The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

The Existence of Ghosts

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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2016 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 598 times Debate No: 87330
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




This debate is on whether or not ghosts exist. I am taking the position of 'No, ghosts do not exist.' The contestant will take the position of 'Yes, ghosts do exist.'

Round 1: Accept.
Round 2: First argument.
Round 3: Rebuttals and extra arguments.
Round 4: Conclusion.

Forfeit is a loss.


I accept. Looking forward to an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 1



1. Ghost populations.

2. Laws of Physics.

1. A simple google search will tell you that the grand total of dead people is 107 billion. Assuming that anyone *could* become a ghost, that's a lot of ghosts. This begs the question: Where are they? With 107 billion ghosts, that's just over 15x the population of the world; surely we'd be swamped?

However, that's not all. There have been countless reports of spectral dogs and cats, as well as ghostly trains, gunshots, footsteps, and even sofas! Imagine how cramped our world would be if they all became ghosts; it would be horrible. But it's not cramped, and it's not horrible, because they're not here. So where are they?

2. Ghosts are always an interesting topic when it comes to physics. Are they subjected to physics or not? Let's assume they are. They're affected by gravity, the Pauli Exclusion Principle, and the various other laws of physics, should they apply (Strong and weak nuclear forces, electromagnetism, etc). But wait -- that means they can't float. Or go through stuff. I could uppercut one if I wanted to, because they're affected by the Pauli Exclusion principle; I could crush one at the bottom of the ocean due to water pressure. This doesn't sound like ghosts at all.

So let's assume they're *not* subjected to the laws of physics. They're unaffected by gravity, the Pauli Exclusion Principle, pressure, etc. So, they can go through things, float, and not get crushed. Sounds about right. Unfortunately for the ghosts, the Earth is revolving around the Sun at around 30km a second (67,000 mph). Assuming they're unaffected, they should be torn away from the Earth at extremely high speeds.

So which is it? Are they susceptible to being hit, or are they torn away from the Earth?

Those are my two arguments for now. I have more, but I'm saving them for round 2. I'm looking forward to the next round.


The premise that the dead remain with us on some plane has been in existence since man has been in on earth. Depending on culture and religion, explanations for ghost are many; unresolved issues, failure to accept death, revenge, and it's even seen as a purgatory for an imperfect life, to name a few. What is really is occurring with ghosts can be explained if we look at people that are/were dependant on nature, animal behavior and physics.


It is true ghostly presence is not felt by everyone. It's often attributed to some sort of sensitivity. Some claim ESP, others hypothesize individuals have hypersensitive limbic systems; or are environmentally sensitive [1]. But take a look at the animal kingdom. Animals are intuitively are aware of impending natural disasters, tsunamis, earth quakes and the like. Animals escape to safety before a disaster occurs; their sensitivity cannot be detected by laboratory instruments. Evolution has made them super sensitive which has allowed them to survive [2, 3]. We are animals as well who once lived in the wild as hunter gatherers, also in tune with nature. Since we have become civilized we dismiss or ignore our natural intuition. Shamans across cultures have had an understanding of this natural sensitivity and have used it for their peoples' benefit.


Has the hair on the back of your neck ever suddenly raised, or a chill come across you in a warm room? Einstein's theory states energy cannot be created nor destroyed. Yes, when buried we revert to chemical energy for soil and plant life; but what about the electromagnetic energy we emit? Dr Jack Sarfatti has a quantifiable mathematical theory that man is in connection with the environment and can send and receive energy signals. His Super string theory states that electrons, neutron and protons are composed of vibrating strings that resonate. It bundles with, and interconnects to our surroundings. It moves freely through objects and does not adhere to the laws of gravity. It creates an interpsychic dimension. People who share similar vibratory resonance (same energy wave link so to speak) are likely to be our friends, those who don't a foe or something in-between [4]. It explains how sometimes a normally friendly dog will turn on an individual for no apparent reason. Take this theory and apply it to how animals behave with impending natural dangers. Everything around us has resonance, even the Earth itself. Once it is emitted it, it is out of our body but remains as energy. Ghosts are resonant energy. Only those who match their resonant frequency can see or feel their presence. All the ghosts of people and animals who have ever lived are here, it's a matter of matching resonances or how a ghost’s resonance has bundled with other things that emit similar electromagnetic energy in the environment.

R2 Pauli Exclusion Principle: This principle applies how fermions behave for star collapse into white dwarf or stars into neutron stars; an extremely cold environment. As applied to atoms above 0 Celsius, fermions can have identical quantum numbers. When applied to stars fermions behave differently. Also, this excludes bosons (photons, force carrier particles [5]) due to their integer spin whose wave function is symmetric. They exchange identical particles, frequency-dependent and collect into a same energy state [6,7,8]. In application to a temperate earth, this theory bolsters Sarfatti’s Super string theory in how energy at the particle level is frequency dependent.

