There’s been a really interesting discussion over on Howie’s blog for the past few weeks. It was really at this comment that Howie started me thinking along the lines that led to this post. He said:
I personally think there have been plausible naturalistic explanations for how belief in creator gods developed in human minds. While it could definitely be true that there really are creator gods that caused this evolutionary development to occur that doesn’t mean that creator gods is the correct explanation. If we can agree that we do have plausible naturalistic explanations (and obviously people argue whether or not that’s true) then that’s where I feel Occam’s razor could have a valid application. You know from other conversations that I do believe Occam’s razor is really just a guideline rather than a hard and fast rule, and that’s where I think I struggle to figure out exactly where I stand on the whole thing.
I think Howie’s right. Occam’s razor is a great guideline, but there’s no guarantee that it’s always right. Sometimes the simplest explanation is not the right one.
But despite the lack of a guarantee, I think there’s another angle to this when it comes to some religions. I’d like to come at this point in a round about manner, so let’s begin with an example. Long ago, most people believed the earth was flat. And this wasn’t just based on a whim, they had actual justification for that belief. If the earth wasn’t flat, then anything on the sides or the bottom would slip off, right? Any child could understand that. They were, of course, completely wrong about that belief, but it’s very easy to understand why they would have held it. Their belief was based on evidence — misunderstood evidence, granted, but evidence nonetheless. It’s easy to forgive their misunderstanding. In fact, most people would probably say there’s nothing to forgive.
When it comes to the existence of God, I think we’re in a similar position. It’s possible that a God or Gods set everything into motion that led us to where we are today, and for a very long time, that was the prevailing explanation for existence. But today, many of us no longer feel that deities offer the best explanation for why we’re here. There’s no clear evidence of the divine at work in our world today. Examples of evil and suffering are easy to find. And science has helped us find natural explanations for how the universe and its forms of life operate. Not all questions have been answered, but many of us feel that Occam’s razor is great justification for believing that those remaining questions will also have natural explanations.
And that brings me to my main point. Even if we’re wrong, those of us who are atheists are justified in not believing in gods. That doesn’t mean we’re right. However, while Occam’s razor isn’t a law that proves we’re right, it gives much more strength to our position when talking about certain kinds of gods. This isn’t a situation in which it could easily go either way — Occam’s razor actually stacks the deck strongly in our favor.
Consider Christianity: most versions of it teach that God is going to judge humanity for its sinful nature, and the only way to escape this judgment is to put faith in God and his son Jesus Christ. We’re also taught that this god is righteous and merciful — he is a wholly good god who can not do evil, and he loves us enough (even while we were sinners!) to sacrifice his only son. But such a god doesn’t fit a reality where one can be justified in believing that there is no god. If atheism is justified, it wouldn’t be right to punish someone for being an atheist, just as it wouldn’t be right to punish someone who lived 4,000 years ago for believing that the earth is flat.
Ryan Bell, the former 7th Day Adventist pastor who famously decided to try atheism for a year, recently wrote something similar:
For the sake of argument, let’s say, “God did it.” God kicked off the entire process by igniting the Big Bang. This is essentially the God of deism—a God who is not involved in the affairs of our world, and has not been since he got the whole thing started. So, to come back to my first question on the first day of the year, “What difference does that God make?” I’m not inspired to worship that God. That God cannot possibly be described by the Bible and Jesus was incorrect in his understanding of that God, because that God has been absent for 13+ billion years. Frankly, I’m surprised that so many Christians even make these cosmological arguments. They don’t get us any closer to the Bible or Christianity.
If we try to cover that gap and posit a God who not only caused the Big Bang but is involved in the world, we run into other problems—mostly ethical problems. Why is God so silent and inert? Why is God such a bad communicator? Why are people killing each other to defend their version of God? And why does it seem so much like we are evolving as a species and editing our view of God as we go along?
