ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 6th March 2018, 04:21 PM   #361
The Sparrow
Graduate Poster
 
The Sparrow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Central Canada
Posts: 1,626
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
....
- You can't use "probability" to make things that have already happened impossible. .....
This is gold!

Last edited by jsfisher; 6th March 2018 at 05:21 PM. Reason: Fixed broken quote tag
The Sparrow is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th March 2018, 05:58 PM   #362
RoboTimbo
Hostile Nanobacon
 
RoboTimbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Springwood, NJ
Posts: 29,374
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
Mojo,

- You're right in your first, and (I think) second paragraph -- under H there's no multiplier.
- But under ~H, the multiplier is 1 -- which is why ~H is not automatically less probable than H.

- Regarding your third paragraph, I have 'conceded' that the probability of my existence -- either brain or self -- is 1, but I have not conceded that the likelihood of my existence -- either brain or self -- is 1.
You've already calculated the probability of your existence under ~H to be .0064 and you've shown that the probability of your existence under H is 1.

You did calculate it to be .0064, didn't you? You were asked about it several times.
RoboTimbo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 6th March 2018, 06:41 PM   #363
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Let's try a parable. Jabba will ignore this, misunderstand it, or misconstrue it, but hell this thread has been the best creative writing course I've ever taking so...

Now I hate to revisit the "lottery" metaphor because Jabba and a couple of the thread nannies tend to misconstrue it and run with it the wrong direction but I want to use it to clarify the "Bayesian Overload" theory.

You've been offered a chance to play an amazing new lottery.

In this lottery you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of winning a great fortune. You have a 99,999 in 10,000 chance of winning a "consolation prize" of nominal value.

Your number between 1 and 10,000 is generated for you by a random number generator will accept as true and fair for our purpose. You then walk into the room where the lottery is held. Before you is the method of play, a fair scratch card with a random number of 1-10,000, a drum of 10,000 balls, a 10,000 sided die (that would be something), whatever, doesn't matter. You have a mathematically sound 1 in 10,000 chance of winning. We'll assume for our purposes that the lottery is not rigged and ran fairly.

And your potential prizes are there. On the table, in a Plexiglas locked box, is a huge stack of money, jewels, gold bars, bearer bonds, all yours if you get that 1 in 10,000 number.

There's also off to the side a huge bin, a triwall or something, filled to the brim with the consolation prizes; various cheap plastic novelties, little stuffed animals, party favors, Cracker Jack/Kinder Egg/Christmas Cracker level toys, 5 dollar gift cards to chain restaurants, stuff like that. If you don't win the main prize a lottery official will, as you leave, reach into the pile and toss you a prize at random. Nothing in the consolation stack is bad mind you, it's just of nominal value and interest at best.

So 1 in 10,000 chance of great riches, 99,999 in 10,000 chance of a meaningless bit of fluff.

So here's my question (to Jabba ostensibly):

Can you increase or decrease your chances of winning the lottery by adjusting the number of items in the consolation prize pile?

No, you cannot. The probability of getting the grand prize is set at 1 in 10,000. The number of consolation prizes in the stack only changes the odds of which individual consolation prize you get, not your odds of getting a consolation prize period.

Could one argue that since you have a specific probability of getting any one individual specific consolation prize, say a gift card for a free appetizer at Olive Garden, and that the probability of getting each individual consolation prize has to be bigger than 0% that you could add so many consolation prizes to the consolation prize pile that this would somehow tip the balance and alter the probability of getting the grand prize?

Of course not, that's insane. The lottery would have the exact same probability of winning the grand prize if there were zero or infinite consolation prizes because the odds of winning the grand prize or separate and distinct from the odds of winning a specific consolation prize.

But that is essentially what you are doing on a far, far grander and even more ludicrous scale. You're trying to change the actual probability that you're gonna die by inventing alternatives to it and arbitrarily assigning those alternatives a made up probability.

You assign a value to "You're gonna die." Even ignoring that the universe is not some mathematically perfect thought experiment and things like "An organic being has a finite lifespan and will at some point die" are essentially 100% for any practical purpose you than try to tip the scales even further by listing more and more alternatives to you die, trying to get those alternatives to add up to a probability.

