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

Worshipping poltergeists is not that bad of an idea

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/10/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 658 times Debate No: 63006
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)




This debate assumes poltergeists exist as disembodied or subtle-bodied sentient creatures. It does not, however, assume whether they are spirits of the dead, demons, spirits of dead demons, or aliens like E.T., the Predator, and Will Smith.

The opponent may issue refutation in this round. My argument is as follows:

1. Poltergeists are worthy of worship insofar as they can vouchsafe for us a direct experience of the supernatural, proving life after death, a spiritual realm, and the existence of other things beyond our wildest dreams!!!!1
2. Being disembodied, poltergeists are potentially more powerful, and may be able to acquire things for us like health, wealth, self-esteem, the ability to leave the house once and a while instead of playing Nintendo games, etc. Worship would favorably dispose them to us.
3. There is no actual evidence that poltergeists are murderous, or if they are murderous, they murder very infrequently.
4. Many cultures have worshipped poltergeists and have suffered no ill-effects from doing so.
5. It is possible that the poltergeists may take us into their magical land, away from the burdens of having to work at Taco Bell or Pet's Smart, and our sad lives in a studio apartment where we can't even have a pet without paying a special "pet deposit". And even then it cannot be bigger than a box of tissue-Kleen-ex.

Other terms for poltergeists: ghosts, things that go bump in the night, shades, wraiths, shadow people, Shreks.


Hi there. This is my first debate here. All the best!!

First to simplify things, I will refer to Poltergeists with P.
I will now refute your arguments.

1. Correct me if I'm wrong but I interpret this argument as if P has greater powers (able to perform supernatural events), then A who has less powers (unable to perform supernatural events) should worship P. I disagree with this because I believe that the usage of all powers should be justified and thus only benevolent beings with greater powers should be worshipped. I believe that the terrorist that hijack the planes in the Sept 11 incident are more powerful then us. But logic dictates that we should not worship them. Pro has not provide any evidence here that all P are benevolent beings.

2. Same as with 1., there is no prove that P are benevolent beings. And there is no proof that P desire worship and that worshipping would grant us their favor. Pro is also weak in his statement. Bill gates is rich and MAY decide to make me rich too by giving me 1 million USD. Then again, he MAY NOT. Thus this point is a fallacy of ambiguity.

3. P only exist in folklore. There has not been any scientific documentation of the existence of P. Thus if they are not even proven to exist, how can there be evidence of murder by them? It's like saying your private jet plane has never broken down when you don't even own one.

4. I have tried to research for "cultures worshipping poltergeist" and have been unable to find any matches. This point is thus invalid as Pro has not provided any evidence for it. This is a fallacy of weak inference.

5. Same as 1. and 2. This point is a fallacy of both ambiguity and weak inference. And using Pro's logic, it is also possible that the poltergeists spirit us away into a plane where it is worst then hell and every imaginable nightmare manifests itself.

Note: I do not understand how the Predator, Will Smith and Shrek qualifies as P as they are definitely not disembodied or subtle-bodied.

Now for my arguments,

1. One of the members of P are spirits of the dead. But not just any dead. Spirits of the dead that linger on are those that have strong negative emotions during time of death and are unable to move on. Causes of negative emotions include brutal deaths, fear, anger, sadness and etc. Now if you are filled with such strong negative emotions to the extend that you are unable to move on, would you be wiling to use your powers for the benefit of others?

2. Aside from spirits of the dead, there are many others that qualifies from Pro's definition of P. However most of these are always associated with negativity such as demons, ghosts, wraiths. Demons are malevolent beings. Ghosts are spirits of the dead which I have already mentioned in 1. and Wraiths associated with omens and portents. I believe that Pro will use his assumption of P to justify more benevolent beings. However he has yet to give any example of said beings. Thus the BOP is now upon him.

3. Just because something such as P have potential to be more powerful, it does not mean they should be worthy of worship. Otherwise wouldn't the passengers in the plane of the Sept 11 terrorist attack worship the plane hi-jackers?

