Why Christian Theism Is Still Almost Certainly True: A Follow-Up Reply to Cale Nearing

A couple of weeks ago, readers of this blog may recall, I posted "Why Christian Theism Is Almost Certainly True: A Reply to Cale Nearing."[1] Though offered in good faith to meet the challenge he issued to Christian apologists like me, that reply was not well received by Cale Nearing – which should really surprise no one. It's his argument that was under scrutiny, after all.[2] And as I mentioned in the comment box of that article, after posting it I was quite ready to abandon the subject and move on to another. Cale, however, asked me to give his argument another look and reconsider the prospect that theism is indeed "almost certainly false." At Cale's request, then, I will here revisit the argument, taking into account his five main criticisms in order. His rebuttal begins:

First, there is no question that A1, A2, and A3 are at least coherent (possible) in the logic in use. I'm glad you don't actually try to pursue an outright elimination of them, but you then move on to assign them low priors for completely arbitrary reasons: a clear mistake, which leaves your response clearly irrational.

For readers unfamiliar with all this: A1, A2, and A3 are what Cale refers to as Random Universe Generators (RUG's), which he presents as alternative hypotheses to theism. Now is it really beyond question that these RUG's are coherent? Well, it's not as if the coherence of an entity that is (1) metaphysically necessary, (2) mindless, and (3) capable of generating a life-permitting universe which includes minds, is self-evident. According to many theologians, for any being to be necessary (whose essence is existence, the ground of all other being) would require it to be "Pure Act" (actus purus), which would require it to be omnipotent,[3] which would require it to be omniscient, which would require it to be – or at least "have" – a mind. A RUG that is both necessary and mindless, then, is arguably incoherent. A similar argument could be made in reference to the notion of a mindless being giving rise to mindful, i.e., rational and intelligent beings.[4]

Honestly I don't recall "assigning" low priors to these RUG's. (Nor for that matter do I believe that any response involving a "clear mistake" is clearly irrational. If making mistakes – even mistakes that are obvious to others – is irrational, I'm afraid we're all doomed to a life of irrationality.) I did suggest then, as now (above), that RUG's appear incoherent. Additionally I suggested that the postulation of RUG's specifically as a defeater for theism "seems completely ad hoc." Thus: Given that coherent hypotheses are antecedently more probable than seemingly incoherent alternatives, and given that serious explanatory hypotheses are antecedently more probable than ad hoc hypotheses devised for the sole purpose of defeating them, it would be rational for these non-arbitrary reasons alone to assign a higher prior to theism than to RUG's.

Second, the A hypotheses say nothing about multiple universes, and (further) multiple universes are not actually a more complex hypothesis than Theism. Complexity is actually a good way to look at priors, but if we actually take this route, we can show that my demand for equivalent priors becomes inarguable: both Theism and A1, for instance, are hypotheses which cannot be fully specified in any finite computable string, which means that they both actually have infinite complexity (and, hence, must have equivalent priors).

Here I may have simply misunderstood, not just what Cale's argument entails, but what a certain technical definition of "complexity" might entail. In that case I stand corrected. Even so, my appeal was not to Kolmogorov complexity or algorithmic complexity, but to a more time-honored understanding that a hypothesis invoking prima facie fewer ontological or explanatory elements is prima facie less complex, hence epistemically preferable, than one invoking more. Some 600 years before Kolmogorov developed algorithmic complexity, William of Ockham famously championed the concept now known as Ockham's Razor, the general principle that in the formation of hypotheses entities that should not be "multiplied beyond necessity." On that score theism appears more epistemically promising than a multiverse hypothesis – or for that matter, an imaginative distribution of ad hoc RUG hypotheses.[5]

Thus Cale's assumption of equivalent priors ignores certain points of background knowledge which suggest a higher prior for theism – and which are not equally entailed by any RUG hypothesis. For example, theism entails the deliberate creation of the universe by God. Take two hypothetical beings, each of which is presumed "metaphysically necessary" and each of which has the power to create a universe, but one has various purposes and intentions while the other has no purposes or intentions whatsoever. Even assuming equal prior probability of God and a given RUG simply existing, the probability of an omnipotent God intentionally creating our universe – i.e., directing his power to actualize the possibility of creation – has to be much higher a priori than the probability of a mindless RUG accidentally creating our universe. In that case Cale needs to explain why P(T) is not substantially higher than P(A1), or even substantially higher than P(A1 v A2 v A3).

