rookie1ja

Crocodile Sophism

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I think the most logical thing to say to the croc would be, "You will do what you will."

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Crocodile Sophism - Back to the Paradoxes

A slim crocodile living in Nile took a child. Mother begged to give him back. The crocodile could not only talk, he was also a great sophist, and so he stated: "If you guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly), what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't guess his fate I'll eat him." What statement shall the mother make to save her child (what about a vicious circle ...)?

well i would suggest that the mother should say to the crocodile that 'he would eat the child' in that way its sure that he cannot eat the child,

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There is a simple solution to this (which I doubt anyone can refute)

If the mother says "YOU WILL DO SOMETHING PHYSICAL WITH MY CHILD'. She is home a dry (excuse the pun). She is right either way - eating or returning the child is physical, so the croc has to give it back. ;-)

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the sophism was just incorrectly translated into English language ... I know all the brain teasers/paradoxes in Slovak language and try to translate them into English language the best I can

"If you guess correctly what I will do with him, I will return him.

However, if you don't predict his fate correctly, I'll eat him."

The problem with your translation is that you changed the whole outcome. The verb "to guess" is to establish an assumption based on little or no information as in "Guess who is coming for dinner!" or "Guess what I'm thinking of!"; the verb to predict however means to describe an outcome for an event that will occur in the future based on events that have occured in the past or are occuring at the time of the prediction as in "I predict it will be sunny tomorrow!" or "I predict he will be mad when he finds out!"

The common setup of the story's conditions are:

"If you guess what I will do with him, I will return him.

However, if you don't guess, I'll eat him."

With your conditions:

Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to not eat the boy

if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten the boy will be returned because she guessed correctly

if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she predicted incorrectly

Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to eat the boy

if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she guesses incorrectly

if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because in order to establish whether a prediction is true, the event have to happen

With the original conditions:

Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to not eat the boy

if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten the boy will be returned because she guessed

if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be returned because she guessed

Assuming the intention of the crocodile is to eat the boy

if the mother guesses the boy will not be eaten, the boy will be eaten because she guesses incorrectly

if the mother guesses the boy will be eaten, the boy will be eaten because the condition was for her not to guess

if the mother doesn't say anything, the boy will be eaten because she is not saying anything to ask for saving the boy's life

This said, with or without semantics, the life of the child is solely controlled by the crocodile because the beast has to honor his original proposition to the mother. Because the problem statement starts with a description of the crocodile as slim, it's probable that the crocodile has not been eating very well and thus intending to eat the child, therefore there is no answer about the fate of the child that would prevent him from having a meal.

By playing to the crocodile's hunger. She could offer the following statement to potentially save her son:

Your proposition would most likely result in my loss, and for you a one time meal to satisfy your obvious lacking skills for the hunt. I would propose to you the following condition for my son's return.

If you eat my son, it will be the only meal you will get and I will have you hunted down, and when you are caught I will make sure that you are kept alive while I slowly strip the flesh from your body!

If you return my son unhurt, I will come everyday for the rest of your life and bring you a meal to satiate your hunger!

A hungry talking inept predator would probably relish at the notion of being fed daily so that they never have to go hungry again.

Of course, all the mother would have to do then, is to come the next day with hunters to kill the crocodile and she would fullfill her promise without having to ever bring food to the crocodile.

B))

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i believe that the answer to this problem is " you will not give him to me." if she guessed wrong, then the croc would have to give her the child. if she guesssed right, then she would get the child anyway becqause she guessed right.

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You are all wrong guys..

Here is the answer:

:))

The lady should tell the crocodile: "You will eat my child"

*if the crocodile eats the child, then the lady is correct and the crocodile must give back her child right?

*but if the crocodile eats the child, the crocodile is contradicting what he just told the lady... because the lady just answered his question correctly. right folks?

SEE?? this just a simple paradox.. :))

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the crocidile will eat the child. He cant say its wrong because if he did he would eat the child proving she was right.

