I wasn't exactly sure where I should post this but I need some advice!

 

Most of my family has some kind of belief in ghosts, spirits, residual energy, aliens, and so on.  What are some arguments against those sorts of things? 

 

Example: a bunch of plates moving off of the stove or counter, hovering in midair, then crashing to the floor.  The storyteller makes a point to say the plates look as if they'd been thrown to the floor by "something".

 

I don't believe in any of this nonsense but I don't have ANY logical, explainable arguments against it, besides the point that it can't be a ghost or spirit because they don't exist.  But why don't they exist?  How can I drive a point home, or at least have some kind of grounds to stand on when I argue with them?

 

I'm very comfortable debating theism, but I have no clue how to explain how something, anything, can happen if no one is in the room, or touching the object, or whatever the situation is.

 

Any and all advice desperately needed!  Please correct any of my misunderstandings so I can more effectively oppose, and hopefully debunk, these superstitious ideas. 

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Well, if they ever tell you they saw a ghost, ask if the ghost was wearing anything. If they say yes, tell them that they're full of crap because clothes don't have souls and die, so there's no way the ghost could be wearing clothes.

It started as a joke I came up with which actually worked on a group of people... but then I seriously mentioned it to someone who told me they had seen a ghost and the result was that they were suddenly skeptical of their own experience. If you think about it, the idea that our inanimate things, including our clothes, can travel into the afterlife with us, is counter-intuitive. They will realize that it's just common sense that ghosts can't be wearing clothes.

I mean... yes, the whole act of believing in ghosts goes against common sense, but they have to take baby steps. Realizing that ghosts can't be wearing clothes is a good start.


As far as plates "moving off of the stove or counter, hovering in midair, then crashing to the floor"... I'd say the laws of gravity freaked them out, and they made up the hovering part. I bet if you pressed them (and they didn't get belligerent), they'd realize that there was no hovering, and they probably also realize that the plates were just enough off the edge of the counter that gravity was irresistible.

If there are any kind of ghosts, it's just a natural effect based on the 1LoT: energy can't be created or destroyed. We're alive because of, among other things, energy, and when we die that energy has to go somewhere. So it's very likely that's what's freaking these people out. Not that the energy is intelligent or even conscious/alive... it's just wild imaginations creating ghosts out of nothing for the most part.

I should know as I did it for many years.
Well, if they ever tell you they saw a ghost, ask if the ghost was wearing anything.

That's hilarious--but it's also true! People see ghosts with clothes b/c they don't want to think of seeing their dead family members naked, probably, but their own prudery serves to disprove the whole thing! The spirit world breaks our favorite plates, even tries to kill us (poltergeists), but they have the decency to spare us the sight of nudity? How thoughtful!

There are claims that my neighboring town is haunted. There was apparently a story of someone getting up to go to work at 4am and seeing 2 kids sitting on a bench wearing clothes from the turn of last century. Kids most likely wouldn't be hanging around outside at 4am, nor wearing clothes circa 1900...therefore there is just no other explanation other than ghosts!
I think there are more people who just psych themselves up than are crazy. Especially if others who were there are making outrageous claims, that tends to distort memory. Although I have also come across some supernatural-believing people who are just off their rockers.

"I can travel to other dimensions...you believe me, don't you?"

"Babies can fly. You don't see it because you don't believe it."
Example: a bunch of plates moving off of the stove or counter, hovering in midair, then crashing to the floor. The storyteller makes a point to say the plates look as if they'd been thrown to the floor by "something".

I'd stop the storyteller right there and ask how he or she knows that these things happened. Did they actually witness these events, or heard second hand? They need to get very specific to make a convincing argument. Because I can guarantee that "plates hovering in midair" is B.S.

Then determine if there are other possible causes for whatever phenomenon they are describing.
Thanks to everyone who's replied so far, a lot of great info for me to look up! Some of my family will tell secondhand stories but some say they've had "experiences" that keep them convinced. I've told them many times that just b/c something is unexplainable doesn't make it supernatural. I just needed advice on where to start and what better place than here at the Nexus!
One way to trip up a bullshit story is to interrupt the story with a question then excuse yourself for interrupting and tell them to go on. Chances are, if their bullshitting they will stumble all over themselves trying to get back into their lie. OTOH, if they really believe what they're saying no amount of logic will sway them - the fantasy world is so much more fun than reality.

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