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Author Topic:   Probability of It Being Their Own Particular God
dwise1
Member
Posts: 5951
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 5.2


Message 1 of 30 (895925)
07-25-2022 11:55 PM


Believers tend to play rather fast and loose with the word, "God". Basically, whenever they hear or use it they think that it refers only to their own particular ideas of "God". When we ask them which god they're talking about, they'll always say something like "There's only one God" even though every "Judeo-Christian-Islamic" religion have an official policy of it being the same god, believers do not conduct themselves according to that policy. "God" is as much to do with the accompanying religion and theology, if not much more so. So, given about 45,000 different Christian denominations and sects, there are effectively 45,000 different versions of "God" in Christianity alone.
This also shows up in a common argument they use and which was what I was thinking about at first. They'll argue with an atheist over the existence of "God" and, working from their misunderstanding that atheists claim to know for certain that "God does not exist", try to maneuver the atheist to admitting that he cannot prove conclusively that "some god, any god" cannot exist and hence must admit that there's a possibility. At that point, the believer makes the intercontinental leap to declaring that that proves his own particular version of "God" including every aspect of his own particular religion. Completely unjustified; he has an enormous amount of work yet to do in order to make that kind of a point.
They try something similar with Pascal's wager in which Pascal tried to argue that, regardless of whether God exists or not, the "safe bet" is to choose to believe in God. I discussed part of the problem with this wager in my page about Pascal's Wager:
quote
First there is one very basic question which never gets asked here: which god? Just because some of the gods may exist, does not mean that they all exist. Which one do you choose? Remember, if you choose the wrong one, the outcome will be the same as for not choosing any (ie, #3 and #4). Each god has roughly the same probability of existing as any other (ignoring some of the pantheon package deals out there), or that none of them exist. So choosing the right god is not 100% as presented to us, but rather is a fraction of 1%.
Even worse, you not only need to choose the right god, but you also need to choose the right theology. Some gods have a variety of theologies associated with them, each one considering itself the True Faith and the others heresies; e.g., the various sects of Christianity. So even if you choose the right god, if you choose the wrong theology, then you are just as out of luck as if you had chosen the wrong god, some times even more so. Pascal was a Catholic, so he was talking about choosing to be a Catholic. The Protestants using his Wager in vain have already chosen the wrong theology and so picked the losing side of the Wager and are trying to make losers out of everyone they proselytize to. To choose none of the gods actually turns out to be the safer bet, because, unlike the Christian god, a lot of the gods couldn't care less whether you believe in them or not.
And what happens if you choose a god and it turns out that none of them exist? Pascal naively assumed that being a Catholic had an inherent benefit of making you a better person, which you could not achieve as a non-believer. While there may be some room for argument in the first part, the last part is blatantly untrue.
Pascal maintained that believing in his god and theology costs you nothing, but that is not true of his own theology, nor of most of the theologies that exist. What if you could not pursue your dream career because your chosen god forbade it? Or marry your one true love (your "media naranja", or "half orange", as my wife's grandmother had put it) because your god forbade you to marry that kind of person? Or learn the sciences because your god forbade you to study the truth? Or to think for yourself because your god forbade it? Or had to suffered from a horrible disease or injury or had to watch your child die horribly of a treatable disease because your god forbade the medical treatment for it? For many of us, that would be too great a cost to bear.
 
