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How probable is the existence of God?

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How probable is the existence of God?
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leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post How probable is the existence of God?

How probable is the existence of God?

Obviously since most of you are atheist, you would argue that the probabilities for the existence of God are very low, but I am assuming that you would say that the probability is something greater than cero.

For example if you were in Las Vegas, and the bet goes 1,000,000 to 1, you would obviously bet for the existence of God. (in this hypothetical example you would get $1,000,000USD if God Exists and you will only lose $1 if he doesn’t.
The question is, at what point would you consider this a fair bet, for example if the bet goes 100 to 1 would you still bet for the existence of God? or what about 80 to 1 or 50 to 1 or 10 to 1, or 5 to 1 or 1-2?

An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.
In this example I am defining atheist as someone who argues that the existence of god is less probable than his inexistence; and with God I mean God in the general since (not necessarily the Christian God)


I am just interested in your personal opinión.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Tue May 19, 2015 5:55 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4346Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

On what criteria are the odds based?
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Tue May 19, 2015 6:14 pm
ProlescumWebhamsterUser avatarPosts: 5007Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:41 pmLocation: Peptone-upon-Sores

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

leroy wrote:An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.
In this example I am defining atheist as someone who argues that the existence of god is less probable than his inexistence; and with God I mean God in the general since (not necessarily the Christian God)


I am just interested in your personal opinión.



Creating your own definitions to suit a loaded question is a risible gambit.

Also, not all religions are monotheistic ("God in the general since [sic]"), so that's another failure in your constructed nonsense; you've given your Abrahamic game away, sweetie. With tells like that, I'd wipe the floor with you at Texas Hold 'em.

I could go on, but I really can't be arsed.
if constructive debate is allowed to progress, better ideas will ultimately supplant worse ideas.

Comment is free, but facts are sacred
Tue May 19, 2015 6:35 pm
malicious_blokeUser avatarPosts: 305Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:12 pmLocation: Proper Westcountry Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Define your terms.

-How do you define God?
-What attributes do(es) he/she/it/they have?
-What empirical evidence can you provide for the existence of a being/group of beings with these attributes?

Making suppositions about hypotheticals with a bunch of undefined variables gets us nowhere.
[sarcasm ][/sarcasm ]

The presence of those seeking the truth is infinitely to be preferred to the presence of those who think they've found it
Tue May 19, 2015 7:20 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

leroy wrote:How probable is the existence of God?


What is this 'god' thing? What are its attributes?

Obviously since most of you are atheist, you would argue that the probabilities for the existence of God are very low, but I am assuming that you would say that the probability is something greater than cero.


I'd say the data are insufficient to robustly assign any probabilities, at least until such time as this entity is defined. There are certain popular conceptions of deity to which we can immediately assign a robust probability of zero, because we operate under the assumption that logical contradictions cannot obtain, and they contradict themselves at every turn. However, for more nebulous, under-defined conceptions of deity, such as those routinely brought onto rational fora by fuckwit apologists, it c an be problematic.

Here's the thing, though, and it's crucial: Why would I even consider the question of whether or not there's anything out there that could reasonably claim the title? What's it for? What possible use could I have for considering such a proposition?

For example if you were in Las Vegas, and the bet goes 1,000,000 to 1, you would obviously bet for the existence of God. (in this hypothetical example you would get $1,000,000USD if God Exists and you will only lose $1 if he doesn’t.
The question is, at what point would you consider this a fair bet, for example if the bet goes 100 to 1 would you still bet for the existence of God? or what about 80 to 1 or 50 to 1 or 10 to 1, or 5 to 1 or 1-2?


The situation hasn't changed, except that now we're confronted with a spectacularly idiotic question to boot.

An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.


Not remotely, because an atheist might be atheist because they've never encountered a conception of deity. One needn't have expended any intellectual effort whatsoever to be atheist, it only requires that one not accept a specific class of truth claim with regard to the existence of a specific class of entity. I was always an atheist, long before my natural curiosity grew into the understanding I have today that tells me that the entire idea is nonsensical bollocks.

In this example I am defining atheist as someone who argues that the existence of god is less probable than his inexistence; and with God I mean God in the general since (not necessarily the Christian God)


Tell you what, you define your god, and then we'll see what the atheist argues. Since I've been here before, and am very familiar with the supernaturalist playbook, you'll forgive me if I allow respiration to continue operating within normal parameters in the interim, I trust?

I am just interested in your personal opinión.


The data support no conclusions, nor any rboust basis for assigning a probability.
Tue May 19, 2015 8:23 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

leroy wrote:An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.


