In our world of words, people spend far too much time trying to understand and explain problems, have debates about them, and finally, complain as much as they can about them. This phenomenon is especially common when it comes to social and political issues. I myself have spent countless hours following the events around the world and trying to make sense of them, debating about them with other people, and proselytizing as much as I can whenever I got the chance. And what did that even lead to? How many problems did I actually manage to solve doing that? I remember how sometimes I would get very emotional and stop doing other important things just to read about some happenings in another part of the world or debate with idiots in hopes of having them see the ‘truth’. And really, what did any of that do?
The more I grew and matured, the more I realized the importance of practicality. There just is no use in expending time and energy on things that are not relevant to your life. Just because certain events provoke strong emotions in you, it doesn’t mean that they are important or relevant—and this is especially true in our modern world of mass media where everything is designed specifically to capture your attention.
Of course, if a problem arises, its nature must be understood so that it can be overcome. The error is not in trying to understand the problem, but in dwelling upon it. If no action can be taken to directly resolve the problem, you will very soon start to suffer from diminishing return for the time you expend on the issue—and you’ll always feel frustrated. It’s always better to redirect your energy towards something else that will bring maximum return of investment.
Therefore, I propose a philosophical principle that will maximize constructive action while minimizing needless probing, analyzing, discussing, debating, complaining, and promulgating. We will call that principle the Savage Razor.
The Savage Razor operates in three parts. First:
Any action (including thinking) that doesn’t lead to a solution to the problem at hand is meaningless and as such, should be avoided.
There are few corollaries: Let’s say that X is the representation of a problem that people are concerned about while Y is the supposed cause of X. In this case, the Y should only matter if understanding it helps to resolve X. Even if the premise of Y is wrong, if it ends up resolving X, it is still more useful than identifying the correct Y and not being able to do anything to deal with X. The validity of Y, the cause, is therefore meaningless, which leads to the second part of the Savage Razor:
Understanding the cause of the problem is meaningless unless it leads to a solution.
It is useless to dwell on Y by endlessly studying it, preaching about it, or debating about it unless it is leading to a solution for X. Any action involving Y that fails to solve X is both useless and worthless. The same is true for X itself if no action can be taken upon to directly resolve it. If such is the case, it is best to disengage from X so that you may stop the leak in your time and energy. You must either leave it, ignore it, or adapt to it.
Finally, the third and last part of the Savage Razor is that:
How the problem happened, in what sequence, and for what reason or motivation doesn’t matter; the response does.
If there is a problem, the most important thing to do is to respond to it. Far too many people come up with excuses, debate about the cause or motivation, engage in complaining parties, and so on—none of which is practical. For example, people come up with conspiracy theories of how the banksters, Illuminati, Jews, or the Reptilians are controlling the government to advance their own agendas. None of it matters if you’re not going to do anything about them. The same is true when people debate about whether it is feminism that is ruining society and debasing men or how feminism is really about equality for the two genders. It simply does not matter which is true or not when you consider the problems that men today face. Blaming game is not going to solve anything.
Of course, not all problems are so simple or black-and-white. Often, a solution is not readily apparent without an intensive inquiry, nor is it sometimes possible to take action without there being a consensus first. Awareness is the key, but there are few other clues that can help you:
- Are you preaching to the choir? If you’re spending much of your time chatting with people who already share your opinions, then it’s time to take action. Further discussions and debates isn’t going to accomplish anything.
- Are you arguing with people who disagree with you? What does that ever accomplish? If someone disagrees with you, you should either try to bring them to your side or brush them aside. Bashing them rarely does anything useful.
- Are you scapegoating? For example, there are many people who identify governments, secret organizations, corporations, and Jews as being behind the social problems of the world. But what does identifying do if you’re not actively going up against these groups?
- Are you overthinking? There is huge a difference between contemplation and rumination. Use your thoughts to escape, not to trap yourself.
- Reflect upon the last few weeks, last few months, or even last few years. How much have you accomplished? What have you resolved?
Next time there is any issue, ask yourself: Is what I’m doing helpful? Is this leading to a solution?