Friday, September 30, 2011

Global Warming and Pascal's Wager: Same Loigc.


I posted this first on CADRE blog then on Atheistwatch. It was attacked on an athist blog, I will give their comments and my answers. First here's the original article.

The thing to do with Global warming is not to argue agaisnt it. Use it. Atheists are almost bound to believe it believe in it (I believe in it--not the point). Rather than argue against it as an example of bad lock, it's more useful as an example of good logic. This is so because the logic of Global warming is the same logic used in Pascals wager.

I have two observations to make before getting into this. The first one is about the wage itself. The second about the paradigm used for "risk taker analysis."

(1) Atheists mock and ridicule the wage extremely much, over doing it, becuase they don't understand it's function. Most Christian apologists don't understand it either, so no slight to our Atheist friends. Mine you the wage is an argument I never use. Most people take it as attempt at proving God exists. It is not an attempt to prove that God exists. It's meant as a tiebreaker. It's used after the massive collection of arguments Pascal wrote known as the Pensées Or "thoughts." Those aren't even meant to prove the existence of God but to clue one in on how to realize the reality of God. Although this is my phrase, you wont catch Pascal saying anything that awkward.

(2) The wager is a decision making paradigm not an argument to prove something. The paradigm is based upon Pascal's own invention, mathematical probablity. That's right all the arguments atheists use about simplicity and Baez theoums and all of that indicative reasoning the likelihood of this or that it all goes back to Pascal. He was not a dunce. HE was a mystic, however, and he was not interpreted in proving things logically. His tie breaker, the wager, demonstrates the probability of God being true.

The reason Is say the global warming and the wager use the same logic is because they are examples of what we in college debate used to call "risk taker analysis."An example: let's say I guy a hat. It blows off my head and over a freeway. I have to cross a busy freeway to get the hat back. I must ask myself "is having this hat worth risking my life for?" It could be only if having is worth so much that I am willing risk losing everything for it. A hat, not so much as they say. Now if the hate is a bearer bond worth a million dollars, maybe it is worth risking it all for that. Another aspect of this the risk can be minimized. So part of the equation includes the levels of reward vs risk. For example even a million dollars may not worth risking death for if death virtually certain. So wait until 2:00 am when there are almost no cars on the free way. That has to be balanced agaisnt the risk that the bond will blow away in the mean time. so risk taker analysis means doing a sort of calculus.

It will cost several billion dollars for the medical diagnostic industry to re tool and change from X-ray machines to second generation Doppler ultrasound.This is why they will probably never do it of their own accord. If they did they might save 24,000 lives a year (I am assuming that form of ultra sound can do everything X-Rays do, which it probably can't but in debate years ago we had journal evidence saying it could). Are 24,000 lives worth making an industry spend billions of dollars? What about the government subsidizing? This is just an example of the kinds of questions that one can ask using risk taking analysis. Of course it gets much more complex than that.

The wagers says "there is everything to gain and nothing to lose by following Christ and placing belief in God. But there is everything to lose and nothing to gain by not following Christ." So if that is true the risk taking analysis shows that the much greater risk is in not being a Christian, or whatever. That's breaks the tie between the realization of reality and the doubt fostered by nothing overwhelming direct proof. We can't totally prove it either way, but the greater risk is in not believing. The only thing to be gained by not believing is momentary sinful pleasure which in the long run always runs out and works against the experiencer.

Global warming risk taking analysis. Like the God question we don't have total proof either way. We can be sure that man made source so green house gas are the real cause or even the major catalyst, although there's a good probability that they are. So what is the loss vs gain ratio? does it justify the risk? The risk in believing in global warming is that we will spend a lot of money trying to switch over to non green house producing sources. That will cost profits and might result in economic problems. The worst outcome would be loss of jobs. What is the risk in not assuming it? Doing nothing:

(1) If the theory is right and we do nothing all life on earth might be destroyed at worst, at best, the earth will much hotter, storms more violent, major flooding in many parts of the wold., millions could die.

(2) vs if the theory is wrong and we do a lot to change it anyway, we could have an economic slump in the U.S.

So the risk of loss is much greater if we do nothing than the risk of loss form trying to solve it necessarily.

Of cousre there's the additional factor that we could try to solve but since the problem is not man made (assuming that answer) it would continue despite our efforts. Then we get the worst of both worlds. We die in a super heated world while having an ecnomic slump. Yet thta element is more remote becuase the odds are our life style is at least a contributor to the problem if we change it, even if the cause is not primary our life style it might compensated enough to help minimize the effects. The chances that we would get the worst of both worlds are very small.