But that begs the question of what are the odds? Rather than just take the creationist approach of doing a lot of hand-waving, I decided to calculate the probability of it being their particular god and religion. Or at least come up with an estimate.
That would require several different things, each with its own probability, to all be true. Hence, the probability of it being their particular god and religion would be the product of all those probabilities. Since some of those probabilities cannot be determined empirically, I'll just be generous and call the odds 50/50 on them. Of course, that means that the resultant probability figure will be very highly biased towards being too high (ie, likely).
  • Does the supernatural exist? P1 = 1/2
  • Do entities exist within the supernatural? P2 = 1/2
  • Are any of those supernatural entities sentient? P3 = 1/2
  • Are any of those sentient supernatural entities powqerful enough to be considered a god? P4 = 1/2
So the probability of a god existing, PA, would be:
PA = P1 × P2 × P3 × P4
PA = (1/2)4 = 1/16
Out of the multitude of gods that we have created, which one would correspond to that "a god" that might possibly exist? A quick Google yielded anthropologists' estimate of 288,000 possible gods, so the probability of a given believer's god being that "a god", PB, would be:
PB = 1/288,000
Of course, that's also assuming that any one group of humans had ever guessed right, which is a really huge assumption.
But, as analysis of Pascal's Wager shows, just getting the god right doesn't save you, but rather you must also get the religion and theology absolutely right too. So if you were correct in identifying YHWH (AKA "God") as that "a god" that exists, you still need to choose the right version of that god (ie, the right religion and sect or denomination within that religion. For example, YHWH is identified as the god for at least three major religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We all know what Christians think of Jews and Muslims.
So giving those three religions equal odds, the probabiliby, PC, of the believer's own religion (usually Christianity in our encounters) being the correct one would be:
PC = 1/3
Since it's a Christian in question, we need to determine the probability of choosing the correct denomination or sect. Again a quick Google yields the figure of there being 45,000 Christian denominations. I'm sure that there many of those break down further into sects and individual congregations, but I'll use that Google figure for this evolution.
So then, the probability PD of the believer's own denomination being the correct one would be:
PD = 1/45,000
Therefore, the probability PΩ of a Christian's own god and religion being the correct one would be the product of those four probabilities:
PΩ = PA × PB × PC × PD
PΩ = 1/16 × 1/288,000 × 1/3 × 1/45,000
PΩ = 1/622,080,000,000 = 1.6×10(-12)
And bear in mind that that is with very generous values being assigned to the probabilities surrounding the supernatural (ie, 1/2). Assigning more pessimistic (AKA "realistic") values would have these effects:
  • 1/10 → 1/3.888×1014 = 2.57×10(-15)
  • 1/100 → 1/3.888×1018 = 2.57×10(-19)
  • 1/1000 → 1/3.888×1022 = 2.57×10(-23)
  • 1/1,000,000 → 1/3.888×1034 = 2.57×10(-35)
So the odds are very much against a particular believer's own particular god being the right one. That means that believers have a lot more work and heavy lifting to do if they are to ever hope to build a convincing case for their god.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 12:44 AM dwise1 has replied
 Message 3 by PaulK, posted 07-26-2022 1:18 AM dwise1 has not replied
 Message 21 by Percy, posted 07-28-2022 5:00 PM dwise1 has not replied

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 18343
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 2 of 30 (895926)
07-26-2022 12:44 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
07-25-2022 11:55 PM


