Okay... I havent posted a though provoking question in quite some time... and in the "spirit" of bah humbug... I ask:

Do you consider it somewhat of a hypocrisy if an Atheist believes in ghosts, spirits, souls etc? Usually the atheist argument is.. if its not scientifically or observationally proven to be fact... we call BS on it.

While I am a non-believer religiously... I find it hard to believe that we are soul-y (sorry had to go there) just a bunch of organs and fluid. Does that mean that we dont have something representing a soul? Is the soul strictly a religious invention? And if it is okay for an atheist to believe in a soul... is it also okay to believe in ghosts?

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Do you consider it somewhat of a hypocrisy if an Atheist believes in ghosts, spirits, souls etc?

As I wrote somewhere else using different words, atheists are only one delusion short from theists, and to me delusion is not (not necessarily anyway) hypocrisy. Although your 'Atheist' may not be the average atheist (what does that capital A mean?).

And if it is okay for an atheist to believe in a soul... is it also okay to believe in ghosts?

I think it's just as okay as it is for a theist. Everyone has a right to their own delusions.
Not all atheists are materialist/naturalist/skeptic, etc.

For example, Dualists (separation of mind and spirit) are atheists but believe in something called spirit (which they appear to be incapable of defining).

And there are atheistic religions like Jainism and some types of Buddhism that don't believe in gods.

So there's nothing specific about being an atheist (lacking a belief in gods) that requires that they can't (and some do) hold to other superstitions.
The definition of an atheist is "a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings."
When I look up the definition of a skeptic I get:

a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
a person who doubts the truth of a religion, esp. Christianity, or of important elements of it.

Synonyms:
doubter. See atheist.

I think the important thing to ask yourself is if there is no evidence for this, how can I believe in it? That would require belief not based on proof (faith), which is not a logical thing to do. It seems more like wanting to believe it, or wishing it to be so.
'faith' has another definition I have found. It can mean a strong confidence in a principle. If you think about it, you cannot operate in the world without this version of faith. You would never be able to cross a bridge without a great deal of trepidation if you not only had confidence in the engineering principles involved, but also the institutional principles of oversight and safety regulation - not so solid as math and physics.

But, yes, when it comes to souls and ghosts - under there 'standard' definitions (whatever THAT means) - the faith required defies logic.
I understand what you mean by requiring a certain amount of faith in mechanics, math, and the less trustworthy inspections of the bridge. I think the difference lies within reason. It is reasonable to believe that these things were done properly. It is reasonable to believe you can walk across the bridge without it collapsing. If there is some lingering doubt, we can always look this information up. We can even add the element of time. How long has the bridge been there? How has it held up? The science is testable, and the rest is up for thought. I would be more inclined to decribe it as trust than faith, because I would have proof to counter whatever I was doubting.

Not being able to prove the bridge was ever built, not being able to see the bridge, and relying on the untestable testimony of those who insist it is there would require faith to cross it.
What you describe as faith I would call confidence, in that, there is sufficient evidence that the bridge has been constructed safely. Having said that I think most people interchange the word "confidence" with "faith".
Not a hypocracy, no. I personally don't believe in souls. The soul is tied to the idea of the afterlife and since I'm pretty much agnostic about an afterlife I don't have any reason to believe in them. My feeling is that if there is an afterlife my soul won't care whether I believed in it or not anyway. "Offically" I think any form of afterlife is very, very unlikely.

If I met another atheist who said they believed in a form of the afterlife, like spirits or reincarnation, I'd definately want to hear their reasoning but I wouldn't think less of them as an atheist unless their belief included some sort of god. For example, an atheist believing in a kind of undirected reincarnation wouldn't bother me, but an atheist believing in the Biblical heaven would strike me as someone who hasn't entirely let go of their beliefs yet.
Is it okay to believe in string theory?

Depends on which part of the theory you have in mind. M-theory does not seem well supported with evidence at the moment, but there's evidence that g-string theory provides some kind of support.
Well, scant support, at best.
Now, that is a theory on which I'd like to do further research.
People aren't supposed to believe IN theories, the point is to find the one that closest resembles the evidence... and then proceed to destroy the heck out of it.

The whole point to theories is to chose one you like... and try to destroy it.
If it can take every manor of test and beating... chances are the theory is correct.

... but the point of subscribing to a theory is to continuously try to destroy it, not to believe in it.

If people began just "believing" in theories, science wouldn't advance and evolve. It would go from being a system of testing reality... to simply being... well... religion.


Once a theory gets the "law" title tacked on, sure, you can believe it all you want.
I think that the notion that we wear our body like a suit is limiting and false. I also have a sense that we are more than biological automatons.

For me, the universe is a synergistic system so interconnected as to make individuation an illusion that, obviously, serves some purpose. Like holding your cards to your chest in a game. The deck itself is one thing - each hand a part of the overall play.

You literally are what you eat. Why should that not be true at all levels?

see: http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/if-i-sense-there-is-some... for a more compete answer.

But as for ghosts; like in the Disney haunted house? Or even the greatest haunted house story of all time The Haunting of Hill House? No. I do not believe in such things.

I believe in the echoes of our memories, our DNA, books, art and architecture - the legacies of the dead in our minds, our biology, our history and our culture.

We are what we eat. We were what we excrete. We become what eats us.

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