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Is Nonsense A Good Measure Of Reality?

Recently, I’d read a post on the existence of ghosts, and left a comment. A very short comment…

I’ve written a logical refutation as far as the existence of ghosts goes. It’s actually impossible for ghosts to exist in the way that people claim they do.

There Are No Such Things As Ghosts

Now, I know what you’re thinking. I’m just asking for trouble, posting on an entry like this. Call me a glutton for punishment.

Needless to say, I got what I was looking for. Immediately, Middle Man replied to me. I couldn’t have asked for more nonsense in a single reply. But why try to describe it? Take a look for yourself.

Oh godkillzyou if only logic and science was the measure of reality. Ghosts, like alien abductions, are because we fall asleep?

Belief in things makes things real. For some, God is real because of religion. For others, vodoo can inflict real pain and hurt. Others, believe in ghosts.

The psychic can be powerful from the intuition or instict that makes children afraid of natural dangers such as spiders, through to the inner power that enables small women lift heavy cars to free a trapped child.

In theory, if you build a big enough telescope you will be able to catch up with the light emitted from planet earth and view history being played out in real time.

Ghosts, real? Trapped energy? Psychic imprints? Dunno. But, you cannot tell me that what I have personally experienced was not real. Your logic may tell you so but you have no theory to give me an alternative cause of what I have seen, felt and heard.

That aside, how is life on planet Vulcan?

Thanks for visiting.

I’m just going to come out and say it. This guy is a nutcase. I know I’m preaching to the choir, but let me dissect this big ol’ pile of poopy.

Let’s take a look at his first mal-formed paragraph.

Oh godkillzyou if only logic and science was the measure of reality. Ghosts, like alien abductions, are because we fall asleep?

This guy obviously has no interest in facts, or reading the entire entry he’s commenting about. Ghosts, alien abductions and the like can be explained by sleep paralysis, not “because we fall asleep.” Nice try, though.

Now comes some real nonsense for you…

Belief in things makes things real. For some, God is real because of religion. For others, vodoo can inflict real pain and hurt. Others, believe in ghosts.

Wow. This guy is really detached from reality. And he’s trying to tell me logic and science aren’t the measure of reality? I believe that gas only costs $1.00 per gallon. Guess what? That didn’t work.

This guy has absolutely no critical thinking skills, whatsoever. What would make him think that belief in something makes it real? Does he really believe this? How deluded must one be to think this way?

And just how easy is it to test this idea? Well, there some very simple ways to disprove it right here.

People used to believe Thor caused lightning. Nope, that’s not real. There are countless religions in the world. They can’t all be right. They, for the most part, all make contradictory claims. Christianity and Islam can’t both be true.

Why is this kind of thought process detached from reality? Because he’s created for himself a paradigm where nothing can be proven incorrect. Unfalsifiable. Nothing is open to testing. If you believe it, it’s true and that’s all there is to it – regardless of evidence to the contrary. That is a chaotic existence that I would want no part of.

If what he was saying were true, what could be said about paranoid schizophrenics? They would make our world a living hell with all of the things they believe! Imagine if every delusion any person had became reality!

The psychic can be powerful from the intuition or instict that makes children afraid of natural dangers such as spiders, through to the inner power that enables small women lift heavy cars to free a trapped child.

Again, wow. What exactly is he trying to say? That being afraid of spiders makes one psychic? Children don’t become afraid of spiders until you tell them that they bite. And as far as “small women lift heavy cars,” I’d like him to state his sources. Judging from his earlier statements, I can’t give him enough credit (benefit of the doubt) to assume he’s not just making this up in order to advance his ideology.

In theory, if you build a big enough telescope you will be able to catch up with the light emitted from planet earth and view history being played out in real time.

Now he’s trying to play the part of the physicist. The problem here is that he knows nothing about physics, apparently. Unbelievable. You cannot “catch up” with light emitted from earth. When you perceive light, it is travelling in your direction, entering your eyes. And I’m not just making this up. I’ll even cite my sources. Reality-based, scientific sources. Here’s the study.

And by the way, what exactly does this have to do with being “psychic?” He seems to be making an excuse, or at least a scientific explanation for psychic ability. Do psychics actually just have really big telescopes or something? But then, you can’t catch up with light from the future, right? Maybe in this guy’s mind, you can.

He believes it. Therefore, it’s real.

Ghosts, real? Trapped energy? Psychic imprints? Dunno. But, you cannot tell me that what I have personally experienced was not real. Your logic may tell you so but you have no theory to give me an alternative cause of what I have seen, felt and heard.

I’m not exactly sure why he says that “you cannot tell me that what I have personally experienced was not real.” I mean, judging from his apparently delusional nature, I think I’ve got more than sufficient evidence to think that what he’s “seen” is not real.

Ghosts, trapped energy and psychic imprints. I’m wondering if he even knows what he’s talking about.

