Today, many people believe in the existence of ghosts. However, there is no enough evidence to prove that they really do exist. A ghost can be defined as the spirit of a deceased person that can appear in the form of a body to living people and haunt them (McCormick 38). Once a person dies, he or she ceases to exist in bodily form and makes a transition to the spirit world.
Seeing the bodily image of a person who is already dead can be very scaring. The media is a major factor that has led many people to believe in ghosts. Through it, pictures of ghosts are made available to people in the whole world. The television channels, movies, internet, and other forms of media have played a major role in this. Seeing ghost pictures on the media creates a permanent image of the same on people’s mind.
In addition to that, everyone can bear me witness that all people in the world have been told ghost stories in their childhood. Such stories that have been told include those of phantom armies, ghost trains, ghost animals just to mention but a few (Schwartz and Chess 104). From these stories, children create permanent pictures of the ghosts in their minds and that keeps reminding them of the ghosts.
All the above makes people believe in their existence. However, I refute the claim that ghosts exist because apart from being told stories about them and seeing their images in the media, I have never encountered one. People should not believe in ghosts because they have never seen a real one and there is no enough evidence to prove that they really exist.
The person who initiated the creation of horror movies involving ghosts made the greatest mistake. Horror movies are watched across the world and after watching a movie involving ghost like characters, it is quite possible to keep dreaming about them (Buse and Stott 93).
There are countless number of cases where by people are heard screaming in the middle of their night. Some even get out of their beds and flee claiming that they can actually see the ghost. I have also experienced the same and got very frightened for that matter. It was so serious that I could not sleep alone and somebody had to be there to drive away the fear.
However, that was long in my childhood. Even with all this, I do not believe in ghosts because I have never seen them in reality. People who assert that ghosts exist because they see them in their dreams commit a fallacy of invalid analogy because whatever they say is not based on reality but dreams. However, some dreams tend to come true, a dream is not a true story but rather a false one.
Peer pressure drives people to do things that they would rather not do. It also makes them believe in issues that are not real, all because other people believe in the same (Billings and White 118). There is no need of engaging in any given activity without a good reason for doing it. Neither is there any importance of believing in certain things because other people who are of great influence believe in the same.
Many people believe in ghosts because their peers do the same or claim to have seen them. Those who do this commit a fallacy of appeal to the bandwagon. This is common in many people and especially among high school students. Most people claim to see ghosts only in the darkness. Many are the times that they see people or other objects in the dark and assume that they are ghosts (Guiley 29). Fear is instilled in them because the things they see appear dark as a result of the darkness.
Seeing a dark image in an area where a person does not expect to see something like that could be frightening. The image could well be that of another person or an object that was placed there without your knowledge. After all, if you are in that particular place, then there is a possibility that another person could also be there.
Many learning institutions experience students’ unrest because of ghost related stories (Zepke 108). A claim from just one student that he or she has seen a ghost is enough to send the whole institution wild. Others may not be there but on hearing the claim, they can actually convince you that they have actually seen the ghost. I would not believe that a person has seen a ghost unless I see it myself.
Many people who claim that a ghost exists cannot provide statistical evidence in support of their claim (Buse and Stott 97). Many of them argue that they can feel the presence of the ghosts, hear them, and communicate with them. These people commit the fallacy of unsupported generalization since they cannot prove that the ghosts actually exist. In order to prove to people that something really exists, tangible evidence should be provided.
I have never heard of any factual recorded evidence that a ghost was seen somewhere. We only hear of stories that some people have seen ghosts but the evidence is not there. People rush to believe in the same even when they have not been provided with a single form of evidence. Pictures from the internet and other social media cannot be termed as evidence because they are not real but rather created by human beings.
The bible and other religious books contain stories about ghosts (Winzeler 35). This could be another reason why people believe in the existence of ghosts since most of the world’s population is religious. In the bible in the book of Samuel, King Saul is disguised as a witch who summons the spirit of Samuel. Most religions believe in life after death where by people will continue living after death but in a different form.
Once a person dies, he or she is buried and there is no any one moment that the body can be exhumed unless it is done by living human beings. Therefore, if people believe in life after death, the life must occur in a different form and that is the spirit. Most religions teach people that those who commit wrongful deeds while on earth will be punished after death.
