Thread: Atheists Who Claim There is a God

1. Ach so, Ich danke Ihnen vielmals für Ihre Bemühung.

2. Originally Posted by Xyk
By the same logic, we can also conclude that every single fictional thing is probably true. See Russell's Teapot.
Not quite. By the same logic, we can also conclude that the existence of Russell's teapot is less probable but more supported by the evidence.

3. Originally Posted by reason
Not quite. By the same logic, we can also conclude that the existence of Russell's teapot is less probable but more supported by the evidence.
I only skimmed the OP. It was long and had a lot of math words.

4. So OP, what you're saying is that you're a sophist?

5. Originally Posted by reason
I guess not.

A (subjective) Bayesianist would say the only place a probability could be is in your mind. Then it would only depend on whether we decide to include 0 and 1 as probabilities.

Anyway, it is customary among such philosophies to only assign the probability of 1 or 0 in the cases of, respectively, tautologies and contradictions. Anything else is something like (notwithstanding Quine) a synthetic proposition (i.e. a proposition that cannot be proved true or false by purely logical reasoning) and should only be assigned a probability between 0 and 1. Perhaps some theories of God are contradictory, but I don't think all have to be.

Of course, these kind of philosophies often have difficulties with synthetic propositions that do not predict anything in particular about what can be observed, i.e. metaphysics. Normally these philosophies just refuse to deal with such statements, branding them "meaningless" or "irrelevant." They normally get themselves into a host of logical quandaries for that reason.
Probabilities are only useful in describing future potential events. Past events either happened or they didn't happen. Assigning a probability to the existence of any sort of god, who must exist in the past and present, is ridiculous. I get really annoyed when atheists do it.

6. Originally Posted by Lateralus
Probabilities are only useful in describing future potential events. Past events either happened or they didn't happen. Assigning a probability to the existence of any sort of god, who must exist in the past and present, is ridiculous. I get really annoyed when atheists do it.
Probability is useful for describing unknown things. The future is more unknown than the present and past, generally, but probabilities can be used with all of them.

7. Originally Posted by erm
Probability is useful for describing unknown things. The future is more unknown than the present and past, generally, but probabilities can be used with all of them.
No, it's not. Any probability we assign to something that is unknown (such as the existence of God or the existence of extra-terrestrial life) cannot possibly be correct because we do not have enough information. If we had enough information, we wouldn't need a probability.

8. Originally Posted by Lateralus
No, it's not. Any probability we assign to something that is unknown cannot possibly be correct because we do not have enough information.
Name one thing that we assign probability to, which we already know.

If you knew all the significant variables surrounding a coin flip, there is no probability for you. You simply know whether it will land heads or tails before it happens.

Probability changes as knowledge does. Think Monty Hall scenario (the contestant has the probability change with new knowledge, the host has no probability in the first place because he knows what's behind each door). It exists to fill in the gaps where knowledge hasn't provided certainty.

9. Originally Posted by erm
Name one thing that we assign probability to, which we already know.

If you knew all the significant variables surrounding a coin flip, there is no probability for you. You simply know whether it will land heads or tails before it happens.

Probability changes as knowledge does. Think Monty Hall scenario.
Poker hands because we know the rules of the game. Do we know all of the rules of the universe? No.

10. Originally Posted by Lateralus
Poker hands because we know the rules of the game. Do we know all of the rules of the universe? No.
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.

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