Even if you could make up a hundred billion trillion zillion million million googleplex legitimate "alternatives" to you dying and assign each one of those alternatives a non-made up probability, your odds of dying would stay exactly the same.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal

Last edited by JoeMorgue; 6th March 2018 at 06:53 PM.
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 02:18 AM   #364
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 28,159
That's a very nice refutation of the Bayesian overload argument, but I think you meant 9,999 chances in 10,000 of winning a meaningless bit of fluff.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 06:28 AM   #365
Jabba
Philosopher
 
Jabba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Under ~H, doesn't my current existence require both my brain and my self?
- Yes.
__________________
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." Charles Bukowski
"Most good ideas don't work." Jabba
"Se due argomenti sembrano altrettanto convincenti, il meno sarcastico probabilmente corretto." Jabba's Razor
Jabba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 06:32 AM   #366
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 76,590
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- Yes.
So it requires two separate entities to exist rather than one. Which one is more likely, you think?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 06:55 AM   #367
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- Yes.
Jabba,

You act as if you didn't just respond in a way that is a direct admission that your entire argument is broken.

YOU JUST ADMITTED YOU ARE WRONG. And yet you're gonna plow ahead as if nothing about the discussion has changed same as the last 500 times you go argued into a corner.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 06:58 AM   #368
godless dave
Great Dalmuti
 
godless dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8,266
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- Yes.
And the likelihood of your brain existing is the same in both models?
__________________
"If it's real, then it gets more interesting the closer you examine it. If it's not real, just the opposite is true." - aggle-rithm
godless dave is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:08 AM   #369
RoboTimbo
Hostile Nanobacon
 
RoboTimbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Springwood, NJ
Posts: 29,374
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- But under ~H, the multiplier is 1 -- which is why ~H is [u]not[/u] [u]automatically[/u] less probable than H.
Why is the multiplier for ~H 1?
RoboTimbo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:11 AM   #370
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 28,159
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
So it requires two separate entities to exist rather than one. Which one is more likely, you think?
That, though, is what caveman1917 is criticising; his argument is that, if two different parts or attributes of a single entity have an existence that is in some way conditional upon each other, then it's fallacious to argue that their joint existence is any less probable than the separate existence of one of them. That in itself is a fallacious statement, of course, because the conjunction fallacy only applies to cases where the simultaneous existence of two entities is claimed to be more probable than that of one entity independent of the other; it doesn't, for example, address the claim that it's equally probable for a person to have a head, and both a head and a torso, as he loves to pretend it does.

More important, though, is that ~H requires a specific instance to be chosen from each of two populations, of which one is the exact same one that must be chosen under H. Since the other entity must also be chosen from a large population, it's virtually certain that the probability of this specific Jabba, rather than some other variation of Jabba, existing, must be lower under ~H than H.

And since virtual proof is the standard we're supposed to be aiming for...

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:12 AM   #371
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 28,159
Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
Why is the multiplier for ~H 1?
Because Jabba really, really, really wants it to be.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:15 AM   #372
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
That, though, is what caveman1917 is criticising...
Caveman1917 was criticizing the fact that skeptics dare to exist, nothing more.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:26 AM   #373
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 76,590
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
That, though, is what caveman1917 is criticising
Yeah but he's wrong and his torso analogy is ridiculous: the whole body is a system. The soul is an added, independant thing that's joined with the body, so it's not a fallacy to look at their separate likehlihoods.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:28 AM   #374
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Because Jabba really, really, really wants it to be.
Which makes me think he should have contacted the behavioral sciences faculty at SUNY, since his proof has more to do with that than with statistics.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:30 AM   #375
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yeah but he's wrong and his torso analogy is ridiculous: the whole body is a system. The soul is an added, independant thing that's joined with the body, so it's not a fallacy to look at their separate likehlihoods.
And the fact that Jabba is specifically using the various "probabilities" he's made up out of nothing to compare and contact the chance his body and "self" are going to exists and at what time as the main core of his argument.

Jabba is literally trying to argue that increasing variables reduces probability.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:42 AM   #376
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 76,590
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And the fact that Jabba is specifically using the various "probabilities" he's made up out of nothing to compare and contact the chance his body and "self" are going to exists and at what time as the main core of his argument.

Jabba is literally trying to argue that increasing variables reduces probability.
At this point, though, he'd have to give the soul a probability ABOVE 1 in order to make ~H more likely than H, which is endlessly amusing.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 07:49 AM   #377
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
At this point, though, he'd have to give the soul a probability ABOVE 1 in order to make ~H more likely than H, which is endlessly amusing.
Well I'm still of the mind that following Jabba down his absurd "Equations" rabbit hole was a bad call to make.

