William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Ockham’s Razor: a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities

Ockham’s razor is sometimes invoked by scientific materialists to refute claims by opponents. The reasoning goes something like –
“There is no need to invoke a supernatural being to explain such an event. Simply because the chain of events necessary for the existence of the universe has more possibilities than all the molecules in the milky way, does not mean that one special combination did not occur. This extremely unlikely event could have happened on its own, possibly many times. No need to invoke a supernatural being, that is too complicated.”

William of Ockham would have thought such thinking is daft.

“For Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else, the whole of creation, is radically contingent through and through.

Nevertheless, we do sometimes have sufficient methodological grounds for positively affirming the existence of certain things. Ockham acknowledges three sources for such grounds (three sources of positive knowledge). As he says in Sent. I, dist. 30, q. 1: “For nothing ought to be posited without a reason given, unless it is self-evident (literally, known through itself) or known by experience or proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture.”

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ockham/

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Post by Tcg »

[Replying to BeHereNow in post #1]

What is the question(s) for debate?


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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Post by Miles »

BeHereNow wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:20 am Ockham’s Razor: a scientific and philosophical rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities.
It isn't a rule, but a principle; a proposition or value that's a guide for evaluation.

Ockham’s razor is sometimes invoked by scientific materialists to refute claims by opponents. The reasoning goes something like –
“There is no need to invoke a supernatural being to explain such an event."
Considering that the supernatural remains an unproven manifestation this sounds quite reasonable.

Simply because the chain of events necessary for the existence of the universe has more possibilities than all the molecules in the milky way, does not mean that one special combination did not occur. This extremely unlikely event could have happened on its own, possibly many times. No need to invoke a supernatural being, that is too complicated.”

William of Ockham would have thought such thinking is daft.
Perhaps, but why should anyone care what you think Ockham would have thought? You weren't buds or anything were you?

“For Ockham, the only truly necessary entity is God; everything else, the whole of creation, is radically contingent through and through.

Nevertheless, we do sometimes have sufficient methodological grounds for positively affirming the existence of certain things. Ockham acknowledges three sources for such grounds (three sources of positive knowledge). As he says in Sent. I, dist. 30, q. 1: “For nothing ought to be posited without a reason given, unless it is self-evident (literally, known through itself) or known by experience or proved by the authority of Sacred Scripture.
And why should Sacred Scripture be considered an authority? One can do so I suppose, but it should be kept in mind that many scriptures, such as the Bible, are fraught with mistakes, contradictions, tales of the absurd, and immoral stances.


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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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I don't buy that the simple explanation is better than a complex one. It's meant to be a last resort when two competing hypotheses are otherwise equal, and that's seldom how it's used.

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Moved to Random Ramblings. Please review the Rules and Tips on starting a debate topic.

[Replying to BeHereNow in post #1]

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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"Considering that the supernatural remains an unproven manifestation this sounds quite reasonable. "

You first have to prove experience cannot, or is not, an affirmation of existence, as Ockham claimed.
Many claims exist that individuals have experienced the supernatural.
For those who have experienced a supernatural event, no further proof is necessary.

"Perhaps, but why should anyone care what you think Ockham would have thought? You weren't buds or anything were you? "
Is that an attempt at humor. It failed.
If I were to invoke Ockham's Razor, that in itself clearly shows I care what he would have thought.
Similarly, anyone who references Ockham's Razor, demonstrates they care what he thinks, even though long dead.

Myself, I have no use for such a rule, which has less value than quotes from Poor Richard's Almanac.



" And why should Sacred Scripture be considered an authority? One can do so I suppose, but it should be kept in mind that many scriptures, such as the Bible, are fraught with mistakes, contradictions, tales of the absurd, and immoral stances."
You ask why sacred scripture should be considered an authority.
I don't need to he best buds with William to understand why he believed Scriptures should he an authority. I suspect you do as well, so I take your question to be rhetorical, or you to be clueless about the perceived nature of Scriptures.

Concerning mistakes, contradictions, and tales of the absurd, you could as easily be referencing Science. The road scientists have traveled has been, and continues to be, anything but smooth sailing these recent centuries.
As for "immoral stances", it is common knowledge that Science to totally amoral, devoid of any morality.
As such, a scientist, with all of and only, the tools and techniques available to Science, would not be able to justify any meaning statement about morality, or immorality in any system of belief.
Where do you get your authority for such a claim?

