Pascal’s Wager is one of the best concepts I learned in college [In law school I learned its less useful alternative – it never hurts to ask. Sometimes it does]. If you live virtuously and God exists, then you enter the kingdom of Heaven. If God doesn’t exist, you’ve given up only a few material things. On the other hand, if you act godlessly and it turns out you’re wrong, Pascal says that you’ll have Hell to pay. He asks the skeptic, “What have you got to lose?”
Pascal’s Wager popped up most recently in the US Senate. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked bi-partisan measures to provide heightened security for the 2020 presidential election. I’d like to know what he was thinking.
If we protect the electoral process and the Russians and others don’t hack it, we’ve lost nothing more than a little pocket money. On the other hand, if we are hacked and we’ve done nothing, then our electoral process is destroyed. Or, as Pascal might conclude, we’ve gone to Hell in a handbasket. And we would have Mitch McConnell to thank.
But it’s no wager. Pascal had no proof of the existence of God (thank you, Rene Descartes, mais non). His wager is about faith. Election meddling is a fact, Jack. The special counsel, 17 intelligence agencies, and a bipartisan Congress all found that we are walking around with a bull’s-eye on our back. May I have your attention please — wagering has been suspended.
McConnell is nobody’s fool. His decision to block the bills is strategic. He expects that meddling will help re-elect Trump. He also is counting on the fact that Trump supporters don’t care how he is reelected. If it takes a derevnya (Russian for village), then, “Da!” Mitch McConnell recognizes that the reelection of Trump, by any means necessary, extends Republican rule, and he believes that this is the best thing for the United States.