Occam’s razor works for the unbeliever in at least two ways: First, justified atheism makes it very hard to believe in a god who would punish unbelievers. Secondly, the only kind of god we’re left with probably doesn’t matter a great deal. As Bell says, what difference does he make? It’s similar to the Delos McKown quote, “the invisible and the non-existent look very much alike.”
I think that Occam’s razor provides very good justification for atheism, but it’s not a guarantee — sometimes the simplest explanation isn’t the right one. But most religions define their god(s) in such a way that Occam’s razor deals them a critical blow. It’s their own assertions that do them in. At least, that’s how I see it — what do you think?
79 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Occam’s Razor”
I’ve not read the linked posts but I appreciated your post and I agree with your summary of occams razor.
I think trying to use occams razor to show any kind of god has a problem because you then need to explain which god and how all that that god represents is explainable. It’s pretty much an impossible task.
“Our limited minds cannot begin to comprehend the immensity of this universe, how can we assume to understand that characteristics of God?”
and if you think this god is the god of the bible, then the bible tells us, in man’s language, what his characteristics are.
if we’re educated and intelligent people, when his (god’s) described character conflicts with his displayed character, then maybe this shows a problem with the bible’s claims and not our understanding.
I think UnkleE made some good points.
And I agree that the “simplest” thing is often relative. If we were going to build something, what’s the simplest way to go about it?
Hammer or nail gun? Well the hammer is a simpler tool, but the nail gun makes the act of building simpler. And then the availability of the tools may further simplify the selection. So in this regard I understand UnkleE’s point. How are we viewing the question?
For me, with “goddidit!” there have been many things that were once explained this way, but have sense been found to happen through natural, explainable and physical processes – like lightning, hurricanes, celestial orbits and earthquakes, etc. it’s happened so often that it appears to be used as a guessed answer in lieu of “I don’t know.”
Perhaps there is no answer to why we are here. Maybe there is no why. Maybe there’s a scientific answer for that which we’ll discover one day. Maybe it is indeed god. But like others have mentioned, we must go from an intelligent creator(s) to the god of the bible and his son jesus… how do arrive there?
Personal experiences may only serve to convince the person experiencing them. Some would have to have a reason to believe the book’s claims before believing them.
The bible would be simple is you assumed a lot of things and were fine with not being able to understand a lot of other claims and biblical events. When considering all of that, the bible seems anything but simple to me.
I’ll stop rambling now.
I would have to agree with UnkleE’s first point. I think we could all give examples of scenarios where the simplest explanation turned out to be wrong and so Occam’s razor does not guarantee finding truth (Nate said this). A better way of deciding between atheism and theism or deism would be to look at the available evidence and decide which explanation best fits all of the evidence. We are all doing this as best as we can by being open-minded, weighing the options and giving each perspective a lot of thought. But how do we decide which is a best fit? This is difficult because we are forming our opinions based on our subjective decisions and we have no way of knowing if we are closer or further from the actual truth of the matter. This is why I am agnostic.
Josh, your admittance of some uncertainty is nice to hear because all too often we get bogged down in “debate mode” and never reveal our honest doubts.
UnkleE, on your second point I’d like to ask a question. On the question of whether or not the universe has a purpose, how does fine-tuning and human rationality and ethics answer this for you? You said “theism has one explanation to explain it all”, and I assume you are referring to God, but what is the purpose?
Also, to cover all our bases, we should consider the possibility that we were “fine-tuned” by a higher power for no purpose at all.
For anyone interested.
According to Wikipedia,
William of Ockham believed “only faith gives us access to theological truths.
“The ways of God are not open to reason, for God has freely chosen to create a world and establish a way of salvation within it apart from any necessary laws that human logic or rationality can uncover.”
Although apparently Ockham did not invent this “razor”; its association with him may be due to the frequency and effectiveness with which he used it
Its still interesting that a theists methodological principle was adopted by atheists and deists to be used for other rationalisations.
I wonder if William of Ockham would agree with how this methodology has been used now?
Do people think he disagree with how this device is being applied?
also for disclosure, this is where I got the information from,
Is a system that exists apart from human reason and logic really the simplest?
