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The problem with probability.

GodSands
Posts: 2,843
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5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Probability which is a field of mathematics has a problem with philosophical world. The problem strung to mind a few days ago. And to clarify this problem I will give an example.

But first probability works well when one knows all possible out comes, if I have 5 marbles in a bag, 2 are blue, 2 are red and 1 is green then the probability of picking out a green marble is 1/5th or 20% likely.

But given that we do not know all the out comes of an action (thus one cannot say how many out comes there can be), probability become quite useless. When the weather man saying, 'It is very unlikely that it will snow during the summer months.' the statement is based on factual data, in that snow does not fall during the summer months based on the increase of warmer conditions. Probability in this sense based on a norm, not on possibility is accepted. If the earth went through a major ice age, then the likely hood of snow falling in the summer months may increase dramatically.

Example:

However when people say things like, 'She always leaves her shoes in the hall way when she is here, her shoes are not in the hall way, therefore she is not here.' is a fallacy, other possibilities can just a likely happen, it is fully possible that she never took off her shoes, not because she isn't here, but because she just didn't for whatever reason.

In the same way, when people (atheists to be precise) say, 'The existence of God is extremely unlikely.' this is a fallacious statement. By what are they basing or measuring the probability of the existence of God upon? God being God is on a different level of measurement to factual data, in that no fact can prove or disprove God's existence, this is because facts can be subjected to any interpretation. A single fact can be interpreted into anything that included the a prior properties of the fact, for example; someone is stabbed, that is the fact, but one might say the knife fell from the sky landed on the victim, another person could say someone stabbed the victim by lunging the knife into him.

Facts do not determine the probability of God, either being likely or unlikely. An atheist can say that God's existence is likely and still be an atheist, they just trust that the small percent of God not existing is true.

Another problem is the degree of probability, when I ask the atheist what percentage is the likely hood of God existing, I usually get a percentage of around 10 - 1%, if less. But really, this likely hood is based on what they feel the likely hood should be, not what it really is. It is really 50%, given that God could exist and could not exist. Atheists tend to have the least wiser reasons, saying that the likely hood of God is 1% is based on the comfortable delight and thrill to get drunk and fornicate in peace. Whereas the theist's reasons are based on future events. Although simply believing in positively or perhaps negativity (God or no God depending on how one sees it) doesn't stop one from going to hell.

As atheists do, they say the existence of God is 1 or so percent likely, but it could be possible that that 1% is actually a representation of 100% or 40%? This is because the atheist has no basis in which he or she is basing that probability, unlike one with a bag of 5 marbles.

The 10 - 1% of God existing is not based on facts, nor any truth claims, but instead a feeling of how one think the likely hood of God should be waged.

Any criticisms or thoughts?
LaissezFaire
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5/13/2011 1:33:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
Another problem is the degree of probability, when I ask the atheist what percentage is the likely hood of God existing, I usually get a percentage of around 10 - 1%, if less.
I've never seen any atheist say anything like that. Who exactly are you talking to about this?
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GodSands
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5/13/2011 1:38:57 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:33:53 PM, LaissezFaire wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
Another problem is the degree of probability, when I ask the atheist what percentage is the likely hood of God existing, I usually get a percentage of around 10 - 1%, if less.
I've never seen any atheist say anything like that. Who exactly are you talking to about this?

I've heard it said before, perhaps you haven't ever asked what an atheist think the probability of the existence of God is? I won't name anyone.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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5/13/2011 1:42:12 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
no basis in which he or she is basing that probability, unlike one with a bag of 5 marbles.

Agreed. When talking of Metaphysical "possibilities" there's no real way of saying one's more "probable" than another.. as they don't connect with each other... and they ALL are Ultimate explanations of what we see...

now, for this reason.. I don't deal with Metaphysical, Ultimate, explanations.. and certainly don't assert one as Absolute..

Rather I deal with the way things naturally seem.. and don't attempt to fix my notion as Absolute.
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
GodSands
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5/13/2011 1:46:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:42:12 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
no basis in which he or she is basing that probability, unlike one with a bag of 5 marbles.

