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Challenge Match: Skyfloating vs. Druid 42: Ghosts are Real [winner announced]

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posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 07:44 AM
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The topic of this Debate is "Ghosts are Real". I will be arguing the pro-position, and our current top-Debater Druid 42 will be arguing the Con-Position.


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Modern Academia and popular culture would have you believe that Ghosts are fantasy; remnants of a superstitiously ignorant mentality of days long gone. In opposition to current dogma and ideology I propose that Ghosts are very real and that this is why ghost tales will never go out of fashion.

The existence of spirits, ghosts, disembodied entities is considered a fact in:

Buddhism
Shintoism
Hinduism
Islam
Christianity
Shamanism

...wait. It would be easier counting the ancient traditions, religions and reports that don't acknowledge the existence of Ghosts! With their denial of the spirit world, large parts of modern academia discount the reports of Billions of traditions, not to mention the numerous accounts of eyewitnesses, branding large parts of the world population liars or delusional. You see, apart from these ancient traditions, modern man also reports of contacts to the world of ghosts and spirits through:

* Near-death-experiences
* Witnessing Apparations
* Being contacted by the recently deceased
* Poltergeist Phenomena
* Visions of Spirit-Realms
* Out-of-body-experiences

My debate opponent is left with the prospect of denying ALL of these accounst OR admitting there may be something to Ghosts after all. Ghosts are universally recognized in every culture and at every place on this globe that its hard to wrap ones head around why science (or my debate opponent) would categorically deny the possibility. Rather than denying it, I suggest we investigate it. I dare say that anyone who has already investigated has, in time, discovered, witnessed and experienced ghosts. There are already ghost-hunters out there. Seek and you shall find (if you really want to...but be careful what you wish for).

What are ghosts? My view is that after death the spirit normally ascends to a higher place. If they, for some reason do not ascend, they get stuck and "earthbound", becoming "ghosts". Thats why they feature in horror-movies and are associated with sad and dark places such as haunted houses and scenes of crime or suicide - because, as the ancients tell us, they are the spirits who did not ascend. But the wise books also tell us that ghosts can be liberated (as is so aptly portrayed in the highly popular movie "The Sixth Sense").

Regardless of my personal view of Ghosts, it is hard for me to fathom why anyone - such as my debate opponent - would propose that "ghosts dont exist". That very stance would seem to empower a darker agenda, where unseen beings can work their influence without detection.

If you dont believe in Ghosts, go spend a night in a haunted house. Or talk to hospital nurses who witness strange ongoings every day. Or notice how you sometimes feel a presence nearby although your eyes cannot see them. Just because we cannot see something it does not mean that it "doesnt exist". Thats a terribly narrow-minded way to approach life. "If I cant see it, it doesnt exist". Well, there are countless things that you cannot see that DO exist. There are trillions of waves and particles all around you right now. You cant see them, but they exist, just as surely as ghosts exist.

Saying "ghosts do not exist" is essentially arguing the materialistic view of the world whereby a human being is nothing but a lump of meat without soul, without aim, without purpose. Esteemed debate opponent, is that what you are arguing?


edit on 11/1/2012 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 23 2012 @ 07:40 PM
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What is real?



Surely we'll agree that what we see with our eyes is real. Reality is the world around us. Our five senses tell us all about the world around us.

We'll agree that facts and statistics are real, or at least a good approximation thereof. As a civilization, in this modern age, we tend to share facts, post information online, and from ghost stories to our best understandings of reality, we'll come to the conclusion that there are no REAL answers, no way to determine what is real. It's all a matter of belief.

Scary, isn't it?

We determine what reality is by communication with others.

"That car is red."

"Yes, it is."

Then we get into a sticky area about reality, called perception.

"That car is red."

"No, it's orange."

"Swear to God, that car was red."

"Nope, I say it was orange."

Perception of reality is subjective term. In the ancient past, our ancestors began to look at the sky, and wonder. One individual asked another about what they saw, and soon it was decided that Earth was the center of reality. Everything revolved around the earth, at one point in time. Our perceptions of reality grew, and due to a few brave individuals throughout the course of history, we adopted new perceptions, and more people agreed to newer paradigms, eventually, a SLOW process.