Back to you Zoodook.









Debate Round No. 2


It's true that the premise of the dead staying on has been with us since man has been on Earth; it is also true that up until a few centuries ago, the premise of the Earth being flat has existed since man has been on Earth. As had the premise of the sky being a dome of some kind, and of the moon being a light, and not a physical object. We now know all of these premises to be false excepting the ghost premise.


1. Ghostly prescence is felt by very few, those that claim to be able to are psychics and many have been shown as fakes. Animals knowing about impending natural disasters is easy to explain; dogs, for example, can pick up vibrations far better than we can, allowing them an early warning system against earthquakes and tsunamis, both of which cause such vibrations. If you could provide an entirely unbiased study which proves that Shaman voodoo works, then I'll take a look at that. Because I have seen a grand total of 0 evidence for said claims.

2. The journal you linked to is based entirely on the premise that thoughts and emotions can be brought down, on a fundamental level, to electrical activity. This is false. Emotion,on a fundamental level, are chemical reactions []. Emotions can easily be understood as "X stimulus occurs, release Y hormone", which then changes the electrical activity in the brain. The journal then goes on to explain that the human body has an electromagnetic field, which it does. Electrical activity all over your body produces this field, and it does not remain when you die; your electrical activity has stopped. When buried (or cremated), the chemical energy of the body is broken down. That's literally it; after death, there's no other source of energy in the body.

What the journal also fails to do is explain how these strings are linked. Assuing it is somehow true, and that all matter is strung to all other matter, this would create a web in which movement in any direction would put too much strain on the rest; whether or not the strings are affected by gravity is irrelevant, the strings would prevent movement.

As I understand it, the Pauli Exclusion Principle shows how matter cannot move through other matter, i.e. despite being mostly empty space, atoms cannot move through other atoms. This, in relation to ghosts, would mean that should said ghosts be in contact with matter, being matter themselves, they would interact with it. Like we do. Now, I am aware that you said that ghosts are 'resonant' energy, but the question is this: What's the source of this energy? Upon death the electromagnetic field ceases, so it can't be from the human.

None of this, by the way, explains why there aren't 106.999 billion more ghoss han here seem to be. Ignoring that cats, dogs, gunshots, sofas, and trains have been reported. Seriouusly, what kind of resonant energy does a sofa produce?

Now for my next few arguments.

1. Haunted places

2. What makes you a ghost

1. What makes a 'haunted' place haunted? Based on your 'resonant energy' explanation, these places shouldn't be any more haunted than anywhere else. After all, they're just energy, right? So how come people report larger numbers of ghosts in haunted places? The answer appears to be that people are susceptible to suggestion. Upon a place being announced haunted by friends / family / various other trustworthy people, of course we assume it's haunted -- and thus that there are more ghosts there. However, like the mighty placebo effect, nothing is actually happening. flickering lights? Bad electrics. Chill down your spine? Draughty windows. There's nothing else to it.

2. What makes you a ghost? Surely, if ghosts are just 'resonant' energy, they don't have sentience. They think about as much as my bedroom light does. Unless they're not resonant energy, in which case your entire argument is invalid. Back on point, however. Surely if people came back as ghosts because of "unresolved issues, failure to accept death, revenge", then at least half of those dead people must come back. That still makes 53.5 billion ghosts, which is over seven and a half times the world population. Even if you can only see ghosts when you're on the same 'frequency' as them, that should be hundreds of millions of ghosts per person. And again, this ignores the reports of ghost cats, dogs, trains, sofas, footsteps, and gunshots -- what makes them come back as resonant energy? How do they come back as resonant energy?!

I eagerly await your response.


Up until a few centuries ago” We are not speaking about the Earth being flat or sky dome etc. which has been disproved by science, but the yet to be fully explained existence of ghost. At some time in the future science may advance enough to prove or disprove their existence but, to date no solid scientific evidence is available to disprove all the spectra phenomenon that occurs.

R1a: I never made claim to the authenticity of ESP, mediums, psychics and the like; just that some people attribute their contact with ghost to these factors; which I agree should be dismissed. My contention is science and nature based for the existence of ghost. Regarding animal and impending danger, link the Super string resonance theory presented in R1, it is applicable. (which I will address in more detail later). Even the Earth has vibratory frequencies which animals are in tuned and humans can measure when they become strong enough. The theory makes sense because all atoms possess kinetic energy. Even a stone has energy where atomic particles resonate, though it is tightly compacted and very fast moving; whereas in gasses the energy is less dense and slower moving. Humans and everything else is in between This energy is in everything.

