Author Topic: How much of an atheist are you?  (Read 2004 times)

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Offline kcrady

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #29 on: March 25, 2012, 07:18:05 PM »
Depends on what you mean by "God."  In the link, they're talking about a singular, male deity, i.e., Abrahamic-Hellenistic monotheism, the Omnimax Big Guy.  For that one, I'm a 6.999999...., for all practical intents and purposes a 7.  Of the OBG variants, the Christian version is the least likely.  Here's why:

The more extraordinary and specific claims that are necessary for a given theistic belief system to be true, the more unlikely it is.  Consider:

1. A woman drove to the airport.

2. Hillary Clinton drove to the airport.

3. Hillary Clinton drove to the airport in a sedan.

4. Hillary Clinton drove to the airport in a red sedan.

5. Hillary Clinton drove to the airport in a red sedan, escorted by a platoon of angels in flaming chariots.

Each numbered statement contains the claims of its predecessors.  This means that no higher-numbered statement can be more probable than the statements that precede it.  To the contrary, the higher the number of the statement, the lower its prior probability (to use Bayesian terms).  E.g., #3 can still be true if Hillary Clinton drove to the airport in a blue sedan.  Even if she was escorted by angels, #4 and #5 are still false.  Therefore, #3 has a higher prior probability than #4 and #5.

Returning to the subject of "God," we get something like this:

1. There is a God Who created the Cosmos, but does not intervene or reveal Itself[1] (Deism, Pantheism).

2. There is a God Who created the Cosmos and He is male. (Narrower Deism, Pantheism)

3. There is a God Who created the Cosmos and He is male, and He revealed Himself through the Tanakh ["Old Testament"]. (Judaism)

4. There is a God Who created the Cosmos and He is male, and He revealed himself through the Tanakh and the New Testament and the Quran, most perfectly via the latter. (Islam)

5. There is a God Who created the Cosmos and He is male, and he revealed Himself through the Tanakh and the New Testament and He is a Trinity [whatever the heck that is--the prior for this one is exponentially low due to the confusion/logical contradictions of the concept], and one of His Persons took human form as Jesus and Jesus was killed and resurrected and this element of Him remains "fully human and fully divine" [whatever the heck that means] and He is omnibenevolent, etc.  If you decide to add things like "and He created the Cosmos 6,000 years ago..." then you're in real trouble.

Once you're got your priors established, then you need to start estimating the values for supporting and contrary evidence (to fill out the other terms of Bayes' Theorem).  Claims such as omnibenevolence, the Trinity, the Incarnation, and Young Earth Creationism carry the baggage of tremendous amounts of counter-evidence and faulty logic.  It isn't even necessary to actually do the math to see that Christianity, especially Fundamentalist Christianity, is the very least likely of all the mainstream religions. 

It should be noted that even going as far as #2 immediately cuts the prior probability of "God's" existence down to a fourth of what it was for #1, since you are now specifying that "God" cannot be genderless, female, or bisexual/hermaphroditic.  So by the time you're specifying the tenets of the Nicene Creed, your total prior probability for "God's" existence has vanished into negative exponentials.
 1. Note that this latter claim is a negation.  It is also consistent with "Statement Zero," the null hypothesis, i.e. the default; therefore, it does not decrease the prior probability of this sort of God existing.  A positive claim ("and God does intervene/reveal Itself") is not consistent with the null hypothesis, so it represents a second prior that must also be true for the statement to be true. Edit: Unless you're specifying that God cannot or will never intervene or reveal itself.  Those are additional priors that reduce the probability for those Gods vs. one that hasn't intervened/revealed (null hypothesis) but whether it can/will or not isn't specified.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 07:31:59 PM by kcrady »
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Offline Omen

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #30 on: March 25, 2012, 07:22:38 PM »
Where would you put yourself on the spectrum of theistic probability? I'd say I'm a 5.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spectrum_of_theistic_probability

Depends on the god claim.
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Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2012, 03:36:29 PM »
You mean that your position on the scale varies depending on the god in question? That's interesting, I haven't come across that before.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2012, 03:41:53 PM »
I believe none of the bible nonsense..there are no dieties, spooks,ghosts,goblins,angels,devils or any of that foolishness. Never was and never gonna be...period.  and the same goes for the rest of the goofy ass religions.

That. Only in fancier more philosophical aesthetically pleasing language. And the more specific stuff about the spook in question, the less likely it is to exist.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Omen

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #33 on: March 26, 2012, 03:43:37 PM »
You mean that your position on the scale varies depending on the god in question? That's interesting, I haven't come across that before.

