Social Question

rock4ever's avatar

Hypothetical- If you, a baby, and a child family member were in a life or death situation...?

Asked by rock4ever (1866points) April 19th, 2011

Okay an axe murderer comes to your house. He has 2 hostages with him and he of course has you as a hostage. No one has a chance at escape. It’s you, a baby that is in no way related to you and you don’t know the baby, and a child family member. If you have a child than that is the child in the situation. The murder tells you that 2 of you must die and it’s up to you to decide. Who lives and who dies? Be serious this is very important to me that you’re all truthful about what you believe you’d do.
There will be an addition later. If you answer this first part please answer the next part.

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24 Answers

dxs's avatar

I think I’d just say nothing and let us all die painfully, I’m bad at decision-making…

KateTheGreat's avatar

I’d definitely sacrifice myself, no questions asked.

If I had to choose between the baby and the child I was related to, I’d most likely choose the baby. The baby wouldn’t really experience the same fear before they died as the other child would. I’d also fear of the emotional stability of my family if 2 members died. I’d feel absolutely horrible for making the decision to put the baby to death.

atomicmonkey's avatar

I would choose the axe wielding maniac and the random baby. In that order. Once the axe murderer is dead, I would re-neg on my promise to kill the random baby and I would sell the random baby. I would then buy fancy clothes for my son and I. Like serious 1970s pimp outfits.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
KateTheGreat's avatar

@rock4ever Actually, knowing @atomicmonkey, that would seriously go down.

rock4ever's avatar

Let me make this clear this question is not just asking who you would let die. It’s deeper and by disobeying the rules ( obvious and unstated one count ) you are ruining the test.
You can not kill the killer because he obviously would have control and I said there is no escape. 2 die. You, the baby, or the child. Please don’t ruin my study!

filmfann's avatar

So, what is the kid doing with the baby?
Man, the cops are gonna have a field day with this happening again.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’d refuse to make a choice.

YoBob's avatar

The two that are most likely to die are the axe murderer and I. In said situation I would definitely go totally ape$hit on the guy, and while it is quite probable that I will be mortally wounded during the encounter I would go down while making every effort to strangle the guy with his own testicles.

atomicmonkey's avatar

Sorry for ruining the study – it’s just how I roll. I’m guessing anyone mad enough to kill a small child and a random baby is definitely bonkers enough to kill himself (in my ingenious loophole scenario.) Plus I really need those 1970s pimp outfits.

You might want to add a “if you refuse to choose, then everybody dies” clause because @Seaofclouds is seriously onto something. What if you just sat there and stared at him, trying to make his brain explode with your mind powers? Eventually, he would simply get bored and leave. Or his mind would explode, surprising everyone except perhaps the random baby who is too inexperienced to know that these things don’t usually happen.

And really… we all know there’s only one foolproof way to conduct this study. You’ll need yourself an axe and a random baby…

Cruiser's avatar

I would drag Hypocrisy Central in the room and make him be one of the hostages for giving you the idea for questions like this!!

ragingloli's avatar

Myself and the random baby, purely out of instinctive pressure and emotional attachment, bzw. the lack thereof in regards to the random baby.
But since there would be, in that situation, a conflict between the instinct of self preservation and the preservation of keeping your offspring alive, I might as well choose the two children. I can make more of those afterwards, after all.

anartist's avatar

The airlines all say “put the oxygen mask on your baby/child first before putting your own on. ”
I see that as a warning to protect the child first while you are still able to do so.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I would refuse to choose by chosing an alternate method… I would attack the ax murderer in hopes of my military training carrying the day. If not, I will be dead and unable to make any decision.

faye's avatar

Me and the child. The baby wouldn’t be scarred for life by the memories. We did a similar thing a while ago.

fundevogel's avatar

EDIT: nevermind I’m incapable of taking unlikely moral tests seriously.

WasCy's avatar


You have that exactly backwards. The airline safety spiels always and without exception tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first. The reason should be obvious; if you fumble while putting on your own, you still have a chance to get it right before you pass out, and then you can still save the child. If you have trouble getting the child’s oxygen mask “just right”, then you’ll pass out and both die.

You should listen to those warnings better next time you fly.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Me and the baby – the baby can’t live without help, so if there’s actually a situation in which I don’t know the baby and there’s no baby guardian around, but there’s still a baby, the baby probably doesn’t have a guardian. But after the age of 4 (?), children are “independent” in that they can find ways to take care of their most basic needs without relying on you – they can go to the bathroom, they can get into a box of crackers and feed themselves, etc. If it’s just the baby, alone, with no one else, the baby will be dead pretty soon as well, anyway. But the kid probably can wander away and look helpless and cute whilst still surviving long enough to find a new guardian.

OP: I know you’re kind of new here, but social is the “casual” section – if you want serious answers only, you need to post it in General to communicate that to other members.

dxs's avatar

that means I have to take back the lurve I gave you! :)

fundevogel's avatar

@dxs I realized late that this was a serious spot of internet. :(

rooeytoo's avatar

WasCy is right, put your own on first. And really if these kids were being held hostage by this crazy person, they would be nut cases for the rest of their lives. So I would spare them that anguish and save myself and I would just have to deal with the PTS syndrome.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Why would we assume that an axe-wielding maniac would keep his word, and not kill everyone?


I’ll be totally honest. I would choose me and the unrelated baby. My child is who I love the most, more than myself and of course more than the baby who’s not related to me. Besides, by allowing my child to live, she/he will be able to pass on my genes to the next generation, ensuring my “survival” that way.

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