Where are all the ghosts

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Up To My Neck's picture
Where are all the ghosts

If each person is born with a soul, that leaves the body when we die, where are all the ghosts? I ask this tongue in cheek, but the idea of a soul is as thin as a priest with his pants unzipped credibility! Another thing that annoys the hell out of me.... when someone dies, you hear their loved ones say “well, at least he’s in heaven with Jesus “, How? Do you get judged immediately? The Bible speaks of judgement day, shall the graves open for us to be judged. So where are the billions of people who have died before today? Are they just hanging out,waiting for Jesus to get his ass down here? So again, seems to me that ghosts and religion would go hand in hand. Or to the clergy, hand in pants.

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Cognostic's picture
@Where are all the ghosts:

@Where are all the ghosts: Stop and think. The normal state of being for any one person in the human race is Dead. 7.5 billion people are alive and not doing so well on this planet today. Okay, only 70% of them live below the poverty level and the rest of us are doing fine. We have computers and cell phones. Since 8000 BCE, Population Reference Bureau estimates that of the total population to inhabit the planet, 6.94 percent of it is alive today. So 7% of all humans that have ever lived are alive on the planet today. 101, 088 billion of the Earth's total inhabitants have died. And people still find it shocking when someone dies? Go figure. Death is the normal state of life on this little blue rock. SURPRISE!!!


algebe's picture
@Cognostic: Okay, only 70% of

@Cognostic: Okay, only 70% of them live below the poverty level and the rest of us are doing fine.

If we're talking about absolute poverty, defined as less than $1.90 a day, the ratio is around 10% and falling, compared with 36% in 1990. (https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/poverty/overview). Most of the remaining poor live in Sub-Saharan Africa, which also happens to be a region plagued with chaotic tin-pot dictatorships and theocracies. Asia used to be a poverty disaster area.

There seems to be a link between liberal, democratic, secular government and poverty reduction. Maybe all the ghosts have gone to Africa to feed off the remaining pockets of ignorance, poverty, and religiosity. I've also heard that the ghost of Hugo Chavez is still thriving in Venezuela and regularly advises Nicolas Maduro about food distribution (mostly into his own belly).

Cognostic's picture
Algebe: "Absolute Poverty"

Algebe: "Absolute Poverty" I had to laugh ---- less than $1.90 a day. I don't doubt that only 10% can find a way to survive on $1.90 a day. HOLY COW! Some other fun news. Nearly half the world lives on less than $5.50 a day. $165 a month.
"Living on less than $3.20 per day reflects poverty lines in lower-middle-income countries, while $5.50 a day reflects standards in upper-middle-income countries, the World Bank said in its biennial Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report, “Piecing Together the Poverty Puzzle.” https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2018/10/17/nearly-half-t...

71% of the worlds population lives on less than $10.00 a day - The closest I got to 75% was 71% with this article but I had found another that was more recent with 75%. Calling $10.00 a day or $300 a month the cut off point for poverty is pretty sad. Surely we can go $11.00 or $12.00 and get that other 4% (Tongue in Cheek!) What a shit life some people have.

I visit the Philippines regularly. A minimum wage worker for a factory will earn about 20,000 pesos a month. $400.00. However, the companies are allowed to charge employees for meals, housing, missed and late days and who knows what else. Sometimes they are lucky to take home half their paycheck. Sucks to be a Filipino. Anyway, just asserting that the "Absolute Poverty" line is 'INSANE" unless you are living on a banana plantation with lots of little furry or feathered varmints to BBQ. 7.5 billion people on the planet and just imagining so many unable to meet basic needs is utterly insane. Thanks for the info. Obviously it sent me to the internet to find out a bit more. Some interesting reading. I always appreciate new information.


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LogicFTW's picture


Overall absolute poverty as others have been saying has been improving. If you wanted to pick a time to be alive in all of human history, right now would be it playing the averages.

