Our Friend Occam
By Charles B. French
Occam's razor states that all things being equal, the simplest solution is usually correct. In debates about the existance of God, this is used quite a bit. After all, if there's no "evidence" for God, the simple conclusion is that God doesn't exist. However, as we see in this script, it's a litle more complicated than that.
Jodie - she does not believe in God
Bob - he has many questions and a love for a certain band
Occam - never passes up the opportunity for a good debate
Jodie, and Bob are just hanging out, talking about things. That’s it, that’s all they’re doing. What, you thought there would be more? Nope, it’s just a gabfest. They are probably at a restaurant or even a bar. If they were in England, they'd be at a pub.
Jodie: I’m telling you, it’s impossible.
Bob: No, you just lack faith.
Jodie: This has nothing to do with faith. It’s simple elementary science.
Bob: Science doesn’t have all the answers.
Jodie: I know how much you believe it, but it just isn’t true.
Occam enters and immediately jumps into this conversation.
Occam: What isn’t true?
Bob: Well Occam, Jodie is of the belief that if you go swimming right after you eat, you will not get a cramp and drown.
Jodie: It’s true.
Bob: This is a lie.
Jodie: I’m telling you, you’re wrong.
Bob: Are you calling my mother a liar?
Jodie: Look, your mother believed in it and passed in on to you, but it just isn’t true.
Bob: I don’t believe this.
Occam: Bob, have you ever tested this theory?
Bob: Are you kidding? I don’t want to drown.
Occam: And therein lies the problem. No one is willing to test the theory, and thus this belief about cramps after eating persists, when a simple test would prove otherwise.
Bob: Because no one wants to drown.
Occam: What if they wear floaties?
Bob: (about to object, then considering it) You might have something there. But who to test it on. (He stares at Jodie.)
Jodie: Don’t look at me; I’m just about the theory. You’ll have to find your own sucker for the practical application.
Occam: Have you no faith at all in what you believe?
Jodie: What’s the point of believing? Either it is proven or not.
Occam: You know, I could have sworn this was a conversation about God.
Bob: Well now it is.
Jodie: Here we go again.
Bob: Haw can you not believe in God? He’s there. He’s everywhere. He…is.
Jodie: Because that’s all you can tell me about this God. Where’s the evidence?
Bob: Blessed are you who believe without seeing.
Jodie: And I’ve got some land in Florida that would be perfect for a vacation home. Of course, you can’t see it until after you buy it, but have some faith.
Bob: It’s not like that.
Jodie: So you say, but if there was such a supreme being, there would be proof. There would be clear evidence of a supreme being.
Occam: All things being equal, the simplest solution is always the best.
Jodie: You think of that all by yourself Occam?
Occam: Actually, it was my great-great uncle twice removed. He called it Occam’s Razor.
Bob: A born merchandiser that man. Did it come with Occam’s shaving cream and Occam’s big fluffy towel?
Occam: Only Occam’s soap-on-a-rope, but that never caught on. The point it, a lot of logical conundrums…
Jodie: (to Bob) That means puzzles.
Bob: I know what it means.
Occam: They can be solved by simply finding the simplest solution, as that tends to be correct.
Jodie: This then should be easy. Possibility One - God exists and there is no evidence. Possibility Two - There is no God, thus explaining the lack of evidence. Simple choice.
Occam: Except that you are missing several of the possibilities. In order for the Razor to work, you need to find them all. Possibility Three - There is a God and there is evidence.
Jodie: I haven’t seen any.
Occam: Possibility Four - There is a God, there is evidence, but we are incapable of seeing it. Possibility Five - There is a God, there is evidence, we are capable of seeing it, but some choose to ignore it.
Bob: Possibility Six - U2 is the greatest band that ever existed.
Bob: Bono? The Edge? No one is better. End of discussion.
Occam: We’ll circle back to that. Right now, we are faced with five possibilities, not two.
Jodie: So you actually believe there might be evidence.
Occam: People ignore evidence all the time. Take things that are bad for you. Smoking.
Bob: Talking on cell phones.
Bob: Cell phones. They cause cancer. Right?
Occam: No, they’re just annoying. Especially when you’re in the theater and one goes off right behind you and the guy just answers it and starts talking and talking and…
Occam: Right, drifted off there. My point is that evidence gets ignored all the time. It happens, making it one of the options.
Jodie: And what about evidence of there being no God: innocents suffering, unanswered prayer, evil winning, horrible things happening to innocent people, and on and on and on.
Bob: (about to respond, then considers what she says) Yeah, what about that?
Occam: It stinks.
Jodie: That’s it?
Occam: That’s what you get in a trial. Both sides have evidence. They make arguments and then a jury decides.
Bob: That reminds me, I’ve got jury duty next week and have to get out of it. Any suggestions?
Occam: Do it; it’s your civic duty.
Jodie: Can we get back to the original topic?
Bob: What were we talking about again?
Jodie: God, and all the evidence.
Occam: Right. Ultimately, it’s your call. All I can do is give you all the options.
Jodie: And what if you don’t like the option I choose to go with?
Occam: Simple, I’ll tell you about it.
Bob: At great length.
Occam: Pretty much.
Jodie: (thinks for a moment) And why am I friends with you again?
Occam: Simple answer; I’m a very charming conversationalist.
Bob: I have evidence to refute that.
Jodie: Refute all you want. As long as he’s buying he can stick around.
Occam: (to Bob) Now back to your premise about U2 being the greatest band ever.
They all start to leave.
Bob: Don’t even start with me.
Occam: Have you heard of the Beatles?
Bob: See, I knew you were going to go there, and here’s why you’re wrong.
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Our Friend Occam Copyright © 2012 Charles B. French. All Rights Reserved.
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