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Silver bullet

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Cogito ergo sum
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I define anarchist society as one where there is no legal possibility for coercive aggression against the person or property of any individual.
Murray Rothbard, who kept a case of silver bullets in his closet

A silver bullet is any proposal or belief that rests on some one simple thing being the solution to a massive and complex problem. It's one of those things that sounds like common sense, but in reality is completely idiotic — a favorite device of the intellectually lazy who do not want to deal with your petty complications and nuance. Silver bullets show up in fake science and fake economics, and should be an immediate red flag that somebody is desperately trying to find a rationale for a conclusion that they arbitrarily chose at some point in their adolescence.

The term is derived from werewolf folklore, where a silverWikipedia bullet is required (or at least by far the most effective method) to kill the beast. Since silver bullets are effective for killing just about anything in your average monster story, the term is also used to describe an object or idea which should "fix everything".[1][note 1] In real life, a bullet made from 100% silver is not only much more expensive than a bullet made from more mundane material like lead, copper, tungsten, or depleted uranium (essentially waste), but also less effective in terms of accuracy in tests using modern weapons (attributed to the level of precision required in silver bullet manufacture).[2][note 2]

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  1. The effectiveness of silver in killing a wide variety of supernatural monsters (werewolves, vampires, demons, etc.) has its roots in the ancient (as in pre-scientific) belief that silver is actually lightWikipedia in a solid form;[citation needed] furthermore, ancient peoples observed that silver actually does have some protective properties, such as retarding the spread of disease. Humans, being diurnal,Wikipedia are naturally prone to seeing light and anything associated with light as inherently good, and darknessWikipedia and anything associated with darkness as inherently bad. Anything that preys upon humansWikipedia and makes a living off of human suffering and death, in the minds of humans who have an inherent desire to survive, must be bad and evil, therefore aligned with darkness. Therefore, since silver is made of light, it should be highly damaging, even lethal, to creatures that are evil and aligned to darkness — a rather logical conclusion, as long as one ignores the asininity of the premises, the whole idea being built on a foundation of cognitive biases, and the complete lack of reality-based support for light being more "virtuous" than darkness.
  2. Golden bullets, of course, are right out, given how soft gold is.