The missing ingredient is ... probability
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
25-02-2014, 06:03 AM
The missing ingredient is ... probability
It occurred to me that the key difference between someone who believes in woo and an atheist is that the former does not take into account probability. This is why scientists and critical thinkers are seen as close minded when they try to point out such things as reality. They are accused of only explaining everything in terms of what they know and therefore of not being open to new ideas.

The wooist will try to come up with a belief system that is logically consistent and they may even manage it if they rely on assumptions that cannot be falsified. But at no point do they ever ask what the likelihood is of those assumptions being true.

I think Russell's teapot is good for demonstrating this because it is obvious to us that it is not probable that a tea pot is orbiting space between Earth and Mars. The idea seems improbable because we know what a tea pot is, where they come from and why they exist (although the analogy will need to be updated in the future when man makes the first mission to Mars, maybe we can then move to using a celestial lawn mower?)

One reason therefore for the lack of consideration of probability stems from ignorance. Wooists are far more likely to believe in aliens, angels or mystical objects providing us with objective reality hovering in space between Earth and Mars than a tea pot. They aren't so ignorant about tea-pots though so they don't seriously consider the idea of one naturally orbiting in space.

But in the same way that they do not give credence to the idea of a flying spaghetti monster because we can easily trace the origin back to a satirical open letter written by Bobby Henderson in 2005, they are more likely to give credence to texts written before they were born because they are more ignorant about why they were written and by whom.

It is the same reason that there is no religion involving Santa Claus or the tooth-fairy, because parents openly admit about it all being make-believe for children that is never intended to continue into adulthood.

The scientifically literate may technically be agnostic atheists but only because they understand the need for falsifiability. The credence they give to wooist and theist beliefs will be as negligible as the probability of those ideas being true given what we know. This is because they appreciate the need for evidence and to reproduce experiments, but also understand such concepts as thermodynamics, evolution, the big bang, particle physics and the scale of the universe etc.

What I am wondering is how to get wooists taking into account how improbable their ideas are if they are unwilling to learn about science.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 5 users Like Mathilda's post
25-02-2014, 06:08 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
First you must demonstrate that god is even possible. So far nobody has done that.
Tracie Harris put it nicely.



Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes donotwant's post
25-02-2014, 06:15 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
We need to use "wooist" enough so that in a few years they add it to the dictionary.

Hate the belief, love the believer.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Elder Cunningham's post
25-02-2014, 07:44 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 06:03 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  It occurred to me that the key difference between someone who believes in woo and an atheist is that the former does not take into account probability. This is why scientists and critical thinkers are seen as close minded when they try to point out such things as reality. They are accused of only explaining everything in terms of what they know and therefore of not being open to new ideas.

The wooist will try to come up with a belief system that is logically consistent and they may even manage it if they rely on assumptions that cannot be falsified. But at no point do they ever ask what the likelihood is of those assumptions being true.

I think Russell's teapot is good for demonstrating this because it is obvious to us that it is not probable that a tea pot is orbiting space between Earth and Mars. The idea seems improbable because we know what a tea pot is, where they come from and why they exist (although the analogy will need to be updated in the future when man makes the first mission to Mars, maybe we can then move to using a celestial lawn mower?)

One reason therefore for the lack of consideration of probability stems from ignorance. Wooists are far more likely to believe in aliens, angels or mystical objects providing us with objective reality hovering in space between Earth and Mars than a tea pot. They aren't so ignorant about tea-pots though so they don't seriously consider the idea of one naturally orbiting in space.

I'd be careful arguing with probability. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for a particularly stupid counter involving the "fine turning" argument, or something. I'd just stick to looking for evidence, and call it a day.

Regarding something like aliens, I'd call myself "agnostic". I'm totally open to the idea of them; I just haven't seen any evidence yet. Until they show me some, I'll take their conjecture for exactly what it is.

If they decide to double down on this and say that we're limiting ourselves by only using what they can observe, I'll agree with them, and say that that's the best we have... and it's totally delivered us things like super computers, space ships, antibiotics, and increased life expectancies. What has contemplating whether or not we're really in the Matrix and we just don't know brought us other than a kick-ass movie?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes RobbyPants's post
25-02-2014, 09:58 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 07:44 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  What has contemplating whether or not we're really in the Matrix and we just don't know brought us other than a kick-ass movie?

Well...one, anyway...

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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-02-2014, 10:07 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 09:58 AM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  
(25-02-2014 07:44 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  What has contemplating whether or not we're really in the Matrix and we just don't know brought us other than a kick-ass movie?

Well...one, anyway...

I made a point to say "a kick-ass movie" and not "several kick-ass movies". XKCD hit the nail on the head with that one.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-02-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
Deleted XKCD reference.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
25-02-2014, 10:23 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 10:07 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(25-02-2014 09:58 AM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  Well...one, anyway...

I made a point to say "a kick-ass movie" and not "several kick-ass movies". XKCD hit the nail on the head with that one.

LOL I *thought* I saw what you did there...

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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Taqiyya Mockingbird's post
25-02-2014, 11:39 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 06:03 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  It occurred to me that the key difference between someone who believes in woo and an atheist is that the former does not take into account probability. This is why scientists and critical thinkers are seen as close minded when they try to point out such things as reality. They are accused of only explaining everything in terms of what they know and therefore of not being open to new ideas.

The wooist will try to come up with a belief system that is logically consistent and they may even manage it if they rely on assumptions that cannot be falsified. But at no point do they ever ask what the likelihood is of those assumptions being true.
Problem is that creationists have made the same argument against atheists regarding abiogenesis, and in that case the atheists say it's a poor argument. Go figure.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes alpha male's post
25-02-2014, 11:43 AM
RE: The missing ingredient is ... probability
(25-02-2014 11:39 AM)alpha male Wrote:  
(25-02-2014 06:03 AM)Mathilda Wrote:  It occurred to me that the key difference between someone who believes in woo and an atheist is that the former does not take into account probability. This is why scientists and critical thinkers are seen as close minded when they try to point out such things as reality. They are accused of only explaining everything in terms of what they know and therefore of not being open to new ideas.

The wooist will try to come up with a belief system that is logically consistent and they may even manage it if they rely on assumptions that cannot be falsified. But at no point do they ever ask what the likelihood is of those assumptions being true.
Problem is that creationists have made the same argument against atheists regarding abiogenesis, and in that case the atheists say it's a poor argument. Go figure.



Hey. Fucking idiot. Abiogenesis is not a "tenet" of atheism. Go fuck yourself.

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
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 3 users Like Taqiyya Mockingbird's post
Post Reply
Forum Jump: