A box, a choice and a risk.

Quantum Quack

Life's a tease...
Valued Senior Member
You have dug down 100 feet from the floor of an ancient Aztec temple. You find a small box. On the lid of this box is an inscription that reads:

"with in this box is the knowledge of creation, whom ever shall have this knowledge shall rule the universe but beware there is a small chance that opening the box will immediately destroy all of creation."
Next to the box is the key that opens the lid.
There is no other information, however you have every reason to believe what is said on the lid.

Question:

Do you open the box?
What are the reasons for your decision what ever they may be?
 
Quantum Quack said:
You have dug down 100 feet from the floor of an ancient Aztec temple. You find a small box. On the lid of this box is an inscription that reads:

"with in this box is the knowledge of creation, whom ever shall have this knowledge shall rule the universe but beware there is a small chance that opening the box will immediately destroy all of creation."
Next to the box is the key that opens the lid.
There is no other information, however you have every reason to believe what is said on the lid.

Question:

Do you open the box?
What are the reasons for your decision what ever they may be?

If i open the box either i will rule the universe or it destroys. Not much difference ; it is doomed either way.

If i don't open the box nothing will be lost.

I will destroy the box.
 
Quantum Quack said:
You have dug down 100 feet from the floor of an ancient Aztec temple. You find a small box. On the lid of this box is an inscription that reads:

"with in this box is the knowledge of creation, whom ever shall have this knowledge shall rule the universe but beware there is a small chance that opening the box will immediately destroy all of creation."
Next to the box is the key that opens the lid.
There is no other information, however you have every reason to believe what is said on the lid.

While I don't think I have every reason to believe what is said on the lid, my choice would be


Do you open the box?
What are the reasons for your decision what ever they may be?

Action: Don't open the box.
Why not: Superstition.


The situation you present is such that I can respond to it only with superstition, not with reason.
 
Yes, I open it.

Why?
1.) Because I believe in superstition only as far as the power it has over those people who believe in it. If I were "to believe it" what that would mean according to my current view of the universe right now, it would mean that I believe that the person who created/wrote it and his/her people believed it.
2.) As someone who loves anthropology, I wouldn't be able to pass up an opportunity to know what the Aztecs thought was the secret to all creation.
3.) If WAS true, then the warning kind of goes without saying. If anyone has the power to rule the Universe, the power to destroy all lies within their grasp.
4.) If everything gets destroyed, so what? No one will be around to remember it. It will be as if it never happened. It will be as if nothing ever happened.
5.) It would be fun.
 
Everneo,
would your decision be any different if the risk was so small a normal calculator could not calculte it?
 
Quantum Quack said:
would your decision be any different if the risk was so small a normal calculator could not calculte it?
Isn't there a tiny, barely calcuable, fraction of a risk that everything was going to end today, anyway, regadless of whether this box is opened?
So, what is different?
Like any other superstition, it has SOME chance of coming true by coincidence, so there really isn't any risk at all then, is there?
 
water said:
While I don't think I have every reason to believe what is said on the lid, my choice would be




Action: Don't open the box.
Why not: Superstition.


The situation you present is such that I can respond to it only with superstition, not with reason.

Water, is it only fear of the unknowable that stops you from opening the box?

The box does give a possible outcome, so I guess that is known, however is it worth the risk of loosing everything you have to become the ruler of the universe?

The question stems from how sometimes we are blinded by our own curiocity and ambitions. That we run the risk of loosing all we hold precious because of unwise curiocity....

The creator of the box is asking whether you would risk everything for something you don't have.
If you are prepared to risk the existence of the universe do you deserve to rule it?

Also another opposite slant:

"You can not truelly have something unless you are prepared to loose it"
 
one_raven said:
Isn't there a tiny, barely calcuable, fraction of a risk that everything was going to end today, anyway, regadless of whether this box is opened?
So, what is different?
Like any other superstition, it has SOME chance of coming true by coincidence, so there really isn't any risk at all then, is there?
I agree, there is always a risk.
also a risk that somewhere another box exists as well....

I must admit I had no agenda for this thread...I just thought it would be interesting to discuss....and see where it leads...[ ha....curiocity]
 
Quantum Quack said:
Water, is it only fear of the unknowable that stops you from opening the box?

