Bayesian Search for Truth & Meaning

August 18, 2024 10:00 am

Join us for our summer lay-led service with Colin Warwick.

This service is based on the book The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll.

The first step in answering Big Questions like “How should I live my life?” and “What happens to me upon death?” is answering the meta-question “How do I know what is true?”

Einstein said[1] “Truth is what stands the test of experience.” Bayesian reasoning (also called abduction) provides a method to update our prior belief against each experience, and come up with a more complete and secure belief, called the “posterior.” These updates can be applied iteratively: the old posterior becomes the new prior for the new update.

Having explained the method, we’ll try to apply it to questions about the nature of consciousness and the existence (or otherwise) of a creator God, immortal souls, and free will.

[1] Closing words of his foreword to Philipp Frank’s book “Relativity: A Richer Truth”