Scale of God’s Probability

One of the books I am reading is the God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. He has described a scale of belief as he tries to explain the levels of a persons belief in the probability of there being a God. I am finding it very challenging to put myself on this scale. Here it is verbatim from his book*:

1. Strong theist. 100% probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung “I do not believe, I know.”

2. Very high probability but short of 100%. De facto theist. “I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.”

3. Higher than 50% but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. “I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.”

4. Exactly 50%. Completely impartial agnostic. “God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.”

5. Lower than 50% but not very low. Technically agnostic, but leaning towards atheism. “I don’t know whether God exists, but I am inclined to be skeptical.”

6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. “I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.”

7. Strong atheist. “I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung ‘knows’ there is one.”

*The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, 2008 edition

This is beautifully written, well described, and simple to understand. I could find myself in it at different points in my life. As a child I was probably a 1, as a teen a 2, in college more of a 4 or 5. Then I had children and tried my best to do what my spouse and I saw as the “right thing” so I may have swung up a bit to a 3. Then while I was employed at a church… I don’t know, maybe still a 3 and a 2 on good inspiring days. Now… if I am honest… I am probably back to being a 5. This is hard to admit because it feels like a failing. It feels like I have slid down the scale to a lesser score, dropped points somehow. It’s a scale of what I think is probable, I know, but it is hard not to feel graded. Am I passing or failing?


2 thoughts on “Scale of God’s Probability

  1. In my opinion, it is not a failure in any way. While I would say that on this scale I am a 6, I would say the same whether one was a 1 or a 7, or anything in between. What is more important is what one does about it. I do personally attended a UU congregation, for it does fulfill my needs. Have you ever considered that for yourself? Best for you on your journey.

    • I live on a very small isolated Army post right now. Not a lot of options for worship, and most of them are far more conservative than I could ever be. I will look into that more though once we move! Thank you. 🙂

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