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The "What probably is = what is" fallacy

User Thread
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
The "What probably is = what is" fallacy
How can one assert that what most likely existed, exists or will exist IS what actually existed, exists or will exist?

How can someone formulate a definite probability on things unknown to us?

If you asked a primitive man if it were possible, or even probable to have a man fly a "boat" in the sky along side the birds he would most likely say that it was not possible (let alone probable.)

Why would he say this?

Because he's never seen a plane before.

Does this make it not exist?

No.

---

Last night I had a realization about the nature of reality. There is no such thing as probability in nature. Everything in nature happens exactly as it happens. A man who rolls triple sixes 20 times in a row in a game of C-Low was never once in an improbable position. The exact way he handled the dice and tossed them onto the table was the exact way they needed to be handled and thrown in that unique time and place to get those exact results of triple 6's.

If it were possible to become infinitely intimately involved with the way the dice were colliding with themselves and the walls of his hands and the way they were projected and bounced off the table - the outcome of the rolls would have been obvious.

Probability is a useful tool for simplifying our world in certain situations for expedience but NOT a reflection of true reality. Probability has no utility in the world of the unknown - and how can it? Probability presupposes expected outcomes. Expected outcomes DO NOT EXIST in the unknown - for if they did - they would CEASE TO BE unknown.

To make this whole situation even more entangled, let's consider that there are some phenomena in the universe that cannot be proven. The possibility of this kind of phenomena is unquestionable. For instance, how could we empirically prove what the basic building block of all life is - ie. pure energy? This is impossible because we'd be using the same energy to try to view itself - there could be no microscope powerful enough.

Does this mean that a fundamental building block of the universe doesn't exist?

No.

You could say that we can theorize its existence but even then, because it's only a theory, it is inevitably and will forever be shrouded in doubt. We are forced then to BELIEVE that it exists - because we have all of reality around us which has to be made up of something.

So to throw away all things that cannot be proven is to throw away the universe itself.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 25yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that St. Jimmy is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I was going to write a lengthy examination of ChrisD's post, but there's nothing I could write that covers his post better than this. Bravo Decius.

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"He who does not question is lost."
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Well after I read your post I put on my lucky loony toons boxers and headed to the nearest casino. I went to the roulette table like you instructed and started putting money on 27. No luck! I lost every one... until... I remembered to count to 10 before every bet!! Suddenly I was on fire and I couldn't lose! After 7 hours of this hot streak I had this huge crowd around me - just watching in awe. A few people asked me to heal their cancers and infections. One lady came up to me in tears and told me she had H1N1 (swine flu.) I told her there was no need for me to perform any kind of miracle because swine flu was just a media-hyped joke - its got the exact same symptoms as regular flu. She heaved a sigh of relief and said "bless you young man!" I choked up a little bit.

I decided I'd had enough - money was and is no longer an object to me - and so I left. On my way out the casino banned me from ever coming there again.

...all joking aside...

With casino games we can construct a model of their basic underlying components. Their form is very well known and understood. For expedience, probability is a good tool to govern your actions in regards to gambling because most people don't have the time, will, energy or means to become infinitely intimately involved in all of the factors which govern the outcome of the roll.

I feel I have to reiterate a very important point that you seemed to have missed. With religion, unlike gambling, we are dealing with the UNKNOWN. We have no models to construct about it and therefore we have no probability. Probability does not apply to the unknown.

Christopher Columbus could not, with any accuracy, say that what lay on the other side of the ocean was probably the end of the earth. But this was the prominent BELIEF in Spain at the time - just like your BELIEF that spirits and gods and other planes of existence (in this life and after death) do not exist.

There are other reasons too why religion is worthy of exploration and not just some random "improbability." The main reason being that religion and myth and the supernatural seem as old as man and civilization. In all primitive tribes we find some kind of religion and worship. Modern western civilization is just about the only one that feels it can do without it - and are we so superior because of this? Look at all the neurosis and illnesses and wars and school shootings and murders and apathy and boredom and depression and weapons for mass destruction we have.

Technology and subduing nature to our will makes everything nice and sterile and convenient but I feel like it might be missing the point.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
So because the premises regarding gambling require only a grade 2 education, they exist. But because premises in theology are more complicated, they are "unknown".


I have, as I am sure you have, directly experienced the various components that make up the games that are associated with gambling. We know directly their relationships because we have experienced them and studied them.

Have you ever experienced directly a soul? Have you ever experienced directly other planes of existence, or to narrow it down, heaven or hell?

Hearing descriptions of something does not make it known to us - other than expanding the limits of what we previously thought possible. A person blind from birth could never truly know what a color is by hearing descriptions of it and therefore could never do a study of it - they could only reiterate what they heard and maybe make some inferences that weren't described directly.

If you answered no to either of the questions above then these phenomena must, by necessity, be fundamentally unknown to you and if they are unknown then you cannot construct any meaningful probabilities about them.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I think it is YOU who needs to reread my response to that statement.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
If someone walked up to you 22 years ago and bet you a million dollars (assuming you had it) that in 22 years time you would be having a discussion about probability on an internet forum you created with a guy that would be born next year using the screen name "ChrisD", would you have taken it?

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"The truth will set you on fire"
[  Edited by ChrisD at   ]
 26yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Jacker_Jones is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
But that's the case that once the answer is given the question is easy? Of course he would because he knows the answer.