Pro has expressed his own opinions on a few points but has been unable be firm with his conviction nor quote relevant examples. And through that, I am all the more convince that Con is the way to go in this debate.
Debate Round No. 1


Wow this is fun. :)

Refutation of Con's Refutation:

1. Con states that "all powers should be justified" and "thus only benevolent beings with greater powers should be worshipped". To this I say that you shouldn't make sweeping generalities about not worshipping malevolent powers. For example, if a kitten were caught in a tree, mewing for its rescue, and your only option was to summon a malevolent poltergeist, would Con not do so, and let the kitten be eating by a bird or something? Surely not. The ends justify the means in some cases. This refutation does not hold water. Vote Pro!

2. As to the proof of poltergeists as being benevolent, I made no such claim. I only claimed they were powerful. I only claimed they were powerful. Even then, "proof" only exists in mathematics. There is a body of evidence which is persuasive, however, that poltergeists are powerful. ALL ancient cultures of the world make use of some ritual to favorably dispose the poltergeists to our desires --- wicked or otherwise. Were it not for these ancient cultures like the Polynesians, the Hawaiians, the Dutch, the Swiss, the Egyptians, the Hyper-boreans, etc. we would not have modern civilization.

3. Poltergeists do not only exist in folk lore. There is a wealth of evidence that they exist in America and elsewhere. Electronic Voice Phenomena, ectoplasm, Dan Aykroyd, etc. are all persuasive evidence that poltergeists are real. I refer the Con to Google, Bing or Yahoo to do a search on "proofs of the poltergeists".

4. Poltergeists are disembodied or subtle-bodied spirits. All calltures have these. The ancient Chinese philosopher Mozi, for example, wrote a whole book on it:

5. I concede that the poltergeists may whisk us away to a land of Tim Burton-esque nightmares. However, everything good in life --- with the exception of a heck of a lot of things --- comes with risks. I'm sure the Con knows that when you go to the grocery store you could get crushed by a falling bunch of cereal boxes or something, but does this mean the Con doesn't buy groceries? Of course not. I say we live with courage, and though life involves risk, we should not flee from it, but embrace it.

Con is correct that Predator and Will Smith aren't poltergeists, and Shrek is probably not even real, so. . . I don't know where I came up with all that. Probably too much coffee or something.

Against Con's Arguments:

1. Con says that because poltergeists have "strong negative emotions" that they can't have powers that benefit otters. However, the fact that some things with strong negative emotions CAN benefit people shows this argument is false. A case in point: a vicious doberman can save you from a pack of ninjas sent to assassinate you. The dog has strong negative emotion for sure, but if he saves you from the ninjas, he has "benefited you." The Con is clearly overthrown on this point. Vote Pro!

2. Poltergeist in German means "noisy spirit." I do not fault the Con for not knowing German, as it is probably the ugliest language in existence, but by "poltergeist" it is only implied a spirit which makes noise. If a demon, which is a spirit, makes noise, it is a poltergeist. Anyway, it doesn't matter if they're benevolent or not, as I said: bleach isn't benevolent, but if it wasn't in a swimming pool, the swimming pool would be covered in slime, a home for frogs, toads and salamanders. Vote Pro!

3. Again, Con is re-hashing the old argument that because something is potential a source of unimaginable iniquity, it can't be used for good purposes. I have cited many examples for this. It is true that there is a great deal of risk involved, and one may lose one's soul in the process, but we shouldn't be cowardly lions like in the Wizard of Oz, or like brainless Scaredy-crows. We should be like Dorothy and Toto --- courageous, noble, fearless before the march of flames.

I have never been so certain of my position in my life. Thank you, Con, for your interesting remarks. Round 2 will be pivotal, for sure.


Unfortunately Pro's attempts at refutation was quite poor. Let me elaborate furthur.

1. Firstly, Pro did not refute my interpretation of his first argument. Thus his first argument is resolved as if P has greater powers, then A who has less powers should worship P. Secondly, P tried to change the subject by quoting an example of saving a kitten with a malevolent poltergeist. Note he used the words malevolent here. Thus what if instead of saving the kitten, the poltergeist picks the kitten up and drops him from 10,000 feet in the air? I'd rather be stuck in a tree then to die a traumatic death. Thirdly, this attempt of Pro at refutation is invalid simply because his example holds no water. Pro is trying to say that saving a kitten is enough reason for worship. If Pro is right, we should be worshipping fire fighters all over the world. No need to walk on water or turn water to wine!

