Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Reasonable Probability the Long Version

There is no God.
Unlike Nitchze's statement, God is not dead for one must be alive to be dead.
Why make such a bold statement?
There is no God.

One can spend hours and hours debating the semantics and philosophy of "god". We can throw proof, and evidence but it will never be enough to convince the most devout, most righteous. Or... maybe not?

I have a  personal story I would like to share. I will not name names as it would damage her life.

I met a girl, probably 24 on the internet in Orkut. I was probably 22 or 23. Hot headed and argumentative, I engaged her in a debate on the Koran. By that time I had read and studied Islam for 5 years. I, thinking myself an expert on the subject (I guess I was considering how few people actually read their holy books) started talking to a few people.

Many were Islamists. Angry, not very articulate. Mean spirited. I never engaged them in the vitriol they spewed. The hate in which their religion worked. One girl though was more patient and interested in learning about Reasonable Probability. I explained it closely, using scientific facts but mostly following logical processes. After maybe three weeks she asked to meet. I was weary. Muslims have a component of their Jihad called the "al-Taqiyya" This roughly translates into "Hiding ones motives or strategies when faced with an enemy. Deceive your intention. Hide all emotion and fear." Something like that. My Arabic is rusty.

I was worried that I would become the next victim of the Religion of Peace.
I took precautions. I realized though that no matter what  I did, if someone wanted to harm you they would regardless of the population around you. Considering how many Muslims die at the hands of other Muslims, I was concerned. So I scoped out the area. I saw her go to the Starbucks and sit and wait. I looked around for suspicious looking people. Even double backed a few times.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a big guy. 230 lbs and I work out every other day. I've been equated to a "brick shit house" with a nice smile. Regardless I wanted to be safe.
I was 20 minutes late and walked in to meet a scared looking woman in a sari.
I introduced myself.
We talked for 4 hours. She kept asking about Reasonable Probability, science, evolution. I answered everything I knew at the time. I was young mind you. This was 8 years ago.
She wanted to leave her faith but was scared for what her family and brothers would do. I helped her out the best I could. Gave her information on shelters, etc. Today she's a successful woman, scorned by her parents and family, but because she married a nice white guy up north.
I'm happy for her.
All it took though was a simple conversation on probability and an exchange of ideas related to such. in the end, Faith is an easy concept to refute. Look here "" on my "equation of Faith" to see that one can not argue from a point of nothingness, as it refutes itself.
This process is what kept us alive unconsciously throughout history. WE used tools like Patternicity to determine Win/Lose Fight or Flight scenarios on expenditure of energy.  Should I run from the bush rustling in the breeze? Maybe a predator hides? Michael Shermer does an amazing talk on this and other related phenomena regarding human interpretation of stimuli.
Michael Shermer

If you start to look at it, one can not wonder in amazement how we didn't see this sooner and cast off the shackles of faith.

Think of it like this;
Sure the universe could be pulled by Unicorns piloted by Panda Bears,but this is really unlikely. How far away from being unlikely is a God or an Angel? What is the difference between Aphrodite and the Arch Angel Michael? Or any other mythical creature from a similar counterpoint.
What is the difference between Hercules and Jesus?
Nothing. They are tales of fancy to create morality, governance, rule of law, explain the natural world, give hope, bring fear etc etc.
But the moment you question the relevance, the reality sets in. This is not real. There is NO reasonable Probability.

I mean, look at the ridiculousness of Scientology?
A false religion created for tax evasion? Written and designed by a hack writer and believed and followed by bored, too wealthy with too little brains Starlettes?
If you look at the history and story of Scientology it openly fails Reasonable Probability. Aliens and monsters and spirits oh my. Hubbard was famous for his rich orgies. Frankly I might join if the opportunity arises to be an Orgy guy. (just kidding)

Look at Christianity.
Adam and Eve etc etc. All fail Reasonable Probability. Even, like mentioned above, the story of Jesus fails basic critical analysis.
So why do people believe? Do they need to obsess over something out of their control? If you took out religion, nothing would change, we just wouldn't have something to blindly follow.
There is little in our life that is actually touched by religion but when it touches it hits hard.

I wish people could introduce the concept of Acceptable and Reasonable Probability into Schools. Teach children to question evidence and interpret it with logical process.

I wonder what the next millennium hold for us. I don't know if the world is or isn't ending on May 11, 2011 or Dec 21 2012. I do know the probability is pretty damn low and really, why should I worry if I can't change it anyway?

Just remember this folks, question everything. NEVER EVER be afraid to ask, what is the Reasonable Probability? You'll find things get easier and less complicated when you do.

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