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 Post subject: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum''
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:16 am 
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The CCC wrote:
Dr. W:

Then please help me understand what you are saying. It appears you are saying that if a scientist makes a claim that is unsupported by the evidence it is not a mental illness, but if a religious person makes the same claim it is a mental illness. As a scientist who happens to be religious you can't have it both ways.

i am sorry for all religious scientists
they should rape himselves/herselves/oneselves day by day

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Six months after its publication Soviet authorities banned the book and attempted to remove it from libraries and bookshops.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:56 am 
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Choyo Chagas wrote:
The CCC wrote:
Dr. W:

Then please help me understand what you are saying. It appears you are saying that if a scientist makes a claim that is unsupported by the evidence it is not a mental illness, but if a religious person makes the same claim it is a mental illness. As a scientist who happens to be religious you can't have it both ways.

i am sorry for all religious scientists
they should rape himselves/herselves/oneselves day by day

For those who may not be aware of a common translation of the English word "should" into / out of German for the word "soll" or "sollen", what Choyo Chagas is saying here is that he feels sorry for religious scientists and imagines that they are effectively obliged to engage in (psychological) self-rape on a daily basis.

Having been a faithful Mormon who went through the psychologically disruptive "science vs. religion" battle fairly early in life, I also feel some empathy for scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals, especially those over about 30 years of age, who struggle with the burden of unfounded belief that directly conflicts with their professional training.

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DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."


Last edited by DrW on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 9:19 am 
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DrW wrote:
For those who may not be aware of a common translation of the English word "should" into / out of German for the word "soll"...

If you're right about what Choyo Chagas meant, he should have said "must" instead of "should". That's a pretty tricky nuance to get right, because normally "must" seems like a harsher and stronger version of "should". Perhaps the best way for a non-native speaker to think about this way of using "must" is that it has the sense of "unfortunately must" (sie müssen leider).

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[H]e feels sorry for religious scientists and imagines that they are effectively obliged to engage in (psychological) self-rape on a daily basis.

If he feels this way, I have comforting news for him. He can stop worrying about us. Raffiniert ist der Herrgott aber boshaft ist er nicht.


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 Post subject: Re: Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum
PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 10:12 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
If he feels this way, I have comforting news for him. He can stop worrying about us. Raffiniert ist der Herrgott aber boshaft ist er nicht.

Just a quick question: what objective evidence do you have that the Lord God even exists, let alone that said god is not evil?

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BTW; German and English are both second languages for Choyo Chagas, as is his fluent Russian.

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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:50 am 
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On the hypothesis that a creator God exists, the universe should surely have had a beginning. The laws of nature should also, with high probability, be such as permit intelligent life to evolve spontaneously.

On the hypothesis that no such God exists, the implied probability that the universe had a beginning seems lowish to me. The implied probability that intelligent life might emerge also seems modest at best. Both of these scenarios are definitely compatible with the non-existence of God, but they are far from being required by the non-existence of God.

By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of a finitely old universe with life favors the God hypothesis over the no-God hypothesis, because the God hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-God hypothesis is merely compatible with them. The Bayesian preference on this point doesn't favor theism overwhelmingly, but I think it has to favor it significantly.

This is what it means to have evidence for a hypothesis.


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:20 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
On the hypothesis that a creator God exists, the universe should surely have had a beginning. The laws of nature should also, with high probability, be such as permit intelligent life to evolve spontaneously.

On the hypothesis that no such God exists, the implied probability that the universe had a beginning seems lowish to me. The implied probability that intelligent life might emerge also seems modest at best. Both of these scenarios are definitely compatible with the non-existence of God, but they are far from being required by the non-existence of God.

By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of a finitely old universe with life favors the God hypothesis over the no-God hypothesis, because the God hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-God hypothesis is merely compatible with them. The Bayesian preference on this point doesn't favor theism overwhelmingly, but I think it has to favor it significantly.

This is what it means to have evidence for a hypothesis.


No, it isn't. Sorry to be brief, because I have to run, so no offense, but you are making assumptions about probabilities which you conclude, without justification, are favorable to your hypothesis. And it's incorrect to say "by Bayes' Theorem" an hypothesis is favored. Bayes' theorem is a technique used to evaluate probabilities, it is indifferent to the outcome. It is your assumptions about prior conditions driving your conclusion. Unsupported assumptions are not evidence.


