Gods Existence 50/50?

People say that it takes an equal amount of faith to disbelieve as to believe in god. I have seen this around the Internet, but I am not sure it is a correct analysis of the situation. Just because god in not disprovable, they say that he is equally likely to exist as not. Can we 100%, unequivocally, disprove the existence of 10 kilometre long vampire space duck flying near the centre of the Milky-way? No. Does that make it equally as likely as not? No. The only reason people thing it is a 50-50 chance god existence is the fact that some many of us believe he does. The problem here is that popularity does not increase the viability of an idea.


27 responses to “Gods Existence 50/50?

  1. I wouldn’t say it takes equal faith to disbelieve, as believing. I would say 50/50 chance, though. There is existence and non-existence. That’s 2 items.

    How does infinite potential relate in statistics? Did life on Earth beat all odds by springing to life?

  2. @bradley
    “I would say 50/50 chance, though. There is existence and non-existence. That’s 2 items.”

    What about the space duck? It either exists or it doesn’t. Does that make it even odds?

  3. I’m not really sure. Perhaps some math wizards could help a little… At its basic description, exists or not, that seems even to me. I would think each category would then be subdivided with different odds…. life in space vs. no life, mammal life vs non-mammal, quacking mammal vs. no quacking, blood-sucking vs. non-blood-sucking, ect.

    So God vs. no-God seems like 50/50. Then each quality we attach changes the odds. But, I don’t know… not my area of semi-expertise.

  4. @bradley
    Ducks are not mammals… … … 🙂

    I am no expert myself, I will get the numbers for you if you wish but for now let us look at it this way. You say that the existence of said duck would be subdivided with different odds. So would God. All knowing vs not all knowing, loving vs non loving, and so-forth. Maybe a “god” is out there somewhere but what does it look like? What does it do? Does it care about humans in any way? Is it still alive or is it now long dead? All these questions would need to be taken into consideration.
    If there is a god we have know real way of knowing, so the number of possible gods in endless. Your imagination is the limit. Maybe god is the duck and some day she will come back to suck us to death… Who knows. The only reason your beliefs about god do not sound silly to you is because you believe them. Do you think that the followers of the “Cargo cults” find their beliefs silly? Or unlikely?

  5. zebulonthered :
    Ducks are not mammals…

    Ouch. 😀

    I agree 100%. So, the odds of any existing are different than the precise god I imagine. I’m not really suggesting 50/50 for my God, or saying that is the reason for my belief. I must have misunderstood the question. 😀 If pure odds of complicated substructure vs. a simple inverse are what we need to base all belief, I’m still not buying that there’s anything remotely possible as this “human” people speak of. However, put into context, humans almost seem inevitable.

  6. We could also look at it this way…
    If we agree that the chances of the Christian god existing is 50%, that is either he does or he does not, than we need to do the same thing for Thor, again 50-50. But now there are two gods with a 50% chance of existing. Which one is the real one? We have no way of scientifically knowing. The chances of your god being the right one is now the combination of the 50-50 of existence and the 50-50 of God or Thor. Someone will have to check my math here. but I think it would be 25% likely to be your god. Now let us add the millions of other gods mankind has believed in… In the end the chance of your god being the real one is so close to zero it may as well be.

  7. @bradley
    “I’m still not buying that there’s anything remotely possible as this “human” people speak of. However, put into context, humans almost seem inevitable.”
    Dude, people are real. I am not just a voice in your head… I think…

  8. The chance of me existing, when put through the same rigors as you’re suggesting, is close to zero… and dude, I’m real… not just a commenter on your blog. 😀

  9. Chris Jensen Romer

    I’m pretty sure it’s not 50/50. In fact the odds of any single God existing are either 0% or 100%: they either do or does not exist. It’s not like the flip of a coin where one can predict the probability. SO how can we work it out? I have seen attempts using Bayesian probability: Using cosmogonist Paul Davies’ numbers for the likelihood of the universe having arisen by chance
    Forster & Marston (1989) set out the Bayesian analysis as follows –

    Let us assume the existence of a deity is one in a million Let us assume the chance of that deity creating the universe as is is also one in a million.

