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December 11, 2009


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erin newby

when i was in high school we asked our science teacher why he was a christian and he said that, besides his personal conviction that god existed, it just made logical sense. he drew the exact same grid. does god exist? yes or no. are you a christian? yes or no. if you're a christian and he does exist, happy days. if he doesn't, you still die pretty peacefully. if you're not a christian and he doesn't exist, happy days. but if you're not and he does, you're screwed. so he reckoned, why risk it?


Ha. Otherwise known as Pascal's wager.


I can't say that I really have any sophisticated understanding of WMDs in Iraq. I don't think that most people I know who are anti-war do either. For me, the fact that the vast majority of people with specialized knowledge in the field think there's a problem is good enough for me.


Good point well made bushlogic. But I think the same logic did apply. It WAS right to take action on the basis of what the expert community (in the case, intelligence services around the world) were telling us. The only question was, what type of action. But anyway, it's a thought-provoking parallel.


I agree with you that thoughtful action taking into account costs and uncertainties was/is warranted in both the Iraq and climate situations.

Problem is, politics distorts discussions of these costs and uncertainties to the point that thoughtful action is all but impossible.

The end result is that people are willing to accept experts' arguments unquestioningly in one case but not the other, depending on their politics.

I say, skepticism is good. Be an Iraq skeptic and a climate skeptic.

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