When I’ve read a lot of the back-and-forth in many of Nate’s blog discussions, I’ve always wondered why no one on the ‘believer’ side dives in to their own personal experiences with God, and thus why they believe. For me, that’s what keeps me adhered to my faith, and Nate and I have had these discussions often; which is why I fully understand his (and many other skeptic views) on this board—personal experience has led them away from belief.
I thought Unkle’s ‘tea kettle’ explanation was spot on: I may not fully understand the scientific process of how the water boils…I just want some tea! The process works for me because of what I get from it. Trying to explain the ‘boiling’ process (and my limited understanding of it) does nothing to help explain and resolve WHY I would want to boil water. If I’m asked why I believe in Christ, I would have to go into what he’s done in the lives of my family and friends. Even the surrounding events of my father’s sudden death last October I can see lining up as God’s preparation and God’s provision. Why did my dad die? I don’t know. But I can still see how God worked in the people that were brought in to my mom’s circle just before, and as a result of, his death. But…
In this regard I also think William is spot on when he says, “Personal experiences may only serve to convince the person experiencing them. Some would have to have a reason to believe the book’s claims before believing them.”
So as a result, there are things I believe about the books claims, and things I don’t understand (or have yet to understand). But the things I don’t understand don’t hinder my belief in what I DO grasp. And, in the end, it all still has always given me a very fine cup of tea. (Even through tragedy) 🙂
Sometimes personal experience belies the simpler explanation but still holds a kernel of truth…at least for the person experiencing it.
you know that story of the footprints in the sand, where there are usually two sets, but when times are hard there’s on set?
the one set of prints indicates when jesus is carrying you through the hard times, despite what it felt like during that time…
the difficult times I endured, where people showed great compassion and love, I once thought that god was the source of that compassion and love, but now as I look back, like with the story of the footprints, I realize that it wasnt what it felt like.
the source of the compassion and love i received from other people were from those people, and not god. This explains why “ungodly” people make it through bad times and why they can receive love and compassion too.
You just want tea. wanting tea only explains why you’re brewing tea, not how it happens. maybe by wanting compassion, comfort and purpose, we only truly recognize when we get it, but not how we get it. Our wants do not validate or even indicate the how those wants are met.
Perhaps someone who wants tea thinks that turning a dial does it, and doesnt understand that it’s the heat that makes the brew. them wanting tea, doesnt explain how they have tea, but only why they’re brewing it.
For me personally, Unkle’s ‘tea kettle’ explanation is interesting to think about,
but also seems to have some holes in it.
If I asked someone “why is the kettle boiling?” and they answered “because I would like a cup of tea” that actually doesn’t explain the process.
If I then asked “how” is that kettle boiling?
then this person could inform me on some of the heating processes that provide the right circumstances for a nice hot cup of tea.
But answering the question with “I want a tea” is still an answer,
but a different answer to a different question.
Its really an expression of a desire, it does not address the “how”. As others here have pointed out.
“How” and “why” can be two different questions, and sometimes when people ask a “why?” question, after further discussion you soon find out they really are asking a “how?” question…
The “why” in this case is actually subjective here, it is based on the feelings and desires of the person being asked.
And is not every “why” question subjective?
They want a cup of tea, and that seems like a reasonable and achievable desire, considering the objective processes involved and available.
The “how” is objective, and reflects the processes that can achieve this specific desire i.e the desire to enjoy a hot cup of tea….
Yet now suppose I asked the same question, “why is that kettle boiling?” and the person instead answered something along the lines of “because I wish to fly to the moon!” or “I intend to build chair made of apprehension!!!”.
These would be nonsensical answers to the “why” question. Yet you could discount these based on how the objective processes did not (nor could not) meet these particular goals.
I could also discount the “how” question if this person stated that the tea was being boiled by a million tiny caterpillars on a blue treadmill. There are ways we could test this to rule this out.
