True story of ghost experience

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  • #101
DaveC426913
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What you're saying is "The plural of anecdote is not data."
I like this. Yes.

I'm talking about something else entirely, the notion of disparate disciplines, say, sociology, physics, and art all overlapping in their view of something. I can't even think of a good example of this. That leads me to suppose if there were a good example it would be a significant indicator of authentic insight.
But isn't it the same thing? If art, song and anecdote all talk about dragons consistently, does that make them any more real? The disciplines feed and nourish each other.

(OK, bad example. I should work a science in there.)
 
  • #102
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Thank you for pointing the direction to further reading. I've ordered Phantoms In The Brain and look forward to it.
You will love it. It's a compelling, fascinating page-turner.
Zooby recommended me this over a year ago. I ordered it ASAP, and it turned out to be one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. This book is truly a gem on the nature of consciousness. And it's not based on some philosophy, but on real experimental data, and good observations.
 
  • #103
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But isn't it the same thing? If art, song and anecdote all talk about dragons consistently, does that make them any more real? The disciplines feed and nourish each other.

(OK, bad example. I should work a science in there.)
No, we're talking about concepts, not alleged phenomenon or entities. Let's take "tendency toward religious thought". Psychology offers a certain range of explanations for this, neurology offers a different range with a completely different center point, and sociology offers a third, also differently centered, range of explanations.

If all three disparate disciplines were found to agree on some point (a totally hypothetical suggestion, I can't actually think of a real example), then it would strongly suggest some authentic insight has been arrived at. (Meaning, merely, I would be sure to highlight it and look at it some more.)
 
  • #104
DaveC426913
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No, we're talking about concepts, not alleged phenomenon or entities. Let's take "tendency toward religious thought". Psychology offers a certain range of explanations for this, neurology offers a different range with a completely different center point, and sociology offers a third, also differently centered, range of explanations.

If all three disparate disciplines were found to agree on some point (a totally hypothetical suggestion, I can't actually think of a real example), then it would strongly suggest some authentic insight has been arrived at. (Meaning, merely, I would be sure to highlight it and look at it some more.)
Ah.[10 char]
 
  • #105
Ivan Seeking
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The definition of ghosts is along the lines of "a disembodied soul, the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness" (Webster). Hence, if somebody claims they've seen a ghost, how could one not presume they imply a soul of a dead person?
Why would one assume that they did, less pop interpretations of what they saw. The fact is that the label of "ghost" is applied to all sorts of claims that in no way imply anything about a soul. If you claim to have seen [and interacted with] a deceased relative, that's one thing, but that is actually a pretty rare claim. Most people report objects that move inexplicably, tactile experiences of various sorts, inexplicable temperature changes, and so on. How do any of these claims suggest that there was a soul involved? It is in fact crackpot logic to assign explanations when we can't even verify a claim.

Or are you suggesting that the only possible explanation for potentially unexplained phenomena, are ghosts, which you also argue do not exist? How is this not crackpot? Or are you arguing that there can be no unexplained phenomena; that we have absolute knowledge? If so, then why not just say that: We know everything and any reports contradicting this view are by definition, false.

In case of UFOs, the definition is understood by many to mean its reverse, that is it's an identified flying object from either an alien civilization or a super-secret military aircraft from area 51. Hence among the UFO crackpots, I don't trust them in their definition of the word, and am forced to inquire them in which definition they believe in.
It is true that some people mean ET when they say UFO, but many reports are simply reports of unidentified objects or phenomena. That is a fact. You can convolute the facts all that you want, but many of the most impressive reports actually come from military documents. I have never read one document that claimed the UFO belonged to ET. And I've read perhaps thousands of them [at least a couple thousand of pages of them]. Some reports are striking - they describe what was seen and what happened. Was RADAR contact established? If so, by how many stations or aircrafts? Was there visual confirmation by multiple witnesses? That is the sort of information that comprises a real report. Anecdotes that come with no supporting information are pretty useless. And btw, these reports come directly from government archives - NSA, CIA, FBI, DOD, etc. See the UFO napster for the .gov or .mil links.

