Occam’s razor as divine simplicity

(Quoting RationalWiki)

Brian [Sapient] then introduces Occam’s Razor that explains the most simple position is the most plausible, and the simplest answer is there is no god.

(Quoting Brenton Moss, with emphasis in original)

This principle, ironically credited to logician and theologian William of Ockham (c. 1285-1349)…Of all people, it was devised by a theologian!

So often I have heard proponents of atheism and skeptics use this principle to describe the belief in God as unnecessarily complex, and for lack of a better term, therefore unnecessary in general…Atheists make the mistake that ‘belief in God is complex’ is the same thing as ‘God is complex’ and therefore the ‘belief in God’ is incorrect.

My two cents

William of Ockham, from stained glass window a...
William of Ockham, from stained glass window at a church in Surrey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is nice to hear. When I first heard of nontheists and their ilk trying the Occam’s Razor card, it didn’t make much sense. Rather, it sounded more like wishful thinking. Since (exhaustive) theology and God are too complex for a nontheist, therefore atheism and (exhaustive) naturalism?

I notice how RationalWiki likes to play the ‘Goddidit’ card to mock people who give a simple answer to complex questions about God’s actions—but that card is an emotional copout. Simply saying that God did it makes it no less true than if one could describe God’s actions exhaustively.

I never heard a child say that belief in God is a complex premise. Jesus was fine with it as well; if one doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child, one will never enter it (Mark 10:15). Occam’s Razor indeed.

Quote sources

  1. RationalWiki. (2011). Rational Response Squad debate with Way of the Master. Available: http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rational_Response_Squad_debate_with_Way_of_the_Master. Last accessed 25th Feb 2012.
  2. Moss, B. (2012). Occam’s Razor and God. Available: http://christianityapplied.com/2012/03/19/occams-razor-and-god/. Last accessed 25th Feb 2012.

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