The Meaninglessness of Probability

Interesting discussion by John C. Wright:

It is a meaningful sentence to say that the chance of a balanced coin landing headsup is fifty times out of a hundred because and only because the shape of the coin (it has only two sides) is known, and the factors that determine the fall of the coin (the impulse of the thumb) is unknown, but the thumb is known to exist.

Here we do not know how many other outcomes are possible because we do not know what causes the cosmological constants to be what they are. We do not know what would change any of those constants if any of them can be. We do not know if even a single other universe is possible aside from the one in which we live.

So the number produced by any so called physicist claiming our universe is unlikely or likely or inevitable or nearly impossible is utterly meaningless and nonsensical.

We do not know what we do not know. This is why, no matter how many times people are told that the odds of them winning the lottery (the parameters of which are known) are prohibitive, people keep playing it. Because someone will win it, and there’s no reason that said someone can’t be me.

 

 


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