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Technical Difficulties With Automated Blog Posts

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I'm trying to find the equilibrium between Google News Alerts, Gmail and Blogger to permit automated posting of Google News Alerts to the blog so I can have them for reference and work on other things. My goal is not to focus on one news topic, but to have the varied topics in the news feeds automatically posted in the blog daily or weekly because I can capture more unique data that way.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Gen. 2-3, Normal-form Game Matrix Shows That God Chose The Worst Outcome

When presented with a choice of outcomes the rational decision maker will choose the outcome with a positive payoff, but not God.

- God is Omnipotent
- God made the universe
- God made the world
- God made Adam and Eve.
- God is Omniscient.
- The best way to understand something is to build it.

God must have known the properties and tolerances of everything he created, just like a baker and just like an engineer. Since he is omniscient and has a plan, the events that played out in the Garden Of Eden should have come as no surprise to Him.

Decision Theory and Game theory were developed to help make predictions about outcomes and analyze how certain outcomes come about. It is used heavily in economics and evolutionary biology. Using one aspect of them, we can assign relative values to events, organize them in a matrix, iterate through all the possible outcomes and derive a value that is equal to the relative value of the outcome. The outcome with highest value is the "dominant strategy", any outcome lower that that dominant strategy is called a "dominated strategy".

"Stochastic Dominance: If action A has a better payoff than action B under each individual state of nature, then we say that action B is stochastically dominated by action A. If the payoff matrix truly represents every thing the decision maker hopes (or fears) to receive from the decision in question, then no rational decision maker will ever choose to perform action B."
Whalen, Thomas. "Payoff Matrix and Decision Rule", Date of Internet Publication Unknown. Sponsoring organization unknown. 07 Sep. 2008. [].

- Wikipedia, Stochastic Dominance
-, Stochastic Dominance

Adam and Eve are like a cake. The Baker knows what it takes to make them turn out a certain way. God must have known what it takes to make Adam and Eve turn out a certain way. For example if god had made the fruit smell like week old road kill with maggots living in it, chances are they would not have eaten the fruit or would have gotten sick and died. If they had gotten sick, threw up and one of them died, then that probably would have taught them the lesson God wanted them to learn without any ambiguity, but since the fruit was fashioned in a way that appealed to them, they ate it. In fact god built desire into Eve and therefore into Adam (since Eve was derived from Adam) and since she didn't know the difference between good and evil, she couldn't know that disobeying god was evil. However, she did have the desire and an agent telling her what she desired and liked to hear (1, 2, 3). Liking something is neither right or wrong, good or evil, it just simply is. Separate the "like" from what is right and wrong. Good and Evil, for the most part, are cultural judgments. They underwent some sort of transformation which caused them to realize they were naked, good from evil and introduced sin into themselves and therefore indirectly to the world.

- God made the man
- planted the garden
- then made the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil grow in the garden
- and placed the man in it
- warned the man about the tree
- by telling him he would die using the word die in an ambiguous non-standard way.
in that order.

2:7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

2:8 The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed.

2:9 Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

2:16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;

2:17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."

To derive the Normal-form game payoff matrix, we use analytical schemes (AKA "thinking tools") known as a Time-line chart, a weighted ranking matrix, a causal diagram and an event tree. It would take too much time and space to do some of them here, but I have already done some of them in my other articles referenced below. However, since they aren't very complicated, we can do them in our heads for now and create the matrices. We broke the events down and sorted them chronologically. Then we made an event tree, a causal diagram and then assigned values to them in the weighted ranking scale.

In the weighted ranking, it is necessary to place a value on events relative to each other. In other words, an obedient Adam in the garden is more valuable than a disobedient Adam in the garden, so the Obedient Adam gets a higher value. Systematically iterating through the possible combination's yielded the weighted ranking scale shown below.

Now we derive the columns and rows based on the causal flow diagram and the event trees to create our Normal-form game / Payoff Matrix.

In the first row and first column cell, we can see that the combination of "No Adam" ( equivalent to 0 according to our weighted ranking) and the "Tree in" [the garden] (equivalent to 1 according to our weighted ranking) results in a score of 0, 1 for a total value of 1. In the second cell in that row, we get a score of 0, 0 for a total value of zero. The chart below reflects the total value with regard to Adam in each row. As we can see, God clearly chose the worst outcome for Adam in his plan.

