Never Tell Me The Odds

It’s that time again, time to look at the stupidity of accommodationists and the idiocy of their emotional positions.  This time, we started having a debate over whether or not gods are likely to exist in the real world.  That is, of course, after he kept accusing me of believing that no gods were real, rather than my actual position of not believing in gods for lack of evidence.  After he recanted that accusation, finally, he went on to use one of the stupidest examples I can possibly imagine:  the weather.

He said that if you look at the weather on your phone, it’s just a wild-ass guess what the weather is going to be.  Nope.  Every phone app I’ve ever seen tells you what meteorologists predict the weather is going to be like.  Then he brings up Doppler radar maps, but again, they aren’t presented without context, expecting you to read the data and act accordingly.  They all tell you what the images mean.  But wait, he says, they just give odds.  If you guess wrong, you’re out of luck!  Well of course!  That’s reality!  If the weather says there’s a 20% chance of rain and you decide that it won’t rain, you have a 20% chance of being wrong.  Welcome to the real world!  There are no guarantees, that’s how percentages work.  You still have to make a decision what you, as an individual will do, and apparently he doesn’t like that.

But this is a really good analogy for belief in gods.  According to the actual, demonstrable, objective evidence that we see in the world around us, the chances that any gods actually exist is virtually zero.  There just isn’t any evidence for the factual existence of any gods out there.  Therefore, when I’m deciding whether or not I ought to believe in them, I have to look at the data, decide the percentages, and follow the most rational path.  For any god that I’m aware of, that path is non-belief.  Could I be wrong? Absolutely, but the possibility is extremely low.  I constantly re-evaluate my beliefs in light of new information that might have come up, but for gods, that information is always nil so I’ve seen no reason to change my mind.

So why is it that people are so damn dumb?  This stuff really can’t be that hard for people to comprehend, but when you’re out to make people happy, instead of actually caring about the facts, I suppose it’s no wonder that you come off like a complete moron.  And explaining it doesn’t help because they don’t care if they’re right or wrong, their goal is to smooth over problems, not to hold a factually defensible position.  The odds of any of the major gods existing is extremely low.  It’s not zero, but it’s close.  Therefore, even though I can no more be absolutely certain that no gods exist, any more than I can be absolutely certain it won’t snow today, I have very good reason to think that’s the case, based on the ludicrous lack of evidence in support of these things.  That’s how odds work, you look at how likely a scenario is, based on the evidence, and make a decision how you will react.  I’m neither wearing galoshes today, nor am I headed to a church.  The evidence tells me neither is likely to be necessary.  If I’m wrong, then I’m wrong.  I find no reason to think I am in either case.

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