Our perception of reality is produced from what we are taught as children. We are taught what to believe, our minds as children a blank slate, awaiting programming. Our parents, those people that raise us, teach us about what they believe in most cases, and leave little room for alternate realities. Remember, we all have to agree what is real. People who don't accept the consensus are labeled accordingly by other's perceptions of what you say.

Depending on your geographic location, you were taught a different belief system, as my opponent has mentioned:



Buddhism Shintoism Hinduism Islam Christianity Shamanism


There are more that I could add to the list, as well. The point is:

Sentience creates a problem for reality. When we believe in something, we are forced to reject alternate possibilities, and accuse others of being wrong. Shouldn't reality be smooth and consistent? If it's real, everyone's opinions would be the same. There should be no different beliefs, but everyone's perception is a bit different, and therefore, reality is not the same for everyone.

This difference of perception is what creates the belief in the supernatural. Anything outside the agreed realm of belief seeds the need for different explanations. It's what humans do to explain the nature of the world around us. We revise, we adapt, and we reluctantly change our views.

Nobody knows what happens when we are removed from this existence, via death, but there are plenty of conflicting reports, evident in all the major world religions, but honestly, that is what religion is for, to explain the afterlife, right? If there is truth, why doesn't the explanation of the afterlife coincide with every religious belief? There's that pesky perception of reality problem again.

My opponent would lead us to believe that ghosts are disembodied souls, but I'll offer a logical conundrum to consider:

Current statistics place the worldwide death rate at 8.2 per thousand people per year. At a current world population of 6.7 billion, 56 million people die per year. That's a lot of disembodied spirits per year, really. Our reality should be rife with ghosts floating around and encountering people. But wait, there's more.

I'll set a rough, really rough backdrop, and say that people have believed in the afterlife since 3000 BCE, more or less. That'd be 5012 years of disembodied souls joining the afterlife at a rate of 56 million per year. I can't average it out, because during the dark ages and the crusades millions more died per year, and worldwide plagues are not factored in, so my figure, for the sake of argument, is very conservative. On a global scale, that's 2.8 trillion souls for the past 5012 years. There should be 417 ghosts for every individual alive today, technically, but I'll await for my opponent to give me a ratio of the souls that join the afterlife as opposed to the souls that remain to haunt us as ghosts.

It would appear to me that a belief in ghosts is strictly bound to the belief system you adhere to, but that doesn't necessarily make them real.

Has a ghost ever been captured, and put on display, such as animals in a zoo? Nope. You can't capture an imaginary object, nor can you cage your own beliefs. Our beliefs are constantly changing, as we accept better paradigms to explain our mysterious existence. To believe in ghosts denotes a rigidity of the mind, a lack of understanding. Ghosts are simply a figment of our imagination, and not a part of reality.

To which now I yield to Skyfloating.



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 04:10 AM
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Jumping right into a delicious rebuttal...


Originally posted by Druid42
What is real?


Humankind discerns between subjective and objective. If I steal your wallet you would probably say that is objectively real. Your interpretation of that event is subjectively real. Or to use one of your examples: The car is objectively real. Universally everyone sees it as a car. Whether that car is good or not, very red or only a little red, is a subjective interpretation.

Most things can be categorized in this way. There is an invisible world that cannot be seen with our eyes - that is objectively real and applies to anyone, whether they believe it or not. Whether we call this invisible world "energy" or "inhabited by spirits" or "electromagnetic phenomena" is up to the observers beliefs. However, because this world is universally recognized in all cultures, and because the majority of people have had encounters with that world (as you readily admit here the wiser choice is to take Ghosts seriously and investigate them.



If it's real, everyone's opinions would be the same


Nonsense. The Holocaust was real and yet there are many who hold a different opinion. The invisible world has been proven by science yet many still hold a different opinion. Hence most of your last post falls flat.



Nobody knows what happens when we are removed from this existence, via death, but there are plenty of conflicting reports, evident in all the major world religions


As already pointed out, they are not that different at all. They ALL, universally agree upon the invisible world. Their interpretation of that world is what differs. Some will refer to it as a spiritual realm, others to heaven and hell, others to a field of energy, and so forth.




Current statistics place the worldwide death rate at 8.2 per thousand people per year. At a current world population of 6.7 billion, 56 million people die per year. That's a lot of disembodied spirits per year, really. Our reality should be rife with ghosts floating around and encountering people.


