Can’t sleep. I’ve been doing well in my own bed next to Mr Furlong. But not tonight.
I am thinking of Ockham. I reckon he burned the midnight oil pondering about the idea that the simplest answer is always the best.
Occam’s razor (also written as Ockham’s razor and in Latin lex parsimoniae) is a principle of parsimony, economy, or succinctness used in problem-solving devised by William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347). It states that among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Other, more complicated solutions may ultimately prove correct, but—in the absence of certainty—the fewer assumptions that are made, the better. End quote
Occams razor is always thrown around in hot scientific debates and I’m not sure why. It applies to philosophy. Not science. There is nothing simple about most stuff in science. Not even scientists know about other branches of science. And Ockham would not believe what we cumulatively know now. Even in science, we can’t even say for sure that God is or isn’t. Still! He might be a scientific principle – like gravity, or dark matter.
The situation right now in the arena of world affairs is so confusing with which side is right and which side is wrong, who shot or blew something up or down, that Occam’s razor seems defunct, redundant, if not totally and completely kaput. It cannot be used in politics either.
I am suggesting it was OK when Ockham thought it up whilst debating with other monks on whether Jesus owned his own sandals and stuff, but nowadays it rarely applies to much. We have got so tangled in our web of spin, illusion, lies and deceit, that now, sometimes, the MOST assumptions in just about everything are, in fact, the ones we should select.