The Probabilty of God

With Bayes’ Theorem of Probability as starting point, the english mathematician Stephen Unwin has developed a formula to obtain the probability of the existence of God. This pseudoscientific effort shows the inherent contradictions of human nature and the constant quest of impossible answers.

The artist Plinio Avila uses this formula as an analogy of his own artistic praxis in which the act of searching becomes more important than the final goal. Absolute answers are an evidence of spiritual laziness.

The Theorem of God is a mixture of the mathematical image, presented as an open formula for the spectator to solve with his or her own variables. The frame appeals to the religious iconography that uses golden and baroque elements to give supernatural value to an human made image.

The formula

Bayes’ Theroem:

P(AIB) =  [P(BIA)P(A)]  /  [P(BIA)P(A) + P(BI¬A)P(¬A)]


Unwin’s formula:

Pafter =  [PbeforeD]  /  [PbeforeD+1-Pbefore]


Plinio’s formula: 

P(GnIE) =  [P(Gn).P(EIGn)]  /  [P(Gn).P(EIGn) + P(∾Gn).P(EI∾Gn)]


With the premise of absolute ignorance about the existence of God, 50% probability (G1=0.5)

The spectator assigns value to variable E according to his or her answer to the next questions:

1) Existence of Pure Goodness.

2) Existence of Moral Evil.

3) Existence of Natural Evil.

4) Existence of Simple Miracles.

5) Existence de Natural Miracles. 

6) Evidence of religious experiences.

(Being E=10 much more likely, E=2 moderately likely, E=1 neutral, E=0.5 moderately unlikely, E=0.01 much more unlikely)


The formula is solved with the given value to Evidence (E) in the first question. After that the first result of P(GnIE) us used with the given value of E of the second question. This is repeated with all the questions to finally find a personal probability of the existence of God.

Mathematically it is impossible to get a result of neither 100%, nor 0%.

 © 2019 by Plinio Avila

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