R1b: I'll remind that humans are animals and were much more in tuned with nature in the past, much like the creatures we see today run to safely before impending danger; we can assume we did the same. Have an open mind and move out of the conventional western thinking when it comes to Shamans. At one time western medicine hooeyed ancient Chinese acupuncture as a barbaric with no merit; it is now an accepted treatment. Shamans have lead botanist to medicinal plants that are used in modern medicines Their knowledge of their surroundings is ancient and is greater than civilized man; it should not be dismissed out of hand. Michael Harmer Ph.D. anthropologist and ethnologist has studied Shamans from various cultures. Shamans have existed across multiple cultures on 5 continents for millenniums. The basis of Shamanic beliefs is two realities, the ordinary reality and nonordinary reality. The latter allows them to communicate and interact with ghosts and spirits. Harner states “science has never disproven the theory of the existence of spirits Jack Hunter from the University of Bristol, published an academic article in The Journal of the British Association for the Religions, “Between Realness and Unrealness": Anthropology, Parapsychology and the Ontology of Non-Ordinary Realities” where he states that pathological models of Western Study are dismissive and reductive of alternative ontologies. It attempts to make what is studied fit into social or physiological niches; this is short sighted and stubborn thinking. There is no certainty of “non-physical entities or forces . Michael Winkelman, from Arizona State University wrote a work” Shamanism in Cross Cultural Perspective” where he explains the Shamans and their ghost and spirit beliefs are shared around the world . How can thousands of people through the ages on the same subject be wrong? None of this is the TV style Shaman Voodoo which you might have in mind.

R2a I believe you didn't read the full article. At the top of the page the premise is stated “human interpersonal communication, it is the concept that humanity has an inherent connection with its environment, the basis of which is human consciousness itself, something which is now quantifiable ; The theory connects well to the Shamanic belief system presented for an explanation for presence of ghosts and spirits. My source of the article cannot be repudiated since it’s from “The Journal of Theoretics” which is a publisher of scientific literature. Your article is from the American Museum of Natural History, which is also reputable, delves into the topic in layman terms, not the physics. I ask you, what happens to all that electromagnetic energy that we emit? Do you soak it back up? No, it’s out in the environment as energy that cannot be destroyed according to Einstein.

The article explains that the strings are linked by similar vibratory energy. And yes, all matter is strung together by these alike strings. But your rebutal lacks explaination how strain and lack of movement would occur amongst strings. We are not talking about the kind of string that is wound into a ball, it's vibratory. Throw two same sized stones in a pond. They make similar sized ripples. Think of the ripples as vibratory strings that connect because of their similarity. Throw a big rock and a small stone; they each make a different pattern of ripples that will not connect because their dissimilar. As stated before in R1, there’s an interpsychic dimension where ghost and people who share similar vibratory resonance can interact.

R2b: The movement through matter has been addressed. Atoms do not move through one another nor through matter, their vibrational energy does. Throughout our life we are emitting electromagnetic energy. We don't go searching and collect a lifetime of emittances when we die. That's a chore that any dying person would hate to face.

Yes my valued opponent, there are billions of ghosts of all people and animals past. Only those people and ghosts who are on the same frequency are able to interact. And there can be a sofa, tree, or crevice in the earth that has the same vibrational resonance as a dead person and they, theoretically, could be bundled with it; they are now in a sense apart of nature.

(1.) R3 Haunted places. Again, it's a matter of vibrational frequency. We share DNA and many physical characteristics with family members. I don’t see why we would not also sometimes share a similar resonance; therefore attributing to more than one ghosts in a building. However, I haven't heard of a haunted building with more than a few of ghost, not large numbers. Multiple witnesses of the same phenomenon can be attributed to openness to reception of resonance. As mentioned earlier, civilization has dulled or we dismiss our natural intuitiveness. But also, I will not refute that some individuals will fall prey to the power of suggestion.

(2.) R4:What makes you a ghost?” Residual resonance energy that was emitted through person’s lifetime. If Shamans call upon ghost or spirits for guidance they must have some manner of sentience. Unresolved issues, revenge and such, as given as an explanation for ghost is what some attribute, but this is not my contention as stated earlier. As far as having hundreds of millions of ghosts per person, that does not make sense. That statement assumes there is a limited number or range of resonance frequencies, which is not the case. There are infinite possible frequencies as there are combinations of atoms comprising everything on Earth and in the cosmos; especially since it is the vibrations of electrons, neutron and protons that are producing the energy. You don't come back as resonance energy, it's the energy that you have emitted throughout your lifetime that remains.
Debate Round No. 3


As agreed at the start, this rond is for conclusions.

