Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Game Theory Visualized

I wonder if Zach realizes how often he gets cited, positively, on a blog about religion, and if he'd feel he was doing something wrong if he did know.

Best explanation of Game Theory I've ever seen:

I'm not the first, and neither is Zach, to suggest this, but it's unfortunate how often religion gets forced into the position of being a juvenile form of social control. We need that type of guidance and limitation when we're young ("Alcohol is bad!", "If you go outside without a jacket you'll get sick!", "Vote Republican or the terrorists will win!"), but hopefully most of us outgrow it.

Ironically, I blame nostalgia. There are people that are just plain not intelligent enough to grasp more complex social contracts and interpretations of religion, but fortunately (and sadly) that's not most people. Even those with below-average intelligence can learn to grasp ideas like, "This is not always true, but it's a convenient way to teach." I think most people just want to keep their religion the way it was when they were kids.

I think the biggest problems people have with religion start because we continue to experience religion and the divine (however you define it) as we did when we were children. This is damaging to individuals in the short term and societies in the long term. An entire culture based around powerful-but-distant-daddy-issues is not a healthy one.

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