Bayes' Theorem

Discuss arguments for existence of God and faith in general. Any aspect of any orientation toward religion/spirituality, as long as it is based upon a positive open to other people attitude.

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met
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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by met » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:37 pm

fleet, I would submit the probability of there existing a God *you* understand well enough to assess the probability of he, she or it taking this or that action is much smaller than that!

(Q: What's the probability of Meta telling you to f-off in this thread? :P )
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by fleetmouse » Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:29 pm

Met, I'm sorry you despise truth, reason and wisdom and prefer cheap jokes to substantial discourse. :(

I'll pray for you. *

(* to Throgg the Unspeakable)

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by met » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:26 pm

Ok. discourse.... (honestly, sometimes i think your posts are meant to be funny and respond thusly, then it turns out you are serious? .... sorry about that, & in future i will be more careful.... :( ) Here it is. Put seriously. I think QT is right to say it's not possible to calculate the odds for the existence of God. In fact, I'd question whether it's even possible to define "God" clearly enough to begin to calculate the odds on his/her/its existence. And if we could determine the odds on any one particular well-defined definition of "God" that would not impact the probability of any actual God existing. Because the definition would be so arbitrary and/or partial (in terms of the almost-infinite combinations of varying and contrasting attributes of "God" that may or may not be part of any God that might exist in - or supra-exist inside and/or above - our reality) that the effort seems, to me, doomed.

... this is the problem with the slippery concept of "God."

Or put it like this. What are the odds that any ONE voter (that we know very little or nothing about, otherwise) voting for either Obama or Romney in the last US election? Statistically we know the votes will be resonably clsoe to 50-50 (& a 10% difference would be a huge landslide) but when it comes down to predicting how any ONE unknown voter will vote, we can't say anything . She may turn out to a staunch Democrat or a staunch Republican, we just don't know....

...Thx for the prayers, too! I dunno about Thogg the Unspeakable. But if I weren't such an xian I would pray to him for you too... just to be equanimious :)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by fleetmouse » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:56 pm

met wrote:Ok. discourse.... (honestly, sometimes i think your posts are meant to be funny and respond thusly, then it turns out you are serious? .... sorry about that, & in future i will be more careful.... :( )
I was joking, you big silly. But my joke has a serious side.
Here it is. Put seriously. I think QT is right to say it's not possible to calculate the odds for the existence of God.
If you'd read my posts you'd know that I'm not talking about the probability of God in and of itself. I'm saying, let that probability range anywhere between 0 and 1. I'm talking about the probability of God given particular evidence - such as our very presence.
In fact, I'd question whether it's even possible to define "God" clearly enough to begin to calculate the odds on his/her/its existence. And if we could determine the odds on any one particular well-defined definition of "God" that would not impact the probability of any actual God existing. Because the definition would be so arbitrary and/or partial (in terms of the almost-infinite combinations of varying and contrasting attributes of "God" that may or may not be part of any God that might exist in - or supra-exist inside and/or above - our reality) that the effort seems, to me, doomed.

... this is the problem with the slippery concept of "God."
This actually strengthens my argument! It's a much more emphatic restatement of what I said: "we're not certain, if there were a God, exactly what sort of God he would be and what his taste in universes would be like."
Or put it like this. What are the odds that any ONE voter (that we know very little or nothing about, otherwise) voting for either Obama or Romney in the last US election? Statistically we know the votes will be resonably clsoe to 50-50 (& a 10% difference would be a huge landslide) but when it comes down to predicting how any ONE unknown voter will vote, we can't say anything . She may turn out to a staunch Democrat or a staunch Republican, we just don't know....
Obama won the popular vote so any one voter is more likely to have voted Obama. If the selection of the voter were truly random you'd be a fool not to bet that s/he voted Obama. Given enough small bets on random voters you could eventually make a great deal of money betting on this. The odds are far better than what any trader would expect on the market.

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by met » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:31 pm

In fact, I'd question whether it's even possible to define "God" clearly enough to begin to calculate the odds on his/her/its existence. And if we could determine the odds on any one particular well-defined definition of "God" that would not impact the probability of any actual God existing. Because the definition would be so arbitrary and/or partial (in terms of the almost-infinite combinations of varying and contrasting attributes of "God" that may or may not be part of any God that might exist in - or supra-exist inside and/or above - our reality) that the effort seems, to me, doomed.

