John Loftus stirs the pot with his recent post, “Should We Think Exclusively in Terms of Probabilities or Not?“
Victor Reppert responds in, “But How Shall we Follow Probabilities?“
I think I agree with Loftus when he writes, we “should think exclusively in terms of the probabilities.” If I understand Reppert, I am pretty sure he agrees also.
I’m not convinced, however, that a Christian’s degree of belief that Jesus rose from the dead must necessarily exceed that which can be justified based on the evidence. I agree with Reppert that “a Bayesian-rational person makes proper conditionalizations on his prior probabilities” and that “a Bayesian-rational person can conclude that Jesus rose from the dead.” Similarly, a Bayesian-rational person can conclude that Jesus was (and still is) dead.
(As an aside: it would be interesting to learn what prior probability Reppert assigns to the Resurrection. By way of comparison, I think Swinburne assumes it is 0.5.)
It is obvious that it is possible that a Christian’s degree of belief that Jesus rose from the dead could exceed that which is Bayesian-rational. It is also obvious that a non-Christian’s degree of belief that Jesus did not rise from the dead could exceed that which is Bayesian-rational. So what? Now what? Unless someone has some way to show that the majority of Christians or non-Christians fit those categories, respectively, this is not a philosophically significant conclusion.
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