The Instigator
n7
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
yomama12
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

Ghosts Probably Exist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
n7
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,182 times Debate No: 51596
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

n7

Con

Ghosts: An immaterial apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image:

Probability: almost certainly; as far as one knows or can tell.

Exist: have objective reality or being.

BOP (Burden of proof) is shared. I must show that Ghosts are improbable and my opponent must show Ghosts are probable.

Debate format:
R1: Opening information and Pro's opening arguments
R2: My rebuttal and Pro's response
R3: My response

Since Pro is arguing in round 1, in round 3 Pro will put

"For an equal number of rounds, nothing will be posted here, as agreed."

Rules:
No forfeits
No insults
No semantics
72 Hours to Post Argument
10,000 Characters Max
10 Day Voting Period
Start your arguments in Round 1
yomama12

Pro

In Wikipedia, it states that the ghost is,

"the soul or spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

So, when someone dies, what will happen to them? Will their body just lay there, and the person who lived in that body just disappeared, they just vanish from existence? Or, do their spirits leave their bodies, either rising up to heaven ( im not crazy about the Bible, but maybe..), or they just roam about, either where they rest now, where they died, or a place they loved when they were alive. I think that spirits do exist.

As you know, there are many TV shows about the subject, my favorite being Ghost Adventures. Why do they exist? Because ghosts exist! Many skeptics say that these shows are faked, but why would they post fake TV shows on air?

http://ezinearticles.com...

this report shows a professional Ghost Researcher talking about this subject. In my opinion, ghosts are real, and she thinks so too.

Sources:

http://crazyhorsesghost.hubpages.com...

http://ghostexist.com...
Debate Round No. 1
n7

Con

I would like to thank Pro for accepting. I will analyze Pro’s arguments before getting into my own.

Argument from TV

Pro presents the argument that if ghosts exist, we should see TV shows about them. Since we see TV shows about them, they must obviously exist. However, this argument contains a hidden premise. The premise is that what’s on TV must necessarily be the truth. This has not been demonstrated, so the argument is not sound. Furthermore the argument commits the fallacy of affirming the consequent. Ghosts existing are not the only way for there to be ghost shows. Confirmation bias can easily be in effect on the creators of the show. This means they are not necessarily fake, but are the result of a type of McGurk effect. These shows can in fact be hoaxed, but Pro asks “why would they post fake TV shows on air”. The answer is simple. Ratings. Does anyone want to watch an hour of people running around in the dark only for them to find nothing at all? Of course not. That would be immensely boring.


The argument is refuted

Argument from Experience

Next, Pro cites an article from a ghost researcher, who basically concludes that the best explanation for various ghost encounters are that ghosts exists. We must keep in mind, the best explanation must be a parsimonious one. This means a natural explanation is preferred.

We must first think about our perceptions. Are they reliable? Neurologist Dr. Steve Novella says [1]

You cannot trust anything you think you see or perceive. There

are simply too many flaws in the ways our brain constructs

these perceptions.

Our perceptions are not passive. In fact, our brains actively

construct a picture of what is going on around us based on a tiny

fraction of all the sensory information that’s coming in, which

introduces many opportunities for distortions and error.

This can happen to anyone, even trained pilots. Such as the story last year where a pilot mistook Venus for an airplane. He even took evasive maneuvers [2]. This is because he saw something and his brain made the assumption of an airplane. We cannot escape it. I can prove it to everyone right now

Look at the picture below.

Are squares A and B a different color? Of course they are, right? Wrong, squares A and B are the exact same color. Your brain perceives everything around square B and assumes it’s a shade of white, instead of a shade of gray. Take a look at the square but with two gray bars to the left and right of it.


If you’re completely skeptical, download the image and put it into paint (or any other photo editing software) and put square B next to square A.

Hallucinations are something that can easily happen. Something as simple as not getting enough REM sleep can cause hallucinations [3]. Some people who have no psychological problems whatsoever are actually predisposed to hallucinations [4]. Suggestion alone can cause you to hallucinate [5]. I contend that these ghosts experience can be easily explained by suggestion.

This can explain initial sightings, but these stories can become flawed overtime through our memory. Our memories work like our perception, constructing it together. To quote Dr. Novella again

“Human memory is utterly flawed. Like perceptions, memory is not

a passive recording; instead, our memories are constructed entirely

by our brains. In fact, they’re tied together with everything that we

think and believe with our internal model of reality...There is a false assumption that all problems with memory are associated with recall. Some memories never form; in other words,

we may experience something but never consolidate it from short-term into long-term memory. Memories also degrade, fuse, and morph over time.” [6]

We’ve heard the term seeing is believing, but it seems that believing is seeing. Suggestion, flawed perception, and flawed memory are at the apex of ghost experiences and is not sufficent for deducing the existence of ghosts

His other sources include ghost photography. However, those can easily be explained by multiple exposure.

Ultimately, we’ve seen very little evidence in support of ghosts. I will now present a powerful argument against the existence of ghosts

The problem of Interaction

Ghosts have been defined as the immaterial spirit of a person that can interact with us. We can hear them, see them, ect. However, consider what it means to be seen and to make a voice. To be seen is to have your light reflected and enter the eyes of another. To make a sound is to produce compressional waves. If ghosts interact with reality, see us, hear us just like we see and hear them, then they must have light reflecting, noise making, and receiving capabilities. Simply, a ghost must interact through reality by a shared property. However, interacting via a shared property means these ghosts must be a part of the same substance as you and me. They cannot be some spiritual non-physical thing. This means ghosts are an incoherent concept and cannot exist.

