2017 Update: Today’s Pascal’s Wager, One We Must Make!

As an update to this post, I refer you to Thomas Friedman’s September 13, 2017 NYT column,¬†Trump‚Äôs Folly. ¬†¬†For me this is similar because Friedman explains, if we prepare for climate change, make the wager we are prepared if it does happen and if it does not happen, “…we will be left healthier, stronger, more productive, more resilient and more respected around the world.”

 images

In the 1660’s mathematician Blaise Pascal created a logic puzzle about a wager related to the question of whether or not to believe in God. He used it as a logic exercise because there is no reason or science that can provide a definitive answer.¬†Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly media, described Pascal’s original Wager¬†in John Brockton’s book, “This Explains Everything: Deep Beautiful and Elegant Theories of How the World Works”, in this way:

You must wager. It is not optional. You are embarked. Which will you choose then?…You have two things to lose, the true and the good; and two things to stake, your reason and your will, your knowledge and your happiness; and your nature has two things to shun, error and misery. Your reason is no more shocked in choosing one rather than the other, since you must of necessity choose. This is one point settled. But your happiness? Let us weigh the gain and the loss in wagering that God is. Let us estimate these two chances.  If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager then, without hesitation that He is.

content

It should be understood that Pascal’s argument for faith rested on self-interest. In describing the wager, it was explained that today’s wager we must make or face dire consequences relates to climate change. It also needs to be understood that in reality we have caused climate destabilization, not just warming. The warming triggers a devastating cascade of issues related to survival of humans.

Climate Change, unlike with God’s existence, does provide some¬†reason and¬†science which to many if not most scientists provides a definitive answer. As outlined, the author explains that if we¬†wager that climate change is real we will then:

  1. Develop renewable energy sources
  2. Create an industry and jobs to support and supply clean energy
  3. Direct tax dollars from highways/car to support of clean public transportation
  4. etc…

RESULT: More robust economy!

These actions would also increase national security by lessening our reliance on hostile nations for oil. Also as described by Patrick Kennedy, (see here and here for presentations) a move to clean energy would democratize energy because it would mean we all could all have power, roof solar panels, and then people would not be reliant on energy companies. If people provide their own power this would extinguish much of the influence power companies now exert and have.

Making the wager that climate change is happening, despite some debatable proof, means we will be practicing paneugenesis. To practice paneugenesis means we will be moved to generate comprehensive improvements by creating interactions so everyone and everything benefits. What is the downside to not making this wager? We must remember, certainty about the consequences of Climate Change will only come after all the bets are called in.

Of course thinking about this from the¬†other perspective, what are¬†the benefits of not believing in climate change? Not believing would move us to take actions to protect and maintain the status quo. While this can be done,¬†what happens if we are wrong? Pascal’s wager rests on self-interest.

‚ÄúThe riskiest¬† thing we can do is maintain the status quo.‚ÄĚ – Bob Iger

Alice Bows-Larkin, in her TED Presentation, “Climate Changes is happening. Here’s how we adapt,” makes a case for why this is a wager we have to make now, and we cannot wait.

Logic and facts suggest it is a Wager we Cannot Afford to Not Make. To support making this wager,¬†Mary Robinson, former¬†President of Ireland ¬†(1990-1997),¬† provides a great ¬†supporting perspective. In her TED Presentation, “Why Climate Change is a Threat to Human Rights”, she talks about these issues based on her experiences¬†as a leader. I encourage you to watch:

¬†‚Äď
Advertisements

What Makes Sense Leads to Moral Progress

Morality predicated on external pressures is never sufficient.                                               РImmanuel Kant

As explained in Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein’s TED Presentation, “The Long Reach of Reason” (also below) moral progress has been instigated through reasoned arguments that documented inconsistency in values, actions, and common sense. ¬†After discussing some examples of how reasoned arguments led to moral progress, they wonder if our grandchildren will be as appalled by our actions as we are of our ancestors who saw things such as beheadings and slavery as normal. Won’t our ancestors or even our children wonder why we focused on eliminating disease when we were wanting to experience better health that we defined as the presence of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity? After all, doing actions and engaging in thoughts that lead to or cause health to create gains¬†in well-being beyond just the absence of problems is a reasoned, logical course of action. Efforts focused on eliminating problems are insufficient and illogical if improved well-being is the goal.

Eliminating problems just brings us back to where we were, not better. If we want to be better, logic and reason suggests we must first determine the better outcome, Operationalize and Idealized Outcome, we want that is not available now and then determine how to create that better reality, Discover Precursors, Optimize the Process, and Plot Progress. This idea is the objective with salutogenesis and paneugenesis and the idea is explained in the Exceeding Expectations video you can access here or below. Reasoning and logic suggests focusing on and working toward creating a better is the obvious way  to create a better tomorrow.

exceeds

I look forward to hearing about how you will be exceeding YOUR expectations, doing so will generate comprehensive improvements as you create interactions that help everyone and everything benefit.

 

‚ÄĒ

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker
%d bloggers like this: