Originally posted by DoctorScribbles
Evaluate the probability that God exists.
Show your work by citing what bits of evidence and information you have considered and how they correspond to factors in your calcualtion.
Well, if you’re talking about the God of “supernatural theism,” first you have to consider evidence for the supernatural category
. Just because there may be things that transcend human cognitive abilities, does not mean that they are supernatural (by which I mean here “extra-natural” )—just that something about the natural order may not be accessible to human cognition.
I have yet to see such evidence (or an argument that necessitates the leap), and therefore do not (yet) admit the supernatural category at all. [That is why I call myself a nonaligned, nonsupernaturalist monist.] The cosmos we exist in (and of) may never cease to be mysterious; that does not require the admission of a supernatural category
, even if one chooses to metaphysically speculate about the mystery.
If one does admit the supernatural category—I would argue that we have no access to knowledge of such, since our very cognitive capabilities are conditioned by our natural existence (time-space dimensionality, for example—what does it really mean
to speak of “an infinite being,” for instance). Even if one admits that a supernatural being can communicate via “divine revelation,” the terms of that revelation must be in/of the natural realm in order for us to find any coherency at all—and thus, such revelation cannot really “reveal” the supernatural realm, but only (at best) “metaphorize” it in natural terms amenable to our cognition. Such metaphors are subject to wide interpretation (based on our cognitive limitations), any/all of which might be far off the mark.
So, my first question would be: How does one (can one) assign any probability to the existence of a supernatural category per se
(as opposed to simply natural phenomena that transcend human cognition)? And, if one assumes a supernatural category, how can one assign any probabilities to possible characteristics of that category (e.g., a personal God)? I do not think it can be done.
One either decides that there is (or may be) a supernatural theos
, or not, for whatever personal reasons (e.g., aesthetic), and proceeds from there, allowing that decision to guide their life. To one who frankly admits such a decision on that basis, I can only say: “May it be for you and others a path of blessing.”
Now I’m going to bed and do something reasonable, like reading a trashy novel...