Will I (Aella) convert to Christianity by the end of 2028?

Justin Murphy predicts I'll reconvert to Christianity: https://twitter.com/jmrphy/status/1741150091874902347
For the purposes of this market (based on Justin's description), it cannot be liberal Christianity, it has to be a version of Christianity that requires some sort of sexual conservatism.

edit: Made this before seeing someone else beat me to it: https://manifold.markets/jacobsaysheyyy/will-aella-revert-to-christianity-w?r=amFjb2JzYXlzaGV5eXk

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95% likelihood of a single person making a life decision in the next 4 years is like the worst risk/reward bet of all time

I asked before but didn't get a response. Perhaps you know. In the past 4 years what percent of atheists converted to "a version of Christianity that requires some sort of sexual conservatism"?

You’re asking for the base rate of people with relatively extreme views changing their mind ? Over 4 years ? it’s not 3% lol

any extreme view changing to any other extreme view? sure. But that's not what this market is about

Ok, what do you think the right base rate is for this market then ?

Also, keep in mind the math: at 95% odds, you’re up/down is +5.2% / -100% for ‘No’, or +2000% / -100% for ‘Yes’. The question is about a single persons personal view over 4 years. It’s genuinely not rational to bet on ‘No’ at 95% odds, almost no matter what the specific scenarios are. Like the IRR over 4 years is basically 0 with 100% downside risk. Even Aella should be putting money on ‘Yes’ as a rationalist lol

I'm sorry. I don't understand investment lingo. I don't know what an up/down is and didn't follow your math. I'm not asking you to explain it. I'm just letting you know that I don't understand you. My betting strategy is not perfect, but it is simple. Consider the probability of the event. If the probability according to the market is lower than what I think the actual probability is, then buy YES shares or sell NO shares. If the probability according to the market is higher than what I think the actual probability is, then buy NO shares or sell YES shares. Try not to bet more than I can afford to lose.

I'm trying to reason about the probability that Aella, an atheist, will convert to "a version of Christianity that requires some sort of sexual conservatism" by the end of 2028, which is about four years away. I think a very reasonable starting point would be to ask what percent of atheists converted to "a version of Christianity that requires some sort of sexual conservatism" in the past four years. I asked a question that is as relevant as it is specific. I did not ask "for the base rate of people with relatively extreme views changing their mind".

I'm not betting on this market because it's long term, and the end of the loans program killed long term markets. I was just pointing out that the logic you gave in a comment was terrible. 5% is one in twenty. One in twenty nerd atheists do not turn christian every four years

I just asked perplexity / chatgpt your ‘rate of atheists converting’ question and there was no answer. I assumed your question was rhetorical, and I’m not surprised there is no evidence-backed result out there (that I can find).

So without being able to google the answer specifically, I’m just looking at this as a bet on human behavior, and the amount that I’m putting at risk relative to the amount made for getting it right. In plain English, when the odds are like 95%, you don’t really make much when you’re right, but still lose your entire investment when wrong. And just from basic personal experience, people are weird and do unexpected things all the time. I would never give 95% odds to someone doing/not doing something over multiple years.

Either way - no harm in disagreeing! Best of luck


@Aella Thanks for the update. I take it the lectures in the comments didn't move you.

Truly converting after everything that she's seen would require massive amount of doublethink. It's too late to crawl back into the cave.



Does redscare catholic count?

Catholicism is "a version of Christianity that requires some sort of sexual conservatism". What's "redscare catholic" mean? If it's just a Catholic paranoid about Communist/Socialist secret agents, then I don't see why it wouldn't still count.

haha redscare is a popular subculture ostensibly about a podcast focusing on two stylish, edgy russian woman. It’s kinda edgy to be a fake catholic these days


@HarrisonLucas Wow. Do you know something?

If you feel the need to ask a question like this one, you already know the answer. You're just not ready to accept it.

For example, you're in a developing country. You just purchased something. The person who sold it to you looks too jazzed. You ask yourself: "Did I just get ripped off?"

Yes. You got ripped off. If you had to ask that question, you know the answer is yes, but you're not ready to accept it.

