Skip to Content

Top 100 Atheist Challenges

Isn’t it more plausible to suppose that all that exists is matter, since such an account posits only a single kind of substance whereas theistic accounts must posit something else in addition to matter? Ever heard of Ockham’s Razor?

Somewhat humorously, one may begin by pointing out that Occam's Razor is not material, in that it is a methodological principle and as such is abstract rather than concrete.  Secondly, the existence of matter is not sufficient to explain the existence even of material things.  Any material object is structured in a certain way, and the mind is able to abstract from the matter of the object and talk about its structure qua structure.  Thus one either has to admit that structures belong in one’s ontology in addition to matter (however precisely structure is categorized), or one must take a Kantian line and say that the mind imposes structure onto the world.  In that case, one is left (at best) with representative realism, and it won’t be long before one more stroke of Ockham’s Razor gets rid of mind-independent reality altogether.