General Question

niks1112's avatar

You and a friend are victims of kidnapping. The kidnapper tells you that one of you may go free but you are to make the choice. Who goes free? What is your reasoning?

Asked by niks1112 (410points) September 23rd, 2010

simple as the question asks :)

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39 Answers

chels's avatar

Depends on the friend.
Does that make me selfish?

janbb's avatar

Would need a lot more details. Who has children? Who has responsibilities? Who is older? Who is sicker?

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

It depends who the friend is. Generally I would leave myself though, because I think I could work to free them better from the outside than to free myself from the inside. I would always take the most likely path to get us both out alive and unharmed.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I’m free.I told him not to wear that sacrificial lamb suit…no matter how good it makes his ass look ;)

niks1112's avatar

@chels, nop no it doesnt, atleast i dont believe so, cause i would ask myself the same thing.

@janbb, there should be no more information. Just a simple question, no matter who has more or less to live for.

@FireMadeFlesh, I agree with you about not being able to feel free from the inside.

TexasDude's avatar

1. Draw my concealed handgun.

2. Shoot kidnapper.

3. We both go home happy and the kidnapper goes home in a box.

Or alternatively, if what I would actually do isn’t an option, I would let my friend go, because I’m more confident in my own escape and evasion skills than just about any friend I have that would wind up in that situation, and plus, altruism is sexy.

rebbel's avatar

Lets put it this way, after the event i would have one friend less.

Edit: Hrmm, it’s in General, so my answer is that i don’t know.
It all depends on so much details: who is the friend, how old am i, how old is the friend.
Do i have children, does the friend have?
Am i convinced that i can take the kidnapper out easily, can i afford the 100 dollar ransom, etc.

iamthemob's avatar

Yeah, I’m with @lucillelucillelucille – friendship is important to me, but I’m more important to me.

Plus, I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that friend gets out too.

I also would expect any of my friends to act the same way. If they didn’t, and they ended up getting out as well, I would slap them first thing I saw them and tell them, “Don’t you ever do anything that stupid again.”

(PS – I would say this regardless of the personal life of the friend – I don’t care if they have kids, a wife, whatever).

janbb's avatar

@niks1112 For me, the details would matter. I wouldn’t automatically sacrifice myself for anyone but my kids, but I wouldn’t automatically throw a friend under the bus. It would be a reasoned decision and discussion.

Trillian's avatar

My friend goes free, I rescue myself.
I’m resourceful, and any frind of mine is able to mount a retaliatory strike or initiate a diversion. My friends and I are likely to make any kidnapper regret having messed with us.

AmWiser's avatar

Friend! What friend…I’m outta there. But in all seriousness, I hope to never have to make that choice.

Seek's avatar

I don’t negotiate with terrorists. My friend and I are going to gang up and kick his ass, and then we both get away.

Really, what one person kidnaps two people?

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

I’d pick myself to go free. I’d rather be selfish and alive than honorable and (potentially) dead. Sorry, but that’s the truth.

ragingloli's avatar

I have no friends. This question is postulating a physical impossibility and therefore I can not answer it.

TexasDude's avatar

Really, what one person kidnaps two people?

Either a dumbass or a Bond villain, but I repeat myself. +GA

john65pennington's avatar

This situation requires some serious considerations. first, is one person sick? second, is a child involved, third a woman goes first. if both are men and healthy, then the person with the most overall intelligence goes first. why? to give officers as much physical description of the kidnapped situation as possible. like all the basic information inside the building and so forth.

TexasDude's avatar

@john65pennington, good point. Being sure your friend is smart enough to give a good description for the cops would be a smart move.

Seek's avatar

My description (assuming it was myself and @Fiddle_Playing_Creole_Bastard that were kidnapped):

“Hey, officer. The guy right there with the bruised gonads and the bullet holes? It was him.”

TexasDude's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr, the day you and I get kidnapped together is the day a certain kidnapper chooses poorly, haha.

jaytkay's avatar

Really, what one person kidnaps two people?

Richard Speck broke into a dormitory and murdered eight nurses.

grumpyfish's avatar

I would tell the kidnapper that s/he’s free to go.