But a person answering that they “want” a cup of tea may be a satisfactory answer for a everyday and somewhat trivial example
Lets look at another example then. A more pressing and serious example
(and I apologise for the graphic example, but I feel its a important example to use, since it impacts on real people based on cultural and religious upbringing)
Now say a person is sharpening a sword.
I ask “why” are you doing this?
and they reply
“I’m wanting to circumcise my child”.
Now some people at this point may then say, well this is ok, this is what some people do….
Ok, lets change the scenario then
(and again, sorry to use this, but I feel this brings the question home)
say their child is their daughter (Female circumcision happens in Somalia and elsewhere in the world)
and I ask “why” are you doing this?
and they reply in the following:
– “because I want to follow god” or
– “because I want my family to be blessed” or
– “because it is the tradition of my people” or
– “because it is a right of passage for women here” or
– “because I want my daughter to be married to a good or/and wealthy family”
Would any of these answers make this practice (a) justifiable and (b) true
I am open to the existence of God, and I do want a God of Love to exist. And I even acknowledge that I think there is a difference between male and female circumcision.
but the illustration that answering the “why” does not seem to me valid, maybe in trivial and pleasant things like desiring a cup of tea,
but not when it comes to other considerations.
Another example is this
Say I asked a person, “how are clouds formed?” or “where do clouds come from?” then if that person knew, they could explain (hopefully accurately) some of this process. Both “where” and “how” come down to How questions 🙂
If I asked instead, *why* are clouds made?” that is a subjective question, it is not really objective. Since it is attaching purpose to a natural process.
For example, the person could answer specifically:
1. Clouds are made to give rain to our* cattle
2. Clouds are made to give shade to our* people
3. Clouds are made to grow our* harvest
or be more general:
1. Clouds are made to give water to humanity
2. Clouds are made to wash away our
In other words… clouds are made for us or them, to make rain, to curse or to bless.
But this is attaching meaning to specific interactions the clouds are involved in when they are involved in the process of making rain.
But are the clouds sending* rain? or is it product of interaction which we, along with other forms of life both benefit AND suffer from?
Rain can flood as well as water and nourish. Rain can trigger mudslides in the process as well as soften the ground for growth. Water can spread disease as well as quench thirst. The processes interact with the environment.
But what about those instances where it rains in the desert? on seemingly very little? certainly not on humans. are the specific clouds there for the few sparse vegetation and marsupials and lizards?
I’ve heard that science only addresses the how questions, not the why questions.
In a way this makes sense to me, since the how questions can be measured. And any scientific question seems to be a how question,
for example if someone asks a Atmospheric Scientist “why” rainbows exist, the scientist would explain how* the specific processes involved form what we call rainbows.
If the same person asked a theologian or a philosopher “why” rainbows exist, they may explain these processes, but may also then say these processes happened because of X. Now X may be also true, but here we also have scenarios where some people may believe rainbows were made by giant serpents.
A scientist might do this as well, but when they do this (or anyone else) they are expressing their personal belief behind why these processes happen. Whether they are true or not.
The thing is, you cannot measure subjective experience, even whether it is true or not.
Which makes it fall outside of scientific methods of understanding.
Which makes me think that faith is the area where the Why questions are answered.
Many How questions can be addressed through scientific methods.
The why questions may still be valid (and even true) depending on what they are, and I’m still open to them.
But there are a lot of answers to why questions throughout the centuries. How do we know which ones are valid? which ones should we base our very lives on?
“Which makes me think that faith is the area where the Why questions are answered.” – portal
do you think there is an objective way to evaluate these subjective faiths? I guess you’re asking that yourself, while you hold on to a form of christianity.
William asked: “do you think there is an objective way to evaluate these subjective faiths?”
My simplistic answer would be ‘no’. And maybe I’m misinterpreting the meaning of objective here, but I would think that one would have to be open to the possibility of God’s working, i.e. your previous comment: “the source of the compassion and love i received from other people were from those people, and not god. This explains why “ungodly” people make it through bad times and why they can receive love and compassion too.”
