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As we head into the second day of the consistory of cardinals, the news flow so far has been dominated by the Curia reform. And yes, it appears to be total confusion, but in the end, it will be Francis who decides since he is
Spartacus bishop of Rome. But what did you expect?
But we still have one more day at which the “Team Bergoglio” allegations of Dr. Austen Ivereigh can be raised.
We in turn, will continue our Prisinors’ Dillemma game and analyze a special case. We will examine what would happen if for some reason, the two prisoners lost their faith as they were waiting to be questioned by “the authority” in the consistory. Just to set up the new situation, here is the relevant text from our The Consistory Game – Part 1 post:(see here)
What this means is that if a cardinal promised his vote in violation of UDG 81, by that act he finds himself not only “out of communion” with the Church, but has committed a mortal sin of disobedience against UDG. And since the act of violating a just positive law is a mortal sin in grave matters, it would also be a sin of sacrilege, since Cardinals take oath which requires them to promise God that they will not violate UDG 81. The caveat is this: for those Cardinals who do not believe in God, their disbelief would prevent the sin of sacrilege, but their sin would rather be one of impiety. If this were the true nature of the situation, this would obviously be a special case to our below analysis, so we will not make this assumption for the time being.
But today we will look at just this case. It is the Special Case to The Consistory Game.
The Consistory Game – Special Case
As per the above passage, if one or both prisoners “lost their faith” prior to them having to make the decision, the payout matrix would need to be adjusted for this new situation. Here is how it would look:
Below, I have made the necessary corrections on top of the original scenarios to demonstrate how the payout matrix will look for the Special Case of the Consistory Game. [Comments added]
Special case. Bishops lost faith. Mortal Sin of Sacrilege downgraded to Impiety, defined as “a lack of respect for God.
1. ADMIT/CONFESS – (5,5²)
In our Consistory Game, we already established this scenario as the optimal outcome since irrespective of what the other party does, the prisoner making the decision will receive mercy from the just cardinals, not lose their positions of prestige and power (+5) and not incur a penalty (cost) for committing a mortal sin (0). [Still holds to be the case- honesty is still the best policy. Another “triumphalist” example of an objective proof that Catholicism IS the ONE TRUE FAITH. 😉 ]
2.DENY/ NOT CONFESS – (
In this scenario, we established in the previous post that the matter will not be investigated at the consistory and if any of the other cardinals raise the issue, the prisoners will deny/not confess. They will keep their positions of power and privilege (+5), but incur a cost for the
mortal sinvenial sin they committed by violating UDG 81 ( -5-1). [ A cost of -1 is assigned just in case there is still some residual sense that there is a God in the minds of the players. B/t/w, even Richard Dawkins gives it a 6/7th change that God exists. So let’s call this the “Dawkins factor”.]
3. DENY (Francis)/CONFESS – (
In this scenario, Francis denies that he asked “Team Bergoglio” members to canvass for votes. Francis incurs a cost (
-5-1) for the mortal sinvenial sin committed against UDG 81. Since Napier confessed the Ivereigh allegations are confirmed, therefore Francis is weakened in his position of privilege and power. Instead of +5 as per optimal outcome, Francis now has a value of +3. His result is ( -5-1+3) = -2+2
Napier confesses, therefore does not incur cost (0), but since he dropped the dime on Francis, Francis will retaliate, therefore Napier’s power and privilege is lowered to a value of +2. Napier’s result under this scenario is (0+2) = 2
4. ADMIT/NOT CONFESS – (2,
In this scenario, Francis admits that he asked “Team Bergoglio” members to canvass for votes. Francis incurs no cost (0) since he is absolved of the
mortal sinvenial sin. Since Francis admitted his guilt, the Ivereigh allegation is confirmed, therefore Francis is weakened. Instead of 5 as per optimal outcome, Francis does not get (3) like in the “Deny” scenario, but a lower value of 2. The reason he is penalized for Admitting (2) as opposed to Denying (3) is due to the fact that the uncertainty as to his guilt is removed in the former case. But this marginal penalty ( 2 vs 3) is more than made up for in the fact that he avoids the mortal sin cost. Therefore, his result is (0+2) = 2
Napier does not confess, therefore incurs a cost of
-5-1. Francis can retaliate since he got stuck with admitting to the canvassing, so he reduces Napier’s power and privilege to 3. By the same logic as in the above paragraph, the value of retaining the power and prestige by Napier has to be greater than 2 since Francis is not absolutely sure whether Napier actually did promise his vote. (He could have been one of the African cardinals that “Team Bergoglio” did not approach.) Therefore if Napier confessing lowers his power and privilege to 2, the uncertainty works in Napier’s favor under this scenario and he ends up with 3. Therefore, Napier’s final score is ( -5-1 +3) = -22/2
Here is how the Special Case changes our conclusions
1. Francis is faced with a binary decision (an either/or decision). He can either admit or deny his complicity.
If he chooses to ADMIT to his complicity, Francis will obtain a payout of either 5 (if Napier confesses) or 2 (if Napier does not confess). Both of these results are positive.
If he chooses to DENY his complicity, Francis will obtain a payout of either
-22 (if Napier confesses) or 02 (if Napier does not confess). In this scenario, Francis has only a 50/50 chance of obtainingobtained a positive result, regardless of what the other player decides. Furthermore, Francis is dependent on the decision of Napier to obtain a positive result.
As we can see, by ‘losing one’s Faith’, Francis CAN NOT obtain a negative outcome. I think that the above is an objective confirmation of something that is quite apparent, i.e. no conscience, no problems. Or so the one losing the Faith may be inclined to think. This could also go a long way in explaining the “success” of the Society of Jesus.
But I digress…
Here is how Cardinal Napier comes out in the Special Case:
If he chooses to CONFESS, Napier will obtain a payout of either 5 (if Francis admits) or 2 (if Francis denies). Both of these results are positive.
If he chooses to NOT CONFESS, Napier will obtain a payout of either
-22 (if Francis admits) or 02 (if Francis denies). In this scenario, Napier has a 50/50 shot of obtainingobtained a positive result, regardless of what the other player decides. Furthermore, Napier is dependent on the decision of Francis to obtain a positive result.
What can one say other than “problem solved”!
What inference can be drawn from the above? Easy, ditch your Faith, and all is well. Especially if you are the
king pope bishop of Rome.
Concluding, I would just like to draw your attention to one other aspect of Game Theory, and that is it’s explanatory nature. Buy amending the assumptions of the various parties, and running multiple iterations of the game, one can begin to understand not only the thought process of the individual player but can begin to discern that players mindset.
Now we wait for the news flow.