Seems to be the obvious choice to me =)

JustmeAman's avatar

I don’t think it is something we can decide now nor know how we will act if it does take place. Only then would we know what we would do. Fear changes people and until you are faced with it you don’t know how you would react. Some may do exactly as they say and others will out of fear change it.

Nullo's avatar

Friend. I’ve always wanted to see just how annoying I could be when really pushed, and I expect any friend of mine to have the presence of mind to get a hold of the police.
Of course, if I were to select liberty for myself and then proceed to do horrible things to my captor once freed…Hmm.

asmonet's avatar

I go.

You gotta do what you gotta do. And if it comes down to freedom, life and death… whatever, man I’m gonna choose me. I’m not going to volunteer to remain in danger. Fuck that. I would help obviously in the recovery effort for my friend and I would care about their future, and if it went badly I’m sure there’d be some psychological trauma for me but even that is better than being dead or damaged.

Yeah, I’d run.

Spider's avatar

Aside from the fact that @JustmeAman points out about how you can never really predict a situation, I can tell you what I would want my choice to be:

I refuse to choose. Whether my friend is my 94-year-old grandmother, Michael Vick, or a smart, young woman with her entire life ahead of her. A life is a life, and I am not going to deem one as more important than the other – regardless of the details.

YoBob's avatar

Depends on the friend and the specifics of our captivity. The ultimate goal is for both kidnapping victims to survive. If, for example the other person is one I could trust to mount an effective rescue, then him/her. Otherwise, me.

Of course I like to think that we would have turned the tables on the scumbags long before a rescue operation was necessary.

Cruiser's avatar

I go free as my friend accidentally slipped, fell, hit their head and is out cold for while.

Winters's avatar

I don’t have friends so I guess the kidnapper would never go after me. lol

tragiclikebowie's avatar

If it came to it, I would let my friend go, no question. I am okay with being responsible for my own demise but someone else’s? I would not let someone I care about be in that position if I could be the one to get them out of it. Plus, I am confident that most of my friends would do everything in their power to set me free.

And I have more confidence in myself for keeping a cool head and thinking of creative ways to escape than the bulk of my friends. And usually I have a knife on me.

Seaofclouds's avatar

It would depend on the friend and their ability to survive if they were to stay and I was to go or their ability to get help to save me if they were to go and I was to stay. All things aside, I think the best thing to look at is who would be able to be sure the one left behind get saved is the one that should go. I wouldn’t want to let my friend go if I knew they wouldn’t be able to try to get help for me and get me out of there (such as someone who has a horrible memory or gets lost easily).

ChelseaAsksWhy's avatar

I would let my friend go. If they’re my friend then I trust them. If I trust them then I know that they will do all they can to get me out. And if they fail then it’s a lot easier to get away alone than to have to drag someone else along. I like only having to worry about myself, but I wont just leave a friend.

daytonamisticrip's avatar

My friend would go free. She is my only real friend and no matter what happens i will protect her with my life. I would die before i let her go off by herself in the hands of a stranger.

tedibear's avatar

I would choose whichever one of has the greater ability to get away on their own. Whether it’s to talk their way out of the situation or use other skills to escape, that’s who stays. As well, I want the person who goes free to be able to give complete descriptions of the kidnapper and the area where we were held. If we have equal skills in these areas, I’m letting my friend go. I couldn’t live with the idea of not doing that. Too much guilt afterward.

Winters's avatar

I don’t think that anyone here really can state what decision they’d make unless they’ve already been in said situation. I doubt that everyone here is as selfless as they say they are, no offense intended.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

@Winters I assure you I would be that selfless in that situation.

iamthemob's avatar


How can you guaranty that? (this is not meant to be confrontational – I just agree with @Winters that it’s impossible to know how selfless you’ll be until faced with the actual situation.)

daytonamisticrip's avatar

I know for a fact that i would let my friend go instead of me because I have already been in situations where it was her getting hurt or me getting hurt and not for a second did the thought cross my mind to let her get hurt.

JustmeAman's avatar


Getting hurt and dying are two different things and until one faces that we really don’t know. I would hope that I could pick myself because I have done things many times to help a friend from being hurt.

Tomfafa's avatar

I go… my ex-friend stays.

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