Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

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Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:40 am

I have a feeling that this topic has come up previously, but I couldn't find a thread on it here in a quick search. How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist? Our English best friends are atheists, yet they are insistent that they have experienced ghosts in the UK. They can't produce any evidence of course, but have these "feelings" that they insist are real.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Matthew Ellard » Mon Jun 04, 2018 4:56 am

SEG wrote: How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist?
Easy. You ask them to define exactly what a ghost is. They won't be able to do it.

On one hand a ghost can walk through walls because a ghost is immaterial, however simultaneously a ghost can make noises by interacting with air pressure and thus must be material.

If you get these friends to set out the properties they claim ghosts have, they will quickly discover some properties are in conflict with other properties. It is impossible to form any falsifiable position if you can't even define what you claim exists. That's why ghosts obviously only product of fiction.

This same logic applies to Superman. How does superman shave if steel cannot harm him?

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Mon Jun 04, 2018 5:32 am

Explain to them they have an "experience" of a ghost. That experience is real, the ghost is not. Enjoy it.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:07 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
SEG wrote: How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist?
Easy. You ask them to define exactly what a ghost is. They won't be able to do it.

I did and she said it was "a spirit". I pressed her further what that meant and she said it was a presence that definitely existed. I even asked her what it was wearing and she said she couldn't see it properly but it was a coldness at the bottom of a set of stairs. It was real for her, but I got the feeling that she was influenced by her relatives who also "saw" it. It was strange coming from her, as she is very sensible normally and her hubby who is an aircraft engineer, backed her up!
Matthew Ellard wrote:On one hand a ghost can walk through walls because a ghost is immaterial, however simultaneously a ghost can make noises by interacting with air pressure and thus must be material.


Matthew Ellard wrote:If you get these friends to set out the properties they claim ghosts have, they will quickly discover some properties are in conflict with other properties. It is impossible to form any falsifiable position if you can't even define what you claim exists. That's why ghosts obviously only product of fiction.

Matthew Ellard wrote:This same logic applies to Superman. How does superman shave if steel cannot harm him?

Yes, they are good points, it's contradictory for sure. Problem was that they still remained convinced after the conversation and it got rather heated so I switched topics.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:12 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Explain to them they have an "experience" of a ghost. That experience is real, the ghost is not. Enjoy it.

Ah, that might go over better, thanks!
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby ElectricMonk » Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:56 am

. ..then do a double-blind test with them involving Magic Mushrooms...
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:35 am

...or a double-mushroom test involving magic blinds....
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:42 am

SEG wrote:I have a feeling that this topic has come up previously, but I couldn't find a thread on it here in a quick search. How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist? Our English best friends are atheists, yet they are insistent that they have experienced ghosts in the UK. They can't produce any evidence of course, but have these "feelings" that they insist are real.

Overview. The concept is named, echoing Occam's razor, for the journalist and writer Christopher Hitchens, who in a 2003 Slate article formulated it thus: "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence".

Hitchens's razor - Wikipedia
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:43 am

ElectricMonk wrote:. ..then do a double-blind test with them involving Magic Mushrooms...

How about a morphine pump and an understanding nurse?
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Mon Jun 04, 2018 10:55 am

"Ohhh, I thought you said 'goats'!"
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 04, 2018 11:09 am

Gord wrote:"Ohhh, I thought you said 'goats'!"

From the movie "The Men Who Stare At Breasts"?
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:48 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Gord wrote:"Ohhh, I thought you said 'goats'!"

From the movie "The Men Who Stare At Breasts"?

No, from the joke.

Like this one, except in the version I heard it was "goats", plural:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mp2gGjovCGg
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby OlegTheBatty » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:27 pm

Matthew Ellard wrote:
This same logic applies to Superman. How does superman shave if steel cannot harm him?


Because the hairs are not alive, only the follicles are. Therefore, the hairs are extraneous tissue and not protected by Superman's invulnerability.