Agreed. When talking of Metaphysical "possibilities" there's no real way of saying one's more "probable" than another.. as they don't connect with each other... and they ALL are Ultimate explanations of what we see...

now, for this reason.. I don't deal with Metaphysical, Ultimate, explanations.. and certainly don't assert one as Absolute..

Rather I deal with the way things naturally seem.. and don't attempt to fix my notion as Absolute.

So why are you an atheist?
Meatros
Posts: 1,075
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5/13/2011 1:46:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
GodSands wrote: "But given that we do not know all the out comes of an action (thus one cannot say how many out comes there can be), probability become quite useless."

I think the assumption is that 'all things being equal'. In other words, we are pragmatically justified in continuing to use probability since it tends to work.

GodSands wrote: "However when people say things like, 'She always leaves her shoes in the hall way when she is here, her shoes are not in the hall way, therefore she is not here.' is a fallacy, other possibilities can just a likely happen, it is fully possible that she never took off her shoes, not because she isn't here, but because she just didn't for whatever reason.
"


This is not a fallacy, this is an unsound argument because one of the premises is not true (she always leaves her shoes in the hallway).

GodSands wrote: "In the same way, when people (atheists to be precise) say, 'The existence of God is extremely unlikely.' this is a fallacious statement. By what are they basing or measuring the probability of the existence of God upon?

All things being equal, I believe. It would depend on the particular atheistic argument though. So one argument could run that if this universe looks as though it were a natural universe then the atheist is justified in believing that there are probably no supernatural entities because there is no evidence in favor of them.

GodSands wrote: "God being God is on a different level of measurement to factual data, in that no fact can prove or disprove God's existence, this is because facts can be subjected to any interpretation. ""

Uh, yes, well, this could be true, but the problem here is we do not reason or make choices with God's reasoning. We must reason based on what evidence and arguments we currently have.

I cannot say that I find something reasonable if I do not have the reasons to find it reasonable (even if they exist!). I can only determine whether or not something is reasonable based on the data/arguments I have.

GodSands wrote: "A single fact can be interpreted into anything that included the a prior properties of the fact, for example; someone is stabbed, that is the fact, but one might say the knife fell from the sky landed on the victim, another person could say someone stabbed the victim by lunging the knife into him."

That is a possibility - but do we have a reason for believing it? This is the point - I could say that I have experience with people stabbing other people and lying about it. That gives me a bit of a reason for suspecting that the suspect stabbed the person and is lying about it.

I have no experience with a knife just falling out of the sky and killing someone. It's possible, but without any other facts (such as maybe a person juggling knives in a hot air balloon overhead) to ground such a belief, there is no reason to suspect that this is the case.

GodSands wrote: "Another problem is the degree of probability, when I ask the atheist what percentage is the likely hood of God existing, I usually get a percentage of around 10 - 1%, if less. But really, this likely hood is based on what they feel the likely hood should be, not what it really is. It is really 50%, given that God could exist and could not exist. "

I don't know where someone would get actual percentages from. I don't see how you determine that God's existence is 50% probable - it seems to me you are saying there are two choices, that God can exist or not exist and therefore they have equal probability. This is not necessarily the case. A vampire could exist or not exist, but that doesn't mean there is a 50% chance that they do.

GodSands wrote: "Atheists tend to have the least wiser reasons, saying that the likely hood of God is 1% is based on the comfortable delight and thrill to get drunk and fornicate in peace. Whereas the theist's reasons are based on future events. Although simply believing in positively or perhaps negativity (God or no God depending on how one sees it) doesn't stop one from going to hell."

This seems to be ignorant stereotyping.
OMGJustinBieber
Posts: 3,484
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5/13/2011 2:11:31 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
""In the same way, when people (atheists to be precise) say, 'The existence of God is extremely unlikely.' this is a fallacious statement. By what are they basing or measuring the probability of the existence of God upon?"

True certainty is rarely come across. We come across it in math problems, and by definition an atheist would declare the number at 0 but in reality a lot of atheists do not assign the probability at 0 just based on how difficult it is to assign anything 0. The probability is based on numerous things including our view of reality, attitude towards religious texts, and our acceptance or denial or certain arguments. As humans we're just ball-parking it, and given some of our aversion to absolute certainty or absolute denial it makes sense to give percentages.

