Risk management

My humble counterpoint to Pascal’s Wager:

In the Army, we used a risk management process to assess the risk that a certain bad thing would occur by multiplying a likelihood score by a severity score.

In such a scheme, if the likelihood of a given outcome is zero, then the overall risk level of that outcome is also zero, so there is no need to take any action to mitigate that risk.


Suppose, as has occurred recently, that NASA announces that a satellite is going to fall out of the sky. If it falls on you, it will be catastrophic. But the likelihood that it will fall on anyone is relatively low, and the likelihood that it will fall on you personally is virtually zero.

So it would not be rational for you to disrupt your life by staying in satellite-proof structures until the satellite has fallen, simply to avoid the risk of being hit by it.


Posted on October 21, 2011, in Arguments for atheism, Arguments for theism. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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