Belief vs degree of certainty
Debate Rounds (4)
Scenario: You learn that Joe considers himself to be about 50% sure that God exists and consequently about 50% sure that God doesnt exist.
If you ask Joe "do you believe in God?", my position is that a "yes" or "no" answer will not offer any previously unknown substantive information.
when people disagree with me on this, i really dont understand what they mean by the word "belief", so i rely on you to help me understand what you mean by "belief" (using more than only synonyms or examples). Please give your arguments in the first round as well, since i really dont understand what CONs position entails.
how is belief different from degree of certainty? does it make sense to be 99% sure that X is false, but still "believe" that X is true? if so, what would you mean by "belief"? if you know how sure someone is of something, then whether or not they claim to "believe" in it is redundant. it's like if you know that Bob is 6 feet tall, would you gain any new information by asking him if he is tall? no. someone being called "tall" is just an over-generalization of their height which you already know the exact measurement of, and their exact height is much more informative than whether or not they consider themselves "tall". if someone is 99% sure that X is false and also claims to believe that X is true, that is like a midget saying that they are tall - the words "tall" and "believe" are redundant and misleading for the same reasons. do you see what i mean?
P.S.: When I made a reference to the bible, I was just saying anything that a religion has to connect itself to God, in this case Christianity.
im not sure if you really disagree with me or not. the thing im arguing here is that people use the word "belief" as just a generalized measurement of their degree of certainty. do you disagree with that or do you insist that belief entails something separate/more? it doesnt sound like you do. i think the reason this topic is confusing is because the word "belief" is such a vague construct to begin with. ive talked to many people who say they believe in God, and i've asked them "how sure are you that God exists?". their answers have ranged from under 50% to over 100%.
it bothers me when so called atheists say "you are either an atheist or not". it is like saying "you are either tall or not". at face value, i suppose they are technically right, but how tall does one have to be, to be considered tall? how sure does one have to be, to be considered a believer? some say over 50% sure, some say over 90%, some say degree of certainty has nothing to do with belief whatsoever! so can we all agree that belief is a stupid word that has no agreed upon sensible meaning? that is why i didnt define belief in my opening post; people dont agree on how it is to be used, just as people dont agree on who is to be considered tall. i would say that if someone is 50% sure God exists, then they are on the fence, and i wouldnt be able to accurately label them as a theist or an atheist. even if they are 99% sure god exists, then saying they believe in god is a gross overstatement because they are 1% sure that God doesnt exist. the statements "god exists" and "god probably exists" are completely different. if someone says "god probably exists", that is incompatible with the statement "god exists". you cant accurately identify with both statements.
i guess you are saying that you choose to accept something, and therefore are 100% sure of it. that makes no sense to me, but even if it were true, your belief and degree of certainty are still parallel to each other. if i know that you are 100% sure, i wont gain more knowledge by if you say you believe in it
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 4 years ago
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