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TINMoS


jskains

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One thing I have always done over the years is try to keep an open mind. One poster called my mind flexible. Why ok.. Sure. I don't want to suffer from TINMoS (There Is No Monster Syndrome).

We have all seen it. The Sheriff or some other unsympathetic character ignores the please of the kid who saw a monster eat his parents. Tales that a spaceship landed in his yard, the monsters ate the parents and how are slowly taking over the population of the small town. Science tells him there are no aliens. Occam's Razor prevents him from adding Aliens to the equation. There must be a simple explanation. Kid is making the story up for attention. Kid is on drugs. Kid has a wild imagination.. But certainly no aliens taking over.

But sometime in the movie, the Sheriff is over to arrest the kid for prank calling and wasting his time. As he lectures the kid, a big ugly monster comes up from behind and eats him.

Take it from another view. A man walks in a hotel with a 45 caliber pistol. Two shots are heard. The same man runs out. People follow the noise, only to find a man dead with two bullets in his head. The gunman is found, two bullets missing from the gun.

Simple, right? He did it. But what you don't know is his family was threatened by a third party. He was told to go to the hotel with his gun. When he gets there, the third party takes the gun and kills the victim. Far fetched, but it happened. Now what?

Occam's razor, in all its glory, has no mechanism to deal with TINMoS. It simply is not factored into the equation. But just because something fails Occam's razor, does not exclude it as a possibility. DNA evidence has actually helped several cases of people found guilty and put on death row because the evidence was beyond reasonable doubt. Cases that successfully passed Occam's Razor.

So here I am, presenting things that fail Occam's Razor, yet I am mocked or have eyes rolled on me. But I ask you this. In a supernatural event, how do we avoid TINMoS without being gullible or viewed as dishonest? For some of us, the Holy Spirit DID give us a personal revelation of the truthfulness of the LDS Church. So why would extraordinary possibilities be ignored?

Or is the only option for us is to assume the monster isn't sitting behind us ready to eat?

JMS

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Occam's razor is a tool used to decide between two competing theories. While useful in a few cases, there were many questions since settled decisively that Occam's Razor would have decided wrongly.

For example, continental drift and DNA were originally rejected as being less likely by this standard then the current prevailing theories.

I would argue that the old theory of all matter in the Universe being air, water, earth, fire, and pizza (my personal addition) would win an Occam's Razor test with quantum physics (which is downright weird) with someone not aware of all the experiments we have done for the last few centuries.

As a scientific tool, it has some merit. When choosing between gravity being caused by :

A. Some kind of attraction between all objects in the Universe based on mass.

-or-

B. Trillions of invisible gnomes hurriedly running around pushing every particle of matter in existence towards each other with a force equivalent to their distance

A wins with Occam's Razor because it creates fewer additional questions and makes fewer new hypotheses then B.

As an indicator of truth, it is a flawed method of decision and does not always get it right.

In regards to supernatural events, the idea that they are neuroses or ideas beamed into my head or hallucinations requires more hypotheses to be constructed as to why these experiences seem to always lead the right way and in some cases foretell the future instead of saying God told me.

Trying to prove that to someone else.......I can't help you much there.

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I guess I am one of those like Mulder when he was asked by Deep Throat why dispite all the evidence against it, he still believes in UFOs... To which he replied, "the evidence still isn't convincing enough".

I think many critics and even apologists forget that evidence is not absolute. It's a suggestion of a particular direction, but you CAN follow supposed evidence down the wrong rabbit hole.

JMS

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The natural (empirical) is ONE reality in which we all share. It is inarguable. Science reveals the empirical.

The metaphysical is infinite. No two metaphysical realities are exactly alike, because no two sapient beings are exactly alike. No one's metaphysical reality can be proven to anyone outside the possessor of it. And no one's metaphysical reality can be disproven by another person. No amount of outside evidence can disprove anyone's metaphysical reality.

Your metaphysical reality had better be in harmony with the ONE empirical reality we all share in, or else you will come a cropper....

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So here I am, presenting things that fail Occam's Razor, yet I am mocked or have eyes rolled on me. But I ask you this. In a supernatural event, how do we avoid TINMoS without being gullible or viewed as dishonest? For some of us, the Holy Spirit DID give us a personal revelation of the truthfulness of the LDS Church. So why would extraordinary possibilities be ignored?

I don't know what you're talking about, but it doesn't sound like the Occam's razor I know.

Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor[1]), often expressed in Latin as the lex parsimoniae, translating to law of parsimony, law of economy or law of succinctness, is a principle that generally recommends selecting the competing hypothesis that makes the fewest new assumptions, when the hypotheses are equal in other respects.[2] For instance, they must both sufficiently explain available data in the first place.

The principle is often incorrectly summarized as "the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one". This summary is misleading, however, since the principle is actually focused on shifting the burden of proof in discussions.[3] That is, the razor is a principle that suggests we should tend towards simpler theories until we can trade some simplicity for increased explanatory power. Contrary to the popular summary, the simplest available theory is sometimes a less accurate explanation.

So something can't "pass" or "fail" Occam's razor. It's merely a guideline for selecting among competing theories. Given a set of data, it's usually prudent to go with the theory that makes the fewest assumptions.

And for future reference, hypotheticals aren't data for or against a proposition.

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For some of us, the Holy Spirit DID give us a personal revelation of the truthfulness of the LDS Church. So why would extraordinary possibilities be ignored?

To apply Occam's razor, you have to clarify that what you felt was a feeling of some sort. Then, you would need to come up with different hypotheses about where the feeling might have come from. Certainly, the "It came from the Holy Ghost" hypothesis is one that should be considered. But you would also want to consider others.

Then, based on all the data you have, you would judge the different theories and, if you find different theories that explain the data equally well, Occam's razor would suggest you go with the one that makes the fewest "assumptions" or appeals to unknown forces. But Occam's razor isn't the only criteria you would use. It's just one helpful principle.

If you find people instinctively avoid "supernatural" explanations as a result of Occam's razor, here is the reason why: Theories that involve God are always simpler! There is no "natural" theory that can ever be as simple as a God-based one. So if we are formulating theories about anything, once we allow theories based on God or other supernatural phenomena, we have ventured out of the realm of science and are bounded only by our imaginations.

For example, suppose you felt a "spiritual feeling" that was the result of a complex chain reaction of hormones and chemicals in your body. The explanation of such a process would be long and complex, and involve principles of chemistry and physiology. Or, you could just say "The Holy Ghost did it". No chemistry or physiology needed. Much simpler.

Which is great until someone uses it for a theory you don't agree with.

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I know how Occam's Razor works, but there has been a significant abuse of the concept. expecially in Anti-LDS theories. And most Scientists I have listened to have used it to imply adding God into the mix is unnessesary and adds an additional factor that can otherwise simply be ignored.

JMS

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And most Scientists I have listened to have used it to imply adding God into the mix is unnessesary and adds an additional factor that can otherwise simply be ignored.

JMS

If they didn't say this, they wouldn't be scientists. Even Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and LDS scientists have to say this. If they were allowed to allow God into their theories, all scientific theories would be some variation of "God did it", with varying degree of detail.

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http://www.skepdic.com/occam.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam's_razor

Exerpt:

"In the philosophy of religion, Occam's razor is sometimes applied to the existence of God; if the concept of a God does not help to explain the universe better, then the idea is that atheism should be preferred (Schmitt 2005). Such arguments are based on the assertion that belief in God requires more complex assumptions to explain the universe than non-belief."

http://www.conservapedia.com/Occam's_razor

http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/occams-razor4.htm

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