Crocodile Sophism - Back to the Paradoxes

A slim crocodile living in Nile took a child. Mother begged to give him back. The crocodile could not only talk, he was also a great sophist, and so he stated: "If you guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly), what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't guess his fate I'll eat him." What statement shall the mother make to save her child (what about a vicious circle ...)?

This one is simple once you get it. All the Mother has to say is that the crocidile will eat the child. He cant say its wrong because if he did he would eat the child proving she was right.

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Crocodile Sophism - Back to the Paradoxes

A slim crocodile living in Nile took a child. Mother begged to give him back. The crocodile could not only talk, he was also a great sophist, and so he stated: "If you guess (Edited: predict the fate = guess correctly), what I will do with him, I will return him. However, if you don't guess his fate I'll eat him." What statement shall the mother make to save her child (what about a vicious circle ...)?

The mother will say:You will give him back to me.

And croc will give her child back cause a sophistic crocodile cannot eat a babe.It's about manners of a sophist(they don'y heart anything except their brain)

i hope you undertood my Answweer

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LMAO!!! your all wrong. the closest one to this logical answer is conga. The problem with you guys who are saying that all you have to do is guess is that your not looking close enough at the wording. The conflict states that she has to guess the fate not guess at the fate. If she guesses wrong the child will be eaten. The only way to save the child is to state to the croc that he will not return the child, regardless of what he does with him. by making this statement she seals the childs fate. If the statement is true, then the croc cannot eat the child because she was right and he has to return the child per the agreement which makes her statement false. If the statement is false, then he has to return the child which leads to the conclusion that her guess was actually incorrect with what he would do with the child. Thus this is a paradox because if her statement is true it becomes false upon the crocs action and if the statement is false, the croc actions cannot harm the child forcing him to return it thus making her guess wrong which would allow the croc to eat the child, again creating the issue of the mother being right with her guess. It is a loop paradox and there is no correct answer.

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and an after thought for you people who keep referring to it as a simple paradox, a paradox has no correct definite answer. That is what makes it a paradox.

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I don't think that this is a paradox. It sounds like one. The word "guess" doesn't belong because there is nothing to guess about. This is more like an 'Honestant and Swindicant' problem becuase the mother either says "crocodile gives the child back" and the croc does it or the croc "deceives" the woman and eats the child.

I am with you but i think she should say you will eat him

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The mother says the croc will eat the child, because even if she guessed wrong the croc will still have to give the child back because he said he was going to eat it if she guessed wrong.It's a loop. There is your paradox my friends =). Its the circle that never ends.

Edited by AnnaNushka
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It reminds me of the one guard lies one guard tells truth guarding door to death/life question. But seeing as I am still new to this I'll skip the intellectual bit

The mother said that the boy will either be eaten or free'd

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Remember, the crocodile is a Sophist! That's the key word here.

"What should the mother say to SAVE her child?"

Scenario #1

Mother's response may vary from: "You will give me back the child." to "You will send the child to boarding school in Oklahoma." Or "You will morph into a cyborg crocodile astronaut and drop the child off at the moon on your way to Mars." (Strictly speaking, any response different from scenario #2 is trivial and isn't even worth discussing)

Consequence #1: Crocodile eats child! In hindsight, we can see that the mother's prediction was false. This justifies the crocodile's action.

Scenario #2

Mother's response: "You will eat the child."

Consequence #2a: Crocodile eats child! In hindsight, we can see that the mother's prediction was right. Unfortunately, there is no child to be returned to her at this point. The mother's correct prediction is, in itself, the action that precludes her from reaping the promised benefits of said prediction. Therein lies the sophist paradox (no pun intended)!

Scenario #3

Mother does not respond.

Consequence #3: Unknown! The crocodile does not specifically say what'll happen to the child in this scenario.

This should be the favored response. Think of it as refraining from picking A or B (both of which are incorrect) on a 2-option multiple choice question where the classic "None of the above" was omitted.

