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# Crocodile Sophism

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This is simple the mother should simply say you will keep him until tomorrow, early in the mornin the child will be struck by lightning then you shall return him to me. Come the next morning the crock will know she has not guessed his fate exactly but she still gets the child back.

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if you look at the so called paradox it says if you dont guess his fate, ill eat him, so as long as you provide a guess you'll get him back either way, because any guess is a correct guess but if you stay silent and not provide an answer then your screwed lady

I see where you're coming from with that, but I don't think the riddle is supposed to be taken that literally, otherwise its too easy and perhaps even meaningless because a riddle in which any answer suffices is not that great of a riddle.

I think that it wants the lady to guess exactly what the croccodile will do with the child.

In this case, the lady should say that the croccodile "Will eat the boy", because (1) if the she's right and the croccodile did want to eat the boy after all, she'd get him back and/or (2) if she isn't right, well the croccodile can't eat the boy, because that contradicts his statement because by eating the boy, that would automatically deem the mother's guess as right.

I don't know but that's the most clever thing I could come up with. Is there more than one way to get out of this quagmire?

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"If you 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 should the mother make to save her child?

Going by what the croc says, i believe the mother should say the following to save her child:

"You will return him if I guess what you will do with him, and you will eat him if I guess incorrectly."

What you think?? Clever, or not?

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• 3 weeks later...

i heard this before and the answer was

"You will return the child to me"

However the crocodile may have claimed her answer was wrong and that he was really going to eat him. The crocodile is a cheater and will possibly eat the child no matter what she replies, however thinking along more natural behavioural patterns the crocodile wouldn't have returned the child or spoken for that matter.

No matter what i believe the child will be eaten.

OMNOMNOM

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you will react to the decision i make.

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First of all, for those of you who think that any guess is sufficient, why haven't you all won the lottery? After all, all you have to do is guess what numbers will be chosen. The problem is that although it (originally) isn't explicitly stated, the guessing of the fate does imply that the guess must be correct. Not guessing the fate of the child includes making a guess which is inconsistent with the actual outcome. You are right, however, that not guessing at all would be fatal.

Secondly, guessing "you will do something" or "you will die of starvation" or similar answers do not actually have anything to do with the fate of the child, and so are equivalent to not guessing. I would tend to classify the "You will hold my child until I answer" type answers with these, as they focus more on his present situation than the final outcome, although the argument is a bit weaker in those cases.

Also, with the "you will die of starvation" answer, the crocodile can definitely eat the child, as he can safely assume that the mother will then ensure his death long before starvation.

A very popular answer has been to say "You will eat the child", assuming that this will save it. There's a fatal flaw in that logic. You are assuming that eating the child and returning the child are mutually exclusive. Here are a few scenarios:

1. The crocodile eats the child. Having proven the mother correct, he now must return the child to the mother. I see 3 ways for this to work.

A: Wait for the remains to pass, and return them.

B: Surrender himself to the mother (an unlikely choice).

C: Eat the mother, thus re-uniting her with her child.

2. The crocodile tells the mother to come down and retrieve her child. Once she takes the child, the crocodile will attack her, and eat her child (and probably her, too).

Personally, I agree with the "My child will die... eventually" response. It addresses the fate of the child, and is reasonably undeniably true.

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Secondly, guessing "you will do something" or "you will die of starvation" or similar answers do not actually have anything to do with the fate of the child, and so are equivalent to not guessing.

Firstly may I thank all those posters who provided me with such unfathomable amusement whilst reading their explanations, not least the very heartfelt mother who took the time to appeal to the crocodile's more sensitive nature and merely ask for her kid back, a true moral solution. (Still wiping the tears of laughter)

The child's actual fate is not known, even to the crocodile. He may fully intend to eat it, but his intention does not become the child's fate until after the fact.

The mother should say "It is my guess, that the fate of my child including that of any other person or thing cannot be known, until it has come to pass."

This could be construed as more of a statement than a guess, but to my mind she has still appraised the situation and estimated her response accordingly, so by definition it's still a guess and it's directly in connection with the fate of her child.

This is the only correct answer she could possibly give. If the crocodile already knew the child's fate it would be redundant of him to consider giving the child back and make the mother's opinion irrelevant.

Personally I wish he'd just eat the kid and move on, she'd have gotten over it by now.

Edited by StreetLethal
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• 2 weeks later...
The mother must simply say, "You shall not return my child alive." If she says this, then he must return the child no matter what.

A) If she is right, then the crocodile must return him.

B) If she is wrong, then she is given back her child alive anyway.

Assuming that the crocodile is telling the truth, then he must return the child. Another possibilty would be that if she is right, the crocodile could return the child dead or injured. It does not say that the kid cannot be returned dead or hurt...

I would think that to be "eaten" means he aint comin back sista

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• 2 weeks later...

ok... first the mother could say "eat him", and if her statement was right the crocodile could just eat him and sh!t out the remains in the form of "returning him", but then again if she was wrong the crocodile could just kill him without consuming his body. so you're pretty much screwed either way.

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This one seems very simple

She can say "you are NOT going to give me my child back"

1) If She was wrong then the crocodile first has to give her back her child and they can escape.

2) If she is right, the the croc has to return the kid to her anyway and they can escape.

or "You ARE going to eat my child"

1) If she was right then the crocodile would have to return the child to the mother

2) If She was wrong then the crocodile would have to eat the child, BUT if he was going to eat the child then the mother would be right so...

He would be forced to return the child

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I would have said

Correctly

before you edited it

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• 2 weeks later...

This looks easy the first time you see it. But i think the mother of the child has to say that the crocodile is going to give back the child because if he does give it back then the mother has to have said that he was going to give it back. It's complicated but you have to try to go from the end to the beginning thinking: he gave back the child but what has to have happened before he gave back the child to make him give back the child? It is very complicated to understand but i think it's the only possible solution. Very interesting!

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• 2 weeks later...

The mother should say "You will eat him."

That way, if he makes the decision to eat him he must return him unharmed.

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The Mother states " you will give my child back."

If the mother would have said " you eat my baby ", in order for that to have been a correct statement, the croc would then have to eat her baby, making it impossible to give the child back.

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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 correct answer is "If the boy will be eaten only if the guess is wrong, then the only correct answer is the boy will be return because this is the correct guess." The dumb croc's out smart himself. LOL.

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In this problem some have argued that "returning" the child, on behalf of the croc and "saving" the child, on behalf of the mother are not synonymous actions. I believe this is not the trick of the question and is irrelevant, true the croc could poop out the remains of a child at the feet of the mother, and the child would've been returned but not saved, but thats not the point of the question. This is a matter of self fulfilling prophecy, by saying "you will return my child", if the croc planned to throw it at a tree, that is a definite false prediction and the child would be eaten. [spoiler='tell the croc

']If you say "You will eat my child" and the croc had the same throw it at a tree plan, this too is a false prediction and the croc assumes to eat the child, making your prediction correct (all false predictions become correct), and the child should be returned. Also if the croc planned to eat the child you predicted correctly and the child is returned.

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• 1 month later...

JUST SAY CROCADILE OPENS MOUTH TO EAT CHILD

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The croc didn't ask EVERYTHING he would do with him. Fate is a fickle matter. His fate is to be held until the croc does something, at which time his fate becomes something else.

well simpler. she should say "you will eat him" because it is always true. even if lady is wrong croc WILL EAT HIM which she has guessed right. so she is ALWAYS RIGHT!!!

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• 4 weeks later...

I am of the opinion that the aswear is that he will eat the child what could go wrong,

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this one is fairly easy. she can guess his fate, without guessing his fate. She can simply say to the crocodile, "if i guess wrong, then you will eat him." Technically the woman would be right because that's what the crocodile said would happen if she did not guess correctly. Therefore, the crocodile would have to give her, her child back because she guessed correctly.

Edited by charlton
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• 2 weeks later...
if you look at the so called paradox it says if you dont guess his fate, ill eat him, so as long as you provide a guess you'll get him back either way, because any guess is a correct guess but if you stay silent and not provide an answer then your screwed lady

precisely... until I read your bit here, I was beginning to suspect the paradox was a crock.

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The lady can technically just say "You will eat him." That way:

If she is right and Croco was going to eat the kid, Croco would have to give the kid back.

If she was wrong and Croco was going to, let us say, chuck the kid into a bucket of tar, then the lady would be wrong and so Croco would eat the kid.

BUT, that way she has guessed what Croco was going to do. (Eat the kid)

My reasoning is that Croco never outright stated that she had to guess what he was going to do NEXT, just, in other words, what will actually happen to the child in the future as a result of the actions of Croco.

Therefore Croco CANNOT eat the kid at all if he sticks to his promise. If anything that is said by the lady is wrong he will eat the child but the first statement Croco made binds him to the fact that he cannot eat the child.

This may sound confusing but it works (I think).

But, in the real world the crocodile probably has dinner all set for him.

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Well if it were my mother she would say "you are going to give my baby back, Or else I will introduce you to my friend Louis Vuitton!"

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"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."

Easier said as "Guess what I will do with him, or the child dies."

So, she must think of something that the croc will definitly have to do to the child.

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I think she should say,'' My child will not be in my hands for the time that I say the sentence I am currently saying

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