Probability for existence of God
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10-11-2017, 10:35 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(08-11-2017 06:03 PM)Henri Wrote:  OP is in fact easy to understand from Bayesian perspective.

Okay, I didn't notice this post the first time through, and it makes a whole lot more sense in terms of what's going on in this guy's mind.

In a Bayesian sense, probability can be used as a measure of a person's subjective certainty. For example, ask someone how likely they think it is that their favorite football team will win their next game? They could answer 40%, or 95%, or so on. It's an expression of confidence... and it is completely and utterly arbitrary.

This is NOT the same thing as Bayes Theorem, though they're both named after the same guy.

So when Henri assigns at least 50% probability to a god existing on the basis of having reduced it down to two possibilities? That's perfectly valid, in a Bayesian sense... so long as we realize that he's ONLY talking about his own gut-check of how likely that possibility feels to him.

It's a completely subjective measure of his own personal confidence. It says nothing about the actual probability of an event in terms of frequency or proportion, and should convince nobody of anything save Henri's own sense of God's likelihood.
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10-11-2017, 10:40 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 10:35 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I didn't notice this post the first time through, ...

You waded through it a second time? You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

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10-11-2017, 10:44 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 10:35 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  
(08-11-2017 06:03 PM)Henri Wrote:  OP is in fact easy to understand from Bayesian perspective.

Okay, I didn't notice this post the first time through, and it makes a whole lot more sense in terms of what's going on in this guy's mind.

In a Bayesian sense, probability can be used as a measure of a person's subjective certainty. For example, ask someone how likely they think it is that their favorite football team will win their next game? They could answer 40%, or 95%, or so on. It's an expression of confidence... and it is completely and utterly arbitrary.

This is NOT the same thing as Bayes Theorem, though they're both named after the same guy.

So when Henri assigns at least 50% probability to a god existing on the basis of having reduced it down to two possibilities? That's perfectly valid, in a Bayesian sense... so long as we realize that he's ONLY talking about his own gut-check of how likely that possibility feels to him.

It's a completely subjective measure of his own personal confidence. It says nothing about the actual probability of an event in terms of frequency or proportion, and should convince nobody of anything save Henri's own sense of God's likelihood.

But one still has to provide and justify the numbers in the formula one uses to get the final estimate. Hank never did anything, nor did he even use the Bayesian formula.

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10-11-2017, 10:55 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 10:44 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(10-11-2017 10:35 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  Okay, I didn't notice this post the first time through, and it makes a whole lot more sense in terms of what's going on in this guy's mind.

In a Bayesian sense, probability can be used as a measure of a person's subjective certainty. For example, ask someone how likely they think it is that their favorite football team will win their next game? They could answer 40%, or 95%, or so on. It's an expression of confidence... and it is completely and utterly arbitrary.

This is NOT the same thing as Bayes Theorem, though they're both named after the same guy.

So when Henri assigns at least 50% probability to a god existing on the basis of having reduced it down to two possibilities? That's perfectly valid, in a Bayesian sense... so long as we realize that he's ONLY talking about his own gut-check of how likely that possibility feels to him.

It's a completely subjective measure of his own personal confidence. It says nothing about the actual probability of an event in terms of frequency or proportion, and should convince nobody of anything save Henri's own sense of God's likelihood.

But one still has to provide and justify the numbers in the formula one uses to get the final estimate. Hank never did anything, nor did he even use the Bayesian formula.

That formula is Bayes Theorem, and it's not the same thing as Bayesian Probability. Again, Bayesian probability is only a measure of one's sense of likelihood. It's useful measures of individuals' sense of confidence, but it does NOT need to be justified. It's a single psychological datapoint.

... that said, it has no use BEYOND a sense of what someone believes, unless that person starts refining their confidence (and hence their Bayesian probability estimate) in light of evidence using tools like Bayes' theorem. THAT would be justification... but it's not really necessary if you're using probability just as a measure of someone's belief.

