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BS: Atheists and Ghosts

Little Hawk 10 Jan 09 - 03:39 PM
Jack Blandiver 10 Jan 09 - 03:24 PM
Little Hawk 10 Jan 09 - 03:20 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jan 09 - 03:15 PM
Little Hawk 10 Jan 09 - 03:10 PM
Uncle_DaveO 10 Jan 09 - 02:19 PM
Little Hawk 10 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM
Anne Lister 10 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM
Paul Burke 10 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM
Riginslinger 09 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM
Don Firth 09 Jan 09 - 04:28 PM
Bill D 09 Jan 09 - 10:27 AM
GUEST,Venerable Bede 09 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM
Jack Blandiver 09 Jan 09 - 05:52 AM
Riginslinger 08 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM
Anne Lister 08 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM
VirginiaTam 08 Jan 09 - 01:53 PM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 09 - 01:46 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 09 - 01:28 PM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 09 - 11:02 AM
Ruth Archer 08 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM
Stu 08 Jan 09 - 10:11 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 09 - 09:56 AM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 09 - 09:16 AM
Jack Blandiver 08 Jan 09 - 07:22 AM
VirginiaTam 08 Jan 09 - 01:31 AM
Don Firth 08 Jan 09 - 12:32 AM
Jeri 07 Jan 09 - 11:02 PM
Jeri 07 Jan 09 - 10:59 PM
artbrooks 07 Jan 09 - 10:49 PM
Jeri 07 Jan 09 - 10:04 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 09 - 09:53 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 09 - 08:49 PM
Donuel 07 Jan 09 - 06:27 PM
Will Fly 07 Jan 09 - 06:18 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 09 - 06:12 PM
artbrooks 07 Jan 09 - 05:09 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 09 - 05:08 PM
Bill D 07 Jan 09 - 04:57 PM
Uncle_DaveO 07 Jan 09 - 04:54 PM
VirginiaTam 07 Jan 09 - 04:43 PM
Riginslinger 07 Jan 09 - 04:28 PM
Amos 07 Jan 09 - 04:00 PM
Bill D 07 Jan 09 - 03:33 PM
Amos 07 Jan 09 - 03:05 PM
Elijah Browning 07 Jan 09 - 02:56 PM
Sleepy Rosie 07 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 09 - 02:38 PM
Wesley S 07 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:39 PM

How would anyone even be able to confirm that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:24 PM

Cat culture, eh? We hit & killed a cat on the motorway a few months back (coming home from Les's sing at The Beech in Chorlton) which caused £100 damage to the front bumper which had to be replaced. I've noticed the local cats giving our car an extraordinarily wide berth; one or two raising their heckles and hissing...

Is it true that the Ancient Egyptians had no word for purr?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:20 PM

Intriguing is the word I'd use.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:15 PM

I just flipped station to a show called Ghosts Caught on Camera, where a fellow name Dave Oester was decribing light orbs he videoed in cemetary in Gettysburg.

wierd or scary?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:10 PM

That would be my guess too, Dave. ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 02:19 PM

L.H., I assume from that, that cat culture doesn't change as rapidly as human culture.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 01:16 PM

Paul....ghosts are culturally specific because people are culturally specific! ;-) What I mean is, if a ghost is some lingering remnant of the consciousness of a one-time living human being, then of course the ghost will demonstrate cultural aspects of the time and place the human being existed in, won't it? What else would you expect, for heaven's sake???

I have to say, though, that the ghost of the cat I saw one time exhibited no cultural specificity at all. It just acted like a typical cat. "Meow!" ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Anne Lister
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM

