Werewolves and Reasoning

By Douglas, January 25, 2016

This post details an example argument I made about the Mafia/Werewolf game played at this Meetup group. There are instructions for how to play here. This post is written with an assumed knowledge of the basic rules.

I used Prezi to build an argument stating that when

a)a priest is believed

b)the priest says there is a seducer

c)a seducer announces themselves

d)everyone is still alive

e)the seducer is uncontested,

The conclusion should be to believe the seducer

I then started to work on expanding the argument when I came across an interesting flaw in a premise: One rule of the game is that a priest gets told whether or not there is a seducer. I used this fact to state that if the priests says there is a seducer there must be one. However that does not account for a range of fringe possibilities:

  1. A moderator signalling mistake
  2. A player misreading the signal
  3. A player forgetting
  4. A new players confusion over the rule (for example a yes nod being interpreted as yes there is no seducer instead of yes there is.)

I think most would agree that the chance of these occurrences are small enough to assume they did not occur and so this can be set as an axiom. However, if a skeptic disputes this we will need to map it into WL and that is a little tricky compared to the other arguments around this issue so far.

To get started we first need to list all the fringe possibilities to get our full 100%. That covers the possibilities where things go wrong in different ways and even where things go so wrong they go right again like a priest misunderstanding but a moderator also misinforming.

We can also remove certain scenarios or at least significantly reduce the chance of it happening, so an instance where the priest doesn’t understand the role is significant less likely if the player is very experienced than if they are new.

It may be that expanding the map to include the possible ways it could go wrong and the prerequisites (such as the player should be new) for a given scenario to be likely, might appease the initial septic. However if they need more proof then the writer of the argument must quantify the chances as a probability for the skeptic to scrutinize. This could be a long time consuming business but WL is about accuracy not speed!

For the purpose of this blog we will use an example of things going wrong a for a new player who is also an introvert. To quantify this we may look at something like percentage of population that is introverted.

This will likely lead our humble werewolf based arguments into a part of WL dominated by academics who study introversion. We can now benefit from another strength of WL – Gamers making the werewolf argument map can use the conclusions from another group, without knowing the subject matter well but with good knowledge on how those conclusions reached a state of correctness.

For the sake of argument lets say 1% of the population is introverted. This broad evidence may not seem enough but so far it is the only evidence one way or the other so it is acceptable. If the study was done on the world population, but the UK has much higher rates, it is up to someone to fill in these new details. Different studies and facts can be continuously applied so long as the reasoning is not fallacious. As the information increases the accuracy of the information should also increase.