Last edited by Lemmie on Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:31 am 
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Are you sure you understand Bayes's Theorem? The theorem itself is a trivial statement, but the reason people care about it is that it supplies a rigorous rule for inferring the probabilities of hypotheses, given data, from the probabilities of the data, given the hypotheses.

This is the theorem's main use. It is the closest one can get, with rigorous math, to the intuitive but sadly non-rigorous notion that a theory can be confirmed by evidence. It embraces falsification as a trivial limit, but lets one still draw conclusions for or against a hypothesis when the case is not so open-and-shut.

If you know all that, then you'll have to explain to me how what I've done isn't that. If you don't know about Bayes's Theorem as a tool for evaluating hypotheses, then perhaps you can explain to me what other use you know for it, because as far as I know it's a one-line theorem that happens to have a killer app.


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:51 am 
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Physics Guy wrote:
On the hypothesis that a creator God exists, the universe should surely have had a beginning. The laws of nature should also, with high probability, be such as permit intelligent life to evolve spontaneously.

On the hypothesis that no such God exists, the implied probability that the universe had a beginning seems lowish to me. The implied probability that intelligent life might emerge also seems modest at best. Both of these scenarios are definitely compatible with the non-existence of God, but they are far from being required by the non-existence of God.

By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of a finitely old universe with life favors the God hypothesis over the no-God hypothesis, because the God hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-God hypothesis is merely compatible with them. The Bayesian preference on this point doesn't favor theism overwhelmingly, but I think it has to favor it significantly.

This is what it means to have evidence for a hypothesis.

Thomas Aquinas' / Kalam's long ago discredited "First Cause" arguments for the existence of God from a 21st century physicist?

As Lemmie pointed out, you have offered no objective evidence, just speculation based on ancient (and badly faulted) logic.

(By the way, since you are relatively new here, a word to the wise about seriously challenging Lemmie when it comes to matters related to formal logic. I understand it is one of her academic specialties and based on the experience of myself and others here, it's highly unlikely that you would prevail.)

In any case, the fatal flaw in your argument is its reliance on infinite regress. How can you not know that?

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David Hume: "---Mistakes in philosophy are merely ridiculous, those in religion are dangerous."

DrW: "Mistakes in science are learning opportunities and are eventually corrected."


Last edited by DrW on Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:54 am 
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DrW wrote:
In any case, the fatal flaw in your argument is its reliance on infinite regress. How can you not know that?

"" the turtles all the way down ""
it was handled many times here; text and picture
as the search function doesn't work, pls use google that string, at site:mormondiscussions.com




the newest pic about that turtles:
Image

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Six months after its publication Soviet authorities banned the book and attempted to remove it from libraries and bookshops.


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2017 8:08 am 
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Hi Physics Guy,

I don't want to pile on here but could you explain why my examples are different than yours. Here they are:

Physics Guy wrote:
On the hypothesis that a creator God exists, the universe should surely have had a beginning.


On the hypothesis that the Nosoi exist, humans and other animals should surely suffer from cancers.

On the hypothesis that Poseidon exists, there should exist storms at sea.

On the hypothesis that Pele exists, we should find volcanoes on our planet.

Physics Guy wrote:
By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of a finitely old universe with life favors the God hypothesis over the no-God hypothesis, because the God hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-God hypothesis is merely compatible with them.


By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of humans and animals with cancers favors the Nosoi hypothesis over the no-Nosoi hypothesis, because the Nosoi hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-Nosoi hypothesis is merely compatible with them.

By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of storms at sea favors the Poseidon hypothesis over the no-Poseidon hypothesis, because the Poseidon hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-Poseidon hypothesis is merely compatible with them.

By Bayes's Theorem, the actual observation of volcanoes on our planet favors the Pele hypothesis over the no-Pele hypothesis, because the Pele hypothesis requires the observed data, while the no-Pele hypothesis is merely compatible with them.

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Bayes’s theorem, touted as a powerful method for generating knowledge, can also be used to promote superstition and pseudoscience

Here’s a fuller version: The probability that a belief is true given new evidence equals the probability that the belief is true regardless of that evidence times the probability that the evidence is true given that the belief is true divided by the probability that the evidence is true regardless of whether the belief is true. Got that?

