I often want to feel that science and philosophy have been enriched by the introduction and deployment of various kinds of probability theories. I am also often attracted to the further thought that Bayes theory should be a normative ideal in helping me establish how one should think about, say, evidence or risk.
Yet reflecting on this moving review, http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=15666, of Swinburne's recent book (Was Jesus God?) or, say, Earman's earlier well known use of Bayes' theory Hume's Abject Failure (not to mention the assignment of probabilities in risk models used by the financial industry or the manipulation of, say, Bayes' theory in research applications by scientists) has made me wonder if the following isn't true: if the competent use of a probability theory can lead one to assign a positive value to the probability that God has anthropomorphic qualities this should be seen as a reductio ad absurdum of the theory. I know there are many good objections to this melancholic thought (not to mention that I may be unable to construct a valid argument for it). But at what point does one admit that the problem is with the class of tools rather than the uses made by them? Or is the National Rifle Association's claim that "Guns do not kill people...people kill people" really convincing?