Hitchens’s Razor: A dictum coined by antitheist Christopher Hitchens
Hitchens’s razor is an epistemological razor asserting that the burden of proof regarding the truthfulness of a claim lies with the one who makes the claim and if this burden is not met, the claim is unfounded and its opponents need not argue further in order to dismiss it.
Christopher Eric Hitchens was an Anglo-American author, columnist, essayist, orator, religious and literary critic, social critic, and journalist. Wikipedia
Born: April 13, 1949, Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Died: December 15, 2011, Houston, Texas, United States
Spouse: Carol Blue (m. 1991–2011), Eleni Meleagrou (m. 1981–1989)
Children: Antonia Hitchens, Alexander Hitchens, Sophia Hitchens
- What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence.
- Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.
- The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.
PM_me_ur_fav_undies: Which is itself a rewording of the Latin proverb “Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur”
*What is freely asserted is freely dismissed*
trjones1: Why does it always have to be a razor?
NMredhead17: isn’t that sort of what happens in criminal cases? Burden of proof lies with the prosecutor to prove the “evidence” of a crime occurred, else the accused is either 1. Not charged or 2. Not convicted.
Turil: What evidence did he have of this?
yodasonics: Why does it seem like everybody else started playing LA Noire recently? I started playing it a few weeks ago and I’ve been seeing references everywhere.
elkazay: Yeah until you start talking to people who have o concept of what good evidence is, and refute all evidence to the contrary as being fake
A40: Problem being that those who assert things without evidence have never heard of logic.
Tisias: Any claim that can be asserted with presumption (either under a mechanical presumption such as the legal presumption of innocence or a natural presumption reflecting the received truths of one’s age) may be asserted without evidence and the dismissal carries the burden of proof, so Hitch was not entirely correct.
SolenoidSoldier: Tell that to the numerous title readers who upvote posts that align with their world views.
notenoughroomtofitmy: From my Hindu background, Hitchens and Dawkins basically don’t say seem to say anything more useful once you accept that God may not be a reality….for Abrahamic religions maybe that reasoning is a huge and shocking leap, but for eastern religions, it’s always been an issue under consideration and debate. As a Hindu apatheist, I never found anything earth-shattering in their arguments, and often found them too harsh for their own good, putting off religious people who may be nurturing interested in atheistic arguments.
[deleted]: The irony is that he was a cheerleader for the Iraq War based on zero evidence.
klepperx: I guess I don’t love anyone. Nor does anyone love me.
Droviin: The think I never liked about the razor is that it captures the razor in excluded items.
leonryan: seems a little non-committal. If you’re going to dismiss something why not throw in some evidence to make it stick? If someone spouts bullshit you might as well shoot it down and give a solid reason. Otherwise you’re just being contrary for the sake of it and they learn nothing.
noupperlobeman: Doesn’t this idea pave the way for complete dismissal in the face of evidence, though? If you decide the evidence isn’t enough, or isn’t up to your standards? I think everyone has experienced this recently.
I have problems with this assertion. If you really care about the debate at hand you bring evidence regardless. It’s truly the only way to end an argument.
fatbaptist: i always thought it was from wittgenstein copied from voltaire or some greek guy
Outkast1529: More razors, for those interested
drseus127: This would destroy modern medicine if this was followed to the letter. For instance, we have no randomized trials to show that antibiotics are useful for meningitis – there is no hard evidence, just annodotal experience and expert opinion (my point is “evidence” is not required!)
Carlos_Danger11: “Prove that god doesn’t exist”
squid_defender: I am conscious. Dismiss that!
cmhall25: Well then let’s dismiss Hitchen’s Razor. For it’s truth does not rest upon evidence and empirical verification.
SimplyNigh: Cool quote, until you actually need to win someone over your side and convince them of why their argument is wrong.
yenvalmar: omni ubi sub ubi you brilliant scholars
justscottaustin: Excellent rule, even if it is a couple thousand years old.
I prefer _not_ to associate it with Hitchens as the fella is a bit of an asshat.
Piedra-magica: I grew up in the Mormon church and find that often times my friends and family freely dismiss evidence against their claims. Religious faith is one hell of a drug.
fatherramon: Interesting assertion. Too bad it wasn’t provided with evidence.
eggn00dles: let me guess he coined and named it after himself, whereas the other two are timeless and came to prominence after their original author’s were long gone.