Re: [Synoptic-L] Inductive argument and Baysian statistics

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• ... There is no barrier to probability theory here, except in the formulation of a sound basis for it. There is also no need to be patronizing. ... This
Message 1 of 1 , Mar 3, 2006
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At 06:43 AM 3/3/2006, Gentile, David wrote:
>It has come to my attention that the form of my recent argument may be
>completely foreign to those trained in biblical studies. (As some terms
>used by biblical scholars still are to me)
>
>I know biblical students learn inductive argument, but I am now guessing
>that Bayesian analysis, or a connection between inductive logic and
>probability is not (generally) part of the curriculum.

There is no barrier to probability theory here, except in the formulation
of a sound basis for it.
There is also no need to be patronizing.

>Bayesian probability is about subjective mental probability assessments
>(or better yet the justified certainty a robot or computer correctly
>programmed could have about a given truth claim).

This characterization seems to consist primarily of words loosely thrown
around. I have some familiarity with Bayes' theorem, and some others on the
list do, as well. Your description of Bayesian probability does not seem
satisfactory to me.

>Without that background, my recent argument may have been completely
>misunderstood.

And with that background, your recent argument is likely to be met with the
skepticism that you have encountered.

>My recent salt argument runs like this -
>
>Produce an inductive argument for a pattern in Mark. Show that my
>reading of salt would strengthen that inductive argument.

"Show" and "strengthen" are key words in this statement, and it doesn't
seem to me that you have done either.

>Form a new completely separate inductive argument for a different
>pattern in Mark, again show that my reading of salt would strengthen
>that inductive argument.

See above.

>Repeat as often as possible.

Compounding a mistake does not undo the mistake.

>Each time my reading fits and strengthens one of those inductive
>arguments, (better than a competing reading), our justified assessment
>of the probable truth of the reading must increase.

See above.

>This is a Bayesian probability argument.
>
>Does this information help anyone understand what I was trying to say?

A little; but you've mainly failed to "show" and "strengthen," and that's
why you're not making any headway.

Bob
Robert M. Schacht, Ph.D.
University of Hawaii
Honolulu, HI

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