How would your worldview change? I suppose this could also be applicable if you had a truly convincing paranormal experience, despite a lack of scientific evidence.
Even as an atheist, I think I would be much more affected by proof of the paranormal than God. If a God is already planning my fate, then I can’t do much anyway and don’t have any reason to change my behavior. But if dead people were coming to say hi in our reality, that could be fun. I’d be interested in exploring what they have to say; could lead to some unique conversations
Speaking just for myself, there’s no way to usefully answer that question. If legitimate, well performed, widely repeatable and widely accepted scientific testing showed that ghosts are real then it would just totally upset my view of what I thought I knew. When I’m actually faced with that, I’ll muddle my way through as best I can.
It’ll be just a natural phenomenon; as common (and ethereal) as a day dream. Some people will continue to fear them, but most will double down and just treat them as natural distractions that could cause them to drop their drink, or get run over by a speeding vehicle. And just what will you gain from doing anything beyond just looking at ghosts?
The trouble is, among the supernaturals, ghosts are the least likely to be true. Werewolves could have scientific bases, bigfoot and the yeti are plausible, even zombies. But disembodied spirits? That’s hard.
I suppose my worldview would be affected differently depending upon whether ghosts were just “after-images” of people - left over energy of some sort, or whether they were legitimate disembodied, autonomous spirits making conscious decisions.
And even then, are ghosts the result of a now permanent state of being, if they are conscious and thinking spirits? Or is there some kind of after-afterlife they’re heading towards?
Life, as it stands, is so screwy as it is that ghosts would amount to a mildly amusing addition to it all. They’d be filed away and much forgotten after a few weeks, for me.
I’d be much more interested in some law of physics being broken in some undeniable way. People flying due to extreme concentration and force of will or such. I feel like the topic of ghosts has come up in literature and television so many times most realities involving them have been played out. But if mental concentration could change a law of nature, I’d be freaking scared of the implications. Everything I know about the world describes the opposite (our capacity for thought is the pinnacle of evolution/random chance + fitness).
Apologies for the double posting, but I meant to convey something different than I did. We can still be the pinnacle of evolution and one day will ourselves to fly, hypothetically. What I fear is the concept of physical laws being unbreakable being shattered. (As we do not know the substance of what makes a hypothetical ghost, they could well be within the realm of physical laws as we know them so I find that concept less frightening.) Being able to mess with space-time is incredibly frightening. (Yes yes, I need to go to bed. Gettin’ crazy up in here.)
If everyone who ever died is a ghost, the paranormal world is awfully crowded. I would hate to have search around in it to find someone I knew. It almost ain’t worth the effort. I would just ignore it.
I’d be static! It’d the most exciting find of the millennium. A new branch of science would be opened, with so many interesting branches- the nature of the ghosts, whether communication with them is possible… so much new stuff to know about!
I have a persistent delusion I refuse to entertain with any seriousness because doing so would take me so far off the rails I might not find my way back. If it turns out ghosts are ferreals? I’d probably have no choice but to accept I’ve been keeping myself insane all these years just so I could fit in, when the reality was I’d been denying the truth my entire adult life. I’d be a little miffed about that, but I’d also be extremely comforted.
If ghosts are just “after images” of life, (which is why they do the same things and haunt (as it were) the same locations) then no big deal. Just a new bit of undiscovered science that is now discovered.
But if ghosts are fully conscious and fully cognizant of the reality they live in, and can’t die again or move on to a different plane, then that’s the most horrible thing imaginable. Think about being conscious forever, unable to interact in anything except on the basest level with normal reality, unable to communicate, but also unable to escape. And possibly unable to interact with other ghosts. Alone. Without even the promise of death as an escape. And did I mention the forever part?
I’d start smoking again. Eat anything I wanted all the time. Why be healthy if I’m gonna live forever as a ghost? I would also probably masturbate less. A lot less. With a lot more looking over my shoulder.
Well, if you could interact with them, I’d have a ton of questions for them obviously.
If you couldn’t interact with them (they just kind of mindlessly floated around), I’d find that kind of depressing as it doesn’t forbode a good afterlife. I want there to be an afterlife, but I want it to be a good one.
How I’d react would depend entirely on what kind of ghosts we’re talking about. As has been noted in this thread, there are a lot of different flavors.
Ghosts are just afterimages burned into the fabric of reality.
Neat! They’re a curiousity, like the biggest ball of twine in minnesota! I should go look at one! Just after I get around to seeing the twine. Also I should find out what sort of circumstances it takes to produce one, and avoid doing that while in the nude.
Ghosts are sentient intangible and mostly-invisible people that rarely occur after a death, and hang around on earth indefinitely.
That’s awful. I hope it doesn’t happen to me. Also can I get a ghostbuster in here to check for any and evict them? I want to masturbate in peace.
The above, but they can and will murder people.
Call a a ghostbuster NOW, and I’m packing just in case.
Like 2, but EVERYONE becomes a ghost, hanging around forever.
That’s really awful, existentially horrible, and I want both my ghostbuster and my mommy. Presuming a ghostbuster has any chance of fending off the unending hordes.
If you want a good afterlife, don’t be too naughty in your present one. Rumor has it people who die and have been reasonably good get to live on the moon. That’d be pretty cool (or hot, depending on which side you choose).
The Hindu view of the afterlife is a very sexy one indeed. Alas, it is not forever. Exhaust your naughtiness in one of those planes and you pop back into this world, with your fun memories erased, to speculate the afterlife all over again.