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  1. #81
    Senior Member LEGERdeMAIN's Avatar
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    What is the probability that I will jump off of a bridge later tonight in a fit of rage and homoerotic melancholy?
    What is the probability that I will die from a 7 foot fall into brackish water of approx. 9 foot depth - I'm 135 pounds and I fall feet first, rigid like board?
    What is the probability that I'll enter into some kind of Christian Hell, Greek Hades??
    “Some people will tell you that slow is good – but I’m here to tell you that fast is better. I’ve always believed this, in spite of the trouble it’s caused me. Being shot out of a cannon will always be better than being squeezed out of a tube. That is why God made fast motorcycles, Bubba…”


  2. #82
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    You don't know what's in each other's hands, hence probabilities. You do know what's in your own hand, hence no probability.
    If you don't know the rules of poker, how can you possibly hope to assign a probability?
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #83
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEGERdeMAIN View Post
    What is the probability that I will jump off of a bridge later tonight?
    What is the probability that I will die?
    What is the probability that I'll enter into some kind of afterlife?
    1. Probably pretty low.
    2. Depends on the timescale you are referring to.
    3. Not enough information. Any probability anyone assigns would be worthless.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  4. #84
    null Jonny's Avatar
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    I don't think erm is arguing that one shouldn't attempt to assign probability to God, only that sometimes it is necessary to assign probability to past events because they impact the future.
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    If you don't know the rules of poker, how can you possibly hope to assign a probability?
    With probability, you work with what knowledge you have. If you know only one deck has been used, you know the basic odds of whether a card was dealt or not. If you have your own hand, those odds are adjusted based on what you know is in your own hand. If you don't know whether one or two decks were used, the odds that a certain card was dealt have changed etc.

    I thought it went without saying that we know many rules of the universe. Then again, I thought it went without saying that probability was based on knowledge...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I don't think erm is arguing that one shouldn't attempt to assign probability to God, only that sometimes it is necessary to assign probability to past events because they impact the future.
    My original point is that you can assign probabilities to past and present events, as long as they are unknown. E.g. the odds that something carbon dated was a certain age, the odds that there's a solar flare of a certain size on the sun as we type, or the odds that a certain historical figure died as was claimed etc. It's essentially that the word "maybe", and similar potential words can be used to describe the past and present truthfully. That potentiality is dependent on point of view, and can be applied to anything uncertain.

    Maybe what's being confused is that, from a human point of view, probability always deals with what will be discovered, making it seem like probability is always in the future. Rather that is because humans discover new knowledge only through entering the future, so to speak, and ultimately comes down to semantics. Since, by past and present, I mean the physical past and present, not the knowledge of a human being's past and present.

    I'm keeping fundamental randomness out of this of course. That's a different and off-topic thing.

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