I am based in Uganda where there is too much belief in witchcraft and magics. One scenario in some remote primitive communities in Uganda do disturb my thinking that people can send spirits to other people,spirits robbing money from banks, spirits of some one buried coming back to disturb the living,. Could any one out there help in explaining whether the spiritual world do exist or it is a myth.

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Winfred, I used to also question the existence of the spiritual world. To test the belief, I would challenge claims by those who believed. If there was a story about how spirits would harm or haunt a person who lay upon a grave, then I would test it by laying upon the grave. If someone claimed that a harmful spirit would possess a person who attempted to steal a Bible from a particular church, then I would test the claim by stealing the Bible. When someone claimed that a structure was haunted, I would spend hours watching and waiting for spirits to reveal themselves and I would call out to the spirits and challenge them. When someone claimed that if I condemned God, I would be cursed or killed, I cursed and condemned God. Never did any harm come to me or any of my family. Never did I experience any supernatural thing. Perhaps if people in Uganda witnessed you challenging some of their claims, you might convince yourself if no one else.
Just have to watch out for the psychos who will fulfill their spiritual claims, using nonspiritual means.  People who use superstition as a means of control don't like having their power challenged.

This video from Kenya is reported as a Witch burning and I'm curious about the likely circumstances leading up to these people being burnt and beaten to death. Of course, such phenomena has occured in many countries and cultures in recent history and I'm reflecting on Joseph P's comments above;



Did you do these experiments for your own curiosity or to demonstrate your point to others?

Does a spiritual world exist?


AKron (much as I agree) we should consider "where" the spiritual world exists, rather than "if" one exists.


In the minds of devout (mentally ill or deluded) people, the spirit world is as complete as it is real; to the rest of us it's completely bogus.


Debunking the spirit world requires a intimate knowledge of the human psyche: believers can see or feel things that we simply cannot. They are not real, of course, but that does not prevent them from experiencing them. As Joseph quite accurately points out:

"Just have to watch out for the psychos who will fulfill their spiritual claims, using nonspiritual means"


Sage words indeed!

Marc - When you say "where" the spiritual world exists, do you mean physically in the brain? I don't know where that would be, but I've read that researchers are making amazing progress on this now. Then there's that odd disorder called Charles Bonnet syndrome where people who otherwise appear completely sane and rational vividly see people who aren't there. I think there are answers to be found as to why people truly believe they experience things that aren't real.

James Randi the magician & skeptic has a video on YouTube about his out of body experience I found interesting.

@AKron - I was being more abstract than physical. We don't need to know where in the brain these things occur (and more than we need to know where in the brain "we" live).


I won't deny that it's useful to science to know where these things happen and my own research has thrown up some wonderful stuff which is something for a different discussion.


If find that it's helpful to just talk of a generic "brain" or even "head" rather than a physical structure within it - as people are aware that they have a heart or a head but less likely to be familiar with particular parts. Most people can drive, but comparatively few are familiar with how their engine's work and, fewer could repair them and even fewer still could design one. 


This stuff comes naturally to you and I, perhaps, but we have to remember that we are in a minority and it's up to us to make it understandable to the majority.


As a complete aside (but related) do you ever wonder why we congratulate people on birthdays, having a child or (bizarrely to me) becoming a grandparent? Also (in Western Europe at least) we have some odd ideas about making children finish everything on their plate even when they are clearly full to brimming!


Until comparatively recently, I'd not thought to challenge or question these "norms" - and then I realised both are vestigial elements from a culture that (in the former case) remains in living memory! But I'm off on one here - this detail something for a separate discussion.

I'd have to watch the show to comment (should I shut up now?), but as far as anyone can tell there is no "free will". I don't think Dawkins said "soul" was transmitted if we didn't have offspring, but again I'd have to see the video. I've seen enough of Dawkins to think I don't need to see the video however. Maybe it was a misinterpretation? The genes will continue to live in offspring even if an individual doesn't have children because if someone else has children they will survive to the next generation. Make sense? Bottom line is you still need somebody procreating somewhere in order for the genes to survive. Heck, even if every human died chimpanzees can still propagate something like 98.6% of the same genes we have. The illusion of "soul" comes from the genes. I'm I still making sense?
I guess watching the video "The Monkey in the Machine and the Machine in the Monkey" is out. It's not available in my area, and I can't find it on YouTube (Thanks BBS). I did however find a really cool Monkey Machine.




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