However, inequality still rears its ugly head here.And arguably, inequality has been getting worse lately not better. There is enough resources and tech in the world to make sure no one goes hungry and everyone has a shot at full stomachs, freedom from violence etc but those at the top are not really sharing.



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

Cognostic's picture
@LogicFTW: Agreed! And

@LogicFTW: Agreed! And hopefully things will continue to get better.

Tin-Man's picture
Re: "Where are all the ghosts

Re: "Where are all the ghosts?"

Oh, ummm... Sooo, uh, yeah... Sorry, PJ, but I've been meaning to get with you about that. Just been really busy lately, as you might imagine...


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dogalmighty's picture
who ya gonna call?

who ya gonna call?

Sky Pilot's picture
Pirate Jack,


gupsphoo's picture
The belief in ghosts is not

The belief in ghosts is not necessarily tied to religion. Lots of Asians, especially Chinese, firmly believe in the existence of ghosts, but they are not religious.

It's just human nature. Some people can't cope with the thought of not existing after they die. They'd rather continue to exist as ghosts.

Cognostic's picture
CHK-C: "Chinese, firmly

CHK-C: "Chinese, firmly believe in the existence of ghosts" Chinese have a Long long tradition of Ancestor worship. AKA Patriarchal Veneration. (Similar to Korea - where I live.) Even the Christians in Korea observe the ancestor holidays. "Ancestor veneration practices prevail in south China, where lineage bonds are stronger and the patrilineal hierarchy is not based upon seniority, and access to corporate resources held by a lineage is based upon the equality of all the lines of descent;[6] whereas in north China worship of communal deities is prevalent.[7]"


gupsphoo's picture
In case you're trying to

In case you're trying to educate me about Asian or Chinese beliefs with a link to a Wiki article, no thanks.

Cognostic's picture
CHK-C: I have lived in Asia

CHK-C: YOU MUST HAVE FORGOTTEN YOU WERE TALKING TO AN ATHEIST AND A SKEPTIC - I have lived in Asia for 22 years. Don't be an idiot. I'll go one step further. Any Atheist would know that a statement succeeds or fails on its own merit. The source is only a secondary concern. Your assertion and thinking are fallacious. Even if Wikki made ten-thousand false statements, the very next one could be right on the money. You do not attempt to debunk claims by poo-pooing them. That just make you look like the ignorant one.

Genetic fallacy - A genetic fallacy is a logical fallacy that occurs when a claim is accepted or rejected based on the source of the evidence, rather than on the quality or applicability of the evidence. It is also a line of reasoning in which a perceived defect in the origin of a claim or thing is taken to be evidence that discredits the claim or thing itself. The fallacy is committed when an idea is either accepted or rejected because of its source, rather than its merit.

Chinese folk religion must be considered in any study of Chinese people, even though it is difficult to define this religious form. In the past, Chinese folk religion was sometimes mistakenly considered a fusion of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, but it is now widely recognized as a separate system of belief and practice. Many Chinese who would self-consciously claim no religious identity are in fact often adherents of Chinese Folk Religion. Global Security Org.

Chinese Folk Religion
"Chinese folk religion is composed of a combination of religious practices, including Confucianist ceremonies, ancestor veneration, Buddhism and Taoism. Chinese folk religion also retains traces of some of its ancestral neolithic belief systems which include the veneration of (and communication with) the sun, moon, earth, the heaven, and various stars, as well as communication with animals. It has been practiced alongside Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism by Chinese people throughout the world for thousands of years. Ceremonies, veneration, legends, festivals and various devotions associated with different folk gods/deities and goddesses form an important part of Chinese culture even today."

China's Folk Religion Revival (1999)

Traditional Life in China: Temple and Worship
There are three main systems of belief in China: Daoism (sometimes written Taoism), Buddhism and Confucianism. Chinese people did not adhere strictly to one religion. They carried out the religious observance most appropriate to the occasion, finding that the three religions complemented rather than contradicted each other. Many objects, whatever religion they are ascribed to, share the same symbolic motifs, and Buddhist and Daoist temples were similar in many respects. This is typical of the inter-relatedness of the different forms of Chinese worship.

