How do you explain this to a Christian?
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03-05-2014, 02:43 AM
How do you explain this to a Christian?
For the Christians who say "since its mathematically impossible it MUST be true right?"

How the Heck do I argue that fact? My logical sense is telling me that just because something is not mathematically possible or what the heck ever.....even if that WAS true. Its does not make it truth. It is stupid to think like that.

I need a word smith to craft my logic sense into words so I can explain this in words.

My Dictionary is not very wide, so I need someone to help meh explain this one lol.
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03-05-2014, 03:33 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
(03-05-2014 02:43 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  For the Christians who say "since its mathematically impossible it MUST be true right?"

I really can't say I've heard that one a lot. The correct response is contingent on what exactly is being claimed, but given the general circumstances of such an argument it will probably be either:

1) Sorry, it's mathematically possible, and here's why. (Arguement is false) Or
2) Correct, that is mathematically impossible, and it has no bearing what so ever to the claim, and here's why. (The claim is a non sequitur)

Any more specific than that requires the specific claim and the specific mathematical argument for further inspection.

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03-05-2014, 08:58 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
(03-05-2014 02:43 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  For the Christians who say "since its mathematically impossible it MUST be true right?"

How the Heck do I argue that fact? My logical sense is telling me that just because something is not mathematically possible or what the heck ever.....even if that WAS true. Its does not make it truth. It is stupid to think like that.

I need a word smith to craft my logic sense into words so I can explain this in words.

My Dictionary is not very wide, so I need someone to help meh explain this one lol.

I'm assuming you unintentionally added an "im-" there and that should have read "mathematically possible".

Boring response: Show that two opposing claims are both mathematically possible, eg, a coin you've just flipped but haven't shown yet is heads-up or tails-up. Show that this person's logic would force both opposing claims to be simultaneously true.

Fun response: "Okay. What say you put your money where your mouth is? Let's roll this die. If it's a 6, I give you ten dollars. If it's a 1 through 5, you give me ten dollars. We'll roll it ten times. You're sure to win 100 dollars that way, right? After all, it's mathematically possible that all 10 rolls will come up sixes, and if it's mathematically possible, it MUST be true!"
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03-05-2014, 09:25 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
Would be a lot easier to answer with the specific argument..,
your question seems to be a little murky could you clarify?
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03-05-2014, 09:32 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
(03-05-2014 09:25 AM)RogueWarrior Wrote:  Would be a lot easier to answer with the specific argument..,
your question seems to be a little murky could you clarify?

^This.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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03-05-2014, 09:41 AM (This post was last modified: 03-05-2014 09:47 AM by Charis.)
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
I'm assuming we're talking about the probability of evolution? That's usually where I hear this. If so, the claim is usually something like this: Something (usually evolution) is statistically/mathematically impossible if its probability is less than 10^ -50.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles...-evolution

Here's a starting point with a whoooole bunch of links. I've had no caffeine, which is why I'm just lobbing this at you. Sorry.
http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Category:Creationism

And Improbable Things Happen.
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03-05-2014, 10:05 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
Lack of disproof for one thing does not equal proof of another. If they feel evolution is not mathematically provable fine and dandy, but that does not mean it proves creation.
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03-05-2014, 10:42 AM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
One problem with the "evolution is statistically impossible" argument is that evolution is not in fact random.

I have heard apologists say something similar about our planet. Just close enough to the sun for liquid water with Jupiter to swallow asteroids and and the moon to control our tides and ect. Theist often tend to take an ego first perspective; what is the probability that all these things could happen in the right order so I can be alive? That's like making a hundred dice rolls and saying what is the probability I got this combination of numbers? Pretty low, but they are examining the result and asking what is the probability that, instead of examining the intermediate steps and asking what is the probability of each outcome.

Also, and as wazzel said, a lack of belief in one claim (ex evolution) does not provide support for another claim (ex creationism).
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03-05-2014, 01:50 PM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
(03-05-2014 02:43 AM)Shadow Fox Wrote:  For the Christians who say "since its mathematically impossible it MUST be true right?"

How the Heck do I argue that fact? My logical sense is telling me that just because something is not mathematically possible or what the heck ever.....even if that WAS true. Its does not make it truth. It is stupid to think like that.

I need a word smith to craft my logic sense into words so I can explain this in words.

My Dictionary is not very wide, so I need someone to help meh explain this one lol.

If you mean what I think you mean, it has a lot to do with your perspective and where you begin.

If you begin with a specific end in mind, it does indeed seem practically impossible. The outcome we are looking for is a carbon based life form consisting largely of liquid water, breathes an oxygen based atmosphere, requires a small temperature range, and requires a magnetic field to shield the breathable atmosphere and protect the life form from solar radiation. Now, lets set off the big band and see if that develops. Oh my god, what are the odds THAT would happen? Its a miracle!

However, things change immensely when you understand that the end is not necessarily a foregone conclusion. For all we know, there are an infinite number of universes and an infinite number of big bangs. What are the odds that the one universe capable of supporting our life form is the one in which we exist to ask the question in the first place? Well, 100% actually.

If 100% of the earth's surface turned out to be covered in oceans, what are the odds that any intelligent life form would be more similar to a highly evolved dolphin than a human? Pretty good actually. And those intelligent dolphins would no doubt marvel at the impossible stroke of luck that their planet just happened to be covered in the water necessary for them to exist. Of course, we know that isn't the only option... land based human life forms are an equally viable alternative. And, quite possibly, in some alternate universe or place in this universe, a methane breathing intelligent life form that uses solar radiation for energy is looking at their solar systems and thinking, what are the odds that the universe just happened to create the precise methane atmosphere and lack of a magnetic field needed to support my existence? What if that hadn't happened and the planet had an oxygen atmosphere and a magnetic field? Life wouldn't exist!
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03-05-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: How do you explain this to a Christian?
(03-05-2014 10:42 AM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  One problem with the "evolution is statistically impossible" argument is that evolution is not in fact random.

I have heard apologists say something similar about our planet. Just close enough to the sun for liquid water with Jupiter to swallow asteroids and and the moon to control our tides and ect. Theist often tend to take an ego first perspective; what is the probability that all these things could happen in the right order so I can be alive? That's like making a hundred dice rolls and saying what is the probability I got this combination of numbers? Pretty low, but they are examining the result and asking what is the probability that, instead of examining the intermediate steps and asking what is the probability of each outcome.

Also, and as wazzel said, a lack of belief in one claim (ex evolution) does not provide support for another claim (ex creationism).

You make a very good point here, and your point exposes a double-standard in their reasoning.

Christians often cite "the will of God" when they talk about how xyz came to happen in their own lives, which is quite often a rather interesting progression of events. Now what are the odds of things in your life happening this way, after you already beat the sperm/egg/timing odds of even existing yourself in the first place? Pretty freakin' slim. Statistically impossible in the grand scheme of things perhaps? But... but didn't it happen this way anyway? Oh wait... God.

A person very dear to me was badly hurt through a misunderstanding and miscommunication. For this, I am sorry, and he knows it. That said, any blaming me for malicious intent is for the birds. I will not wear some scarlet letter, I will not be anybody's whipping girl, and I will not lurk in silence.
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