While I agree fully the “ungodly” people can receive (and give) love and compassion too, how do you know the source of compassion and love you received was not from god but merely from other people. Could it have been both? I’m only suggesting the possibility and, to be fully objective, I’d think you’d have to be open to that.
So to answer the question, no, I don’t think there is an objective way. Some people are subjective one way, some are subjective the other. Is anyone truly objective?
is anyone truly objective? I wonder that myself. I am not. I try to be, but i realize that I have constraints on me through life’s experiences. I try to reach beyond those, but i know that i never fully escape them.
And you’re right, I dont “know” for certain that god isnt acting through or aiding the loving and compassionate people. I guess I started placing levels of credibility to the unseen, or else I’d have a hard time rejecting anything. I dont think i’ve expressed this the best way possible, but hopefully is still makes sense.
I guess for me, I’m doing what makes the most sense for me now – as all of us are, i suppose. So I try not to be too forceful with my views and when i am, it’s usually because I feel certain – by my self certainty doesnt equal “right.” i realize that too.
good thoughts, kent.
“UnkleE, on your second point I’d like to ask a question. On the question of whether or not the universe has a purpose, how does fine-tuning and human rationality and ethics answer this for you? You said “theism has one explanation to explain it all”, and I assume you are referring to God, but what is the purpose?”
Hi Dave. I think the simple answer would be “God made it for a purpose and I can only guess what that purpose is” and I think that would be a satisfactory explanation and it would be simple and it would satisfy Occam’s Razor.
But I think we can go further than that. I think part of his purpose was to make something physical and grand, a major part was to create autonomous beings who shared some of his characteristics – rationality, ethical sense, free will and volition, able to initiate and cause things, capable of love, etc – and a physical environment was a good way to allow all those things, and I suppose there may be many other purposes.
Hi UnkleE. Thanks for your response. Would you say that the universe appears to have a purpose because it appears to be designed? Like if you found a pocket watch in the sand and had no idea what it was for, you could still say it appears to have some purpose? (even though we can only guess what that purpose may be)
What if, upon inspection of the “watch” you found that it had some major problems such as gears randomly exploding, gears that were corroding with rust, tons of gears that did not interact and gears that would appear useful for a moment but then become jettisoned by a rotating blade? All of these problems make it much more difficult to guess what the purpose of this thing could be. It may be a time bomb. No one knows. There are still some nice portions of the “watch” that appear to be working – we could just focus on those and ignore the other problems.
If the best we can do is guess at the purpose of something then there is still a strong possibility that it has no purpose at all. Right? It could be a failed prototype or just a random accident. Saying it has a designer just gives us one more thing to try and explain.
What if we were to come across God, a being capable of rational thought and ethics, shouldn’t we then say that he appears to be designed?
My questions are sincere. Thank you for the discussion.
Ryan, I read your comments and just wanted to say I can relate to your frustrations over the “why” questions. Science has no answers to questions like “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”
You said, “But there are a lot of answers to why questions throughout the centuries. How do we know which ones are valid? which ones should we base our very lives on?”
Well, we don’t know which if any or valid. It is frustrating, no doubt about it. I’m not sure how faith would help, since there is no way of knowing what to put your faith in. I think we just have to answer the why questions ourselves and give our own meaning to life.
“I think the simple answer would be “God made it for a purpose and I can only guess what that purpose is”
unkleE, I think you are making 2 guesses here. 1.) God made it for a purpose 2.) You can only guess what that purpose is.
“a major part was to create autonomous beings who shared some of his characteristics – rationality, ethical sense, free will and volition, able to initiate and cause things, capable of love, et”
Part of the definition of “Autonomous” is being “un-coerced” If you believe in a Judeo – Christian God it would be difficult to claim your decisions are un-coerced. If you also believe we share characteristics with this Judeo – Christian God like rationality, ethical sense, free will and volition, able to initiate and cause things, capable of love, you would also have to admit that we share in his anger, hatred, jealousy, vengefulness, etc.
