AS A CENTRIST SOCIETY, WE live in a world of middle-of-the-road solutions, that is based on some ungrounded concept that “splitting the baby” somehow brings about equitable results, a world where many decision makers embrace the premise of “splitting the baby” as an acceptable alternative, if for no other reason than out of sheer frustration.
IN SEARCH OF A TRUTH
Circa 287–200 BC, Archimedes was so sure of his discovery regarding the relationship between weight and water displacement that he ignored his nakedness as he ran down the streets of then Syracuse, overcome by what he regarded as the truth of an issue before him. Similarly, during biblical times, King Solomon faced competing claims from two mothers, each claiming custody of a newborn. Faced with such a dilemma, King Solomon had to make a decision in search of a truth. Unlike the folklore derived from this story, King Solomon never intended to split the baby in half; instead, it was a device to get to the truth of the matter. King Solomon’s application of intellectual rigor to his analysis of the facts before him has become a symbol of wisdom and analytical thought. He concluded that the real mother would never allow her newborn to be sacrificed and would instead give up her claim in order to save the baby. Perhaps the most interesting parallels between Archimedes’ and King Solomon’s experiences ...