What is the response to Occam's Razor?


#1

OR is the concept that since the Universe is proven to able to exist without God, there is no need to believe in God. What’s the response for this?


#2

William of Occam was a Fransiscan friar, and he did not use his theory to rule out the existence of God. See this link on Occam’s razor.

That some people have used Occam’s razor to dispute the existence of God is not in dispute. But people have used it to prove the existence of God as well.

Ut


#3

If anything, OR argues for the existence of God, not against it. Any theory of the existence of the universe has to account for countless events and laws and physical constants. It has to account for the observed fine-tuning of the universe to support life. To account for this fine-tuning, the notion of an infinite sequence of universes has been introduced. So the choice is between an infinite sequence of universes over an infinite time, or a perfectly simple God. It is an easy argument to make to argue that introducing an infinite sequence of universes to explain what one perfectly simple God can explain is a gigantic violation of Occam’s Razor.


#4

The reason it violates Occam’s Razor, actually, is that by scientific thought, whatever created the infinite sequence of universes had to, in fact, be created itself.

Bear in mind, however, that Occam’s Razor is not a fact, or even a scientific theory. It’s philosophical mostly. There are things which happen in a more complex way than is strictly necessary, I believe (though I don’t recall, off hand, what they are).

Just remember, 1 isn’t always simpler than 2 (or a so-called infinity).


#5

No it doesn’t. That’s an assumption on your part, one which no Christian or Jew or Muslim would accept. We deny that God was created.

And if God created this universe he wouldn’t have had to create an infinite sequence of universes.

Bear in mind, however, that Occam’s Razor is not a fact, or even a scientific theory. It’s philosophical mostly. There are things which happen in a more complex way than is strictly necessary, I believe (though I don’t recall, off hand, what they are).

Just remember, 1 isn’t always simpler than 2 (or a so-called infinity).

You’re right, it’s about a philosophy of explanation.


#6

I may be wrong, but i think that there is a great fallacy out there, or more a mis-placed assumption, that just because the world morves by natural forces, then what nature produces can be explained by nature. All those animals walking around let alone concious beings, cannot reasonably be the invention of blind chance; chance, yes; but “blind” chance, no. The word blind, i feel, has been added by those who want to promote a natural solution to existents in order to completly displace God.
The mechanism is blind of what its producing, but the doesn’t demand that the “produce” is a naturalistic invention.

The athiest will appeal to Science, but Science, though it used to be an allie, it is now becoming freind of theism. The Mythical prophesy that Science would destroy God, has come to nothing. Science tells us only one fact, that the developments of life has come about “by chance”, but that doesn’t mean “by accident”; and chance doesn’t tell anything about the life that it produces. Why should it be, that by chance, life should evolve, rather then be nothing. This tells me that i live in a reality where the deveopment of concious beings is a pre-possibility that chance selects given a certain amount of time, in a suitable enviroment. Its that possibility in itself, whether that should come about by chance or not, which tells me that there is more to reality then chance and nature; that and the fact that the world “began”, i can confidently say that there is a God.

The athiest often says that this is the world would be like if there was no God; as if they some how have some pre knoledge of what the world would be like! But i say, this is exactly what the world would be like if i wanted to create freewilled beings who i wanted to train and displine.

Peace


#7

The response to Occam’s Razor is Occam’s Beard.


#8

I never found Occam’s Razor argument convincing - like if there’s one (scientific, materialistic) explanation for a phenomenon, others should be excluded. If the existence of emotions coincides with certain chemicals being released in the brain, this would then explain emotions, persons and souls away. Or, if there is electrical activity in the brain during NDEs, this proves there is no real afterlife.

Why?

Isn’t it merely logical that the same thing is going to manifest itself differently in different realms? This is true in the physical realm itself. You can’t say that touching an apple proves you can’t taste it, right?


#9

Actually, I think you’re 180 degrees off on the use of the word “blind”. Atheists very rarely suggest that everything happened through “blind chance”. That’s more of a caricature of an atheist’s position painted by believers. As the pompous Richard Dawkins says, the alternative to design by some deity isn’t chance, it’s natural selection.


