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Which came first God or religion?

Cotton_Candy
Posts: 299
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6/20/2015 10:46:39 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
By God I refer to the concept of a supernatural being.
Both seem like having valid possibilities to have preceded the other but which is actually more likely?
ironslippers
Posts: 509
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6/20/2015 11:50:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 10:46:39 AM, Cotton_Candy wrote:
By God I refer to the concept of a supernatural being.
Both seem like having valid possibilities to have preceded the other but which is actually more likely?
Before God there were gods, entities that explained away humans ignorance you know sun god, rain god, tree god, etc. I beleave it was the Jews had the first theory of everything, God.
Everyone stands on their own dung hill and speaks out about someone else's - Nathan Krusemark
Its easier to criticize and hate than it is to support and create - I Ron Slippers
StygianDiamond
Posts: 1
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6/20/2015 9:34:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I believe religion came first. We were the ones who created God(s) because human kind was lonely and scared back then. We wanted to believe there was something greater then us that was protecting us, so we made up God(s).
evangambit
Posts: 1
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7/9/2015 9:11:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 6/20/2015 10:46:39 AM, Cotton_Candy wrote:
By God I refer to the concept of a supernatural being.
Both seem like having valid possibilities to have preceded the other but which is actually more likely?

Assuming the existence of some deity, we must conclude, with great confidence, that the deity existed before belief in the deity. To believe otherwise is to think that some person (or people) just so happened to pick the correct theory "our God exists and causes everything" with no data whatsoever to base this claim on (since God did not yet exist).

To be fair this isn't entirely honest: just because God did not exist yet doesn't mean there couldn't be evidence that God soon would. But what is notable is that the ability to pick out this particular theory in Theory Space (i.e. the set of all possible theories of similar, or less, complexity, is vanishingly small (essentially zero). This is due partially because any theory of a deity that I have seen is unfalsifiable, and, through mathy stuff (see bottom), statistical confidence in such a theory becomes impossible, but also because the sheer complexity of a theory that can explain anything work against you when you're trying to "locate" it. Now it's possible to have misplaced confidence in a theory, but the probability of being right with your confidence is so unlikely it should be dismissible to even the most irrationally skeptical people.

Now believing in a near-omnipotent entity after they give clear evidence of their existence and ability is far more believable (though it's pretty much impossible, mathematically, to believe in actual omnipotence.

Mathy Stuff:
For those of you unfamiliar with probability terminology or if you don't walk around in my head and understand the letters I'm arbitrary assigning:
T = theory
E = event
P(T) = probability theory is true
P(E) = probability event is true
P(T|E) = probability the theory is true, given the event we've just seen (the 'updated probability')
P(E| T) = probability our theory gives to the event happening

Theorem: P(T|E) = P(T) * P(E |T) / P(E)
* note, this theorem is easily derivable from the fundamental formula P(A and B) = P(A | B) * P(B) and some arithmetic.

A theory that is unfalsifiable makes no predictions, and so P(E|T) is always equal to P(E). This means P(E|T) / P(E) = 1, so we simplify the above formula to get:

P(T|E) = P(T)

What does this mean? That our updated probability, based on this event, is identical to our old probability. This means you should never be any more confident in an unfalsifiable theory than when you started, no matter what happens. You can ignore the math if you want. Decide "to hell with it, I'm going to be more confident because of this event!", but, due to the sheer number of possible theories (going back to the Theory-Space argument) that are equal or less complicated, the probability you'll be right isn't worth acknowledging.