Question with 6 notes
Anonymous asked: My friend recently told me she was an athiest, like me, but for some strange reasons she still belives in ghosts. To me this makes 0 sense. She doesn't seem to realize why I think believing in ghosts is just as believable as a god (please note we both went to catholic schools our whole lives). She believes all the ghost stories she's heard without even bothering to think of logical explanations for them. What are your views on people who don't believe in god but believe in ghosts or the supernatural?
This is a bit of a funny topic whenever it comes up because I don’t have any belief in the supernatural, but I definitely have a strong curiosity about the unexplained. The vast majority of anything that we consider to be “supernatural” does have a simple explanation that we would be able to readily provide given enough information. There are some aspects to the world and life though that we still do not understand. There are aspects of the transcendent, numinous, or “spiritual” however you chose to phrase it, that we don’t yet have full scientific explanation of. I’m not saying they violate the rules of science, not supernatural in that sense, but supernatural in the sense that they are beyond our currently available explanations.
I think it is important to be skeptical and to assume that the simplest or most likely explanation is going to be the correct one. Even with that though there are many aspects to life we still can not explain. Atheists often get accused of relying 100% on science and acting as if we have all the information we will ever need, that is definitely not the case for me. Science is pushed even more by what is not known than what is already known and those are the areas that science needs to push into even more. It would be ridiculous to ever assume we know everything there is to know.
Ghosts in particular I think are an interesting one. Ghost stories transcend all cultures and areas of the world, all times and places, and all types of people. It is something that has existed in some form as far back as human history goes. Even if 99.9% of them can be explained as tricks of the mind, optical illusions, naturally occurring events, whatever it may be, there is still a small portion that we can not simply write off and dismiss and that should be considered. In the end, if the information is know, the explanation may be simpler than we ever imagined but until we have that, I’ll remain curious but skeptical myself.