The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
dwise1 writes:
Believers tend to play rather fast and loose with the word, "God". Basically, whenever they hear or use it they think that it refers only to their own particular ideas of "God". When we ask them which god they're talking about, they'll always say something like "There's only one God" even though every "Judeo-Christian-Islamic" religion have an official policy of it being the same god, believers do not conduct themselves according to that policy. "God" is as much to do with the accompanying religion and theology, if not much more so. So, given about 45,000 different Christian denominations and sects, there are effectively 45,000 different versions of "God" in Christianity alone.
On the one hand, God is relatively unique to each individual. On the other hand, of the 45,000 Christian denominations, most have shared beliefs within the larger frame of Christian orthodoxy. Perhaps the devil is in the details, and some branches (or clubs, as jar likes to call them) of Christianity claim exclusivity. It has always been this way. Paul even talked about it.
1 Corinthians 3:4 writes:
For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man? 4For when one of you says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men? 5 What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? They are servants through whom you believed, as the Lord has assigned to each his role.…
Now...one could take this a step further within a critically thinking relativistic viewpoint and say "What then is Jesus Christ? Perhaps some would see it as Christ being merely on the level of Mohammed, Krishna, and Buddha.
Some even joke that the frickin flying spaghetti Monster, Long John Silver, and any created character within Role Playing Gaming could equally qualify.
dwise1 writes:
Pascal maintained that believing in his god and theology costs you nothing, but that is not true of his own theology, nor of most of the theologies that exist. What if you could not pursue your dream career because your chosen god forbade it? Or marry your one true love (your "media naranja", or "half orange", as my wife's grandmother had put it) because your god forbade you to marry that kind of person? Or learn the sciences because your god forbade you to study the truth? Or to think for yourself because your god forbade it? Or had to suffered from a horrible disease or injury or had to watch your child die horribly of a treatable disease because your god forbade the medical treatment for it? For many of us, that would be too great a cost to bear.
It all boils down to belief. Evidence is lacking in all theologies except for behavior. (in which case I fail miserably and just lost the game for Coach Jesus)
I know a kid at work whose Dad also works with me. They as a family believe in the Hari Krishna's offshoot of Buddhism. Based on behavior, the sons of Ravi and Jaya are among the best behaved, humblest, and polite representations of their family morals. The son's names are Hari(studying to be a Doctor) and Krishna. Chalk one up for behavior! I dont think that math can pin down the probability.
  • Did math always exist before humans evolved enough to find uses for it?
    It is becoming my contention that if there is a real God amongst many pretenders, this God will find us. We won't be able to find God.
    And if, as atheists/non-believers we forget trying to adapt a God, I suppose it still is up to God whether or not to accept everyone or simply take our training wheels off and disappear.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by dwise1, posted 07-25-2022 11:55 PM dwise1 has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 7 by ringo, posted 07-26-2022 12:09 PM Phat has replied
     Message 10 by Theodoric, posted 07-26-2022 1:31 PM Phat has replied
     Message 15 by dwise1, posted 07-27-2022 2:16 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

      
    PaulK
    Member
    Posts: 17827
    Joined: 01-10-2003
    Member Rating: 2.3


    Message 3 of 30 (895927)
    07-26-2022 1:18 AM
    Reply to: Message 1 by dwise1
    07-25-2022 11:55 PM


    These sort of probability calculations are worthless as probability calculations.
    What they do evidence is the gap between the argument and the conclusion.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 1 by dwise1, posted 07-25-2022 11:55 PM dwise1 has not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 4 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 2:34 AM PaulK has replied

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 18343
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 4 of 30 (895928)
    07-26-2022 2:34 AM
    Reply to: Message 3 by PaulK
    07-26-2022 1:18 AM


    The financial apologists can be examined.
    Those of you, like Dwise1, who are(is) good with numbers know full well that you cant use them to prove God and to lay odds on the most likely "God" candidate.
    I would love to have the claims of a couple of the financial apologists examined dispassionately.
    Essentially as a group, they argue that the West uses a Debt Based Economy anchored by no particular hard asset. The Central Banks globally are not uniformly on one side(at least in my mind) but the dollar based system, in use since Bretton Woods, does in fact have a basket of familiar currencies.
    Through the recent sanctions against Russia, the whole world got a glimpse as to how the US Dollar is being "weaponized". This is also why the precious metals are being suppressed in some way, allowing for a stronger dollar.|
    The BRIC nation's two main members, Russia and especially China, have been buying gold for a long time. China buys a lot of the US debt since we are one of their main trading partners. Keep in mind, all of you wartime strategists, that China is not seen as a concrete enemy so much as a worthy adversary in regards to global dominance. This recent move to unify with BRIC and actually form a reserve currency based on hard assets like precious metals and rare earth minerals could bite us in the behind a few years down the road IF foreign nations no longer buy our Treasury notes and other assets.
    The debt-based dollar system could collapse quite suddenly within the next ten years.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 3 by PaulK, posted 07-26-2022 1:18 AM PaulK has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 5 by PaulK, posted 07-26-2022 3:10 AM Phat has replied

      
    PaulK
    Member
    Posts: 17827
    Joined: 01-10-2003
    Member Rating: 2.3


    (2)
    Message 5 of 30 (895929)
    07-26-2022 3:10 AM
    Reply to: Message 4 by Phat
    07-26-2022 2:34 AM


    Re: The financial apologists can be examined.
    This is grossly off-topic. Take it to the correct thread.
    And if you just post links to videos rather than actually presenting arguments there’s really nothing worth saying there either. If the videos have good arguments you can post them in your own words. If they don’t, they’re not worth watching.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 4 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 2:34 AM Phat has replied

