Thad Guy

Thad's Razor

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you saw no reason to believe in a world outside of your mind. Not that it changes anything, you still react to what your senses tell you, what else are you going to do? But, you just don't believe that your senses are necessarily truthfully reporting some 'objective reality.'

Now, assuming that, here is the fun question: what is the value of Occam's razor? In situations that involve truth, an objective reality, and two theories of equal explanatory power Occam's razor tells us the theory that makes the least amount of assumptions is most likely to reflect reality. But, we are assuming there is no reason for our experiences to be connected to some 'objective reality'. Without truth, it seems Occam's razor is only a principle that helps keep our theories about what we perceive as simple as logically possible.

But maybe, just maybe, simplicity isn't all it's cracked up to be. The best poems or movies are rarely the simplest ones. The most entertaining stories and plots are, again, rarely the simplest ones. Maybe, if we are not convinced of an objective reality, we should aim for something other than simplicity.

I propose a "Thad's Razor": If two theories have the same explanatory power, the the best story is the one that should be believed.

The changes this can make to our conception of the world are quite notable. For example, all those stories about ghosts...some of them might be good enough to believe and ambiguous enough not to contradict other experiences. However, replacing Occams' razor with Thad's razor would not result in giving up theories (like say, gravity) that do help us predict and explain our perceptions. Another example of the different explanations resulting from Thad's razor can be found with these pictures:

Valid Moments for the Naught F word

If we follow Occam's razor, these are all doctored photos. If we follow Thad's Razor, some of them actually happened (feel free to slap forehead in amazement).

May the best story win.

1 Comments:

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Ted W. Gross said...

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