A scientist has calculated that there’s a 67-percent chance that God exists. With the help of a 200-year-old formula normally used to calculate the occurrence of catastrophic events, physicist Stephen Unwin has come up with his remarkable conclusion.
Dr Unwin, who now works as a risk assessor in Ohio, says his theory starts from the assumption that God has a 50/50 chance of existing, and then he factors in the evidence both for and against the notion of a higher being.
In the theory, the existence of good is weighed against natural evil – earthquakes, disease and the like. The result is the statistical balance between the two.
…Dr Unwin explained that Bayes’ theorem is a general and powerful tool for assessing how probable evidence makes some hypothesis.
“It’s widely used for everything from the filtering from spam from e-mail to dating archaeological relics or doing risk assessing of systems, which is my profession. […] It doesn’t so much give you a way of creating a probability, but of modifying a probability in the light of evidence. So, you’re always left with the question: what probability do I begin with in order to modify it by the evidence. In Bayesian speak, that’s the so-called prior probability.”
“In my book “The Probability of God” in which I’ve documented this, I looked at what might be an appropriate prior, and I felt after some argument that the best way of reflecting complete a-priori ignorance on the matter is to give it 50-50 probability that God exists or doesn’t. So then, Bayes’ theorem is then used to process the various areas of evidence that are used, which I kind of lined up and then systematically went through this application process.”
I use an email filter based on the Bayes’ theorem and it is extremely effective. It does not work based on the words in an email but on the results of a formula applied to it. At work where I receive the most spam it correctly identifies every piece of spam and I have not seen a piece a spam in my regular inbox for months, it all goes to the spam folder. Now what does this have to do with the existence of God? I have no idea, but the end of the article had this extremely stupid quote.
In an e-mail to Amsterdam Forum, J.G. Bavno from Florida wrote:
“Dr Unwin says God’s existence is more a matter of statistics than theology, but is it really so simple? I disagree, he/she is or is not. I think “it” is not. We are a quirk of nature…just like anything else. I quote: ‘I dreamt I was a butterfly. I woke up and pondered, “am I a butterfly dreaming I am a person, or am I a person dreaming I am a butterfly?”‘ I think all religions are a crutch which we hold on to because of a deep-down fear.”
Or perhaps an idiot dreaming they can write intelligent emails and replies to the existence of God.
And if you are interested in using a Baysean spam filter; which I highly recommend, go here.
I think that if the exsitance of God is proven we cease to become his willing children who choose to follow him.
Intead there is a simple stark reality obey or fry.
Now to one who believes this is a reality anyway but there is always that chance that it doesn’t matter.
The application of the theorem is as foolish as the Drake equation, which I also hate. It’s not the logic but the idiotic premises.
Start with a 50/50 chance? Why?? And weighing “natural good” against “natural evil”? Under what kind of Christian framework does the existence of earthquakes make the existence of God less likely? Not the Church’s framework. Therefore, this junk is weird and not relevant to any theist who isn’t a hardcore Pascal’s Wagerian.
The question isn’t whether God exists. The question is whether God is possible. St. Anselm’s proof for the existence of God presupposes that God is possible. Once you grant him that God is possible, his proof is pretty sound.
1. God is that than which nothing greater can be imagined.
2. God as a concept in your mind is not as great as God that exists independent of your mind.
3. God who exists independent of your mind would be that than which nothing greater can be imagined.
I’m probably not doing this justice since my mind is very dense. But Msgr. Robert Sokolowski of Catholic University wrote a really good explanation of it in God of Faith and Reason.
Of course, if you refuse to consent that God is possible, then you’re stuck. But the 67% thing is kind of silly.
Ever hear of Pascal’s wager? I’m not into wagering myself but a rational person can see that having faith is generally a winning bet. This may be similar to what the article is saying, tho I haven’t read it yet. The way I see it, heaven and hell cannot be disproven. If they exist, we will one day know with certainty. If they don’t, we will never know because we won’t exist any more. Something that can be proven but not disproven is a winning bet.
Comments are closed.