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September 1, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Criticism of the so-called value provided by Ockham’s Razor

If you can’t get rid of the emotional and subjective, you can’t get rid of the spiritual.
The razor doesn’t yield predictable or definitive results. (this alone isn’t a reason to askew it, but just to point out its limits)
Ockham used the razor to deny the force of motion.

It is precisely at those times in history when a paradigm shift is about to occur which it may be most useless. (in fact Bertrand Russel’s formation is quite obviously conservative in nature). Ironically, in many cases those looking back may decide that the paradigm shift was sufficient to eliminate the need to talk about the past and history.

The razor has a pseudo-scientific appeal–but barely reaches the value of a design heuristic.
God can be stated as a tautology.

As a minimum, the so-called Anti-razors provide limits to its application (or at least check it).

It can be used to eliminate conspiracy theories:
1. Conspiracy theories about the Bible
2. Conspiracy theories about Jesus’ death and burial
Along with conspiracy theories about the moon.

Certainly it–provided just enough complexity for explanatory power.
It seems to be (primarily) one of clarity and design–not logic per se. (ie the simplicity vs. completeness–although the Phil. Toolkit explains this from p. 210 to 211)


Leave a Comment
  1. Vicky / Sep 12 2012 4:15 pm

    A new book by Lawrence Goudge, Cover Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs, presents an alternative to the accpeted New Testament history. Goudge proposes that the Jewish followers of Jesus preserved the beliefs and practices of the original apostles: Peter, James and John. Therefore, the true heretics were those who created the new religion of the dying God (anathema to Peter James and John). Cover-Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs exposes the church’s hypocrisy in first silencing those who truly followed Jesus and then exterminating them, just as they did the Cathars.  I just learned of a new book – Cover Up: How the Church Silenced Jesus’s True Heirs by Lawrence Goudge. Is Goudge way off track, another conspiracy theorist? Let me know what you think of it.

  2. Nathan Ketsdever / Sep 13 2012 3:28 am

    How does this change interpretation of the text? It sounds like he’s arguing for a more feminist interpretation of women’s roles.

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