There is debate between those who are skeptical and those who believe in the paranormal as to whether ghosts exist. Evidence presented by one faction is commonly rejected by the other- though I would argue the skeptical side is doing so in an evidence based manner… as I’m sure believers would also argue for their side.
But very little discussion is had on the factors being raised if ghosts do indeed exist. If ghosts are proven to exist there is a very important discussion that needs to be had.
We think of ghosts as ethereal beings who- depending on the situation- can interact with us in a variety of ways from simply appearing all the way up to physically interacting with us and objects around us. But we still see ghosts as these “others” as these entities that have moved on to some other layer of existence. But if they do exist, what problems might that create?
If ghosts exist, then it stands to reason that some of them are bad eggs. Indeed, we see with the Enfield Poltergeist and Amityville that some spirits can be dangerous. But what about the middling ground? As with the living world we have some people who are totally law abiding, and those that commit acts of extreme violence. And everything in between. Surely if ghosts exist then they too represent those extremes and those middling grounds. Take voyeurism, there are always examples of living people who have spied on others, who film others covertly and those who film consensual sex acts but them upload them online without permission of the other party(ies). Those same types of people must exist in the other world. Being dead would be a Godsend for voyeurs- you cannot be seen, heard or your presence felt. So think about it- how many ghosts have stood around watching you masturbate? If ghosts exist, some must have. Maybe your wank sessions are pay per view events in the spirit world. Maybe whenever you open up Youporn there is an army of ghosts standing around getting off to your getting off. There are stories of people reporting having had sex with ghosts so clearly if they do exist then they still have the same sexual urges we all have. And how many ghosts have committed murder? Think of all those unsolved murders, could some of them be committed by ghosts? Well, if they exist then why not? What is to stop a ghost from bashing someones head in- we’ve seen apparent examples from believers of ghosts moving physical objects, so what is to stop a particularly thuggish ghost from smacking you in the head with a kettle? Ghosts may not need human money, but they can certainly cause damage, violence and death. Maybe another argument against the death penalty should be that if we execute a mass murderer we are giving them the opportunity to continue killing through supernatural means? Maybe we need to insist on life tariffs in sentencing hearings to avoid giving a killer the supernatural freedom to kill. The movie The Frighteners is based around this very point- the ghost of a serial killer continues to murder long after they have been fried. Possibly the worst thing we could do to an unrepentant serial killer is to execute them and provide them with the means to continue their death spree. Dear America, if you could stop creating paranormal murder death killers that would be great.
If ghosts do exist then we have to question the ethics of paranormal researchers. Lets take a living example- if you suddenly found there was a bunch of people rummaging through your house with a variety of sciency sounding equipment to hunt you down wouldn’t you be in the least bit pissed off? I would. Then maybe that is the same for ghosts. Maybe the reason we hear so many stories about ghosts causing scratches and throwing things is because we are invading their personal space and violating their home. It turns Yvette Fielding from a TV researcher into a breaking and entering criminal with a rap sheet so long as to warrant a life sentence. Surely if ghosts exist they have rights? They may not be physically human but that shouldn’t mean they have no rights. When someone like Stephen Hawking is confined to a wheel chair, locked into their own bodies we don’t remove their rights because they can’t physically interact with the world. So if ghosts do exist, surely they should be granted some sort of legal protection? We hear a lot of ghost stories about young children haunting a location, but in the living world we bend over backwards to protect children, so much so that the phrase “Think of the children” is a comedy punchline. And where are all the other ghosts to take care of these lost kiddies? Are we luring ghost children away from their ghost parents? There are plenty of laws about that in the living world, you wouldn’t walk up to a 6 year old at the school gates and ask them probing personal questions away form their parents without risking legal retaliation. So why is it okay to do the same with ghost kids? Maybe they have their ghost parents waiting to pick them up from ghost school and you’re being an asshole by trying to lure them away. Maybe ghost mummy and ghost daddy are sitting at ghost home expecting their ghost kid back to surprise them with a ghost birthday party and now they are running around contacting ghost police because you (you asshole) have lured their ghost kid away with one knock for yes, two knocks for no, and they are rocking back and forth on their ghost sofa giving a report of their ghost kids description to the ghost police. Stop trying to kidnap ghost kids, you twatbasket. If ghosts do exist then we are on a daily basis violating their space, their homes and their post life lives. Maybe there is a reason some ghosts are violent- wouldn’t you be if someone was trying to take your kid away from you? And what about property rights? If we do prove ghosts exist then surely they have a claim on property? Just because they have changed form doesn’t mean they want to give up on their cottage by the sea. And then there are exorcisms. Basically, an exorcism is the spiritual equivalent of the Highland Clearances.