    OK, so
    1.Prior probability: Pr [God exists]: = 0.000001
    Prior probability: Pr [No God]: = 0.999999

    2.Prob [universe inhabitable if God exists] = 0.000001
    Prob [universe inhabitable if no designer] = 0.00 (one billon, billon, billon zeros) 1]

    THEN: Prob [God exists given that Universe is inhabitable]

    Prob [universe is inhabitable if God exists] x Prob [God exists]
    = —————————————————————————–
    { Prob [universe is inhabitable if God exists] x Prob [God exists] }
    {+ Prob [universe is inhabitable if no God exists] x Prob [No God] }

    0.000001 x 0.000001
    = —————————————————————————–
    { 0.000001 x 0.000001 }
    { + (0.999999) x (0.00 (one billon, billon, billon zeros) 1) }

    this gives us a figure so close to 100% as to seem to establish beyond doubt the reality of God.

    Well so argued Marsden & Forster, and the cosmology remains sound — just down to if you think the Prior Probability is right! (and it does not tell us what kind of a God it would be: stoned space teenagers playing “world of Earthcraft”? :)”

    anyway fun discussion! Though’s day hi…
    cj x

  10. Oh, but that doesn’t count. Math only counts if you’re anti-god.

  11. @Chris Jensen Romer
    Thank you for the math. 🙂
    It is a testament to the fact that logic can be used to prove or disprove just about anything. Which leave us with the question… If logic can prove or disprove god and faith is equally inept at the job of proof, What else is there?…

  12. @Chris Jensen Romer
    Hey, what would happen if we used this equation on the 10 kilometre long vampire space duck flying near the centre of the Milky-way?

  13. Chris Jensen Romer

    Assuming the VAmpire SPace Duck could create universes, and was supernatural, pre existed this universe… I was going to say it would work but it wouldn’t. The formula is the odds for an inetelliegnt designer – whatever that may be, Thor, Vampire Spare Duck, Yahweh. However the traditional God has “creatoor|2 as a known attribute, part fo the definition – Vampire SPace Duck does not?

    So define VAmpire Space Duck differently! 🙂

  14. This is a lot of fun! 🙂 OProgramme from British TV on my last —

    What We Still Don’t Know -final episode, Lord Rees, Cosmologist & President of the Royal Society

  15. @Chris Jensen Romer
    Ok.. I have been going over the formula you provided and I am afraid it is not so mush a formula as a mathematical trick.

    If P= CA/CA+DB where A= the prob. that god exists, B= the prob. of no god, C= the prob. that the universe is inhabitable if god exists, and D= the prob. that the universe is inhabitable with no god.
    I say it is a trick because as long as D equals zero, no matter what the other numbers are P comes out to be 1 or 100% probable. Also if C and D are .5 P=A and if C and D are both 1 (which makes sense if you consider that we are here so the universe is inhabitable no matter what) P>1 or more than 100%

    Sorry, I was wrong earlier… This is not logic because it is not math, because it is a trick to get the undereducated to believe in god… I an sure you didn’t know, so no hard feeling. 🙂

  16. Also, even if it were true math, all the values assigned are arbitrary and therefore meaningless… 🙂

  17. Chris Jensen Romer

    Hey zeb!

    Nah, Dis not equal to 0? D is equal to (0.00 (one billion, billon, billon zeros) to 1). The number is not arbitrary – it’s taken from Comsologist Paul Davies argument from the Fine Tuning of the cosmological constant. (see the video I linked for more on that).

    If you want some good sceptical explanations for it i can link you some article though, but it is a VERY real problem in. First up thoght, this si the type of maths being used — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_inference

    It’s real enough, just horrendous. I spent many happy hours on Richard DAwkins and JAmes RAndi’s websites tlking through it wit statisticians, and that is fine. The trick is NOT in the foruula, or event he numbers. The assumptions are as given.

    The two real problems are a) is the odd against that we feed in legitimate? (who knows!) and as you say the outcome of any thing once it has happened is 100% (P=1). That was overturned however in the 1980’s by the firing squad dilemma: if twenty men put you against a wall and shot at you and all miss, is it correct to say the probability of that was 100%? Nope, you are more likely to believe they deliberately missed. I can find that on wiki for you if you like.

