Why Man Should NOT Believe in God: A Game Theoretic Approach
Hello, long time lurker, first time poster. I'm doing my doctorate in economics. Yes, I know what the hell I'm talking about.
If you don't know what game theory is: THE MOAR YOU KNOW.
Consider the following payoff matrix:
_____________/ Believe / Do not believe /
GOD Reveal | 3,4 | 1,1 |
Hide | 4,2 | 2,3 |
How to read payoff: (God, Man)
In order to make meaningful interpretations in this scenario, we posit that all players "know how to play the game". What we mean by this is that all playesr are fully aware of what's available to other players (and in this game, it's true, I'll explain). Furthermore, all players are acting in their best, rational self-interest, e.g. they do whatever it takes to maximize their payoff. In addition, all players are RATIONAL. A rational player would not choose a payoff of 1 over 4. Doing so doesn't make any sense.
Now, in this game, God has two strategies to play: to reveal or to hide Her existence (lol pronouns). Man has two strategies to play: to believe or to not believe. If Man believes in God, surely he wants to see the evidence of Her existence. If Man doesn't doesn't believe in God, surely he doesn't want to see evidence of God.
There is no dominant stratey for man. A dominant strategy is a strategy that is better than the others, regardless of how the player's oponent plays. If God chooses to reveal himself, then a rational Man wants to believe in God (a payoff of 4, greater than 1). If God chooses to hide Her existence, then the rational Man doesn't want to believe (payoff of 3, greater than 2).
In contrast, God does have a dominant strategy. Regardless of Man's belief or disbelief, She prefers to hide Her existence. Doing so yields a payoff of 4 instead of 3 for when Man believes in God and a payoff of 2 instead of 1 when Man doesn't believe. A rational God will then hide Her existence.
If Man believes that God is rational, then Man knows God will not reveal Herself, since that is the dominant strategy for God. A rational Man will then chooses to not believe in God. We conclude that Man should not believe in God.
Some problems with this argument:
1) How do you know God is rational?
2) How can Man play a game with God?
3) Are concepts of game theory applicable to a supernatural (outside what science can test, game theory is a science) being?
BILLions and BILLions of stars! - Carl Sagan