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Post by BeHereNow »

[Replying to Tcg in post #2]
William of Ockham used experience and sacred scriptures to affirm existence.
He also is said to have applied Ockham's Razor to his truth finding.

Would his beliefs on these key issues be any different if he were alive today, and if so, why?

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Purple Knight wrote: Wed Oct 06, 2021 3:26 pm I don't buy that the simple explanation is better than a complex one. It's meant to be a last resort when two competing hypotheses are otherwise equal, and that's seldom how it's used.
That he be true in principle, not in practice.
That is based on my experience, and experience being a method William of Ockham recognized as a method to affirm existence.

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Re: William of Ockham and sacred scriptures to affirm existence

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Post by Miles »

BeHereNow wrote: Thu Oct 07, 2021 6:21 am "Considering that the supernatural remains an unproven manifestation this sounds quite reasonable. "

You first have to prove experience cannot, or is not, an affirmation of existence, as Ockham claimed.
Nope you're making the affirmative claim; faeries and trolls live under the I-95 bridge. So it isn't up to me to prove they don't, but up to you to prove they do (and I'm not interested in what Ockham happened to claim).

It comes down to the Burden of Proof:
When two parties are in a discussion and one makes a claim that the other disputes, the one who makes the claim has a burden of proof to justify or substantiate that claim.


Many claims exist that individuals have experienced the supernatural.
Many claims exist of individuals believing to have experienced the supernatural. Just because Jocko and Jill claim they've experienced the supernatural is hardly grounds for thinking they actually did. Or do you believe unsubstantiated claims of the extraordinary, those lacking good evidence, deserve to be taken at face value?

For those who have experienced a supernatural event, no further proof is necessary.
Then produce the evidence that what they experience is truly the supernatural and not some miss-firing of neurons in a brain tumor.

"Perhaps, but why should anyone care what you think Ockham would have thought? You weren't buds or anything were you? "
Is that an attempt at humor. It failed.
Actually it isn't. It was a sarcastic attempt to keep you on the straight and narrow here. That bringing up needless interjections to bolster your point is a waste of time.

If I were to invoke Ockham's Razor, that in itself clearly shows I care what he would have thought.
And to what end? Do you care what Marilyn Monroe would have thought?

Similarly, anyone who references Ockham's Razor, demonstrates they care what he thinks, even though long dead.
Gotta disagree. I believe those who typically references Ockham's Razor demonstrates an overriding interest in the law of parsimony, not its creator.

Myself, I have no use for such a rule, which has less value than quotes from Poor Richard's Almanac.
Really. So you're quite content in multiplying entities beyond necessity. How very odd, and to what purpose may I ask.

" And why should Sacred Scripture be considered an authority? One can do so I suppose, but it should be kept in mind that many scriptures, such as the Bible, are fraught with mistakes, contradictions, tales of the absurd, and immoral stances."
You ask why sacred scripture should be considered an authority.
I don't need to he best buds with William to understand why he believed Scriptures should he an authority. I suspect you do as well,
Not why HE did, but why anyone would. As I pointed out, many scriptures such as the Bible, are fraught with mistakes, contradictions, tales of the absurd, and immoral stances.

so I take your question to be rhetorical, or you to be clueless about the perceived nature of Scriptures.
I do know that many scriptures are very unreliable as far as truth and reasonableness go, so I question why anyone would consider them authoritative. Assuming you do, care to explain this rather odd perspective?

Concerning mistakes, contradictions, and tales of the absurd, you could as easily be referencing Science.
Ah, but science corrects itself when they pop up. It doesn't hold onto them like religions do, repeating them generation after generation over a thousands years.

As for "immoral stances", it is common knowledge that Science to totally amoral, devoid of any morality.
And amoral is quite different from immoral, isn't it. Thing is, science simply doesn't bother with moral issues, so amorality should necessarily be part of its character, don't you think?

As such, a scientist, with all of and only, the tools and techniques available to Science, would not be able to justify any meaning statement about morality, or immorality in any system of belief.
BINGO! Quite correct because justifying moral statements isn't part of its job description. However, this doesn't preclude a scientist from taking an in interest in, and a moral stance on, any issue outside the scientific realm.

Where do you get your authority for such a claim?
Specifically, what claim is that?


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