• Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k


    I'm none too solid on the statistics but I think in many cases the mistake people are making is really just exactly a statistical mistake.

    Every piece of evidence should move the needle; the mistake people make is thinking a single piece of evidence moves the needle more than it does. (The classic example is doctors misjudging the chances of breast cancer given a positive test.)
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k


    I wasn't convinced either but it was a really interesting discussion. I'm grateful you brought us your arguments and gave us the opportunity to deal with some really interesting issues.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    I was trying to do something that very few have done (if any), viz., bring the argument into the arena of what can be known (in an inductive sense).
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    Like if you discarded your priors about how nature worked, would you be able to conclude that supernatural claims are bogus methodologically rather than being inconsistent with well established theory?fdrake

    I think my conclusion would be the same. If I knew nothing about the laws of nature, an extraordinary claim would still need a lot of supporting evidence.

    To bring it out of the clouds, I like to think of someone coming to me claiming they have a map to buried treasure. Nothing about this defies the laws of physics, but it’s an extraordinary claim. I think the same principle applies here too.

    Not sure if that answers your question.
  • Agent Smith
    7.6k
    inductive senseSam26

    Hume's The Problem of Induction means that the so-called laws of nature aren't immutable. They could change at any moment as doing so doesn't entail a contradiction i.e. they're contingent truths, not necessary ones.
  • Sam26
    2.2k
    Hume's The Problem of Induction means that the so-called laws of nature aren't immutable. They could change at any moment as doing so doesn't entail a contradiction i.e. they're contingent truths, not necessary ones.Agent Smith

    I wouldn't disagree with that.

    Inductive reasoning doesn't entail that X follows necessarily.
  • Yohan
    671
    If anyone is genuinely interested in testing it, I think the easiest intuitive ability is empathic telepathy, since we are a highly social "species".

    Try to feel other's emotions directly instead of inferring them from facial or vocal expressions.

    I can feel out very distinct qualities in the vibes of people, and it feels as real as smelling distinct smells or any other of the senses.

    I doubt its supernatural. How a radio or TV can receive and transmit information would seem supernatural if didn't know how antennae works. (Which I don't understand, but assume others do)

    Our brains are incalculably more complex than radios and TVs, so it doesn't seem like a huge delusion to think brains might be able to transmit and receive waves.
  • dclements
    493
    I think they can and should be dismissed as utter nonsense, if what's claimed is that because something is unidentified or unexplained, it must be a sign of alien life, supernatural forces, or magic.

    The reason for not believing in these claims is the same for everything else: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan was right. So there's no sense wasting time about it simply because we'd like to believe in it.
    Xtrix
    How about just requiring just enough evidence for merely ordinary claims? Did Benjamin Franklin require to provide "extraordinary evidence" when he discovered electricity?

    While you are claiming that those who believe there might be some truth to psychic abilities/paranormal are biased for believing in such things, it is plausible that some people like you are are biased when dismissing such thing when you say they require "extraordinary evidence". As far as I know in science when one merely postulates a possibility to any physical phenomenon one doesn't have require ANY proof if they are merely providing a potential possibility to be examined.

    By expecting those who are trying to explained unknown phenomenon in ANY scientific field to provide an unreasonable amount of data you (or anyone else doing this) are in effect merely trying to maintain the current status quo in order to prevent people from being able to come forward with ideas to challenge that which is the accepted "truth".

    Thankfully, it is unlikely that very few people like you are ever put in positions where you are in charge of reviewing anything to do with reviewing real scientific work on such subjects and/or if you are it is highly likely that there would be ways around your attempts to be a s-pipe for such research.
  • dclements
    493
    Sam26 's arguments about out of body experiences can be quite convincing. Have a look in their post history if you're interested.fdrake

    Could you provide an actual link to the comment you are talking about?
  • dclements
    493
    The reason for not believing in these claims is the same for everything else: extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Carl Sagan was right. So there's no sense wasting time about it simply because we'd like to believe in it.Xtrix

    While it is a given that this would not be considered "extraordinary evidence" to you, what would you say about those of us who have ever seen something like a ghost, and/or been able to get am Ouija board or Psi wheel to move on it's own. While it is a given ANY event where someone has seen a ghost could be merely a trick of the light and/or mind (and Ouija board/Psi wheel movements could be caused normal physical phenomenon), those of us who have had brushes with that which seems not so easy to explain are perhaps on better footing to question the current status quo on what is or isn't possible and it is almost a given that we see the world differently than people like you.

