In allowing the mask mandate to expire on Friday, the Tulsa City Council is making a very foolish decision.
Were it to remember Pascal's wager, the Council just might be willing to change its mind.
By Blaise Pascal's time in the 17th century, the existence of God was coming into serious question. Rather than claim knowledge he did not have, Pascal made the following pragmatic appeal:
If we live our life as if God does exist and later find out that we were wrong, all we have lost are some fleeting earthy pleasures. But if we live our life as if God does not exist and later find out that we were wrong, we could be spending eternity in hell.
Is it too much of a stretch to apply Pascal's logic to the mask mandate?
Were the Council to extend the mask mandate but later arguably find that no extension had been needed, all Tulsa will have lost is some inconvenience that later seemed unnecessary.
But if the Council persists in refusing to extend the mandate and a surge of COVID-19 cases and deaths thereby ensues, the Council by its failure to act will have caused preventable tragic harm.
The Council should remember Pascal's wager. The Council should extend the mask mandate.
It's a no-brainer.
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