The question we are left with after thinking this through is "why?". Some possible reasons are

- that the story is folklore
- that god artificially created a problem so he could solve it as Jesus

I'll explore more of them in my follow on articles.


Articles supporting Non-Historicity of Adam and Eve
A. Disqualifying Adam And Eve

Articles supporting Internal Inconsistency in the story of the Fall of Man
1. Gen. 2:16-3:24, Adam And Eve Were Mentally Incompetent
2. Gen. 2:7-3:6, God Should Have Known That Adam Would Disobey
3. Gen. 2:7-3:6, Adams Sin Was An Emergent Behavior
4. Gen. 2:6-9, God Ignored Adams Admonishment Option

This post was reformatted and the comments were lost. It was reposted and the comments were included as part of the text.

bahramthered said...
How many times are we going to debate the graden around here?

Lets move onto something new before people start moving onto new blogs.
3:47 PM, September 07, 2008

oliver said...
While I do appreciate the use of Game Theory, we have to realize that Game Theory will only convince those who are Game Theorist (i.e. not people like my mother who will read the Genesis account and then tell me a beautiful story about why it's bad to disobey God.)
4:20 PM, September 07, 2008

charles w. said...
Thanks for another useless post, Lee.
4:25 PM, September 07, 2008

xxxx said...
No one is forcing you to do anything, and I recommend that you read other blogs to make you a more well rounded person. Are blogs mutually exclusive? If you don't understand the significance of something, just ask.

I'm writing for the fence-sitter and casual believer.
There's no point in preaching to the choir is there?

do me a favor. Write out romans five (so you understand it as well as possible), then cross out all references to adam and tell me what you have left over.

FYI, I have a plan and a strategy for this argument that takes me out to thanksgiving if I do one a week. After that I'll move on to Cain and Abel and keep on until I get to the end of Gen. 11.

So I guess I won't be your favorite blogger.

In my opinion christianity is never going to be debunked until the source is discredited. Fighting a battle on multiple fronts, rarely succeeds. Debating hard to grasp concepts that leave wiggle room for christians, in my view, is not going to do it, especially when some of them don't get that fact that god having a plan and being omniscient negates free will.

Adam is at the root of christianity. As long as there is credibility for adam, there is credibility for christianity.
4:36 PM, September 07, 2008

xxxx said...
forewarned is forearmed.

Just so you know,
here is my plan for "the fall of man" articles for the coming months. the date in brackets is the estimated publish date, the name of the article follows along with its viewpoint.

[20080914] Blaming the Victim, psychology related

[20080921] God Caused The Problem of Sin so He could Solve it, psychology related

[20080928] Talking Snake, humor, paleontology related

[20081005] God Was Not Omniscient in the Garden, Logic Related

[20081012] Comparing The History Of The Needle, anthropolgy related

[20081019] Comparing The History of Agriculture, anthropology related

[20081026] Sex and Death, You Can't Argue With Success, psychology related

[20081102] Adam and Eve are FOLKLORE, summary of the previous articles

[20081109] Analyzing Romans 5, argument analysis, informal logic related
4:49 PM, September 07, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi Oliver,
I'm not a game theorist either, but if I get it, so will other people.

I think that you do a dis-service to your grandmother by underestimating her.

people surprise you when you think you know what they're capable of, which weakens your position.

the take home is that we can see by thinking it through, that the outcome was what was intended. Now we have to figure out why.

and besides that, I'm trying to introduce some tools of thinking and demonstrate how to apply them to real life problems.
5:12 PM, September 07, 2008

richard said...
This theory and the post in general is nonsensical to say the least!
6:23 PM, September 07, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi Richard,
well, you did say the least,
so why is it 'nonsensical'?
6:33 PM, September 07, 2008

stan, the half-truth teller said...
I'm just guessing, but perhaps Richard thinks it nonsensical because he doesn't get it?

Perhaps he doesn't understand how it could be that god's alleged decision to create this world is worse than choosing not to create anything at all.

Perhaps he doesn't realize that because he chose to create (assuming the existence of god for the sake of argument), god is culpable in both the successes and failures of his creations (if he is omnipotent and omniscient).

Perhaps, rather than any of this, he is lazy and a fool.