... this is the problem with the slippery concept of "God."
This actually strengthens my argument! It's a much more emphatic restatement of what I said: "we're not certain, if there were a God, exactly what sort of God he would be and what his taste in universes would be like."
Exactly. Not enough information. How, then, do you approximate the odds of he/she/its existence?

But it's still a problem of the definition of God. Like arguing "what are the odds of any given one infinite long string of integers being the root of n (for some prime n)?" But in Maths you can simply define Root(n) to be that unknown string and then go about approximating it. Most (sophisticated) theistic thinkers basically do that with "God," don't you think? Avoid well-defining it enough to avoid this issue, then approximate - by inference from nature, tradition and/or experience - later ....
Or put it like this. What are the odds that any ONE voter (that we know very little or nothing about, otherwise) voting for either Obama or Romney in the last US election? Statistically we know the votes will be reasonably close to 50-50 (& a 10% difference would be a huge landslide) but when it comes down to predicting how any ONE unknown voter will vote, we can't say anything . She may turn out to a staunch Democrat or a staunch Republican, we just don't know....
Obama won the popular vote so any one voter is more likely to have voted Obama. If the selection of the voter were truly random you'd be a fool not to bet that s/he voted Obama. Given enough small bets on random voters you could eventually make a great deal of money betting on this. The odds are far better than what any trader would expect on the market.
[/quote]

Maybe. Well okay. That sort of misses my point, but okay. OTOH, if there was an election what are the odds that nobody voted at all? ;)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by fleetmouse » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:57 pm

met wrote:Exactly. Not enough information. How, then, do you approximate the odds of he/she/its existence?
One last time: this STRENGTHENS my argument, because the more possible ways that a supposed God could be, the lower the probability that a particular set of evidences will obtain given God.

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by met » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:11 pm

Heh. Read the rest of what i said! If we didn't know that every prime has a root , couldn't your point be made to disprove the existence of roots?

so, just define "God" as Root(Universe). Now it exists. :)
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by mdsimpson92 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:00 am

met wrote:Heh. Read the rest of what i said! If we didn't know that every prime has a root , couldn't your point be made to disprove the existence of roots?

so, just define "God" as Root(Universe). Now it exists. :)
Met, I think it is not so much the issue that the root exists, but the fact that Christianity and others assume that the "ground of being" has certain qualities. Like intelligence, or personality(ok transpersonality) or is loving.

For my personal doubts, it was never whether god (ultimate reality) was real or not? But rather whether it was worthy of the title of God, or worthy of worship.
Julia: It's all... a dream...
Spike Spiegel: Yeah... just a dream...

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by met » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:40 am

Yeah, that's the tricky thing. "God" is easy to define into being, hard to well-defined and solid enough to make quantifiable guesses about its validity. Sure, you might disprove the existence of some fundie-versions of God with unlikeliness arguments (about evolution of whatever). But those things aren't essential to the concept. "God" is appreciable and real for many people mainly as an ineffable quality of things, something extra, something beyond the measurable. So how do you express those purely-qualitative types of qualities in a probability equation? Something like...
God = Love(all-that-is) / 3 ?
or
God = LightOf(Beauty-and-Truth) +- (Infinity)?
Does Beauty and truth really exist? How do you do calculations about the probability of such things? I think that's what QT was basically saying....
The “One” is the space of the “world” of the tick, but also the “pinch” of the lobster, or that rendezvous in person to confirm online pictures (with a new lover or an old God). This is the machinery operative...as “onto-theology."
Dr Ward Blanton

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Re: Bayes' Theorem

Post by fleetmouse » Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:41 am

met wrote:Heh. Read the rest of what i said!
OK, I went back and read it.

In one post above you want to emphasize the unknowability of God, then in the next you want to swerve and start emphasizing how God is knowable after all, in some way that actually parallels the precision of mathematics.

Oh what a fabulous beast is God, whose fuzziness-to-focus can be tuned according to the requirements of the theist's rhetoric! I picture you frantically twiddling a knob on your superhero utility belt. :mrgreen:

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