I assume that — by now — most all Americans have heard of Occam’s Razor. If not, in a nutshell, it is a logical principle which states:
“All things being equal, the simplest solution is usually the correct one.”
The classic example of how Occam’s Razor works is:
“If you are hearing hoof-beats, think horse, not zebra.”
It has become common to see people using Occam’s Razor to dismiss opposition they do not like, or which damages their agenda. This is especially true when it is cited in conjunction with opposition to supposed ‘Conspiracy Theory.’ However, most of the people citing it do not apply Occam’s Razor correctly; they leave out one critical precept of the maxim. If you’ll give me a few minutes, I will do my best to explain.
The problem is found in the first and most crucial point of the maxim:
“All things being equal…”
So, assuming our example of hearing hoof-beats:
IF we are in the U.S., then the example I stated above is an accurate application of Occam’s Razor — unless I happen to be in a U.S. zoo, or game preserve that keeps zebras.
You see, very, very few people bother to establish that the things being compared are equal before appealing to Occam’s Razor. When this happens, they are not making a rational argument. In fact, they are committing a fallacy, a mistake in logic. By definition, this is an irrational act.
Occam’s Razor stipulates ‘all things must be equal.’ So, what does, ‘all things being equal,’ mean? Well, in common language, it means you have to prove you are comparing apples to apples. Here, let me give you another example you might have seen used in the news. It takes many forms, but they usually go something like this:
“Occam’s Razor dictates that the simpler answer to — insert ‘Conspiracy Theory’ here — is stupidity, not conspiracy.”
[NOTE: this is actually amodified appeal to a sub-set of Occam’s Razor known as Hanlon’s Razor.]
OK, now, let’s take the most obvious target of such a refutation of ‘Conspiracy Theory:’ the New World Order. The claim is that we should never assign evil intent to anything that can be explained by simple stupidity, such as the New World Order ‘Conspiracy Theorists.’ But there’s a problem with using Occam’s Razor to dismiss claims about the NWO. In fact, there are two problems.
First, you must make sure every aspect of the two things being considered are actually equal. In this case, those two things that are claimed are ‘conspiracy’ and ‘stupidity.’ But this is not what is actually being compared. You see, the claim that there is a group of people working to force a NWO on the world is not a theory. It is fact. The people pushing the NWO have not made themselves secret: they have been very open about their goal and their plans to achieve it. They just boasted about it this past week:
Therefore, ‘all things’ are not equal, and the people who purport to use Occam’s Razor to ‘debunk’ assertions about the NWO are not only committing the fallacy of equivocation (comparing apples to oranges), they are also appealing to ignorance (counting on the fact that their audience will not understand the trick they are playing on them).
But there is another fallacy contained in this modified use of Occam;s Razor. There is no truth in the claim that we should choose stupidity over malice/conspiracy. In fact, I would argue the exact opposite is true. Therefore, to use Hanlon’s Razor in citing Occam’s Razor against NWO assertions, as many as three fallacies are being committed.
If you understand logic, this is enough to make you laugh at the person committing these fallacies as they have just demonstrated they are either stupid, or exhibiting malice — which means they have actually refuted themselves, not the claims about the NWO! 🙂
APPLYING THIS TO ANOTHER CURRENT EVENT:
There are consistent claims that the American Left is actively working to destroy this country. Many in the media — on both sides — will claim Occam’s Razor to ‘debunk’ these assertions. But is this actually an accurate use of Occam’s Razor? Let’s look at the first precept: is everything equal? Start by asking yourself these questions:
First, has anyone on the Left ever said they want to destroy, remake or fundamentally transform the country?
Next, can a ‘stupid’ person win office without — at the very least — being helped by a ‘smart’ person?
If a ‘stupid’ person needs and receives help from a ‘smart’ person, then who is likely to be in control of the ‘stupid’ person after they win their election?
Then, do all of the programs the Left shuts down have a net positive or negative effect on the health of the nation and its economy?
And, do all the programs the Left forces have a net positive or negative effect on the health of the nation and its economy?
Finally, is there any indication that the refused and forced policies work together or align with a single agenda? Put another way: do they show actual forethought and coordination?
Now, do the math: is there more evidence of simple stupidity, or intentional planning? If you find more evidence of simple stupidity, then why do people vote for those stupid people unless they are just as stupid (or worse, more stupid)? However, if you find the preponderance of the evidence indicates some level of planning and coordination, then Occam’s Razor actually dictates malice/conspiracy — not stupidity! And those who use Occam’s Razor to dismiss anyone trying to point out the evidence are committing logical fallacies. And, if they are intentionally arguing a fallacy, the next thing you have to do is decide:
Is that person stupid, or are they a part of the malice/conspiracy?
See why I love logic? When applied properly, it usually exonerates the innocent and bites bites stupidity/malice/conspiracy in the rear-end! LOL 🙂