The Big Bang produced a chaotic Universe which continues today.. The fine-tuning which religious people like to describe our Universe is at best a snapshot of chaos in slow motion. Our Earth’s relationship to our Sun helps us to sustain life, but in a few billion years the Sun’s light will be 40% brighter and will bake the Earth.
Dave, nice example of the watch. Like the watch, our lives must submit to entropy’s demand for chaos.
It appears to me, that YHWH created the celestial beings with free will, and when Lucifer began to feel pride because of his beauty, he wanted to be like Ya. When he began to spread discord amongst the other angles, they became confused. He told them that Ya was unjust and that they should follow him. At this point YHWH laid out his plan to show that not only is He all knowing, but he is also all loving and full of mercy and righteousness. Sure, He could have struck Lucifer down, but then the angles would have always wondered “was Lucifer right”.
Because Ya is Holy, he can not allow sin. But if we do righteousness, then we are righteous. That doesn’t mean we are perfect, but our imperfections are covered by the blood of the lamb. So for now this is Lucifer’s play ground, but Ya has made provisions for his people, and he will come back and restore all things. YHWH says he is our salvation, and Yahusha said “there is no greater love than to lay down your life for your brother”. In a perfect act of love, Ya shows us that Lucifer is wrong, and we are free to choose whom we will serve. So in my opinion “why are here?”, to glorify God and show the world that He is worthy of all honor and praise.
I may have a different answer next year, because the more I study, the more I have to unlearn previous beliefs. But everyone should remember here, that the scriptures may have a lot of unanswered questions, but so does evolution. I suppose with time we will have more proof one way or another!
Hi Dave, thanks for your thoughts and your questions.
If the watch is obviously designed, but there are parts that look damaged or badly designed or we can’t tell the purpose, I would say exactly that. I don’t have to understand the purpose or the reasons for the apparent damage or poor design to see that it was nevertheless designed.
I think it is the same with the universe. Its core design is clear, but there are things I don’t understand and seem inconsistent (like suffering) and things I don’t fully understand and don’t expect to (like all the reasons why God designed and created it).
If we can only guess at the purpose, then we can only guess, but that doesn’t in itself take away the evidence that it was designed. Why should it? If I walked into Dr Who’s Tardis without ever having seen the TV show, I would have no idea what it did but its design would be obvious. But all I would need to do is ask the Doctor!
And so I believe it is with the universe. If God left us just with what we can observe, then I would have to get on with life the best I could. But it seems he didn’t. We have religion, which claims to be the equivalent of asking the Doctor. But the problem is we have many different religions (not as many or as different as people often say, but still enough to be confusing). So we have to decide whether God reveals himself through all of them, some of them, just one of them, or none of them. So again we have to look at the evidence.
Is God designed? Well, let’s consider the logic. Either something could have been different or it couldn’t (let’s call that ‘necessary’). If it could have been different, either it was designed or it wasn’t (we’ll call that random or chance). The majority of cosmologists say evidence is that the apparent design of the universe isn’t necessary or chance, so design is plausible. (They say our universe came from a multiverse, but we can apply the same logic to the multiverse.) But philosophers say that God, if he exists, is necessary – he couldn’t have been different. So I don’t think the parallel holds.
Apologies for not writing sooner, it was pretty late where I am,
when I read your question William I was considering it, I wasn’t ignoring you 🙂
I’ll answer your question soon,
Thanks for your thoughts, I’ve thought the same things. Your watch analogy illustrates it, although to be fair a watch might not be the best example, since it is designed, and we know its designed by humans. We find no watches growing, adapting and developing in their natural habitat, unless we consider their natural habitat to be places like William Penn Jewellers 🙂
I think you share some interesting and thought provoking thoughts Laurie 🙂
your assessment of the devil confuses me though. Lets unpack this and see if this makes sense.
If going by your assertion, (1) God is withholding the punishment of the devil (although the devil has already been judged) and (2) God hasn’t yet just struck down the devil (at least not in our *very real* realm of existence).
