Nath wrote:Which way will a pen fall if I let go? From past experience, I it'll very probably fall downwards, because that's what pens usually do. However, maybe there's no such thing as gravity. Maybe if you drop something, there's a 50% chance it'll fall to the ground, and a 50% chance that it'll float to the roof, and it just so happens that all my observations have been in the first category. Maybe next time it'll go to the roof.
Right, if you dropped a pen in this observable portion of the universe, you most likely be right, but outside of it, you can't actually make a logical guess because you don't have enough information. In either place, though, the truth of the actions of the pen exist entirely independently of your personal biased opinions of what those actions should
be. Inside the observable universe, you can place probabilities on the outcome of events or a truth value on certain statements made. Outside, you can't say one way or another what is, much less what will happen.
If our biases were even mildly accurate, then wouldn't it be an even more accurate picture to just take all the biases in the world
and follow that?
Nath wrote:I haven't found the post with array of choices, but I don't think believing in a non-existent god is a zero-loss state.
I'll repost it here. Zero-loss is compared to there not being a god. That is, if there is no god, then you simply cease existing as a person when you die, so that is considered no loss. Also, feel free to nitpick it some more. I wouldn't mind doing a little more research into the matter, though I feel, at present, it's actually fairly comprehensive. Most any other religion drops into one of these categories.
I wrote:So the array isn't quite as simple as Pascal originally made it. It's more like this:
believe/follow - not believe/follow
One True GodTM.......................infinite gain - either infinite loss or no loss
(Christian, Judaism, Islam)
atheism................................no gain - no loss
“mythological” religions.............good crops, healthy kids - no loss
(Greek, Roman, Norse Mythology)
most other major religions..........good life - do over or no loss
(Hinduism, Taoism, Wicca, etc.)
Cthulhu.................................destruction - maybe not destruction(but probably destruction)
other constructions...................no gain - no loss
(teapots, unicorns, pasta, raptors)
In order to minimize losses, one must choose the One True GodTM.
In order to maximize benefits, one must choose the One True GodTM.
Please note, that not all options are mutually exclusive.
Nath wrote:People -- I, at least -- can't deliberately choose what to believe; I have no choice but to follow the evidence.
I guess this just seems the most obvious to me. Sometime, whenever you feel is appropriate, you say something along the lines of the following, "I don't see you, if you're real, then show me, then we'll talk." You don't have to just up and say, "I believe in god now, yay!" I wouldn't know how you could do that, either. Any religion in the "OTG" category and almost all in the "other major religions" category promote that you make your beliefs yours. That is, it is all about what you believe on your own, not that you have to believe what other people tell you.
I've started catching up on the conversation about god and light cone and junk, but haven't much to say either way. Using god as a reason for the universe or whatever is actually meaningless to me. Go back far enough (pre big bang, if such a "time" exists) and it all becomes quickly irrelevant to most anything I care about, or more accurately can personally do anything about. It's interesting, but isn't relevant to me right this moment.
Nath wrote:We can figure out why our probability estimates differ by comparing evidence, reasoning, and biases.
Here we will reach an impasse. I think the problem is all of our evidence is antidotal. It just doesn't prove anything, and is already interpreted with bias. The only nonbiased opinion is to be completely undecided on everything. Obviously this doesn't work well in practice, but it's still true.
I believe, based on antidotal evidence of my own, that almost all positions of theist and atheist go something like this. When everybody is young, they are simply taught whatever. Sometimes they accept this, sometimes they rebel, but whatever the case, they decide, pretty early on, that god either does or does not exist. Maybe grandma's god hates gays so now god isn't real or maybe Uncle Joe taught them that church was a bunch of bullshit. Maybe they had some sort of undefined emotional experience or all their peers told them that they should believe in god or they may go to hell. Whatever, the point, is that almost all people I have ever met in my life have made this decision very, very early on in their life. Sometimes as young as 8 or 10 or up to, idk, 17 through early 20s. Point is, life, and not even sometimes adult life, is just starting either way and they think that they have it all figured out now. Now they've spent all the time from then till now gathering evidence to support their decision.
When somebody loved dies, the theist says it's just their time or that god loved them so he took them to be with him and the atheist says that a god who loved wouldn't have taken them away or that it was all about the situation that could have been prevented. So this one incidence is interpreted completely differently. It's the same with anything else. "Obviously god would/would not or does/does not." All conclusions are completely biased. How can you say who is more correct? Especially in a case like this where the reasons may even all have high degrees of truth to them at the same time.