Pick a card, any card.
OMG, what are the chances that you picked the one you happen to have in your hand! Etc.
How exactly are you calculating those odds? I dont even think the greatest minds in the world would claim to be able to work out the probability of us existing in a purely materialistic world because we simply dont know enough about the world yet to make such a calculation. So I'm curious as to how you are calculated the odds of bazillion, quadrillon, gazillon to 1, or even how it is you think everything came to be, i.e. matter, planets, stars, the earth, life, etc.
I have always felt that the totality of the question could theoretically be explained by science, but that even if probabilities were determined - which as you rightly say they cannot - then it's fairly obvious, at least to me, that the X:1 probability would have an extraordinarily high number.
This view was reinforced when I saw a group of Channel 4 documentaries that explained the evolution of life on Earth as a group of catastrophes, each of which should have destroyed the planet or at least made it permanently incapable of supporting life (massive asteroid strikes, over oxegenation of the atmosphere, massive volcanic outbreaks etc), but instead had the opposite effect of 'guiding' the evolution of life on Earth, by acting in a very convenient and specific sequence.
Did we really beat the odds? Did we just get super, duper, very very, extraodrinarily lucky? Science does suggest that it is possible, albeit extremely remove, but to accept it as unavoidable truth that we did, requires a certain belief in unbelievably extreme good fortune.
I find that as bizarre and obtuse as any theistic viewpoint, worthy of being considered theistic in itself. Hence I reject it as such.
Edit: It should have been very clear that I was not attempting to be scientific in my calculations My point was that whatever the number is, I think it's stratospherically high - into the realm of statistically impossible.
Once again, like yourself, atheists simply have no belief in a god. I don't know why you continue to make up beliefs and apply them to all atheists.
''Nothing outside the physical realm'' has absolutely nothing to do with atheism, plenty of atheists believe there is something ''outside the physical realm''.
You'd probably help your argument if you stopped making things up.
It's 1:1 (i.e. guaranteed) because the question ("What are the odds you'd pick that card?") was only asked after the card had been picked. Any card could have been picked and the question would have been asked but with "that card" referring to a different card.
The point is by calculating the probabilities of something occurring after it occurred you are restricting your calculations by parameters which wouldn't have been relevant when the situation was unfolding.
Most importantly though is that it's not of any importance to Atheists when the answer "I don't know how we came into existence" is sufficient.
Ok, take a deck of cards 999,999 of which are blank and 1has you win on it. Ask ten million people to draw a card and see if they win. Then return the card. Every person has minute 1 in a million odds but approx 10 people should win. Now picture the people are planets and the deck is their chance of creating advanced life (the win card) and you see the odds might not be so enormous. Now give the drawn win card sentience and it will look at its planet and think what are the odds of me on this planet but he doesnt realise that it could equally have been another planet, he was destined to exist. (odds pulled out of my ass)
It would also help your argument if you stopped ignoring the information and the realities. The 2 dimensional theist-atheist and gnostic-agnostic chart
is a good description of religious views, but requires options just off the graph along each axis for people who self identify as one thing. For example, if you believe what is written in the Koran, you are a Muslim and you don't have to qualify that with (a)gnostic or (a)theist. One word sums up your view.
Or if you actively assert the negative, you can call yourself an Atheist or a Gnostic Atheist or a Negative Theist or whatever you like, your self-identification is valid.
Likewise my belief is guided by the evidence, which tells me that all claims to supernatural knowledge including the negative are equally laughable. That makes me an Agnostic and I feel no need to further qualify that.
10 people shouldn't win. Just because you have 10 million people drawing the cards does not mean there is an equal chance of each card being drawn once.
But if there is nothing outside the spiritual realm, then luck had to play a very large part.
If you accept the "Catastrophe Earth" scenario (and I have no reason not to) then 1:999,999 odds are extremely generous, probably 1:999,999,999,999,999,999 is closer (again I admit I am pulling these figures out of my rear end)
You also have to consider that some parts of the galaxy are less hospitable than others, for example, if there had been a black hole anywhere near our solar system, it wouldn't matter that Earth could have sustained life, this planet and our entire solar system would have been crushed like a beer can a fraction of a second at some point in time. But surprise surprise, we're nowhere near a black hole or any other dangerous extra-terrestrial phenonmenon, except the goodies like those perfectly sized asteroids that whacked the planet at just the right time with the just the right amout of force.
Suppose you have one stamp that you like. You haven't exactly got a collection but you could well find another one you liked in the future and keep that as well.
The odds of picking any specific card out of a deck are 1:52.
The odds of picking any card out of a deck and retroactively assigning it importance is 1:1.
Which is what's being done here.
- Whether or not your an atheist has nothing to do with other spiritual beliefs.
- An atheist can just as likely be a determinist which removes luck entirely.
- As there would be no one to ask the question if we did not exist an atheist might see your point as irrelevant.
Allah features pretty heavily in the Qur'an, so I think if you believe all of what the Qur'an says then you must be a theist.
If you only believe a bit of the Qur'an are you still a Muslim? In which case, I must be a Muslim.
To be an atheist you don't have to assert a negative. You simply must be without a positive assertion. Believing there is no god is not the same as having no belief in a god. That's why you're an atheist.