There are plenty of interesting reports from commercial pilots as well. Does this prove ET is here? Of course not. Does it mean that all UFO reports come from idiots with overactive imaginations? Of course not. It is a simple matter of recognizing the facts for what they are. There are seemingly credible reports that we just don't know how to explain. Is that really so hard to accept? If so, then I suggest [generally speaking] that more of Zooby's psychology books might be in order. I would imagine it is a control issue.

Anecdotal evidence is probably the least credible evidence there is.
Did anyone argue otherwise?

Until one recognizes all the flaws of our own perception, there is no way to give an accurate account. So if there are really ETs flying around our planet, let them be discovered by scientific instruments, and not by sporadic accounts of UFOs, or cell phone cam quality videos.
You are still missing the point. YOU are the one invoking the demand for ET. While there are plenty of UFO crackpots out there, there are plenty of physics crackpots as well. Surely you aren't arguing [by inference] that since some physics devotees are crackpot, they all are? While you can point to as many crackpots as you like, that doesn't speak to the evidence; namely, official reports of military encounters with something we don't recognize. Could any of these encounters be with actual ET crafts? I have no idea. But to deny the reports themselves as the fantasies of gullible people is ludicrous.

How much time have you spent reading reports? Do you have any real basis for an opinion?

I don't extend to parallel claims by inductive reasoning, rather than point out a general observation, and that is an innate bias generated by our own minds which craves anthropomorphization. Giving something unexplained human characteristics is a crucial jig-saw puzzle piece of explaining why do we interpret the world the way we do.
Whatever your point here, I don't see what it has to do with the discussion. What I am saying is that much of the debunking is done by people who haven't a clue - they are ignorant of the facts and talking nonsense. If one [debunkers] wants to address the facts, fine, but don't make them up just to support the desired conclusion.

You, in fact, seemingly want to make this about ET instead of UFOs. Why? In many cases, at least, it seems that by invoking the name of ET, one can demand "extraordinary evidence" - which is really a demand for proof, not just evidence - instead of confronting the seemingly inexplicable, well-supported reports that exist. It is an avoidance tactic.
 
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  • #106
Ivan Seeking
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Zooby, is that your position: There are no genuine mysteries [no real experiences with unexplained phenomena] - all experiences can be explained, in principle, through psychology, or in prosaic terms through known science? Anyone claiming experiences that seemingly violate this premise is deluding themself?

That is a yes or no [or "I don't know"] question. Please make your position clear before elaborating.
 
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  • #107
Ivan Seeking
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While we're at it, how about a specific definition of "extraordinary evidence". When you think about it, the term itself is a bit of a cheat. What we really mean is proof, right? Then why not just say that?

If you disagree, then please give an example of "extraordinary evidence" for ET or ghosts, that would be sufficient for the scientific community to consider, that would not be "proof" by any practical measure.
 
  • #108
Ivan Seeking
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As for claims of apparitions and strange forms of various types: Even if we assume for a moment that people do see inexplicable vapors, balls of light, fuzzy dark forms, or "apparitions" of deceased relatives, kings, villains, or persons who previously occupied a particular dwelling, would we automatically assume this is evidence for souls?

Who here is defending that argument - any credible "ghost" claims are in fact encounters with the souls of the dead? Why would we use this as the standard to evaluate a claim?
 
  • #109
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waht said:
The definition of ghosts is along the lines of "a disembodied soul, the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness" (Webster)
Ivan Seeking said:
Why would one assume that they did, less pop interpretations of what they saw. The fact is that the label of "ghost" is applied to all sorts of claims that in no way imply anything about a soul. If you claim to have seen a deceased relative, that's one thing, but that is actually a pretty rare claim. Most people report objects that move inexplicably, tactile experiences of various sorts, inexplicable temperature changes, and so on. How do any of these claims suggest that there was a soul involved?
The definition of "ghost" is precisely defined. Ghosts are spirits of dead people. Ghosts are a subset of the supernatural realm. When one speaks of ghosts one speaks of the supernatural. If a subject experienced a sequence of events that is unable to explain, then to that subject it remains unexplained. But if the subject witnessed an actual event which fits the definition of a ghost, then word "ghost" is appropriate to use. I agree with you that sometimes the word is carelessly applied when there is no soul or such. It's easily abused to quickly provide an explanation of the unexplained. The unexplained just means that one doesn't have enough information to reconstruct a logical sequence of events which took place. But that doesn't mean we should deviate from the original definition.

