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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)


Another way of looking at faith is to invoke the probabilities discussed earlier in this paper. There, we stated that no knowledge is certain, but only has a certain probability of being true. One could define a reasonable belief (expressed by proposition p, probability of truth p) as one with p > 0.5, so that it is more rational to believe the proposition than its negation (not-p, probability 1-p).

  1. Faith would then equate to that added conviction or enthusiasm with which a belief is held over and above that which is strictly warranted by the evidence, ie. if p < 0.5, "faith in p" = 0.5 - p. If p > 0.5, "faith in not-p" = p - 0.5.
  2. Alternatively, "faith" is the term applied to the practical adoption of unreasonable beliefs (defined as those beliefs with p < 0.5).
  3. However, is not faith required to hold any belief, even if its probability p > 0.5? For instance, the probability of survival or the first round of Russian roulette1 is 5/6 for the first player, but most of us would need faith to undergo the ordeal even though we are more likely to survive than not.
  4. It is to be noted that since all substantial world views will have p < 0.5, they will all be classified as unreasonable beliefs and can therefore only be maintained by faith.




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12/08/2007 10:17:46 389 (Faith - Probability) Faith

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