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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 18343
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 6 of 30 (895933)
    07-26-2022 10:16 AM
    Reply to: Message 5 by PaulK
    07-26-2022 3:10 AM


    Re: The financial apologists can be examined.
    PaulK writes:
    This is grossly off-topic. Take it to the correct thread.
    I will. I was just responding indirectly to dwise1s attempt to calculate the probability of one God of choice mathematically. My argument was that if math is to be used, it is quite applicable to financial apologetics but not so much to the real God (if applicable) and a set probable number of pretenders. For starters, I cant see how all of the candidates should be examined as if the probabilities were absolutely equal among them. Even Vegas would not make such even odds.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 5 by PaulK, posted 07-26-2022 3:10 AM PaulK has not replied

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    ringo
    Member (Idle past 439 days)
    Posts: 20940
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005


    (6)
    Message 7 of 30 (895938)
    07-26-2022 12:09 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
    07-26-2022 12:44 AM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    Phat writes:
    Some even joke that the frickin flying spaghetti Monster, Long John Silver, and any created character within Role Playing Gaming could equally qualify.
    It's not a joke.
    Phat writes:
    It is becoming my contention that if there is a real God amongst many pretenders, this God will find us.
    Why? Why would he feel a need to "find us"? And how did he lose us in the first place?
    Phat writes:
    We won't be able to find God.
    Nor will we be able to find leprechauns or Loch Ness monsters or bigfeet or the Fountain of Youth or a cheep method of turning base metals into gold or....

    "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
    -- motto of the Special Olympians

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 12:44 AM Phat has replied

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     Message 13 by Phat, posted 07-27-2022 1:58 AM ringo has replied
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    ringo
    Member (Idle past 439 days)
    Posts: 20940
    From: frozen wasteland
    Joined: 03-23-2005


    Message 8 of 30 (895939)
    07-26-2022 12:12 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by Phat
    07-26-2022 10:16 AM


    Re: The financial apologists can be examined.
    Phat writes:
    For starters, I cant see how all of the candidates should be examined as if the probabilities were absolutely equal among them.
    You need to explain why they would not be equal. And don't just say you believe it.

    "Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."
    -- motto of the Special Olympians

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 10:16 AM Phat has not replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5951
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 5.2


    (2)
    Message 9 of 30 (895940)
    07-26-2022 12:36 PM
    Reply to: Message 6 by Phat
    07-26-2022 10:16 AM


    Re: Not What I Was Doing
    I was just responding indirectly to dwise1s attempt to calculate the probability of one God of choice mathematically.
    Not what I was doing.
    Believers are so cock-sure that if a god exists then it must inevitably be their own particular god replete with their entire version of religion and theology. IOW, Probability of 1.0 (AKA 100%, AKA "dead certainty").
    I was just conducting a quick reality check on them, demonstrating that even granting them the extreme generosity of ridiculously high probabilities that the final probability that they are right is still extremely low. And when we then start to adjust some of those unwarranted ridiculously high probabilities downwards to something more realistic (albeit still ridiculously high) then the outcome for them only gets far worse.
    It's the same kind of response to some idiot presenting an unrealistic "plan" consisting of nothing more than wishful thinking and lots of hand-waving in which we just start listing some of the necessary steps of that plan and what it would actually take. Or a creationist claim like this flagrantly false one that I actually received in an email:
    quote
    As any good scientist will tell you, the sun burns half of its mass every year. If you multiply the sun's mass by millions (even though science says it is in the billions) the sun will be so incredibly huge it will stretch out past Pluto. And if you say that the planets would stay close to the sun as it shrank, then why don't the planets still move closer?
    In reality, half the sun's mass is in its core which is where fusion occurs and in its nearly 5 billion (American billions; 109) years of fusion the sun has lost only a few hundredths of one percent of its total mass. So I developed a reality check for that claim and took that creationist through it step by step in order to demonstrate how utterly ridiculous it was just on its face, plus to impress upon him the importance of conducting his own reality checks, especially on creationist claims.
    In actuality, the probability of any human being able to detect and determine the identity and complete nature of any supernatural entity, including its full intentions and wishes, is so small as to be approaching zero (AKA, impossibility). Which is why agnosticism is the only truly valid option (ie, we don't know about such things because we cannot know anything about the supernatural, just make a lot of unfounded guesses). You can choose to make up stuff to believe about the supernatural, but you should have no expectations for anybody else to take you seriously -- especially when the religion biz results in all kinds of pogroms, inquisitions, and killings as has happened far too often and regularly and continues to happen.

