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Cannibal Logic

  1. May 11, 2005 #1
    heres a good one :devil:

    An explorer is travelling through the bowels of South Africa and becomes captured. He awakens to find him-self tied-up and if front of the leader of his assailants. He realizes he has been captured by cannibals and as an even more unusually strange twist of fate, these cannibals are lovers of logic. The Chieftan says [in a language you can only understand because you are such a distinguished explorer of all parts of the world] in a loud booming voice, "You will be eaten by us!" all of the other tribesman around your roar wildly like starved animals. The Chief continued, "As a sign of our hospitality we will allow you to decide how you die. You may make ONE statement. If it be true, we will boil you alive..." About half of the tribesmen cheer, "...And if it be false, we will burn you alive..." again cheers... you think to yourself for a minute... and say one statement. Silence fills the air. The Chief bows to you and motions for you to be let go. "As a lover of logic, I must let you be free" he said.

    :devil: :devil: what was the statement that you made, that forced the Chief let you go free? :devil: :devil:
    Last edited: May 11, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2005 #2
    "You will burn me alive," says the explorer to the cannibal chief.
  4. May 11, 2005 #3
    my bad i mistold it you HAVE to make one statement and one statement only
  5. May 12, 2005 #4
    Moo of Doom did say one statement, but mine would have been, "The word apples is not in this sentence."
  6. May 12, 2005 #5
    whozum your statement "The word apples is not in this sentence" is just a false statement and you would be burned alive. when i first saw your statement i thoguh you hadfound an alternate answer but theres no negating factor. saying "you will burn me alive" causes them to ponder if they burn him alive his answer will have been true thus they must boil him thus making his statement false and they must burn him alive making his statement trus again and so on and so on. close but no cigar. i applaud your thinking out side the box though.
  7. May 12, 2005 #6
    i think a funnier thing to say would be like "you have pretty eyes." cause then all the tribes people would have to gather around the chief and decide whether or not his eyes are pretty. And then, once they make a decision, i'd say, "but wait, perhaps its true (or false) in my opinion." and then they'd have to consider my perspective, and decide whether or not i actually believe the cheif's eye's were pretty. In the meanwhile, they'd have to get to know me and my thoughts and my views on life, and i'd tell them all about my hopes and dreams, and i'd touch each and everyone of their souls. Then they'd feel bad for me, and let me go free.
    or.... if that doesn't work, at least i'd've bought myself some time while they were arguing, so that i could think of a new plan.
  8. May 12, 2005 #7
    interesting viewbut saying "but wait, perhaps its true (or false) in my opinion." could be considered a second statement perhaps as lovers of logic they would intuatively come to this assumption but im not personal friends with the cannibals so i wouldnt know :)
  9. May 12, 2005 #8
    naeblis, i was originally thinking along the lines of "This statement is false", but somehow got along to apples and blah blah. If the statement is true, then its false. If its false, then its true. How's that?
  10. May 12, 2005 #9
    I never tell the truth.
  11. May 12, 2005 #10
    A (possible) complication to this is that the definition of "statement" is usually something like "a proposition that is definitely either true or false." The chief, speaking in his native tongue, may have had a slightly different meaning to it, but if you say something that is not true or false he might say it's not a statement.

    Also, the chief could burn you alive AND boil you alive (half and half maybe) going by moo of doom's answer; he would burn you alive, so your statement would be true, so he would boil you alive also. The chief didn't say that if the statement is true, he _won't_ burn you alive.
  12. May 12, 2005 #11
    Rahmuss, your statement is false, because as a human being you sometimes do tell the truth. Whozum's answer ("This statement is false") works.
  13. Sep 25, 2007 #12
    Can someone help me with this problem, this was my homework assignment for a physics class I am taking and I don't know how to respond to it.

  14. Sep 25, 2007 #13


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    Staff: Mentor

    You will need to post your question showing what work you have already done trying to solve it in the appropriate homework section.
  15. Sep 26, 2007 #14
    This was a physics question?
  16. Sep 27, 2007 #15
    The expedient thing to say would clearly be 'x is greater than or equal to zero.'

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