Curious About The Existence Of God? Practical Theological Reflection

Posted By on October 14, 2019


Welcome to another edition of Far Country
Tall Tales and True talltruetales Ever wondered about the probability that God
exists? Sometimes it’s easier to think about faith ideas with a picture or image. Just a couple of years ago, there was a lot
of social media hype about Bayes’ Theorem as a great tool for happiness, life and living. Truth is, Bayes’ Theorem has its uses, and
its limitations, but it can be visually interesting, can help us to solve certain kinds of problems.
And it might have something to say about God. How? Here’s one example often talked about. There’s
a court case. It’s about a late night hit-and-run incident. There are only two suspects, one
drives a blue taxi, the other a green taxi. The one and only witness says the cab was
blue. But the jury also hears the following info
85% of all the taxis in town are green…and 15% blue
night vision tests show witnesses are correct about colour identification 80% of the time. That’s verbally complex but Bayes can make
it visually simple. Demonstrate, please! Let’s say there are a total of 100 taxicabs
in the town. 15% are blue. That’s easy…15 squares. And obviously, there are 85 green taxis. But
the key to this is what the witness “sees”. He has a 20% chance of “seeing” a blue
cab as green, so you have to take away a fifth of the blue cabs, because he truly believes
they are green. But also he has a 20% chance of “seeing”
a green cab as blue. That means he might misidentify a fifth of 85 green cabs=17 he thinks are
blue cabs. Truly So they have to be added. The witness said the cab was blue. So the
total number of possible IDs are both his true identifications and his misidentifications.
That is 12+17=29. Hence the probability he made a true blue
identification is 12/29 and that comes to 41%. OK. But what has that to do with God’s existence? Maybe the answer to God’s existence is not
about what we rationally think, but about the images, the whispers, the irrational thoughts
that float above and below the world of numbers and measurement. Bayes’ Theorem is simple
and elegant, yet hard to say in words. But, as pictures, Bayes’ Theorem got easier,
at least for me. Father, mother, sister, brother, lover, friend are all familiar Christian images
standing for God. Does it make one iota of difference to the probability that God exists
that these are human images? Anthropomorphic images? And maybe, just maybe, the fact these images
do arise naturally, ambiguous and multivalent, gives rise to a question in the style of Bayes.
What is the probability of God’s existence given the fact of our existence? I’m David Bell. Do subscribe with the purple
yellow button below right or from the photo ID at the end of the video. There’s a couple
of recommendations for you. Join me again next week, same time, same channel, and thanks
for watching.

Posted by Lewis Heart

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