His numbers are all made up nonsense. His "equation" is just a mathematical Gish Gallop, yet another case of Jabba trying to set us off on side pointless side fetch quest while the central core of his argument is still a pile of leaves that has convinced itself it's a pile of straw that aspires to one day be part of a strawman.

And it's the thing that's attracted the most thread nannies.

You can't make a 3 potatoes, an air filter for a 85 Jeep CJ, and a cup of sugar equal a spacestation by fixing the equation'sPEMDAS.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:11 AM   #378
Jabba
Philosopher
 
Jabba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Remember, Jabba: under H, "selves" don't exist as discrete entities (as you have recently admitted). Talking about the likelihood of it existing under H is not even wrong.

If the likelihood of your brain existing is the same in H as it is in ~H then the likelihood that you are observed to exist cannot be greater under ~H than it is under H, because under H once your brain exists, you exist. It's a single event, not a conjunction of two events as you are trying to portray it.
Mojo,

- You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..

- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain. In H, it does. That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
__________________
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." Charles Bukowski
"Most good ideas don't work." Jabba
"Se due argomenti sembrano altrettanto convincenti, il meno sarcastico probabilmente corretto." Jabba's Razor
Jabba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:12 AM   #379
Jabba
Philosopher
 
Jabba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
You contemplate your self. Does your brain exist? Have you any experience of contemplating your self while your brain did not exist?

Hans
- Not that I recall.
__________________
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." Charles Bukowski
"Most good ideas don't work." Jabba
"Se due argomenti sembrano altrettanto convincenti, il meno sarcastico probabilmente corretto." Jabba's Razor
Jabba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:14 AM   #380
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 76,590
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..
There are NO SOULS under H!

Quote:
In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain.
But without a body it can't observe itself, can it?

Quote:
In H, it does. That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
You've already agreed that under H the likelihood of your self is 1. You can't go higher than 1. What part of that is giving you trouble?
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:19 AM   #381
godless dave
Great Dalmuti
 
godless dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 8,266
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
Mojo,

- You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..

- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain.
But your current existence does.


Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Under ~H, doesn't my current existence require both my brain and my self?
- Yes.
__________________
"If it's real, then it gets more interesting the closer you examine it. If it's not real, just the opposite is true." - aggle-rithm
godless dave is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:24 AM   #382
RoboTimbo
Hostile Nanobacon
 
RoboTimbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Springwood, NJ
Posts: 29,374
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain.
And how were you defining "self" again?

Quote:
In H, it does. That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
It's greater than 1? How does that work?
RoboTimbo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:25 AM   #383
zooterkin
Nitpicking dilettante
Deputy Admin
 
zooterkin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Berkshire, mostly
Posts: 41,505
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
Mojo,

- You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..

- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain. In H, it does. That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
__________________
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.Bertrand Russell
Zooterkin is correct Darat
Nerd! Hokulele
Join the JREF Folders ! Team 13232
Ezekiel 23:20
zooterkin is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:30 AM   #384
JoeMorgue
Self Employed
Remittance Man
 
JoeMorgue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 14,873
Originally Posted by RoboTimbo View Post
And how were you defining "self" again?
A body + a soul.

Quote:
It's greater than 1? How does that work?
It doesn't.
__________________
"Ernest Hemingway once wrote that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part." - Detective Sommerset, Se7en

"Stupidity does not cancel out stupidity to yield genius. It breeds like a bucket-full of coked out hamsters." - The Oatmeal
JoeMorgue is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 08:57 AM   #385
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..
We discussed this. That's not what that phrase means. It means you're so far afield that it's difficult to know where to begin in correcting you.

Quote:
In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain.
No, under ~H as you've described it there is no meaningful existence unless you have both a soul and a brain, and your data E is your current existence which obviously requires a brain. The soul has perception, memory, and self-awareness only when connected to a brain. You're now trying to equivocate the meaning of "exist."

Quote:
In H, it does.
Under H as we've described it, all that's required is a brain.