    Personally I can say I have seen ghosts or at least something like a ghost twice (on the first time I saw ghosts I asked the person next to me if they saw what I saw and he said "Yes"), been able to operate a Ouija board on several occasions, and been able to get a Psi wheel to move even when I was several feet away from it. I know me saying this to you probably doesn't mean anything to you, but for a moment try to imagine what such experience would mean to someone who has. Can you at least say that it is possible that me and you are like two of the blind men who are trying to "look" at a elephant for the first time and both experiencing a different part of it?
  • dclements
    493
    Speaking about extraordinary evidence I wonder if anyone here has heard about the story of Ted Owen, a guy who use to call himself the "PK man"?

    Ted_Owens/Pk-Man
    https://www.amazon.com/PK-Man-True-Story-Matter/dp/1571741836
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Owens_(contactee)

    While his story sounds similar to that of those who are typical con-men/attention seekers, his claims and the events that happened in his life are hard to spin as merely a set of "coincidences" and potentially show perhaps a darker side of psychic abilities. Such as the possibility of someone being able to down a plane merely on a whim.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    one doesn't have require ANY proof if they are merely providing a potential possibility to be examineddclements

    So by this standard, we can invent any story we want. Maybe Santa Claus really exists in the north pole. Maybe Xarnex the galaxy god is responsible for all of your thoughts. Who knows?

    Claims in science always require solid evidence and solid reasoning. It's never willy-nilly.

    People who believe in psychics and astrology and all kinds of ridiculous stuff always make the same arguments. They either try to even the playing field by reducing everything -- including all science -- to mere speculation and opinion and "subjectivity" so that they can pretend that their views aren't ridiculous -- or else they persuade others into thinking their claims really are scientific in some fashion.

    What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. - Hitchens
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. -- Sagan

    Two principles to abide by. Also, keep in my Russell's teapot.

    By expecting those who are trying to explained unknown phenomenon in ANY scientific field to provide an unreasonable amount of data you (or anyone else doing this) are in effect merely trying to maintain the current status quo in order to prevent people from being able to come forward with ideas to challenge that which is the accepted "truth".dclements

    Complete nonsense.

    It's not an "unreasonable amount of data," it's evidence. Evidence that is comparable to the claim being made.

    If something isn't well understood, we can speculate and hypothesize about it -- but always with sound reasoning and at least some evidence as support. If the claim is something like "aliens did it," or that magic has occurred, then that will require a lot of evidence indeed.

    So yes, suspending the known laws of the universe and everything we currently understand about the world is quite a claim. Claims such as these require more than just blurry photographs, anecdotes, and other flimsy "data."

    It's no wonder there's never a shred of evidence for these claims. The simple reason is because they're not true. James Randi made an entire career out of demonstrating this -- offering people $1 million if they could prove their abilities. Not once was it realized. There's some hilarious videos on YouTube showing it, as well. Worthwhile taking a look at those and imagining all of their duped followers and how much money these charlatans made over the years. Remember, too, that many convinced themselves that they really had these abilities.

    what would you say about those of us who have ever seen something like a ghost, and/or been able to get am Ouija board or Psi wheel to move on it's own.dclements

    I'd say that it's far more likely you've had an auditory or visual hallucination. I hear the voice of my dead grandmother sometimes, in passing. I'm not lead to believe that therefore she's in the next room, or is haunting me from the grave.

    True, perhaps the laws of physics suspended for you momentarily -- but I wouldn't take that possibility very seriously. If I said to you that I had a friend who claimed he could fly, would you take this seriously?

    Ouija boards don't move on their own. I stopped believing in fairytales and magic when I was a child. I recommend you do as well.
  • ssu
    6.3k
    While it is almost a given that the majority of such instance where merely tricks and/or something other than psychic abilities/paranormal, I believe it is at least plausible a very small fraction of them could be real.dclements
    I think there can be, even if very rare, occasions and events that seem to be as some paranormal event happened or someone had psychic abilities. With people really believing it and not being some charlatans. Religious people would talk about miracles. These events have extremely low probability of happening, yet they happen. Somebody feeling that a loved one is in danger and does something to help the person and the person actually has been peril and the actions help that person. Or something like that. Totally possible.

    The simple example that we can understand is winning in the lottery. Getting a multi-million win in a lottery is extremely improbable, yet enough play these games that someone wins it. Hence when we understand probability theory there's nothing astonishing in that one or two players get the big bucks as so many play. It would be for us something out of the normal if we would have only 5 people playing a lottery (like here getting 7 numbers right out of the numbers between 1 and 40, which has a probability of 1 to 15 million or something close to that) and one or two of them got the full jackpot. The probability would be so low that any Rand experiment, if happened to be conducted, would have serious problems to counter it.