That's not really correct. The typical definition of "atheist" is someone who does not believe in any gods.

Another way to think of it is the rejection of all known "god claims", where a "god claim" is a claim that an entity with some defined characters exists. For it to a non-silly god claim, the characteristics would have to bear some resemblance to conventional definitions of "god" (e.g. god is love is a silly god claim).

It is pretty clear that there are any number of god claims and that many disagree with each other, so if you want to talk about the probability of a god claim you need to state what your claim is and what the evidence supporting it is.

And really, the probability that this claim is true needs to be significantly higher than 50% in order for it to be reasonable to accept that it is likely true and thus "believe" it. I don't believe things that only have a 51% chance of being true. That just makes it marginally more likely to be true than false.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Tue May 19, 2015 8:28 pm
CollecemallPosts: 384Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:53 am

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Since I recently read Carrier's OTHJ I'll just quote his conclusions based on his best and worst case calculations that a real person named Jesus was at the heart of the gospels. While this doesn't address his divinity (something that would be astronomically unlikely) it does at least answer in part this question for Christianity. Being exceptionally generous everywhere he could Carrier came up with a best case scenario of one in three that Jesus (the man) existed. He concluded using the most reasonable odds he could give would be one in 12000. Which is rather bleak.
"Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives, and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of their time."
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~~Voltaire
Tue May 19, 2015 9:34 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

For me, the question of whether there was a real person to whom the myths were attached (setting aside the fact that the existence of Jesus doesn't inform my position in the slightest, to the degree that it's little more than a diversion from the main event) comes down to a simple principle; parsimony.

If the Jeebus character were fabricated out of whole cloth, why all the silly mucking about with the nativity just to get him in the right place to fulfil some nebulous prophecy? Much easier simply to have his family born there. Moreover, while the evidence in support of such a personage is scant and somewhat questionable, with sources that might be considered fairly robust if it weren't for the obvious and ham-fisted interpolations (as in Josephus), it's still more evidence than we can reasonably expect for such a minor figure in his time. I'm happy simply to grant the existence of Jesus and then proceed to point out that no work has been done up to this point.

It's a minor distraction until the apologist gets on with the real job of actually supporting the central postulates of their mythology, namely the existence of this preposterous celestial peeping-tom and the requirement for salvation, determined on a whim by the same entity.

I don't know if I'd say that the construction of deities is stupid, or even the product of stupidity, but certainly the product of ignorance.
Tue May 19, 2015 10:32 pm
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Collecemall wrote:Since I recently read Carrier's OTHJ I'll just quote his conclusions based on his best and worst case calculations that a real person named Jesus was at the heart of the gospels. While this doesn't address his divinity (something that would be astronomically unlikely) it does at least answer in part this question for Christianity. Being exceptionally generous everywhere he could Carrier came up with a best case scenario of one in three that Jesus (the man) existed. He concluded using the most reasonable odds he could give would be one in 12000. Which is rather bleak.


Thanks for answering, you are the only one who shared a real answer.

I was honestly curios for your answers; I was simply proposing a thought experiment.
If you were in Vegas, what does it take for you to bet $1USD for the existence of God? how big would the price have to be? $2, $3, $10, $100, $1,000?
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Tue May 19, 2015 11:24 pm
SpecialFrogUser avatarPosts: 827Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2014 2:13 pmLocation: Great White North Gender: Tree

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

hackenslash wrote:For me, the question of whether there was a real person to whom the myths were attached (setting aside the fact that the existence of Jesus doesn't inform my position in the slightest, to the degree that it's little more than a diversion from the main event) comes down to a simple principle; parsimony.

If the Jeebus character were fabricated out of whole cloth, why all the silly mucking about with the nativity just to get him in the right place to fulfil some nebulous prophecy? Much easier simply to have his family born there. Moreover, while the evidence in support of such a personage is scant and somewhat questionable, with sources that might be considered fairly robust if it weren't for the obvious and ham-fisted interpolations (as in Josephus), it's still more evidence than we can reasonably expect for such a minor figure in his time. I'm happy simply to grant the existence of Jesus and then proceed to point out that no work has been done up to this point.

I agree that the historicity of Jesus is essentially irrelevant to any god claims, but I'm not sure that I buy historicity as a more parsimonious claim. I don't think mythicists propose a whole cloth fabrication but a gradual embellishment of a core story.

