I'm sure you understand that is a rather meaningless calculation.
Each of the line items should probably not be given equal weight. There are probably 100's of other things that one might add to each side of the calculation (in fact you can put in pretty much whatever your inclination dictates.)
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that mentality is real. By this I mean there are two types of reality, the mental and physical, both equally real. The thoughts I have are some kind of "thing" as real as the tree out in my front yard.
1. This means there are things that are not corporeal but real. They have no physical dimensions. We can't talk about how long or wide they are or how much they weigh or what their velocity is.
2. It is not, IMO, possible for mentality to somehow evolve out of physicality. There is a sheer gap between the two, no stages in between physicality and mentality.
3. This lack of stages is not to be confused with stages of consciousness. We can speak of semi-consciousness, for example, and we can imagine that some animal might have a permanent state of semi-consciousness compared to humans. But that does not mean that there are these things in him which are partially mental and partially physical. Something is either mental or physical; there can be no mixture. If consciousness is something mental, then so is semi-consciousness.
4. Of course, the mind is dependent on the brain. All you have to do is drink some wine, like I did last night, to realize that. But that doesn't mean that the mind is the brain, or that the brain can create a mind. How is it going to do this? How does mere increasing complexity and quantity of neural connections emerge into a "thought"?
This message has been edited by robinrohan, 12-24-2004 02:50 PM
Of course, the mind is dependent on the brain. All you have to do is drink some wine, like I did last night, to realize that. But that doesn't mean that the mind is the brain, or that the brain can create a mind. How is it going to do this? How does mere increasing complexity and quantity of neural connections emerge into a "thought"?
Is thought an algorithm? Then it can be implemented on a neural net. The data can be the representation from sensory memory that can be transformed.
I am thinking awareness as the subjective witness of the sensory contents and the processing of symbols (thought/language) is not the same as mind, which is the operation of the brain and not conscious. Consciousness is OF the mind but not the mind. This is based on my reading of Buddhist and Advaita Vedanta. Thus awareness is a primitive function of the universe and not derived or emerged. How it is aware of the brain function I've no idea. The only clue I have is that all we directly experience is our mind. Matter and energy though we can manipulate and model them our not directly experienced by our consciousness but interfered from our sensory, motor, and symbolic systems.
One way to calculate a probability for god existing would be to take all the people who have personally 'experienced' god and all those who haven't. Of course, you'd have to compensate for 'experiencing' incompatible gods. If we assumed that everyone is truthful and of sound mind, we would reach a relatively large number.
Now, this makes not attempt to account for social indoctrination, so a more accurate method would be to find the number of beings not exposed to a social system that believe in god. Unfortunately, these beings are probably not in existance any where in the solar system, so we are likely to have trouble there. Perhaps if we could check the beliefs of deaf new borns (deaf to avoid audio transferral of beliefs while in the womb) we might have a rough estimate.
Of course, the Gnostic and (historic) Pagan view that god can only be known through knowing yourself requires consciousness and self-study, which can only occur in adults.
Unfortunately, it looks like belief structure cannot provide evidence for god, we can only base a probability on the likelyhood of specific gods existing (the Olympians who live on Mount Olympus for example are unlikely to exist, as they are not there when we look).
If you have an infinite selection and pick at random you have a probability of zero of getting a particular result. But you did not pick at random in the second part of your statement, you chose with prior knowledge, therefore a probability of picking the one number you choose to pick is 1. This is not something 'impossible'.