Occam’s Razor

Occam’s Razor is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English logician and Franciscan friar, William of Ockham. It forms the basis of methodological reductionism, also called the principle of parsimony or law of economy.

In its simplest form, Occam’s Razor states that one should make no more assumptions than needed. Put into everyday language, it says:

The simplest explanation is the best. When multiple explanations are available for a phenomenon, the simplest version is preferred. For example, a charred tree on the ground could be caused by a landing alien ship or a lightning strike. According to Occam’s Razor, the lightning strike is the preferred explanation as it requires the fewest assumptions.

The principle is most often expressed as Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem, or “Entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity”.

Occam’s razor – a widely accepted principle – would actually seem to support the historical resurrection of Christ. That Jesus actually did rise from the dead and appear to His disciples is a very simple and complete explanation for the complex series of events that followed including the empty tomb and the series of appearances. It also explains the actions of the disciples in preaching the gospel and suffering martyrdom, the rapid rise of Christianity in Jerusalem and beyond, and the phenomenon of the Christian Sunday. The resurrection of Jesus is an easy and simple explanation of a very complex series of events. Any alternative explanation of this series of events will, of necessity, involve a large number of different happenings and coincidences. It is just far simpler to believe that Christ really did rise from the dead.