We’re all familiar with Ockham’s Razor, usually paraphrased thus:
All other things being equal, the simplest explanation is best.
If you’ve been reading Blunt Object regularly, you’re probably also familiar with Heinlein’s Razor:
Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity… but don’t rule out malice.
Irrational positions are usually rational signaling devices.
Elmo notes that:
[L]aws against gay marriage accomplish their unstated goal of reaffirming whose subculture is in charge, and who gets to tell whom how to live.
It is, however, important to note that all three of these razors include caveats. William of Ockham tended to use his razor to carve up counterarguments to “God did it”, which is wonderfully parsimonious but lacks the predictive power of, say, Newtonian mechanics or the germ theory of disease. Heinlein was careful to reserve a place for malice in his own razor, which he first introduced in a short story written in 1941. And Hanson’s Razor makes plenty of room for irrationality — particularly in matters of macroeconomics and trade. While many people who advocate for import tariffs, minimum wages, and rent controls do so like the peacock — to show off their populist credentials in as obtrusive a way as possible — one oughtn’t rule out the possibility that they think these things actually work as intended.