Spoiler:
Tish boom!
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:39 pm

Superman and Lois Lane decide have a baby. After Clark blows the top of Lois's head off he makes a note to look into in vitro next time.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Matthew Ellard » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:37 am

SEG wrote: How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist?
Matthew Ellard wrote:Easy. You ask them to define exactly what a ghost is. They won't be able to do it.
SEG wrote: Yes, they are good points, it's contradictory for sure. Problem was that they still remained convinced after the conversation and it got rather heated so I switched topics.


Well, why ask our science based forum to offer reasons, why ghosts don't exist, to people who don't follow the scientific method? It's a complete waste of our time. This boils down to these people having a non scientific religious claim that ghosts are real and nothing to do with logic or science.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Io » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:50 am

I suppose that, if you've described all the inconsistencies and contradictions of ghosts with reality and they've been understood, yet they still refuse to accept that whatever it was wasn't supernatural, they're clearly not interested in an explanation and simply want someone to confirm that their take on the matter is right.

At that point it doesn't really make any difference what you say or do and it's down to them to snap out of their fantasy and for you to move on. They don't believe in ghosts because they think they're real, they think they're real because they get some comfort out of believing that supernatural things can be real. Trying to convince them they're wrong is fighting the wrong battle.

It's also worth bearing in mind that most people have a strong sense of pride and it takes a rare person to swallow it and admit there and then that something they thought was true might not be even when strong arguments are thrown at them. It's unlikely that anyone will just turn on a sixpence in the heat of an argument. Usually people will mull over what you say and take their own time to reconsider - maybe years for things like supernatural or religious beliefs.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:13 am

Io wrote:They don't believe in ghosts because they think they're real, they think they're real because they get some comfort out of believing that supernatural things can be real. Trying to convince them they're wrong is fighting the wrong battle.
correct, for the very reason you give next:

Io wrote: It's also worth bearing in mind that most people have a strong sense of pride and it takes a rare person to swallow it and admit there and then that something they thought was true might not be even when strong arguments are thrown at them. It's unlikely that anyone will just turn on a sixpence in the heat of an argument. Usually people will mull over what you say and take their own time to reconsider - maybe years for things like supernatural or religious beliefs.
Usually......not. Rejected ideas die a quick death. This goes to why any argument is heated to begin with. Ideas have no temperature.......only hot heads.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:03 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
This same logic applies to Superman. How does superman shave if steel cannot harm him?


Because the hairs are not alive, only the follicles are. Therefore, the hairs are extraneous tissue and not protected by Superman's invulnerability.

Spoiler:
Tish boom!

This applies to his fingernails and toenails too. I've always thought, "why would he need to leap over a tall building with a single bound?" Why wouldn't he just fly over it? I'll ponder of this now for the rest of the day...
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:07 am

Matthew Ellard wrote:
SEG wrote: How do you explain to your otherwise intelligent friends that ghosts don't/can't exist?
Matthew Ellard wrote:Easy. You ask them to define exactly what a ghost is. They won't be able to do it.
SEG wrote: Yes, they are good points, it's contradictory for sure. Problem was that they still remained convinced after the conversation and it got rather heated so I switched topics.


Well, why ask our science based forum to offer reasons, why ghosts don't exist, to people who don't follow the scientific method? It's a complete waste of our time. This boils down to these people having a non scientific religious claim that ghosts are real and nothing to do with logic or science.

Well this is a forum to air these type of discussions isn't it? I'm glad I opened it up, there have been some really good posts so far.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:16 am

I keep thinking it but not posting............so, I'll go ahead.

A bit of an oxymoron: "Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist." //// I assume they eat pork tacos off the street vendors in Tijuana?
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:38 am

OlegTheBatty wrote:
Matthew Ellard wrote:
This same logic applies to Superman. How does superman shave if steel cannot harm him?


Because the hairs are not alive, only the follicles are. Therefore, the hairs are extraneous tissue and not protected by Superman's invulnerability.

Spoiler:
Tish boom!

Exactly! That's why whenever he gets hit with fire or flies into the Sun or something, he always comes out bald.

What? Has no one else ever noticed that? He's wearing a wig, people!