As far as not having an alternative cause for what he’s allegedly seen, I wasn’t there. So I have no idea. The possibilities are endless. I could speculate, but I won’t.

I’ll just conclude by saying that, strangely, I love being berated by delusional individuals. I mean, it gives me great material to write about. It also gives my “Bullshit Detector” a thorough workout. Dissecting these little trinkets is a great exercise in skepticism. I fully appreciate all the help I get with that.

So, thanks for reading. Read a book.

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  1. Middle Man
    Wednesday May 7, 2008 at 3:36 AM

    Oh boy. Isn’t it interesting how much trouble you can get into by just posting a quick, 30 second, top of the head, un-researched, badly-written comment?

    Godkillzya, I loved this retort (personal attacks aside). I must admit that I felt some amusement that you were moved to such a well constructed and academic dismissal of my comments. And, I also felt some shame for my mal-formed sentences and inadequate usage of my mother tongue. I can also see how my arguments could be so easily torn apart. My wife, a psychotherapist and English graduate will be very disappointed in me.

    That said, I think the main point I was failing to make was that it does not always really matter whether you can explain experiences and things that happen or not. It is the experience itself that is important for the individual having it.

    Sure some things can be explained, or rather, reasoned away, but I do not believe that hypnpompic or hypnagogic hallucinations can explain every ghostly experience or every alien abduction. Nor do I believe that I was falling asleep or waking every time that I experienced drawers and cupboards being opened or the tape recorder deciding to switch itself on. But, maybe it WAS the red wine.

    Similarly, your explanations do not resolve the shared experience the many viewers of the “factory ghost” had.

    “Reality”, I believe, includes, in the widest sense, everything that is, including what cannot be observed; whether it is understandable or not.

    I have no “ideology” to sell to you. And, believe me, I respect your intellect, intelligence and knowledge.

    Just, allow people to “experience” their own “reality”. It is no less real to them because you can theoretically explain it away.

    By the way, I think it has been proved that children are instinctively afraid of things such as spiders and snakes and that this is an evolutionary thing – these things can kill you – rather than a learned behaviour. It was a highly qualified physisist that told me the telescope theory (but he may well have been yanking my chain).

    But for sure, my Oxford education gave me a first class qualification in “bullshit”…..and I had to read many, many books to get it.

    In future, I will, however, attempt to take more time to craft a better considered response to serious posts such as yours. I am truly humbled and deserved the criticism. And, I do enjoy your blog.

    Variety is the spice of life.

    Regards,

    Middle Man

  2. Wednesday May 7, 2008 at 10:51 AM

    “Belief in things makes things real.”
    I think that is absolutely fantastic. By the way, have you met my pet unicorn? He’s called Gary and he’s a little smasher.

  3. Wednesday May 7, 2008 at 12:44 PM

    Middle Man,

    Thanks for the response! While I can generally see where you are coming from, I still take some issue with your logic concerning this topic.

    I’m not necessarily saying that hypnopompic or hypnagogic states explain every case. Simply that it is an explanation for a great deal of them. Many could be caused by pareidolia, or simply misinterpreting visual or auditory information. I must say that I would accept these explanations over those that attempt to overturn our entire history and knowledge of all natural laws. Not that it’s impossible. But, as the old saying goes, “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”

    You are correct about children and spiders and the like. The comment I made was off the cuff and the point wasn’t very well made. Part of why children accept the argument from authority is for evolutionary reasons. In order to survive.

    Just, allow people to “experience” their own “reality”. It is no less real to them because you can theoretically explain it away.

    I do take contention with this argument, though. I think that there is a major unstated premise here. That whatever is comforting is true, or that what one perceives should not be questioned. I think that only good can come of healthy skepticism concerning what we deem to be “reality.” Especially when “perceived reality” contradicts what is rational to believe – that which is impossible according to the laws of physics. I think it is only right to question and investigate these claims. I think you would also agree.

    As far as the telescope thing, I think he was pulling your chain, so to speak. I could be wrong, but from the study I stated before, and from any other information I was able to obtain, all evidence points to the physical impossibility of “catching up with light.” And even if you could, you would not get an image of what was happening in the past. Light radiates out from the source, in all directions. As you look closer to the source, the clearer the image is.

    Think of it this way. When you look at your television screen, you see a clear picture. But, if you were to stand behind your television and look at the wall, where your television screen casts its light, the image on the screen would be indistinguishable from even an everyday, standard light bulb. At most, you might be able to distinguish one solid color from another. You could not see what was happening on the screen.

    This would probably be the case even if it were possible to “catch up with light,” as this physicist told you.

    Anyway, thanks for writing back and I’ve enjoyed the conversation.

    David (AKA: GodKillzYou)

    And, in case you’re interested in the details, I found the entire study concerning “catching up with light.” Here’s the link.

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