November 1, 2005

My Answer Is C

Here is the quiz:

Imagine yourself in the following scenario:

You’ve just returned home from a day at work. While you set your keys on the kitchen counter and remove your coat you can hear the familiar voices of your roommate and her/his S.O. in the other room.

You start to wonder about what you might make yourself for dinner when suddenly you are startled by a loud gunshot, followed by what sounds like a body falling to the floor. Rather than getting the hell out of there you somewhat foolishly run to the other room to see what happened. Once there, you see your roommate standing there, arm outstretched, holding a still-smoking pistol pointed at what is now, apparently, a corpse.

Your roommate looks at you and says “Santa Claus did it.”

Do you:

a) Sincerely believe that your roommate is telling the actual truth?
b) Decide that, because you didn’t actually see your roommate fire the gun, you just can’t know one way or another whether Santa did it?
c) Consider your roommate a murderer, and the claim to be the rationalization of a mind that has snapped?

Yes, I initially have to go with c and act accordingly. Subsequent evidence may validate an alternate conclusion but that is not relevant to the scenario as presented.

Read the rest and comment here.

Via Pharyngula.

Posted by Steve on November 1, 2005

My choice was B – not because I believe in Santa Claus, but because any one could have entered the house in a Santa outfit and fired the gun. I'm giving the roommate the benefit of the doubt. Also, I don't believe I'd room with a killer, so I have to believe the best before the worst is proven. At the Lippard Blog, B was the choice for individuals who believe certain knowledge about anything is denied us. I think it is for that very reason that we have courts in which lawyers must prove their case.

Posted by Donna at November 1, 2005 2:12 PM
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