Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In his writings on Game Theory, an d the Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma in particular, Robert Axelrod outlined four properties that are predictors of a successful strategy: Niceness, Reciprocity, Forgiveness, and Understandability. On the topic of Reciprocity, Axelrod makes the claim that not only does The Golden Rule lead to a suboptimal strategy, but that one of the most successful strategies (Tit for Tat) shows that a command of “An eye for an eye” leads to a much more optimal strategy. In this paper, we will discuss the details of Axelrod’s four properties, outline Biblical support for all four, and discuss how, within the framework of an Iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma, neither “Do unto others...” nor “An eye for an eye” are the Biblical command that most closely matches the behavior of winning strategies in regards to the Reciprocity property.



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