Having said that can you give your definition on ghosts?I'm perfectly happy to reevaluate my stance if somebody gives a credible definition that is different than one I said.

It is in fact crackpot logic to assign explanations when we can't even verify a claim.
As far as I'm aware, the guidelines of Skepticism and Debunking allows users to discuss explanations provided we don't stray too much.

Claims that can't be reproduced leave you with three possibles. One (1) is that the statement was really true then go from there. Two (2), the statement is a lie and there is a psychological reason why someone would lie. And three (3), a transient event with a low probability of occurring was observed. But low probability can only be tackled with sufficient time if there aren't any links to investigate.

I tackled point one (1) in my previous posts. That is if the subject claims to have seen a ghost, I assume it's the truth. Then it's my obligation, as well that of the subject to abide by the definition of ghost. In that case, ghosts are spirits, and part of the supernatural realm.

Furthermore, I make another assumption. That is I declare that ghosts don't exists. I'm perfectly content to say with 100% certainty that ghosts don't exist. The ghost hypothesis is completely irrelevant to me. Why? Because after factoring my understanding of cosmology, Darwin's evolution, physics, psychology, sociology, economy, and game theory it suffices to conclude that ghosts don't exists. But that conclusion warrants another thread discussion. So for the moment, assume that I assume ghosts don't exist and go from there.

But then how do we explain that people experience them? Without a doubt people do experience strange things. Therefore the only remaining subject capable of explaining is psychology, at least as far I'm aware of. Keep in my mind I'm referring to point one (1).

It is true that some people mean ET when they say UFO, but many reports are simply reports of unidentified objects or phenomena. That is a fact. You can convolute the facts all that you want, but many of the most impressive reports actually come from military documents. I have never read one document that claimed the UFO belonged to ET. And I've read perhaps thousands of them [at least a couple thousand of pages of them]. Some reports are striking - they describe what was seen and what happened. Was RADAR contact established? If so, by how many stations or aircrafts? Was there visual confirmation by multiple witnesses? That is the sort of information that comprises a real report. Anecdotes that come with no supporting information are pretty useless. And btw, these reports come directly from government archives - NSA, CIA, FBI, DOD, etc. See the UFO napster for the .gov or .mil links.
I'm well aware of well documented UFO reports. Those actually stick with the guidelines of original definition of a UFO - that in a unidentified flying object without a definite conclusion of what it is. I'm perfectly content with that, and I'm sure many people find it fascinating, and you for that matter. But they are still unidentified flying objects. What I was referring to is a pop culture phenomena, that equates UFO with aliens and as a result deviates from the original definition, where it conjures up images of alien flying sources instead of settling with a UFO definition.

But why I was referring to this? I will explain further down.

There are plenty of interesting reports from commercial pilots as well. Does this prove ET is here? Of course not. Does it mean that all UFO reports come from idiots with overactive imaginations? Of course not. It is a simple matter of recognizing the facts for what they are. There are seemingly credible reports that we just don't know how to explain. Is that really so hard to accept?
It is easy to accept. This was my stance on the matter before you misinterpreted my posts. This was my stance since I was 16 years old.

If so, then I suggest [generally speaking] that more of Zooby's psychology books might be in order. I would imagine it is a control issue.
Always a good advice.

Did anyone argue otherwise?
Does there need to be an argument?

You are still missing the point. YOU are the one invoking the demand for ET. While there are plenty of UFO crackpots out there, there are plenty of physics crackpots as well. Surely you aren't arguing [by inference] that since some physics devotees are crackpot, they all are? While you can point to as many crackpots as you like, that doesn't speak to the evidence; namely, official reports of military encounters with something we don't recognize. Could any of these encounters be with actual ET crafts? I have no idea. But to deny the reports themselves as the fantasies of gullible people is ludicrous.
Once again the demand is for pop culture UFO anthropomorphization. I was referring to people who deviate from the UFO definition and map human characteristics to an unexplained phenomena which I believe this is significant psychological effect which aides in an explanation of point one (1) above.