"Facts do not determine the probability of God, either being likely or unlikely. An atheist can say that God's existence is likely and still be an atheist, they just trust that the small percent of God not existing is true."

It's important to further define God, when you further define God it becomes much clearer. If you give an atheist the Judeo-Christian concept of an all-good, all powerful God it's much easier to assign a low probability value (based on facts about the world) then it would be if you defined God as a natural force or something more abstract.
mattrodstrom
Posts: 12,028
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5/13/2011 3:02:25 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:46:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:42:12 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
no basis in which he or she is basing that probability, unlike one with a bag of 5 marbles.

Agreed. When talking of Metaphysical "possibilities" there's no real way of saying one's more "probable" than another.. as they don't connect with each other... and they ALL are Ultimate explanations of what we see...

now, for this reason.. I don't deal with Metaphysical, Ultimate, explanations.. and certainly don't assert one as Absolute..

Rather I deal with the way things naturally seem.. and don't attempt to fix my notion as Absolute.

So why are you an atheist?

because I've yet to see anything that makes it seem as though some "god" exists.

I see tables and chairs.. and people.. and the idea of molecules.. and Electrons.. and all that seems to be suggested by things I see given how the things I see act..

but.. God is not suggested by what I see... It doesn't seem to be the case.. it's Not Apparent to me by the things that I see
"He who does not know how to put his will into things at least puts a meaning into them: that is, he believes there is a will in them already."

Metaphysics:
"The science.. which deals with the fundamental errors of mankind - but as if they were the fundamental truths."
Cliff.Stamp
Posts: 2,169
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5/13/2011 3:07:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:

However when people say things like, 'She always leaves her shoes in the hall way when she is here, her shoes are not in the hall way, therefore she is not here.' is a fallacy, other possibilities can just a likely happen, it is fully possible that she never took off her shoes, not because she isn't here, but because she just didn't for whatever reason.

That is not a fallacy GodSands, the logic holds if the premise it true, if the premise it false then the conclusion does not hold obviously.

In the same way, when people (atheists to be precise) say, 'The existence of God is extremely unlikely.' this is a fallacious statement. By what are they basing or measuring the probability of the existence of God upon?

Bayes law, these are inference probabilities, given X what is the probability of Y. Such examples are the problem of evil, reasonable non-belief, etc. .
meowmixxx
Posts: 68
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5/13/2011 4:59:33 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
Probability which is a field of mathematics has a problem with philosophical world.

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GodSands
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5/17/2011 4:59:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/13/2011 3:02:25 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:46:32 PM, GodSands wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:42:12 PM, mattrodstrom wrote:
At 5/13/2011 1:28:50 PM, GodSands wrote:
no basis in which he or she is basing that probability, unlike one with a bag of 5 marbles.

Agreed. When talking of Metaphysical "possibilities" there's no real way of saying one's more "probable" than another.. as they don't connect with each other... and they ALL are Ultimate explanations of what we see...

now, for this reason.. I don't deal with Metaphysical, Ultimate, explanations.. and certainly don't assert one as Absolute..

Rather I deal with the way things naturally seem.. and don't attempt to fix my notion as Absolute.

So why are you an atheist?

because I've yet to see anything that makes it seem as though some "god" exists.

I see tables and chairs.. and people.. and the idea of molecules.. and Electrons.. and all that seems to be suggested by things I see given how the things I see act..

but.. God is not suggested by what I see... It doesn't seem to be the case.. it's Not Apparent to me by the things that I see

Romans 1:20, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse."

Surely, you have sense not to give away your soul for what you think to be right? I didn't think a certain band existed until I heard of them. But they existed whether of not I believed or knew they did. Do not go by that way of thought. Doesn't ignorance and arrogance cause so much fault and failure?

I see no reason not to think God doesn't exist. You do not see God in the things He has created, but you see that God has created all things, and in that one can say, ' I see God in all things.' as a metaphor. Of course you don't actually see God in a plant. But you see that it has been created by God. Just like in the same way, if my house burnt down, you could see that the burnt remains of the house was once a home that people lived in.