How confident are you about various so called facts?

by slimboyfat 175 Replies latest social entertainment

  • cofty
    We need not be concerned that every well thought out and researched conclusion may some day prove to be incomplete. Sure it may happen

    It will NEVER be discovered that the earth is flat. This is 100% certain

    Still waiting to hear how saying so is a "pitfall".

  • paul from cleveland
    paul from cleveland

    Slimboyfat, what is your percentage of certainty that Jehovah's Witnesses are the true religion?

    Edit: Have you determined a percentage?

  • Simon

    Someone already mentioned Bayes theory which is the ability to have confidence in a decision reached through what appears to be insufficient information. It's incredibly clever stuff and used by many computer-intelligence systems and demonstrates that often, unknown information isn't a blocker to making correct decisions.

    Plus, just because we say we're 100% confident in something isn't the same as saying we would not consider new facts and discoveries and we billing to change our opinion. That's stubbornness, not confidence. Climate change deniers aren't confident in their opinion - they are just stubbornly refusing to accept new facts.

    It also seems to confuse probability with confidence interval. A 95% confidence interval doesn't mean something is 95% likely to occur. We can be 100% (statistically) confident in something that is not 100% guaranteed.

  • nonjwspouse

    SBF, how do you feel about String theory? I sense you have considered this theory.

    Cofty, Cats are highly able to care for themselves, fantastic hunters.

    However, they will not always kill a natural prey, even if they do so regularly. Personal experience in my childhood with a cat that would leave my pet rat ( yes I had one) alone, out of the cage, wandering around the house ( yep, he would come back to the cage when hungry). My cat was a fantastic hunter, but always left my pet alone. Even sleeping together on my bed occasionally.

    So, nope, not evil. ( She was also a black cat ;-)

  • OnTheWayOut

    I can't read eleven pages of response. My numbers are close to those or Village Idiot on page 1, except for a couple.

    1. The earth is a sphere rather than flat in shape.

    100%. Air travel calculates it. Space satellites depend on it. Photos have been sent. If the United States faked it and the earth was flat, then the Soviet Union or China would have blown the news, or vice versa. All those scientists calculating the universe and observing it via telescope. They know the rest of the universe consists of spherical planets and stars and rocks and things. Too many people to completely fool, and keep on the wrong track as far as advancing knowledge goes.

    2. Global warming is a real phenomenon of serious concern that is caused by human activities.

    100%. Some of the data will change and details can be argued over, but pumping fossil fuel exhaust from autos and factories into the air has had it's effects. It will change things, but something will survive no matter what we do and life of some sort will rebound even if we humans all die. I am pretty sure we won't. We will adapt to the changes with a smaller population wearing masks, or some kind of life like that.

    3. Life on Earth evolved its many forms through the process of natural selection.

    100%. Science doesn't have all the details correct, still finding more human-like examples and seeing that not all was super slow in evolving. But there is enough evidence for the general knowledge of how it all came about.

    4. The gospels are based on a real apocalyptic preacher called Jesus who lived in first century Palestine.

    .001% It has been very unpopular to go so far as to suggest that there was not a "Jesus" who defied the status quo. But as time goes on, it is increasingly done. I give the slightest chance that there was a guy that kind of sort of did this preaching work, but there simply is no evidence whatsoever. It is much more likely that Jesus was a myth of the time of Paul and everyone knew that- kind of like a replacement for the other myths.

    5. J F Rutherford was a drunk who cheated on his wife with various women.

    80% based on eyewitness testimony. I wasn't there. I wouldn't know different.

    6. Smoking causes lung cancer.

    99% with qualifications. Some people are genetically resistant and can smoke like a chimney at a hundred years of age.

    7. Men really walked on the moon.

    100% Too many people to be involved in a conspiracy. The Soviets would have figured it out. They watched their little screens while the U.S. was sending out spacecraft.

    8. Consciousness survives death.

    0.001% No legitimate proof that this has happened. We die, we are dead.

    9. Moses wrote the Pentateuch.

    0%. Jews were not slaves in Egypt. Fiction. Moses is fiction.

    10. Dragons exist(ed).

    0% Based on large animals and myths. The fire breathing is pure fiction.

    11. Homeopathy is effective beyond placebo. 1%

    5% I would like to vote lower, but I think some unconventional medicine is valid. Too bad that so much quackery comes from this area.

    12. O J Simpson was innocent.

    0%. He reeked of guilt.

    13. Scotland will be an independent country within 20 years.

    No clue, but they had chances and didn't do it.

    14. There will be a nuclear war sometime in the 21st century.

    25%. There will probably be an incident, like there was in Japan. But I don't know about it spiraling into war.

    15. The New Testament originally contained the divine name.

    .001%. None of the Greek manuscripts of the New Testament contain the Tetragrammaton. The New Testament pointed to Jesus Christ, and use of his name or any reference to him could have caused the same sense of reverence to early readers. And the New Testament writing started long after that name was widely used- remember the idea that the name shouldn't be said.

    16. At least one of the presidents of the Watchtower was homosexual.

    95%. There were some problems with Leo Greenlees.

    17. The universe began in a Big Bang around 14 billion years ago.

    95% Data will change as we know more, but the general teachings are sound.

    18. China is the country with the most people.

    99%. It's slightly above India's population but imperfection in gathering statistics might be misleading.

  • Simon
    6. Smoking causes lung cancer.
    99% with qualifications. Some people are genetically resistant and can smoke like a chimney at a hundred years of age

    This is example of how some of the questions are incomplete in themselves, missing a vital component which means we end up answering how we interpret the question.

    i.e. is the question "Smoking cause lung cancer" taken to mean:

    Smoking cause any lung cancer

    Smoking cause all lung cancer

    Smoking always causes lung cancer

    Smoking increases the risk of getting lung cancer

    ... those are all very different questions that would likely get different answers

  • nonjwspouse
    Simon , you provided a great example of how a survey wording is crucial to the validity of the outcome. ( Ok, another one of my college-major pet peeves)
  • LoveUniHateExams

    We've worked it all out haven't we, well done us. We understand it all

    Obviously you're being sarcastic - we don't understand it all. We're still finding things out.

    But that's no reason to trample on what we do know ...

  • cofty
    Maintaining the assertions in the OP has necessitated resorting to dishonest games like pretending not to know what flat means.
  • Phizzy

    Good Thread SBF ! It has made me examine exactly how certain I am about some things. My answers to the specifics more or less echo what OTWO says.

    I think the majority on here accept that there are doubts, to some degree, in a number of areas, even many areas not mentioned in your questionnaire, but we no longer fall for the old JW trap of thinking in terms of absolute truth.

    Most here are reasoning thinkers, and will adjust views as evidence emerges.

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