You see, there we go again. There's an assumption made here that people have an expectation about how ghosts behave. I'll go back to what I said before - if you haven't had an experience that involves ghosts the chances are you'll try to explain it for people who have. But I had no expectation of encountering anything ghostly when I did, still less an expectation of how that "ghost" would behave. And it makes entire sense to me that ghosts in different places would "behave" in different ways, because so would the people in that area. If a ghost is indeed a recording of an intense event from the past it would carry that behaviour pattern with it.   Unless there was a missing negative from the penultimate paragraph - in which case I don't understand it at all! Now, if a person from the UK saw a ghost in Japan who was behaving like a ghost from the UK you might want to blame it on cultural expectations ... if, that is, people in Japan who had seen a ghost in the same place described the experience differently.
I don't know that you can assume that there's nothing odd happening in a supposedly haunted pub just because a dog doesn't react - I'm guessing that the ghosts don't appear every night to order and that short of getting the dog to talk about what happened and how he felt about it you're not going to know if he noticed anything odd anyway. Might have been a dog-loving ghost! (Or a ghost-loving dog).

There's still the question, even if it's true that human perception has in some way created the ghost, as to why some people experience it and others don't and why specifically then and there.
The clincher for me, quite apart from my own experiences (which I've attempted to find alternative explanations for, and failed), was hearing from three separate women at one particular women's prison about a ghost they'd each seen. The women hadn't talked about it before with each other or anyone else, nor had they heard that anyone else had seen this ghost. It didn't appear in just one place but in several places in the large building, and it wasn't remotely frightening. It was, in fact, reassuring and was a source of comfort to those who had seen it. These were women with good reasons for their trust issues with men, and they had each seen an elderly male. So much for expectations and constructs.

As I've said, it's fine by me if you want to discount all of this and hold on to your own certainties that ghosts are just perceptual constructs or simply don't exist. Just don't expect me to sit back and nod when your explanations fail to make sense of what I've experienced.   I live with a man who has to lead ghost tours as part of his job and who is convinced that ghosts don't exist (if he wasn't I think it would be hard for him to lead the ghost tours). He's met lots of people with lots of wishful thinking about what they see in the building where he works, and it's a building where they know the history, pretty much. However he was with me (elsewhere) when I had one experience with something inexplicable and he hasn't yet come up with an explanation for what happened, short of a ghost with a sense of mischief.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:56 AM

Who was it said "I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm scared of them"?

Which is pretty rational, because everybody who isn't religulous knows that it's possible that they are wrong.

When a new landlord moved into the local pub, 17th century and reputedly haunted by several ghosts, he shut his dog in each room in turn overnight as a test. Perhaps it's a rare breed of Sceptic Collie, because he was perfectly happy in all the rooms. I suggested that, since horses are supposed to be even more sensitive than dogs, he should take a pony upstairs, but he baulked at that.

My own take is that the perception of ghosts is a completely real experience, even though the human spirit is a (very complex) process running in the harware (well' soft, wet and squishy ware) of the brain. We know that it feeds us* false information from time to time- that's what optical illusions are- so what our senses tell us* is an interpretation of external reality. There are many things that could trigger the interpreter to put a false construction on it- religious ecstasy has been induced by magnetic fields- and low frequency sound waves is a prime contender, though by no means the only one.

This explains why ghosts are culturally specific- a Japanese ghost behaves quite differently from a Congolese one, and an 18th century English ghost differently from a 15th or 21st century one. they behave as we expect them to.

* I've phrased this wrongly, of course- making it look like a show in the Cartesian Theatre. "We" ARE the process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Riginslinger
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:56 PM

I've not tried him. Seems worth looing into!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Don Firth
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 04:28 PM

One of things that makes H. P. Lovecraft's stories such chillers is not that he is writing about ghosts or things supernatural. Most of the horrors he posits in his stories are actual, physical presences, often some unutterably ghastly freak of Nature.

Two of his stories that are pretty well guaranteed to make you lock the doors and windows, arm yourself with a machine gun and a flame thrower, and back into a corner so that you can see anything coming at you are Pickman's Model and The Lurking Fear.

