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Why the Fear of Ghosts is Irrational

Updated on February 21, 2019

Well, to start off… we have no “soul.” You, me, animals and microscopic lifeforms don’t have a special thing inside us that allows us to exist before being born or after. It’s just an abstract concept we make up to explain the unknown out of wishful thinking. I’m not saying this to make you feel uneasy of dying, but rather to comfort you. This means you shouldn’t fear the dark, or any paranormal thoughts. So let’s try to think of this scientifically and logically with what we already know to be true.

But first, just for a moment, let’s pretend that souls did exist. When you die, you’re sent off to Heaven or Hell. But, your brain is damaged. It could have been damaged before you died or decomposed after. Your brain is basically you. If your plan was to meet up with other dead family members (like some faiths believe that you can do) you wouldn’t even know who to look for, let alone where. You have no active brain cells when you’re dead, not after awhile anyway. The brain behaves differently and changes people mentally when damaged, you can’t retain any knowledge about your current self or others when dead, even sometimes when alive. There is no magical outer vessel that protects your very essence from irreversible harm… unless you want to make up your own facts, or believe what the church says about the afterlife but doesn’t specify on.

I did not die. I did not go to Heaven

Some say “but there are people who have had near-death experiences and claimed to visit Heaven. and they say it’s real. Well, those who have claimed to have been to Heaven after coming back to life, have done so either with the means to profit, lied for attention, or technically saw “something”… but it’s because that’s what their still-active brains made them see, as if they were just dreaming. For example, The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, a story about a -6 year old boy- named Alex Malarkey who got in a car accident profited from his near-death experience. The boy admitted this himself by saying, “I did not die. I did not go to Heaven”. The book was pulled off the shelves shortly after. You could say his story was full of “Malarkey”. This is but one example of many. Some people in near death experiences have also claimed that they met their family members in Heaven while on the hospital bed, and even spoke with Jesus. The people who claimed these things may have had their heart stopped in the moment, but that doesn’t mean their brain activity ceases. They simply saw what they wanted/expected to see, like a dream.

The brain doesn’t only fool you in an unconscious state. When it’s dark, your eyes and ears play games with your mind, if your thoughts linger on fear for too long. About 1 in 3 people believe there are actual haunted houses. The concept of haunted houses most likely came about from people being exposed to certain levels carbon monoxide poisoning. This is an invisible gas that can cause hallucinations and can be very deadly. If you think you see a ghost in a house, maybe you should run for the front door so the gas doesn’t kill you. Most smoke alarms have this detection in them, but make sure they’re on and working. But it’s not only fear and toxins that can influence one to hallucinate. Changes in your brain chemistry from stress or any other emotional state can affect what you see.

Ever since photography and videography has been invented, there have been people who have tampered with footage to give the illusion of something other-worldly occurring. Most anyone with a computer can take any photo or video and manipulate it with Photoshop and After Effects. Even before computers as we know them, there were ways to manipulate footage. A good amount of them can look somewhat convincing. Not just media, but even some toy products have gotten people talking about ghosts. If someone tried convincing you that ouija boards can really contact the dead, they are either pulling your chain or they they have been fooled by something called the Ideomotor Effect. It’s a psychological phenomenon that makes you perform motions unconsciously. It’s fascinating, but not sci-fi, and doesn’t work on just anybody. There are even “ghost hunting” groups that exist all over the U.S.. Some even have their own TV shows, which of course are fake and scripted. They use real scientific gear and do various tests, but nothing they have ever done has proved to detect actual ghosts.

The Large Hadron Collider
The Large Hadron Collider

Today’s more advanced science has even been used to give further evidence that there are no ghosts. The Large Hadron Collider’s 2017 results prove that ghosts don’t exist, at least according to physicist Brian Cox. If spirits were made of matter, they would have been detected during the tests they’ve made so far. If they were made of energy, they would dissipate too quickly because energy is lost to heat.

Though, there are always smaller and unknown particles that haven’t been discovered or analyzed yet, but that doesn’t automatically mean that the cause are “ghosts”. There is no evidence of an afterlife, and until there is, there is no reason to assume it.

Now that I’ve explained why logically we don’t have a soul and there is no scientifically proven afterlife, the logical conclusion we should come to is that there are no ghosts. Of course, we humans are curious and imaginative by nature. When some of us don’t understand something, we either lean to whatever we personally believe based on influence, or accept what little explanations religion gives us. But, we should always approach everything scientifically, and use a scientific thought process first and foremost when confronted with the unknown.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Rusty Shackleford

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