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Metaphysical probability statements

  1. Mar 22, 2010 #1


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    I have seen often that statements that refer to a probability of some particular metaphysical thing's existence, e.g. god, is characterized as a good and meaningful statement. I can accept this, but I have also seen this in the context of realism - which for me makes little sense.

    My question is: how is it meaningful in a realist perspective to postulate a probability of some statement (for example regarding some thing's existence) if the statement is either true or false?
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  3. Mar 22, 2010 #2
    I believe I raised this issue before here.

    There are two ways I see probability making any sense. A: error of measurement. Which means the probability magically changes if you take sharper measurements until it becomes 0 or 1. B: Quantum indeterminacy.
  4. Mar 22, 2010 #3


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    A is a context which I am familiar with, and I have no trouble accepting any such statement of probability. I am not familiar with B, but I guess it is in the context of the wave-function. That is, a model of the probability of a certain outcome in the future. B is relatively equivalent to A, at least in this case. However, when it comes to statements which have definite answers, I can not see how probability can apply.
  5. Mar 22, 2010 #4
    Well, 'probability', it just means that even with all the variables, we still cannot know what happens.

    It just means that not all variables are dependent on others, but just seem to come into play on their own.

    I wouldn't per se say it means a 'probability', it can also mean that it's a fixed outcome, but that there's just no way of knowing in advance? Which then is a measurement idea again.
  6. Mar 22, 2010 #5


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    If so, there must be some basis for belief that some statement is true or not. Metaphysical statements have no such basis, so I do not see how a probability statement about them can make sense. Your definition of probability does not seem to apply to metaphysical statements.
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