March 24, 2004 | 32 Comments
New York, New York, March 24, 2004
Fine-tuning the calculations of a noted physicist, a prominent internet atheist has estimated that there is a 4% chance that God exists.
The Raving Atheist’s ground-breaking discovery corrects the findings of Dr. Stephen Unwin, who assessed the likelihood of God’s existence as 67% by employing a 200-year-old formula called “Baynes Theorem.”
“Dr. Unwin’s first error was assuming that there’s a 50% a priori chance that God exists,” said TRA. “The starting point is really 0% — because like a square circle, the notion of an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent is self-contradictory and therefore impossible.”
TRA agreed with Unwin, however, that the probability should be raised 17% over the baseline after weighing factors such as the existence of goodness, natural and moral evils, religious experience and miracles. “Jesus couldn’t have risen from the dead by accident,” he noted in approving the addition of twenty percentage points, a number that was reduced by 3% after factoring in the existence of Hitler, Stalin, Dean Esmay, cancer and earthquakes.
The final figure was reached after TRA made a 13% downward adjustment for the complete lack of empirical evidence, a deduction Unwin had rejected on the ground that “you can’t see air or a baby’s smile either.” TRA observed that air was detectable in other ways such as by breathing, and that baby’s smiles were in fact visible. “So the ultimate answer is 4%,” said TRA. “Multiplied by zero.”
A collorary discovery made by TRA in the course of the calculations was that it is impossible to discover a cubed integer which is the sum of two lesser cubes, a fourth power as a sum of fourth powers, or, in general, any power beyond the second as a sum of two similar powers. However, the proof of that theorem was omitted due to a lack of space in the margins of his notebook.
[Link courtesy of Madman]