The box does give a possible outcome, so I guess that is known, however is it worth the risk of loosing everything you have to become the ruler of the universe?

The question stems from how sometimes we are blinded by our own curiocity and ambitions. That we run the risk of loosing all we hold precious because of unwise curiocity....

The creator of the box is asking whether you would risk everything for something you don't have.
If you are prepared to risk the existence of the universe do you deserve to rule it?

The situation you presented is that of superstition.

In psychology, tests of moral reasoning are normally tailored to real life situations.
I find it useless to ask "What would you do if a unicorn crossed your path?"

Leave the dreamery for the dreamers. You've got way too much time, using it on hypothetical like this.

:bugeye:
 
I'd open it out of curiosity. I wouldn't care for ruling the world or its end. The box may mean that once the one who opens it rules the world he may bring destruction to it (that's why the chance is there but it's not the definite outcome?).
 
water said:
The situation you presented is that of superstition.

In psychology, tests of moral reasoning are normally tailored to real life situations.
I find it useless to ask "What would you do if a unicorn crossed your path?"

Leave the dreamery for the dreamers. You've got way too much time, using it on hypothetical like this.

:bugeye:
One of the reasons I have been thinking about this question is regards to the exploding of the worlds first atomic weapon. I wondered if the scientists new for absolute certainty that the atomic blast would not set off a chain reaction and wipe out the Earths eco system.
I often wonder what must have been going through their minds as the count down approached zero.......
Like
"what if we have just destroyed the planet?" type questions....hmmmm
 
Quantum Quack said:
I wondered if the scientists new for absolute certainty that the atomic blast would not set off a chain reaction and wipe out the Earths eco system.
No. They didn't.
And yes, some of them at least, WERE worried about that.
 
Quantum Quack said:
One of the reasons I have been thinking about this question is regards to the exploding of the worlds first atomic weapon. I wondered if the scientists new for absolute certainty that the atomic blast would not set off a chain reaction and wipe out the Earths eco system.
I often wonder what must have been going through their minds as the count down approached zero.......
Like
"what if we have just destroyed the planet?" type questions....hmmmm

They didn't know for certain what would happen. They actually feared that they would set the atmosphere afire, and turn Earth into a fireball.

But, curiosity and politics were stronger than reason and fear, so they did it. And they happened to get away with it, for now.


Anyway, I apologize for my harsh criticism before. The situation as you presented it at first was unrealistic; the one with the A bomb is different.
 
As for me I would probably say
"who gives a rats arse about knowledge....pass me a beer!!!!"
"I already rule my universe!!" :)

I would probably be undecided and sit on it for a while.
The knowledge may be found in other ways with out the risk, but I wonder how is it possible to remove all risk from anti matter experiments or other more exotic energy experiments.

However just because we can't neutralise the risk 100 % doesn't mean we have to take that risk.
 
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Anyway, I apologize for my harsh criticism before. The situation as you presented it at first was unrealistic; the one with the A bomb is different.
Actually grounding the topic as a gendanken only is quite a valid thing to do.

But the atomic test is a good example of risk taking I think. [ real world now]
Just like setting up Nuclear missile silos and hoping the cold war never got hot....

the thing is , the closer we get to this knowledge the greater the effect of the risk of that knowledge has.
The atomic test may have ended the universe for all we knew at the time any way.....
 
whitewolf said:
I'd open it out of curiosity. I wouldn't care for ruling the world or its end. The box may mean that once the one who opens it rules the world he may bring destruction to it (that's why the chance is there but it's not the definite outcome?).
Is interesting that you have limited the extent to just the world..although I do know what you mean....
No it's not a definite outcome but the chance of returning the universe to nothing is a rather daunting one yes? no matter how small....
 
i'd open it,pretty much solely because once i am curious about something it will bug me for the rest of my life if i dont find out.
 
Quantum Quack said:
Is interesting that you have limited the extent to just the world..although I do know what you mean....
No it's not a definite outcome but the chance of returning the universe to nothing is a rather daunting one yes? no matter how small....
So everything that was created ceises to exist. And? That's not the most interesting part, to me. What a caterpillar calls the end of the world is called a butterfly by scientists. :D
 
whitewolf said:
So everything that was created ceises to exist. And? That's not the most interesting part, to me. What a caterpillar calls the end of the world is called a butterfly by scientists. :D
ha....... :D
 
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