KEVIN Rudd is about to bank his leadership on a variation of Pascal’s wager, appropriate during the Pope’s visit but reflecting a new and risky calculus in Australian politics.
His independent expert Ross Garnaut has done the same, as he explained by reference to 17th-century French scientist Blaise Pascal: “If there were no God and one believed,” pondered Pascal, “what is the loss? But if there were a God and he rewards belief or denial in heaven and hell, the absence of belief is catastrophic. It is rational to act as if there were a God.”
Pascal’s argument was that smart non-believers should live their lives as though there were a God because they had little to lose and much to gain. Garnaut’s argument is that it is smart to act on the assumption that climate change is real because betting on its denial involves a high risk of catastrophic consequences.
Paul Kelly Blog – The Australian: Caught in carbon crunch
Thanks to Luke for lighting the blue touch-paper on this one!