Third: the RUG hypotheses are ad hoc, but this doesn't actually matter. Theism is ad hoc. If this were grounds for dismissing A1, A2, and A3, it would also be grounds for dismissing Theism.

Okay, I will concede here that in one sense that's a reasonable objection. In terms of “predictive power,” theism doesn't really compare with, say, a scientific theory like General Relativity. Here theists like Wilko van Holten agree with Cale: "So it would be fair to say that theism is manifestly ad hoc; it merely explains retrospectively, not predictively."[6] However, certain factors tend to dull the force of this objection:

First of all, the celebrated cases often referred to in connection with the ad hoc-ness requirement – like the theories of Newton and Einstein – are not entirely accurate historically. As some have pointed out, these theories were initially accepted on the basis of their ability to account for known observations, that is, for their ability to solve ‘old problems,’ and acquired universal reception long before the required confirmation of the relevant predictions was given….Further, the ad hoc-ness requirement is too restrictive to be applied rigorously to all theories for there are some well-established scientific theories that do (as yet) without confirmed predictions. Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is a case in point: this theory is also manifestly ad hoc, for it was probably designed with the facts in mind, as a response to them. Finally, the rule against ad hoc-ness does not provide the hoped for means of demarcating scientific from non-scientific theories (Popper). As Banner argues, the criterion ‘fails to solve the very problem it was designed to solve, for just as any number of theories may fit with known observations, so any number of theories may yield confirmed predictions.’"[7]

Swinburne argues more directly to the point,

The suggestion that hypotheses must predict successfully…if they are to be rendered probable by evidence is certainly not implied by Bayes's theorem. It is a matter of indifference, as regards that theorem, whether e is observed before or after the formulation of h….. Newton's theory of motion was judged to be highly probable on the evidence available in the late seventeenth century, even though it made no immediately testable predictions.[8]

Theism is not only, as previously mentioned, a long-standing and altogether serious hypothesis[9] offered to explain the origin of our universe and life within it, but is supported by various lines of physical and propositional evidence (evidence nowhere specified in Cale's argument other than by the letter E in his various formulations). Theism is further a stand-alone hypothesis, in that it bears no immediate relation to other theories. To the contrary an ad hoc hypothesis, at least in the sense in which I refer to it, is an auxiliary hypothesis devised specifically to insulate an existing claim or theory from falsification or refutation. Ptolemy’s geocentric invocation of epicycles to account for observed retrograde motions of planets is the classic historical case in point. In our case, RUG's are postulated for the express purpose of reducing the probability of theism, thereby rescuing atheism from the implications of fine-tuning and other forms of evidence for theism.

Fourth: your analogy to the shape the earth is not an analogy at all, and it reveals that you didn't actually understand the argument. The cone, cylinder, and cube hypotheses make clear predictions that we can use to falsify those hypotheses: the likelihoods they offer for our available evidence do not even begin to approach the likelihood that the sphere hypotheses offers. This issue of likelihoods is something I spend a fair bit of time talking about in my argument, but you seem to have missed it entirely.

Here is the crux of the matter, I think. Of course Cale is correct to argue that the cone, cylinder, and cube hypotheses do not really compare with the sphere hypothesis in terms of likelihood, P(E|H), because the other three do not have nearly the same power to predict the evidence. But as I was careful to clarify in a footnote, that's just the point. In principle, evidence serves to differentiate among hypotheses otherwise assumed to be equiprobable, so that we can update our beliefs, or at least better evaluate the probability of our beliefs being true, on the evidence. This is the very purpose of Bayes' theorem.

