## Bayes Theorem & My Pet Pig Porky

This is my concrete pet pig named Porky. It cannot fly. What are the mathematical odds it grew wings and flew since I last saw it? Come on, be honest! What bizarre world do you have to concoct to change a zero chance into a probability?

Let's say there is a society of believers who claim there was a concrete pig that flew in the ancient world.

So you get out your Bayesian calculator and consider the prior probability. No known concrete pig has even flown. What do you do? Someone suggests that for the sake of argument you should be generous. So you put down a wildly improbable figure of 10% prior probability. Why? That's granting way way too much from the get go! People who use Bayes are lying whenever they grant these generous numbers. The number should be so low it's indistinguishable from zero. Then there is no more math to be done.

Now just think about a virgin who birthed a member of the divine council in the ancient world, where virgin births are aplenty. Same thing. We don't need numbers to show the evidence simply is not there, because there's no objective evidence that could convince a reasonable person in the 21st century of it.

My claim is that Christian apologists have found a way to make their claims seem more believable by saying the (Bayesian) math proves it. I don't think non-believers should be responding to their drivel. It's a fad and it will pass. We should be criticizing its use instead. We can still utilize the same arguments without it. We don't have to flip side it around by saying in reverse, the math proves us right!

We can do better than respond in kind by undercutting the whole attempt to quantify what is non-quantifiable. Responding in kind gives them a sense of dignity that shouldn't be granted in their attempt to show that a god-man was born of a virgin, died on the cross for our sins, and resurrected into the sky-heaven. Come on, does any non-believer think we should dignify their attempt to quantify these events with math? We should undercut them instead.

Bayes is a mathematical formula. I don't use it, yet it's claimed that it's inescapable. Now it's true I make probability judgments on the miraculous events in question. But it's not based on Bayes quantification. Please show me I have quantified them, apart from any assertion to the contrary. What are the exact numerical values I assign to the mathematical formula? This escapes me.

In my world there are claims having no prior precedent and/or impossible. In my world there is no reason to assign numbers that approach infinity. In my world some claims are too bizarre, such that to assign them a numerical value is to grant more than a reasonable person should do. In my world it does reason a disservice to even play that game, even if it can somehow be shown this is how it should be done, for by doing so it dignifies the undignifiable.

Let's say there is a society of believers who claim there was a concrete pig that flew in the ancient world.

So you get out your Bayesian calculator and consider the prior probability. No known concrete pig has even flown. What do you do? Someone suggests that for the sake of argument you should be generous. So you put down a wildly improbable figure of 10% prior probability. Why? That's granting way way too much from the get go! People who use Bayes are lying whenever they grant these generous numbers. The number should be so low it's indistinguishable from zero. Then there is no more math to be done.

Now just think about a virgin who birthed a member of the divine council in the ancient world, where virgin births are aplenty. Same thing. We don't need numbers to show the evidence simply is not there, because there's no objective evidence that could convince a reasonable person in the 21st century of it.

My claim is that Christian apologists have found a way to make their claims seem more believable by saying the (Bayesian) math proves it. I don't think non-believers should be responding to their drivel. It's a fad and it will pass. We should be criticizing its use instead. We can still utilize the same arguments without it. We don't have to flip side it around by saying in reverse, the math proves us right!

We can do better than respond in kind by undercutting the whole attempt to quantify what is non-quantifiable. Responding in kind gives them a sense of dignity that shouldn't be granted in their attempt to show that a god-man was born of a virgin, died on the cross for our sins, and resurrected into the sky-heaven. Come on, does any non-believer think we should dignify their attempt to quantify these events with math? We should undercut them instead.

Bayes is a mathematical formula. I don't use it, yet it's claimed that it's inescapable. Now it's true I make probability judgments on the miraculous events in question. But it's not based on Bayes quantification. Please show me I have quantified them, apart from any assertion to the contrary. What are the exact numerical values I assign to the mathematical formula? This escapes me.

In my world there are claims having no prior precedent and/or impossible. In my world there is no reason to assign numbers that approach infinity. In my world some claims are too bizarre, such that to assign them a numerical value is to grant more than a reasonable person should do. In my world it does reason a disservice to even play that game, even if it can somehow be shown this is how it should be done, for by doing so it dignifies the undignifiable.

## 0 comments:

Post a Comment