As already mentioned, the scriptures teach us that most souls ascend. In Buddhism many of them reincarnate. And the Abrahamic Religions teach that there are indeed spirits all around us and all over the place. Because they occupy a different frequency or realm they cannot see us and only very few can influence our realm. While there may be many different interpretations of what is going on, all traditions agree on the basics.



Has a ghost ever been captured, and put on display, such as animals in a zoo? Nope.


Long before Photoshop, many thousands of ghosts have been photographed, audio-recorded, measured electrically and even filmed. A Ghost-Hunters career usually begins by typing "Ghost Pictures" into Google and sorting through what is hoax and film-anomaly vs. what has been verified as real or "unexplainable".

Of course this whole world of spirits is not at all "unexplainable". We all know what we are dealing with when we hear footsteps in an empty house at night. We all know what we are dealing with when we hear a disembodied voice. We all know its not a good idea to rent a house in which mass-murder has taken place. Many of us have remote-sensed when a loved one has died. We`re not that stupid.




To believe in ghosts denotes a rigidity of the mind, a lack of understanding. Ghosts are simply a figment of our imagination, and not a part of reality.


So you indeed say "because not all of us can see it, it doesnt exist", correct?

You spent a lot of time attacking my view and virtually no time presenting your own. What then is your view of reality? That only what we can see is real and that life is a chain of coincidences and the body a lump of meat?

Do you think that people who see and sense the invisible are mentally ill? Do you think that the Billions of adherents of the various religions and traditions have distorted perceptions?

Because Ghosts effect on our reality is limited we neednt give them too much importance. But I wouldnt be as arrogant as to claim they are not real. Acknowledging the reality of an invisible aspect to our world not only explains countless events it also equips us to more ably deal with our lives. A life devoid of anything other than what we can see is a life that is severely limited in scope and potential.

Humankind would likely not have a long and intricate tradition of stories, movies, music, poetry dedicated to something that had no basis in reality whatsoever. Such stories are borrowed from actual events. Those events are spillovers from a realm that is not visible to the eye at all times. But sometimes you can see it. And more often - if you pay close attention - you can sense it.



posted on Oct, 24 2012 @ 09:16 PM
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What is Superstition?



Quite simply, it is a belief in the supernatural. A black cat that crosses your path means bad luck. Dropping a dish cloth means visitors. Throwing salt over your shoulder. The list can go on.

It is a gray area in the realm of reality. It is the basis of every world religion. It's belief in something outside the realm our perceived reality. Superstitious beliefs allow us to believe anything we want.

If we can believe anything, and set it to a doctrine, and get others to believe the same as us, we'll have an accurate picture over the centuries of how religion has evolved. Religion has set standards, rules, and has not allowed us to expand outside the realm of the required beliefs. We are not allowed a view outside the accepted standard, nor are we allowed to revise it. Religious doctrine is immutable. REALLY?




What then is your view of reality? That only what we can see is real and that life is a chain of coincidences and the body a lump of meat?


I have a naturalistic viewpoint of reality, and no need for supernatural beings to explain my existence. I am a Bright. Even though it may infuriate you, yes, I believe in the simplest explanation, and as you state, I am a ball of meat. Not without meaning, however, and not reducing to a simple explanation, but empowered with my ability to make a change in reality. Your hypothetical ball of meat is actually a human being with feelings, emotions, and an essence that subsists in reality. I interact with people, and reality is decided.

With the ability to invoke invisible beings, or the ability to rely upon them for my benefit, I find the results lacking. Completely devoid of result. Supernatural beings don't respond to my whim, because I don't believe.




Do you think that the Billions of adherents of the various religions and traditions have distorted perceptions?


Of course I do. Thanks for the present. (Both as gift and reality!)

The billions of adherents are diversified geographically, and with the geographic difference, we find a different belief system that permeates each culture. Beliefs are based upon geography. If there's a universal constant, it also must reside in our imagination.

In short, there is no universal belief in one SOLID principal. When that occurs, I'll vary my own worldview.



Those events are spillovers from a realm that is not visible to the eye at all times.


Yes, you are correct. Those spillovers, in fact, all of this debate, is based in the preposition of human imagination. We can imagine and create, over thousands of years, plausible explanations of reality, but none of them define reality exactly, and are therefore, incorrect.

We can only believe. Ghosts appear when we believe hard enough.

Still, it doesn't make Ghosts real. It keeps them defined within the realm of human imagination.