Polyamory is still a rather taboo position on romance. As someone who is polyamorous I feel at times a little ostracised, as if what I am doing is wrong or bad or naughty (which if you do it right can indeed be all three). But what about extra-spiritual affairs? We’ve discussed the idea of ghost sex earlier, but to build on from it, we must look at whether a relationship could work between a living and dead person. From a sexual point of view it should be fairly easy- ghosts can throw things, they can lift things, and some people have reported having sex with ghosts. So sex and foreplay should be pretty simple, and there is no risk of STDs or pregnancy (can ghosts get up the duff?) which means no need for those annoying condoms. The sooner we develop a pill that blocks all STDs the better- though crabs would likely still exist, but I don’t think that’s too bad an issue if you’re a fan of pets. But ghost sex means a lot more freedom and could usher in a new age of another sexual revolution to make the 1960s look like Mary Whitehouse’s Sunday tea. But aside from the physical, what about the emotional? We have only just legalised gay marriage- we still can’t have polygamous unions or incestuous ones, which is a whole other discussion but for the record- if its consensual then go for it bro… and sisters, and dads, and moms. Incest, a game for the whole family. But we are left with a difficult area. In Christian marriages it is till death us do part, which means afterwards all relationships are null and void. That might be fine for those who are in an unhappy marriage, but what about those who are still very much in love? What about those who died before they could wed? Aren’t you being a dick to bereaved people if you wont let them marry their dead lover? I think if the spirit world does exist then we need to allow for marriages between the living and the dead. I imagine there will be a lot of bigotry around the subject, and many people arguing against unions of a dead and living person, but if people really do believe in an afterlife, and it is proven to exist, then surely marriage legislation is the next step? I think we should all write to our local MPs (especially if they’re Tory- anything to waste their time) and demand a Parliamentary discussion on living/dead marriages. We’d also have to draft new divorce legislation, and decide how best to split up the joint possessions, but ultimately I foresee a day when, if ghosts exist, we will have marriages between the living and the dead.
Some babies die. This is generally considered a bad thing. But in the world of the supernatural we are left with some concerning possibilities. Some, mainly religious, people suggest that dead babies will continue to grow in the afterlife. This raises the question of to what age they grow? Do they continue growing and living in the afterlife till old age then spend eternity as an old person with ghost rickets? But then we have other stories where the spirit is frozen at the age they died at. So which is it? Or maybe it is a mix of both. They would still likely develop mentally if not physically, which means the afterlife features billions of Baby Hermans from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The alternative is too upsetting even for this pessimist to accept. Eternity is a long time, so an eternity as a baby seems worse than death- unless we intellectually mature. As we’ve seen from stories, it seems at least physically we remain in some form similar to the one we died in (depending on belief) so we need to provide education for ghost kiddies. So are there ghost schools? When you die and finally escape the pressures of Year 7, do you have to continue your studies? And if so, until what age? How do we judge age? Are there a bunch of ghostly toddlers graduating the spiritual equivalent of Harvard? Which brings us on to work. What do we do in the afterlife? Surely things still need doing? Or do we wander aimlessly around for the whole of existence? That sound like a fate worse than death. Do ghosts need somewhere to sleep? Do they sleep? Do they need to feed on some sort of ghostly Ramen Noodle? Is there a hierarchy? Do Tory ghosts drive poor ghosts to commit the opposite of suicide? Maybe all those new babies born here are ghosts that died because Ghost Thatcher cut off their Ghost Benefit? Surely there must be some structure to the afterlife. I can’t imagine the more conservative ghosts would be happy about other ghosts getting by without contributing. And is there such a thing as borders in the afterlife? Is ghost Britain inundated with ghosts from Bulgaria?
Simply put, there are a lot of questions we have to address if we do accept that ghosts are real, and rarely do we discuss them in real terms. Ghosts are some supernatural other that we think little of outside of hauntings, but if billions of people have passed over into the afterlife we need to address how that would impact on us in the land of the living. Ghosts are fun, until you realise that if they exist then they are real people with real feelings, hopes and dreams. The scariest part of ghosts is that we treat them as third class citizens there for out entertainment.