[1] Novella, Steve. Your Deceptive Mind. A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Lecture 3. P. 28 in guidebook.

[2] http://www.foxnews.com...

[3] http://www.ninds.nih.gov...

[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[5] http://www.sciencedaily.com...

[6] Novella, Steve. Your Deceptive Mind. A Scientific Guide to Critical Thinking Lecture 4. P. 35-36 in guidebook.

yomama12

Pro

There have been many accounts of paranormal activity, some from as far back as the 15th centuries!

http://ancienthistory.about.com...

This website shows that ancient people, some of them famous, have had reports of supernatural experiences. Including Gilgamesh, the ancient Greek hero, and Homer, writer of the Odyssey. These accounts prove that there are some spooky stuff going on in the world, even in ancient times!

Clairvoyant and Mediums

There are many people who claim to be able to talk and listen to people who have passed on to the next life, some of them even have heir own TV show!http://www.tlc.com...

These people have something known as "the sixth sense" or ESP. This ability also lets people predict certain happenings, like when a medium Predicted that Robert Kennedy died on that day, even though it was hours before! Heck, some ancient people apparently had it, as, before his death, Julius Caesar's wife warned him not to go to the meeting that led to his death, because of a dream of a statue of him dripping with blood. Of course, he didn't follow her, and that led to the day of his death, stabbed by the governors at the meeting who were feeling he had too much power. Enough proof to say that ghosts exist? I would say, you had some pretty good arguments, this is going to be a tough debate.
Debate Round No. 2
n7

Con

Thanks Pro.


Pro brings up stories of ghosts in ancient times. It’s quite interesting, but it responds to nothing. My argument from experience already refutes it. Meaning his argument from experience is still refuted.


Pro dropped his argument from TV, meaning that argument is still refuted. He also never responded to my argu.ment from interaction against ghosts, so that argument succeeds. Pro does offer a new argument from psychics However, the argument fails.


Psychics


First, because all Pro can show is that a medium somehow knew information. He has not demonstrated that ghosts are the cause, all he did was cite an effect. I can hear Hume rolling over in his grave. Secondly, even if I did accept the cause being a legitimate dead person, this doesn’t mean they are ghosts. They could be still exist in an afterlife, not here. Third, Magicians and Mentalists such as I have many tactics to “talk to the dead” without actually talking to anyone but the living. It’s called the cold reading [1]. With practice, anyone can fool someone into thinking they’re psychic. Lastly, the people who go to these mediums are subject to confirmation bias. The person receiving the reading will forget the wrong information and remember the correct information [2].


Pro brings up a psychic predicting JFK’s assassination. This is partially true, but not the whole truth. Jeane Dixon never stating “JFK will be assassinated” she just said


“"As for the 1960 election Mrs. Dixon thinks it will be dominated by labor and won by a Democrat. But he will be assassinated or die in office 'though not necessarily in his first term.” [3]


Nothing about JFK. Ironically Dixon predicted JFK would lose the election [4]. Dixon also made numerous false predictions [5] like the Soviets getting to the moon first and world war three starting. This caused John Allen Paulos to coin the term “The Jeane Dixon effect” [6] which “references a tendency to promote a few correct predictions while ignoring a larger number of incorrect predictions”.


Pro then cites Calphurnia dream. However, this is from Shakespeare's play “Julius Caesar” [7]. The play is based on true events, but I could find no evidence supporting the claim that Calphurnia’s dream was real.



Conclusion


My arguments and rebuttals are uncontested. Pro drops arguments and adds arguments that are irrelevant to the debate.


The resolution is negated, I have demonstrated that Ghosts are improbable while Pro has not fulfilled his BOP.


Remember Pro, since you went first, in the next round you must only post

"For an equal number of rounds, nothing will be posted here, as agreed."


Thanks


[1] http://rationalwiki.org...

[2] http://www.futurescopes.com...

[3] http://www.straightdope.com...

[4] Ibid.

[5] http://skepdic.com...

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[7] http://www.shmoop.com...

yomama12

Pro

yomama12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
n7yomama12Tied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Con wins the debate easily by arguing that ghosts cannot exist due to no interactions with matter which is required for existence. Con also refuted all Pros arguments and Pro dropped some of these arguments in effect conceding them. Con gets points for sources that were more reality based. Conduct points to Con as Pro forfeited the final round it was clear what was to be typed in this case.
Vote Placed by WilliamofOckham 3 years ago
WilliamofOckham
n7yomama12Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro dropped the majority of con's arguments, and the ones he didn't, he responded with unprovable claims and strawman arguments.
Vote Placed by SNP1 3 years ago
SNP1
n7yomama12Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted all of Pros points.
Vote Placed by TheRussian 3 years ago
TheRussian
n7yomama12Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con refuted just about every argument made by pro. Pro made new arguments, but they strayed from the topic of debate. Pro could not disprove Con after being refuted, therefore, 3 points for Con.