The Razor

    William of Ockham (or Occam), the 14th century scholastic philosopher, is rather famous for being a barber of sorts, having invented his most useful “Occam's Razor”. God, an elderly gentleman, is for His part well known for his long, gray Fatherly beard.

    Is it possible to call in Occam in order to liberate God of His facial hair? In that case God might want to discard the symbol of His patriarchal status as the know-all, do-all Father figure of the Universe, and humans would have one less problem to contend with.

The Timing

    Of course, at the time of Occam, this could not be done. Occam's Razor requires us to discard unnecessary elements when trying to explain things. And in Occam’s time God was absolutely necessary. Because how else could you explain the complex workings of the world, if not by referring to an omnipotent, omniscient Mover of it all?

    Today, things are a bit different. What is needed for completely explaining the movements of the planets? Merely Newtonian physics, as it happens. So, if we are to take Occam's Razor seriously, no unnecessary explanatory elements should be included. In the planetary business at least, God’s beard can safely be shaved off. Naturally, this applies to almost anything in the natural world.

The Worlds

    So most reasonable people, religious or otherwise, would agree that Occam’s Razor has long since stripped God of His beard in the natural world, where the workings are sufficiently explainable by science alone.

    The disagreement starts when in comes to the World Beyond, the world that transcends the natural one. Is there such a world? Maybe there is. There are a lot of things that we know very little about, but which may exist anyway, e.g. cosmic Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Maybe there is a World Beyond. Could it be governed by someone with certain specific features and powers, by a God defined in some fashion?

In the Dark

    Most reasonable people, religious or otherwise, would agree that no one can have the slightest idea about what a World Beyond might possibly look like. We know precious little about cosmic Dark Matter, just a few physical characteristics. But about the World Beyond we know absolutely nothing, a decidedly more nebulous situation.

The Shave

    Here a barber with Occam's Razor would be helpful: “If you assume that something unknown exists, but don’t have the faintest idea of what it looks like, then it is not necessary to elaborate its unknown details.” In other words -- if you don’t know what to explain, then don’t.

    And the unnecessary details, e.g. how and by whom the World Beyond is managed, would be shaved off. So Occam's Razor would give God’s beard a close shave in all worlds, in the natural one as well as in the nebulous one Beyond.

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