Probability
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10-03-2013, 11:53 AM
RE: Probability
Hey, Vosur.

Is that not part of his point? Believing that every claimed miracle is mundane and physical just because the ones we've tested so far have been mundane and physical is "an assumption at best and pure speculation at worst"?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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10-03-2013, 12:17 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 12:22 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Probability
(10-03-2013 11:53 AM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, Vosur.

Is that not part of his point? Believing that every claimed miracle is mundane and physical just because the ones we've tested so far have been mundane and physical is "an assumption at best and pure speculation at worst"?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
No, it's not part of his point because he has been arguing in favor of the opposite position.

In the first post of this thread, Heywood Jablome claimed that "the more "miracles" that turn out to have natural explanation, the more likely it is that all miracles have natural explanation" and continued by saying that "atheists on this forum should not disagree with this logic at all" since "it gives them good cause to reject claims of miracles".

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10-03-2013, 01:35 PM (This post was last modified: 10-03-2013 01:44 PM by Heywood Jahblome.)
RE: Probability
(10-03-2013 07:40 AM)Vosur Wrote:  
(10-03-2013 07:14 AM)Ghost Wrote:  All Wood is pointing out is that the fact that we haven't found one isn't proof that there aren't any just like pulling 999 white marbles out of a bin of marbles of unknown colours isn't proof that the last marble is white. Which is a fine point.
But that's not where the disagreement lies, since I and several other people who have posted in this thread agree with him on that.

What we disagree with is his claim that the more white marbles you draw out of a bin, the more likely it becomes that there are only white marbles in it. What people here have been pointing out is that this statement is an assumption at best and pure speculation at worst.


The reason the claim is true is because as you draw out white marbles, there are less ways the bin can contain black ones(let black mean any other color here). For instance suppose the bin has only 3 marbles. Let W stand for white marble and B stand for a black one. There are only 4 possible combinations of marbles.

  1. BBB
  2. BBW
  3. BWW
  4. WWW
If each combination is equally likely, then each has a .25 probability of being the true combination. Please note that before starting the draws the probability of the bin containing just white marbles is .25. What happens if after the first draw we draw white? Well a white draw eliminates combination 1. The probability that the bin only contains white marbles rises to .33. Drawing a second white marble eliminates combination 2 and the probability of the bin only containing white marbles rises to .5. Of course if you draw a third marble and it is white, then the probability the bin only contained white marbles is of course 1.

I hope this example shows that the Probabiltiy of X(all the marbles in the bin are white) is an increasing function of An(n white draws without ever observing a black one). This is in agreement with the proof I provided.
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10-03-2013, 03:17 PM
RE: Probability



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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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10-03-2013, 03:26 PM
RE: Probability
(10-03-2013 01:35 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(10-03-2013 07:40 AM)Vosur Wrote:  But that's not where the disagreement lies, since I and several other people who have posted in this thread agree with him on that.

What we disagree with is his claim that the more white marbles you draw out of a bin, the more likely it becomes that there are only white marbles in it. What people here have been pointing out is that this statement is an assumption at best and pure speculation at worst.


The reason the claim is true is because as you draw out white marbles, there are less ways the bin can contain black ones(let black mean any other color here). For instance suppose the bin has only 3 marbles. Let W stand for white marble and B stand for a black one. There are only 4 possible combinations of marbles.

  1. BBB
  2. BBW
  3. BWW
  4. WWW
If each combination is equally likely, then each has a .25 probability of being the true combination. Please note that before starting the draws the probability of the bin containing just white marbles is .25. What happens if after the first draw we draw white? Well a white draw eliminates combination 1. The probability that the bin only contains white marbles rises to .33. Drawing a second white marble eliminates combination 2 and the probability of the bin only containing white marbles rises to .5. Of course if you draw a third marble and it is white, then the probability the bin only contained white marbles is of course 1.

I hope this example shows that the Probabiltiy of X(all the marbles in the bin are white) is an increasing function of An(n white draws without ever observing a black one). This is in agreement with the proof I provided.

Wow...a lot of circular back and forth mumbo jumbo in this one. To me it looks like all HJ is tryin to say is that the more often something happens, the more likely it is to occur again. Suppose you see the same little girl every day and she kicks you in the nuts every time you see her. You're getting ready to pass her again...there's a good chance she's about to have you crying like a little girl again. Now...maybe she won't. There's certainly no exact mathematical equation to determine if the little girl is going to be ankle deep in your scrotum. But you eventually will learn to cover your balls and consider a cup. You don't need math (or this ridiculously long conversation) to recognize a probable outcome of something happening for your general knowledge.

~Philosophy is questions that may never be answered. Religion is answers that may never be questioned.~
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10-03-2013, 03:36 PM
RE: Probability
(10-03-2013 01:35 PM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  
(10-03-2013 07:40 AM)Vosur Wrote:  But that's not where the disagreement lies, since I and several other people who have posted in this thread agree with him on that.

What we disagree with is his claim that the more white marbles you draw out of a bin, the more likely it becomes that there are only white marbles in it. What people here have been pointing out is that this statement is an assumption at best and pure speculation at worst.


