Ghosts.What is up?

I’ve never seen one so I can’t verify or preach to their existence. However, I am very interested by the sheer number of reports that have been handed down through history from just about every culture known to man. This has to number in the millions, right? I understand many of them misidentified something, others terrified themselves during sleep paralysis, some hallucinated, some lied for attention, some were victims of pranks, etc, etc. However, If just ONE of these reports is correct then there is such a thing as ghosts, right? Doesn’t the overwhelming number of reports indicate that there is a good likelihood that ghosts exist?

Nope. No worthwhile evidence, and no working model.

At least with Bigfoot, there’s a workable model. Big animal. But with ghosts, you can’t even explain how they’re supposed to work.

No evidence, no model, no soap. (Radio.)

It says something very definite, all right, but not about the nature of ghosts. Rather, it says something about the nature of living humans. The fact that there are so many stories about ghosts is definitive proof that humans like to tell ghost stories.

While I loves me some ghost stories, I certainly don’t believe that there are ghosts.

I’m quite sure that if ghosts existed, evidence would have been found by now.

Most ghosts have never seen a person, either.

In fact, most ghosts don’t believe in people and tend to ridicule those ghosts who do believe in people. It’s the same old song everywhere you go.

If ghosts don’t exist, then what are cats chasing around in the house?

Five percent of SDMB posters who responded to a poll said they had seen a ghost.

I have seen ghosts (if, by “ghosts” you mean non- physically explicable apparitons of human or animal forms) on several occasions. However, these apparitions have always been linked to one or more of these: starvation/exhaustion; ingestion of psychoactive drugs; running a serious fever.
I think it’s a telling fact that I’ve never seen a ghost when I was well-nourished, feeling well, and not under the influence!

I agree. What this clearly shows is that ghosts are repelled by well nourished, sober people who are feeling well. In just the same way as UFO’s are only attracted by people with no camera skills and psychics just happen to only be able to predict things you could probably guess. They are all 100% legit, it’s just that they are unfortunately phenomena that coincide with what you would expect of something that isn’t legit. It’s all so horribly unfair.

There are no ghosts. Go back to sleep. I’ll leave a night light on for you.

Stemming perhaps from an instinctive fear of death and an inbuilt ability to see patterns in random noise.

Much like the existence of aliens or the Loch Ness monster, in a world where practically everyone has got immediate access to a video camera they carry around with them, it’s funny how all these phenomena seem to have stoped suddenly.

Also, the reappearance of departed loved ones in dreams. To us, sophisticated moderns, we know that dreams are just…dreams. No biggie. But to early humans, dreams were prophetic windows into the never-never, and dreams of dead friends and family must have seemed as proof that “we live on after death.”

(I’ve experienced this phenomenon myself, and, even knowing about how dreams work, it’s flippin’ eerie.)

Well, there’s all sort of ghost-related programming on the History Channel and they have no reason to lie about something like that so…

You’re taking logic down the wrong path. The question you should be asking is this: If ghosts exist, why isn’t there any objective evidence of their existence? (And people thinking they encountered a ghost isn’t objective evidence.) Evidence is the difference between believing in the existence of unicorns and believing in the existence of zebras.

Sleep paralysis and hallucinations can seem so real, especially if you have no understanding of what’s happening to you. The concept of “seeing is believing” is hard to shake, no matter how much incomprehensible gobbledegook science is explained to you. Tangible evidence: non-existent. First-hand eye-witness anecdotal evidence: shitloads.

Plus, as Fox Mulder says, they want to believe.

There have beed proper scientific investigations, but no evidence for the actual existance of ghosts outside of our imagination.

This is from a properly conducted investigation in Edinburgh by Professor Richard Wiseman, a psychologist based at the University of Hertfordshire.

No. This is a logical fallacy called Argumentum ad populum (Latin for appeal to the people). Read more about it here.

Over 100 billion humans have ever lived and they have all died. If there were ghosts, we would be seeing them everywhere, all the time

Our tendency to form strong social bonds probably has something to do with it, too.