Friday, July 21, 2006

The No Win Scenario

In looking at some the blogs and comments that have been floating around the internet, I find it rather interesting the ways in which some people are willing to take a stand on things namely because it will not affect them at all. For instance, it is easy to take a stand on something like researching embryonic stem cells by saying you are in favor of it because you will not be involved with the decision to destroy the embryos for research. It is also for outsiders to say that a person who is living on machines in a hospital should die by having the machines turned off. You are not confronted with the decision head on. Instead, from the comfort of your own computer screen and whatever lifestyle you live, the decision not does come right up to your face.

The same thing can be said about many of the other issues that face us all in day to day lives. Affirmative Action, crime prevention, discipline and youths, and Herndon with its day center for illegal immigrants, all of these issues are interestingly enough taken up by people who will most likely never have to deal with these problems. Its easy for liberals, or progressives as they like to be called now, to say they are in favor of some of these things. How often do they have to deal with it? The answer is probably next to never.

Every so often though, we all must make a decision that will greatly affect our lives. So what is the right answer. Truth be told, there is no such thing as a right or wrong answer/decision. If a person says there is, then there are only two reasons for it:

1. It is a fact based question, like what year did Columbus discover the New World?
2. The person asking the questions WANTS to hear the answer that pleases them.

The only reason why we believe there are right and wrong decisions is because we use hindsight. The repercussions of each decision can only be seen after time itself has elapsed. As such, we always say that we will wait and see what happens.

The Fact of the Matter

The fact of the matter is that when it comes to making a tough decision, we can all say we will do things one way while finding ourselves challenged by our own beliefs when confronted with the tough decision. I will give everyone a moment to think about it. Ok, now that that is done, it seems that perhaps there is one way to see if a person can actually make a decision that will be rather tough.

In thinking about tough decisions and stuff, I felt that one thing that seems to come up is the No Win Scenario, a situation where no matter what you do, your choice is wrong. The original concept that made my think of this came from Star Trek and the Kobayashi Maru scenario. This particular scenario was designed to be a test to see what kind of decision you are willing to make, despite the fact that not everyone in your crew could make it out alive. Another concept is the way in which you are forced to go ahead and order a person to do something which will ultimately end in their own death. It is a tough thing to do, knowing that you are going to order someone to die.

The Test

So here is the scenario. There are four people involved. V1 and V2 stand three feet apart from each other while at the same time standing equidistantly 6 feet away from you. Standing behind you is a person dressed completely in black. Next to you is a tray with two identical pistols on it. Both are loaded, but only one has a bullet in it while there other doesn’t. Which do you choose?
Now that you have chosen the pistol, the person in black takes the other and steps back into the shadows so that you cannot see them and know exactly where they stand anymore. You have been told that “for the betterment of humanity” you must shoot either V1 or V2. So now you are confronted with the decision of a life time. Someone must die. Now there are a few questions you need to think about:

1. Is the pistol in my hand the one with the bullet or the blank?
2. Either way, do I shoot the person on the left or the right?
3. What if I attempt to turn around and shoot the person behind me?
4. What if I decide to shoot myself?
5. What if I only have the blank and the person behind my decides to shoot me, V1, or V2?
6. What if I decide to do nothing?
7. What if I was lied to and both pistols are loaded and have a bullet in it?
8. What if both are blanks?

Each of these possible scenarios can play out differently. In looking at this, this scenario could end with 3 people living, or only 1. Keep in mind, the person dressed in black will not be affected. The reason for this is because this person is playing the role of the unknown, something none of us can control. From my calculations, there are 42 possible ways this could turn out.

Now I realize some of you may think I am one sick individual and how in the world could I have come up with this? The reason you are thinking it is because you are not willing to confront this kind of scenario. You are afraid, plain and simple. What I find rather unique is that the folks who talk a tough game are not willing to go through it when confronted. So I CHALLENGE anyone to step up to the plate and go through the scenario. Any takers?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

no takers because as stated it is a no win situation... silly boy

BDM said...

It is a test of character, designed to challenge your mind. Of course, we cannot forget we are all playing the ULTIMATE no win scenario game: life. In the end, we all die. How we get, now that is another story.

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