A super-wig. With super-eyebrows and a super-merkin.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby SEG » Tue Jun 05, 2018 7:57 am

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:I keep thinking it but not posting............so, I'll go ahead.

A bit of an oxymoron: "Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist." //// I assume they eat pork tacos off the street vendors in Tijuana?

No, but remember I said they are English friends. I think the UK people are more predisposed to woo woo, particularly to ghostly things.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Poodle » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:12 am

Take that back immediately, you antipodean bounder! There are loads of ghosts in the UK because there are a lot of tourists.
I mean, that's like me saying all Australians shag sheep, when it's well-known that ... ... oh, hang on.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:41 am

Why do they wear clothes?

Why aren't they everywhere if they're real?

Why hasn't anyone provided more proof than just "well, I seed him, and he was ded, so there!"
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:41 pm

Poodle wrote:I mean, that's like me saying all Australians shag sheep, when it's well-known that ... ... oh, hang on.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why do they wear clothes?

Why aren't they everywhere if they're real?

Why hasn't anyone provided more proof than just "well, I seed him, and he was ded, so there!"

Don't be ridiculous. Sheep don't wear clothes.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Io » Tue Jun 05, 2018 1:14 pm

bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Usually......not. Rejected ideas die a quick death. This goes to why any argument is heated to begin with. Ideas have no temperature.......only hot heads.


Rejected ones, yes, but it takes a long time to reject something like religious indoctrination. I was raised in a religious family and despite decades of practical and logical reasoning I still find myself giving a moments pause before thinking something potentially blasphemous. That {!#%@} really gets a grip on you young. Probably it'll never go away.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Monster » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:21 pm

SEG wrote:Yes, they are good points, it's contradictory for sure. Problem was that they still remained convinced after the conversation and it got rather heated so I switched topics.

There's your problem right there. If the debate became heated then that means that your friends got emotionally invested in the argument and after that, no one will budge an inch. In other words, someone adopted this ghost belief as part of their identity. I've encountered the same kind of resistance by an acquaintance of mine who insisted that psychic powers are real.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:22 pm

Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:I mean, that's like me saying all Australians shag sheep, when it's well-known that ... ... oh, hang on.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why do they wear clothes?

Why aren't they everywhere if they're real?

Why hasn't anyone provided more proof than just "well, I seed him, and he was ded, so there!"

Don't be ridiculous. Sheep don't wear clothes.

Image
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:27 pm

Io wrote:
bobbo_the_Pragmatist wrote:Usually......not. Rejected ideas die a quick death. This goes to why any argument is heated to begin with. Ideas have no temperature.......only hot heads.


Rejected ones, yes, but it takes a long time to reject something like religious indoctrination. I was raised in a religious family and despite decades of practical and logical reasoning I still find myself giving a moments pause before thinking something potentially blasphemous. That {!#%@} really gets a grip on you young. Probably it'll never go away.

Yea Verily. Its what I have pointed out a few times to a few people: you have given up the tenets of some religion but still have certain ways of thinking or emoting because of that early experience.

Why do we think the way that we do and how do you decide "for yourself" what you think?/// How do you change your mind? ................ It all takes more INTROSPECTION and time than most people think it does. Lots of ripples in the ponds of our lives well after the pebble has been dropped. Heh, heh....I've spent my whole life consciously expressly thinking about who I am and why (from age 7)....and still notice a ripple now and then. Contra: in fact, it should vary among people: how, when, and how easily we find ourselves....
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby powessy » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:27 am

We could take a slightly different view of this to explain ghosts. The first step to this is to understand the mind, the body and the soul. The mind is not inside of the body, the mind exists in a different frequency one with different time then here. The mind can hold millions of lifeforms within it and is all around us as we are inside of it. The mind could be on the other side of the world and you are still here unaware of it, or doing nothing there figuring nothing out. The soul it is yourself it is all your time within it to become yourself to figure yourself out if you knew how. The body is just this flesh body we were born into to experience this reality.