How much time have you spent reading reports? Do you have any real basis for an opinion?
I have read a handful of reports. But if you could recommend something credible and compelling, and I would like to read it.

I don't extend to parallel claims by inductive reasoning, rather than point out a general observation, and that is an innate bias generated by our own minds which craves anthropomorphization. Giving something unexplained human characteristics is a crucial jig-saw puzzle piece of explaining why do we interpret the world the way we do.

Whatever your point here, I don't see what it has to do with the discussion.
You have missed the entire point of my previous posts, and then went of a tangent to draw from me UFO discussions in a ghosts thread. I was alluding to the psychology of perception, and providing a few examples of anthropomorphization to shed more light on point one (1). But perhaps I should have calibrated those examples more carefully.
 
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  • #110
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Zooby, is that your position: There are no genuine mysteries [no real experiences with unexplained phenomena] - all experiences can be explained, in principle, through psychology, or in prosaic terms through known science? Anyone claiming experiences that seemingly violate this premise is deluding themself?

That is a yes or no [or "I don't know"] question. Please make your position clear before elaborating.
I wouldn't mind answering this except that you have, at least twice, stepped in and disallowed questions like this when I asked them of other posters in past threads. Specifically, I asked two separate posters in separate threads if they believed there was an "authentic" Out-of-Body Experience, a non-illusory one. You claimed I was getting too "personal", and did not allow the question. I find this question by you to be just as "personal" by your use of the word and refuse to answer it on the grounds you're allowing yourself a double standard.
 
  • #111
DaveC426913
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I wouldn't mind answering this except that you have, at least twice, stepped in and disallowed questions like this when I asked them of other posters in past threads. Specifically, I asked two separate posters in separate threads if they believed there was an "authentic" Out-of-Body Experience, a non-illusory one. You claimed I was getting too "personal", and did not allow the question. I find this question by you to be just as "personal" by your use of the word and refuse to answer it on the grounds you're allowing yourself a double standard.
I sort of have to agree. Is the question not a rather gilded form of ad hominem? What difference does it make where the poster personally stands on the issue? Our philosophy is to address the argument, not the arguer.
 
  • #112
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I sort of have to agree. Is the question not a rather gilded form of ad hominem? What difference does it make where the poster personally stands on the issue? Our philosophy is to address the argument, not the arguer.
First let me ask: On whose behalf are you speaking when you say "Our philosophy"?
 
  • #113
DaveC426913
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First let me ask: On whose behalf are you speaking when you say "Our philosophy"?
Sorry. PF's philosophy.

Ivan is requesting you divulge your personal stance on the issue. The tone of his post:
Zooby, is that your position...

That is a yes or no [or "I don't know"] question. Please make your position clear before elaborating.
strongly suggests that, in his judgment, the validity of your arguments is dependent on your personal stance. Diplomatic or not, that's an ad hominem.
 
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  • #114
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Sorry. PF's philosophy.
Where is PF's philosophy written down, and who wrote it?

As far as I'm concerned any logical fallacy can be pointed out in anyone's reasoning in any venue. There doesn't have to be a formal statement of philosophy backing you up.
 
  • #115
DaveC426913
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Where is PF's philosophy written down, and who wrote it?

As far as I'm concerned any logical fallacy can be pointed out in anyone's reasoning in any venue. There doesn't have to be a formal statement of philosophy backing you up.
Hm. You're right. I thought it was in the PF rules but the closest it comes to mentioning ad hominems is "...indirect attacks on a member's character or motives."

I doubt Ivan was planning to "attack" you, though I still can't see any good that can come from him requesting you declare your stance before continuing with your discussion.

This is a fine line I walk. On one side, I feel awkward questioning the methods and motives of a Moderator presumably doing Mod business, on the other hand, it was posted in a public thread for all to read as opposed to a more private channel.

Anyway, it's not my issue, it's yours. I guess it's between you and Ivan. Just wanted to back you up is all.
 
  • #116
fuzzyfelt
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Interesting support:smile:

Previously, Ivan Seeking mentioned relevance and later added concerns about being personal, which together may have meant unjustifiably or unnecessarily personal.
 

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