Monday, April 20, 2015

So You Think Your Odds Are Better

So you think that out of the thousands of gods you could have been indoctrinated into believing, you got lucky enough to get the one that's not a myth. You think that because no one can prove your god doesn't exist that not only does a god exist, it just happens to be exactly how you describe it and everyone else is wrong.

This god that happens to exist, in spite of having less evidence than the existence of Bigfoot, and likes only people exactly like you, as well as punishes everyone you hate. This one in a trillion chance of you being correct, and you think you are just because …

Well, because it allows you to hate and kill without remorse. By considering yourself better, chosen as you call it, you are arrogantly assuming you get to command the universe itself.

But here are the odds you are facing, if you consider Pascal's wager enough reason to believe. There have been at least 5,000 gods proposed, 3,000 of those during recorded history and 2,000 estimated beyond historical reference.

So you base odds are one in 5,000 if you ascribe to one of the cookie cutout gods without any interpretation. Any time you interpreted the god's assumed words you are creating your own god, since this is considered acceptable practice by modern religions we have some math to do.

There are over one trillion people who believed and still believe in a god, estimated total since the beginning of time lessened by those who are atheist. Assuming at least half of these ascribed to the allowance of interpretation, means we have to decrease your odds by 500 billion to make them more accurate.

Now, if you do interpret your god's words, then you have undoubtedly changed how you interpret those words, meaning you changed which god you believed in and created a new one each time. Assuming you are 20 years old and likely changed your interpretation at least twice you get lucky, by changing your opinion you increase your odds by about 10% for a situation like this.

Thus, your odds are 500 billion + 5,000, then subtract 10% for 1:550,005,500, or one in 550,005,500, or a chance of 1.818163637×10-9% of choosing the correct god. That's a smaller chance than being eaten by a shark, or being struck by lightning.

Atheists fair much better in odds. Consider that more than half, approximately 75% of the known gods proposed by humans only get angry if you worship the wrong one, they do not demand worship, we have odds of 0.25 in 5,000 of choosing wrong, that means the odds of us being valued above you are one in 750.

So next time you think odds are in your favor and don't realize that using that as an excuse for believing means you are lying about your belief, consider that an atheist has way better odds by being honest, if any one of the gods humanity has created turn out to be true.

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