People interpret the bible and other religious books in different ways some of which are not proper. Some believe that spirits of people who acted against the creator’s wishes are left to room on earth as a way of punishment. That leads many people to believe that ghosts do really exist. Things that appear abnormal to us cannot be termed as ghosts without proving that they really are.
Imagines of ghosts have been planted in people’s minds and that is why anything that appears unusual to them makes them suspicious. Although people believe that ghosts are not friendly and are out to harm human beings no one has ever proved what they have actually ever done. People have died and their deaths have been related to ghosts but no one has ever been able to prove the truth of the matter. Those who believe in this indulges in the fallacy of misleading evidence.
As mentioned earlier, many stories about ghosts have been told and movies about the same have been created too (Schwartz and Chess 101). The images of ghosts told about and seen are either dark, misty, airy, or subtle in nature. Most people who claim to have seen ghosts have seen such characteristics and jumped to conclusions that they had seen a ghost. Therefore, they commit the fallacy of hasty generalization because they do not provide enough evidence.
Claiming that they have seen such a thing is not enough because moving air can take different shapes depending on weather conditions and weather can result into misty conditions. Wind can even assume a circular shape and curl up the sky causing fear to people who might be new to this. In addition to that, any object will always appear dark when observed from far distance or in darkness (Holzer 51).
The fallacy of ignorance is committed when people make decisions based on what is not known (Billings and White 120). I may be committing this fallacy by claiming that I do not believe in ghosts because I have never seen one. However, my rivals could also be committing the same fallacy by claiming that ghosts exist because other people make them believe so.
They do not have any facts to support their claim and have done nothing to find out the truth. I can compare this with the very many religious teachings that we hear about. We are made to believe in things that were done by people who lived a long time ago in our absence. There is no evidence from a living person about anything that happened in the past.
This is what is termed as ignorance as no one has ever proven that whatever is talked about is true. People just believe in written material, which although many people believe is true, they cannot prove it. This is what happens to most of the people, who believe in ghosts. They do it out of ignorance because they do not know anything about them.
Ghosts are said to bring harm to living people and hence everybody fears an encounter with one. It is a common believe that a ghost will only be seen to the person or people that it intends to harm (McCormick 28). You may be in the presence of a person claiming to see a ghost and fail to see it yourself. This casts a lot of fear in people who are left imagining the next thing that would happen to that particular person. This is a fallacy of slippery slope and it leaves people quite traumatized.
Some people argue that some ghosts exist in the form of animals. However, no one can or has ever pointed at one and said that it is a ghost. Although the bible has ghost stories, it also states that the dead do not know anything about the living. Therefore, it is my conclusion that they cannot come back to bother people in the form of ghosts. Ghosts are merely expositions of people’s imaginations because they seem to exist to only those who believe in them (Guiley 37).
In most cases, ghosts are said to live in abandoned houses and especially those where murder has been committed. People will claim that they hear strange sounds coming from that direction but are not in a position to prove that fact. These sounds could possibly be coming from that direction but from a different place. It only needs one person to claim that there are ghosts in a certain house. Once that particular person makes such a statement, others will follow suit even without ever seeing one there.
Many people fear ghosts and once they hear that they exist in certain places, they will automatically believe and cease from going near the mentioned area (McCormick 40). This is ignorance of the highest degree since these people do not take further steps to prove the truth of the matter.
Therefore, all the people described above engage themselves in the fallacy of ignorance because they base their argument on something that is not known to them. They have never seen ghosts, they just hear about them but they believe in them without tangible evidence that they do really exists.
Billings, Simone, and White, Fred. The well-crafted Argument. Cengage Heinle. 2012. Print.
Buse, Peter, and Andrew, Stott. Ghosts: Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, History. London: Macmillan, 1998. Print.
Guiley, Rosemary. Ghosts and Haunted Places. New York: Chelsea House, 2008. Internet resource.
Holzer, Hans. Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 1997. Internet resource.
McCormick, Lisa W. Ghosts: The Unsolved Mystery. Mankato: Capstone Press, 2009. Print.
Schwartz, Alvin, and Victoria, Chess. Ghosts: Ghostly Tales from Folklore. New York, N.Y: Scholastic, 1993. Print.
Winzeler, Robert L. Anthropology and Religion: What We Know, Think, and Question. Lanham: Altamira Press, 2008. Print.
Zepke, Terrance. Best Ghost Tales of North Carolina. Sarasota: Pineapple Press, 2006. Print.