might consider the scientific equivalent notion of a god as a T4 Being. This was also the model for Star Trek's Q. Are you familiar with any of this? Do you care to tell me the rules? Where do you start? Hasn't this question of a omnipotentence been a problem for theologians for thousands of years?

No matter what we argue we can only guess. If we had a complete TOE we might feel a bit of confidence to proceed, but given that we can always point to unanswered issues like the possibility of parallel universes for example, we always have wiggle room, as Zooby says. If I say that ghosts come from a parallel universe, prove me wrong. :biggrin: Where do we go from here? Obviously I can't prove such a thing.

Next, if we assume some sort of dimensional argument then we are immediately in trouble because we don't know what we mean. The "metaphysicists" talk of higher planes of energy, and higher vibration frequencies of existence, for example, which clearly I can't know what the heck they mean. It sounds like nonsense to me. Then it hits me, all of this time they have been talking about the vibrations of strings. :biggrin:
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
Clearly, if they even exist no one knows these answers; less one's that assume omnipotence in a creator that makes all things possible. But I don't think we can get into omnipotence in a very scientific way, less perhaps by example from Michio Kaku and others by using the idea of Type IV Beings. So, first and foremost, we might consider the scientific equivalent notion of a god as a T4 Being. This was also the model for Star Trek's Q. Are you familiar with any of this? Do you care to tell me the rules? Where do you start? Hasn't this question of a omnipotentence been a problem for theologians for thousands of years? [/QUOTE}

You don't need to have the detailed answers right off the bat. The first thing to do is to look at the big picture. Is the existence of spirits even consistent with physical law. If the answer is yes, then apply for a grant and start looking for the detailed answers. However, I find nothing but inconsistency when I consider this issue.
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
No matter what we argue we can only guess. If we had a complete TOE we might feel a bit of confidence to proceed, but given that we can always point to unanswered issues like the possibility of parallel universes for example, we always have wiggle room, as Zooby says. If I say that ghosts come from a parallel universe, prove me wrong. :biggrin: Where do we go from here? Obviously I can't prove such a thing.
Here's my proof: See Assumption 1. Granting that, no parallel universes exist.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I don't need a theory in order for them to exist.

Is the existence of spirits even consistent with physical law. If the answer is yes, then apply for a grant and start looking for the detailed answers. However, I find nothing but inconsistency when I consider this issue.
Then you assume too much. Sure, we can't explain this stuff, in fact we don't even know where to begin. We can't even prove that ghosts exist. This doesn't mean that they don't. Many people believe that they know otherwise. Prove they are all lying. If you can do this then you should go and get a grant and save us all from this nonsense.

Edit: In fact this brings up an interesting point. The means to do this may soon be within reach. Lie detection is a rapidly advancing field, according to some recent reports in the tech news.
 
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Ivan Seeking

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geometer said:
Here's my proof: See Assumption 1.
An assumption is not a proof. You have things a little mixed up. :wink:
 
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Is is pretty clear to me that neurology provides more than ample evidence to conclude that the entire concept of spirits, afterlife, magical beings etc. originally arose from neurological malfunctions (including drug-induced ones) which, up to the 20th century, were not able to be conclusively linked to pathology, and therefore, gained an enormous head of steam: millenia of being taken as "real". The momentum these ideas have gained is tremendous. For millenia parents have taught their culture's version of the spirit world to their children. It is extremely difficult to completely deracinate beliefs we aquire as children. They are always there, lurking beneath the adult overlay.

I think this is as far as anyone looking for a scientific explanation need go. The notion of inviting believers to explain their beliefs interms of physics is to invite alot of very unclear thinkers into physics, which I don't find to be a desirable prospect.
 

Ivan Seeking

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Only if we assume that a large percentage of people are lying. Too many cases leave no doubt: Either the witnesses are lying or not. Where is the evidence that they are all lying? The burden of proof lies with you.
 

Ivan Seeking

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The answer is that you can't prove that anyone who reports something that you don't like is lying. There is not ample evidence to suggest any conclusions. If there is then present your evidence.
 
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I'm not sure who or what you are adressing, Ivan, in your last two posts.
 

Ivan Seeking

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I was addressing your last post.

Is is pretty clear to me that neurology provides more than ample evidence to conclude that the entire concept of spirits, afterlife, magical beings etc. originally arose from neurological malfunctions...
 

Ivan Seeking

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I actually find your comments outrageous.

Edit: Okay, maybe I should tone that down a bit, but we are hardly in any position to declare God dead based on science. To say that all spiritual experiences can be attibuted to physiology is going way, way too far. This is more like the wishful thinking of guys like Persinger and others, at best.
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
Only if we assume that a large percentage of people are lying. Too many cases leave no doubt: Either the witnesses are lying or not. Where is the evidence that they are all lying? The burden of proof lies with you.
I don't think any of them are lying. In general, I automatically assume that people now and in the past who report this kind of thing are telling the truth as they experienced it.
 
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Ivan Seeking said:
The answer is that you can't prove that anyone who reports something that you don't like is lying. There is not ample evidence to suggest any conclusions. If there is then present your evidence.
You mistook me as saying something I didn't say. In answer to geometer's quest for a scientific explanation for the spirit world, I am saying, if you're interested in a scientific explanation look to neurology.

What I meant about inviting mystical types to defend their beliefs in terms of physics was "Don't bother, because what you'll get are people speculating about the existence of quantum ghost particles and Human Telepathic Field Wave Energy which is unrelated to any energy, or field known to science, and so forth."
 

Ivan Seeking

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Like I said, this ignores too many examples where, for example, multiple witnesses are involved along with observed physical phenomenon.
 

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zoobyshoe said:
You mistook me as saying something I didn't say. In answer to geometer's quest for a scientific explanation for the spirit world, I am saying, if you're interested in a scientific explanation look to neurology.
Whewww! You scared the Jesus out of me there, :biggrin: but I see where you are going. I still don't agree entirely but I can see your point. I have always believed that we may find "physical" explanations for "genuine mystical" phenomenon, but this is certainly a personal bias. Still, based on some of the most extreme ideas from physics we are starting to see some potential cracks in the lining to explain some claimed phenomenon.

What I meant about inviting mystical types to defend their beliefs in terms of physics was "Don't bother, because what you'll get are people speculating about the existence of quantum ghost particles and Human Telepathic Field Wave Energy which is unrelated to any energy, or field known to science, and so forth."
I understand. This is most frustrating in that by many belief systems, people make all sorts of silly statements that are indefensible by any scientific standard. I do try to keep an open mind that people may recognize some essential truth even if they can't explain it in sensible terms.
 

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