Similarly, "Will I convert to Christianity?" is a question that has already answered itself. If a smart person asks this question, they want to convert, but they're not yet ready to admit it. It's a question like "am I becoming a conservative?" or "am I no longer left wing?" or "should I have children?" Yes, yes, and yes. If you didn't think so, you wouldn't ask.

If you're a smart person in 2024, embracing morality, religion, right-of-center politics, and tradition is the only way to be transgressive. It's also the only way to become happy and mature, especially if you're the sort of person who revises beliefs in light of new evidence.

If you are able to learn and challenge your own beliefs, you'll find that orgies, porn, stock options, drugs, politics, being correct to several decimal points, and FIRE-level-assets don't cut it after a while. Spiritual bankruptcy is a real thing. Even Ayaan Hirsi Ali converted to Christianity because she said she had tried literally everything else to cure her misery. And voila. It worked. Like it has worked for billions of people for thousands of years.

But most people reject religion, tradition, and right-of-center politics because they've met an asshole in the past who was censorious, self-righteous, controlling, narcissistic, hostile to science, immune to reason, cruel, and just generally awful -- a church lady with thumb screws. It sounds like Aella was raised by one of those pricks. This can turn a person off of religion. Indeed, it can make someone go out and systematically do everything that religious people tell you not to do. And for a while, it feels like fun. It feels like progress. It feels like freedom. You got away from the assholes.

And then you run into new assholes, ones who don't believe in god, but they're just as bad as the ones who did.

Plot twist: you know who is censorious, self-righteous, controlling, narcissistic, hostile to science, immune to reason, cruel, and just generally awful in 2024? We call them woke. If you are able to revise your beliefs in light of new evidence, you'll figure out that it wasn't Christianity that made people like that. It was fundamentalism. And you can have religion without fundamentalism.

People tend to find out that religion is better than the alternatives: libertarian materialism and Marxist materialism. Those are the big two. And they both suck. When people figure out that it is possible to have religion without fundamentalism, and to have religion without becoming an asshole, then religion starts looking good.

And the alternatives to religion, in time, begin to look worse and worse. The alternatives to religion are (1) the misery of unlimited freedom (consumerism), (2) the misery of seeking the perfection of humanity and the cleansing of every soul (usually by participating in some apocalyptic political cult), or (3) the misery of chasing the dragon of personal optimization while being bereft of values and direction.

(1) Freedom of choice, when made into the ultimate value, always yields misery, both for individuals and for societies.

Society has been devastated by the nihilism of bipartisan libertarianism. Look around you. You see the world that has been created when freedom of choice is the only sacred value on both the left and the right. Is anyone there happy? Or are they telling themselves that they're happy? Or are they in therapy and on lots of medications?

(2) Are the people trying to save the world happy? No, obviously. Ask an Effective Altruist who is down one kidney and working 80 hours a week and living frugally to save the world, feeling like a slave and a victim all the time. No, no, no. Next!

(3) Are the productivity bloggers happy? No. And they're tedious. I don't give a shit about your 4AM ice bath or your personal metrics.

The only people who both are happy and have personal integrity in the West are the people who have successfully figured out how to become religious without becoming an asshole. Eventually we all meet one of these people and say we want what they have. Eventually we all become desperate enough to admit we were wrong.

Further reading: "A History of God" by Karen Armstrong.

Religion is not always fundamentalism. And praying will not turn you into a fundamentalist asshole who rejects science. The New Atheism is both adolescent and philistine. Eventually we grow out of it.

3 traders bought Ṁ1,200 NO

Whoa, dude...

Prediction markets are awesome because someone can type out a whole essay like this and you can simply bet against it and win

Powerful takes, but I don't think religion will result in better mental health -it certainly hasn't for me. I am religious because I think Catholicism is true.

True, literally? Or "having Catholic beliefs is good for you" true?

bought Ṁ500 NO

I regret I have only one like to give to Richard's comment

True literally.

If this is your take, then we should play poker some time.

i'm asking the question because someone else quite publicly made the prediction that I would convert. I'm not asking it because I personally am wondering.