    So what's the error?

    I think the simple fact is that we don't notice just how large the sample size is. If our story is some "Middle aged woman in Utah in 1932 had a psychic experience..." we can be sure that there have been a huge number of middle aged women and not only in Utah every year when the astonishing consequence of events hasn't happened. Yet people do dream of being in contact with others, alive or the dead, and then things turn out to be so. It's basically just like people who see omens of what the future will bring then look for those things they are waiting to see.

    Or to put it another way: how many times your mother or grandmother has been worried that something has happened to you, when nothing has happened to you? Has that every happened to you?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k
    I think the simple fact is that we don't notice just how large the sample size is. If our story is some "Middle aged woman in Utah in 1932 had a psychic experience..." we can be sure that there have been a huge number of middle aged women and not only in Utah every year when the astonishing consequence of events hasn't happened.ssu

    This is very close to what I was saying. People fail to consider the baseline, overestimate how much a single observation should move their prior, all that.

    But if the laws of nature are in fact statistical, then being an outlier is not the same as "violating the laws of the nature"; it's just being several standard deviations away from the norm. Maybe it happened, maybe not, but statistical regularity marches on either way.

    It is true that a theorized mechanism intended to explain the statistical regularity may be unable to account for a peculiar observation, but we don't throw out observations because they don't match the theory; it's the other way around. That we don't drop a theory when a single observation is surprising is because we expect there to be confounding variables, and -- possibly -- because all we're really doing is statistics.

    I just don't see much justification for reaching for this "physics says that's impossible" line.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    But if the laws of nature are in fact statisticalSrap Tasmaner

    Gravity isn’t “statistical.” That things don’t move through walls, or move “on their own” through the power of the mind, shouldn’t be controversial.

    People don’t fly like Superman, either. It’s not that it’s “statistically unlikely” — it’s that it’s impossible.

    I see plenty of justification in this line.

    Magical thinking is dangerous.
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k


    Above my paygrade, but statistical mechanics is a thing. I think I learned about it from a book I never got very far into -- but will someday! -- called (in English) Laws of the Game by Manfred Eigen.

    Probabilities are central to That Branch of Physics That Shall Not Be Named. Evolution is almost entirely a matter of statistics (and game theory).

    And it's not like what we mean by "the laws of nature" is a simple matter, devoid of interest and controversy alike.

    I'm not advocating giving magical thinking a seat at the table, just a little nuance in how and why we reject it.

    Torches and pitchforks are for witches, and since we found that there don't seem to be any of those, they've been rusting in the barn. You seem to want to haul them back out for people who say there are witches; I'm not down for that, anymore than I am for some believers in witches hauling theirs out for an anti-witch crusade. (I have been present when an evangelical dad reminded his son that witches are an article of faith, mentioned in the Bible. His son had forgotten for a moment that they're not just superstition. And so it goes.)
  • ssu
    6.3k
    I just don't see much justification for reaching for this "physics says that's impossible" line.Srap Tasmaner
    It doesn't make it a non-physical event. I am of the opinion that if something cannot be explained by physics, it's likely that our understand isn't yet correct or we simple are asking wrong questions.

    But especially in what we consider a "paranormal event", let's say for example a near death experience where somebody has been (obviously wrongfully) declared dead and then wakes up and tells about the experience, it's hard to refute the feelings of that person. The discussion is basically sidetracked. Or if you are seriously ill and the doctors don't give you much chance to live, and then you are visited by a "healer" (why not, if modern medicine doesn't do the trick) and then, what do you know, you get better. If the "healers" bizarre medicine worked on you (and hasn't worked on many others), why wouldn't you think it still works sometime?

    Perhaps we the topic isn't so loaded if we would think about issues that are called to be miracles.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    You seem to want to haul them back out for people who say there are witchesSrap Tasmaner

    No, I’m saying those who say there are witches are deluded.

    I’m not too interested in “nuance” when the claims are simply ridiculous. Witches, ghosts, demons, goblins, zombies, unicorns. Do we really need to be nuanced about these things?
  • Srap Tasmaner
    3.9k
    Do we really need to be nuanced about these things?Xtrix

    Not about what those people believe -- that's their problem. But we can afford to be nuanced about what we believe, and why we find what they believe (insofar as we understand it) incompatible with that. It is okay, for instance, for a paleontologist to describe the truly mind-boggling degree to which evolution by natural selection is supported by the fossil record while shying away from the word "proven."

    those who say there are witches are deludedXtrix

    Heavy word. Not saying it's never appropriate, but why that word instead of "wrong" or "mistaken" or "misinformed"?

