rookie1ja

Crocodile Sophism

296 posts in this topic

But if the mother says that he is going to eat the child then that means he guessed it wrong so he must eat the child but if he does eat the child then that means she guessed it right so he must give the child back but if she guessed it right then he must eat the child... THIS IS DEFINITELY A PARADOX!!!

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She could say, "You will give me my child back if I don't answer you correctly." That is what the crocodile said he would do.

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The mother should reply "you will eat my child" because if the crocodile ate the child after she said that, it would mean that she was correct, therefore the croc should have returned the child. So, either way the mother is incorrect, but if she is incorrect saying that the croc will eat her child, then he would have to return it, or else she would be correct, meaning he should have returned it. On the other hand, if she had said "you will return my child" the croc would have eaten the child, implying that she was incorrect, for if he returned the child, it would imply that she was correct.

Therefore She Should Reply "You Will Eat My Child".

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Think what he must do if you say "you will eat the child"

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honestly, i would say "you plan to eat him" for 2 reasons:

1 he made the proposition in what he said therefore he is hoping u will guess incorrectly, so then he'll get to eat the child. it's the whole point of the sophism!!!!

and 2. even if thats not what he planed to do since you guessed incorrectly he now plans to eat the child wich would make the statement true!!!

i no this is confusing but i think it would be your best bet!!!

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Say "You will eat my child." Then, the crocodile would be confused and be forced to let the baby go.

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She should say that the crocodile will eat her child, then she might have a chance at the confused crocodile.

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She must say that he will eat the child.

If he eats it than the statement would be true meaning that he cannot eat it but must let it go.

If he doesn't eat it than the statement would be false which would mean he would have to eat it.

Again to eat it will make the statment true so he can do nothing to the child except let it go.

Edited by Mitch Whan
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So you see, the mother would definitely say, "you will eat my child" as if that is false, the crocodile WILL eat the child however, it means that the statement is actually TRUE. The wrong thing to say, which is, "you will not eat my child" and if it is false, the crocodile WILL eat the child confiming that this statement was incorrect.

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My answer to this puzzle is that the mother should say "I guess you will eat my child." Because then if the crocodile deemed it false he would have to eat the child but couldn't because her guess would then be true. And if what she said was true then the crocodile would let the child go.

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I think it's "You will eat my child." because if that were to be false, he would eat the child anyways, making it true, therefore regaining her child.

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The best answer according to me would be -

You will not poison him with any subtance that would kill you.

If assumed true, the child would come back unpoisoned.

If assumed false, the child would be poisoned by the crocodile and eaten knowing that it would kill himself, which he would never do.

So, it would be the correct answer and the mother would get back her child!

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The lady would say, "I guess you'll eat him."

If it is true, the crocodile will give the boy back. If it's not, the crocodile is supposed to eat the boy but then the lady's guess became true. so the answer is "I guess you'll eat him."

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Assuming there are no other players in this scenario, the mother should say, "You will return him."

Let us start by assuming that the croc plans to return the child. If the mother says "You will return him," then she guessed correctly and the croc will return the child. If the mother says, "You will eat him," then she guessed incorrectly, and consequently the croc will eat the child. However, this is exactly what the mother said the croc would do, so he is forced to return the child, but that leaves us back where we started, and on and on and on in a never-ending loop. Now let us assume that the croc plans to eat the child. If the mother says "You will return him," the croc will eat the child. If the mother says, "You will eat him," then she correctly predicts the croc's course of action and the croc is forced to return the child, but then again because the croc is returning the child and not eating him, the mother did not make the correct prediction, so the croc will eat the child; this is another endless loop.

So, if the mother says you will return the child, she has a probability of getting the child back that is equal to the probability that the croc already decided to return the child. Of course 1 - (that probability) equals the probability of the child being eaten. However, if she tells the croc that he will eat the child, the result is a endless loop. Now at this stage the answer depends on other players in the scenario. If there are none, then as mentioned previously she should say, "You will return the child" because this is the best (only) chance for her to get the child back--saying "You will eat him" will result in the croc taking an infinite amount of time to come to a decision. However, if there are other players in the scenario, then the mother should say "You will eat him" to ensure the safety of the child while she runs for help--she can find a hunter to kill the croc while he is stuck in the endless loop, for instance.

Edited by dzfan
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I believe the crocodile is normally vegetarian except in the case of the boy. If he is slim, he would have found plentiful of meat (be it fish, human, or reptilian) however, there is little vegetation near the Nile. The crocodile will only eat the boy if she says he will, and only release him if she says he will. After all, most crocodiles attack on sight, but if he has intelligence than he realizes (like the majority of philosophers) that we decide our own fate and that of those around us.

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Or the answer is soulely you'll release him. He said he'd eat him but never kill him. He may just take a nibble or om nom nom some of his leg. Like most creatures that are famished they can't eat too much at once or their stomach could react my exploding (more of ripping)

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maybe you could just whap it with a stick and get the kid back.

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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

I think this is a reasonable answer.

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It doesnt really say that you need to decide wether the boy is given back or eaten so there is a lot of possibilities of his fate. The guess that she should say you will eat my kid is a paradox alone. If you say you will give him back it is a risk. Though you can say, "You will eat my kid if I answer incorrectly," and vice versa, "You will give him back if I answer correctly," just say them both and you are set.

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As a newbie to this site, perhaps I don't understand. This was under the category of "sophisms", which means a faulty or flawed argument. It's like a bad syllogism:

The **** crows.

The sun rises.

Therefore, the sun rises due to the ****'s crow.

Compare with:

If you answer correctly, I will return the child.

If you answer incorrectly, I will eat the child.

Therefore, I will (or will not) (return/eat) the child.

There's not really a riddle here, so there can be no answer. But it does make for some interesting discussion, doesn't it?

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i believe the correct answer that would insinuate common logic is..."will you take my child?" therefore "guessing" correctly and answering the riddle correctly, however you may look at it the woman is correct in all aspects from the given text

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The mother should say "You will hold him captive for a certain amount of time while I speak this sentence." If he does, he has to give the kid back. If he doesn't, the kid can run away.

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And to be practical, a lot of things other possibilities suggested would anger the crocodile, and he would eat the child out of spite. Also, I'd like to point out that nowhere in the question did they limit us to two answers (eat him or don't).

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The croc will trade him for a cow that has twice as much meat. This is just a jumping off point for negotiations.

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the mother should have said, "you would eat him." then the crocodile could not eat the boy, as that would make the mother's statement true.

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