    Edited by dwise1, : changed subtitle


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 6 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 10:16 AM Phat has not replied

      
    Theodoric
    Member
    Posts: 9197
    From: Northwest, WI, USA
    Joined: 08-15-2005
    Member Rating: 3.2


    (3)
    Message 10 of 30 (895943)
    07-26-2022 1:31 PM
    Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
    07-26-2022 12:44 AM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    There is as much evidence for the Pastafarian religion as there is for christianity.
    All hail his Noodlieness.
    R'amen

    Edited by Theodoric, : better word


    What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence. -Christopher Hitchens

    Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts

    "God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.

    If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 12:44 AM Phat has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 12 by Phat, posted 07-27-2022 1:47 AM Theodoric has replied

      
    xongsmith
    Member
    Posts: 2587
    From: massachusetts US
    Joined: 01-01-2009
    Member Rating: 6.4


    Message 11 of 30 (895944)
    07-26-2022 2:28 PM


    Drake's Equation
    seems a lot like Drake's Equation of the odds on SETI finding extraterrestrial life....

    "I'm the Grim Reaper now, Mitch. Step aside."
    Death to #TzarVladimirtheCondemned!
    Enjoy every sandwich!

    - xongsmith, 5.7dawkins scale


      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 18343
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 12 of 30 (895954)
    07-27-2022 1:47 AM
    Reply to: Message 10 by Theodoric
    07-26-2022 1:31 PM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    And you guys think *I'm* the ignorant one! You want to believe that those facts are true. You may have even found *evidence* to a limited degree. But at the end of the day, you have nothing. And when you see the failures of human effort leading us into another series of tough times, you will ignorantly blame the Republicans.
    You and many other people believe collectively in some sort of "Utopian" vision. Soon, there will be nothing but rocks for all of you to hide under. I hope not. There won't be any objective evidence to warn us. I fear that your *evidence* is as manipulated by your people globally as is the Republican counter-agenda.
    Concerning your evidence, do you really believe that scholars such as Bruce L.Shelley could write 500 page books on church History with NO EVIDENCE to go on? I'd like anyone to write so much as 100 fictitious pages on a Spaghetti Monster. Your Noodle would be cooked!
    I must go now, my rock awaits.

    Edited by Phat, : edited my post.

    Edited by Phat, .


    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 10 by Theodoric, posted 07-26-2022 1:31 PM Theodoric has replied

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    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 18343
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 13 of 30 (895955)
    07-27-2022 1:58 AM
    Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
    07-26-2022 12:09 PM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    ringo writes:
    Why would he feel a need to "find us"? And how did he lose us in the first place?
    He never left us. We left Him. We thought we could do it better.
    Again, we won't be able to find God.
    ringo writes:
    Nor will we be able to find leprechauns or Loch Ness monsters or bigfeet or the Fountain of Youth or a cheap method of turning base metals into gold or...
    If Monotheism turns out to be true, which I believe it is, God will find us. Leprechauns, Bigfeets, and spaghetti monsters likely won't....except in our warped imaginations.
    I wouldn't be surprised if most of you imagine that aliens are more likely to find us than the Creator of all seen and unseen.