Quote:
That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
Exactly the opposite, I'm afraid. Occam, and all that.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 09:05 AM   #386
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 30,457
Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Yeah but he's wrong and his torso analogy is ridiculous: the whole body is a system. The soul is an added, independant thing that's joined with the body, so it's not a fallacy to look at their separate likehlihoods.
arguments from analogy always fail
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 09:33 AM   #387
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Well I'm still of the mind that following Jabba down his absurd "Equations" rabbit hole was a bad call to make.
It certainly has its disadvantages. But anyone like Jabba who is willing to flagrantly break the rules of intelligent, civil debate is going to have all kinds of temporary advantages that his critics -- more conscientious than he -- forego. I'm not saying your wrong. I'm saying there are reasons the debate often must go in the way it does.

Fringe arguments are based largely on vanity. There is the vanity of the proponent, which we've discussed at length. But there is also the vanity of the reader. A successful fringe argument such as a conspiracy theory or a religious apology purports to teach the reader something he did not already know. The claimant styles himself as the teacher, ready to elevate the reader's knowledge above the rest of the sheeple. A 9/11 conspiracy theorist purports to know all about airplanes and buildings and fires. An Apollo conspiracy theorist promises to know all about radiation and shadows in photographs. Jabba purports to know all about statistics (in this case) and about old linen (in the Shroud case). In that latter case he was able to convince quite a number of Shroud fans that he was well versed in the sciences and could take those pesky skeptics to task. He wasn't, but the Shroudies didn't care.

The reader who represents the target audience ends up being grateful to the claimant for having enlightened him on the additional facts that make the mainstream or intuitive interpretation seem inadequate. The reader almost never fully understands the sophisticated argument, and isn't likely to try to verify or validate it because it seems to supply intellectual support for something he already believes. That's where vanity plays in. The reader believes he stands above his peers in knowing additional facts and in using those facts to support a nonstandard belief.

Obviously this ploy requires a naive audience, because the proffered explanation is almost always mostly crap. As you note here, Jabba's model is nonsense and further populated with made-up figures. But Jabba's intended audience will never have heard of Bayes' theorem, or have much if any knowledge of statistical modeling and reasoning. That leaves Jabba free to fill their heads with pseudomathematical gibberish that they're told is a proof for immortality. It looks impressive with all that math, resembling the derivations they may have seen in scientific papers or textbooks. They won't understand why it doesn't work, and won't care because it pleases them to believe they've been "instructed" in how statistical reasoning can justify their religious beliefs. And they'll appreciate Jabba for providing that.

Now what happens if no one addresses the statistics? It's certainly one thing to say, as I have in my fatal-flaw post, that Jabba commits a host of elementary logical fallacies that have nothing to do with his statistics errors. That satisfies some. But what happens in this pattern of argumentation is that the claimant then falls back to the purportedly expert argument and accuses his critics of being too unsophisticated to see how the proof really works. They'll say things like the math or the physics doesn't lie -- and properly done, neither does. Jabba has made exactly the argument that while it looks like he has committed fallacy, it's actually accounted for in the math. It isn't, but we still have to show that it isn't. Leaving the straw man untouched lets the claimant continue to pose it as a formidable foe that his critics are apparently not empowered to overcome.

Jabba naturally wants to have the discussion be all about math and niggling details instead of the big picture he knows he can't win. If he remains in the obscure details of statistical modeling, he stands a chance of playing a shell game well enough to convince an outside observer that at worst his critics are not as sure of themselves as they seem. The thread nannies help maintain that incorrect perception. The supposedly "neutral audience" generally won't follow any of that reasoning, as they don't understand practical statistics, but they'll see that Jabba is at least engaged and appearing to hold his own. Often you don't win at this particular game, but it's often just important to reveal the straw man for what he is.

Fashioning the most convincing and concise rebuttal is hard because you don't know whether any given reader will be more impressed by high-level logical reasoning or low-level detailed analysis. The downfall of public debates such as this one is that you can't often have just one or the other form of rebuttal in isolation where it would appeal most strongly to readers of that particular predilection.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 09:53 AM   #388
Dave Rogers
Bandaged ice that stampedes inexpensively through a scribbled morning waving necessary ankles
 
Dave Rogers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Cair Paravel, according to XKCD
Posts: 28,159
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain. In H, it does.
Agreed, for the sake of argument.

Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.
No, it doesn't. Under ~H, your soul still needs to exist at all, out of all the infinite possible souls there could have been; and it also needs to be your specific soul that incarnates in your specific body - because, as you have repeatedly argued, an otherwise identical body that did not contain your soul would not be you. Therefore, the probability of your self currently existing under ~H is the product of three probabilities: that of your current body existing (which is the same as the probability of the same body existing under H), multiplied by the probability of your specific soul existing, multiplied by the probability that your specific soul incarnating in your specific body.

