Is the simplest explanation is the best explanation?

Asked by: cooper.ehlers
  • I'd say it's a good rule of thumb.

    Is the simplest explanation always the better one? Not necessarily but as the phrase goes "all other things being equal" then I'd say it's a good start. The key is all other things being equal. I honestly think this works best when it comes to things like conspiracy theories or motivations. Again, I totally get the opposite side but I consider this more as guidelines, not hard and fast.

  • Not in all cases

    Ockham's Razor may be good for science, but bad for philosophy and religion. That type of reductionism can be problematic; it excludes too much data. Not all data is scientific. If you say we should only believe what the scientific method can prove, you're contradicting yourself, for the principle itself cannot be proven by the scientific method.

  • Don't forget the all things being equal part...

    The simplest explanation in the context of Ockam's razor is adding things you really have no reason to add to the explanation. It is about needlessly complicating the matter, or choosing answers that beg more questions than they answer.

    Commonly used these days in talking about god claims, people look at the beginning of the universe. They leverage god as an explanation, when it simply complicates the question. If the universe needs a creator, why doesn't go need a creator? It is invention of an infinitely complicated thing to solve a problem we don't have the information to solve yet, with no particular reason to add that variable other than people wanting an answer.

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