The reason the claim is true is because as you draw out white marbles, there are less ways the bin can contain black ones(let black mean any other color here). For instance suppose the bin has only 3 marbles. Let W stand for white marble and B stand for a black one. There are only 4 possible combinations of marbles.

  1. BBB
  2. BBW
  3. BWW
  4. WWW
If each combination is equally likely, then each has a .25 probability of being the true combination. Please note that before starting the draws the probability of the bin containing just white marbles is .25. What happens if after the first draw we draw white? Well a white draw eliminates combination 1. The probability that the bin only contains white marbles rises to .33. Drawing a second white marble eliminates combination 2 and the probability of the bin only containing white marbles rises to .5. Of course if you draw a third marble and it is white, then the probability the bin only contained white marbles is of course 1.

I hope this example shows that the Probabiltiy of X(all the marbles in the bin are white) is an increasing function of An(n white draws without ever observing a black one). This is in agreement with the proof I provided.
no. 3 marbles means 1/8 chance of all whites, if the marbles in the bin are black or white with 50/50 chance?
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10-03-2013, 05:32 PM
RE: Probability
(10-03-2013 03:26 PM)kellyrm Wrote:  Wow...a lot of circular back and forth mumbo jumbo in this one. To me it looks like all HJ is tryin to say is that the more often something happens, the more likely it is to occur again. Suppose you see the same little girl every day and she kicks you in the nuts every time you see her. You're getting ready to pass her again...there's a good chance she's about to have you crying like a little girl again. Now...maybe she won't. There's certainly no exact mathematical equation to determine if the little girl is going to be ankle deep in your scrotum. But you eventually will learn to cover your balls and consider a cup. You don't need math (or this ridiculously long conversation) to recognize a probable outcome of something happening for your general knowledge.

You're right. This is yet another example of inductive reasoning. Inductive reasoning isn't foolproof, but the more examples of the pattern that you collect, the "stronger" your conclusion is. And your example is a great demonstration of our natural learning from inductive patterns.

I don't think we should be having an argument about whether inductive reasoning is good reasoning (it's logical reasoning, after all) but about his point of it pertaining to miracles. I addressed it, but it's not going to get a response because many of my atheist colleagues are trying to avoid directly addressing it by making this an argument about math.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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10-03-2013, 06:26 PM
RE: Probability
(09-03-2013 02:21 AM)Heywood Jahblome Wrote:  Kim got it wrong because she said, "The statement, "the more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non white marble" has nothing to do with the statement, "all marbles in the bin are white." She left out a very important part. I will bold it for you.

The more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non-white marble, the more likely it is that all marbles in the bin are white.

No. You did not finish reading what I wrote or did not understand. I left nothing out, I split each part up to show you how you connected them.

You connected the statements, "the more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non white marble" and "all marbles in the bin are white." with the following statement which speculates beyond the present: "the more likely it becomes".

Your full original full statement:
In fact the more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non white marble, the more likely it becomes that all marbles in the bin are white.

If no one knows the amount or color of marbles in the bin then "the more likely it becomes" is a speculative statement connecting evidence with a declarative statement.

In fact,
the more white marbles you draw without ever finding a non white marble <-- evidence
the more likely it becomes <-- conjecture
all marbles in the bin are white. <-- declarative

All in one sentence one sentence.
Of course, you started it off with In fact... the first words are always the tell. Wink

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10-03-2013, 06:32 PM
RE: Probability
I'm going to digress a bit from the purely math aspect of the thread in my post and address perceived "miracles".

I was watching television and a weather reporter was sounding off how it was miraculous that no one died when a tornado touched down destroying several homes in Michigan. This reminded me of one of Mark Twain’s observations after a man lost his leg in war and the man claimed it was a miracle that his life was spared.


Why wouldn’t God simply have the bullet miss him altogether instead of just deflecting it enough to cause amputation? I mean if God is going to go through all the trouble of interfering why not spare the man totally? MT


The same applies when my wife fell from a scaffold and broke her wrist. People said, “thank God it was only her wrist and not anything more serious”. Are they really saying that divine intervention was too slow to react and save her entirely from falling and the best God could do was cause her to only shatter her wrist? I mean what kind of intervention is that from an all-powerful omniscient being? Pretty half-assed is how I see it. Or are they saying she deserved a broken wrist and nothing more?

The laws of probability are so little understood by the masses that anything perceived to be remotely infrequent is immediately attributed to the hand of God. Many of the events that do happen we have no statistical information on but just because we have no empirical data doesn’t mean it is miraculous. If we did an experiment where we had one thousand people fall from a five foot scaffold in just the same way my wife did how many would have:

a) minor bruises
b) a broken wrist

c) severe head trauma or
d) death?

Well no one in his or her right mind would conduct such an experiment so we don’t have a statistical base to gauge just how fortunate or unfortunate she was but to say “Thank God she only broke her wrist” implies to me that he is a sadistic SOB when he could have stopped it OR they have no clue how probability pertains to any incident.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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10-03-2013, 07:11 PM
RE: Probability
Hey, Vosur.





Really?





Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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