FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-03-2001, 04:49 AM   #21
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Polycarp wrote:
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

(faded_Glory):
How likely is it to you that there is some historical person behind the figure of Jesus as known from the ancient records?

99%
</font>
Isn't this risky for you? Does your God insist on 100% belief in the reality of Jesus before you are admitted to heaven?
(This is an honest question).

fG
 
Old 05-03-2001, 05:25 AM   #22
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Valar1:
Truth does not change; however, the perception of truth does.
Quote:
</font>
Valar1,

I agree with almost everything you said. I don't agree with your statement "I have zero chance of being wrong today because according to the evidence, the information I have today, my conclusion is correct."

If you live in the Amazon and have never seen snow, then you would not be "correct" in saying the existence of snow is impossible.

Perhaps I didn't explain myself well enough. The things you mentioned as being "dogmatic" would be the same types of things I would label as dogmatic. When discussing people who were alleged to live 2000 years ago I don't think we should be "dogmatic". That was my point.

Peace,

Polycarp



[This message has been edited by Polycarp (edited May 03, 2001).]
 
Old 05-03-2001, 05:51 AM   #23
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:
katlynnhow: to be honest, I have to side with Polycarp on this one. You acknowledge the possibility that some day you may have to change your position on the existence of Caesar. This acknowledgement alone should prevent you from assigning a 100% probability to his existence. Saying you can be 100% sure of something today, and 100% of it's opposite tomorrow, doesn't come across as very logical. This is exactly why I took 98% rather than 100% - although you can argue about 98% or 99.99%.</font>
Perhaps I'm not expressing myself very well, or maybe I misunderstood the question, since you included the words "to you" in your query. I would never make the statement "Jesus of Nazareth did not exist." I would, however, based on what I know at this time, make the statement "I believe that Jesus of Nazareth did not exist." I would make that statement with 100% certainty because I am 100% certain that this is what I believe to be true. It seems perfectly logical to me, because it is my own conclusion which I have reached based on the evidence of which I am currently aware. Of course, if he appeared before me tomorrow with two forms of picture ID, I would be forced to re-evaluate my position.
 
Old 05-03-2001, 05:53 AM   #24
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nomad:
Will the presumed truth of this statement never change?

Nomad
</font>
LOL... I would venture to say that there are very few absolutes, Nomad. Wasn't it Edgar Allen Poe who said "everything we see or seem is but a dream within a dream."
 
Old 05-03-2001, 05:54 AM   #25
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:
Isn't this risky for you? Does your God insist on 100% belief in the reality of Jesus before you are admitted to heaven?
(This is an honest question).
Quote:
</font>
Good question fG ! I don’t think god requires absolute certainty, otherwise faith would be non-existent. Faith fills the gap between 99% and 100%, not just in religious matters but in all beliefs. Will god disallow entry into heaven? I doubt it. The entire bible speaks far more frequently of “belief” or “faith” rather than “knowing” or “knowledge”.

Peace,

Polycarp

 
Old 05-03-2001, 05:56 AM   #26
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Valar1:
Truth does not change; however, the perception of truth does.</font>
Thank you, Valar. I suppose that's the point I was trying to get across in my own fumbling way. You are more succinct.

 
Old 05-03-2001, 06:25 AM   #27
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:
Polycarp: You would need to convince me that anything with more than 50% probability should be regarded as 'true'. This is certainly not how we handle uncertainty in my line of business.
Quote:
</font>

I didn’t say the “thing” was actually true. I said it should be believed to be true. Here’s my original quote:

“By definition, we should believe something is true if we believe it to be more than 50% probable.”

If something is more than 50% likely to be true, then it exceeds the probability of all other mutually exclusive possibilities and should be believed until evidence arrives to change the belief. Here’s an example, Fred is “X” years old. Let’s say the question is whether or not we should believe that Fred is over 55 years old. There are only two possibilities – Fred is over 55 years old, OR Fred is NOT over 55 years old. Depending on how much evidence we have on Fred we will assign different probabilities to our answers. If we only knew his name was Fred and had no other info, and had never seen him, then we would probably assign a probability close to 50% which is the unknown category (Actually, I’d probably put it a little over 50% likely because Fred has not been a very common name in recent years making it slightly more likely that he’s over 55 years old).