@Dynd Why do you believe this has a >2% chance of happening?

bought Ṁ10 YES

@HankyUSA Bet it down to <2% again and I’ll tell you.

@HankyUSA I'm not Dynd, but am a buyer at this level. Some arguments:

  • People tend to get more socially conservative as they age. There are many ways to describe the mechanism here, but it's hard to do so without being self-serving in one direction or another—maybe old people are jealous of how much fun the youth can have, and want to ban it out of spite, or maybe it's analogous to the fact that people's vocabulary and general knowledge expands over time, i.e. some people learn why certain behaviors are promoted/shunned the easy way, and some the hard way.

  • Worldly pleasures are very nice, and most varieties of Christianity understand this. In fact, older religious traditions tend to have more room for fun than younger ones (Purim and Mardi Gras are not the sort of things a new Protestant denomination would come up with; they are, at least in part, a pressure release valve for being more buttoned-up most of the time). One feature of enjoying a lot of those pleasures all the time is finding that, after a while, they're not satisfying; one might find that at some point, adding another guy to the gangbang has a marginal return that dips negative.

  • Traditional faiths have to have ways to accommodate lots of personality types, because they've had so many adherent-years that they've had to deal with every conceivable personality type. Catholicism is, in my biased opinion, really great at this because there are so many saints for so many topics. If there's some bad behavior you specialized in before you started adhering, there is probably a saint with a similar story out there.

  • They also have ways to accommodate desires in a healthy way! From a Christian perspective, God did not fill the world with delicious plants and animals so we could all feel good about huffily rejecting pleasure; God did not create a world where humor exists just to see how long we could go without laughing; God did not make sex fun as a prank to trick us into repeatedly doing something naughty. But maximally enjoying these things without becoming a util-hunting animal rather than a real human being takes effort, and it entails understanding the telos of those pleasures. My best guess is that the Lord wants us to attend to basic needs, but to do so with a little panache—not just 700 calories 3x/day, but culinary art; not just communication, but shared joy; not just propagating the species and mixing our genes around to outrun parasites and infections, but being able to make the person you love feel the most pleasure they've ever felt while they do the same for you. Statistically, marriage is more sex-positive than singledom, though there are some selection effects there. But if you have a high sex drive, and if it's an important part of what you need to be happy, it's important to ask yourself what you'll do about that as you age. At some point, the easy hookups get less easy, and the casualest sex you'll have is with whoever you're married to. (At a sufficiently high discount rate, satisifed-for-years-and-an-incel-for-decades might be fine, but smart people tend to have lower discount rates than that.)

  • Many thoughtful people reject the belief system in which they're raised at some point. Some systems literally incorporate this into the process (e.g. Rumspringa, the Jewish tradition of carefully debating every aspect of religious texts, Confession as a smaller-scale ritualized redemption following mini-apostasy). But the world does not offer us a null hypothesis! Just competing theories. To the extent that there is a null hypothesis, it's more about what to conform to than what's real—the modern American null hypothesis is a nominally secular belief system heavily influenced by New England Puritan norms/beliefs, but if you grew up in 16th century Spain your acceptance of the null hypothesis would be more like "all of these religious debates are so confusing and contradictory! I'm just going to do the sensible, normal thing and submit to Rome."

  • Aella has experimented with psychedelics before, and this can lead to drastic changes in worldview, in addition to a modest increase in openness to new experience. Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, and Moses all have narratives in which they sent a long time in some kind of environment conducive to hallucinations and the like, so there is definitely a precedent for getting loopy and permanently becoming more religious.

  • Christians acknowledge that this belief system requires faith, and tend to believe that this faith is a gift from God. So if you're running your book of bets in a rigorous and thoughtful way, you need to estimate some base rate for the offering and acceptance of divine grace. 0.76%/year sounds counterintuitively low to me, so I buy.

bought Ṁ1,000 NO at 4%

@ByrneHobart Yeah it is most of this. My main point however is that a woman’s biological clock usually starts ticking in her early 30s. As time starts running out to have healthy children and the realization sets in that high value men will soon not be interested anymore for anything that is not just a fling. As looks and overall value fades, women often see the need to lock down before it is too late.