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Crocodile Sophism


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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 totally agree. Unless if he changed his mind. You see if you said what he said he might change his mind and say that he was about to return the kid, so he would eat him. But then that would mean he never made the deal at all, if you were wrong. So it is a sort of paradox. Confusing, eh? :huh:

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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 sta

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'

Perhaps I'm not understanding the question here. However, it would seem to me the obvious issue and advice here would be to say: "You'll eat the child Mister Crocodile." Remember: this is an ancient b

I agree with Mr. Brownstone. Sort of.

I'm assuming that the mother loves her child, and that she wants her baby to remain alive and intact. The statement 'you will eat him' would ultimately be correct, but fundamentally, the answer given by the mother should be one which keeps the baby alive. The crocodile, being of above-average intelligence, would want the mother to say 'you will eat him', as it knows that the mother would be too scared to say 'you will keep him alive', thinking that the crocodile would want to eat the baby. So, the crocodile would purposely think about not harming the baby, in order to harm it once the mother gets the question wrong.

Following Mr. Brownstone's theory, the answer would be right, and yet wrong at the same time. Even if the mother got the question right and the baby didn't die, the crocodile, fuelled by its hunger and animal instinct, would run over to to the mother and baby and devour them both.

In all probability though, if someone saw a talking crocodile, they'd scream 'OH MY GOD! A TALKING CROCODILE!' before pulling out a gun and shooting it.

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My dear friends. You are overlooking some rather obvious facts.

First, the inclusion of the nile, the crocodile, the mother and the child is drawing cultural images relating to ancient Egypt. This symbolism can be taken as a direct reference to that place and time.

Now. In ancient Egypt the prevelent belief about the after life was that the heart of the decesed is balanced against a feather. If the heart is found to be lighter than a feather then the decesed is aloud to enter the Egyptian version of heaven and live out an eternity in joy.

We all know that a childs heart is at least as light as a feather and it can be assumed that this wise croc would know that too. So the mother simply has to say, "You will make my child very happy." The croc would then see that if he gives the child back to his mother, the child will be very happy. And if he eats the child, the childs heart will be weighed and found to be light and airy, as childrens hearts are want to be, and he will be placed in heaven where he will be very happy for all eternity. :P

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I disagree with the majority of you guys. If you say "you will eat my baby" then he gives you back the baby because that's what he was going to do. But then he doesn't eat the baby after all, and you must give the baby back because you were wrong. But then if he is about to eat the baby, your right and he must give it back and it goes on and on, a contineous circle. A parodox. I hope I was clear.

One last note: even if you were right, in real life the crocodile wouldn't really care. But then, in real life crocodiles don't talk. And if I were the mother, I'd just go "OMIGOD! A talking crocodile!" and shoot it.

Edited by Bunny Master12
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  • 2 weeks later...
My dear friends. You are overlooking some rather obvious facts.

First, the inclusion of the nile, the crocodile, the mother and the child is drawing cultural images relating to ancient Egypt. This symbolism can be taken as a direct reference to that place and time.

Now. In ancient Egypt the prevelent belief about the after life was that the heart of the decesed is balanced against a feather. If the heart is found to be lighter than a feather then the decesed is aloud to enter the Egyptian version of heaven and live out an eternity in joy.

We all know that a childs heart is at least as light as a feather and it can be assumed that this wise croc would know that too. So the mother simply has to say, "You will make my child very happy." The croc would then see that if he gives the child back to his mother, the child will be very happy. And if he eats the child, the childs heart will be weighed and found to be light and airy, as childrens hearts are want to be, and he will be placed in heaven where he will be very happy for all eternity. :P

Ah... this makes more sense. I like how you incorporated the cultural facts about ancient Egyptian beliefs and then created your conclusion based off of that. I had originally supposed this paradox to have no true answer because the 'right' answer was fully based on what the crocodile wanted. But I also agree with your idea as well. -_-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Mother: "If I say that you will eat the child, you will change your mind and say i'm wrong and eat the child. If I say that you will not eat the child, you will want to eat the child and say i'm wrong and eat the child."

Crocodile: "Aw, damit!" *eats child*

Edited by aaaa11112222
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The mother says to the Croc, "You're going to eat my child." The Croc would have to eat her child to make that true, but Croc said it would eat the child only if the mother's guess was incorrect, which means in order to falsify the mother's guess, the Croc would have to do anything except eat the child. That would make the Croc a liar. I believe the Croc would then be inclined to give the child back to the mother, as a reward for solving the riddle.

I read a similar riddle about a man, sentenced to die, who was told by the king he would be hanged for making a true statement, beheaded for making a false statement. The man told the king that he would be beheaded. By the same logic as the Croc and the mother, the man was set free.

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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

J man's got it right, I think. Clever! :thumbsup:

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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 ...)?

"If you don't give him back, you will eat him, and if you don't eat him, you will give him back." This covers the crocodile's entire condition. He might eat the child, but then he would have lied, because the mother said what he will do with the child - either eat him, unless he gives him back, or give him back, unless he eats him.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Croc: Now guess what I will do with the child mwahahahahh@!!!!

Mom: You'll do *something.*

Croc: Noooooooo!!! (gives back child)

Mom: You will play Candyland together after I've pwned you.

Croc: This all I have on me! Please!

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well here's what i think will happen:

When the mother is trying to guess, a man walks by, that man is...Chuck Norris. She doesn't even need to ask him for help for he...is Chuck Norris and can therefor read minds. CN then gives the Croc a stare that could turn Medusa to stone and the baby is then returned.

so there :lol::P

but on a serious note, the mother could give a response that covers all possible outcomes. like saying that the croc will do...somthing...as mentioned above :P

an analyst's work can be so much fun :lol:

Edited by No1slight
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The Mother should simply say you are going to eat my child....If this was the crocodiles intentions then she predicted the childs fate and the croc has to give it back...if it wasn't the crocs intentions and the croc eats the baby then that was the babies fate and the croc can't eat the baby cuz the mom answered correctly and the croc has to give the baby 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 mother should Guess that the crocodile would eat him......He said it at the end.....OBVIOUSLY

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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 she could say "you will eat him" which if true then he will hav to giv him back, but then it would be false, therefore he would be eaten.but then the statement would be true soit carries on like this in circles :ph34r:

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  • 2 weeks later...
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 ...)?

She should not guess his fate.

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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 should respond "You will do the oppisite of whatever i guess you will do."

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Ur right, but she could also say.

I have your child! 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. that way if the croc eats her boy, she will eat the croc's boy!

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  • 2 months later...

There are 4 ways to treat this occurrence, resulting in 3 different outcomes for the 2 different consequences: 1- You can tell the croc he will give the child back and if you are right, you get the child back. 2- you can tell the croc he will NOT give you the child back and if you are right he is free to either eat the child or give it back since 'a', your guess was right and 'b', you guessed the croc would not give the child back and subsequently eat it. 3- you can tell the croc he will give the child back and if you are wrong he can eat the child. 4- you can tell the croc he will not give the child back and if you are wrong, again, he is free to either eat the child or give it back since 'a', your guess was wrong and 'b', you guessed the croc would not give the child back and subsequently eat it.

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