But before you back into that corner, be sure to look and make certain that nothing is already there, waiting for you. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:27 AM

utterly ignorant, indeed... but we sure can MAKE UP some interesting stories.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: GUEST,Venerable Bede
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 07:52 AM

"Such, O King, seems to me the present life of men on earth, in comparison with that time which to us is uncertain, as if when on a winter's night you sit feasting with your ealdormen and theigns,- a single sparrow should fly swiftly into the hall, and coming in at one door, instantly fly out through another. In that time in which it is indoors it is indeed not touched by the fury of winter, but yet, this smallest space of calmness being passed almost in a flash, from winter going into winter again, it is lost to your eyes. Somewhat like this appears the life of man; but of what follows or what went before, we are utterly ignorant."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 05:52 AM

As an avid reader of fictional Ghost stories (M R James et al) I don't suppose I've never found them scary as such, certainly not the dark instinctive dread I have of actual ghosts & related phenomenon. There is a comfort in the old stories, whereas the reality I find deeply unsettling on a level well removed from any sense of rationality, even though my personal belief is that there is nothing supernatural about ghosts. Indeed, I feel our entire concept of the supernatural is born from an uncommon vestigial / animal perception which since the advent of culture, language & cognition we longer have need or use of. Some of us are more sensitive to this than others (dowsers for example) but even so whilst there is a degree of commonality with respect to the general queerness of such experience, there is no objective consensual definition as to what we might actually be dealing with.

An analogy would be if humanity evolved so that eyesight was no longer necessary and the entire concept of the visual vanished from our culture. There are a few however who had a vestigial ability to see, albeit dimly, blurred, tunnel vision, extreme myopia. How would such experiences be accounted for if not as supernatural or else in terms of ESP (quite literally)? They say that in the kingdom of the blind the one-eyed man in king - more likely the one-eyed man would be dismissed as an irrational crank, or else a shaman, but in any case an outsider from the norm, which is only ever a matter of common consensus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Riginslinger
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:15 PM

In a literary sense, it seems to me that "ghost stories" only work if there is a plausible explanation for the ghost.
                Say, for instance, the ghost of Ronald Reagan comes back and steals all of the presents out from under some family's Christmas tree. That makes perfectly good sense. But say the ghost of Franklin Roosevelt comes back, and the audience is waiting for something bad to happen. Of course, it never does. A ghost can't really die so things continue on undisturbed, and everybody begins to wonder what all the fuss is about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 06:05 PM

Yeah, the real incidents are usually fairly mundane, sometimes a bit odd, sometimes a bit spooky....but nothing as scary as any of the stuff in your typical fictional "ghost stories".


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Anne Lister
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM

My experience is that when people talk about a real experience involving ghosts or something unexplained it's not a deeply scary story. The scary stuff tends, again in my experience, to be the fictionalised or totally fictional tale. When I work in schools children are forever asking me to tell them a scary story - it's quite useful sometimes to tell them an absolutely true ghost story (ie one that has happened to me, or to a friend) and see their reactions when they realise it doesn't include severed limbs or heads or rattling chains or anything of the sort.
I have several of my own experiences which I could tell, and several that have happened to friends - and several, now, that have happened to people who have participated in my storytelling workshops. By far the scariest of these was something which turned out to be a piece of fiction. The real stuff is more mundane.
For the sceptics amongst you (and I'm married to one) all I'll repeat is that the only way to persuade a sceptic is when and if they have their own direct experience. If they don't, well of course they'll cling to their scepticism - which is fine. I have no need or reason to try to convert anyone to my point of view. I do object, however, to the sceptics trying to tell me that my experience was invalid or just plain wrong. And I'd like to introduce them to some of the decidedly un-fantasist and not necessarily very imaginative prisoners I've met who have had their scepticism overturned by their experiences. In fact, if I could ever find a way to get a research grant I'd love to collect ghost stories from prisons up and down the country. There are a lot of them out there, mostly unrecorded.

Anne


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:53 PM

Dogs and cats are quite sensitive to ghosts

No shit Sherlock.. my dog and cat were constantly freaking us out.

Animals staring pointedly at a specific area in the room and trying to peer around you if you moved into their line of sight. Dog would bark happily, tail wagging and jumping up at thin air as though a known human was there playing with him. Cat sitting on back of chair, growling and hackles raised for no reason.