Traditional Chinese religious beliefs and superstitions in delusions and hallucinations of Chinese schizophrenic patients.
Religious beliefs and superstitions have an important impact on the psychopathology of psychiatric patients. Traditional Chinese religious beliefs and superstitions, such as fortune telling, Buddhist gods, Taoist gods, historical heroic gods and ancestor worship, have important influence on subjective psychotic experiences, in particular delusions and hallucinations. By means of empirical phenomenological case narration, the writer shows that all these traditional Chinese religious beliefs and superstitions tend to affect the contents, manifestation and meaningfulness of delusion and hallucination. They also serve as a means to replace clients' self-identity. They appear in the form of a supernatural force to resolve all difficulties, cause of troubles and misfortune, stress and coping mechanisms.

Mapping Chinese Folk Religion in Mainland China and Taiwan
The revival of folk (popular) religion in China in the last three decades has been noted in many publications and documented in ethnographic studies. However, until now there has been no quantitative study that provides an overall picture of Chinese folk-religion practices. This article is a first attempt to draw the contours of Chinese folk religion based on three recent surveys conducted in mainland China and Taiwan. Three types of folk religion are conceptualized: communal, sectarian, and individual. Different types of folk religion may have different social functions and divergent trajectories of change in the modernization process. At present, in spite of the dramatic social, political, and cultural changes in modern times, the adherents of folk religion still substantially outnumber the believers of institutional religions in Chinese societies.

China is a multi-religious country. Taoism, Buddhism, Islam, Protestantism, and Catholicism have all developed into culture-shaping communities throughout
Chinese history.

Digital China Times
Religious controls have tightened considerably under the Xi administration. A deepening religious crackdown has led to the mass persecution of Muslim minorities and ongoing efforts to contain the rapid growth of Christianity in the country. Officials have removed over 1,200 crosses and demolished several Christian churches in Zhejiang and other provinces across China. Several Christian lawyers and activists were detained and subsequently released for campaigning against cross removals. Online retailers have been banned from selling Bibles. Unauthorized religious activity and unofficial “house churches” have also come under increasing attack. More than 100 worshippers from the Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu were detained this past December. The incident came after authorities shut down Zion Church in Beijing last September.

While many see the intensifying crackdown on religious freedom as a sign that President Xi is seeking to limit the influence of religion on society, the importance of religion is not being entirely diminished. In his new Foreign Affairs piece, Ian Johnson writes that the Chinese state is in fact adopting a “two-pronged approach” in its management of the various belief systems that make up the country’s religious landscape. As a part of this approach, vast resources are being devoted to reviving traditional folk religion while religions with foreign ties–such as Christianity and Islam–are heavily regulated and controlled.


China’s Struggles to Reconcile Church and State are Rooted in History
“China is not retreating to the era of high communism under Mao Zedong but lurching toward a messy future shared by many authoritarian states. Today’s China seeks not to marginalize competing groups and belief systems, the way Beijing did during the Mao era, but to co-opt them. Indeed, the events of the past two years show that for the first time in a century and a half, religion is firmly ensconced in the center of China’s social and political life.”

The State of Religion in China - Council on Foreign Relations
The state recognizes five religions: Buddhism, Catholicism, Daoism, Islam, and Protestantism. The practice of any other faith is formally prohibited, although often tolerated, especially in the case of traditional Chinese beliefs. Religious organizations must register with one of five state-sanctioned patriotic religious associations, which are supervised by the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA). October 11, 2018

This is getting boring but there is enough information on line that I could do this all night. (FEEL EDUCATED YET.) In the time it took you to be a pedantic smart ass, you could have just clicked on one of the references given by wikki and not sounded like such an idiot.,

Cognostic's picture
And let's get more specific::

And let's get more specific:::: Ghosts in China.
Ghost stories were the earliest form of literature in ancient China. They were almost certainly part of a very old oral tradition before writing developed during the Shang Dynasty (1600 - 1046 BCE) AND THEY CONTINUE TO BE POPULAR IN CHINA TODAY.... In modern-day China, ghosts only have power to harm if one believes in them, but in ancient China, they were a reality whether one believed in them or laughed them off.

