What is Occams Razor?

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beautifulxxx
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Hey! Can any of you guys explain Occams razor to me please? I tried researching but it appears to be a little too complicated to comprehend. Or maybe I'm not looking at the right sources; anyhow I'd be grateful if you could explain.

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TheNoobishKnight
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(Original post by beautifulxxx)
Hey! Can any of you guys explain Occams razor to me please? I tried researching but it appears to be a little too complicated to comprehend. Or maybe I'm not looking at the right sources; anyhow I'd be grateful if you could explain.

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Here is an example I found which is rather simple:

Event: A student failed the statistics test. Of possible explanations a) The student needed to study harder or b) The professor changed his answers on the test because he does not like the student, explanation "a" is more likely.
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username945663
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(Original post by beautifulxxx)
Hey! Can any of you guys explain Occams razor to me please? I tried researching but it appears to be a little too complicated to comprehend. Or maybe I'm not looking at the right sources; anyhow I'd be grateful if you could explain.

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Suppose an event happens, and there are two explanations for it. You would choose the simpler explanation out of the two. You have to make less assumptions in order to believe in it and therefore it is more likely to be the correct explanation.It may not necessarily be the correct one, but its probably the one more likely to be true. Thats how Occams razor goes anyway.

So yh, basically choose the simplest argument. Thats all it is at basics.
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garfeeled
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(Original post by beautifulxxx)
Hey! Can any of you guys explain Occams razor to me please? I tried researching but it appears to be a little too complicated to comprehend. Or maybe I'm not looking at the right sources; anyhow I'd be grateful if you could explain.

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it is more than simplest is better. Of two competing theories (i.e equally and adequately fill the criteria of a good theory) the better theory is the one that makes less assumptions. The reason is simply because simpler ideas are far easier to test and are more falsifiable than more complex ones.
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RoyalBlue7
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(Original post by beautifulxxx)
Hey! Can any of you guys explain Occams razor to me please? I tried researching but it appears to be a little too complicated to comprehend. Or maybe I'm not looking at the right sources; anyhow I'd be grateful if you could explain.

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Another version of Occam's Razor, which I reckon is the most original, goes like this : Plurality should not be posited without necessity.

So for example its more likely that One God exists rather than many.
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Dima-Blackburn
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(Original post by RoyalBlue7)
Another version of Occam's Razor, which I reckon is the most original, goes like this : Plurality should not be posited without necessity.

So for example its more likely that One God exists rather than many.
Bad example. Occam's Razor says nothing about the plausibility of other entities existing. It's just a matter of reducing the number of unnecessary assumptions.
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RoyalBlue7
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(Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
Bad example. Occam's Razor says nothing about the plausibility of other entities existing. It's just a matter of reducing the number of unnecessary assumptions.

Occam's Razor would favour a monotheistic God hypothesis for the first cause of the universe or cosmos rather than a many gods hypothesis...etc
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Dima-Blackburn
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(Original post by RoyalBlue7)
Occam's Razor would favour a monotheistic God hypothesis for the first cause of the universe or cosmos rather than a many gods hypothesis...etc
I think you've misunderstood me. Provided that the cosmological argument proves the existence of a first cause, theists are within their epistemic rights to believe in a single God. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the ontological status of other Gods.
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RoyalBlue7
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(Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
I think you've misunderstood me. Provided that the cosmological argument proves the existence of a first cause, theists are within their epistemical rights to believe in a single God. But this has absolutely nothing to do with the ontological status of other Gods.
But a single God is a more simpler explanation than with multiple gods.
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Dima-Blackburn
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(Original post by RoyalBlue7)
But a single God is a more simpler explanation than with multiple gods.
So? Is it a logical necessity that simpler explanations are always true? Of course not. Occam's razor doesn't state that the complex explanations are false; rather, we should simply not make unnecessary assumptions when forming beliefs.
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RoyalBlue7
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(Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
So? Is it a logical necessity that simpler explanations are always true? Of course not. Occam's razor doesn't state that the complex explanations are false; rather, we should simply not make unnecessary assumptions when forming beliefs.


I never said it negates the notion of many gods. I just said that an explanation involving one God is more likely to be closer to the truth, according to OR, rather than one which involved many gods.
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Dima-Blackburn
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(Original post by RoyalBlue7)
I never said it negates the notion of many gods. I just said that an explanation involving one God is more likely to be closer to the truth, according to OR, rather than one which involved many gods.
Again, it's not a matter of whether the complex explanation is likely or unlikely. OR says nothing about the probability of one explanation being more likely to be true than another.
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RoyalBlue7
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(Original post by Dima-Blackburn)
Again, it's not a matter of whether the complex explanation is likely or unlikely. OR says nothing about the probability of one explanation being more likely to be true than another.

O.K. I didn't realise that. I thought that it favours the simpler explanation because it assumes the more simpler it is (less premises and assumptions) the more likely it is to be the truth. Well its hard to see otherwise.
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