I hated being alone in the house when they did this. Gave me the willies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:46 PM

Nobody expects it to happen! ;-) (unless it's a professional ghost hunter who's out looking for one, I guess...)

Anyway, yes, I understand what you're saying, Dave. I wasn't a bit scared, for example, when seeing what I would take were alien vehicles...but they were at a considerable distance, and at first I thought it was an airplane...so I was just curious, and then VERY curious when I realized it could not be an airplane.

As for ghosts, I saw one when I was a child, and assumed it to be the real thing. (it was the ghost of a cat which had died the day before, unbeknownst to me...) And I encountered what may have been a ghost...or some kind of nature spirit...(hard to say)...in a quarry one time. That did scare me. It was the hostile feeling emanating from whatever it was that scared me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:28 PM

Little Hawk, I didn't say I never feared the unknown or the uncontrollable. I said I didn't have MUCH problem with fear of the unknown.

Another factor, in the UFO example you give, suddenness of onset, surprise, and direct presentation, can play a factor.   What I was responding to dealt, as I read it, with a sort of endemic situation, and hearsay of ghosts, etc. Insane Beard's question, if ghosts didn't exist, from were our very real capacity to fear such things? dealt with generalities, across the board, not the sudden personal presentation of a previously unknown situation.

I don't know what my reaction would be to the unheralded appearance to me of what appeared to be a ghost.   Assuming the appearance immediately forced the idea that the ghost was real, I think I'd be intrigued and interested rather than afraid, but who knows?
Frankly, I don't expect it to happen.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 11:02 AM

Dave, in response to your last post...

The source, IMO, is that there is a tendency in the minds of many to fear whatever is unknown, whatever is uncontrollable. The idea of ghosts triggers that in-built tendency to fear. And strangely enough, many people find the fear delicious to play with, and so they perpetuate the ghost idea. Which doesn't mean that there is any real referent for the fear.

I think it's quite obvious that all people (and animals) quite naturally have a fear of whatever is unknown and whatever is uncontrollable. We want to be in control. We want to know. An unknown puts us in an insecure position, since we don't know what we're dealing with, and fear arises. Curiosity also arises at the same time, because we want to know what it is. If the curiosity is stronger than the fear, then we will investigate. If it isn't, we'll run away or try to fight. This is also what happens when animals encounter something unknown.

I personally don't have much problem with fear of the unknown.

Really??? Well, you may not have a problem with fearing ghosts, let's say, as a detached subject when you can intellectualize it and it's all just safe inside your head....but I believe that if you suddenly and directly encountered something completely unknown to you (a ghost, a flying saucer, etc) you most likely would be afraid, because the fear would arise in the instant, before you had time to start intellectualizing the whole thing. Curiosity would also arise. Depending on your personal nature, the curiosity might then overcome the fear.

I am a rationalist; I take what comes and control what I can, and put off worrying about what cannot be controlled to some other occasion.

So am I, and I do the same. I don't talk about things like ghosts or flying saucers because they worry me. They don't worry me. I talk about them because I find them very interesting.

So "our very real capacity to fear such things" should read "Some people's very real capacity to fear", and the rest of the question, "such things", is merely incidental and proves nothing.

The only thing, in my opinion, that proves anything to anyone regarding something very unusual like ghosts or flying saucers is a direct personal encounter with them. Nothing works like experience. We all have confidence in the reality of things we have actually done or experienced, don't we? It is my own experience I count on in life...not what the Bible says, not what the government says, not what the preacher says, not what the newsman says, not what someone on the Internet says. I can trust my experience, because I know it's real. As for the rest...well, it's all interesting, and it might be real...or it might not...so I'll keep it in mind for future reference, and perhaps in time I will find out for myself. If not...fine. I don't expect to know everything before I die. There will always be much that remains unanswered (in any one person's life, I mean).


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM

In my old house, two people saw a cat, two saw an old woman (we had no cats or, in fact, old women). I was one of the ones who saw the cat. They were independent sightings, in that no one was told in advance that anyone else had seen anything.

