Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Doing right, doing wrong

Our six-year-old son told us early this morning what he had been mulling over overnight: "There is no right in doing wrong and there is no wrong in doing right."

We don’t know how he comes up with thoughts like this, but he did. It appears that he was pondering the relationship between right and wrong and he came up with this new (to us at least) ‘thought for the day’.

His thought (maxim?) reminds me of Pascal’s wager:

  • You may believe in God, and if God exists, you go to heaven: your gain is infinite.
  • You may believe in God, and if God doesn't exist, your loss is finite and therefore negligible.

Or:

  • You may not believe in God, and if God doesn't exist, your gain is finite and therefore negligible.
  • You may not believe in God, and if God exists, you will go to hell: your loss is infinite.
Likewise I could apply son’s formulation to the environment.

Some people still insist: show me proof that my gas-guzzling habits (eg) are having a negative impact and I would start doing something about it. Or: there are as many scientists who believe in global warming as there are those who don’t.

For those of us who are already on the road to preserving this one God-given earth, these are mere excuses perpetrated by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson to keep themselves in a job, or people are just downright lazy.

But let’s start thinking: “there is no right in doing wrong” … if (IF) the earth’s precious resources ARE being depleted and global warming IS leading to disastrous effects including extreme weather, then there is no right in continuing to do those things known to exacerbate these effects.

“There is no wrong in doing right” … even if (IF) global warming is a myth and our selfish and excessive use of non-renewable resources do not affect the future generations one jot, still there is no wrong in being kind to those who come after us.

If you wish to quote or discuss my son’s maxim (for want of a better phrase), please attribute it to ‘LT, aged six’. The full identity of ‘LT’ will only be revealed when he comes of age and when I have his permission to publish his name.

Back to Organic-Ally.

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