    Anyhow, I've said my piece. Carry on.
  • dclements
    493
    I think there can be, even if very rare, occasions and events that seem to be as some paranormal event happened or someone had psychic abilities. With people really believing it and not being some charlatans. Religious people would talk about miracles. These events have extremely low probability of happening, yet they happen. Somebody feeling that a loved one is in danger and does something to help the person and the person actually has been peril and the actions help that person. Or something like that. Totally possible.

    The simple example that we can understand is winning in the lottery. Getting a multi-million win in a lottery is extremely improbable, yet enough play these games that someone wins it. Hence when we understand probability theory there's nothing astonishing in that one or two players get the big bucks as so many play. It would be for us something out of the normal if we would have only 5 people playing a lottery (like here getting 7 numbers right out of the numbers between 1 and 40, which has a probability of 1 to 15 million or something close to that) and one or two of them got the full jackpot. The probability would be so low that any Rand experiment, if happened to be conducted, would have serious problems to counter it.

    So what's the error?

    I think the simple fact is that we don't notice just how large the sample size is. If our story is some "Middle aged woman in Utah in 1932 had a psychic experience..." we can be sure that there have been a huge number of middle aged women and not only in Utah every year when the astonishing consequence of events hasn't happened. Yet people do dream of being in contact with others, alive or the dead, and then things turn out to be so. It's basically just like people who see omens of what the future will bring then look for those things they are waiting to see.

    Or to put it another way: how many times your mother or grandmother has been worried that something has happened to you, when nothing has happened to you? Has that every happened to you?
    ssu

    I agree. I think there are similar issues with other phenomenon, such as the "Wow Signal".



    It has long been regarded as an interesting signal captured (while searching for potential signals indicating intelligent life) but because it has never been found again (along with other issues) it has been dismissed as many something that may indicate intelligent life out there.

    I think that with certain phenomenon, either the resources/time we spend trying to understand them isn't enough for get a good idea of what we are dealing with and/or our testing methods are not good enough for the job.

    I could be wrong but there often seems to be either some kind of bias for people that are trying to prove something or bias by those who wish to prove something that isn't true. I think the problem is described as "cherry picking" were someone decides to either include or exclude certain data they have collected which allows them to sometimes fudge the final numbers to be more what they want them to be.

    I remember when I took an introductory course in statistics, one of my final projects was to show whether there was some kind of relationship between two things. The one I choose to do was whether there was relationship between how well the stock market would do one year with how well it would do the next. Basically it the idea was if the stock market did really good one year whether or not it was likely to do not so good the next. When I first plugged the numbers into the software program I had it came out that there was no relation, however when I changed the data sets I worked with (such as excluding the years after 1990 when people just kept on putting money into the market), the program said that there was a statistical relationship between the two. In my final report to the teacher I explained to the teacher that while I couldn't show a statistical relationship if I feed in all the data sets, I could get a statistical relationship if I was selective with which years I included.

    I'm guessing that there was a relationship most of the time, but because some years are so chaotic in the stock market that sometimes such relationship may not work if people are to "enthusiastic" with trying to invest in the market.
  • dclements
    493
    I'd say that it's far more likely you've had an auditory or visual hallucination. I hear the voice of my dead grandmother sometimes, in passing. I'm not lead to believe that therefore she's in the next room, or is haunting me from the grave.

    True, perhaps the laws of physics suspended for you momentarily -- but I wouldn't take that possibility very seriously. If I said to you that I had a friend who claimed he could fly, would you take this seriously?

    Ouija boards don't move on their own. I stopped believing in fairytales and magic when I was a child. I recommend you do as wel
    Xtrix
    In my first encounter with ghost I would have wrote it off as a hallucination/trick of the light if the person next to me didn't see it as well. To be honest all that happened was for a brief second or two I could see a dozen or so white or dark shapes that looked like people that where surrounding one person that was hanging our in a cemetery when I used a flashlight on them. After that they were gone. The other person that was there that saw it was in no mood to stay there any longer, and he really didn't want to talk about it much.

    As with Ouija boards, how do you know whether they move on their own or not if you haven't even used them or seen other people try to use them? If you have ever tried to use them it is likely that you would realize there is a big difference in how it feels when someone is deliberately moving it themselves and when the plank is moving on it's own. To me I'm guessing it is plausible that even if one isn't deliberately moving one, it could be done through a subconscious act.

