Considering Ghost Hunters

For those who may never heard of Ghost Hunters, it is a reality program on the Sci-Fi Channel that features the exploits of TAPS (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) who investigates possible hauntings. I probably should predicate this article with a few comments. You shouldn’t believe everything you see on TV. The material has been shot, edited and reassembled so as to keep the viewers attention. This article is going to assume that what is seen on TV reflects essentially what had occurred. What’s important is the actual evidence and since TAPS name is one the line I think it would be fair to assume that is has not be tampered. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong. The other point is a warning. TAPS frequently oversteps the boundary of simply gathering empirical evidence to engaging in spiritism. While waving their electro-megnetic meters and snapping pictures, the investigators often call out, “Is there someone here with us? Could you show us some sign of your presence?” This essentially spiritism which is forbidden by the Church and Scripture. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I am not recommending this program.

This being said, I do wish to make apologists aware of Ghost Hunters because it is doing something not normally seen in the popular media. They are trying to find evidence for non-material entities. If evidence is found, it may be a good tool to use against materialism. Materialism is a philosophy that believes that all of existence is matter. They deny the existence of God, angels and any other non-material entities. Ghost Hunters aims straight at the heart of their claims.

Unfortunately, TAPS investigations rarely rise to the level of scientific investigation. However, there is one episode that comes close. It is the investigation of the St. Augustine Lighthouse. The lighthouse has no exits except at the bottom and at the top (which was chain locked). There is a spiral staircase that winds up the inside of the lighthouse. TAPS placed a IR camera at the bottom facing the top and they also carried IR cameras as the investigators climbed the stairway. As they climbed, they claimed to hear talking on the top (which was not caught on audio). They then noticed a shadowy figure a couple of flights on top of them looking at them. When TAPS moved up, it moved up. When TAPS neared the top of the stairs they were struck by a blinding light. The top of the lighthouse is guarded by motion sensor detectors. What’s interesting is that they caught two shots of this figure. The investigators claim that the camera has recorded exactly what they experienced. It is opaque and it is moving, but the motion sensor never triggers until the investigators come near.

What’s interesting to me is not so much the evidence itself, but the unscientific dogmatism of materialists who have viewed the program. While these materialists often see themselves as cold and calculating men (and women) of science, they categorically refuse to accept the evidence as evidence worthy of further investigation. Instead, they attack the veracity of the producers or concoct untenable theses to explain away the evidence. They point out that the investigators go beyond the evidence by claiming that this figure is a dead person, which is true. But what about the evidence? Something is opaque, moving and yet has evaded the motion detector and the investigators who blocked the only way out. Isn’t this worthy of investigation? Against one obstinate materialist I said, “Fine! The producers could have done something with the video, but assuming that they didn’t isn’t this worthy of real scientific investigation?” The materialist answered no.

The great apologist Arnold Lunn ran into the same problem when he was an atheistic materialist. He experienced something while visiting a medium that he couldn’t explain. Arnold told his materialist friends of science about his experience and expected them to call for some sort of scientific investigation. Their response? They told him that what he experienced couldn’t have happened because nothing exists outside of the material world. Lunn was thrown for a loop by the irrational response of these rationalist and the unscientific attitude of these men of science. Lunn attributes this experience as the first steps towards theism and eventually the Catholic Church.

Blind dogmatism is alive and well outside the Church. Christians have taken their lumps in regards to some reactions to science. Perhaps the time as come to wake up these self-styled scientific moderns that they are acting more like the high priests of modernism rather than objective scientific investigators. Instead of considering the evidence from Ghost Hunters, they rule, without a trial, that it is heresy.

About gmichuta

Gary is a noted Catholic speaker and author. He has given hundreds of parish talks and seminars on apologetics and evangelism. Gary is also the author of several books including, Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger: The Untold Story of the Lost Books of the Protestant Bible, The Case for the Deuterocanon: Evidence and Arguments, How to Wolf-proof Your Kids, Making Sense of Mary, etc. For more information books, talks, and CD sets go to: www.Catholicproductions.com or his official website www.HandsOnApologetics.com
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