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Crocodile Sophism


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284 replies to this topic

#51 Rikogen

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 02:00 AM

Personally i think she should say "you will eat my child". If she answered wrong then the croc would eat the child but then he would fulfilling the prediction the mother gave by saying "you will eat my child" and if she guessed right then she would still get him back...
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#52 starsky-320

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Posted 03 November 2007 - 03:59 AM

couldnt she just kill da crocodile
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#53 bobby123

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Posted 08 November 2007 - 12:32 AM

The first part of her reply should address the second part of the crocodile's statement: Her child's fate is the same as every human being, that is to age as time passes, and someday to die. Her guess to the first part is that the crocodile will return her child before or after he eats something other than the child.
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#54 jonesbones

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 02:57 AM

Ones fate can't be decided if its questionable. Therefore how does the crocodile know the baby's fate if it lies in the answer of the mother.
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#55 jonesbones

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 03:23 AM

So the mother can just say the baby's fate hasn't been decided, because she's only reaffirming the crocodiles question, yet effectively answering it
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#56 einsteinsdumbcousin

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 10:31 PM

i think the mother should simply say
"you will give me the child" because that is what she wants the childs fate to be.

simple...

i think
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#57 FiOS-Dave

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 10:44 PM

Mother should take out her Uzi and powder the mangy beast...
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#58 biostrategem

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 12:37 AM

In the modern definition, a sophism is a confusing or illogical argument used for deceiving someone. [ref: wikipedia]

1. Crocodile Sophism

A slim crocodile living in the Nile took a child. His mother begged to have him back. The crocodile could not only talk, but was also a great sophist and stated, "If you guess what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't guess his fate, I'll eat him." What statement should the mother make to save her child?
===================================================

The mother's upper hand lies in her recognition that the crocodile assumes predestined outcomes (Fate) and can talk.

The crocodile's incorrect assumption is that the mother must choose between eat and not eat. There is a second option: talk or not talk. One action intersects both option sets: the action of opening his mouth.

The mother should guess that the future of her child is that he will experience the crocodile opening his mouth.

If the croc wasn't going to eat him, and says wrong, he must open his mouth to eat him, violating fate. He cannot violate fate, and so he must return him.

If the croc was going to eat him, and says correct, he must return him.


Eric Mumford
Waterford, NY
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#59 ipyromaniac

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 02:54 PM

The mother said:
You'll eat him.
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#60 biostrategem

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Posted 14 November 2007 - 09:05 PM

mother's guess doesn't quite work. A sophist is by definition tricky and clever, so the crocodile would reply "You are incorrect, his fate was to be saved." By the logic given, the crocodile must eat him because her guess was incorrect.
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