2. I agree to your initial sentence of "Poltergeists are potentially more powerful". But my point here is, what makes you so sure that they will use their powers to help you? Example, wouldn't you agree that a typical tiger is more powerful then an average human? In that case, why are we putting them in cages in zoos, and not worshipping them and hoping they do our biddings? Pro also claims that "ALL ancient cultures of the world make use of some ritual to favorably dispose the poltergeists to our desires.". Those rituals involved sounds a lot more like the chain and the whip don't you think? The last I checked, the definition of the word "worship" is "to treat (someone or something) with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity." I do not see how chaining something down to do our own biddings against its will is to treat it with reverence and adoration.

3. I noticed Pro likes to hide his own uncertainty with a play on words. Pro states "Electronic Voice Phenomena, ectoplasm, Dan Aykroyd, etc are all PERSUASIVE evidence that poltergeists are real." The sales man down the road can be very persuasive that his newest car runs only on water and has the ability to fly. Pro fails to show any scientific documentation of the existence of P. The scientific method consist of an Observation of a phenomena,using a Hypothesis to explain the phenomena, Predict and outcome using the hypothesis, and lastly Testing if the prediction matches the hypothesis. All examples stated by Pro were never tested and proven scientifically. I have googled ectoplasm and EVP and both appeared consistently associated with fraud. And using Dan Aykroyd, the actor for the movie ghost busters as an example simply proves that Pro is delusional and unable to differentiate reality from fiction.

4. Finally there are some so called evidence for me to refute. Note Pro's initial statement "Many cultures have worshipped poltergeists and have SUFFERED NO ILL-EFFECTS FROM DOING SO" The following s a paragraph taken from the link you posted.

Not only does the record in this book prove it to be so. Anciently, in the reign of Lord Wen of Song, whose name was Bao (610-589 B.C.), there was a master of ceremonies by the name of Guan Gu. While he was working in the temple, a wizard carrying a cane appeared and said to him: "Guan Gu, why don't the jades and stones measure up to the standard, and why are the cakes and wine unclean, and the victims imperfect and not fat, and the sacrifices not in season? Did you do this or did Bao do this?" Guan Gu answered: "Bao is still small and in his swaddle-clothes. What does he have to do with this? It is all done by the official in charge, Guan Gu." Thereupon the wizard lifted his cane and struck him, prostrating him on the altar. At the time those people who were present all saw it and those far away heard of it. And it was recorded in the Spring and Autumn of Song. The feudal lords circulated the news and remarked: "So speedy and severe is the punishment from spirits and ghosts to him who is not reverent in performing sacrifices!"

Doest this not sound like dictatorship? Now Pro do explain how is dictatorship not an ill-effect?

5. "I concede that the poltergeists may whisk us away to a land of Tim Burton-esque nightmares."
Thank you Pro for that confirmation. Do note that malevolent beings have a tendency to do more harm then good. The problem with your attempt at rebutting my statement here is a question of probability. Now let me draw some comparisons.

a) P (malevolent beings) are more likely to harm people then to help them.
b) Terrorist (malevolent people) are more likely to harm people then to help them.
c) Falling bunch of cereal boxes (malevolent objects???) are more likely to harm people then to help them.

Do tell me which is a better comparison? there is no way you can disprove b) due to events such as september 11 or even the latest news on decapitating a journalist (google it if you must). I have yet to read of c) in the news paper. Do provide some evidence of it please.

On my arguments,

1. Apparently Pro does not know the difference between an emotion and a descriptive word. The word vicious is descriptive. If a dog would risk its own life to save you then it would be filled with positive virtues such as loyalty, bravery and sacrifice. And most of all, it must have positive emotions towards the person it is protecting. Now assume the dog has strong negative emotions towards you too, I believe that you would have to out run both the ninjas and the dog as well. Overthrown? Apparently not.

2. Pro failed to refute my point that malevolent beings causes more harm then good. Pro has also failed to abide by his definition of P. Just to remind you, Pro specifically stated that "This debate assumes poltergeists exist as disembodied or subtle-bodied SENTIENT creatures. ". Please prove that bleach is sentient. Otherwise your argument is invalid.

