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After the Theft: Natural Distribution States and Prisoner's Dilemmas in the Paradise Story

By Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto

Abstract

The paper identifies for the paradise story that which Buchanan’s constitutional economics termed “natural distribution states” and escalating prisoner’s dilemma (PD) games. I constructed game matrices for God’s and Adam & Eve’s decisions to respect or not to respect rights of each others party. For Adam and Eve, the matrices specify decisions regarding theft from the “divine” trees. For God, punishment options in reaction to Adam and Eve’s theft are paid special attention to.\ud As regards how storytelling was set up at the outset of the Old Testament, the paper shows that the paradise story avoided a “game over” scenario in which Adam and Eve either were killed or were elevated to become gods themselves. In as much as a natural distribution state (even a PD outcome) prevailed as a result of these paradise interactions, I argue that this heuristically set up further storytelling about fairer social contracting between God and humans in the Old Testament

Topics: Paradise story, prisoner’s dilemma, natural distribution states, constitutional economics, James Buchanan
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/9828

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