My babysitter and my daughter were both completely spooked one night - latches being lifted and doors opening, someone walking around in my bedroom...she never babysat for us again.

We would hear stuff from time to time - humming, whistling...once someone slammed the front door and came running hell for leather up the stairs. No one was there.

The activity would be concentrated; a couple of things over a few days, then nothing for months.

Who can say what or why? but I know these things happened.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Stu
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:11 AM

One of my favourite theories on ghosts was the fact they were 'recordings' being played back that, under the right conditions, you might be lucky enough to see. I think the original idea was the fabric of a building or the physical materials present in a certain area might somehow capture and retain energies that are then projected back to their original position.

An example of this was when a couple saw a legion of Roman soldiers walking across a road one night, but they seemed to be cut off at the knee. Further research showed the original level of the road was about 18 inches lower . . .

One of my favourite ways ghosts express themselves is EVP; Electronic Voice Phenomenon. This is where ghostly voices are recorded onto tape, disk etc and captured by the listener. The definitive work in this area is a CD called 'The Ghost Orchid' which is available on iTunes and is certainly worth a listen, especially with the headphones on during a cold windy night. The track 'Aircraft Intercept' is particularly disturbing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 09:56 AM

Insane Beard asked, in the course of a longer post:

if ghosts didn't exist, from were our very real capacity to fear such things?

The source, IMO, is that there is a tendency in the minds of many to fear whatever is unknown, whatever is uncontrollable. The idea of ghosts triggers that in-built tendency to fear. And strangely enough, many people find the fear delicious to play with, and so they perpetuate the ghost idea. Which doesn't mean that there is any real referent for the fear.

I personally don't have much problem with fear of the unknown. I am a rationalist; I take what comes and control what I can, and put off worrying about what cannot be controlled to some other occasion.

So "our very real capacity to fear such things" should read "Some people's very real capacity to fear", and the rest of the question, "such things", is merely incidental and proves nothing.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 09:16 AM

Interesting post, I.B. Dogs and cats are quite sensitive to ghosts, and will react strongly to them, so their senses are probably keener than ours when it comes to that....not surprisingly. As you say, science simply doesn't have a handle yet on how to explain the phenomenon, so there's a resistance to recognizing it in an official way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 07:22 AM

Do ghosts operate on the same spiritual level as the divine? The Divine is the generative power of the universe, omnipotent and all consuming; ghosts on the other hand are residual shadow-lurkers, cold and lifeless, they seek the warmth of the living and thrive on the attention of the vulnerable. They are the vestigial slurry of once vibrant life, only ever glimpsed in crespuscularity and only ever inspiring fear and dread.

In accepting ghosts, one isn't necessarily demonstrating a predisposition to the Divine. Personally, I feel ghosts are no more a manifestation of a supernatural than the elves & goblins I regularly consorted with in my childhood - just that science hasn't, as yet, cracked the mechanism for such things. Touching on another thread (Folklore: Ghosts) - if ghosts didn't exist, from were our very real capacity to fear such things? And for why fear if such things were in anyway wholesome? Why do ghost stories continue to fascinate? And why does everyone have their own personal ghost story to tell? Even the most rational of us...

Indeed, far more of us experience this sort sort of psychic sludge that ever do anything approaching the divine - and were our perceptive apparatus more common in this respect I dare say we'd have a greater handle on it. As it is, given the general subjectivity of such experience hardly the wonder the vocabulary is so vague - it's rather like trying to describe the colour green to the blind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:31 AM

Donuel reminded me I have seen globes of nebulus light. One the day after my boyfriend's father died. One the day before ex spouse's (same as boyfriend) grandmother died. I was freaking.... in darkened bedroom... crawling across ceiling. tried to wake ex so he could see it but he wouldn't wake up.

Also have a friend who after first moving into her house, she and spouse awakened several times by soldier in Boor War uni, pointing rifle at them and shouting.

They later found bunch of African masks, spears and soldiers kit in their loft.

WillFly - re the Hell.com site. figure should have been done in all 0s and 1s.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 12:32 AM

". . . nonpracticing agnostic."