The reason the "shape of the earth" analogy (or parody, as he says) works is that it, like Cale's argument, presupposes that the only relevant source of "evidence" is equivalent to, or else implicitly contained within, the assumptions used to derive the prior probability distribution in the first place.[10] Taken as a general principle, that presupposition turns out to be demonstrably false, as the “shape of the earth” analogy makes clear. Similarly, the fact that T, A1, A2 and A3 are all equally possible does not entail that these hypotheses are equally probable. Again, likelihood per Cale’s argument is not a function of physical or propositional evidence given theism – the sort of thing normally meant by "evidence" – but rather the evidence is presumed to be no more than a function of Cale's contrived probability distribution. 

Why then, someone might ask, would anyone not want to evaluate evidence from cosmology, fine-tuning, consciousness, the resurrection of Jesus, etc., in assessing the likelihood of the evidence on theism relative to competing hypotheses? That leads us to Cale's final objection:

Fifth: Swinburne's attempt at a Bayesian argument fails trivially specifically because he does not understand how alternative hypotheses affect the relationship between the prior and the normalizing constant. He's not wrong that some things do constitute evidence for Theism, thanks to theism's retrodictions, but what he misses is that there are any number of alternatives which make the same retrodictions (if we limit our hypothesis space to those hypotheses which acknowledge common human knowledge, then there is no evidence for Theism at all). This is why a hypothesis based on pure retrodiction is doomed to failure, and this is indeed why theism fails. Swinburne doesn't understand the logic, as my argument illustrates nicely. The evidences he offers cannot in principle pull Theism out if its hole, because there will always be other similarly ad hoc hypotheses making the same retrodictions that Swinburne calls upon for evidence.

According to Cale, no evaluation of the evidence on theism relative to competing hypotheses is necessary, because theism depends entirely on "retrodictions," and "there are any number of alternatives which make the same retrodictions." We've already addressed prediction versus retrodiction in the context of ad-hocness. Clearly the fact that competing hypotheses often make claims on the same store of evidence does not render them equally probable. Otherwise we would have to conclude that evolution by natural selection, theistic evolution, young-earth creationism, old-earth creationism, and intelligent design hypotheses are all equally probable, because they all retrodict from the same set of available facts. Likewise juries could almost never rationally reach a verdict, because the same facts in evidence are subject to radically different interpretations by the prosecution and the defense.

Essentially Cale's prior probabilities and subsequent calculations are based on the presumption that the evidence is no better for theism than it is for any number of alternatives. Now that may be an argument worth consideration in its own right, but it hardly qualifies as a true premise in a valid argument to the effect that theism is no more probable than alternative hypotheses! The very fact that these hypotheses are mutually exclusive suggests the possibility that they do not predict or explain the evidence with equal force, which is why I asked in the previous post, “Does any rational thinker honestly believe that consciousness is not vastly more probable on theism than on the mindless RUG hypothesis?” With all due respect to Cale (and he's due some respect, for sure), his argument is starting to look like an elaborate exercise in question-begging.

"Swinburne's attempt at a Bayesian argument,” says Cale, “fails trivially specifically because he does not understand how alternative hypotheses affect the relationship between the prior and the normalizing constant." But that seems to be just what Swinburne addressed concerning the prior probability of theism against the disjunction of many or limited gods. Given that Swinburne, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Oxford, specializes in philosophy of science and is known particularly for his use of Bayes' theorem to rationally justify inductive inferences, it is Cale's burden to justify the claim that Swinburne lacks understanding of how Bayesian inference works. For now I see no reason to think that Swinburne's Bayesian argument "fails trivially." He concludes:

Once we understand your misunderstanding of the logic, Don, as well as Swinburne's, it becomes clear that my conclusion is indeed correct: Theism cannot be rationally affirmed, and only by eschewing the logic of probability theory – or simply failing to understand it, as you and Swinburne obviously have – can one conclude otherwise.

That is simply a non sequitur. Even if I, along with Swinburne, William Lane Craig and every Christian apologist who ever lived, completely, hopelessly misunderstood the logic behind Cale's argument, it would not follow that his conclusion is correct. Until he can explain why all hypotheses should be considered equally probable regardless of the evidence, or alternatively, why evidence should be considered a function of probability rather than the other way around, I have no reason to believe that my arguments for Christian theism given the evidence are not sound. In that case I have reason to believe that Christian theism is still almost certainly true.