Since not all possible souls exist, and since of all the billions of souls that exist only one is yours, the likelihood of your existence under ~H is in fact a factor of at least nine orders of magnitude less than the likelihood of your existence under H - probably very many orders of magnitude more than that.

That is supposing, of course, that your Bayesian argument has any validity at all, and that we accept, under ~H, your repeated statement that a body identical to your current one would not be you.

Dave
__________________
Me: So what you're saying is that, if the load carrying ability of the lower structure is reduced to the point where it can no longer support the load above it, it will collapse without a jolt, right?

Tony Szamboti: That is right
Dave Rogers is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 12:11 PM   #389
Mojo
Mostly harmless
 
Mojo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 30,613
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
Mojo,

- You're right -- it isn't even wrong, cause it's right..

No, it's not even wrong because it is nonsense.

Quote:
- In ~H, the existence of my self does not depend upon my brain. In H, it does. That makes the likelihood of my self's existence under ~H much greater than it is under H.

No, you have stated that the brain is a given under H. Understand? If the brain is a given, then so is anything that depends on it.

You are claiming that the likelihood of your existence under ~H is much greater than 1.
__________________
"You got to use your brain." - McKinley Morganfield

"The poor mystic homeopaths feel like petted house-cats thrown at high flood on the breaking ice." - Leon Trotsky
Mojo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 12:12 PM   #390
Monza
Alta Viro
 
Monza's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,052
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
- Not that I recall.

In the perfect copy analogy, you continually claimed that the copy wouldn't be you, even though he shares all of your memories, preferences, physical attributes, etc. But someone who lived, say in the 19th century, who doesn't have your memories, likes/dislikes, feelings, thoughts, body, or even gender, is actually you?
Monza is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:31 PM   #391
Jabba
Philosopher
 
Jabba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by jsfisher View Post
That does not change what I said. You have told us that P(B) = 1. If the brain exists, then P(E|H) must be one because under H, the brain is sufficient for E.
js,
- P(E) is also 1. But, P(E|H) is still 10-100. By P(B)=1, I just meant that the brain is a given. By P(E)=1, I meant that the self is also a given. I don't know if that's official terminology...
- Whatever, B and E are both givens, whereas in P(E|H) H is a given, but E is not.
- This is confusing stuff, and some of my terminology probably makes it more confusing.
__________________
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." Charles Bukowski
"Most good ideas don't work." Jabba
"Se due argomenti sembrano altrettanto convincenti, il meno sarcastico probabilmente corretto." Jabba's Razor
Jabba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:46 PM   #392
Jabba
Philosopher
 
Jabba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 5,613
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
js,
- It's certainly a confusing element -- but, in P(E|H), H is the given and we're asking how likely is E, if H is true. And, we can ask that even if E has not occurred.
Originally Posted by jt512 View Post
No. Given either H or ~H, you can only ask if E occurred if E had occurred, becasue E is you. That is the fundamental flaw in your argument.
jt,
- In regard to this particular issue, I think that I see your point. In this particular case E happens to be me -- but, in every(?) other issue E is not me, and could have not occurred.
__________________
"The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence." Charles Bukowski
"Most good ideas don't work." Jabba
"Se due argomenti sembrano altrettanto convincenti, il meno sarcastico probabilmente corretto." Jabba's Razor
Jabba is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:51 PM   #393
jond
Illuminator
 
jond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,252
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
js,
- P(E) is also 1. But, P(E|H) is still 10-100. By P(B)=1, I just meant that the brain is a given. By P(E)=1, I meant that the self is also a given. I don't know if that's official terminology...
- Whatever, B and E are both givens, whereas in P(E|H) H is a given, but E is not.
- This is confusing stuff, and some of my terminology probably makes it more confusing.
Why on earth not? Under H, the brain generates the sense of self, you have agreed to this. It is one and the same with the brain. If the brain is a given so is the self, its what brains do!
jond is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:52 PM   #394
jond
Illuminator
 
jond's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 3,252
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
jt,
- In regard to this particular issue, I think that I see your point. In this particular case E happens to be me -- but, in every(?) other issue E is not me, and could have not occurred.
You have, for 5 years, been insisting that you are talking about your current existence. Anything else is irrelevant.
jond is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:53 PM   #395
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
P(E|H) is still 10-100.
No, it's a number you made up so that the answer would come out the way you wanted.

