A while back I wrote a post called Top 10 Reasons Ghosts Don’t Exist. It remains, without question, the most popular thing I’ve written on this site. Thank you to everyone who has read it!
I recently re-read my own article and found my arguments to be a bit weaker than I remembered, and this meant that I had to go back to the drawing board and bolster my thoughts. With that in mind, I decided I’d throw a few more reasons onto the pile to make my point even clearer.
11. Ghosts in Space
I mentioned briefly in my last post on the topic that I found it convenient that ghosts only seem to appear in places that are haunted; that it was odd how if you tell someone place isn’t haunted, they don’t seem to report supernatural activity there. An important question associated with this is, “What is a place?” It may seem like a stupid thing to ask at first. You give latitude and longitude and bam, you’ve got a location. Right? Not so fast! We’re literally never in the same place twice. Our planet is rotating through space in our solar system, which is orbiting the center of our galaxy which, in turn, is moving through space at unimaginable speed. Dispute all of these facts if you wish, but then you start to sound like the people that spent their free time accusing people of heresy.
So what does that have to do with ghosts? Well, the important thing is where do you find a ghost? When someone dies, does the spirit remember the location of their death? Relative to what? Landmarks? One answer I’ve heard is that ghosts haunt *things*. That’s right, that ghosts are somehow attached, or ingrained in stuff around us like a residue; buildings, appliances, cemeteries, etc.. Does that mean we could simply move a ghost problem somewhere else by picking up all of the haunted stuff and just…shifting it? This completely trivializes the entire notion. Watch out mom! There’s a poltergeist! Don’t worry honey I’m just going to move this scary old painting outside and he’ll go way.
12. Lonely Witnesses
Remember that time a ghost showed up in the middle of the Super Bowl halftime show, and millions of people saw it all at once? No? Neither do I. Because it never happened, and it never will happen. The thing about ghosts is that the seem to appear most frequently to people who are completely alone. Surprise! People’s best ghost stories take place when there are no other witnesses. Go figure. Come up with a counter example that has video evidence to go along with it, and I’ll eat my hat. Something tells me my hat isn’t in any danger.
13. A Smart Guy Told ME
Lots of people say things like, “Albert Einstein believed in ghosts!” Or “Alex Trebek claims he was abducted by free-masons and imprisoned in a Nazi submarine base in Antarctica!” Ok, good for them. Just because a smart person says something, that doesn’t mean it’s true. It certainly doesn’t mean they’re an expert on it. If Neil deGrasse Tyson wanted to explain the intricacies of surveying the sky with a radio telescope, I’d be all ears, but if he started describing the time he saw a dinosaur in central park, I’d have my doubts. Albert Einstein and Alex Trebek never said those things, and they never would. Nor would Neil deGrasse Tyson every claim to have seen a dinosaur. There isn’t a single credible source for evidence of the paranormal. Does that mean the right person hasn’t found it yet? Ghosts have existed in human culture for thousands of years. If something so prevalent hasn’t been proven as real by this point, I would go as far as saying it doesn’t exist at all.
14. Well maybe with More funding…
If there were an overwhelming number of scientists claiming that supernatural phenomenon were legitimate topics for research, it still wouldn’t mean ghosts exist. It would simply mean that there might be the slimmest chance that someone might have the inclination it were worth researching as a possibility. It’s a fact that there are not an overwhelming number of scientists claiming that supernatural phenomenon are legitimate topics for research. What does that tell you?
Well there’s a reason you won’t find scientists working on this problem: ghosts are an unfalsifiable claim. You can’t research and prove the existing of something that you cannot prove does not exist. Falsifiability is the core of the scientific process. If you can’t come up with an experiment to disprove the existence of something, you can’t argue that it exists at all. Anyone who has come up with such an experiment should (please!) put it in the comments.
15. IF Ghosts, Then What?
Ask a reasonable person if fairies and goblins exist and they’ll say no. Ask them if ghosts exist, and they might very-well say yes. But if ghosts exist, why not all manner of other things? Why aren’t we plagued by monsters and sorcerers everyday? Why would the one supernatural phenomenon we experience be ghosts? Who gets to decide which weird things are real, and which aren’t? A man with ten heads? A talking horse? The Loch Ness monster? Why dismiss any of these if we’re going to accept ghosts as a possibility? The answer to these questions is that we shouldn’t. Ghosts fall into the same category as mermaids and bigfoot; complete nonsense with no backing. But there’s something so alluring about the subject, something spiritual (pun intended) about ghosts which makes people almost feel offended by the idea that they aren’t real. To this I say: grownups shouldn’t be afraid to say they thing something is silly. If it seems childish and ridiculous in the back of your head, that’s probably because it is. Ghosts are just that. No amount of blurry night vision footage of some bros screaming at shadows can change that. If we want to accept ghosts as a possibility, the wheels come off of the logic bus completely. Nothing else makes sense anymore if they’re real. If ghosts, then what?
I hope this gave you some food for thought and some critical thinking tools. The case is certainly not closed, because it can’t be. But there’s a lot of nails in the coffin, and the dead will not be rising from this grave. Ghosts are not real. Check under your bed tonight, but for bed bugs, not ghosts.