Bayesian theism

October 10, 2020

Say, you put the chance of God existing at 75%. Your number might be higher but the key is that it can’t never be 100% because you can’t prove non-existence. So, even if you sit at 99%, the possibility of God’s existence cannot be absolutely refuted. Still, 99% are good odds, certainly enough to live as if the question of God is of no consequence to you.

Alas, this is the wrong way of looking at it. The existence of God is a Black Swan: an improbable event of gargantuan consequences. And, as Taleb would put it, playing the game of probability in the face of a possibly catastrophic event is irrational. The same way you wouldn’t play Russian roulette for a million dollars – even though you effectively would have an 83.3% chance of becoming rich – you wouldn’t bet an atheist life against an eternity in hell. This is also Pascal’s argument.

So, should you believe in God?

Hi there 👋, I’m Gerard, Software Engineer and aspirant polymath. I write this blog, build Factorial, and publish the best I read on Twitter.