Efficient Markets and Religion
I have been thinking a lot about the Efficient Markets Hypothesis and how it might apply to the market for religions, in as much as religion is a product or service, the cost of which includes both monetary expenditures, missed work, and the opportunity cost of not believing in your next best alternative religion.
One of the major misunderstandings of EMH is that it requires all market participants to be rational. On the contrary, there can be irrational players, and their mispricing of financial assets presents a near riskless profit opportunity for arbitrageurs.
But how does one arbitrage inefficient religions out of existence and what kind of profit does he get? I can't think of any satisfactory analogy. I know the Shakers disappeared, but that was more of a Darwinian thing because they didn't believe in having kids. In general, religion yields when science comes up with explanations to fill the gaps that motivated religion in the first place. The religion doesn't necessarily die though, it just becomes less supernatural, which is nonetheless a positive development. So the lack of information is definitely a problem here, just as it is a thorn in the side of the EMH.
Where am I going with this? I think the EMH analogy should hold among professors of religious studies. Surely they are able to look at all religions, including their own, with a critical eye. As scholars in the field, they must have in-depth exposure to a great number of religions. Why, then, haven't they settled on a consensus of some sort?
The fact that there is no consensus, in my humble opinion, is proof that no religion is especially convincing. This follows logically from the proposition that none of them is true.
Then what of the lack of consensus for atheism among scholars of religion? I think it's impossible. The sample selection bias is too great. Atheists simply don't go into the field of religious studies.
ok, DJ was right
The Facebook idea is lame. But Blogger is so 2005. My next post will be especially DJ-oriented.
Where did this blog go?
I have decided to instead start posting notes on Facebook. If you don't know me, no blog for you :-(
I am a prisoner in my own home!
Last week my Welsh corgi wall calendar fell on the floor when I wasn't looking, presumably after the load bearing thumbtack finally snapped out of the wall. So now I have a thumbtack somewhere on the floor near my desk, but I can't find it for my life. I plan to step on it in the near future.
Pope bashes Canada for allowing abortion, same sex marriage
If I were the Prime Minister of Canada, I would urge the Vatican to do something about exorcisms and all those stupid hats.
Truly Darwinian: Golan Heights Paragliding
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli man was stuck in the middle of a minefield near the Syrian border Saturday after crashing his paraglider and severely injuring himself.
The unidentified man took off from a peak in the Golan Heights and drifted east toward the Syrian and Jordanian borders before crashing in the minefield, injuring his legs and breaking several bones, rescue services said.
"He's in the process of being rescued," an army spokesman said.
Paragliding, in which participants jump off tall peaks or cliffs with a parachute strapped to their back, is a popular sport in the Golan, where there are many steep mountains along Israel's northeastern border.
The man's parachute is believed to have malfunctioned.
obvious headline of the day
What do cellphones and Nazis have in common?
Both of them are pro-Holocaust against the Jews. At least that's what one Orthodox group would have you believe.
The irony is that the cellphone was invented by Motorola in an Israeli lab. I guess these particular Jews are so paranoid that they even see Israelis as anti-Semites...
some good news out of the middle east
Fortunately, despite the terrorist rocket attacks, America's high tech subsidiaries in Haifa are doing well.