I am based in Uganda where there is too much belief in witchcraft and magics. One scenario in some remote primitive communities in Uganda do disturb my thinking that people can send spirits to other people,spirits robbing money from banks, spirits of some one buried coming back to disturb the living,. Could any one out there help in explaining whether the spiritual world do exist or it is a myth.
The supernatural does not exist.
I don't understand mathematics or physics and I can't explain the Universe. However, I know that the world was created naturally and not supernaturally. I also know there is a natural explanation for that which I don't know.
A spiritual world does not exist.
This video from Kenya is reported as a Witch burning and I'm curious about the likely circumstances leading up to these people being burnt and beaten to death. Of course, such phenomena has occured in many countries and cultures in recent history and I'm reflecting on Joseph P's comments above;
Does a spiritual world exist?
AKron (much as I agree) we should consider "where" the spiritual world exists, rather than "if" one exists.
In the minds of devout (mentally ill or deluded) people, the spirit world is as complete as it is real; to the rest of us it's completely bogus.
Debunking the spirit world requires a intimate knowledge of the human psyche: believers can see or feel things that we simply cannot. They are not real, of course, but that does not prevent them from experiencing them. As Joseph quite accurately points out:
"Just have to watch out for the psychos who will fulfill their spiritual claims, using nonspiritual means"
Sage words indeed!
Marc - When you say "where" the spiritual world exists, do you mean physically in the brain? I don't know where that would be, but I've read that researchers are making amazing progress on this now. Then there's that odd disorder called Charles Bonnet syndrome where people who otherwise appear completely sane and rational vividly see people who aren't there. I think there are answers to be found as to why people truly believe they experience things that aren't real.
James Randi the magician & skeptic has a video on YouTube about his out of body experience I found interesting.
@AKron - I was being more abstract than physical. We don't need to know where in the brain these things occur (and more than we need to know where in the brain "we" live).
I won't deny that it's useful to science to know where these things happen and my own research has thrown up some wonderful stuff which is something for a different discussion.
If find that it's helpful to just talk of a generic "brain" or even "head" rather than a physical structure within it - as people are aware that they have a heart or a head but less likely to be familiar with particular parts. Most people can drive, but comparatively few are familiar with how their engine's work and, fewer could repair them and even fewer still could design one.
This stuff comes naturally to you and I, perhaps, but we have to remember that we are in a minority and it's up to us to make it understandable to the majority.
As a complete aside (but related) do you ever wonder why we congratulate people on birthdays, having a child or (bizarrely to me) becoming a grandparent? Also (in Western Europe at least) we have some odd ideas about making children finish everything on their plate even when they are clearly full to brimming!
Until comparatively recently, I'd not thought to challenge or question these "norms" - and then I realised both are vestigial elements from a culture that (in the former case) remains in living memory! But I'm off on one here - this detail something for a separate discussion.
I've just finished watching a rather strange documentary on BBC television: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011x721
It seemed to be a combination or conflation of two ideas: that human actions are determined less by free will than we might like to believe, and more by machine-like behaviour programmed by our DNA or genes; and that European influences in Africa have repeatedly been disastrous, (partly due to machine-like behaviour overriding free will and any morality or ethics).
A comment in the middle of the programme was that Richard Dawkins and others had inadvertently reinvented the "soul", as the machine-like behaviour drives us, directly or indirectly, to propagate our genes, (or those of close relatives). The genes, (whether or not they are transmitted through our own offspring), continue to live after we are dead: which is what religious folk believe that "souls" do.
However, as for "spirits of the dead" returning to disturb the living, I believe that ALL findings on this have produced perfectly natural explanations: often involving fraud, deceit, and other power games by manipulative individuals seeking to control the gullible.