The basic mathematical formula takes this form: P(B|E) = P(B) X P(E|B) / P(E), with P standing for probability, B for belief and E for evidence. P(B) is the probability that B is true, and P(E) is the probability that E is true. P(B|E) means the probability of B if E is true, and P(E|B) is the probability of E if B is true.
https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cr ... -big-deal/


So whatever the probabolity that there was a god before we knew about the big bang and the fact of common ancestry is P(B).
P(E|B) we can take to be certainty, the most favorable for your position here.
P(E) is also certainty. We know the universe had a beginning and we know that the laws are such that evolution occurred.
So P(B|E) = P(B) and nothing has changed according to this as a result of our knowledge that the universe had a beginning and the laws allow for life to evolve.

Of course for the LDS position, P(E|B) is less than certainty, and the probability that there is a god diminishes with a universe that had a beginning and laws that favor evolution.

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Here is my more general statement of that principle: The plausibility of your belief depends on the degree to which your belief--and only your belief--explains the evidence for it. The more alternative explanations there are for the evidence, the less plausible your belief is. That, to me, is the essence of Bayes’ theorem.

So actually since there are other possible explanations for the universe to have had a beginning other than god and same with the laws that allow for evolution the probability for god drops with this new evidence.

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“Alternative explanations” can encompass many things. Your evidence might be erroneous, skewed by a malfunctioning instrument, faulty analysis, confirmation bias, even fraud. Your evidence might be sound but explicable by many beliefs, or hypotheses, other than yours.


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The potential for Bayes abuse begins with P(B), your initial estimate of the probability of your belief, often called the “prior.” ...
If your evidence is flimsy, Bayes’ theorem won’t be of much use. Garbage in, garbage out. ...

In many cases, estimating the prior is just guesswork, allowing subjective factors to creep into your calculations. You might be guessing the probability of something that--unlike cancer—does not even exist, such as strings, multiverses, inflation or God. You might then cite dubious evidence to support your dubious belief. In this way, Bayes’ theorem can promote pseudoscience and superstition as well as reason.

Embedded in Bayes’ theorem is a moral message: If you aren’t scrupulous in seeking alternative explanations for your evidence, the evidence will just confirm what you already believe.


And this is troubling:

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And as I mentioned above, some string and multiverse enthusiasts are embracing Bayesian analysis. Why? Because the enthusiasts are tired of hearing that string and multiverse theories are unfalsifiable and hence unscientific, and Bayes’ theorem allows them to present the theories in a more favorable light. In this case, Bayes’ theorem, far from counteracting confirmation bias, enables it.


Here is another explanation of Baye's:
https://betterexplained.com/articles/an ... s-theorem/
I don't see how you could apply it to arrive at the conclusion you do. I'm open for corrections. It seems this would be big news if your viewpoint on this were correct, no?

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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 4:00 pm 
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The challenge I was given was not to prove that God exists, but to give an example of evidence that God exists.
Hardly anything can be proven.

Looking for scientific evidence in practice mostly means this. If a theory says that something is probably the case, and you have no other reason to think that it would be the case, and you find that the theoretically predicted case actually does seem to be true, then you give the theory some credit points. Theory predicts a straight line, your data points fall pretty close to the line, and the conference hall claps. If you find that the the predicted case is not true, then the theory may not be dead, because it probably has wiggle room, but you give the theory some demerit points. Bayes's theorem is a quantitative way of expressing this, though in practice the probabilities you put it into may often just be subjective guesses.

Theories rise and fall on the points table. If they fall low enough, people stop bothering to test them. If they rise high enough, people put them in textbooks. That's how it actually works. So: yes, the existence of cancer is evidence for the Nosoi, the existence of volcanoes is evidence for Pele, and the existence of storms is evidence for Poseidon. That's perfectly good scientific thinking. People weren't stupid back then. They just had much less data.

I don't believe in Nosoi or Pele or Poseidon today, because since ancient times we have accumulated so much more detailed evidence that the alternative theories now have enormously more explanatory power, in total, than the old myths. The game has gone on and the alternative theories have won so many points that the old myths are now left far behind. The points that they won, they really did win, fair and square. Their opponents eventually won more points, that's all.