[1] Don McIntosh, "Why Christian Theism Is Almost Certainly True: A Reply to Cale Nearing," http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2017/05/why-christian-theism-is-almost.html. I want to thank Cale for presenting his argument and challenging Christian apologists like me to answer it. I have learned a few things in the process – always a good thing – and I appreciate the opportunity to explain why Christian theism is almost certainly true.

[2]   Readers again may find Cale’s argument in full at https://m.facebook.com/groups/870345023006950/permalink/1501101383264641/?__tn__=R (requires logging in to Facebook and joining the "Reasonable Faith Debunked" group).

[3] "Omnipotence follows upon God's essence as pure act, having within Himself His own fullness of actuality. Since one thing is able to cause another insofar as it is itself in act, God alone is capable of giving existence to created things." – "Omnipotence," New Catholic Encyclopedia (The Gale Group, 2003), http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/omnipotence.

[4] See for example Victor Reppert, "The Argument from Reason," http://www.lewissociety.org/reason.php.

[5] As mentioned in my previous post, Richard Swinburne suggests that "the hypothesis that there are many gods or limited gods" should be a singular alternative hypothesis rather than a host of hypothetical competitors: "I have argued that the hypothesis of theism is a very simple hypothesis indeed, simpler than hypotheses of many or limited gods…. In that case, theism is going to be more probable than…the disjunction of hypotheses of many or limited gods; and there is much less reason why they should bring about a universe at all or one of our character – they may not be able to do so, and not being perfectly good may not have much reason to do so (unless we complicate these hypotheses further by building into them the requisite propensity)." – The Existence of God (New York: Oxford, 2004), p. 340.

[6] Wilko van Holten, "Theism and Inference to the Best Explanation," Ars Disputandi, Volume 2, Issue 1, November 8, 2002, pp. 262-281. van Holten goes on to argue that despite this caveat, theism has considerable explanatory power: “If a theory’s explanatory power is foremost a measure of its observational success, i.e. of how well it accounts for known observations, and not necessarily of its predictive success, the argument in favour of theism will largely depend on its power to do justice to our experience of the world in the widest possible sense of that term.”

[7] van Holten, p. 273.

[8] Swinburne, p. 69.

[9] That's on an "evidentialist" apologetic, anyway. I fully sympathize with fellow defenders of the faith who maintain that belief in God is properly basic, or that theism is better argued along deductive lines, or that Bayes' theorem does not really apply to metaphysical questions. See Joe's recent article, "Bayes' Theorem and the Probability of God: No Dice!", http://christiancadre.blogspot.com/2017/05/bayes-theorem-and-probability-of-god-no.html.

[10] An example of “built-in” non-evidentiary assumptions used to determine not only priors but likelihoods would be, to paraphrase Cale for brevity, “A1: There exists a RUG so characterized that the probability that it generates a universe including observational evidence E is equal to L [or P(E|T)] + (1-L)/2.” So we know that likelihood for A1, P(E|A1), is L + (1-L)/2. The justification for this hypothesis? It’s a possible alternative. And since there are in his scenario three such RUG hypotheses and one theistic hypothesis, the prior probability of each is “approximately equal to 1/4.”

Comments

Cale said…
Okay, some quick responses:

First, the RUGs at the center of A1, A2, and A3 have no obligation to be coherent within an elaborate metaphysical scheme like that in which Aquinas's "Actus Purus" is a concept.

If you want to contend that A1, A2, and A3 are incoherent, you need to actually prove that they are internally inconsistent, which you haven't done. Until you do that, your first objection here falls flat, and is not really worth further discussion.

Second, you mischaracterized my alternatives as "multiverse" hypotheses. They are not. If we use Occam's criterion, a simple count of entities, then Theism, A1, A2, and A3 are all *exactly* as complex as one another, as each involves only one single ontological entity. Thus, your second objection also falls flat.