If we now add other small pieces of evidence such as his occupation, hobbies, etc., then we could adjust our probability accordingly. If Fred plays in the NBA, then our probability would skyrocket for believing that Fred was NOT over 55 years old because nobody over 55 years old has ever played in the NBA. Does this mean its impossible? No, but it makes it very unlikely that he is over 55 years old.

Another point to keep in mind is that throughout this whole process of gathering evidence the “truth” of the matter doesn’t change according to our beliefs. Fred’s age remains what it is regardless of what we believe about it. Fred’s age (truth) does not change according to what we believe.

Hope this helps to clarify what I believe.

Peace,

Polycarp


 
Old 05-03-2001, 06:52 AM   #28
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Question

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
Another point to keep in mind is that throughout this whole process of gathering evidence the “truth” of the matter doesn’t change according to our beliefs. Fred’s age remains what it is regardless of what we believe about it. Fred’s age (truth) does not change according to what we believe.
</font>
Polycarp, from www.dictionary.com:
The truth depends on, or is only arrived at by, a legitimate deduction from all the facts which are truly material. --Coleridge.

Wouldn't this suggest that one person's truth is not another's?
 
Old 05-03-2001, 06:57 AM   #29
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Cool

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Polycarp:
[B][b]
I didn’t say the “thing” was actually true. I said it should be believed to be true. Here’s my original quote:

“By definition, we should believe something is true if we believe it to be more than 50% probable.”
</font>
I know you said that. I question if this is correct.
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
If something is more than 50% likely to be true, then it exceeds the probability of all other mutually exclusive possibilities and should be believed until evidence arrives to change the belief.
</font>
Why? Why do we need to believe something to be true in the full knowledge that we don't know if it is true? What is wrong with saying: "it is probably true, but I am not 100% sure"?

&lt;snip example&gt;
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">
Another point to keep in mind is that throughout this whole process of gathering evidence the “truth” of the matter doesn’t change according to our beliefs.
</font>
Of course. I never disputed that.
Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

Hope this helps to clarify what I believe.
</font>
It does, but I still don't agree.

In my line of work, we have to constantly take decisions in the presence of uncertainties. We go at great length to try and quantify the uncertainties. In the end, business decisions are weighted with the uncertainty, ie. proposal 'A' that will make 10 million but has a 90% chance of success is more attractive than proposal 'B' that will make 15 million but only has a 55% chance of success.

In your approach we would 'believe' in the success of both proposals, because their probabilities are both larger than 50%. In the absence of sufficient funds to do both, we then would go for 'B' because that would make more money if successful.

This would be an unwise strategy, and in the long run you would make less money than by basing your decisions on the 'expected value', ie. the return times the probability of success.

The morale of the story: learn to live with your uncertainties.

fG
 
Old 05-03-2001, 08:11 AM   #30
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Post

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by faded_Glory:
In my line of work, we have to constantly take decisions in the presence of uncertainties. We go at great length to try and quantify the uncertainties. In the end, business decisions are weighted with the uncertainty, ie. proposal 'A' that will make 10 million but has a 90% chance of success is more attractive than proposal 'B' that will make 15 million but only has a 55% chance of success.

In your approach we would 'believe' in the success of both proposals, because their probabilities are both larger than 50%. In the absence of sufficient funds to do both, we then would go for 'B' because that would make more money if successful.

This would be an unwise strategy, and in the long run you would make less money than by basing your decisions on the 'expected value', ie. the return times the probability of success.

The morale of the story: learn to live with your uncertainties.

fG
</font>
I do live with my uncertainties. Thank you for the reminder. The analysis (cost/benefit) you gave is completely different than what I'm talking about. I'm well aware of cost/benefit analysis. In your analogy, we believe both plans will succeed but with varying payoffs affecting our decision. The foreseen benefits sway our decisions in your analogy. Therefore, your are proving my point. Both plans in your analogy will probably succeed, but the certainty is less in one case. Since it is less certain it will affect our decision.

In history, there is no "benefit" in a cost/benefit analysis, so all factors are equal. Going back to my analogy - what "benefit" or "payoff" is there in whether or not you believe Fred is over 55 years old?

You're simply changing the topic...

Peace,

Polycarp
 
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:33 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.