China warns party members to stick to Marx, not 'ghosts and spirits'
(WHY HAVE THE WARNING IF THERE IS NOT A PROBLEM?) FEBRUARY 27, 2019 "There have been numerous scandals in recent years where senior party members have been accused of involvement in superstition."
"In one of the most famous recent cases, China’s powerful former security chief Zhou Yongkang was jailed for life in part due to accusations he leaked undisclosed state secrets to a fortune teller and healer called Cao Yongzheng, known as the “Xinjiang sage” after the far western region where he grew up."

For Gods, Ghosts and Ancestors: The Chinese Tradition of Paper Offerings
Hong Kong University Press

This is the first article in a series about Chinese ghost culture.
Tomb-Sweeping Festival, one of the three major ghost festivals celebrated in China, takes place every year on April 5. On this day, people offer sacrifices to their ancestors and perform religious rites to help lonely souls find peace.....

Traditional Chinese beliefs included both ancestral ghosts and reincarnation. Was anyone bothered by the discrepancy?

The Ghost Festival, also known as the Hungry Ghost Festival, Zhongyuan Jie (中元节), Gui Jie ... In Chinese culture, the fifteenth day of the seventh month in the lunar calendar is called Ghost Day

Police in eastern China’s Shandong province arrested, and eventually sentenced, 11 men for raiding women’s graves and selling the corpses to people seeking yinhun, or ghost marriages. In March that year, the robbers also exhumed the three-months-old corpse of a woman and sold it to a middleman for 18,000 yuan ($2,850). The parents of a dead bachelor in neighboring Hebei province, in turn, bought the stolen cadaver for 38,000 yuan, presumably before conducting a wedding for their dead son and his equally dead bride and reburying the woman next to her new husband.

Ghost marriages: A 3,000-year-old tradition of wedding the dead is still thriving in rural China
"... in some parts of China, some parents are even going as far as to perform "ghost marriages" — that is, a marriage for two deceased people to live in the netherworld together, according to the 3,000-year-old belief."

"ABC journalist Bang Xiao, who is from China's central Henan province, has had first-hand experience with such an arrangement."


Burning joss paper is a traditional Chinese-Taoist practice that sends money and materials goods to deceased relatives in the afterlife. It’s common to burn joss paper at funerals, on ancestor birthdays and during important holidays like the Qingming Festival and the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Art of Hell Money design
Hell Money, also known as Ghost Money and Spirit Money, has been discovered in archaeological excavations and its use can be traced back to the first millennium BCE—however, money was not in paper form then, but instead made of stone, bones and later metal.

The design of Hell Money banknotes is an art form. They are printed on joss paper in vivid colours and elaborate designs, with the King of Hell featuring on their front side. The size can vary, but in most cases they all have huge denominations.

Even though most banknotes display values in the millions and billions, there are a few notes with values of tens or hundreds. The 100 dollar note is particularly interesting with the King of Hell multiplied four-fold because the Chinese word for “four” is a homonym of the word “death”.

Considered a taboo
On most bills, there are phrases such as "Hell Bank Note", while some are designed in a way that is similar to known, existing currencies, such as American dollars or British pounds. Some Hell Money banknotes contain signatures, serial numbers and other elements that make them look like real money.

Others have no such goal, and are not timid in their portrayal of bizarre images, such as people sitting on clouds and playing music.