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She should answer that the crocodile will not return the child so that even if it is wrong it will be right

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She should answer that the crocodile will not return the child so that even if it is wrong it will be right

The croc could eat the child now and return it later :)

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the question is in 2 parts:

1) guess (correctly) what I will do with kid-->kid returned

2) predict kid's fate (wrong)-->kid eaten

so the answer should be in 2 parts: 2 is easy to answer--kid will die 1 is the part creating paradox...you will open your mouth and show the kid your teeth--but you will not eat the child; thus he shall die but not as a result of your action.

I think this is right

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Mother will tell that croc is going to eat the child. In this way if croc accepts then it will return the child to mother. If it does not accept than it will eat the child, which makes the mother's guess correct; so in both the cases child will be with mother...

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The only solution is for the woman to state, "You will eat my baby!" If the croc even thinks about eating the baby then the woman is correct and the croc cannot eat the baby. If the croc says that it was going to release the the baby, therefore she's wrong, it still cannot eat the baby because then she'll STILL be right!!!!! DUH!

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Just like Rumplestiltskin the croc has now entered a pack. being slim he would eat the child, essentially, he will eat the child unless another factor changes his ability to do so. Kinda of like, I will walk out that door unless you can guess the number in my head. If you don't guess the number pi than I will go, but the sophism would have provided you with the fact that I was trying to calculate the area of a circle for my math homework and still am.

If the mother says that the croc will eat the boy, the croc can only giv the baby back and will not having eating the baby as an option because if it did attempt to do that at any point, it will forfeit the baby. By saying the croc will eat him, the croc can't eat him.

Either, the croc eats or gives back the child and given its condition who ever heard of a talking crocodile, their larynx isn't fit for speech nor would it have been trained to such knowledge capacity to think and exhibit speech while other animals can only mimic. Therefore, the mother should stop daydreaming or blazing.

Edited by GGJT
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The croc is in serious problems due to the fact he is dealing with a human, I believe she would hunt him down and kill him slowly.... just to let him know how much pain he caused her... but before he dies she would hunt all his relatives and kill them before his eyes. until none were left. they he'd understand the price to pay for one child is to great. We are the masters and not the animals.

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If you tell the crocodile that he will eat him, the crocodile can't eat him without going back on his word.

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WELL she has to say "you will eat him." That way if she's wrong he will "eat him" which makes her technically right because he said if "you guess correctly" you'll get it back. Therefore she was right then, forcing the crocodile to return the baby.

BUT the stress and sight of a talking Crocodile might cause her to pass out from shock not being able to say anything forcing the crocodile to raise the child on his own till the woman can give him an answer. But let's face it, in todays economy, it will be impossible for him to find a job forcing him to rely on welfare checks to raise the baby. However, if the government finds out he's raising a baby that rightfully does not belong to him, child services will find him and take the baby away. The woman will by then hopefully woken up and claimed that a crocodile had kidnapped her baby.

THEREFORE, the child services will give the woman her baby back and the crocodile will go to jail for kidnapping.

SO the woman should technically do nothing.

-Micky B.

Edited by Micky B
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I would think that the only way to make ANY sense of the situation is for the woman to repeat back to the croc EXACTLY what he said to HER: "If I guess right, you'll give my baby back, if I dont, you'll eat him. That's what you'll do to him." He'd have to return the baby, because she's CORRECT NO MATTER WHAT. Eh? hehehe

Um, you may have constructed another paradox. What if the crocodile answers, "Yes, if you guess right, I'll give you back your baby, if you don't, I'll eat him. I'm glad you understood what I just said, now take your guess." It is hard to expect a crocodile who is a sophist and can speak perfect English to be so foolish as to include his desire (the answer) within the parameters of the trial, namely "I'll eat him." Will the crocodile eat the child in either scenario?

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She should say, "Hold on just a sec." Then she should go, get a hammer, come back, and whack the crocodile on the head repeatedly.

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