We can see from this that both the wager and global warming are forms of risk taker analysis. They both have the same formation: everything to gain by doing X and noting or little to lose. They both have the element that the gain from rejecting action is temporary and self defeating. In terms of the wager one has pleasure form sin but it goes away as you get older, and it's bad for you so you lose your looks sooner and die younger. That's just a short term gain. The gain from rejecting the global warming hypothesis is short term to. As with sin the pleasures of keeping your extravagant life style going a little longer, are short term and offset by the evils of that lifestyle. It's pollution, it's fosters bad nutrition (people have lots of money to spend and they carve new things) it's the whole consumer culture that needs to be overhauled and all our habits changed. So in both cases the life style and the sinful pleasure are short term while the risk of loss is much greater and long term: in religion we risk eternal damnation and in global warming we risk destruction of the life bearing ability of the planet.

It's important to make atheists see that they have such a risk to take becuase the more analogies that stack up for their paradigm the sooner their paradigm (naturalism) will shift. It's very important to point out every inconsistency we can in atheist thinking. for them to know that acceptance of a view point they consider absolutely essential to their acceptance of science as the only way, requires that they also accept the logic of Pascal's wager.

on the blog Great Play net my article is attacked by the author. It's really long piece. he tries to reduce the argument to absurdity. Here's his conclusion:

When all is said and done in this essay, I definitely do think Global Warming is a problem worth preventing. Not only am I convinced by the consensus of the scientists on the issue, but am convinced by the expected utility approach employed by the CADRE that would hold even if there were much less scientific consensus.

I also think the CADRE’s argument works well in reverse: anyone who believes in Pascal’s Wager should also accept the general logic behind Global Warming, though I think the Problem of Evil ultimately forces them to abandon the belief that Global Warming does need to be prevented.

But the CADRE does not establish that I need to accept Pascal’s Wager just because I already accept Global Warming: instead, I can denounce Pascal’s Wager as completely baseless, as I already do.

Additionally, I think the CADRE cannot endorse Global Warming prevention if they want to be consistent with the Problem-of-Evil-defeating idea that needless suffering does not exist.

My response:

Metacrock says:

No offense your analysis sux. You are purposely mixing non essential elements with necessary elements to make the comparison seem stupid.

The basic concept was to different beliefs with risk taking analysis. You didn’t look at both of them as risk taking analysis you look at one as quasi risk taking and one as a religious idea you hate.

your summary point of my arugent:

“There is no logical difference between the argument for Global Warming and the argument for Pascal’s Wager, so if you accept one you should accept the other.” calculated to reflect badly on religious thinking. I didn’t say there’s no logical difference I said both are examples of risk talking analysis. I didn’t say if you accept one you should accept the other I said if you accept global warming as a valid way to think you can’t argue that Pasacal’s wager is illogical on the grounds that it’s not a proof becuase it doesn’t have to be, it’s a analysis of risk taking, like the logic that backs global warming in answer to the argument about natural warming.

that point is crucial becuase it’s not global warming senerio itself that’s being compared to the wager, but the answer to the argument against it that say “nature is warming up anyway aside from man’s activity.” the answer is we can’t take the risk, we need clear up our act just in case.”

that’s important becuase you totally mis that concept. you ask “is global warming a wager.” you don’t’ seem to understand what wagers meant or Pascal or the point that we are not talking about global warming per se but the way risk taking analysis fits into the senerio.

My response to other who comment.

Metacrock says:

My response to the title:
“Oh shit! You have to believe in AGW and God, or neither. You can’t consistently do both!” That was a funny thought until I noticed that Pascal’s wager is hardly the only reason to believe these positions.

>>>>missing the point. You can imperiously reject either one or both but not on the grounds that the lgoic of the wager is no good if you agree with the logic of Global warming. that is to say the risk taking analysis part.


Instead, I defer to the large preponderance of climate scientists who do support man-made global warming

>>>> did you not see the bit where I agree with Global warming?

So if someone were to show that climate scientists aren’t experts either, would you become a climate skeptic?

>>>why do atheists always miss the point so profoundly? (I’m assuming he is an atheist maybe he’s not–he reads this blog).

you can read the rest on the link.


Anonymous said...

Why are you running away from my questions on Atheistwatch?