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"I love to see people struggling for their purpose in life..."
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
But that's the case that once the answer is given the question is easy? Of course he would because he knows the answer.


Lol, true! I edited it to what I meant to say

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Thank you for the apology.

quote:
to which he would reply "see? you would have missed a golden opportunity because of a closed mind."


That is not why I wrote that. I wanted to demonstrate to you that everything in life is infinitely improbable at some point. As we approach certain realities, the probability of things increases until they collapse into the moment we're in.

I'm not saying to cross an intersection during a red light... that's obviously stupid. We know the probable outcome of that because many people have directly experienced it and many others indirectly.

Give me one example where someone created a meaningful probability of something that the person never experienced directly or indirectly before.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
You're going to hate me for this I know.

The only way I can think of to illustrate this scenario the best is to imagine a civilization of people who were blind from birth. If this civilization inherited a book written in braille that talked about colors would they automatically assume that colors were just the offspring of an overly imaginative mind?

There are so many inspired and insightful words (even to this day 2500 years later) that come from the Buddha as well as many descriptions of different planes of heaven and hell and gods and demons. Is this just a coincidence?

In my waking mind I can barely conjure up a blurry representation of anything I try to visualize but every night when I go to sleep I effortless create ultra-vivid worlds as the stage for creative and highly symbolic story lines.

Christianity seems to be a branch of Buddhism in a way - a more diluted form of it but with wisdom nonetheless. I remember reading or hearing that Jesus was taught by Buddhists in some mystery school in Egypt or something but I can't remember where. I'm sure a google search would turn it up.

We all die some day. That ain't a probability, that's a fact. We all have to face it and come to terms with it eventually. Primitive man seems to deal with death better than we do in our modern civilization. I feel like we're missing something in spite of all our grand and powerful technology. Every thing in nature is whole and has its own meaning and purpose for its existence. We're the only ones who feel so lost.

I'm not trying to convince anyone to believe in one thing or another.. believe whatever you want. But maybe we've been duped into thinking its the tail that wags the dog.

Peace and love and happiness to all,
Chris

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
Do you deny that a lack of proof serves as a reasonable premise?


Considering we've not even discovered everything there is here on Earth - which leaves roughly a little more than 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999
99999% of the rest of the known universe...

...and maybe even just as little of our own minds... I'd say that no, it is not a reasonable premise.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
[  Edited by ChrisD at   ]
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Wayback is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
...and maybe even just as little of our own minds... I'd say that no, it is not a reasonable premise.
Funny thing about emotions is => they are not rational so then some of our beliefs are not truly rational.
The 'Christian Bible' speaks of things that are suppose to happen or have supposedly happened so you rationally deny it's (the bibles' contents?

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 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
quote:
1) Ghosts exist even though I have not seen them.
2) I avoid ghosts even though I have not seen them.


You're jumping to conclusions you want here and putting them in a logical looking format to fool people into thinking you're being completely objective.

A more objective deduction would be: I cannot say whether ghosts exist or not because I haven't explored even 1% of the known universe, nor have I explored all the depths of my mind (and who knows how vast our inner universes are?)

Can you imagine if during the last election, the vote analysts predicted the outcome of the election after receiving the votes of just 1 county? Nobody would believe them and why? Because it's not possible.

There are indeed no meaningful probabilities at that point and the election would remain for the time being: inconclusive.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
 28yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that wittgensteins is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I can forgive everything except culpability, and this debate has grown increasingly shrill and rancorous. But I think Chris is in substance right, with due caveats and qualifications.

According to the mathematician Bayes, probability comes into play in the absence of information. When we say that there is 1 in 6 chance of rolling a 1, we concede, tacitly if not avowedly, that the complex dynamics that determine the dice roll are, as it were, beyond our ken, insolicitous to our narrow consciousness. If we proceed to paint a 1 on every side of the dice, however, probability becomes irrelevant. In nature, qua nature, there are no probabilities. Probabilities are properties of the mind only. They are functions of ignorance. To God, as opposed to purblind, locality-bound hominids such as ourselves, everything happens exactly as it should, at such time, and in such place, as the logic of causes decrees. A corollary of this is that there is no such thing as a remarkable event. It may seem, while the scales blot our vision, that it is incredible that we are thinking about Fred and suddenly the phone goes and it is Fred: but all that is required is to think about the amount of times, bordering on infinity, that we have been thinking about Fred and the phone hasn't gone. Is that incredible? No. Probability is a heuristic, a manner of speaking and nothing more.

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 26yrs • M
A CTL of 1 means that ChrisD is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Lol, I think this last post of yours is the most absurd of all!

quote:
Your need to assert a philosophical idea ("all that is certain is death", "there are no absolute truths, just perceptions", "all we know is we don't know anythiing", "infinity can never be measured", "no one is ever right or wrong, just has a different life experience" etc.)


Who asserted ANY of those statements? When I was talking about death before, I wasn't expounded the idea that "all that is certain is death." I was sharing with you some of my own beliefs (my more intuitional side that I figured you would recognize as something different than my logical arguments) because it seemed appropriate at the time.

quote:
It doesn't state that they don't know the meaning of the universe, it is an aggressive means of discounting anyone who tries, because, it is impossible to discover.


Lol, so because I don't discount the unknown in my search for truth I'm therefore using an aggressive means of discounting anyone who tries and asserting that it's impossible to discover? Ok.

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"The truth will set you on fire"
The "What probably is = what is" fallacy
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