Third, you wrote:

"it, like Cale's argument, presupposes that the only relevant source of "evidence" is equivalent to, or else implicitly contained within, the assumptions used to derive the prior probability distribution in the first place."

This is such a ridiculous straw man of my argument that it hardly warrants more than a brief mention. Of course, an no point in my argument do I state, claim, or suggest any such thing, much less "presuppose" it.

All in all, you very plainly still have no idea how the argument functions, much less how to go about attempting to rebut it. It is pointless to rebut straw men, so I suppose I can only hope that you actually take my advice this time and put some effort into actually understanding the argument before pretending that you have some response to it.

Cale said…
Basically, Don, the next time you want to argue against one of your imaginary friends, leave me out of it.

This post has next to nothing to do with the argument I actually presented.
Joe Hinman said…
theism is not ad hoc. that's one of their new little fantasy arguments, that's ad hoc, atheist arguments are ad hoc.
Joe Hinman said…
All in all, you very plainly still have no idea how the argument functions, much less how to go about attempting to rebut it. It is pointless to rebut straw men, so I suppose I can only hope that you actually take my advice this time and put some effort into actually understanding the argument before pretending that you have some response to it.

this is the same guy who says you don't need new information after the prior when every sing published source I've seen on Bayes says you do. I have never seen anyone who says you don't.' Cale deals in mystification of knowledge. He's the big expert, he knows all the facts he's a scientist, a priest of knowledge,keeper of flame. He has the secret knowledge only geniuses can knkow. that's why he wont answer questions you are suppose to take his word for it all.
Joe Hinman said…
Joseph Hoffmann says:

Quote
What is known by people who use Bayes’s theorem to advantage is that there are only certain conditions when it is appropriate to use it. Even those conditions can sound a bit onerous: In general, its use is warranted when a problem warrants its use, e.g. when:

•The sample is partitioned into a set of mutually exclusive events { A1, A2, . . . , An }.
•Within the sample space, there exists an event B, for which P(B) > 0.
•The analytical goal is to compute a conditional probability of the form: P ( Ak | B ).
•You know at least one of the two sets of probabilities described below. •P( Ak ∩ B ) for each Ak
•P( Ak ) and P( B | Ak ) for each Ak ...The key to the right use of Bayes is that it can be useful in calculating conditional probabilities: that is, the probability that event A occurs given that event B has occurred. Normally such probabilities are used to forecast whether an event is likely to occur...

So far, you are thinking, this is the kind of thing you would use for weather, rocket launches, roulette tables and divorces since we tend to think of conditional probability as an event that has not happened but can be predicted to happen, or not happen, based on existing, verifiable occurrences. How can it be useful in determining whether events “actually” transpired in the past, that is, when the sample field itself consists of what has already occurred (or not occurred) and when B is the probability of it having happened? Or how it can be useful in dealing with events claimed to be sui generis since the real world conditions would lack both precedence and context?[1]...[close quore]

1 R. Joseph Hoffmann, "proving what?," The New Oxonian: Religion and culture for the intellectually impatientPosted on May 29, 2012 Blog, URL:
https://rjosephhoffmann.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/proving-what/ (accessed 10/30/150)

following graduation from Harvard Divinity School and the University of Oxford, R. Joseph Hoffmann was tutor in Greek at Keble College and Senior Scholar at St Cross College, Oxford, and Wissenschaftlicher Assistant in Patristics and Classical Studies at the University of Heidelberg. He's an editor of Sources of the Jesus Tradition, Carrier is a contributor.