According to you, one reason this hasn’t been done could be “the angles would have always wondered “was Lucifer right”.
And this devil has instead been apparently given (according to some denominations) other demons to work with (what!) and the liberty and means to posses, kill and harm people.
Human beings tried to build a tower of babel, and God put a stop to that, why does God allow a legion of demons to network across his creation? even if this network is limited?
This is providing that the devil is still active in the world. I understand that other denominations may possibly believe that the devil is already in hell. But then that would nullify the threat of demonic activity, a threat that many Christina s seem to believe in…
But if we are basing our understanding on the premise that the devil is still active then lets consider the implications of this.
This “thing” has been allowed to have power and influence, and this given the understanding of thousands, if not millions of centuries. That time has also included being a participant in the heavenly realms. And hell is prepared for the devil and his angels, but why is such a “rabid dog” allowed to have a playground? Gods children are here.
There are also accounts in the Bible, where God struck down human beings because they transgressed the Law of God, or fought against, or stood in the way Israel. But human beings are finite creatures, with limited understanding. Why is a fallen angel, who actively stood in Gods way, with a significant deal more understanding allowed to network with other fallen angels, or even allowed to hurt people?
As far as I understand it, many Christians see the devil as a fallen angel, and believe he stood at one time in the very presence of God, yet rebelled and sought to be a “god” (sounds to me like a very limited god). Furthermore, the devil is said to be the father of lies and actively seeks to devour people…
I think given this assessment, the devil is a disgusting character. If such a creature existed, and I had the means to destroy him, I would. Yet this creature has been given the label of “big honcho” of demons everywhere.
This pathetic creature or concept, who (and I am emphasising this) has been given the privilege of standing in the very presence of God, and communicating, having a one on one conversation with God (reference to Job).
These are privileges no human has had, even if the devil did not actually see God during the time he was a angel, he still conversed with God in a tangible way. What a waste of an experience on him. Yet what human, having had such an experience would turn away?
The Bible states that: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known – John 1:18 (NIV)
Not many humans have conversed with God or have been visited by God in the way Moses or the Israelites had. These seem like rare gift to humans. But maybe I’m wrong,
maybe many people do interact with God in these specific tangible ways, and when they leave their room, their face is visibly glowing from this interaction. I have not had such a interaction, as far as I can recall. and I think I would remember such an experience.
yet here this pathetic devil creature, who has had conversations with God Himself, still wanders around like the creep he is and tries to fight a battle he has already lost
Here I have gone by a Christian understanding of the devil. Please correct me if you disagree Laurie.
Kind regards, Ryan
So using Occams Razor (and bringing this back on topic)
Say If I heard a noise in my closet, or under my bed during the night…
And I had a pet dog in my room,
but I had also recently watched a horror movie
would I then assume that
(A) the noise came from a bogeyman (a devil)
(b) using the most straightforward and simple inference, would I instead assume the cause came from my dog rummaging around my room?
The feelings triggered by assuming the bogeyman is under my bed are very real..but the source that triggers the feelings may be false or misdirected (like phobias).
Boom! Occams Razor 🙂
Of course this doesn’t discount that a devil doesn’t exist, somewhere, out there….
just that no bogeyman was waiting under the bed,
so I no longer have to take a running jump to avoid its long spidery hands, like I did for a while when I was a child.
And why did I rationalise that hiding under the covers, or taking a running jump would protect me from such a thing!! if there really was a bogeyman?? pretty sure covers or jumping into my bed would not suffice to provide adequate protection from such a thing 🙂
Perhaps part of me knew I was playing a game, even at that younger age,
One of the limitations of the watch analogy is just what Ryan said — watches aren’t made of self-replicating and self-assembling components. Our universe is. While we still don’t know what caused the Big Bang or what started the first life, it still seems to me that a natural explanation of some kind is more likely than a supernatural one. Understandably, people come down on different sides of it.