Location of Repository

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

By Sigmund Wagner-Tsukamoto


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

Suggested articles



  1. (2008). An economic reading of the exodus: On the institutional economic reconstruction of biblical cooperation failures’, doi
  2. (1980). Biblical Games. A Strategic Analysis of Stories in the Old Testament. doi
  3. (2009). Buchanan’s constitutional political economy: exchange vs. choice in economics and in politics’, doi
  4. (2007). Die Genesis erklärt,
  5. (1977). Freedom in Constitutional Contract. Perspectives of a Political Economist, doi
  6. (1994). Game theory and literature’, doi
  7. (1995). Game Theory. A Critical Introduction, doi
  8. (2007). Game Theory. A Very Short Introduction, doi
  9. (2007). Game Theory. Decisions, Interactions and Evolution,
  10. (1957). Games and Decisions. Introduction and Critical Survey, doi
  11. (1984). Genesis 1–11. A commentary, doi
  12. (1992). Genesis 2–3: A story of liberation’, doi
  13. (1964). Hebrew Myths. The Book of Genesis, doi
  14. (1994). Homo economicus and Dilemmastrukturen’,
  15. (2003). Human Nature and Organization Theory. On the Economic Approach to Institutional Organization, doi
  16. (1998). Intercourses in the Book of Genesis,
  17. (2001). Interests and theories in constitutional choice’, doi
  18. (1981). Introduction to the Old Testament, doi
  19. (2009). Is God an Economist? An Institutional Economic Reconstruction of the Old Testament, doi
  20. (1999). Mirror, mirror on the wall, must we leave Eden, once and for all? A Lacanian pleasure trip through the Garden’,
  21. (1986). Myth and its limits in Genesis 2.4b–3.24’,
  22. (1973). New International Version ®. NIV ®. Copyright ©
  23. (2010). Out of a slave contract. The analysis of pre-Hobbesian anarchists in the Old Testament’, doi
  24. (1988). Paradise Lost. Ideal and Tragic Epic,
  25. (1987). The constitution of economic policy’, doi
  26. (1992). The fall into knowledge: the Garden of Eden/Paradise in Gnostic literature’,
  27. (2003). The garden of double messages: Deconstructing hierarchical oppositions in the Garden story’, doi
  28. (1975). The Limits of Liberty. Between Anarchy and Leviathan, doi
  29. (2009). The paradise story: A constitutional economic reconstruction’, doi
  30. (1992). The penitence narrative in the life of Adam and Eve’, Hebrew Union
  31. (1964). What should economists do?’, doi
  32. (1967). You Shall be as Gods. A Radical Interpretation of the Old Testament and its Tradition, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.