Hell Money is an integral part of Chinese funeral traditions, and there are specific ways in which it must be used. Offering a Hell Money banknote as a gift to a living person is considered a taboo.

Ghosts and spirits are venerated throughout Asia. The typical Westerner does not always recognize Asian customs as they are unfamiliar with the worship practices of shamanistic beliefs. The stacking of stones along a mountain path. The skein of yarn hung over an open doorway. A bowel of water. The importance of the first customer and sale of the day for a shop owner.


Sapporo's picture
The evidence for ghosts is

The evidence for ghosts is insubstantial.

sujandinesh22's picture
And moreover why just ghosts

And moreover why just ghosts of human beings? Why not reptiles, insects, birds etc.?

And even if we make our peace with that (because we are special, of course), how can we explain the increase in our population? Does that mean the number of souls are also increasing? So it is just not that the souls are being recycled, they are also being created? If they can be created, they can be destroyed as well? So souls can die?

So where are all the ghosts of these souls?

LogicFTW's picture


Your post brings up an interesting thought for me. Another problem with the ridiculous "soul" idea.

We are already at 7.5 billion living people, that is a lot of souls. With another 100 billion dead people. What is the upper limit? Is there an infinite amount of souls? And if there is an infinite amount of souls, that would in turn make a personal soul not very special at all right?

Say we humans solve our problems continue to advance and begin to colonize space, there is a lot of space and a lot of time. Could humans 10,000 years from now have a population of 10 trillion with another 100 trillion or so that have lived? What if we humans manage to augment our bodies in a way where we do not die of old age and defeat death in most any other way?

Where would all those souls go? Even if we did not colonize space, 100 billion + souls on this planet? It is already quite crowded, if the souls were aware of each other then I hope they do not have personal space issues...

Also getting off topic here a bit, but lots of people say the soul enters at the moment of conception (fertilized egg for most folks) however especially before modern medicine, I would say at least half of those fertilized eggs one way or another do not make it to birth (most dying before the mother was ever aware she even was pregnant) May have to double the number of the "dead" souls wandering around to 200 billion.

Souls are a nice feel good idea, but to me the idea is so broken it is unworkable when examined, even a little bit.



I am an atheist that always likes a good debate
Please include @LogicFTW for responses to me
Tips on forum use. ▮ A.R. Member since 2016.

sujandinesh22's picture
Exactly. Just add some more

Exactly. Just add some more souls of all the life on earth (plants, fungi, insects, microbes etc.) and also the undiscovered life out there in space.

The concept of souls is just rickdiculous.

Tin-Man's picture
Maybe God has all the souls

Maybe God has all the souls "parked" in a holding pattern around Uranus? Plenty of room out there, I would imagine. Somebody dies?... *POOF!*... Their soul goes straight to Uranus. A baby conceived? God simply pulls a random soul from Uranus and... *PRESTO!*... we have a "new" person among us. With so many billions of souls out there, who's ever going to know that good ol' great-great Uncle Joe they never met is now somebody else's good ol' Uncle Nibubu in another country? Hmmm... Guess that makes the space around your anu- (er-uh) - around Uranus a very busy place.

Up To My Neck's picture
So, are all the ghosts around

So, are all the ghosts around your anus? I mean Uranus?

Tin-Man's picture
@PJ Re: "So, are all the

@PJ Re: "So, are all the ghosts around your anus?"

If they are, then they are going to be incredibly UNhappy after my next Taco Tuesday.... LOL...

arakish's picture
Where are all the ghosts?

Where are all the ghosts?

I smoked them last week when I couldn't score any weed.


Tin-Man's picture
Dammit, Arakish! Have you

Dammit, Arakish! Have you been raiding the Ghost Containment Chamber again?!?... *hands on hips*... Well, guess that explains the "Unauthorized Access" warning that popped up on the control screen last week.

arakish's picture
***bows boughs in shame***

***bows boughs in shame*** Sorry, just needed something to take the edge off...


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