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 02:06 AM
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Grand Final Rebuttal and Closing


Originally posted by Druid42
What is superstition?

It is a gray area in the realm of reality. It is the basis of every world religion.


Wrong again. Superstition is the basis of folklore, not theology. Superstitions are considered heresies and falsehoods by theologians and religious authorities and are in no way "the basis of Religion".



Religion has set standards, rules, and has not allowed us to expand outside the realm of the required beliefs.


This sounds like something from an atheist textbook. In reality religion keeps reminding us to look beyond our 4 senses and to ask "What else is up there? What is the mystery of life? Where are we going? Where are we from? Is there MORE to life than this?".




I am a Bright

I am a ball of meat


Uhm....OK.




a human being with feelings, emotions


...may I remind you that those are things you cannot see with your eyes.



invoke invisible beings, or the ability to rely upon them for my benefit


This Debate is about whether Ghosts exist, not whether one can use them for ones benefit.




Of course I do (believe that Billions of people are delusional)


Isnt that just a little arrogant?



In short, there is no universal belief in one SOLID principal.


The purely mechanistic and materialistic worldview is no longer in use in science. We now know that there is a whole wide invisible world out there. Before physics came along religion taught it. Now it is taught in elementary physics classes.



Ghosts appear when we believe hard enough.


This is wrong. You are mixing up the subjective and objective. Many of the accounts of near-dearth-experiences, afterlife-contact, visitations of deceased relatives happened to people who knew nothing of such matters. A recent example of this that was in the news is about the Harvard-Professor who modified his views of reality because of an afterlife experience.

Freezing temperatures are freezing temperatures regardless of what you believe. You may, with the powers of your mind (with your belief), neutralize the negative effects of freezing temperatures, but they are still experienced as cold in comparison, say 50 degrees warmer. Get a handle on the difference between subjective and objective.



Still, it doesn't make Ghosts real. It keeps them defined within the realm of human imagination.


There is a difference between imagining a person standing in your room and you imagining one standing there. This same difference applies to whether a ghost is actually standing there or whether you are imagining one standing there. Many who have been visited by ghosts report, for example, a decrease in room temperature (yes, something that could actually be measured by a thermometer - but its safe to assume thats the last thing on peoples minds when they get visited).

There is a difference between imagining or dreaming one is having an out-of-body experience and actually having one. Lab tests conducted by the Princeton Anomalies Engineering Research (PEAR), show that people who have had an out-of-body experience are aware of events or able to locate objects they could not be aware of if they were imagining. Scientists call this yet another "unexplained" phenomena, but it is easily explained if we simply acknowledge that their spirit/soul/ghost is not limited to bodily senses.

The idea that a human being is a spirit makes empirical sense when you look at it without an ideological agenda. A body cannot experience itself, it can only be experienced by an observing consciousness that is independent of a body. Consciousness itself is can leave and enter every part of the body at will. It can feel an arm, it can become aware of a head and it can even externalize attention to other people (bodies) or float freely anywhere it likes. Thats because consciousness is not made of matter. You'd have to add several layers of psychological denial to your mindset not to see that.

Ghosts are real. Most children seem to know that - before they are put through an ideological program of schools. Ghosts are real - many hospital employees know that. Ghosts are real - paranormal investigators know that. Ghosts are real - all religious authorities know that. Ghosts are real - double-blind studies on OBE show that. Ghosts are real - photographic and video evidence shows that. Ghosts are real - those spooked by Halloween tales intuitively sense that, otherwise they wouldnt be spooked.

May I propose that we move beyond the sophomoric question "Are Ghosts real?" to a more advanced question of "What do Ghosts want and need and what is their relationship to us and life in general?"

I thank Druid42 for the opportunity to defend this position and thank you all for reading.



posted on Oct, 25 2012 @ 07:03 PM
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To Find the Truth.....



It's simply not enough to say that ghost are real, without proof. A person can say anything, but will be required to present evidence of their claims.

Can we create an experiment that could allow us to once and for all prove the existence of paranormal activity?


If I had to prove the existence of the paranormal, I would think that I would have to go with a media blanket. Let us say that I could get into and stay at a haunted location for a weeks worth of time. I would have to saturate the house with video and audio recorders. The video recorders would be set up in peer fashion, having been set up in another recorder’s field of view, if not just merely pointed at one another. This defeats attack by skeptics and helps validate the evidence. After evidence has been acquired, I would take everything to specialists in the field to validate against tampering. I would repeat this method and the same place again and again, and if I was successful multiple times, then I would move onto another location and repeat the processes.