Thanks, artbrooks! Now I have a name for what I am!

. . . most of the time. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 11:02 PM

And it just occurred to me that Athena popped out of her father's head fully formed, and that form or reproduction is called 'budding', so she was the first Buddist. Too religious for me!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:59 PM

I believe it is (named for the goddess Athena), which is a big reason for me to reject the name.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:49 PM

Isn't that someone from Athens?


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 10:04 PM

I am NOT calling myself an Athenian! I've never heard that 'A' word before. I think I'm going to make up my own word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 09:53 PM

It's a long story, Dave...

It started many centuries ago as "stinking heathen". In time that term became politically incorrect, as it was deemed offensive by a minority of oversensitive types. They put a big guilt trip on everyone else, and people started saying "infidel" instead, for politeness' sake.

A couple centuries later "infidel" also became an impolite term, and was replaced by "Godless Hellhound". You were on safe ground in mixed company as long as you remembered to say "Some of my best friends are Godless Hellhounds, and they're really just like everyone else when you get to know them."

Then a special interest group in Wales declared that "Godless Hellhound" was a term of abuse! Within a decade everyone gave up the term entirely, and you couldn't even speak OF it unless you said "The G.H. phrase...he was using the G.H. phrase!"

This was presently replaced by "non-believer", as it was felt that that was so unexciting that it couldn't possibly offend anyone. But in time it did, probably because it was so unexciting.

"Non-believer" was then replaced by "free thinker", but this implied someone who expects not to pay, so in time "free thinker" also went out of style.

And that was when the modern term "atheist" was adopted. Everyone thought that would be the end of it, but Donuel has advised us otherwise. ;-) The up to date polite term is now "atheian".

Be VERY careful what you call someone who does not believe in God!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 08:49 PM

Donuel told us,

By the way the word is now Atheians... not atheists.

By whose imperial decree?

The word "atheist" is still around, still meaning whatever it ever did, and I'll take it to my palpitating breast and hold it there, indignantly rejecting what I take to be someone's attempt at PCness.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Donuel
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 06:27 PM

Dear S

I have written repeatedly about 2 globes of nebulus light than passed through my chamber brick wall and through the opposite wall near the ceiling very slowly.

The shared experience prompted me to study dimensionality and other subjects to discover a possible cause for such a phenomena never mentioned in physics books. Starting with Flatland and going to electrodynamics the one thing that will forever remain subjective is my inate reaction to the globes as having intelligence and power.

Someone else may have thought ghosts and never looked back.
There is not a month that goes by in which I still stop and ponder the event.

By the way the word is now Atheians... not atheists.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 06:18 PM

This is one of the oldest websites on the net - it's changed its style and form many times over the years, but it's still going.

Worth a visit... Hell

Each time you input the URL you get a different message...


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 06:12 PM

LOL!!!!!!!! That has got to be one of the most honest things Woody Allen ever said in his life.

****

I think you're right, Bill, that it is mainly a matter of personality (and personal background). That's why these discussions go round and round forever in the same circles. As Popeye said, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam!"

****

Elijah - Interesting post. Well, whatever you want to believe is okay with me if it suits you. I mean, it's your own business, right?

****

VT - You said "religion is dangerous and wrong"

I take it you meant organized religion?

My take on that would be...religion is everything. It's every possibility. It's both right and wrong, good and bad, boring and fascinating, useful and useless, honest and hypocritical, cruel and kind, progressive and regressive, constructive and destructive, and every other dichotomy and range you can mention.

This is also true of government.

The reason all these things are true is because both religion and government were created by human beings, and individual human beings are likewise capable of being both right and wrong, good and bad, boring and fascinating, useful and useless, honest and hypocritical, cruel and kind, and every other dichotomy and range you can mention.