The label 'god' is not self evident nor predicated upon any kind of necessary attributes.  It is a meaningless label subject to whatever personal whim one assigns to it.  Any suggestion of the 'possibility' of a god claim is necessarily dependent on the context of its defined limitations which kcrady tried to explain using a simple analogy above.  I share agreement with kcrady.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #34 on: March 26, 2012, 03:44:22 PM »
You mean that your position on the scale varies depending on the god in question? That's interesting, I haven't come across that before.

Where are you on the scale with respect to Odin? Persephone? Allah?
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Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #35 on: March 26, 2012, 03:45:57 PM »

The label 'god' is not self evident nor predicated upon any kind of necessary attributes.  It is a meaningless label subject to whatever personal whim one assigns to it.  Any suggestion of the 'possibility' of a god claim is necessarily dependent on the context of its defined limitations which kcrady tried to explain using a simple analogy above.  I share agreement with kcrady.

Ok, where do you stand with regard to any three gods that come to mind?

Offline Omen

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #36 on: March 26, 2012, 03:50:16 PM »

The label 'god' is not self evident nor predicated upon any kind of necessary attributes.  It is a meaningless label subject to whatever personal whim one assigns to it.  Any suggestion of the 'possibility' of a god claim is necessarily dependent on the context of its defined limitations which kcrady tried to explain using a simple analogy above.  I share agreement with kcrady.

Ok, where do you stand with regard to any three gods that come to mind?

Omniscient omnipotent omnipresent god(s): 7
Biblical god(s): 7
Deistic god(s): 6.9
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Offline One Above All

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #37 on: March 26, 2012, 03:51:24 PM »
With my speedy correction I almost forgot to answer the question:
7. Because as others have pointed out, the definition of "god" is up to the individual. My definition is logically inconsistent, and so I reject its existence.
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Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2012, 03:54:01 PM »
I worship Batman. And Iron Man.  ;)
But I don't believe in either. :'(

Durga is pretty kick-ass. I'd probably worship her, and believe in her. If I could. :-\

http://www.usefulcharts.com/religion/hinduism/durga.html
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2012, 03:58:06 PM »

Omniscient omnipotent omnipresent god(s): 7
Biblical god(s): 7
Deistic god(s): 6.9

Why that tiny difference?

Offline One Above All

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2012, 03:58:48 PM »
Why that tiny difference?

Deistic gods do not interfere.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #41 on: March 26, 2012, 03:59:47 PM »

Deistic gods do not interfere.

Thanks. But I was asking omen.

Offline One Above All

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #42 on: March 26, 2012, 04:01:24 PM »
Thanks. But I was asking omen.

So? I'm 99% certain that that's the reason.
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #43 on: March 26, 2012, 04:02:18 PM »

So? I'm 99% certain that that's the reason.

As soon as omen responds, we can both be 100% certain.

Offline Omen

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2012, 04:02:49 PM »

Omniscient omnipotent omnipresent god(s): 7
Biblical god(s): 7
Deistic god(s): 6.9

Why that tiny difference?

Disagreement with the scale.  There are no probabilities that approach 1 or that are greater than 0, it is simply not impossible and its possibility is equal to infinity or 0.
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Offline lotanddaughters

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2012, 04:08:14 PM »
Thanks. But I was asking omen.

Yeah! You were asking for another smite upside your ass! LOL!
Enough with your bullshit.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2012, 04:08:27 PM »

So? I'm 99% certain that that's the reason.

As soon as omen responds, we can both be 100% certain.

You are doing well here, kymer. Don't slip. (Two fingers to eyes to kymer gesture.)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Seppuku

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2012, 04:13:43 PM »

So? I'm 99% certain that that's the reason.

As soon as omen responds, we can both be 100% certain.

But it's only a small difference.  :P
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Offline kymer

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #48 on: March 26, 2012, 05:56:18 PM »

Yeah! You were asking for another smite upside your ass! LOL!

LOL, yeah.

Offline RNS

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2012, 07:34:49 AM »
The label 'god' is not self evident nor predicated upon any kind of necessary attributes.  It is a meaningless label subject to whatever personal whim one assigns to it.

Exactly. That's how I feel too. So doesn't that mean we are ignostics, or have I got the definition wrong?
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Offline Omen

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2012, 10:23:28 AM »
The label 'god' is not self evident nor predicated upon any kind of necessary attributes.  It is a meaningless label subject to whatever personal whim one assigns to it.

Exactly. That's how I feel too. So doesn't that mean we are ignostics, or have I got the definition wrong?

Somewhat, but semantics ensue.. and I hate the label game. I prefer to say what I do or do not believe and why, leave it up to them to make up the label.
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Offline essgeeskee

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Re: How much of an atheist are you?
« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2012, 09:15:29 PM »
I'm with Dawkins. I'm a 6.
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