How can an atheist believe in ghosts?

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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:11 pm » by Poooooot


As wayward teenagers, my best friend and I dabbled with Ouija boards, and we both have had experiences with what we believe to be ghosts. She is an atheist and I am not.

I was not raised in a religious household. As a child, I really had no opinion either way. I bounced back and forth between atheism and agnosticism throughout my teen/early adult years, but once I became a mother and really started thinking about things, I became a believer. I still do not attend church (I'm not a fan of "organized religion," I feel if you choose to worship, you may do so in your home.), but since I believe in God (When I think of God, I do not picture an old man in the clouds, btw) as our creator and Christ as the son / his human form on Earth, I suppose I would fall under the Christian umbrella.

bla bla bla

Anyways, my line of thinking is this:

-> We as humans have souls (well, technically, we as souls have human bodies, but tomato/tomahto)
-> Souls leave the body after the body dies. Souls do not die / ie, there is an "afterlife"
-> The fact that humans (and animals) have souls, shows that we are more than just decaying organic matter that spontaneously combusted out of nothing 14 billion years ago

So, atheists, I have legit questions if you don't mind... Where do souls come from? Where do they go after the body dies? How do you explain ghosts without taking souls into account? Long story short, if you are an atheist, how do you explain souls that are trapped on this earthly plane after the body dies (ghosts)?

I've asked her (my best friend) how she can believe in an afterlife without believing in God or some higher power, and she doesn't really have an answer. Does anyone else here share her beliefs? How do you explain an afterlife if you do not believe in a creator?

I look forward to reading your ideas/explanations. Thank you for your time.




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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:17 pm » by Daemonfoe


I don't think one requires the other. There could be a god and no afterlife, or an afterlife and no god. There is no rule that determines that if one exists then both must exist.

I personally hold the belief that everything that exists was once a part of a whole, and whatever that was, call it God or whatever you like, doesn't exist anymore except in parts.

To really delve into this, one must define exactly what a soul is. Is it a spiritual being that exists in another plane, observing this plane though a vehicle, or is it simply a form of conscious energy that we don't understand. Do souls exist before the body, or does the body create a soul?

As long as these are unknown, one should be open to all possibilities.
The two choices we have are something starting from nothing, or something existing infinitely. These are both paradoxes. The existence of everything is therefore a paradox. -daemonfoe

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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:20 pm » by Seahawk


I know you asked about atheists, but...


I'm agnostic- which is sort of ...half way there, but have sometimes thought that there may indeed be the possibility of "ghosts," or rather some sort of physical manifestation of what we call the soul. That said, I haven't necessarily considered that they have anything to do with each other- God (if he exists) and ghosts, (or spirits, or the soul.) I think of them as two separate possibilities. In my mind, both may exist- either in relation to each other, or not, or maybe only one of them, or maybe neither.

Well, that's in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit. lol. I see that Daemon basically said the same thing- well, actually much more, but I agree.


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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:21 pm » by Poooooot


Daemonfoe wrote:To really delve into this, one must define exactly what a soul is. Is it a spiritual being that exists in another plane, observing this plane though a vehicle, or is it simply a form of conscious energy that we don't understand. Do souls exist before the body, or does the body create a soul?

Granted, no human on Earth knows for sure, but I feel that the soul is you. It's who you are. Not the body, but the person inside. Souls are energy and are eternal. We are not bodies with a soul, but souls with a body. Know what I mean?
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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:26 pm » by Poooooot


Seahawk100 wrote:I know you asked about atheists, but...


I'm agnostic- which is sort of ...half way there, but have sometimes thought that there may indeed be the possibility of "ghosts," or rather some sort of physical manifestation of what we call the soul. That said, I haven't necessarily considered that they have anything to do with each other- God (if he exists) and ghosts, (or spirits, or the soul.) I think of them as two separate possibilities. In my mind, both may exist- either in relation to each other, or not, or maybe only one of them, or maybe neither.

Well, that's in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit. lol. I see that Daemon basically said the same thing.


Yes, but how? How does a soul exist without a creator? If there are spirits/ghosts/whatever you want to call them, how do they exist if there is no afterlife?

Or how is there an afterlife if there is no God?

To me, if you don't believe in a creator / God / higher force, then the logical conclusion is that you believe that we are just organic matter that grows until we're about 30ish, then starts decaying. Then the body dies, and that's it. No soul. No afterlife. No... nothing.

Obviously no one really knows, but how do you think? How can a soul exist without a higher plane, or a higher energy, or a higher being, or however you choose to describe "God?"
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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:28 pm » by Jet17


One only needs to look at the double slit experiment to realize that the act of consciousness is what you would think of as a soul.

it proves the act of observation or consciousness alters events. which would mean that those who have passed continue with conscious thoughts and behaviors. thus effecting other realities.

hence, ghosts.


A creator, means something vs someone creating something.

Something had to start somewhere, as we learned from the chicken and the egg.

but which came first, the creator or the created? that is a question I do not think can be answered ever by any event.
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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:31 pm » by Slith


Poooooot wrote:
Seahawk100 wrote:I know you asked about atheists, but...


I'm agnostic- which is sort of ...half way there, but have sometimes thought that there may indeed be the possibility of "ghosts," or rather some sort of physical manifestation of what we call the soul. That said, I haven't necessarily considered that they have anything to do with each other- God (if he exists) and ghosts, (or spirits, or the soul.) I think of them as two separate possibilities. In my mind, both may exist- either in relation to each other, or not, or maybe only one of them, or maybe neither.

Well, that's in a nutshell, anyway.

Edit. lol. I see that Daemon basically said the same thing.


Yes, but how? How does a soul exist without a creator?


Just to play devils advocate, how can a creator exist without the soul?
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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:32 pm » by Seahawk


Poooooot wrote:
Daemonfoe wrote:To really delve into this, one must define exactly what a soul is. Is it a spiritual being that exists in another plane, observing this plane though a vehicle, or is it simply a form of conscious energy that we don't understand. Do souls exist before the body, or does the body create a soul?

Granted, no human on Earth knows for sure, but I feel that the soul is you. It's who you are. Not the body, but the person inside. Souls are energy and are eternal. We are not bodies with a soul, but souls with a body. Know what I mean?


My thoughts are that the soul may continue, and the body is new- repeatedly. But, you're right, no one knows, and can only speculate- so far.

And, no idea about your last question. Wish I had the answers, Don't claim it as true, but only as what I think/feel- but I can tell that you have a beautiful soul, Poooooot. :oops:


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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:36 pm » by Jet17


organic life only applies to our physical world. or the world as we see it.

but the smaller we go, the more we see that our organic world doesn't behave the same way particle physics does.

does that mean that there is a biblical god? hardly. does it mean that something is pulling these forces to act certain ways, so that they interact with each other to form life in many instances? yes.

a good example would be gravity. we know it exist, we see it happening, but we do not understand exactly where it comes from or how in the larger aspect it comes into play outside of our understanding. but we know it's there and we know it isn't applied by anything organic.
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PostThu Sep 27, 2012 9:39 pm » by Poooooot


dlslith wrote:Just to play devils advocate, how can a creator exist without the soul?

Easy. the creator is a soul. The ultimate soul, if you will.
Matthew 7
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