I came across a tweet today that said, “Either God exists or he doesn’t. I’m happy with my 50%” That seems true on its face, but there are multiple possibilities, and each time you add a possibility, the odds of any particular God existing get slimmer.
How to Determine Chances for Existence
If all we have is “God” with no attributes, there is a 50% chance that this God exists. As soon as we add an attribute though, the chances go lower. If you have a God that created the universe for instance, you have a 50% chance that God created the universe and you have a 50% chance of God existing. That means that you actually have a 25% chance. If that God created man, suddenly it’s a 1/8 chance. If that God created dogs, it goes to 1/16 and so on. Let’s say that God created every atom in the universe. That alone is roughly a 1/10^80 chance that there is a god that created every single atom in the universe.
One may think that creating every single atom in the universe should be the apex of the number of possibilities, but we have a countless number of other options, namely the position in the universe that all of those atoms were created.
Let’s show this in terms of a computer monitor. If we have a computer monitor that is just monochrome, where the colors are only black or white, we can represent each position on the screen with an x and y position. If our screen is 100 pixels by 100 pixels, that makes the chances of any single pixel being turned on 1/10000. If you pick 2 pixels, you need to square that number, which means that the chances of you picking both of those pixels is 1 in 100000000. 3 pixels and we have to multiply that by 10000 again for a 1 in 1000000000000 chance. 4 pixels and we have a 1 in 10^16 chance. When we extrapolate this out, the chances of having every pixel on the screen white are 1 in 10^40000. That’s an insane number considering that the chances of you and I picking the same atom in the universe are roughly 1/10^80.
So, when you say that God is omnipotent, omniscient, all good, a creator, placed all the stars in the sky in the positions they are in, has a son named Jesus, etc., you are adding attributes that lower the possibility every single time.
Possibility That God Doesn’t Exist
Now, even though there are multiple things that people claim God does, the chances still remain 50% that God doesn’t exist. The reason is, claiming God doesn’t exist doesn’t rely on any proclamations of properties. God either exists or he doesn’t. My position is that he does not exist. Nothing will change that possibility to lower than 50%.
Some might say, “Hey, you have the same odds against any particular thing happening that I have that it does.” and that is true, but I don’t assert that there is a God that lacks the properties you suggest God has. I say there is no God whatsoever.
Imagine that I were to say there is no screen. I am making no specific assertions about individual pixels, I am making an assertion about the entire screen. There is a 50% chance that there is no screen where there is a 1/10^80000 chance of any specific picture being on the screen if it exists. My chances are way better than yours.
If believers want to keep the chances that their God is real up, they need to stop giving him attributes. I’ve had believers try to use the Beyesian inference argument to tell me that God is the best explanation, but when considering the chances, I would have to argue that without evidence that there is a God, the chances don’t look very good.