Pascal's Wager to Protect Invertebrates

Responding to Guardian article on Norway decomposing reindeer experiment :

Humans value the avoidance of seeing a dead animal carcass rot in the open, whereas a non-scavenger bird might value (or depend upon) it rotting out in the open for survival— it is worthwhile to consider the non-intended consequences of prioritizing human values over non-human values, and how it might become our ruin in the end.

Unless scientists research voraciously, and publicize their conclusions effectively-- and the public or media emotionally adopt that message-- and the public gets angry enough to pressure policymakers into changing policy-- and before the public or the media attribute whatever new problem arises from that product of our willful ignorance to another human-centric problem... like food scarcity, war, or unemployment... we might be screwing ourselves by legally forbidding reindeer carcasses to rot.

Everything is related. Everyone is related. A human does not live long enough, nor have the superhuman powers, to observe the gamut of consequences which result from a 40-year old Department of Transportation worker shoveling away one reindeer carcass to the local landfill.

Each action creates a chain reaction.

If we leave nature alone, we are hedging our bets and avoiding negative unintended consequences.

Phrased well by French mathematician and Catholic theologian, Blaise Pascal:

"Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists."

I wage that climate change exists in a way which negatively harms the earth and its inhabitants-- and that I, along with other humans, am the cause of it. If I take a step back, and choose not to intervene in the vast, esoteric environmental system which I will never understand in its entirety, what do I lose? If I intervene in the environment, well-intentioned or not, I could lose all.

Wager, then, without hesitation, to do nothing. Live and let live.

*Disclaimer: I a am vegan*

Caring for others, even for invertebrates that feed on reindeer carcasses, may end up becoming self-care, in ways I may or may not ever see, in the end.

Hannah Semmes

  • smart political insights

  • amateur comedy writer

  • university virginia batten

  • college student blog sites

  • creative young freelance writer comedian

© 2023 by Train of Thoughts. Proudly created with