    And even at that there is also the issue of psi-wheels which can be moved without someone touching them and/or even putting their hands near them. It is one thing for something to move when your hands are either on or near something but it is something else for it to move on its own just by someone trying to make it move.

    While I agree one shouldn't believe in fairly tales and/or "magic", I think it is best for one to be opened minded enough to realize that not all the things that associated with "magic" are really magic at all but perhaps are caused by some kind of physical phenomenon we have yet been able to identify and understand.
  • dclements
    493
    While this isn't exactly what this thread is about, it is similar in that it is an issue in that people have been injured in a way that has yet to be explained:

  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    In my first encounter with ghostdclements

    There are no ghosts. There are no zombies. There are no goblins.

    As with Ouija boards, how do you know whether they move on their own or not if you haven't even used them or seen other people try to use them?dclements

    I have used them and watched others use them. It’s long been a claim that they have magic powers.

    They don’t.

    it could be done through a subconscious act.dclements

    No, it can’t. It’s not plausible, it’s not possible, it’s not worth wasting time on.

    Magic isn’t real. Sorry.

    opened minded enough to realize that not all the things that associated with "magic" are really magic at all but perhaps are caused by some kind of physical phenomenon we have yet been able to identify and understand.dclements

    Yeah, and maybe Santa really does exist after all. Maybe there really is that teapot orbiting Mars. Maybe I can fly like Superman.

    There’s equal evidence for all of it. Which is to say: none.
  • unenlightened
    7k
    The evidence that belief can affect healing on a personal level is so overwhelming that it has been incorporated into science by giving the effect a name - 'the placebo effect'. If it turns out that thinking hard can make spoons bend, it will likewise become a recognised scientific fact, and given a suitable name - 'the Geller cutlery phenomenon', or whatever. Science is very open minded, and whatever can be demonstrated will be accepted.

    Whenever things are consistently weird, they get renormalised. Inconsistent weirdness is dismissed.

    One thing that I find odd though, is the lack of robust physicalists on the 'simulation' thread. Because if we are living in a simulation, all bets are off. The programmers can stop the program, change something and restart it. They can insert superman, or an intermittent fault to prevent the bomb exploding, or add a world teacher here and there. They can program the blindness of simulated observers to certain phenomena, or absolutely anything at all. Only those of us who have operators in the programmer's world could possibly know about such things. Funny how the old stories become believable when couched in familiar cultural language.
  • dclements
    493
    There are no ghosts. There are no zombies. There are no goblins.Xtrix

    Ok, ok, just chill. It is a given when I say "I and other people say a ghost" it is a given that we saw something that "looked" like a ghost, just like in certain photographs there can be some kind of strange or phantom like images that other people say looks like ghosts to them. You don't need to have such a knee jerk reaction just at the mention of someone saying that see or hear something weird and liken it to something else that other people have reported to experiencing in the past.

    It isn't heresy for someone to merely comment on the things they have seen in heard in their lifetime.

    As I mentioned before there are many cases of people seeing something in the sky and saying that it look like a UFO and just like it shouldn't be taboo for someone to say they saw something like a UFO it shouldn't be taboo for someone to say they saw something like a ghost. Especially now that the government has actually admitted that they see UFOs so often that it is something they might need to address as an issue.

    I have used them and watched others use them. It’s long been a claim that they have magic powers.

    They don’t.
    Xtrix

    Since I have already stated that Ouija boards don't use magic, to try and counter my position by stating they are not magical is nothing more than a straw man argument.

    No, it can’t. It’s not plausible, it’s not possible, it’s not worth wasting time on.Xtrix

    I'm not holding a gun to your head and forcing you to read/post to this thread. If you are unhappy about it I'm sure there are other things you can do with your time.

    Yeah, and maybe Santa really does exist after all. Maybe there really is that teapot orbiting Mars. Maybe I can fly like Superman.Xtrix
    On the other hand, maybe trying to be a little more open-minded about certain things may not be something that a person such as yourself is ready for and/or might help you in your life.

    As the old saying goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can't make them drink.
  • Xtrix
    4.1k
    It isn't heresy for someone to merely comment on the things they have seen in heard in their lifetime.dclements

    Stop with the victim act. I never said I considered it heresy — in fact I’ve said I think many people who make such claims are sincere.

    And yet: there are no zombies. There are no ghosts. There are no goblins.