3. All Pro did here was side stepping my argument. Pro also did not address my example. Pro claims that he has cited examples of doing something even if there is a great deal of risk involved. I don't see how going to a grocery store is such a great risk. Either way, I think Pro should study his examples before using them. Pro says we shouldn't be like the cowardly lions in the Wizard of Oz. But if he had actually read the original Wizard of Oz, the lion only thought he was cowardly.

The Winkies were not a brave people, but they had to do as they were told. So they marched away until they came near to Dorothy. Then the Lion gave a great roar and sprang towards them, and the poor Winkies were so frightened that they ran back as fast as they could.

With Dorothy hard at work, the Witch thought she would go into the courtyard and harness the Cowardly Lion like a horse; it would amuse her, she was sure, to make him draw her chariot whenever she wished to go to drive. But as she opened the gate the Lion gave a loud roar and bounded at her so fiercely that the Witch was afraid, and ran out and shut the gate again.

"If I cannot harness you," said the Witch to the Lion, speaking through the bars of the gate, "I can starve you. You shall have nothing to eat until you do as I wish."
So after that she took no food to the imprisoned Lion; but every day she came to the gate at noon and asked, "Are you ready to be harnessed like a horse?"
And the Lion would answer, "No. If you come in this yard, I will bite you."

With these two examples, the Lion is cowardly in name only, and rises up to the occasion when it needs to.
And do explain how a process where one's soul may be lost be a noble process?

I have refuted all of Pro's arguments, points and example. Thus Con is definitely the right answer in this debate.

Note: Do let me know the content format for the final round in the debate.
Debate Round No. 2


My concession speech:

I am defeated. Never again shall I argue that worshiping poltergeists isn't a bad idea (at least this month). My position was unfounded, ill-thought out, and unsanitary. My arguments were insufficient. My evidence weak. I misunderestimated my opponent. I have lost.

I promise now to:

a. Quit worshiping poltergeists
b. Quit defending them
c. Quit using Dan Aykroyd's existence as evidence of my arguments


Quoting my own source-text (Mozi) against me was brilliant.
Expanding on the Wizard of Oz references was brilliant.

As to the rules of the final statement, thank you for asking and you can do what you like. I look forward to reading over other debates you're in.

I think there's a few points I may have been able to chew on a bit more (and probably fail), but you really devastated me in the later refutations. No contest.

Vote Con!


For my final statement,

I really do not know how to fill in this part :p

But thank you Pro for starting this debate. I'm glad you had as much fun as me. It was great having you as my first opponent which I'm sure you went easy on me.

And also thank you for your sense of humour in your concession speech. I can't help smiling though it all.

Anyway, vote Con! and have a great day. Cheers.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
One thing I'm learning is to state things as precisely as possible. I'm usually more concerned with the aesthetic or literary qualities of a sentence over its precision. A precise sentence isn't always as pretty, but its necessary in this context. :(
Posted by VelCrow 2 years ago
It was fun while it lasted. Do post feedbacks on my debate here (Eg. how I could improve my debate). All feed backs are welcome as long as they have good intentions :)
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
No worries at all. It was worth the wait. I couldn't stop smiling BOTH times I read your refutation. I'm going to make a point to read your future debates. Thanks! :)
Posted by VelCrow 2 years ago
@mightbenihilism I apologise for the late reply. have been busy over the weekends. anyways here it is :)
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
Pug vs. Pokemon

Battle Royale!

Don't Mish it!
Posted by VelCrow 2 years ago
Thank you.. May the best man wins :)
Posted by mightbenihilism 2 years ago
You got it. It's now three.
Posted by VelCrow 2 years ago
Hi there. I would love to debate with you on this topic. But I'm afraid 5 rounds is too long for me. Would it be possible for us to have one in a shorter format of say 3 rounds?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: Quite a fun read! Arguments because, of course, Pro conceded. Conduct to Pro for an honorable concession--valuable over a forfeit even in a "funny" debate--there was nothing wrong with Con's conduct, I just feel that honorable concessions should be rewarded. Unrelated to the debate: While Con's is cool too, I love your pug avatar Pro. As the owner of a couple dapper pugs, I can't lie, I wish they had tuxes.