Cheese, the Prisoner’s Dilemma & the Church

5254159199_a6675601f0_oI love cheese.  Really, I freaking love it.  But T and I are doing the Whole 30 diet this month.  It’s pretty simple.

  • No beans
  • No sugar
  • No grains
  • No dairy.

That last one is the killer.  No dairy = no cheese.  That’s the rub.  If I want to feel better, lose some pounds and be healthier, I have to give cheese up.

Coffee without any cream or sugar?  Not wonderful, but doable.

No bread?  Not wonderful but doable.

No cheese? Damn.

Which brings me to the Prisoner’s Dilemma.  Put simply, A & B are nabbed by the cops. 115978730_de1a4773b7_oThey’re interrogated separately with no chance to come up with a plan.  Here’s the classic possible outcomes:

  • If A & B both betray each other, they serve 2 years of prison each.
  • If A confesses, but B stays silent, A gets 1 year and B gets 3 years of hard time. (Or vice versa if B talks and A stays silent).
  • If neither A nor B confesses & no other witnesses come forward, they both go free.

The dilemma is what do you do when you’re in that interrogation room?  Confess and minimize your exposure, or hold out and hope your compadre does the same.

“What does this have to do with the damned cheese?” you ask.  Good question.  Having been on this diet for 11 days, I know how much better I feel, how much clearer my sinuses are, how much better I’m sleeping.  So I should stay the course (“not confess” to use the prisoner’s language).

But, I really like cheese.  So I’ve cheated – twice.  Both nights, the cheese tasted delicious and both mornings I woke up with congestion.  I’m not a doctor, but I know how I feel and without cheese I feel better.  With it, I feel worse.

7528873960_a42659b96d_oWhich brings me to my local church.  As I’ve written elsewhere, my church wants two contradictory things at the same time:

  1. Keep things exactly as they are on Sunday at 10 AM every week &
  2. Have young people/families show up and join them every Sunday at 10 AM every week.

They want their cheese and they want to feel better.  That’s their prisoner’s dilemma.


3 Questions Arise:

  1. Do I want the cheese or do I want my health?  (At night I want the cheese, but in the mornings I’m glad I didn’t indulge.)
  2. Does my church want their ‘way of doing things’ or do they want the ‘youngers’ to show?
  3. How much pain is necessary (interrogation, congestion, skeleton attendance – take your pick) to choose the healthier choice?

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