Quote:
By P(B)=1, I just meant that the brain is a given. By P(E)=1, I meant that the self is also a given. I don't know if that's official terminology...
It's deliberately equivocal terminology. Under materialism there is no difference between the brain and the self. You're trying to sneak in an extra event while evaluating materialism so that you can pretend it's very improbable for that second event to occur. Otherwise your proof failed the very second you conceded that the brain and the self are identical under materialism. Since we have that confession on record, you're done.

Quote:
This is confusing stuff, and some of my terminology probably makes it more confusing.
You are confused. No one else is. As usual, you are trying to obfuscate and equivocate around a clear error by deliberate word games. Your critics are not fooled.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 03:55 PM   #396
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 16,388
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
In this particular case E happens to be me -- but, in every(?) other issue E is not me, and could have not occurred.
Your proof does not deal with "every other issue." Your proof requires the specificity that comes from your existence aside from any other. That's the only way your conflated random variables are supposed to give you the tiny little numbers your proof relies on.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 04:00 PM   #397
Belz...
Fiend God
 
Belz...'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: In the details
Posts: 76,590
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
But, P(E|H) is still 10-100.
No, you said that the brain generates the self and that the brain is a given under H. Since you need the brain under H for the self to observe itself, that means that P(E|H) is 1.

Quote:
- Whatever, B and E are both givens, whereas in P(E|H) H is a given, but E is not.
Of course it is. You cannot observe yourself without the self, which is generated by the brain, which is a given under H. Ergo the likelihood is 1.

Quote:
- This is confusing stuff
None of this is confusing. It's only confusing because you want a different outcome and you can't get it because your logic is flawed.
__________________
Master of the Shining Darkness

"My views are nonsense. So what?" - BobTheCoward


Belz... is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 04:24 PM   #398
RoboTimbo
Hostile Nanobacon
 
RoboTimbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Springwood, NJ
Posts: 29,374
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
js,
- P(E) is also 1. But, P(E|H) is still 10-100.
No, it most assuredly is not a random small number you made up. It is 1.

Quote:
By P(B)=1, I just meant that the brain is a given. By P(E)=1, I meant that the self is also a given.
The "self", as you are calling it, is a process of the brain. If the brain is a given, the "self" is also a given. It is 1.

Quote:
I don't know if that's official terminology...
Then you are entirely out of your depth, as has been evident for years.

Quote:
- Whatever, B and E are both givens, whereas in P(E|H) H is a given, but E is not.
Under materialism, the probability is 1, as you've shown. Your made up nonsense is .0062, according to some math that you claim to have done.

1 > .0062

Quote:
- This is confusing stuff, and some of my terminology probably makes it more confusing.
Nope, not confusing at all, except to you. That's why you're wrong where you think you're right. You simply don't understand.

I accept your concession that you were horribly misled by teenage angst and now realize you've been wrong all these decades.
RoboTimbo is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 05:01 PM   #399
jsfisher
ETcorngods survivor
Moderator
 
jsfisher's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 22,192
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
js,
- P(E) is also 1. But, P(E|H) is still 10-100. By P(B)=1, I just meant that the brain is a given. By P(E)=1, I meant that the self is also a given. I don't know if that's official terminology...
P(E) is the probability of event E (your sense of self in this case). P(E) = 1 means event E is a certainty.

P(B) is the probability of event B (the existence of your brain in this case). P(B) = 1 means event B is a certainty.

If that is not what you meant, you need to try again.
__________________
A proud member of the Simpson 15+7, named in the suit, Simpson v. Zwinge, et al., and founder of the ET Corn Gods Survivors Group.

"He's the greatest mod that never was!" -- Monketey Ghost
jsfisher is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 7th March 2018, 10:23 PM   #400
jt512
Graduate Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1,740
Originally Posted by Jabba View Post
jt,
- In regard to this particular issue, I think that I see your point. In this particular case E happens to be me --

That's the case of E you have been using. So, you have now conceded that your argument has been incorrect (that's a huge step). Your observing E cannot be evidence for H over ~H or vice versa.

Quote:
...but, in every(?) other issue E is not me, and could have not occurred.
Since you have admitted that your argument fails with E being your own existence, you can, if you wish, reformulate your argument using some other evidence. I don't think it will help, but you can no longer justify continuing your argument with E being your own existence.
jt512 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » Religion and Philosophy

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:48 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.