Probability of Cognitive Dissonance = 1/0

When I started a student freethought group at UF, I asked our faculty advisor, Prof. of Philosophy Gene Witmer, whose books I should get if I really wanted to read the strongest arguments that theism had to offer. His suggestion?

Richard Swinburne, Oxford philosophy professor, prolific author of serious works of theistic apologetics (e.g., The Existence of God, Is There a God?, Providence and the Problem of Evil)...who has apparently lost his marbles.

He claims in The Resurrection of God Incarnate to have mathematically calculated the likelihood of Jesus' resurrection, using Bayesian probability, at 97%. His logic [lack thereof]?

  1. The probably of God's existence is one in two. That is, God either exists or doesn't.
  2. The probability that God became incarnate, that is embodied in human form, is also one in two.
  3. The evidence for God's existence is an argument for the resurrection.
  4. The chance of Christ's resurrection not being reported by the gospels has a probability of one in 10.
  5. Considering all these factors together, there is a one in 1,000 chance that the resurrection is not true.

oy vey!

Mark Chu-Carroll has an analysis, if one is even deserved for this kind of madness, which can be summarized thusly:
By a similar argument, I can say that probability of pink winged monkeys flying out of my butt is one in two: that is, either they will fly out of my butt, or they won't. The probability that those monkeys will fly to the home of this Oxford professor and pelt it with their feces is one in two. If pink winged monkeys fly out of my butt, that's an argument for the likelyhood of a fecal attack on his home by flying pink monkeys.

Do I really need to continue this? I don't think so; I'd better go stock up on monkey food in my bathroom.

On another note of sadness, five Mexican children were killed as they prayed at a cross by lightning. Why should we believe there was a God on the other end of those prayers, again? Oh wait, I remember now, everything God does is good, including allowing five children, ages 9-16, to be killed by lightning while offering up prayers and thanksgiving to God. What was I thinking? I'd better go pray for a plastic cross, of course.