If you went with the evidence in 500 B.C., you'd have gone with Poseidon. In 1700 you'd have gone with caloric, and in 1870 you'd have gone with the luminiferous ether. You'd have been wrong—probably—but life's like that. Science isn't like Mormonism, where you're guaranteed to be right if you're pure in heart. Evidence can be misleading.

It's the only game in town, so we play it. I don't believe my viewpoints are any kind of news.


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:18 pm 
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Physics Guy, after considering the evidence, wrote:
...in practice the probabilities you put into [a Bayesian formula] may often just be subjective guesses.

Glad to see your understanding of Bayes' Theorem has evolved. :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:02 am 
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The problem with your Bayes analysis Physics Guy is that hindsight is 20/20. You're not really predicting anything. I agree that discovering the universe has a beginning is evidence for a "Creator God" vs. the negation, and more or less along the lines you describe, except the negation isn't necessarily even atheism, it could be another version of theism.

The universe Christian theology was built upon (let alone "God" in general) isn't a static entity we linearly sort evidence for or against as it arises. You pretty much make that point yourself. Christianity, particularly Thomas Aquinas, adopted Aristotle's steady state model of the universe and completely revamped what "creation" and "creatio ex nihlo" mean to accommodate God. Aquinas rejects the line of thinking as illogical that "something can be created from nothing" in a physical sense but affirmed true in a metaphysical sense. It's only in hindsight with physics of the last hundred years that you would so readily set the goal posts against a thinker like Aquinas. Further, the Big Bang does not, as I understand it, necessitate "something from nothing" or even constitute a "beginning" in a physical sense.

Well, suppose there are various theories about the big bang, some where t=0 and others where t~0. Since my understanding is we don't know the answer to that question, but t~0 is generally accepted, then if science were to discover a dark horse t=0 true, then that would be a feather in the cap for a physical "creator God" (legacy ex-nihlo). How bad would that be for atheism?

The problem is it also depends on the atheists. Roger Penrose might bet heavily against t=0 in order to gain maximal impact against God when discovering the universe is cyclical. Lawrence Krauss might not bet against t=0 at all, because he seems to think "creatio ex nihlo" is true, the universe came from physical nothing, and he would not put good odds on t=0 supporting a God.

You Rortyesque discussion on the history of science :) I actually see as reasonable, but in tension with your analysis, because you would have constructed your odds as a Christian differently prior to the discovery of big bang.


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 12:26 pm 
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I'm not sure what it means to say X is explained by Y when Y is merely defined to obtain X. It trivializes the problem. This can be done with natural explanations as well and seems to be useless in every case. And it does no good to say that not only does Poseidon cause waves, but he's responsible for earthquakes too. Until you flesh out some causal steps with auxiliary evidence for them, you're just saying that waves exist because there's this thing that I've defined as creating waves. Also, it has a trident.

The existence of life certainly isn't necessary on the proposition a God exists unless God is pre-defined as having the desire and ability to create life. But if we can do that, why not propose there exists a thing called lifeium that has a property such that conditions that lead to life will obtain? Does it make sense to say lifeium explains life?


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 Post subject: Re: From ''Is Mormon discussion more of a anti Mormon forum'
PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:48 am 
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Physics Guy,

Translating what Gadianton and EAllusion said into Bayesian terminology, it seems you subjectively set the probabilities of B|A, B|~A and your a priori in an internally inconsistent and ad hoc format in order to get the desired outcome. It's a mathematical way of saying, "My evidence for God existing is that the idea of God existing makes intuitive sense to me."

What adds real power to a scientific theory is when it predicts something that the theory wasn't designed to predict. As an example this, consider how nuclear fusion supports evolution. The theory of evolution was designed to explain the similarities and differences among species. One of the things it implies is that the earth must have been basking in the energy of the sun for at least several hundreds of millions of years so that life had the time required to evolve.

The problem is according to 19th Century science, it was impossible for the earth to have been warmed by the sun for so long--according to the best calculations by the smartest minds, after only a few million years at most the sun would run out of whatever fuel it was burning and die. Thus, it was considered impossible for the earth to have been heated by the sun for as long as evolution required.

Then of course we learned that the sun has been heated by nuclear fusion for billions of years. That is something that evolution successfully predicted that it wasn't designed to predict and that in fact seemed incredibly unlikely when the theory came about. Plug those odds into Bayes' Theorem to see some valid inferential punch.

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