Occam’s Razor
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08-05-2017, 12:53 PM
RE: Occam’s Razor
(08-05-2017 12:49 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  For example, who killed that guy over there? Was it a ghost? Considering the existence of ghosts usually requires making several assumptions about things not yet shown to be possible, it can be moved to the back of the list. It's a stupid hypothesis that shouldn't even be considered, while we have a huge wealth of possible explanations that use methods we know are at least possible.

From the article:

Crime solving and forensic work

When it comes to solving a crime, Occam’s razor is used in conjunction with experience and statistical knowledge. A woman is statistically more likely to be killed by a male partner than any other person. Should a female be found murdered in her locked home, the first person police interview would be any male partners. The possibility of a stranger entering can be considered, but the simplest possible solution with the fewest assumptions made would be that the crime was perpetrated by her male partner.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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08-05-2017, 01:01 PM
RE: Occam’s Razor
(08-05-2017 12:49 PM)Robvalue Wrote:  I think the Razor is still useful when considering untestable assumptions. The more unsubstantiated assumptions you have to make before an idea would even be possible, the less likely it is. Virtually any half-decent explanation that doesn't require such assumptions is bound to be more likely.

For example, who killed that guy over there? Was it a ghost? Considering the existence of ghosts usually requires making several assumptions about things not yet shown to be possible, it can be moved to the back of the list. It's a stupid hypothesis that shouldn't even be considered, while we have a huge wealth of possible explanations that use methods we know are at least possible.

The same thing applies to Jesus "resurrecting". Any other explanation grounded in the possible, even if it is a stretch, is still more likely.

That's why supernatural explanations will always be subordinate to natural ones. It's also why the favorite argument for apologists; The Kalam, always fails.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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09-05-2017, 05:57 AM
RE: Occam’s Razor
(07-05-2017 06:56 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(07-05-2017 06:20 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  We talk about this principle often, here I have found an interesting history of Occam’s Razor and its many iterations and limitations. A nice summation and a quick read. Enjoy.

Excerpts:
“Occam’s razor (also known as the ‘law of parsimony’) is a problem-solving principle which serves as a useful mental model."

"A number of mathematical and scientific studies have backed up its validity and lasting relevance. In particular, the principle of minimum energy supports Occam’s razor.”

"The concept of Occam’s razor is credited to William of Ockham, a 13-14th-century friar, philosopher, and theologian. While he did not coin the term, his characteristic way of making deductions inspired other writers to develop the heuristic.”

"In theology, Occam’s razor is used to prove or disprove the existence of God. William of Ockham, being a Christian friar, used his theory to defend religion.”

"In contrast, Thomas Aquinas used the concept in his radical 13th century work, The Summa Theologica. In it, he argued for atheism as a logical concept, not a contradiction of accepted beliefs.”

“Many modern atheists consider the existence of God to be unnecessarily complex, in particular, due to the lack of empirical evidence.”

“Failing to observe Occam’s razor is usually a sign of bad science and an attempt to cover poor explanations.”

"Isaac Newton used Occam’s razor too when developing his theories. Newton stated: “we are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and sufficient to explain their appearances.”

“Modern doctors use a version of Occam’s razor, stating that they should look for the fewest possible causes to explain their patient’s multiple symptoms and also for the most likely causes."

“Occam’s razor has long played a role in attitudes towards the punishment of crimes.”

“When it comes to solving a crime, Occam’s razor is used in conjunction with experience and statistical knowledge.”

“It is important to note that, like any mental model, Occam’s razor is not failsafe and should be used with care, lest you cut yourself.” Dodgy

“When using Occam’s razor to make deductions, we must avoid falling prey to confirmation bias and merely using it to backup preexisting notions.”

“Occam’s razor is complimented by other mental models, including fundamental error distribution, Hanlon’s razor, confirmation bias, availability heuristic and hindsight bias. The nature of mental models is that they tend to all interlock and work best in conjunction.”

Not sure what the point of this post is.

Occam' razor certainly is part of what modern scientific method principle of "don't over complicate your model with excess baggage" is based on.

But philosophy is not what we solely rely on now, scientific method in it's modern form has built upon the core concept of compare and contrast with control groups and hand it over for independent peer review.

Occam's Razor still is not intended to point to any god. It isn't there to point to Allah or Yahweh or Jesus or Vishnu or Buddha.

It only says that out of all the the possible things that might fill in the gap in data, the formula with the least baggage used to solve the problem is going to be your most likely answer.

The problem with religion, is there is no simplicity at the start. Religion starts off from the bat with tons of superfluous assumptions.

So what is the point of this post? Newton was smart, but that doesn't make his personal god believe true. Newton also postulated alchemy for a while and that was absolute garbage. Theist apologists love to quote Aquinas too, but that is also bullshit. Aquinas had no modern understanding of science.

When you see ANYONE of any religion, and they all do it, bar none, when you see someone arguing science and religion to get it to point to their club, they are merely retrofitting after the fact and that is a bullshit tactic.

Scientific method is a tool, a neutral tool, it is not a religion and it is not there to point to one club over another. I have seen that false bullshit tactic, taken by not only Christians, but Jews and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists.

Occam's idea simply panned out to be damned good intuition, but it didn't get built on by religion, but our human evolutionary curiosity and ability to make discoveries.

We have gone way beyond simply Occam's idea just like DNA has built upon and upheld Darwin, so today's modern science cannot be ignored.

I believe the point of the post was just to give a history of Occam's Razor.

"I think part of the appeal of mathematical logic is that the formulas look mysterious - you write backward Es!" - Hilary Putnam
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