    Anyway here is the physics bit – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

    So far no one has really explained it naturalistically, so we have to invoke supernatural entities: either billions of other universes (not galaxies, universes)or some kind of intelligent messing about with the vaariables. Paul Davies argues for backward causation form us as observers – hhis book is great fun http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0141023260/?tag=googhydr-21&hvadid=4231368800&ref=pd_sl_1qw0fl5gaw_e and well worth reading. 🙂

    hope fun. Do have a look at videos I linked…

    cj x

  18. @Chris Jensen Romer
    (0.00 (one billion, billon, billon zeros) to 1) is so close to zero it may as well be… I will have to watch the videos when I am at school as my internet at home is “slow”… I have doubts about it But I will look into is more…

  19. Well, but wait. Does this logic you used in a different post not apply?

    zebulonthered :
    @The Wingnut
    But if you keep in mind that there were billions and billions of of chances for this to happen all over the universe, it seems far more likely.
    If you were to use a random number generator to generate a billion billion ten digit numbers how many times would 0123456789 come up? I can’t remember how to do the math here… Anyway it would be more than once.
    The system we see in our solar system is unlikely, but nowhere near impossible.

    Surely in all of eternity, the chance for a god to show up would happen more than once. So, maybe the question isn’t if any god exists, its how many would randomly spawn? I don’t know… Chris will have to educate me.

  20. @bradley
    I don’t know… you are the one who believes in god… Does not the bible say something about God being the only god?

  21. Chris Jensen Romer

    Agghhh… that’s complicated as well! Still let me try a different tack, and give up on the playful logic and stuff ( I spend days on end arguing philosophy and science and i ain’t no better off for it;))

    I have been an atheist, till I saw a ghost at 18 and freaked out. Slowly I became agnostic, and finally Christian. I have spent years on atheist communities – great people – on Christian forums – yep, much the same, and on paranormal enthsuiast sits (I worked on a TV show called Most Haunted, and appear on a Ghost Adventures episode, Ghosthunters (The UK one not the the TAPS one) etc, etc, and they were all fun folks.

    And none of them agree. What we can agree on is we have here and now: we KNOW we have this life, good mates, and the opportunity to rip on each other an have a laugh. And that worth more than all the metaphysical speculation of my many years efforts.

    It’s where Dawkins and i agree; we share humanity, and we may as well go watch South Park, or help each other with assignments, or give the old woman down the road a hand with her shopping. Cos ultimately that’s what matters, dudes, well I think so anyway. You might have better plans! 🙂

  22. @Chris
    Here here, Amen, Good on ya’ mate. 😀

    Don’t turn it off… It’ll turn you into what you apparently hate.

  23. @bradley
    Don’t turn it off… It’ll turn you into what you apparently hate.”

    … What are you referring to?

  24. @Chris Jensen Romer
    Thats funny because I have seen many ghosts in over my lifetime and experiences “paranormal” phenomena of other kinds. Most of which happened from the age of 5 or 6 to 25 or 26. In other words while I was a Christan. I was freaked out by some, but not all of these experiences. Just because we see or experience things we do not fully understand, that does not necessitate belief in a god… How does that help to truly understand the universe? … I don’t understand what ghosts are so I will believe in a being that no one can prove exists, just so I can feel better about the unknown… How does that make sense? I am not trying to belittle your views, that is how I see things…
    Now, lets go watch Star Trek or something. 🙂

  25. Chris Jensen Romer

    No I don’t see a connection between ghosts and God(s) (by profession in as far as i have one these days I work in parapsychology): the seeing ghosts was what stopped me being a materialist, in the philosophical sense. I still don’t actually know what ghosts are, but there is no logical connection between the existence of ghosts and a God or Goddess. In fact there are plenty of Spiritualists who are also Atheist. I merely note that was what got me interested in the whole religion thing.

    cj x

  26. Chris~ I just watched your linked videos. I like them. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
    I do not see how they demonstrate gods existence. It seems to me they show that god is not necessary for the universe to exist.

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