There Are Many Impossible Claims Having a Probability of Zero

What are the odds that someone can self-propel themselves to the moon and back without any technological help, including oxygen tanks?

Timothy R Campbell:
I am not sure that one can utilize math or reason or probabilities when dealing with claims of miracle or magic. After all, any event that can be seen as statistically possible would then not be magic. Resurrection -and John flying to the moon through self propulsion- are impossible without magic, but would certainly be possible if magic was possible. Once someone shows definitively that magic is possible, THEN the statisticians can review their estimates!
On Facebook Richard Carrier has been arguing that every claim, except a logically impossible one, has a non-zero probability to them. He said:
The only thing that has a zero probability is that which no amount of evidence (none whatsoever) would ever warrant believing; not a thing for which we don't have that evidence, but a thing for which no such evidence can even be conceived. The only thing that qualifies, is raw uninterpreted present experience. Everything else we can be wrong about, such that some amount of evidence, *if it were presented* would warrant believing it. But when it isn't presented, we aren't warranted in believing it.
When it came to the resurrection Carrier said,
I literally actually believe the probability is nonzero, and not only because I can imagine evidence that could convince me, although that's the big point to note here. I don't think resurrection happened because no such evidence has appeared. Not because no such evidence can even be conceived.
John W. Loftus: Nonzero as in

Richard Carrier: Maybe. That's the kind of probability I'm talking about at least.

John W. Loftus: There is no difference between that number and zero.

John W. Loftus: Is there anything you aren't open to? Come on, you really are not open to the belief that body thetans have attached themselves to us. Be real. Be honest. And then re-evaluate Bayes as applied to bizarre contextual superstitious claims, especially in an era of kooks and quacks. [Please don't bother responding to me if you actually are open to them].

I got my answer. *Silence*

John W. Loftus: Given all that I know the odds that Jesus arose from the dead in context are zero. To change my mind it would require changing history itself, and that isn't something that can be done.

Cam Spiers: Don't equate "would actually spend time on" with "epistemic openness". Epistemic openness doesn't imply you'd actually spend your time on it. Such a decision is based on expected utility, some kind of decision theoretic conclusion. I don't spend my time chasing all manner of fairytales, and the only reason I spend time of the fairy tale of Christianity is that it is useful in our current context, a context with millions of Christians.

John W. Loftus: Can you even imagine a possibility where I could fly to the moon and back? Be honest. I tire of dishonest people.

Cam Spiers: Yes I can fairly easily imagine a possibility. It involve the laws of physics being different to what I currently believe, or our world being a simulation or some such hypothesis. I consider it an incredibly unlikely possibility, but a possibility nonetheless.

John W. Loftus: That the laws of the universe will change in my lifetime is an absolutely ridiculous assertion meant to save an irredeemable proposition.

Cam Spiers: Yes it's completely absolutely ridiculous. I agree with you. We are on the same page there. None of those descriptors negate possibility however.

John W. Loftus: Not possible. By what magic do you rely on?

John W. Loftus: It's not possible someone could survive a 100 story fall into concrete and walk away without a scratch.

Cam Spiers: Let's be clear, are you saying therefore if a person did make such a jump, and did survive it, no evidence could convince you?

John W. Loftus: You talk just like a believer to me. It hurts. Go get a reality check.

John W. Loftus: There isn't enough evidence to convince me of that and many other bizarre claims. I would sooner question it as a plot to deceive me, a magician's trick, or a drug induced hallucination than that someone survived that fall. LINK.


--What are the odds that the Joker will spring out of a Batman comic book and attack me?

--There is a zero chance the moon is made of green cheese.

Timothy R Campbell: "If astronauts returned with hunks of cheese, I would have to accept the cheese premise. But since they have returned and all samples appear to be non-cheesy, I would consider the possibility to be zero, again absent an act of magic."

Magic has a zero chance of working so any event requiring magic has a zero chance of happening.

I'm not alone thinking this way.