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by ringo, posted 07-26-2022 12:09 PM ringo has replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 19 by ringo, posted 07-27-2022 11:48 AM Phat has not replied
     Message 28 by Parasomnium, posted 07-30-2022 5:05 PM Phat has seen this message but not replied

      
    Phat
    Member
    Posts: 18343
    From: Denver,Colorado USA
    Joined: 12-30-2003
    Member Rating: 1.0


    Message 14 of 30 (895956)
    07-27-2022 2:05 AM
    Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
    07-26-2022 12:09 PM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    DELETE Double Post

    "A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
    ***
    “…far from science having buried God, not only do the results of science point towards his existence, but the scientific enterprise itself is validated by his existence.”- Dr.John Lennox

    “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.”
    H. Richard Niebuhr, The Kingdom of God in America

    “The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of a doubt, what is laid before him.” — Leo Tolstoy, The Kingdom of God is Within You
    (1894).


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 7 by ringo, posted 07-26-2022 12:09 PM ringo has seen this message but not replied

      
    dwise1
    Member
    Posts: 5951
    Joined: 05-02-2006
    Member Rating: 5.2


    (1)
    Message 15 of 30 (895957)
    07-27-2022 2:16 AM
    Reply to: Message 2 by Phat
    07-26-2022 12:44 AM


    Re: The GOD Equations. A Wise 1 Series
    On the one hand, God is relatively unique to each individual. On the other hand, of the 45,000 Christian denominations, most have shared beliefs within the larger frame of Christian orthodoxy. Perhaps the devil is in the details, and some branches (or clubs, as jar likes to call them) of Christianity claim exclusivity. It has always been this way.
    You actually touch on an important point. One which reveals how insufficiently small that figure of 45,000 is. And even how insufficiently small the figure of 188,000 gods that we have created is, since we have actually created billions of gods (again, that's the American -- and now since 1974 also the British -- billion, 109). Because since all believers create their own "God" and there have been an estimated 107 billion people who have ever lived 1, then the total number of gods would be about the same, 107 billion, not too much greater than Arthur C. Clarke's The Nine Billion Names of God (which, having been written in 1953 before the UK adapted the American billion, should be 9×1012, which we would call "nine trillion").

    FOOTNOTE 1
    BBC News, Do the dead outnumber the living? , 4 February 2012
    References an article by the Population Reference Bureau (PRB -- link in the article is broken, but Google locates that article at How Many People Have Ever Lived on Earth? ).
    Based on the publishing date of the BBC article and its reference to a current population of "seven billion", that leads me to assume that it is using the new British billion, so the estimate would be 107×109. That is corroborated by the PRB article which, being based in Washington, DC, would use the American billion, so their estimate is 117 billion (117×109).
    For discussion of the different values for "billion" and beyond, watch the Numberphile YouTube video, How big is a billion? - Numberphile . HINT: on the Continent a billion is a million millions, 1012.

    So the problem is one of inherent human limitations. For a believer, a central part of the practice of religion would be to know God. But all Christian descriptions I've seen casts God as being omni-everything, infinite, and always moving in "mysterious ways" with a "Plan" that no clergyman is ever able to discern in practical situations even though they can tell you exactly what God thinks and feels when they preach.
    Basically, an infinite god would be quite beyond the severely limited human mind's ability to understand it. So what every believer must do -- and usually deny it -- is to create a surrogate for God. A kind of symbol to represent God without having to completely understand it. Basically his own personal version of God, a god of his own creation.
    Such a personal god is necessary for believers and can even be of great use, just so long as one does not confuse his symbol of God with the real thing (assuming some such exists. And that would be true even if an actual existing god bears absolutely no resemblance to any version of the Christian God.
    Basically, knowing God is an impossible task which no human could possibly accomplish within thousands of lifetimes. So for the earnest believer with that goal striving for that goal will take his entire life, a lifelong process. Which is good and proper as long as he does not pervert the process (which has far too often proven to be the result). And in such a process, even a crude symbol for "God" could serve a purpose, if properly done.
    Random thought: perhaps it would be a good thing to require all religionists to solemnly swear to something like the Hippocratic Oath -- "First, do no harm!"
    And arguably, every single Christian in all the 45,000 different versions of the religion each misunderstands their denomination's doctrine in their own unique individual way, so then that would mean that every Christian who has ever lived had their own particular version of Christianity. Again gracias a Google I found an estimate for the total number of Christians who have ever existed: "A comprehensive demographic study finds that there are 2.18 billion Christians of all ages around the world". Since that was from Pew Research, I would assume the American billion, so then 2.18×109.
    Support for this idea comes from the testimonial of Dan Barker, named "America's Leading Atheist." He was raised a fundamentalist Christian, was called to the ministry personally by God at the age of 11, and served as a traveling minister. In that last capacity, he had the opportunity to visit and observe a large number of individual fundamentalist Christian congregations. Each and every one had the same stark black/white/(absolutely no gray allowed) view on, well, everything. Each and every congregation drew a sharp and stark line between what was allowed and what was not. And yet that same stark dividing line was not the same as other congregations'. These things were forbidden and these other things were allowed in one congregation, but not in the next congregation, and the next one was also different as were the dozens after that. Aggregating all their positions into one produced a huge gray zone between what was allowed and what was not. That is what led Dan Barker to commit fundamental Christianity's Cardinal Sin of thinking, which in turn led to his deconversion. I will save the story of his saving of his parents for later.
    So then the point for sake of this message is that every individual within a particular religion will have his own personal theology based on his own unique individual misunderstanding of the doctrine taught to him. And what believer ever actually believes his religion's doctrine, but instead his own personal internalized misunderstanding of that doctrine?
     