    Since I have already stated that Ouija boards don't use magic,dclements

    So they can move “on their own”, but that’s not magic?

    Again: ouija boards don’t move on their own. There’s no evidence for this, and it contradicts everything we know about the world and physics.

    On the other hand, maybe trying to be a little more open-minded about certain things may not be something that a person such as yourself is ready for and/or might help you in your life.dclements

    True, I’m not very open minded when it comes to childish nonsense.

    But you have every right to go on believing in fairytales. That’s your business.
  • dclements
    493
    The evidence that belief can affect healing on a personal level is so overwhelming that it has been incorporated into science by giving the effect a name - 'the placebo effect'. If it turns out that thinking hard can make spoons bend, it will likewise become a recognized scientific fact, and given a suitable name - 'the Geller cutlery phenomenon', or whatever. Science is very open minded, and whatever can be demonstrated will be accepted.

    Whenever things are consistently weird, they get renormalized. Inconsistent weirdness is dismissed.

    One thing that I find odd though, is the lack of robust physicalists on the 'simulation' thread. Because if we are living in a simulation, all bets are off. The programmers can stop the program, change something and restart it. They can insert superman, or an intermittent fault to prevent the bomb exploding, or add a world teacher here and there. They can program the blindness of simulated observers to certain phenomena, or absolutely anything at all. Only those of us who have operators in the programmer's world could possibly know about such things. Funny how the old stories become believable when couched in familiar cultural language.
    unenlightened

    Your right! Thanks for bringing it up! :D

    I don't know if the "placebo effect" shows some kind of physical phenomena that can not be explained by current science. I always thought that it merely showed a tendency for the body to "react" toward a underlining issue in a similar way a drug would do if a person took it. However the one thing I can not recall while reading about the placebo effect is how doctors/scientist think it actually works.

    I could be wrong but with the brain in a vat problem we can never know whether we are in a simulation or not. The only thing we can do perhaps is notice/perceive where our waking reality is more stable/consistent than in our dreams. To be honest when I hear things about quantum physics it kind of makes me nervous since there are times I would like to understand if there are cracks in out reality but other times it is unsettling how ..different the quantum world is from what we expect from things that physically exist.
  • dclements
    493
    Stop with the victim act. I never said I considered it heresy — in fact I’ve said I think many people who make such claims are sincere.

    And yet: there are no zombies. There are no ghosts. There are no goblins.
    Xtrix
    And yet you are not willing to consider me to be sincere when I have made such claims. The funny thing is you are so busy attacking straw men (with your arguments arguing against goblins and zombies which I have said nothing about) that you don't even know what I'm saying. All I said was I was at a cemetery on night (the actual cemetery happened to be Union in CT which has a history of things happening), one of the people I was with decided to walk further in than the rest of us, and when I shined a flashlight on him for a brief second I could see what appeared to be a combination of white and black shadows surrounding him and then they where gone. To me it would have been nothing more than a "trick of the light" (other than perhaps the sensation that there was a crowd surrounding the guy in the cemetery), except the person that brought us there said "Yes" when I asked him if he saw what I saw and he was visibly shaken from the experience.

    If you are bothered by me saying that I saw "something that looked like a ghost" then perhaps if all I say is that I saw something that looked like shadows near my friend in Union cemetery maybe you can be at piece with that. It is something that transpired in hardly more than a second.


    So they can move “on their own”, but that’s not magic?

    Again: ouija boards don’t move on their own. There’s no evidence for this, and it contradicts everything we know about the world and physics
    Xtrix

    Do you know how many physical phenomena there are where something is able to move do to physical forces we can not see? For instances there is magnetism that allow objects to be either drawn together or apart by "invisible forces that can not be seen by the naked eye".

    Just because we don't know how a physical phenomena works doesn't mean that it is caused by "magic".

    True, I’m not very open minded when it comes to childish nonsense.

    But you have every right to go on believing in fairytales. That’s your business.
    Xtrix
    I see nothing in my statements to believe I am proposing childish claims, and the only reason I think you feel this way is because you have something against what I'm trying to say.

    All I have been trying to say is that I (as perhaps well as others) have from time to time seen/experienced various physical phenomena that have yet to be explained by our current understating of science and the world around us. I see nothing to be quite outlandish in such claims as you say there to be.
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Welcome to The Philosophy Forum!

Get involved in philosophical discussions about knowledge, truth, language, consciousness, science, politics, religion, logic and mathematics, art, history, and lots more. No ads, no clutter, and very little agreement — just fascinating conversations.