How confident are you about various so called facts?
I'm a bit perplexed at how many put something other than 0% for homeopathy. Seriously?
Strange that you cannot put a figure on confidence in Jesus' existence, but are absolutely certain you know how the original NT read.
It might seem that way. The reason for the difference is I can base a resolve about manuscripts based upon a sufficiency of physical evidence. IOW there is nothing in the manuscripts or other writings to suggest a positive while all evidence suggests a negative.
On the other hand, the topic of whether the Jesus character of the Gospels is a composite figure based upon multiple historical persons, a wholly fictional construct, or a mythologized single historical person, the evidence is insufficient to be resolved. There are legitimate arguments to be made for any of those positions and I have not felt the need to draw a conclusion.
"It's not global warming it'S climate change!!"
It's both. Global warming is the cause, climate change is the result. "Climate change" is a phrase that has been used in the scientific literature for a century.
I do not think pragmatic scepticism, as I would describe it, is an unproductive world view.
Nor do I. Skepticism involves reserving judgement until sufficient evidence is amassed. That is what I'm also suggesting. I think I understand you're simply saying that we hold some things as true yet are concerned we have not been adequately skeptical. It is a rather uncomfortable sensation that can be minimized. What I'm encouraging is having the courage to draw a conclusion when evidence supports it while not feeling pressured to have a resolve when evidence is insufficient.
Slimboy I like you, you know I do but I have to call bullshit when it's in your first sentence - your opening premise;
No facts about the world are absolutely certain.
I think it's about our ability to ascertain or verify facts and how much we trust them.
I can't personally verify that Armstrong walked on the moon for instance. In that sense it's not a 'fact' in the same sense that 2+2=4 is.
Some of the questions are interesting. More interesting is if you find yourself giving absolute 0% / 100% answers or having some doubts.
I believe that I can't know anything with certainty except that I'm conscious and that I exist. I can't prove that anything exists outside my mind. I can't really know whether or not I'm living in a solypsism. I don't live like I'm in a solypsism only because I might not be and there may really be others.
Anything is possible. Perhaps Kurzweil's singularity has already occurred centuries ago and I'm existing in a virtual world where nothing is what it seems but just a projection of my mind.
Sometimes I wish I was the only consciousness because that would mean the world with all the pain and suffering doesn't exist and the worst that anyone has ever suffered would be what I went through.
Again, although I think that's a possibility, I don't behave that way because maybe it's not.
Being above 95% sure of something is drawing a conclusion in my view. Nothing is 100% certain, and indeed many things are inconclusive, which is what percentages like 50, 70 and 10 are for. You can decide in favour of something without bannishing all room for doubt at the same time.
I agree there is not enough evidence one way or another to draw a definite conclusion about Jesus. But that doesn't mean the only option is to throw your hands up in the air and say you have no idea one way or the other.
As for the divine name in the NT there is some evidence. 1) the Septuagint of the period still used the divine name 2) nomina sacra forms in surviving manuscripts show divine names were treated as special even at a later sage 3) high number of variants involving kyrios or KS show confusion in the text involving that title 4) some verses make better sense with divine name assumed ("the Lord said to my Lord") 5) Jewish sources say gospel texts containing the divine name were burned 6) at least two modern scholars George Howard and David Trobisch have supported the divine name in the NT.
The arguments may not be conclusive (I gave it 51%, far from conclusive) but they certainly(!) nudge the probability above 0% by any reasonable assessment.
Nicolou what things are you certain about?
"Certain" types will tell you in turn that evolution is 100% fact, O J 100% certainly guilty and homeopathy has 0% chance of working, while for other "certain" asserters those issues are exactly the opposite. I say there are varying degrees of certainty for everything, or most things. Simon brings up maths, which may be a special case. There is a reasonable certainty about 2 + 2 = 4 that exceeds external observation and current "knowledge" about the world.
1. The earth is a sphere rather than flat in shape. 100%
2. Global warming is a real phenomenon of serious concern that is caused by human activities. 0%
(human activity is a major contributory factor = 100%)
3. Life on Earth evolved its many forms through the process of natural selection. 100%
4. The gospels are based on a real apocalyptic preacher called Jesus who lived in first century Palestine. 49%
5. J F Rutherford was a drunk - 80% who cheated on his wife with various women. - I have no idea
6. Smoking causes lung cancer. 100%
7. Men really walked on the moon. 100%
8. Consciousness survives death. 0%
9. Moses wrote the Pentateuch. 0%
10. Dragons exists. 0%
11. Homeopathy is effective beyond placebo. 0%
12. O J Simpson was innocent. 5%
13. Scotland will be an independent country within 20 years. 5%
14. There will be a nuclear war sometime in the 21st century. 50%
15. The New Testament originally contained the divine name. 10%
16. At least one of the presidents of the Watchtower was homosexual. I have no idea
17. The universe began in a Big Bang around 14 billion years ago. 100%
18. China is the country with the most people. 90%