Christianity, The Republican Party and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

In this video I consider the current upheaval that the US Republican party is currently experiencing due to Trump’s continued hold over the party post his 2020 election defeat. As part of the analysis I consider a famous game theory thought experiment known as the Prisoner’s Dilemma and explain how the Dilemma sadly allows despotic individuals to maintain power even when the majority wish to see the back of them.

I then consider how the teachings of Christ offer a real possibility for the Prisoner’s dilemma to be resisted because his teaching and example exemplify upholding the truth independent of the negative consequences that may result from such an action.

I surmise that this might be one reason why totalitarian regimes and despotic leaders instinctively hate Christianity and historically have often attempted to eliminate the church via intense persecution.

Finally, I deal with the obvious counter-example to my claim and that is the capitulation of US Republican politicians to the power of Trump as many of them display the classic behaviour that is predicted by the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Of course most of these lawmakers would claim to be Christians. However, I suggest that their cowering to the dominance of Trump politics, within the party, is actually just one more demonstration that their expression of the Christian faith is flawed in a similar way to other Christian heresies that have arisen over the centuries; beginning with Gnosticism and Judaizers that are critiqued within the pages of the New Testament.

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