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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

The choice of a possible criminal over an innocent student which would you do?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) July 29th, 2010

What would you do if faced with this choice? Now people always say what they will or will not do in a given situation especially when it means life or death to them or another person. There was this movie “The Box” where you had a choice to make; push the button and get $1,000,000 dollars but someone in the world you don’t know will die as a result of it. Many say they would not do it but some secretly want to or would.

Taking that idea what would you do if you were hustled into the back of a cargo van with no windows at gun point. You were let out in what looks to be a warehouse. 3 men with assault machine pistols are standing behind you. A man places a pistol with a single bullet in your hand. He tells you if you point it at any direction other than in front of you the 3 men will cut you down. 15 yards in front of you against a wall with high intensity lights on them so they cannot see you but you can see them 6 men were marched in. The man who gave you the gun told you that to leave the place you are at you have to shoot one of the 6 men. He tells you that 4 of the men are guilty of murder, molestation, terrorism, rape, etc, but 2 of the men were just hustled up just like you, they did nothing. You do not get a hint of who is who. They all beefy with tattoos, 2 are Latino, 2 are white, one Black and one Asian. If you refuse to shoot the man tells you that school is about to release in your neighborhood and a sniper’s bullet will fall one of the students to take the place of the guy you didn’t shoot. The man also tells you that you have 20 minutes to decide who gets the bullet in the pistol you hold in your hand. Once you pop one of the guys along the wall, you will be handed $5,000,000 cash and the keys to a new Jag and be free to drive yourself back home. You won’t know if you shot one of the guitly or one of the innocent guys until 6 months later by annonymous mail. Just what do you do? Do you blast one of the guys hoping you got one who actually committed a terrible crime, against all odds try escape, refuse and hope he is bluffing, do you turn the gun on yourself?

Disclaimer No person were actually threatened in this question it is all conjecture

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25 Answers

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

1. No one deserves to be murdered, guilty or not.
2. If someone held me to gunpoint, chances are I would be too distracted to comprehend such a complex situation.
3. I would only ever kill someone if it appeared that they may kill me.
4. The aggressors in this situation have nothing to gain from having me shoot a person instead of doing it themselves, so it would be highly suspicious and I would be tempted to not shoot just to see what happened next.

ragingloli's avatar

Having played too many computer games, here is what I would try:
– Quickly move behind one of the machine postoliers and use him as a human shield.
– Take his machine pistol and kill the two others.
– knock out my shield
– coerce the mystery guy at gunpoint to call off the sniper (if he refuses, knock him out and call the cops with the mystery guy’s phone that he would no doubt have to contact the sniper)

That is the gamble I would like to take.

CMaz's avatar

Easy enough, I would pull the trigger and go home.

Seek's avatar

So, theoretically, I could shoot one of the dudes in the thick of his thigh, or wing him, and we’d all go home relatively happy? I mean, the one I did shoot will have a month of Vicodin and a scar with a really cool story, and I’d have my life and a ton of cash. So there you go.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I am Christian so its sin to kill someone and sin to commit suicide. I would feel terrible if a child had to die. I would turn the gun on the men behind me and except death so no one dies as a result of my actions.

Austinlad's avatar

Probably not the kind of answer you’re looking for, but I would never know what I’d do in one of these weird what-if scenarios until it happened.

lillycoyote's avatar

Sorry, I don’t really like these kind of “philosophical games.” But, if and when I ever find myself in the situation you describe I will let you know what I ended up doing.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

None of the above. I’d tell them that I refuse to play their fucked up game. Whatever action they take at this point is none of my moral responsibility. The first sentry who levels a weapon at me gets my one round in the head, self-defense. Valhalla time.

Herolegion's avatar

like @Austinlad said, it’s impossible to say what I’d do in these kind of situations unless it’s really happening.

but with that said, my gut feeling will be that I’ll just pull the trigger and be done with it.

