Refutation of game theory


#1

One of the objections for the argument from conscience for the existance of God is game theory. Also refered to as evolutionary psychology. For those unfamiliar, it’s pretty much that we attain the desire to be virtous through many years of evolution by tribes being able to survive because they acted morally.

Now if we only act morally because we’re biologically determined to do so than could a refutation of game theory be that it would be impossible for someone who has experienced injustice to cry out for justice? A standard of justice wouldn’t exist because all there is is feelings and desires.

Could somebody help me please?


#2

I’m reminded of the first couple chapters in Lewis’ Mere Christianity. He points out that the assertion that morals are biologically determined is philosophically unsatisfactory. (Incidentally, Freud purported the evolution, based completely on speculation in a field he knew nothing of [anthropology], only half of a generation before Lewis.) Lewis uses the analogy of a man walking through the woods who hears a cry for help. The instinct to go help the one is distress will be explained away as part of the herd mentality. Biologically, we must protect our own kind for the sake of the group. But an even stronger instinct is that of self-preservation. We want to protect ourselves from harm, and so will be inclined not to go help whomever from whatever danger they are in. We now have two conflicting instincts. Morality is that third force within us that determines which of the two we should follow.


#3

[quote=Brown10985]Now if we only act morally because we’re biologically determined to do so than could a refutation of game theory be that it would be impossible for someone who has experienced injustice to cry out for justice? A standard of justice wouldn’t exist because all there is is feelings and desires.
[/quote]

What precludes a “standard of justice” from being a component in the biological determination? Who says the composition of the determination is limited to feelings and desires?

Of course, that doesn’t help refute game theroy. I think it can be better refuted on other grounds.


#4

Game theory is just a mathematical technique

While it may be utilized in many fields of study such as evolutionary psychology, it in and of itself has nothing to do with any particular topic
It is just a tool

Pascal’s Wager for instance is a famous (if slightly flawed) application of game theory to prove why one should believe in God

Evolutionary psychology in itself is an interesting topic
While there are some controversial issues within it, it does make sense that certain behaviors will give an organism a survival edge. Why wouldn’t God make morality a beneficial adaptation?

I suppose a purist could argue that biological predisposition to moral behavior is confirmation that we were made in God’s image and that we don’t always act morally (despite our design) because of the Fall.


#5

The difficulty I think you will face is with the concept of “justice.” If you mean justice as in having to answer to some greater authority, then that’s fine. As in greater, I mean one that you and your opponent have agreed is to be considered arbitrator and/or executioner.

From a strictly behavioral point of view, however, you still have pleasure/pain, constructive/destructive, and other scales of measurement by which one could explain practically the same behavior, just without using the word “justice” or needing the concept of an outside authority. For example, I might be very polite to ladies not because it is proper, but because my ancestors and I seem to have better luck with them by behaving that way. (That raises the question whether men acting civilized at all requires females to be components in the society.)


closed #6

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