#10

My response is that Occam’s Razor can be used to show the validity of the assumption that God exists. If God does not exist,then what are we left with to account for the rational structure of the universe? of atoms,of cells,of organisms,of the earth,of planets,moons and stars,of the galaxy? What is left but chaos or chance theories which suggest that irrational matter begot rational order? Occam’s Razor would shave away those theories,leaving us with God who created rational order.


#11

Natural selection only selects things, it doesn’t bring about the changes that we see.


#12

:smiley:


#13

And even the word “selection” suggests a rational mind at work.


#14

this is ockham’s razor:

pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which means, entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily.

god is an entity whose existence is necessary to account for the phenomena (i.e. the universe), and therefore does not violate the principle.

people confuse the razor with something like “simpler theories are more likely to be true”, which is NOT the razor at all, but rather the principle of parsimony.

that having been said, not only do neither of those principles lie at the logical foundations, but, as a result, require evidential support for both their general and specific applicability, something they never get from the infidels.org parrots around here. these are simply two of a whole host of values that are at stake in choosing between scientific theories, the proper balance of all of which is itself something of an art rather than a science.

but knowing that would actually require doing science and understanding the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of the enterprise…

but don’t take my word for it - here’s what steven weinberg (co-discoverer (with abdus salam) of the electroweak theory that unites the electromagnetic force and the weak nuclear force) has to say about simplicity:

When Dirac wrote down the Dirac equation in 1928 he could have added an extra ‘Pauli’ term which would have given the electron an arbitrary anomalous magnetic moment. Dirac could (and perhaps did) say ‘I won’t add this term because it’s ugly and complicated and there’s no need for it.’ I think that in physics this approach generally makes good strategies but bad rationales. It’s often a good strategy to study simple theories before you study complicated theories because it’s easier to see how they work, but the purpose of physics is to find out why nature is the way it is, and simplicity by itself is I think never the answer.

[LEFT]you can read the paper here:[/LEFT]

[LEFT]xxx.lanl.gov/PS_cache/hep-th/pdf/9702/9702027v1.pdf[/LEFT]

[LEFT]it’s on quantum field theory, and is a good read if you can get through some of the terminology and math…[/LEFT]


#15

God has not been proven necessary.

On the off-chance that the divine is a necessary variable, I find the use of the Razor to ‘prove’ God’s non-existence equally unsatisfactory. The Razor is better-used to pare away individual parts of arguments.


#16

God has not been “emprically” proven, but he is [FONT=“Times New Roman”]logically necessary, in order us to rationally explain existence.
I would be absolutly amazed if you actually had a good *logical *argument to back-up and prove your assertion correct. However, like every other agnostic and athiest i have encountered in forum, I doubt that you really have one that supports your claim. Why didn’t you just say i don’t no?.:slight_smile:

Peace.[/FONT]


#17

So would I! However, that’s the beauty of it – I cannot prove a negative, it’s on the other side to prove me right or wrong.

Can you prove that God is a necessary variable?


#18

There is a Logical arguement which shows that God is a necessary variable, if indeed we want to provide a rational cause to the universe that is logically consistent with the scientific evidence. But there is no emprical evidence of God.


#19

I am not asking you to prove Gods existence; i am asking you to prove your assertion that there are no logical arguements which show God to be a necessary cause. One way you can do that, is by showing all the arguements made for the existents of God to be logically flawed, such as the *first cause arguement *. You haven’t done this yet.

You have proven one thing to me: you cannot prove your assertion that there are no logical arguements which show God to be a necessary cause.


#20

Not in this thread, no; however, I’ve taken each and every argument for God I’ve heard into consideration and found it wanting. I am done showing the flaws of these arguments, having been over them far more times than should be necessary. It’s not hard to find criticisms of the Prime Mover/First Cause (or indeed any) argument online, so go thou and search.

You have proven one thing to me: you cannot prove your assertion that there are no logical arguements which show God to be a necessary cause.

Nope. Can’t prove a negative – and I do not say no arguments, I say none I know of. I welcome any new argument as food for thought, but the old ones are only so much bone and gristle now.


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