Ghosts are as mythical as God but what if an atheist believes in Ghosts.. I have an atheist friend in Australia who belives in ghosts
I actually saw a ghost...did not know it at the time.. on my job in a brightly lighted fully-functioning cotton mill. Saw this woman for over an hour, of course I was running a winder at the time which needs attention, but she was steadily working across the way. When the boss came by I asked him who the new help was, he looked puzzled so I described her, features, clothing, age, what/where she was. He turned white as a sheet and stepped away from me (!). "That's Mz. (cannot remember) she ran that machine for over 30 years, passed about 6 years ago". Word went all over the mill, of course...one of her contemporaries, still employed there, told me she must have approved of how I was running the same machinery......she Too was fussy about her work. Too weird.
I just find that strange, the rejection of one supernatural entity while holding onto belief of another. I know atheism pertains to gods, but usually that is because atheists reject supernatural claims all together. I've known people who kind of believe in ghosts while not believing in gods and it just confuses the hell out of me.
People come up with all sorts of crackpot theories about how ghosts might exist, like this energy theory that I've already seen posted. But so far nothing has ever been verified or detected, and it just comes off as silly wishful thinking. I'll continue to see ghosts as nothing but fantasy until real proof is put forward, and those ghost hunter shows don't count
Not all atheists employ scepticism to all aspects of life.
This does however remind me of a wonderful scientific (repeatable and testable) experiment I accidentally performed when I was a young teenager.
My beloved grandmother had died several months earlier and I was sitting alone in a captain's chair in the middle of my 12 x 14 photographic darkroom surrounded by hi-fi speakers listening to The Alan Parson's project I-Robot and lamenting her passing - - In the cold and inky blackness of the room I saw a figure of light that appeared by a distant wall and moved in my direction. As the light approached me I could feel it's warmth and knew it was some kind of manifestation of my departed grandmother. The following day I was in a different room loading ASA 400 film onto a development reel. I was having problems in the total blackness getting the film to thread and thought about the experience I had the day before. On cue a similar but slightly brighter lighted figure appeared several feet from where I was standing. The entire room was illuminated by the the glow and I detected a change in temperature. Surely all the film I was working with was clearly exposed to this light. Eventually I got the film in the tank and processed what I was dreading would be at least heavily fogged film. When I had completed processing the film, I was pleasantly surprised to find a perfectly exposed and developed reel. Absolutely no fogging. Took about two seconds to realize, as the film was not affected by the light, my experiences were completely a product of my imagination as they did not change the film. I never again encountered the light of a spirit.
An atheist is someone who doesn't believe in even one god. That's by definition. So there's nothing to prevent them from believing in any random other thing and still be an atheist. I've had conversations with atheists who believe in ghosts, an afterlife (necessarily, of course, one that is somehow part of the natural world), and various forms of New Age woo.
Humans are not rational or logically consistent. While most atheists are atheists as a result of being skeptics, we shouldn't be surprised that some atheists are less than perfectly self-consistent in this regard.
I think that being an atheist is much more than just not believing in a god. For me, one of the problems of believing in a god is the implicit magical thinking, which is irrational. Believing in ghosts is also magical thinking and therefore irrational. The same goes for belief in paranormal phenomena and horoscopes.
Belief in ghosts was a difficult concept to drop. Growing up my elders never openly prayed or discussed religion, but they frequently reiterated the family ghost stories and man, those stories were pure goosebump-inducing FUN! Consequently Halloween became my favorite non-holiday. For a while I tried to tell myself that ghosts were not spiritual entities, but rather some kind of glitch in the space-time continuum that we don't understand yet (think "Interstellar" ). I really did not want to let go of ghosts, but eventually I did.
When I took charge of the pharmacy department in a hospital a lot of the paperwork was in a mess. I stayed behind at night after we closed to sort it out for many days. One of the cleaners used to bring me a cup of coffee and often said she couldn't understand how I could sit alone in a place where so many people had died. She would be terrified of ghosts. I told her my grandmother had a saying: "If the living did as little harm as the dead it would be a better world".
I never saw any ghosts.
When I became atheist I stopped believing in anything supernatural. I studied it all for years but it's just bunk. If you believe in ghosts why not aliens? Maybe this could take the place of gods. It's insanity. Objective reality is the only thing real. Other wise you could simply believe anything that you wanted to. I stopped believing in gods because they are not a part of objective reality. Neither are ghosts or the supernatural.
The only thing that being an athiest means is that you do not believe in a god. Those of us ewho identify are free to believe in something else which is just as unlikely to exist as god (like ghosts) and still be an athiest. I prefer to to call myself a naturalist. By this I mean I have no supernatural beliefs whatsoever
Strictly speaking an atheist, if applying logic consistently, doesn't 'believe' in anything without evidence. So since there's no evidence for ghosts (US Ghost shows notwithstanding) then there's an inconsistency in approach. You might tell your Aussie mate that, tactfully. (Big fella, is he?)
Many of you have used the words belief or believes when it comes to comments regarding supernatural occurrences. Because we have seen something unexplainable, doesn't mean we "believe". We simply are describing an experience we've had.
I have had a handful of these unexplainable experiences, but just because something seemed to happen, doesn't automatically make me a "believer". The experience is not rejectable as belief or disbelief .
I personally don't believe in the existence of ghosts because I have never had a paranormal experience, especially one that could not be explained as an hallucination or the brain playing tricks on me. That said, I fail to understand the direct correlation between paranormal activity and the existence of an all knowing, all powerful, omniscient god? I'm open to interpretation but how does an unexplained energy or even a soul existing outside of the known physical reality any proof of a creator or god? I might think it is a bit silly or be extremely skeptical that ghosts or spirits exist (especially in the classical sense), I think it's possible that one could still be an atheist and believe in such things.
If I hadn't had my own personal experiences, I wouldn't believe in ghosts. I guess that's the difference for me. I only believe in what I see and experience. I've seen and experienced what I would consider to be ghosts, have not seen or experienced anything that could be seen as a god or satan
Won't know for sure until I'm dead...
In the meanwhile, I don't think that being an atheist would mean that you have to close your eyes to possibilities... I mean, everybody knows trees aren't sentient... Yet they, and the plants around them, release tanins when being eaten... No brain, so must be ghosts, god, or zombie alien ninjas in top hats...