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View Poll Results: Do you believe ghosts are real?

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  • Yes

    1 4.35%
  • No

    13 56.52%
  • I'm not sure.

    9 39.13%
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Thread: Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?

  1. #1
    deplorable basketcase Array Tellenbach's Avatar
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    Oct 2013

    Default Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?

    Why Do People Believe in Ghosts?

    A Harris poll from last year found that 42 percent of Americans say they believe in ghosts. The percentage is similar in the U.K., where 52 percent of respondents indicated that they believed in ghosts in a recent poll.

    I've never seen a ghost, but my sister claims she did when she was little. This is one of those "I have to see it myself" type of situations. I'm leaning towards them being real because hundreds of millions of people have seen ghosts according to various surveys and I do place some value on anecdotal evidence.
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  2. #2
    Temporal Mechanic. Array Lexicon's Avatar
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    I blame Harold Ramis.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
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    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!

    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

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    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.
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  3. #3
    failed poetry slam career Array chubber's Avatar
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    I just wish I could really sit down and have a conversation with one. You know what I mean?

  4. #4
    Google "chemtrails" Array Bush Did 9/11's Avatar
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    People like to have explanations for things.

    More generally, people like comfort. Explanations are one of many things that can provide comfort, as there's often a fear of the unknown.
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  5. #5
    trapped in zoobilee zoo Array Osprey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    I blame Harold Ramis.
    Who are you going to call?

    Free me from Zoobilee Zoo...
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  6. #6
    Emperor/Dictator Array kyuuei's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Several reasons.

    1. Because they saw one. If you all boil everything down everything is perception. You can SAY you had a girlfriend of 5 years... but maybe one day she decides to deny your relationship back then. She says it never happened, that he's delusional, etc. Does that make it fake? Because she said it doesn't exist? Certainly not... but things will get gray from there. She's in denial, maybe you thought the relationship was stronger than it was and you were living in a dead relationship, etc. etc. Perception, reality, and the way our experiences blend with those things influences heavily the way we do things. When we see something, and actively experience it, it is very hard to deny it exists. It's why many things exist, whether they're real or not: stereotypes, beauty, etc. Experiencing something is NOT objective truth in and of itself--but it is hard to argue with experience.. most of our basis for the way we do things comes from it.

    2. We don't have a better explanation. Thousands of people, spanning all walks of life and culture, have some form of spirit, ghostly apparitions, energy fields, etc. Maybe it is ingrained in our biology to see these things, or think of these things... but whatever the reason, it's hard to argue with lots of people experiencing stuff all over the place. Die-hard people who believe NO no way there are ghosts are converted from one unexplained experience. And you gotta feel for the people who have been through things like poltergeists--how do you explain things like that? They didn't worship anything, or think about ghosts constantly... it just invaded their lives. And they had no way else to think about it and handle it. Science says there is no way there is a ghost pouring out your food and setting your house on fire... supernatural believers tell you its a ghost, cleanse your house, call a priest, move away... and at the end of the day, the supernatural people have a BETTER viable solution that tends to work. Science says it can't exist, therefore it doesn't, so just figure out who's doing it and fix that. It's hard to say, "there's no ghost.. but... move out of your house anyways. Your neighbors might we whack. I dunno." Until cool science stuff has something better... I wouldn't be so quick to judge and discredit either. Sure stuff on TV is fake and or made to entertain.. but some of it is people just saying what happened to them in the only way they know how.

    3. It's not impossible yet. We don't have anything to truly, objectively 100% discredit things like supernatural activity. We just don't. We have theories, and plausible things, and the known unknown (like how we were pretty sure those desert rocks didn't move on their own but we didn't know why for like ever)... but as long as we don't have anything to for sure rule it out, people are going to believe more is there. And it's not unreasonable to believe that.. It takes a bit of faith and belief on both the spiritual/supernatural side and the science/better-explanation-here side to search for answers and find them.
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  7. #7
    Post Human Post Array Qlip's Avatar
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    I've had experiences that most people would chalk up to the existence of ghosts. I just prefer to acknowledge the event, but let the reasons be undetermined until I know more. Things like this are really difficult to know more about.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Jaguar's Avatar
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    When all else fails, claim it's rigged.

  9. #9
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tellenbach View Post
    I've never seen a ghost, but my sister claims she did when she was little. This is one of those "I have to see it myself" type of situations. I'm leaning towards them being real because hundreds of millions of people have seen ghosts according to various surveys and I do place some value on anecdotal evidence.
    First, I'll start by saying I do not believe in "ghosts" or anything that could be considered one. We would have to do lots of defining on what a ghost is to really sort out what people mean, but that's another discussion.

    I find this interesting for you to say for two reasons. The first is that your taking into account a large group opinion (which I have seen you very often disregard), and it is also anecdotal. The latter part is a problem. As I have told you before I actually put a heavy weight on group opinions. This is one case though where group opinion shouldn't be considered. In particular because it's asking a general population, not a specific group.

    Anecdotal evidence is widely regarded and known to be unreliable. While it can be used to infer things and lead us in a direction for further investigation, it's rare for it to be used for something iron clad. Especially for something as solid as proof of existence.

    I actually believe the concepts of ghosts to be very similar to what microbial diseases used to be considered many centuries ago. In many communities it was thought to be due to possession, spells, etc. or some sort of magic. Part of this is because for the time the explaination was easy and made sense. Further, it could be expanded upon enough to create tools, rituals and whatnot to make it seem like something was being done to affect it. The affects were often minimal, but it was enough to offer some sort of apparent support of it. There was never anything solid about it. We now know definitively what was behind this: microbial diseases.

    With ghosts and anything that can fall under that catagory, we really don't know what they are. That being said, it's extremely unlikely that they are as people assume them to be, even similarly to that. Why? Because there remains unexplored rational and solid causes behind many of these. The biggest likely culprit behind ghosts is the human brain. Hopefully this will be sorted out in the next several decades due to the BRAIN initiative. We know that psychology is incredibly complex and poorly understood because of how poorly understood the brain is. However, we do know that the brain can and does cause delusions, hallucinations, and other anomolies in people. Sometime rather healthy people as well (meaning they don't have to have some sort of ailment or psychological disease). Based on this, it stands to reason that ghosts could in reality be a complex interplay between the brain, how it processes information from the environment, and the circumstances around the person at the moment. There could be external environmental factors as well. Also, ghosts often impart emotion, and very strong emotions at that in individuals experiencing them. They are very often negative emotions, but can be positive. Either way, emotions are powerful and illogical influencers.

    The fact of the matter is that ghosts, spirits, etc. don't have any solid evidence to support their existence as they are commonly defined by people. The major lynchpin being that they are assumed sentient in some manner. It's rather illogical to take this poor assumption as opposed to investigating or regarding possibilites that have solid backing in reality. This is quite similar to occam's razor which state that, in the absence of a proveable answer, the correct one is often the simplest based upon what we know. This is how science often begins and works through solving problems.
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  10. #10
    Male Array johnnyyukon's Avatar
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    Scaring yourself is fun.

    And the mind is incredibly powerful at playing tricks on itself.

    In fact, approximately 100% of humans believe in something that isn't true whatsoever, not even close.

    2 examples of about 3 billion: "I'm WAY less cool than I am" "I'm WAY MORE cool than I am."
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