8:42 PM, September 07, 2008

bahramthered said...
Lee; I like this blog since I've been here I've learned a lot. New arguments and such.

But still on the garden I havn't learned anything in the last two posts and honestly am starting to get bored with it.

I don't know about anyone else but I don't have time to keep coming back to blog that's not exploring something new.

But it's your blog (among others).
8:48 PM, September 07, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi Bahram,
what topics would like to see explored?
brainstorm a little bit, give me some topics.

maybe i have something in draft that I can finish up post for you. I have lots of scraps of ideas and notes in my googledocs.
12:20 AM, September 08, 2008

tigg13 said...
I say, keep it up Lee!

Providing several arguments from different sides of the question only solidifies your position.

And providing alternate arguments just makes those of us who find ourselves crossing swords with christians better prepared.
1:26 AM, September 08, 2008

xxxx said...
tiggers are wonderful things!
your check is in the mail.
6:42 AM, September 08, 2008

bahramthered said...
Tig; last couple of these feel the same, just explained differently. Least to me.


So far your adam theory been intresting I just think it's kinda beating a dead horse at this point.

Topics I'd like to explore;

Why the bible is so pro slavery.

God's war with the egyptian gods (I only know a little based on a couple semi factual movies)

Some of the more ridiculous genisis claims (always fun). Mainly what happens after the ark (Like a drunk Noah cursing one of his kids into slavery forever and god backing him on it)

And exactly how god reconciles the claim that witchcraft (the wiccan kind) is evil
7:25 AM, September 08, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi bahram,
if you want to see what has been written on DC about a topic, you can use the search field in the top left of the screen.

- here is a link to all the articles with a "slavery" label
- I've never heard of gods war with egyptian gods, maybe you could be more specific?
- I plan on doing an article on why the noahs ark is folklore, but you can see what my schedule is so it'll be a while
- do a search for witches in the search field.

another option is that you can research one of these topics on your own and submit an article to us for publishing. If you're interested in that, I'll give you an email address to submit it to.
8:15 AM, September 08, 2008

rich said...
Hi Lee,
I wanted to explore a possibility that the assigned values for Adam in obey and Adam in disobey. If these values are based on a payoff, then what payoff do you base these values on? It seems as though they are placed on Adam obeying and remaining in the garden and disobeying and being kicked out. So if that is the payoff then I would agree with the values. But if the payoff is something further down the road then the garden, maybe it changes things.
First you must realize that I am looking at this from LDS doctrine, which differs a bit from evangelist doctrine with regard to the fall. I did post a link to another blog article in one of your other posts that I hope you had time to read.
LDS say that Adam was in a state of innocence in the garden, didn't know good from evil, they wouldn't have a reference to understand joy and sorrow, maybe some other differences. They would remain in this state until they gained knowledge of good and evil. I also began to argue before that they didn't understand that they were naked, which is a key factor, in having offspring. I would agree that at some point they could figure out how to have kids but then the kids would be in the same innocent state.
In the plan of salvation that I know, our goal is to become like God. We have to have the knowledge of good and evil, be able to make choices and learn through those choices that consequences come of all choices, good or bad. As we make bad choices, we see the negative consequences and make changes. If we make good choices we see good consequences. We gain a working knowledge of good and evil, through the choices we make here. If we succeed in learning to make good choices and correct the mistakes, then we can become perfect, eventually, like God is. So if we are left in the garden in a state of innocence without the knowledge and experience necessary to progress.
You spoke before about your dogs. I also have dogs, and I leave them inside when I am not home. I hate coming home and cleaning piles up. Lots of people told me to use the old newspaper rub their nose in the pile method to train the dogs. I don’t like that because I doubt the dog wants poop on his nose. Instead when I come home and find a pile, I give the dog no attention, completely ignore it, since he likes to play and have my undivided attention, this is not desirable to the dog. When I come home to no pile, I over emphasize my attention and play time with him. It wasn’t very long before I had no stinking piles to clean up when I got home. This is true freedom to the dog, he can roam around the house when I am gone, doesn’t have to be locked in some room, and I can trust that he will want to please.
Now in your dog story, you effectively removed your dogs from the kitchen of Eden, and keep them from entering the kitchen, some might even suggest that you force them out because they have no choice in the matter, so they won’t put their nose on the table of life. I’m not proposing that I am a better dog God than you, but your dogs are restricted in their behavior, being removed from the room, and they have no choice but to chew toys or sleep until you grant them access to the kitchen again. I’m sure you would rather have the dogs free to come and go as they please and choose not to put their nose on the table. Once again, true freedom to the dogs.
God would like the same from us, being able to have every choice available to us and be trusted to always make the right choice. Coming here, removed from his presence, to learn the consequences of our choices is our time to learn from our mistakes, keep our noses off the table and piles off the floor because we choose to.
If this is correct then I would swap the two values because being innocently oblivious to the knowledge of good and evil means we would never be able to become like God, which would be more desirable than existing in a garden forever without experiencing joy.
3:11 PM, September 08, 2008