Besides, the "mucking about" frequently looks like embellishment added specifically to plug holes in the narrative (such as the inconsistency with prophecy). The later gospels all appear to be largely based on Mark and all are longer than Mark. The addition of guards around the tomb answers the question, "how do you know followers didn't just steal the body". The nativity isn't present at all in Mark and Matthew's version is even more (badly) expanded in Luke.

Personally, I'm prepared to sit happily on the fence on this one -- I find the arguments against Carrier et al. to be poor but I concede I lack the expertise to fully evaluate the claims.
"Life is nothing but an electron looking for a place to rest" -- Albert Szent-Gyrgyi
Tue May 19, 2015 11:58 pm
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3172Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Greetings,

leroy wrote:How probable is the existence of God?

Obviously since most of you are atheist, you would argue that the probabilities for the existence of God are very low, but I am assuming that you would say that the probability is something greater than cero.

For example if you were in Las Vegas, and the bet goes 1,000,000 to 1, you would obviously bet for the existence of God. (in this hypothetical example you would get $1,000,000USD if God Exists and you will only lose $1 if he doesn’t.
The question is, at what point would you consider this a fair bet, for example if the bet goes 100 to 1 would you still bet for the existence of God? or what about 80 to 1 or 50 to 1 or 10 to 1, or 5 to 1 or 1-2?

An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.
In this example I am defining atheist as someone who argues that the existence of god is less probable than his inexistence; and with God I mean God in the general since (not necessarily the Christian God)

I am just interested in your personal opinión.

I think your gambling analogy is misguided - you only win if a creator exists but you only find out when you die (assuming, of course, that there's life after death), which means you don't win the bet. Further, just because you're right doesn't mean you go to heaven either.

I'm not a gambling man.

Atheists are those who are without belief in gods of any description - not those whose belief in gods approaches, but is greater than, zero.

The fact is, one can't prove the existence of god(s) through philosophical and/or theological arguments - and since there's no empirical evidence for god(s), the default position for anyone is that of atheism.

So much for the subjective position.

Objectively however, one has to take the agnostic position - "I don't know (if it's possible to know)" - on the grounds that god(s) may exist but one would only find out on one's death and only then if there's life after death. If there isn't, then one will never know - even if there is a god or gods.

My own position on this issue is that of a agnostic atheist.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed May 20, 2015 12:20 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

SpecialFrog wrote:Besides, the "mucking about" frequently looks like embellishment added specifically to plug holes in the narrative (such as the inconsistency with prophecy).


Precisely my point.

Personally, I'm prepared to sit happily on the fence on this one -- I find the arguments against Carrier et al. to be poor but I concede I lack the expertise to fully evaluate the claims.


While I do claim some expertise, I agree with the core premise. Frankly, I couldn't give a flying fuck whether Jeebus existed or not. I have no dog in the hunt.
Wed May 20, 2015 12:23 am
leroyPosts: 2030Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:30 pm

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Dragan Glas wrote:Greetings,

leroy wrote:How probable is the existence of God?

Obviously since most of you are atheist, you would argue that the probabilities for the existence of God are very low, but I am assuming that you would say that the probability is something greater than cero.

For example if you were in Las Vegas, and the bet goes 1,000,000 to 1, you would obviously bet for the existence of God. (in this hypothetical example you would get $1,000,000USD if God Exists and you will only lose $1 if he doesn’t.
The question is, at what point would you consider this a fair bet, for example if the bet goes 100 to 1 would you still bet for the existence of God? or what about 80 to 1 or 50 to 1 or 10 to 1, or 5 to 1 or 1-2?

An atheist by definition should be someone who argues that the existence of God has a probability inferior to 50%.
In this example I am defining atheist as someone who argues that the existence of god is less probable than his inexistence; and with God I mean God in the general since (not necessarily the Christian God)

I am just interested in your personal opinión.

I think your gambling analogy is misguided - you only win if a creator exists but you only find out when you die (assuming, of course, that there's life after death), which means you don't win the bet. Further, just because you're right doesn't mean you go to heaven either.

I'm not a gambling man.

Atheists are those who are without belief in gods of any description - not those whose belief in gods approaches, but is greater than, zero.

The fact is, one can't prove the existence of god(s) through philosophical and/or theological arguments - and since there's no empirical evidence for god(s), the default position for anyone is that of atheism.

So much for the subjective position.

Objectively however, one has to take the agnostic position - "I don't know (if it's possible to know)" - on the grounds that god(s) may exist but one would only find out on one's death and only then if there's life after death. If there isn't, then one will never know - even if there is a god or gods.

My own position on this issue is that of a agnostic atheist.

