News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: The Ghosts That Haunt Us

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The Ghosts That Haunt Us

With an amorphous and squishy concept like "terrorist" anyone and everyone is suspect, while no one is really there. The general environment of fear provides great room for promoting more fear and thereby abrogating freedom.

The fears about government spying are something of a slippery slope argument, so the logic borders on the paranoid--yet, as many a logician knows, sometimes a slippery slope argument is valid.

What people did not ask when this war against shadows began and which they still dance around is whether there is 1) a real enemy, 2) a real war, and 3) whether our reaction is not an over-reaction.

These terrorists are the ghosts of our own personal insecurities, repressed anxieties, and paranoia. The best exorcism for these ghosts is a dose of soul-searching that brings to light our own self-deceit and the lies we tell ourselves.

Now I'm a fan of the ghost shows, as I call them. The two I watch are Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted. This fascination with the possible existence of ghosts has been with with me since I was a child. I still remember staying up at night when I was four or five and watching my bedroom door, which opened out to the halway outside my parents' apartment, being opened by what I believed then were ghosts.

The shows I watch take to tacks to "investigating" whether ghosts actually haunt a home. The methods they use are perhaps indicative of the culture that produces the show. The first is about a group of Americans, the second about a group of British paranormal experts. ...

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