So why are ghosts not to smart that is also easy it never become something inside of itself to figure anything out the mind has to become you so you can become yourself there, this does not happen so the soul is just a yourself with a few thoughts inside of it that lingers on until it runs out of time. The mind can see into you through frontal thought genesis and will use these thoughts to try to figure you out and is most likely how cloths and other thoughts find form or become thought forms.

when another mind enters into your mind you can become aware of this and if you are inside of yourself you will see them or experience them, hear noises, voices, thoughts or tactile feelings. The mind normally will only try to figure us out when we become badly done. Someone more inside of themselves may experience much more and will have visual encounters. A person that can enter into themselves many more times then this can actually become themselves in the veil and they may experience OBES or NDE type experiences and could be where abductions occur these people can lose time as they are pulled into themselves to spend time in the veil.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:42 am

powessy wrote:We could take a slightly different view of this to explain ghosts. The first step to this is to understand the mind, the body and the soul.
The Skeptic Society Forum is a science based forum, that requires use of the scientific method. There is no such thing as a "soul".

powessy wrote:The mind is not inside of the body, the mind exists in a different frequency one with different time then here.
Soooo.... when did the mind separate from the physical body according to evolution? Was it with Neanderthals? No? Australopithecus? No? Are you claiming early bacteria had minds on different frequencies away from their physical body?

I am pointing out your religious claim is complete nonsense

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Io » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:03 am

powessy wrote:The first step to this is to understand the mind, the body and the soul. The mind is not inside of the body, the mind exists in a different frequency one with different time then here. The mind can hold millions of lifeforms within it... etc and the rest


There is no grounding in reality for this - it's just an invented fiction. There are any number of other fictional (I won't even call them hypotheses - what would a civil term for that be? let's say...) 'ideas' that have been put out there to describe the soul/mind/whatever. They can't all be right. And yours is probably one of the not right ones.
As the song says, it's only a whimsical notion. Although whether you feel your soul is anywhere near Rio tonight is entirely your call.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:20 am

I think "complete nonsense" covered it pretty well. Meaningless word babble came to my mind.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby JO 753 » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:21 am

Try the perspectiv that reality iz a matter uv degree, not yes/no.
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:02 am

what if the degree is zero?
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:44 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:I mean, that's like me saying all Australians shag sheep, when it's well-known that ... ... oh, hang on.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why do they wear clothes?

Why aren't they everywhere if they're real?

Why hasn't anyone provided more proof than just "well, I seed him, and he was ded, so there!"

Don't be ridiculous. Sheep don't wear clothes.

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What's Theresa May got to do with it?
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Io » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:45 am

Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
Gord wrote:
Poodle wrote:I mean, that's like me saying all Australians shag sheep, when it's well-known that ... ... oh, hang on.

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Why do they wear clothes?

Why aren't they everywhere if they're real?

Why hasn't anyone provided more proof than just "well, I seed him, and he was ded, so there!"

Don't be ridiculous. Sheep don't wear clothes.

Image

What's Theresa May got to do with it?


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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gord » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:48 am

What's Theresa May got to do, got to do with it
What's Theresa May but a second hand Prime Minister
What's Theresa May got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a sheep when a sheep can be broken
"Knowledge grows through infinite timelessness" -- the random fictional Deepak Chopra quote site
"Imagine an ennobling of what could be" -- the New Age BS Generator site
"You are also taking my words out of context." -- Justin
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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Io » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:48 am

JO 753 wrote:Try the perspectiv that reality iz a matter uv degree, not yes/no.


Reality is not a matter of degree. Reality is either/or, yes/no, true/false. Reality is.
Your perception of reality is another matter. The scientific method is a process designed to filter out as much of your perception as possible in order to uncover the properties of reality without bias.

Science > reality.
Perception interpretation > ghosts > bollox.

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Re: Explaining to Intelligent Friends That Ghosts Don't Exist

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:58 am

Gord wrote:What's Theresa May got to do, got to do with it
What's Theresa May but a second hand Prime Minister
What's Theresa May got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a sheep when a sheep can be broken

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