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20 July 2005 @ 12:04 am
There are two very different sides to me, that some would say are diametrically opposed.
One side is deeply spiritual, the other is highly skeptical.
Both sides are infuriated by this total load of crap.

The very idea that you can prove the existence of God through logic or mathematics is offensive to religion and to science.

However, the most annoying thing is that, babbling about a lot of fancy sounding numbers makes the Oxford professor (of what?) sound knowledgeable and is the kind of bullshit double-speak that sucks in the less critical thinkers of the world.

For the rest of us, the entire argument falls down right from the word go, when the very first proposition, that all the maths hinges on, is explained thus:

the probability was one in two that God exists

You want to run that by me again?

Once more, I reiterate, this is offensive to religion and science.

Basically, they have said: there are two sides to the argument (God exists/God doesn't exist) and they have given each equal weight.
But, hang on a minute, aren't there a massive diversity of religious beliefs?
In fact, I'd go far as to say there as many different views on the universe as there are people in the world.

Anyway, you're not idiots, I don't have to spell it out to you.

I need to go to bed.

For now, here's the short version of my review of Harry Potter:
it was good.

I will say more later.
melbournian on July 19th, 2005 04:24 pm (UTC)
My brain hurts.

I continue to be astounded by the crap that sprouts from so called philosophers, especially 'leading' ones (I like Rob's euphemism of leader for wanker), who sprout fallacous ideas including appealing to their own authority.

It reminds me of some of the philosophy lecturers I have had, though I don't cease to be surprised at the narrow minded tripe advocated. While I don't think my ideas are entirely without bias and assumptions that appear absurd, they are at least based on (not necessarily logical) reason.

While I don't mind a diversity of views it is a bit depressing that such mumbo jumbo can hold sway over mainstream media. As for Richard Swinburne? Emeritus Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, University of Oxford
Jacob: imagineyak_boy on July 21st, 2005 03:19 am (UTC)
I really don't like the idea of someone being a Professor of Philosophy of a particular, pre-established, world-view. Isn't the whole point of philosophy to actually think for yourself? Instead this guy spends his time coming up with ways to justify someone else's conclusions, rather than coming up with conclusions of his own.
melbournian on July 21st, 2005 05:47 am (UTC)
Isn't the whole point of philosophy to actually think for yourself?

That's what I thought it was until I started formally studying philosophy and discovered how bigoted institutionalised philosophy is.
Mikmareth_redorb on July 19th, 2005 10:05 pm (UTC)
I know I struggled in statistics, but surely if you start with a 50% probability, it is not possible to end up with a 97% probability in total? It's that whole multiplying by fractions thing.....

It bugs the hell out of me that it's being portrayed without any if factor - there is an X% chance that Christ was resurrected if you happen to accept that God exists, if you accept that the version presented in the Bible is accurate and true and if you accept this person's interpretation of the Divine Will. Taken from a logical point of view, this is damaging to the faith because it's saying there is a chance it didn't happen, which means that part of the faith is possibly wrong.

I'll stop ranting now.
Jacobyak_boy on July 21st, 2005 03:28 am (UTC)
You've exposed the bullshit of this joker's argument with much more clarity than I could.

I'm going to break down the numbers then, and I'll probably get it wrong, because I suck at maths.

the probability was one in two that God exists.


if God exists, the probability was one in two that he became incarnate

50% x 50% = 25%

Further, there was a one in 10 probability that the gospels would report the life and resurrection of Jesus in the form they do.

Now, I think what they're getting at is that makes it more likely it's true, so I guess they need as to reverse this probability. this is where my maths gets shaky, but let's stick with it.

90% x 25% = 22.5%

the probability that we would have all this evidence if it wasn't true was one in 1000

This is clearly bullshit, because the "evidence" is the "eyewitness accounts" of four guys who even the Christian Biblical scholars agree probably learned the stories second- or third-hand. But we'll run with it. Again, I'm reversing the probability to 999 in 1000 that this is all true.

99.9% x 22.5% = 22.4775%

22.4775% seems a far cry from 97%.
Mikmareth_redorb on July 21st, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)
I'd be more inclined not to turn things around, but instead use the values they've presented us with, which means we end up with:

50%×50%=25% for the first premise.

25%×10% = 2.5% for the reporting of the event.

For the 1 in 1000 probability, I wouldn't reverse it, because that is saying these people who are hearing it second or third hand are hearing it exactly as it happened. I'd be more inclined to put a value on it of 4 in the then population of the area, without factoring in the reduced chances due to hearsay being influenced by the person spreading it, let's give it a conservative estimation of 1,000,000 (also for calculation ease), which brings us to 1 in 250,000, or 0.0004%


This to me is a much more realistic value, given his starting hypothesis we have to accept if we want to generate the overall value. So, given all his factors to be true and unbiased, there is a 0.00001% chance that the Judeo-Christian God did manifest as a mortal, was killed and resurrected.

If I were trying to promote the faith I would keep this one to myself. If I was looking to convert to Christianity, I'd look at the figures and say "You've got to be kidding. Those are worse odds than the Mormons are offering to get into heaven!"
Jacobyak_boy on July 21st, 2005 03:34 am (UTC)
I hate the idea that faith is arequisite aspect of religion. It makes God seem like a petulant child.

"If you don't believe in me I'm going to punish you."

Besides which, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
We're supposed to have faith that the written word of the Bible is the Word of God. But, did the guys who wrote the Bible have any proof that what they were writing was the Word of God or did they just have "faith" in their own importance?

If taken to its logical conclusion, back down the line - if everyone was required to have had faith without evidence of God - then on what basis was the Bible written?
Mikmareth_redorb on July 21st, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
You've basically outlined the argument I put forth when I was six years old and had been exposed to the Christian faith for roughly a year. Of course, you've taken it the step further I couldn't at that age. Basically, it was that argument which stopped me becoming a Christian.
Jacob: symbolyak_boy on July 21st, 2005 04:28 am (UTC)
The funny thing is, I still kind of consider myself a Christian, but mainly fromthe point of view that it was my upbringing as a Christian that led to my philosophy of compassion and love above all else, as well as my spirituality.

However, my actual beliefs on the nature of God and Jesus are so far away from the dogma of any Christian church I know of, that the term Christian probably doesn't apply all that well anymore.

For example, I believe that Jesus was not God incarnate, but was, perhaps, a prophet of some importance.

Hang on, I must be a Muslim.
parakleta on July 21st, 2005 09:34 am (UTC)
Islam is supposed to be the fastest growing religion... and their bible actually makes a lot more sense than the christian one... Muhammad did one mean editing job and pulled out all the contradictions and made God into an all knowing and loving deity, rather than a petulant child.
Robet Éivaayvah on July 28th, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
I hate the idea that faith is arequisite aspect of religion.

Well, it's an evolution, "survival of the fittest" thing. Free will means being able to leave. A religion that traps its followers (survives) and spreads its influence (multiplies) is going to outlast the religions that don't.