Kindest regards,

James




Things are very simple, since you are not 100% sure that God doesn´t exist you are implying that in your mind, according to your criteria, there is a small probability that God excists. I just what to know what is that probability? 10% 1% 0.1% etc?

For example I don´t believe in evolution, but if a gambling site offers me a 10 to 1 ratio I would be happy to bet in favor of evolution.

This is just a thought experiment, is not meant to be a thread against atheist.
"events with a zero probability happen all the time"
Wed May 20, 2015 1:39 am
Dragan GlasContributorUser avatarPosts: 3172Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 1:55 amLocation: Ireland Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

Greetings,

The point I made is that because we can't definitively say one way or the other that a god does or doesn't exist, the principled position is agnosticism.

What you're suggesting is a unprincipled one - if someone offers you enough money, you'd accept the bet, regardless of whether you believe it or not.

Kindest regards,

James
Image
"The Word of God is the Creation we behold and it is in this Word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man."
The Age Of Reason
Wed May 20, 2015 1:54 am
MugnutsBloggerUser avatarPosts: 383Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:13 am Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

What it seems like Leroy is alluding to is that placing something so minimal for a great reward is the most reasonable thing to do. Pasqual's wager anyone...

He is also equating it to a straight up odds bet of X to 1 in where he really means 2 to 1 or 50/50. The whole god bet is closer to a roulette wheel with a multi thousand spaced board.

As for placing odds and bets, this is just nonsense as the outcome is a fact before the bet. It is not a proper analogy in any sense. As with the multiple responses of reason the questions are properly asked: Which god is it? What are it's attributes? and so on.

It all comes sown to what is the evidence for and/or against the proposed position not on odds which generally require a set of previous events/occurrences. We have no ability to asses the probability of the existence of a God or gods and it is the evidence at hand that informs our decision, not a random guess based off of rewards or punishments. Really a silly topic if you ask me.
"In the end theologians are jealous of science, for they are aware that it has greater authority than do their own ways of finding “truth”: dogma, authority, and revelation. Science does find truth, faith does not. " - Jerry Coyne
Wed May 20, 2015 2:15 am
he_who_is_nobodyBloggerUser avatarPosts: 3468Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 1:36 amLocation: Albuquerque, New Mexico Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

leroy wrote:For example I don´t believe in evolution, but if a gambling site offers me a 10 to 1 ratio I would be happy to bet in favor of evolution.


:facepalm:

You do not accept the observable fact that changes happen in the frequencies of alleles in populations leading to descent with modification? Your trouble with reality goes a long way in explaining why you became so indignant when other members asked you to clarify your terms.
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Wed May 20, 2015 2:47 am
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VisakiUser avatarPosts: 812Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2010 12:26 pmLocation: Helsinki, Finland Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

What if I question if the actual bet even exists?
Wed May 20, 2015 11:17 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2439Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

leroy wrote:Things are very simple, since you are not 100% sure that God doesn´t exist you are implying that in your mind, according to your criteria, there is a small probability that God excists. I just what to know what is that probability? 10% 1% 0.1% etc?


Well, after having given you the benefit of what shouldn't really be described as doubt, and it being perfectly obvious that you're here rooting for the Yahweh fan club, I may as well take the work off your hands in defining your deity, because that preposterous entity has a probability of zero, because it's fucking stupid. Frankly, I've dropped farts with more substance than that dumb shit.

For example I don´t believe in evolution,


Funnily enough, neither do I, because I'm not such an ignorant twonk as not to be aware that evolution has been observed occurring, and is thus not a matter of mere belief.

but if a gambling site offers me a 10 to 1 ratio I would be happy to bet in favor of evolution.


You'll never see such a price, because the odds of evolution are exactly 1:1, because it's a fact.

This is just a thought experiment, is not meant to be a thread against atheist.


If this were a thought experiment, there would be evidence of thought in its construction
Wed May 20, 2015 11:51 am
DanDareUser avatarPosts: 14Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 11:34 am Gender: Male

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

The "There was probably someone that Jesus story was based on" claim is as bad as the undefined concept of god one.

Give a definition of this person that Jesus was based on so we can examine that scenario. Is that scenario necessary and consistent with reality. Does it outweigh the scenarios for producing the story without the real person at all.
Wed May 20, 2015 12:34 pm
australopithecusLime TordUser avatarPosts: 4346Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2009 9:27 pmLocation: Kernow Gender: Time Lord

Post Re: How probable is the existence of God?

australopithecus wrote:On what criteria are the odds based?
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Wed May 20, 2015 6:31 pm
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