Sunday, October 4, 2015

Marijuana and the Infinite

Whoa. I usually try to think of government policies in economic terms, e.g. what are the costs and benefits of passing law? But it looks like my entire worldview might have been based in a lie.

Because, you see, I've been working under the assumption that the amount of positive or negative utility of any law would be finite. But if Harper is correct (and why wouldn't he be?) marijuana is, in fact, INFINITELY WORSE than tobacco. This implies that marijuana is INFINITELY bad.

National Post: 'Marijuana is infinitely worse' than tobacco, Harper says as he encourages pot debate to go up in smoke

INFINITELY. I just want to make sure that sinks in.

Let's suppose we're counting in terms of human lives. Then if one person gets killed, that's 1 unit of badness. If 10 people get killed, that's 10 units. If 7 billion people get killed, that's 7 billion units.

But marijuana? Forget about it. We're not talking about 1, 10, 7 billion, or Ackermann(G_64, G_64) here. We're talking about INFINITY.

This brings up many complex philosophical questions.

(1) Pascal's Wager states that, since an afterlife in Heaven is infinitely good, then as long as there is a small positive probability of an afterlife, it is a good idea to practice religion. But what if there's a small positive probability that the afterlife includes marijuana?

(2) Since marijuana exists in our universe, that means our universe is already infinitely bad. We can't do anything to change it, since our finite efforts would prove fruitless (negative infinity + anything = negative infinity). Doesn't this contradict Leibniz's claim that we live in the best of all possible worlds? Or does it simply mean that all worlds are equally bad, i.e. infinitely bad? If so, does this mean that all possible worlds contain marijuana, or do there exist other things that are infinitely bad?

(3) Furthermore, in spite of the existence of marijuana, we seem to live in a universe where good things exist (friendship, love, art, science, beauty). If marijuana is infinitely evil, then whence cometh goodness?

This whole revelation is really making me question what it means to be a good person.

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It Seemed Funny at the Time by Ben Buckley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.5 Canada License.