Hoffmann tells an anecdote that his former student was speaking of Carrierer's assertion thqat Bayes can be used "where no 'real world data and conditions' can be said to apply." The Student remarked, "Is this insistence [Carrier’s] of trying to invoke Bayes’ theorem in such contexts a manifestation of some sort of Math or Physics envy? Or is it due to the fact that forcing mathematics into one’s writings apparently confers on them some form of ‘scientific’ legitimacy?"[5]

At this point Hoffmann backs my assertion that Bayes, when applied to an area of belief for which we have little real data is entirely subjective. It's a matter of guessing and prejudice as to what basic assumptions to make. As he says plug in different values you get different answers. The next point he makes backs up my point about the illusion of technique. That is the point that it's a gimmick, he's trying to lend scientific credibility to his opinions. "Do there exist good reasons to suppose the methods commonly used in different areas that have grown over time are somehow fatally flawed if they are not currently open to some form of mathematization?"(Emphasis mine)
Cale said…
Interesting, Joe, that you have *yet* to actually quote any "expert" saying anything that disagrees with anything I present in my argument. H
Joe Hinman said…
Cale said...
Interesting, Joe, that you have *yet* to actually quote any "expert" saying anything that disagrees with anything I present in my argument. H

No that is wrong Mr Mountebank,cause you said you don't need new information with Bayes,and I quoted five people who say you do, 2 of then are experts,m the other three know at least as much as you do,you have not told me your credentials. what makes you an expert?

all of them contradict what you said,
Cale said…
Bayes's theorem is useful, because it allows you to simulate an inductor updating on information you already have. The information doesn't have to be "new" to you, it just have to be separate from the background information you've allowed.

None of your quotes have disagreed with this at all, and if they had, they'd have been wrong.
Joe Hinman said…
It's useful for a lot of things.I never denied. It is not useful for telling about the existence of God.
Don McIntosh said…
Brace yourself, Cale. I'm about to disagree with you again. :-)

>>First, the RUGs at the center of A1, A2, and A3 have no obligation to be coherent within an elaborate metaphysical scheme like that in which Aquinas's "Actus Purus" is a concept.

If you want to contend that A1, A2, and A3 are incoherent, you need to actually prove that they are internally inconsistent, which you haven't done. Until you do that, your first objection here falls flat, and is not really worth further discussion<<

As you have described them the RUG's take on the very characteristics of the Deity within Aquinas' scheme that would require them to have a mind. Yet you say they are mindless. Hence RUG's are arguably incoherent.

But as for who has to prove what: Your very ambitious claim is that theism is "almost certainly false," a claim which carries a commensurate burden of proof. I am countering that because RUG's at least appear to be incoherent prima facie, their prior probability should be lowered accordingly – and of course if they are found to be genuinely incoherent, their probability is 0. In either case the claim – drawn from the notion that RUG's and God are equally probable a priori – that theism is "almost certainly false," does not meet the heavy burden of proof required of it.

>>Second, you mischaracterized my alternatives as "multiverse" hypotheses. They are not. If we use Occam's criterion, a simple count of entities, then Theism, A1, A2, and A3 are all *exactly* as complex as one another, as each involves only one single ontological entity. Thus, your second objection also falls flat.<<

We already addressed this in our FB discussion. I admittedly, mistakenly mischaracterized your alternatives in my first reply to your argument, then explained why in the second. (The "I stand corrected" part should have told you I wasn't merely pressing the argument further.) As I said on FB, "The whole segment about Occam's razor was included only to explain what sense of complexity I actually had in mind when I mistakenly described A1 as a multiverse in my initial reply. It was merely an explanation of my previous understanding."

I do maintain, however, that while you may not have "multiplied entities without necessity" within a given alternative hypothesis, you did multiply ad hoc alternative hypotheses themselves without necessity (arbitrarily) within your argument.
Don McIntosh said…
>>Third, you wrote:

"it, like Cale's argument, presupposes that the only relevant source of "evidence" is equivalent to, or else implicitly contained within, the assumptions used to derive the prior probability distribution in the first place."

This is such a ridiculous straw man of my argument that it hardly warrants more than a brief mention. Of course, an no point in my argument do I state, claim, or suggest any such thing, much less "presuppose" it.<<

Protest all you like, but the dependence of evidence on your prior probability distribution (rather than vice-versa) does seem to follow from the formulations in your argument. In any case by your own admission the argument does not permit the evidence itself to determine, or update, probabilities. As you've said elsewhere, "The argument works for any set of evidence E." As far as I'm concerned the fact, if it is a fact, that your argument "works" regardless of what the evidence itself may be, doesn't actually speak well for your argument.