Life is cruel.

tinyfaery's avatar

I’d just shoot myself.

perspicacious's avatar

I would try very hard to wake up.

escapedone7's avatar

I’m not sure. . Knowing the way I am I would probably just stand there until they shot me. If I DID ever find it in me to shoot anyone in that entire room, it would be the man who apparently orchestrated that a school child would die, most likely the grandiose butthead doing the talking that handed me the gun and said I had to shoot somebody. I’d be like wow that was dumb of you and shoot him. I don’t think anyone in the room deserves to die more than him. I would accept my death and whatever others came at their hands, but I’d have at least taken out Doctor Evil. That is the ending I would prefer. Really I’d probably just stand there and mouth off. I don’t really know if I could actually shoot anyone.

Afos22's avatar

I would shoot one at random, collect my 5,000,000 dollars, and my life. When the mail came I would rip it up before ever opening it.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Austinlad Actually I think you have one of the most honest and logical answers next to @ChazMaz however, he did not say how he would come up with who to shoot because I would think I could just pop one of the guys and collect the money and Jag and go home happy. That my chances of getting a guilty man was at least 75% so more than likely the person who got the bullet would have done something, but standing there looking at some men with their backs to the wall and a bright light in their face not knowing what is about to befall them, I don’t know if I actually could. Self-preservation is a strange thing, those who say they would never might think different if their life were actually on the line or they were convinced some innocent student would take one to the head by their refusal.

@Seek_Kolinahr ” So, theoretically, I could shoot one of the dudes in the thick of his thigh, or wing him, and we’d all go home relatively happy?” In a perfect world but what if in the “spirit” of the “assignment” he loaded one more round and told you “Great start not finish the job” would that then change your decision at all? I have to watch out for you, your mind thinks of too many variables and technicalities like mine.

@Afos22 How would you choose you gets it? Iny miny miney mo? Age, who looked the younges or oldest, who as the fattest, who had more tattoos?

Afos22's avatar

“Iny miny miney mo”

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

Actually, they would have had to kill me in order to stuff me into that cargo van. The firefight would have begun at the instant of their abduction attempt.

CMaz's avatar

“however, he did not say how he would come up with who to shoot ”
Simplistically, I did. Don’t make it more difficult then it is.

Lift the gun, pull the trigger. Whoever goes down, goes down.
And, I go home.

Afos22's avatar

I am pretty much saying the same thing as chaz.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@ChazMaz Just level the pistol, drop one, stick out your hand and say “Cash and keys please”? Har har har Glad I would not be in the line up.

Seek's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

If that happened, I would know he had no intention of following through with any of his promises – at least not the positive ones. The original rules implied one bullet, one shot, all done. Now that’s changing. All bets are off. I’d tell him he has to the count of three to release me or shoot me, because the next bullet has his name on it.

Zaku's avatar

What’s missing in the question is the non-verbal communication, and the ability to read people by body language, their tone of voice, etc. And, whether I can get anywhere with conversation during the 20 minutes as far as questioning the guy in charge, or failing that, the targets, or even sizing up the guards behind me. Those things would greatly influence my choice.

It’s pretty clearly a personality test. Why someone would choose to test me that way would be the interesting thing, but the context here on Fluther makes it clear it’s just an anonymous logic or philosophy question. i.e. I know the questioner doesn’t know me, and no one has an actual personality or real circumstances in this problem.

If forced to treat it as a logic problem, the circumstances and math make it fairly easy for me, though, but it’s clear there is not enough information for an informed choice. I’d pick one of the folks ahead that I got the worst vibe from, and possibly aim to barely miss them, or shoot them in a non-lethal way (e.g. top of the shoulder).

Pandora's avatar

Sure I would shoot. I’m a lousy shot and would probably just hit someone in the leg. If I’m lucky the shot will sling back and hit the bastard who wants to kill people.
Or I’ll just shoot him. He wanted me to kill a criminal. In my eyes he would be one.

Jabe73's avatar

Just pray, shoot and take the prize. Its a no win scenerio no matter what you do here. Someone innocent will most certainly die even if you kill yourself or refuse to shoot.

SVTSuzie's avatar

Sounds too complicated. I saw the movie though.

Justice13's avatar

I agree to do it for free, and only if I get to tear both of them apart and then eat them, and then do it. Then I’d laugh at the looks on their faces.

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