So why wouldn't their religious and governmental creations be just like that too? ;-)

If I had your personal background in the Baptist Church, I'd probably feel the same as you do about it...because I'm not a "joiner" by nature, and I get nervous and skeptical in the face of any fixed dogma, specially dogma enforced by a group, and I tend to resist it and go my own way. I'm a natural rebel against hierarchical dogma.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: artbrooks
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 05:09 PM

I am nowhere near religious enough to be an atheist, since that requires a level of disbelief at least as strong as the level of belief of any theist...I guess I'd call myself a nonpracticing agnostic. So can a nonpracticing agnostic believe in ghosts? Well, maybe not in Marley (Dickens's, not the dog) or Casper, but there may be something to the idea of leaving a presence of some kind behind in some circumstances. And, BTW, I love science fiction and most fantasy, but don't care for SciFi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 05:08 PM

Woody Allen said, in one of his movies, "I was born a Jew, but I converted to Narcissism."

I think there might be some of Woody's coreligionists here.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:57 PM

". I spent years as nodding dog front row southern baptist."

When I was a member of a Unitarian church many years ago, the minister was also a 'recovering' Baptist.... he said that one day he just got up and said to himself "this is ridiculous....I can't stand up here every Sunday and spout this stuff!"

I suspect it is a matter of personality, rather than *TRUTH*.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:54 PM


The official American Atheists site says there are no ghosts and if you believe in ghosts you are not an atheist.


Then "The official American Atheists site" is wrong.

And who had the power to make them "the official American Atheists site", anyway? There is no qualifying body with such a power. Even if there were a grand republic of atheists, so to speak, they wouldn't have the ability to make that distinction true.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:43 PM

I have read bible. I spent years as nodding dog front row southern baptist. Now a recovering baptist, because of what I read in the bible and witnessed among my fellow like nodding comrades in GOD.

all religious text written by fallible men, most with some self serving agenda.

religion is dangerous and wrong

end of.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Riginslinger
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:28 PM

They'd better get there before it evolves!


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:00 PM

Evolutionists are flocking to a remote cave in the southern valleys of Germany where a remrakable water stain has been found on the wall which bears an uncanny resemblance to Charles Darwin.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Bill D
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:33 PM

"He's more likely to reveal Himself in a tortilla. ...."

"This just in: An image of a tortilla has appeared on a statue of the Virgin Mary. The church has no comment at this time."


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Amos
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:05 PM

The nice and slightly dishy young vicar will be distressed

I love the phrase "slightly dishy"!! If he's as dishy as all that, be sure and offer solace along with the rude shock.



A


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Elijah Browning
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 02:56 PM

I have taken many things that have made me more loving towards myself and others. Things that have made me more peaceful and more creative. Some came from a bottle, some from a pipe, some from a Bible and some from a song. Huxley called religion the "opium of the masses." I once had a faith, based in an upbringing, but it was misused. Losing that faith, I felt the calm after tears and the solace of indifference. Empty stars let me be. God and Goddess neither damned nor commended. Of all my past vices, faith is the only one I occasionally endulge in, but I do not trust it to accurately alter my perceptions any more than any other vice.

I will not know nor can I say that what is seen through the filter of belief is less true than the cold winter outside my door. I am not sure I am right, but I have lost the trust of god, and therefore, the basis of faith. It seems, that if there is a god, and he has a purpose for me, it is to believe that he does not exist nor that I have a purpose.

I pray to your god that you are right and I am wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Sleepy Rosie
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM

That'll be why my village is so utterly Godless then Little Hawk. Weimaraners a plenty. The nice and slightly dishy young vicar will be distressed at this news though....


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 02:38 PM

Ha! ;-)

I can't. I'm too busy reading my Koran/Baghavad Gita/Buddhist scriptures/Torah/Egytian Book of the Dead/Mormon scriptures/Kahlil Gibran/Taoist teachings/Amerindian Medicine Way teachings/Carlos Castaneda/New Age stuff/whatever.....

The text I'm reading right now states categorically, for instance, that God prefers Dachshunds to Weimaraners.


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Subject: RE: BS: Atheists and Ghosts
From: Wesley S
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 02:31 PM

Those are the words of a heathen. The Enlightened know that God prefers flour over corn. Just read your bible.


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