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Atheist Community of Austin
Paranormal activity

Sometimes I wish in all these paranormal shows that the person experiencing the "phenomenon" ask the so called spirit what the correct religion was. People tend to get more religious after going through such a thing I've noticed. Do Atheist experience such things and if so, how do you conclude what just happened?

atheists are only in agreement on a single question. They do not believe in gods. However the line of reasoning that most atheists use to discount belief in gods, in most cases, also discounts belief in other supernatural claims such as ghosts. In general, atheists do not believe that any credible evidence has ever been produced that would lend credence to paranormal claims.

If you believe such evidence exists, please feel free to present it.

Let's posit for a moment that such a thing were true, and someone *did* ask what the correct religion was.

What basis would you have to trust the answer?

As for how to conclude what happened - not jumping to a supernatural conclusion is a pretty good start. I'm thinking here of the story that, if I'm remembering right, Dawkins related in one of his books: A person had gone camping on an island, and woke up in the middle of the night hearing what he thought was the Devil/Satan. It turned out there was a pretty simple explanation - he was hearing the shrieks of a particular species of bird.

It stands to reason that there are lots of people who believe that they can talk to spirits, since they also believe in virgin births and talking snakes. But never mind which religion is right (the three major Abrahamic religions have common roots) why not ask what happened to those millions of people who died before they made up all of those stories about savior gods including Jesus. If you're going to make a fool of yourself why not ask for the winning lottery numbers - now that would be a BIG help!

Nevertheless, I am a little skeptical about spirits that never appear while people are strolling along the beach on a sunny day, without a cloud in the sky with a gentle breeze blowing. It is invariably an Edgar Allan Poe big old creaky dark house setting, at night with the rain pouring down and the wind howling, and the lights going out. That's when they see them? Sheesh! The ghost of ignoramus' past! It's enough to give you goose bumps and raise the hair up on the back of your neck. When you think of how many stupid people there are in the world.

This is very funny and very true: "...I am a little skeptical about spirits that never appear while people are strolling along the beach on a sunny day, without a cloud in the sky with a gentle breeze blowing. It is invariably an Edgar Allan Poe big old creaky dark house setting, at night with the rain pouring down and the wind howling, and the lights going out. That's when they see them? Sheesh!"

Why haven't I ever thought of that when people tell me they've seen ghosts? It seems so obvious now that you've said it!

Similarly, all kinds of supernatural spooky things seem to happen when the moon is full. Gee... ambiguous abnormal dim lighting... no, that couldn't have ANYTHING to do with it!

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