rich said...
Just a note I thought of, the same trick hasn't worked to keep my dog of the furniture while I'm gone.
3:13 PM, September 08, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi Rich,
welcome back,
It sounds like you are a better Dog God than I am and a better Dog God than god is.

How does the way you handle your dogs compare to the way god handled adam?

It sounds like your dogs get the extended version of the prisoners dilemma, they get a chance to react to subsequent encounters. Like a training phase or something. Or have I misunderstood?
4:28 PM, September 08, 2008

xxxx said...
doGs will be doGs won't they? what to do, what to do?
4:45 PM, September 08, 2008

anonymous said...
I think the problem here is that virtually every mainline religion that maintains the Hebrew scriptures regard this story as allegorical? I always thought that the main idea here is that there is that we are imperfect and incapable of perfecting ourselves. I rather like that "lesson".

If you are off arguing with the crazies about a literal reading of the Old Testament, I can think of a billion other ways to spend time productively. On the other hand, if you can read a literary myth for its intrinsic worth, perhaps you'd contribute something useful.
9:37 PM, September 08, 2008

evan said...
Anonymous ... you're simply wrong.

40% of AMERICANS believe the earth is less than 10000 years old.

That means a majority of Christians in the US (about 75-80% of the US population is Christian) believe in the literal story of Genesis.

If you think we ought to argue against a minority position rather than target overtly crazy beliefs that are held by the majority of Christians, you don't understand the purpose of this site.
11:08 PM, September 08, 2008

xxxxx said...
yea, what evan said,
and moreover you didn't read this comment above
"do me a favor. Write out romans five (so you understand it as well as possible), then cross out all references to adam and tell me what you have left over. ....Adam is at the root of christianity. As long as there is credibility for adam, there is credibility for christianity."

if you cross out all references to adam, what you have is an empty assertion that the killing of Jesus had some mystical meaning.

If you've ever worked in security, crowd control, you know that, theoretically, to handle a riot, you have to take out the leaders. That was a tumultuous time in jerusalem, the romans needed to maintain control, and so when jesus showed up with his gang of merry men carrying swords, the authorities caught him and hung him out to dry.

Paul used some pre-existing biases to create this rationalization out of cognitive dissonance that created a nice neat frame put Jesus in for the rest.

does that clear it up for you?

Its not about arguing over myths, its about stopping FRAUD.
11:30 PM, September 08, 2008

richard said...

Yes, I agree. To quote Einstein, "Insanity means doing the same thing over and over expecting different results."
12:21 AM, September 09, 2008

xxxx said...
of course you would because you have no rebuttal to my argument so you just attack me personally.

typical christian strategy.
Might makes right. Biblical principle.
12:24 AM, September 09, 2008

richard said...
Ha, ha, do you honestly believe that you can disprove the God of the universe by using a silly game matrix?
12:43 AM, September 09, 2008

xxxx said...
Hi Richard,
bad move #2,
Got any rebuttals handy?
1:21 AM, September 09, 2008

xxxx said...
oh and richard,
in case you didn't get the memo,
"disprove" presumes there is something proven. No one has proven any "god of the universe", but feel free to try your hand at it. Maybe you can get him to roust me out of bed in the morning.
3:57 AM, September 09, 2008

xxxx said...
Triablogue has a response to this article. They really seem to have put a lot of work into it, but in the end its really only nay-saying.
Heres the link to it.
However it is a good example of an argument from ignorance premised by a conclusion drawn from unverifiable sources.
I recommend you go take a look at it and see what I had to say about it.
9:40 AM, September 09, 2008
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