My conclusion, from everything said so far, is that ghosts simply cannot exist, on a fundamental level. Whilst all atoms do have kinetic energy (Unless they are at absolute 0), this energy is merely transferred to / from other atoms. Whilst our bodies do emit small quantities of electromagnetic energy, this energy is not sentient, and thus cannot communicate with people, and it would have to be replenished to be visible. Science cannot disprove the existence of ghosts, but the Burden of Proof is on you; science cannot disprove the existence of invisible flying chocolate dragons, the Celestial Teapot, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Whilst your argument does sound realistic, it has holes.

Vote con.


My valued opponent has conceded to the existence of electromagnetic emittance which is the basis of my argument for the existence of ghost. CON has not addressed why all ghost phenomenon has not been disproven. Nor has the Super string resonance theory explaining how ghost exists been adequately rebutted. The lack of replenishment of electromagnetic energy once a person dies is not required due to its emittance throughout a lifetime and is always in existence according the Einstein’s theory. Human’s natural intuitiveness from the past has been dulled or dismissed, but still exist which enables man to interact with ghost via similar electromagnetic resonance in the same manner that animals react with to vibratory clues from the Earth. The Shamanic principle of nonordinary reality and ghost/spirit communication was not contested as well. Sentient ghosts is the premise for Shamanistic practice, their assistance is called upon to aid the practitioner. Shamans communicate with ghosts via Super string resonance. It is an ancient belief system in tuned with nature and is still practiced amongst indigenous people to this day. Shamanic belief in the existence of ghosts has yet to be scientifically proven wrong. On the topic of billions upon billions of ghost in existence, this matter was addressed fully, due to the infinite possible frequencies where ghosts can be in sync with elements in nature. New arguments presented by CON in R3 they have been addressed and not rebutted. Since CON and science cannot equivocally disprove the existence of ghost or their sentience. I remain firm on their existence. “Whilst your argument does sound realistic, it has holes;” CON has not adequately plugged any gaps. The BoP is upon the instigator unless agreed upon to the contrary at the start of debate.

I can throw a chocolate dragon to initiate flight, ergo flying chocolate dragon. Then I’ll eat it because I love chocolate. Celestial Teapot, I will concede does not exist, it makes no sense. I am a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The metaphysics of faith and belief systems is a debate best left for another time.

Thank you Zoodook for a good debate. BTW, I don’t believe in ghost. My only goal was to provide a convincing PRO argument.

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by zookdook1 7 months ago
To clarify, if necessary, the lack of contact implies non-existence like this:

Flying chocolate dragons exist. But, only a few people can see them.

It seems absurd but it's the same argument pro used, but with a slightly different claim. If it can 'only be seen by a few people' then you could say anything and it would be irrefutable. If only, say, one person sees a ghost in a location, it's unlikely to be true. If a huge crowd saw a ghost (Like a ghost appearing at the Olympics) it would be near irrefutable. But 'only a few people can see it' so no-one can test the claim; they're not one of the ones who can see them.
Posted by tejretics 7 months ago
The BOP lies with Pro- the topic is a fact claim, as such judges assume a Pro burden until shown otherwise.

The problem is Pro has no offense, only attempting to refute Con's arguments. Pro has a small piece of offense in arguing that people "sense" such indicators and ignore it, but a) there's no justification for this, and b) there's no explanation for how these experiences are those of ghosts. Pro also argues from a severely under-explained super-string theory, but I don't buy it because there's no reason to believe such indicators are those of "ghosts" specifically, nor do I necessarily need to by the theory in itself.

Con's offense regarding populations is refuted via the argument that indicators do exist. I don't really buy how lack of contact implies non-existence and Con doesn't explain that.

The largest point of contention is the laws of physics, but the "vibratory energy" point is under-explained and isn't sufficiently justified. But I vote largely on the BOP

Vote Con
Posted by U.n 7 months ago
Good, interesting topic.

I started to read this tonight... but it's too much physics speak for my brain. I'll bookmark it and come back to it tomorrow.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 7 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Con claims the BOP is on Pro, Pro claims the BOP is on Con... I'm confused who the BOP falls on but to be perfectly honest I'm not a big BOP guy (I think it's overrated and I care more about who had better arguments in general). Regardless, the same can be said for the arguments. Pro has not proven the existence of ghosts, nor has Con disproven that ghosts exist. Therefore ultimately I'm not awarding any points which makes me free to say whatever I please. What is with the sofas? I've never heard of sofa ghosts, bullet ghosts or ghosts of inanimate objects in general. Con mentioned them twice. Then Pro mentioned. And I said WHY!? Otherwise I liked Con's opening thought trail of ghost overpopulation and Pro -almost- had me buying Shaman's in Round 3. Only other note: this one to Pro, the font was a little too small and that made it difficult on the eyes. Otherwise, it was an interesting topic, amusing, a little thick on the physics but a solid read.
Vote Placed by tejretics 7 months ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments (on behalf of the Voter Union)