Sounds good to me. But,


The original experiment posited would, in fact, not stand up to peer-review. It allows for a number of variables, including human error, no controls, and outside tampering, among others, and relies on the ASSUMPTION that ghosts can be caught on camera and other scientific information. Any ideas on what experiment might actually stand up to peer-review. It MUST have controls, reasonably eliminate human error, and provide reliable, reproducible, rigorously-obtained scientific evidence.


So how about another explanation for paranormal activity? How about infrasound?


Infrasound refers to extreme bass waves or vibrations, those with a frequency below the audibility range of the human ear (20 Hz to 22 kHz). Even though these waves can't be heard by us, they can be felt and have been shown to produce a range of effects in some people including anxiety, extreme sorrow, and chills. "Loud infrasound in the range of 0.5 to 10 Hz is sufficient to activate the vestibular, or balance system, in the inner ear."* Psychologist Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire thinks that the odd sensations that people attribute to ghosts may be caused by infrasonic vibrations.* He is not alone.



When he measured the infrasound in the laboratory, the showing was 18.98 hertz--the exact frequency at which a human eyeball starts resonating. The sound waves made his eyeballs resonate and produced an optical illusion: He saw a figure that didn't exist.



Infrasonic waves can carry over long distances and are less susceptible to disturbance or interference than higher frequencies. Infrasound may be produced by wind, by some types of earthquakes, by ocean waves, and by such things as avalanches, volcanoes, and meteors.* Elephants have the ability to emit infrasound that can be detected at a distance of 2 km. Even tigers emit infrasound.*


The frequency of a tiger's roar is about 18 hertz. Perhaps evolution taught us to fear things that resonate at this frequency, as a type of survival mechanism. All the natural ways of producing infrasound are big and dangerous, but don't require a supernatural explanation.

I find it hard to believe in spirits that walk around at night, haunting people. What I do find easy to believe is that such apparitions usually don't appear in bright daylight or in large groups of people. Such shy behavior is rather suspicious, and without any irrefutable proof of the existence of ghosts, I'll hold to my original beliefs of ghosts not being a reality.



In closing, I'd like to thank Skyfloating for participation in this debate. It spanned more ideas than I had originally thought, but it was refreshing to discuss the subject without the typical noise of a regular thread. Thanks as well, to ATS for hosting this discussion, and also the readers.

I truly appreciate the time you've taken to read this presentation.



posted on Nov, 1 2012 @ 03:10 PM
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The Judgements are in.


Excellent opening statements from both debaters. Skyfloating came out strong with really tough jabs towards his adversary but Druid42 strategically and brilliantly positioned himself not only to counter them but supplied statistics that are really worth thinking about. This Round is a tie.

While Skyfloating came out with tough jabs in the first round, the second round sees this debater coming out with full direct uppercuts. It worked, as Druid42 shows weakness in his rebuttal, concentrating on his personal views rather than on the subject itself. This round is Skyfloating’s all the way.

Both closing statements are good reads. Skyfloating strengthens his position while Druid42 links to two possibilities that would explain certain ghost beliefs. I say certain beliefs as Druid42 has ignored most of the other aspects raised by his opponent. By doing so, therefore, this final round is Skyfloating’s.


Skyfloating wins this debate.




Skyfloating though I thought would not be able to hold their own basing it solely on how many people and different denominations actually believe in ghosts, I saw how early on, using both the aspect of how it has been used over thousands of years and globally, and awaiting Druid 42 to try to write that off, was brilliant.

So many things could have brought a possible different outcome, as Druid possibly further explaining the difference in the perceptions of "ghosts" that those global denominations actually perceive, and the differences on how they use them in their culture that could have broadened the spectrum,and could have ran with it from there.

Also the open window that was left for Druid42 concerning many of the different points Druid brought up scientifically, He could have used many things such as frequencies and different areas globally that can cause possible apparitions, and things to be seen, due to grids, elevations, medicinal uses, etc.

So in essence I choose Skyfloating.


Skyfloating is the winner of this debate.

Congrats to the winner and thank you to the challenger.

~Tenth






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