Yesterday by Iel

sábado, 2 de novembro de 2013

Dialogue between reason and faith

Dear Friends, strengthen the faith is the way to achieve peace and acceptance of things you can not change and those are the doorway to happiness.
But having faith does not mean  to abdicate reason. Rather, faith and reason may be claimed as allies as the philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas said.
I am a professor of economics and ask permission for, based on reason, show the path of faith, using as argument one of the fastest-growing areas in microeconomics today is that game theory.
Game Theory is actually a branch of applied mathematics that studies strategic situations and where players choose different actions in an attempt to improve their outcome or "gain."
The first formal publication on Game Theory, date1838, in Researches into the Mathematical Principles of the Theory of Wealth, by the French philosopher and mathematician Antoine Augustin Cournot.
However, the North American mathematician, John von Neumann, is considered the founder of game theory. In 1944 he released The Theory of Games and Economic Behavior in co-authorship with the Austrian economist Oskar Morgensten.
Game theory assumes that people act rationally and thus seek strategies of decision such that the result depends not only on ones own strategy but also the strategies of other players involved in a game.
A game consists of players, available strategies for these players and a reward or payment for each combination of strategy.
One of the most famous games is the "prisoner's dilemma" which was presented by mathematician Albert Tucker in 1953 and has many implications in the study of cooperation and non-cooperation between individuals.
The situation is as follows: two individuals are suspected of committing a crime. The sheriff  tells each separately:
If you do not confess and the other also does not confess, we can not do anything because we have no evidence against you and after two days you two will be released. But if you do not confess and the other confesses, he will be free  because of the cooperation with the police and you will be 20 years in prison.
On the other hand if you confess and the other does not confess, you will be free from prison  and your accomplice will be 20 years in prison. If both you and the other suspect confess, both will be jailed for two years.
 Confess means not cooperate with the partner and not confessing means cooperate with the partner and not confessing means cooperate.

The other suspect cooperates with you
The other suspect does not cooperate with you
You cooperate with the other suspect

2 days, 2 days

20 years, 0
You do not cooperate with the other suspect

0, 20 years
2 years, 2 years

Look that not cooperate is the dominant strategy of the game as regardless of what your opponent decide this is the best strategy for any of the two players. In fact If you are the blue players and the red player cooperate, it is better for you, the blue player not you cooperate as be free iis better than  be 2 days on jail. If the read players do not cooperate it is also better for you not to cooperate as 2 years in prision is much better than 20 years. The red player will also think the same as for him also is better not cooperate regardless what you decide.
If you haven't watched the movie "A Beautiful Mind", you should. It is about John Nash (played by Russell Crowe) who won the Nobel Prize in economics for his foundational contributions to game theory and “Nash Equilibrium”.
In The prisioner’s dilemma above  the result: 2 years, 2 years is a Nash Equilibrium and is the result of the game. Look that this is NOT the best result for both players but is possible result based on on the expectation of the decision of the other players which precisely describes a strategy like that.
In fact if the blue player decides to cooperate would be better to the red player not to cooperate as be free is better than stay in prision even if it is only for 2 days and if the red player not cooperate would be better also for the blue player not to cooperate as 2 years of prision is much better than 20 years.
However if the blue player do not cooperate. It is better for the red player not cooperate as 2 years is better than twenty years and if the red players really do not cooperate it is better for the blue player not to cooperate too. So this is a Nash Equilibrium as is the best response of each player for what each one think the other player should do.
The best result for both players would be do stay 2 days each but this result is the cooperative which will not be the result of a simultaneous game like that that is played only once.
So the non cooperative strategy is a dominant strategy and a Nash equilibrium.
Using this same principle, we can decide whether or not we should have faith in God. Watch the match below:

Does not exist
You believe
You go to heaven
You  have the comfort in life
You  do not believe

You go to hell
Nothing happens

Note that if you believe in God and cultivate the faith  one of these two results you'll get:
If God does exist you will go to heaven when called from this world and there will meet with your beloved.
If God does not exist, nonetheless believe and have faith is a rational option because as a result you will have the consolation in life in difficult times;
But if you do not believe and God really exists you are doomed to go to hell or  nothing happens.
What should be your strategy? See to believe is a rational strategy and is the equilibrium outcome of the game. In fact it is a dominant strategy. Therefore it is rational to have faith! Paradoxical as it may seem. So let us prepare, strengthen our faith and believe that our loved ones are well. One day we will meet again!
“For those who have faith, no explanation is necessary. For those without faith, no explanation is possible."
St. Thomas Aquinas

Eveline Carvalho, Ph.D, mom of Iel (in heaven), Breno and Jessica

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