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 Post subject: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:01 pm 
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Suppose I'm an atheist who has studied the Bible and higher criticism and all that and I give Christianity .01% as true. That's my prior.

I learn that it's proposed by some researchers that Jesus never even existed. If this is true, what will my updated belief in Christianity be?

Being a little streetwise, I see that Jesus myth is a minority position, one especially popular with atheists, and I know darn well that if it is wrong, Christian apologists will extract far more from the victory than Bayes merits. In fact, given its the underdog, it's likely generating faith for believers already, just by having the scholarly consensus go right for them for once on a matter so close to home.

In fact, the heated controversy wouldn't be nearly as heated if both sides were to apply Bayes to the implications. In other words, the atheist mythicists must either hope folks will accept exaggerated "shock value" from "Jesus didn't even exist" and thus saw off the branch, or stoically press on for the sheer sake truth, knowing that the believers are getting all of the benefit from a he controversy.


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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:17 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
Being a little streetwise, I see that Jesus myth is a minority position, one especially popular with atheists, and I know darn well that if it is wrong, Christian apologists will extract far more from the victory than Bayes merits. In fact, given its the underdog, it's likely generating faith for believers already, just by having the scholarly consensus go right for them for once on a matter so close to home.

In fact, the heated controversy wouldn't be nearly as heated if both sides were to apply Bayes to the implications. In other words, the atheist mythicists must either hope folks will accept exaggerated "shock value" from "Jesus didn't even exist" and thus saw off the branch, or stoically press on for the sheer sake truth, knowing that the believers are getting all of the benefit from a he controversy.


Believers will win either way. The scholarly consensus doesn't really support their view beyond the mere assertion that Jesus was once alive, but given that Christians don't really care about theology anymore, how does mythicism really get in the way of belief, particularly for liberal protestant Christians? Their belief is functionally mythicist anyway (he says, while ducking to avoid the giant beam Johannes has just lobbed at his eye), since they accept all the history bunk and then just lather some theology on top in order to preserve some semblance of a religious belief in something they readily admit is mythical (in a sociological sense). Toss out the history bunk and you still have a whip cream theology. For conservatives, it's a bit harder, but since they don't care about theology either, I don't see why they can't conjure up some old "heresies" or change the meaning of a few inconvenient words in some creeds. No one would even notice the update. For adherents to the Osteen sect, a mythicist Jesus will guarantee you just as much financial success and wide-grinned happiness as a historical one. Have a blessed day!

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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:26 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
... Being a little streetwise, I see that Jesus myth is a minority position, one especially popular with atheists, ...

Several well known atheists totally backed away from 'mythism' prior to and during /following Mythcon 2017. It seems that at least some of the Jesus myth crowd has totally deep ended on pure shock value.

When the word of Sargon (and other radical mythists) were being given a platform, a few atheist refused to participate as speakers. A couple walked out during the presentation when the topic turned to a Sargon tweet to a woman feminist and advocate of anti-harassment "I wouldn't even rape you". Start at 4:35 in the following link and listen for a bit.

The nastiest "interview" you are likely to see

Here is a good example of how/where I see most atheists/humanists from one of the men that walked out of that interview and will refuse future participation with the radical mythists.

Mythcon and Humanism


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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:47 pm 
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Gadianton wrote:
Suppose I'm an atheist who has studied the Bible and higher criticism and all that and I give Christianity .01% as true. That's my prior.

I learn that it's proposed by some researchers that Jesus never even existed. If this is true, what will my updated belief in Christianity be?

Being a little streetwise, I see that Jesus myth is a minority position, one especially popular with atheists, and I know darn well that if it is wrong, Christian apologists will extract far more from the victory than Bayes merits. In fact, given its the underdog, it's likely generating faith for believers already, just by having the scholarly consensus go right for them for once on a matter so close to home.

In fact, the heated controversy wouldn't be nearly as heated if both sides were to apply Bayes to the implications. In other words, the atheist mythicists must either hope folks will accept exaggerated "shock value" from "Jesus didn't even exist" and thus saw off the branch, or stoically press on for the sheer sake truth, knowing that the believers are getting all of the benefit from a he controversy.


Ah yes, the famous Thomas Bayes's Wager, where the the formula doesn't merely calculate the probabilty that A is true given the basket of evidence B (i.e. P(A|B)), but rather the utility of the expected-value of A given B (i.e. U(E(A|B))). As was proven by Dr. Steven Gletch of Harvard University (who I happened to have had lunch with 10 years ago when he was the keynote speaker at a conference I attended. He's a great guy, and his wife is one hell of a cook), the result really comes down to marginal utility of 10% of your lifetime wages compared to the value in perpetuity of a lifetime of bliss multiplied by the a posteriori belief that it really is all true according to a classial Bayesian analysis.

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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:50 pm 
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I suppose you can look at it that way. I suppose that's what I ultimately meant, but, with the in-between step of how mythicism or its rejection strengthens the atheist position or Christian position.


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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 10:56 pm 
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RockSlider wrote:
Gadianton wrote:
... Being a little streetwise, I see that Jesus myth is a minority position, one especially popular with atheists, ...

Several well known atheists totally backed away from 'mythism' prior to and during /following Mythcon 2017. It seems that at least some of the Jesus myth crowd has totally deep ended on pure shock value.

When the word of Sargon (and other radical mythists) were being given a platform, a few atheist refused to participate as speakers. A couple walked out during the presentation when the topic turned to a Sargon tweet to a woman feminist and advocate of anti-harassment "I wouldn't even rape you". Start at 4:35 in the following link and listen for a bit.

The nastiest "interview" you are likely to see

Here is a good example of how/where I see most atheists/humanists from one of the men that walked out of that interview and will refuse future participation with the radical mythists.

Mythcon and Humanism



Rock, what do you consider yourself to be at this point?

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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:23 am 
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I think that in assessing the payoff from mythicism we have to include book sales.


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 Post subject: Re: What does Bayes say about payoff?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:39 pm 
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Physics Guy wrote:
I think that in assessing the payoff from mythicism we have to include book sales.

Book sales, you say? I suddenly find myself quite open to the idea.

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