There is so much misinformation, narrowly biased coverage and raw emotion online that concern me about our society's ability to think critically about the important issues of the day. I want to provoke a deeper level of thought by offering an explanation of issues as I see them. You may agree or disagree, but hopefully you will at least think about the issues.
I am a retired litigation lawyer with over 40 years of experience in environmental, electricity, competition, and constitutional issues. I have appeared at all levels of court including the Supreme Court of Canada, and in every province of Canada. I have been invited as a guest lecturer at almost all of the law schools in this country. I am also the author of over 100 legal articles and a law book, and have been an adjunct faculty member at four Canadian law schools.
“Beware!” the professor warned, of the Single Factor Theory!
“What is that, and why should I care?”, I thought.
That was in 1960. I was an 18 year old second year university student, to whom that warning seemed merely of academic interest. I forgot all about it for the next 60 years, until it suddenly popped up in my memory. And now I understand it. Now I care.
Many – if not almost all – of the social, environmental and economic issues facing our societies have multiple, complex causes and effects. Yet we instinctively reject complexity, looking for simple answers to complex questions. Easiest of all is reducing the answer to a single factor. The appeal of the single factor theory is that it reduces everything to a binary choice: the single cause either exists or it doesn’t. Some current examples?
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