It's a bit of a headache because mathematics can't agree what, on a fundamental level, probability even is. Oh, we've got the axioms all laid out and know what it can and can't do and what problems we can or can't apply it to, but that's not the same thing. My own take is that these are all different applications that happen to conform to the same set of axioms and thus can use the same techniques and formulae.
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10-11-2017, 11:05 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
He claimed to have "calculated", and "made calculations" multiple times.
He never said he "assigned" (subjectively) anything.

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10-11-2017, 11:18 AM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 11:05 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  He claimed to have "calculated", and "made calculations" multiple times.
He never said he "assigned" (subjectively) anything.

He hasn't made any calculations at all. I stated that immediately.

It's all fucking woo.

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10-11-2017, 12:20 PM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 11:05 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  He claimed to have "calculated", and "made calculations" multiple times.
He never said he "assigned" (subjectively) anything.

THAT part is pure bullshit. Definitely.

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10-11-2017, 12:32 PM
RE: Probability for existence of God
(10-11-2017 08:50 AM)Deesse23 Wrote:  Even if his probabilistics werent complete bogus, how does he get to his specific god? A collection of books that say so? Laugh out load

He simply cannot, and history is filled with the failures of generations of theologians who have tried. You cannot make the jump from minimalist deistic conception of god they try to prove, to their specific theistic one that answers prayers and gives a shit what humans do while naked.

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10-11-2017, 05:20 PM (This post was last modified: 10-11-2017 05:46 PM by Henri.)
RE: Probability for existence of God
(09-11-2017 05:48 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Lacking any additional knowledge, the principle of indifference (do you already know what that means or did you have to google it? I bet you had to google it. Probably still don't grasp it even after you googled it.) is the only rational position to take. However, you should question your own rational capacity if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate position where you need to appeal to the principle of indifference.

That's not the answer to the question. You either do not know the answer or you don't act with integrity here and don't want to write the answer because it's against your case one way or the other.

Here's the problem again: "If I say to you that coin is rigged, and you have no prior knowledge of coin tossses with that coin, what is the probability for heads?"

The answer is probability for heads is 50/50. With information you know, that's the answer.

Anyway, if you want to say that 50/50 means that you "don't know shit" that means that you can't distinguish, for example, between bet on a coin toss and bet on pulling an ace of spades from a deck of cards. In both cases, you seem to say that you "don't know shit." But in reality, there is 50% chance that coin toss will get you money while less than 2% chance that picking right card from a deck will get you money. So there is a difference. 50/50 is what it is. Especially when one's eternal existence is at stake.

The thing is, it is impossible to calculate less favorable probability that God exists than 50/50, while it is possible to calculate almost 100% probability that God exists.

So ironically, however 50/50 is, it is the best probability for atheism there is, and the more background information you take into consideration, the worst probability becomes for atheism.

All knowledge we have about reality works against atheism when put into calculating probability. Show me a probability method and calculation that results in more favorable probability for atheism than 50/50.
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10-11-2017, 05:21 PM (This post was last modified: 10-11-2017 05:46 PM by Henri.)
RE: Probability for existence of God
(09-11-2017 06:20 PM)brunumb Wrote:  If the coin is biased but you have no prior knowledge of that fact, the two outcomes do not have equal probability. You just don't know what they are.

No, the answer is 50/50. With knowledge you have, that's the answer. As I already wrote:

"If you want to say that 50/50 means that you "don't know shit" that means that you can't distinguish, for example, between bet on a coin toss and bet on pulling an ace of spades from a deck of cards. In both cases, you seem to say that you "don't know shit." But in reality, there is 50% chance that coin toss will get you money while less than 2% chance that picking right card from a deck will get you money. So there is a difference. 50/50 is what it is. Especially when one's eternal existence is at stake."

By the way, you also seem to not see that if you claim that you don't know probability of a coin toss that means that it's possible that either one of the options is possible outcome. Either one. That's equal probability. 50/50.
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