What do you think are the supposed consequences of my unbelief? What am I risking by not believing in your God?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

I did answer you. I also said it in the post before you asked. I said the consequence with my liberal "ho hell" approach is that you miss the point of life and thus you missing the best thing in life. you don't fulfill the purpose for which you were made.

You probalby think 'so what? I get lots of ice cream." It's a big deal for me. I get ice cream too.

Anonymous said...

What is the "point of life" that I am supposedly missing, and why is it a bad thing for me to be missing it?

Since my life as a heathen has been so much healthier and more rewarding then my life as a believer was what am I missing?

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Hermit I can believe that the age we live in is so shallow that kids today don't know what the importance of the meaning of life is. I can't bleieve a guy form the 50s doesn't know that.

no one from our era would ask that.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

you are full of bull. saying your life is better as a "heathen" than as a believe is just BS.

you are assuring you had the fullness of life as a bleeder clearly you did not. No one would give it up if htey had it. No tha'ts just crap.

I'm not saying you weren't a real christian I'm not saying you were not sincere but not reason to think you really had the drift.

Anonymous said...

Calling me a liar is not an answer...what am I missing, Joe? What risk am I taking? What are the consequences of my unbelief? Unless you can clearly articulate some actual consequence your "risk analysis" approach is meaningless.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Hermit any consequence of an action that potentially must choose to accept or not accept is a risk. missing having a hot fudge Sunday is a risk. You don't have to be avoiding death and torment to be a risk.

missing out on the meaning in life is bad. that's pretty dman bad. you only live once, you die then cease to exist. you never fufull your potential and I'm betting probalby have a lot of problems and pain and so forth.

I think you will be amazed in the end all the god tings you believe and care about are actually related to God,. You think it's God you hate but it's not.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind missing out on a hot fudge sundae if I'm spending the time doing Tai Chi or playing my guitar or enjoying a good craft beer instead. How do you do a "risk analysis" on that basis?

You don't know the meaning of my life, so don't presume to tell me I'm missing it, or that I'm not fulfilling my potential; in fact I think I'm doing a much better job of that now that I ever did as a believer.

My life is not problem free, but I cope with those problems much better now.

And it's not about hating anything Joe, I don't know where you get that idea. It's about being the best person I can be, and part of that is simply being honest with myself about what I believe and don't believe. Where is the downside of that?

How am I to do a "global warming" style risk assessment when you can't even tell me what I'm risking? You haven't done anything except belittle my choices, misinterpret my motives and call me a liar. Not a very persuasive argument.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

It's not enough to rennounce the conept of hell. we have to say "O there's no thing at all good about bleief in God. God sux," we ahve to give up completey. it's better to have ice cream than God.

well you aer full of shit. you are don't know anytingk. your ti chi is a waste you don't have the profundity to learn fomr it. anyone can't see that knowing God is the greatest thing there is just a fool.

your little ice cream and your ti ci wont comfort you when you cease to exist.

you will know you sinned your maker. you rejected source of all god for your selfish little feelings of triumph.

you need to know the truth, it is important. ice cream can wait this is eternity this is profound not profane. got it?

Anonymous said...

"well you aer full of shit. you are don't know anytingk"


Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

a-hermit said...

"well you aer full of shit. you are don't know anytingk"


I see he's getting around to his A level arguemnts. too that childish whine is the bet he has.

Loren said...

I am NOT impressed with Pascal's Wager. It's a classic example of the False Dichotomy fallacy. To see why, let's consider Pascal's Wager for belief systems that Metacrock rejects, like Islam.

If you believe in Islam and practice it and Islam is true, you'll get to live in a luxurious oasis with gardens and water and a moderate climate and fresh fruit and milk and honey and fancy clothes and gemstones and precious metals lots of servants and a harem of lovely ladies.

If you believe in Islam and practice it and Islam is false, then you will have lost nothing, since you'll go blank when you die.

The same is true if you reject Islam and Islam is false.

But if you reject Islam and Islam is true, then you'll wind up in Hell, where you'll be chained in place and burned alive forever and ever and ever and have only boiling water to drink. The angels who run the place will give you a new skin as your old skin gets burned off, so your torture can continue.

Joseph Hinman (Metacrock) said...

Loren is back. long time no see.

you are adding several layers of ideology to the wage that Pascal never put into it. It's not about every single religion. that whole atheist divide and conquer thing has to stop, it's not not logical and it's a straw man.

pascal's wager is a tie breaker. you and all other dawkies treat it like an actual God argument. stop doing it but I don't think you have the conceptual apparatus to understand the meaning.