>>All in all, you very plainly still have no idea how the argument functions, much less how to go about attempting to rebut it. It is pointless to rebut straw men, so I suppose I can only hope that you actually take my advice this time and put some effort into actually understanding the argument before pretending that you have some response to it.<<

Oh, I seriously doubt I'm that far off the mark. I think you just don't like watching your arguments taken apart. Most people don't.

Now I realize I'm just a lowly Internet apologist, but I'm generally informed and educated enough to at least follow these sorts of arguments. If I truly cannot understand your argument (and I suspect you're simply obfuscating there), you probably have not explained yourself very well. Again I have no problem with the math operations, but your argument also touches upon theology and philosophy, which I hope you will agree are not your areas of expertise.

But here's another thought. Since I'm just a lowly Internet apologist, why don't you submit your argument to a reputable, relevant journal for publication? I'm guessing the review process would be an eye-opening experience for you, not to mention that your argument would be much improved.
Don McIntosh said…
"In any case by your own admission the argument does not permit the evidence itself to determine, or update, probabilities."

That should probably be revised to read,

"...the argument does not permit the evidence to variously determine, or update, probabilities for the various hypotheses."
Don McIntosh said…
>>No that is wrong Mr Mountebank,cause you said you don't need new information with Bayes,and I quoted five people who say you do, 2 of then are experts,m the other three know at least as much as you do,you have not told me your credentials. what makes you an expert?<<

Good point, Joe. Cale's a smart guy, but he's really in no position to summarily dismiss the work of genuine authorities on the subject.
Cale said…
When Joe claims I have dismissed the work of genuine authorities on the subject, he is lying.

I have not.

Joe has simply failed to produce even one authorities who actually disagree with anything I have done in my argument.
Joe Hinman said…
Joe has simply failed to produce even one authorities who actually disagree with anything I have done in my argument.

he also said:

Cale said...
6/05/2017 03:14:00 PM
Interesting, Joe, that you have *yet* to actually quote any "expert" saying anything that disagrees with anything I present in my argument. H

I quoted ive guys who say you have to have to have new information coming in,two of them were experts, Mathematicians,the other three were knowledgeable. He never answered it in any debate of NFL or NDT you lose an argument when you don't Nasser it,

\where is his quote by an expert disagreeing with my views?

where did you get your Phd>

where do you teach?

I did y doctoral work at UT Dallas.
Cale said…
None of the actual quotes you've provided contradict anything I've said.
Joe Hinman said…
None of the actual quotes you've provided contradict anything I've said

thats like homer Simpson saying in prayer: "if it be ty will give me no sign"

Obviously it's easier to not see a sign and take it as permission to do something to get a sign and take it as forbidding an action.

Since you fail to provide any information about new inform used in your calculations you fail to win your case. That is the point the guys I quote all say you have to do that, you don't do it.


Cale said…
My argument takes into account whatever set of evidence or new information you care to bring to the table.

That's just not an objection.
Joe Hinman said…
My argument takes into account whatever set of evidence or new information you care to bring to the table.

what stupid ploy,How could you get new evidence of God if there is no God? you can't have new information coming in telling you there's no God,If you have info telling you about God then why argue
god's existence?
Cale said…
The issue is what information you're updating the probability of theism on. My argument works for any such set of information.

You haven't understood what your authorities are saying at all, if you think that your response here is relevant.
Joe Hinman said…
still haven't told me what your information is,repeating the theory does not answer the dilemma. You have failed to answer a single thing since you have been pestering us

Popular posts from this blog

Martin Luther King, Jr., Jesus, Jonah and U2’s Pride in the Name of Love

How Many Children in Bethlehem Did Herod Kill?

How Should I Be A Sceptic -- belief and reason

Kierkegaard's Knights of Faith and the Account of Abraham

Bayes Theorem And Probability of God: No Dice!

The Meaning of the Manger

If Christianity were true, would you become a Christian?

The Origin of Life and the Fallacy of Composition

Where did Jesus say "It is better to give than receive?"