Global Warming and the Hiroshima Bombing
July 27, 2012 § 39 Comments
I find it more than a little ironic that the sort of people who quite rightly ridicule the ridiculous attempts to model complex reality in the form of anthropocentric “climate change” are often the very same people who are so utterly confident of their own little models of possible alternate realities during World War II. Everyone seems to find himself in the epistemic position of tinpot omniscient god over the epistemic domain of his own counterfactual “war game”, whether it is predicting the outcomes of an Allied blockade of Japan or rising sea levels overtaking California.
There is a reason why as Catholics we are to develop the virtues, habits of doing the right thing here and now, of avoiding concretely evil acts and doing concretely good acts, rather than fooling ourselves into thinking we can know and control all of the consequences. As Veritatis Splendour puts it:
[E]veryone recognizes the difficulty, or rather the impossibility, of evaluating all the good and evil consequences and effects — defined as pre-moral — of one’s own acts: an exhaustive rational calculation is not possible. How then can one go about establishing proportions which depend on a measuring, the criteria of which remain obscure? How could an absolute obligation be justified on the basis of such debatable calculations?
I think the Pope is far too optimistic with that initial “Everyone”.