ghosts, demons, and the clash between science and belief

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: May 21, 2018

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Submitted: May 21, 2018

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By: Diego Barragan, Othon de la Garza

 

The scientific community and some people do not believe that ghosts and demons actually exist. However, many other people do believe in such paranormal entities. The debate of whether ghosts and demons are real has been around for centuries and has never been resolved. Today, we will focus on the people who do believe in them, and ask ourselves, why do some people believe in ghosts and demons and explore the role religion, the media and personal experiences play in their beliefs.

 

A religious take on the argument:

Many religions across the world believe in demons and ghosts. The most prominent one being the Catholic Church, which their priests are famous for claiming the ability they can perform exorcisms. Many people have tried to debunk the victims of exorcisms as simply having mental illnesses, however, Catholic priests claim that demons are in fact possessing a victim because they exhibit characteristics that mentally ill patients wouldn’t have. For example: superhuman level strength, deepened voice, growling, ability to speak fluent latin, and knowledge of unknown things like another person’s sins, a strong and deep fear of religious items and places, and inability to perform the sign of the cross. The documentation of these sort of events can make many followers of the Catholic Church believe that demons are real and can possess people, as the evidence provided by them has not been yet debunked by science, and proven to be some sort of mental illness, like they claim.
 

The role of the media:

The media has played a key role in the belief of paranormal entities. During the past decade the internet has also shown information that proves the existence of the paranormal. A great example is buzzfeed's series “Buzzfeed Unsolved” in this series two friends go and investigate haunted places where they tell us the background and the reason why its believed that that place is haunted. In a specific video (S1 E3) they go investigate a house where it is reported that a demon haunted the members who lived there. The most convincing part of this documentary when the two friends asked question to the demon, and the demon responded by flickering the flashlight. We also found a website that helps the existence of the paranormal. This website made by “Whatculture.com” arguments that there's as much scientific evidence to support paranormal existence as there is for the existence of black holes, and yet we take the existence of black holes as a certainty but still believe paranormal activities are myths.Evidence of this type can make viewers believe in paranormal beings because, even though there are many hoaxes, lots of videos and websites are quite realistic and provide solid evidence that cannot be easily debunked by experts.
 

Personal experiences:

Many people claim to have encountered paranormal beings face to face. These encounters can make people believe in the supernatural as the experience usually is too real to be debunked. In a survey conducted by my partner and I, 38% of people  said they believed in ghosts. I also conducted several interviews asking people if they believed in ghosts, all who answered yes also said they had a personal experience that made them believe.

 

Scientific Debunking:

Scientist don't believe in speculation nor myths, they believe in facts and there isn’t concrete facts that proves paranormal existence. A great example is Brian Cox (a famous physicist) comments on a particle collider called the Large Hadron. The Large Hadron is the world's largest and most powerful particle collider in the world. Brian Cox’s comments on why this particle collider debunks paranormal existence by saying that if ghost were real the machine should have already found at least one. “If ghosts exist, then they would need to be made purely of energy, since by their very definition they can't be made of matter. But if they were made only of energy, they would quickly dissipate, because the second law of thermodynamics proposes that energy is always lost to heat.”1 “Guest Neil deGrasse Tyson checked whether Professor Cox was really claiming that the particle accelerator had actually disproved the existence of supernatural spirits. “If I understand what you just declared, you just asserted that CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, disproved the existence of ghosts,” he asked. "Yes," replied Professor Cox.”2 There are even more scientific evidence that debunks paranormal existence but people still choose to believe in them.



 

Conclusion:

Whether paranormal beings exist or not cannot be proven, nor was it the point of our investigation. However, our investigation about why people believe in ghosts  boiled down to three points: People believe in ghosts because of religion, the media, or personal experiences, and sometimes all three. According to our research, even though it is not a scientific fact that ghosts or demons exist, some people still believe in them because of our three points.  

 

Citations:

1 Fortea Jose? Antonio. Summa Daemoniaca: Tratado De demonologi?a y Manual De Exorcistas. San Pablo, 2015.



 

2 , 3 MLA Citation Griffin, Andrew. “Ghosts Definitely Don't Exist Because Otherwise the Large Hadron Collider Would Have Found Them, Claims Brian Cox.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 24 Feb. 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ghosts-brian-cox-large-hadron-collider-cern-real-truth-standard-model-physics-a7598026.html.

 

4  Griffin, Andrew. “Ghosts Definitely Don't Exist Because Otherwise the Large Hadron Collider Would Have Found Them, Claims Brian Cox.” The Independent, Independent Digital News and Media, 24 Feb. 2017, www.independent.co.uk/news/science/ghosts-brian-cox-large-hadron-collider-cern-real-truth-standard-model-physics-a7598026.html.

 

5 Baker, Tom. “10 Most Compelling Pieces Of Evidence That Prove Ghosts Are Real.” WhatCulture.com, WhatCulture.com, 18 Sept. 2016, whatculture.com/science/10-compelling-pieces-evidence-prove-ghosts-real.

 


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