To refresh your memory: Occam’s Razor’s premise is that the simplest answer is most often the correct one. For example, living where we do—in the U.S.—if you hear hoof beats…think horse not zebra. “Razor” because like a very sharp blade it can be used to remove excess, remove unnecessary assumptions, pare the bullshit to get to the truth.
For this application of the Razor, I figured I’d pick an easy one: world peace. (I realize we all inadvertently acquire a healthy sense of skepticism, and cynicism is more often rewarded than faith in optimism…but, come on: wouldn’t peace in the world be something?) Can there really be a simple answer in attaining world peace? Or is it a day dream? Unattainable? Well, let’s use that Razor and pare out all the excess and get right down to it:
When we are born, do we have biases, prejudices, hatreds? If we set a black baby next to a white baby, is not their only response curiosity? No dread, no fear, no condescension, no hatred. Place a boy baby and a girl side-by-side…does the boy look and think: Oh, no penis, I’m worth more? No judging goes on. At that point in our existence we are completely open-minded. As I’ve, in all simplicity, said in previous A & A’s: no one is born an asshole.
So, how do we prevent what happens? Simple: education.
Ok, you might say…if that is the answer, how can we possible ensure all children, world-wide, receive the education they need to keep their minds open? Is education as elusive as world peace? We’ll see what the Razor can do in the next A&A.