    So then, returning to the thought experiment (Gedankenexperiment) of my probability calculation, we would need to replace the 1/288,000 term with 1/(107×109. And the 1/45,000 term to 1/(2.18×109):
    PΞ 0 = 1/288,000 × 1/45,000 = 1/12,960,000,000 = 7.716×(-11)
    PΞ 1 = 1/(107×109) × 1/(2.18×109) = 1/(4.7524×1018 = 2.1042×(-19)
    Now plug that back into the previous calculations. As we can plainly see here, that lowers the probability by an order of 10(-8) = 1/100,000,000 ("one hundred millionth").
     
    In college, we learned Sophocles' quote:
    quote
    Men create the gods in their own image. If the cows in the fields had hands to draw with, their gods would look like them.
    And there's the cartoon from C magazine in early 70's Germany. A man with a big nose asked God why he had cursed him with this huge nose. Why? Why? Why? So the heavens part and God appears with this gigantic schnoz saying, "Because I created you in My image!"
    Pardon! was a West German satirical magazine from 1962 to 1982 that I encountered when I was there in 1973 and 1974. I would describe it to Americans as being like National Lampoon though it was more political and much edgier. I suspected that they got some material from other countries, such as from France. I've never seen Charlie (French satirical magazine named after Charles de Gaulle), neither as a monthly (Charlie Mensuel) nor as a weekly (Charlie Hebdo) -- bet you didn't know that that is what "Hebdo" means; it's short for "hebdomadaire" which in English is "hebdomadal", "weekly", which I think is based on the Greek word for 7, επτα).
    My favorite pin-up fold-out from Pardon (printed in black on red, so it's impossible to Xerox) is "The Marx Brothers, or why Marxism is so popular" and there they are, Groucho, Chico, Harpo, and Karl.
    My second (or tenth) favorite is a photo of a Citroën 2CV, the ultimate cheapest French student car (it's featured prominently in a chase scene early in the 1981 Roger Moore Bond film, For Your Eyes Only), very much like the VW Beetle in the USA and equally underpowered, its name, "2CV", was interpreted to mean "two horsepower". It is usually referred to as a "Deux Chevaux", "Two Horses". The Pardon photo in question showed someone having opened the hood and two horse heads are sticking out.
     
    Back to topic.
    So if "God" is just a figment of your individual imagination, what good it is?
    As Albert Einstein was working on his theory of general relatively, there was something that needed to be included but which he knew nothing about except that it was needed. So he called it the cosmological constant and assigned it the symbol, Λ. We do somewhat the same with other things we don't understand yet, like "dark matter" and "dark energy", using those names and symbols to keep track of their effects in order to start to understand their importance.
    Basically, you work with what you have and what you can work with. And you try to keep track of everything you can.

    This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by Phat, posted 07-26-2022 12:44 AM Phat has seen this message but not replied

      
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