Does The Razor Cut Through It

It was actually Ockham who prepared our minds for this unwelcome (to him) conclusion. He devised a “principle of economy,” popularly known as “Ockham’s Razor,” which relied for its effect on disposing of unnecessary assumptions and accepting the first sufficient explanation or cause. “Do not multiply entities beyond necessity.” This principle extends itself. “Everything which is explained through positing something different from the act of understanding,” he wrote, “can be explained without positing such a distinct thing.” He was not afraid to follow his own logic wherever it might take him, and anticipated the coming of true science when he agreed that it was possible to know the nature of “created” things without any reference to their “creator.” Indeed, Ockham stated that it cannot be strictly proved that god, if defined as a being who possesses the qualities of supremacy, perfection, uniqueness, and infinity, exists at all. However, if one intends to identify a first cause of the existence of the world, one may choose to call that “god” even if one does not know the precise nature of the first cause. -Christopher Hitchens, God Is Not Great, Chapter Five, The Metaphysical Claims Of Religion

Rant on.


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