Who was the murderer? 24 replies

Please wait...

Rich19

Italicised no more

50 XP

14th August 2004

0 Uploads

4,058 Posts

0 Threads

#1 11 years ago

I came across this (fictional) story in an old book I have on logic. The story concerns a caravan going through the Sahara desert. Our three characters, A, B and C, decided to pitch tents for the night.

A hated C and decided to murder him by putting poison in C's water canteen (his only source of water). Quite independently of this, B also decided to murder C, but by a different method. Not realising that C's water was already poisoned, B drilled a small hole in C's canteen so the water slowly leaked out. As a result, C died of thirst a few days later.

The question is, who was the murderer? A or B? There are many arguments for either side... Which do you think is correct?




Free

Night Life Minister

50 XP

6th May 2003

0 Uploads

2,208 Posts

0 Threads

#2 11 years ago

Let' s say that A is the murderer. Then B would have been the one who actually saved C. If we don' t count the fact that he killed him. But again, C died of natural causes. So no one is the murderer. Thank you, your honor...




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#3 11 years ago

The answer is in the last line. He died of thirst. Therefore B is the murderer.




Rich19

Italicised no more

50 XP

14th August 2004

0 Uploads

4,058 Posts

0 Threads

#4 11 years ago
Afterburner;3648735The answer is in the last line. He died of thirst. Therefore B is the murderer.

Ah, but from the moment A put the poison in the canteen, C was doomed (as A cut off all possibly water supplies). B's drilling actually prolonged C's life, as death by poisoning is quicker than death by thirst. B's actions had absolutely no effect on the outcome - C's death.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#5 11 years ago
Rich19;3648746Ah, but from the moment A put the poison in the canteen, C was doomed (as A cut off all possibly water supplies). B's drilling actually prolonged C's life, as death by poisoning is quicker than death by thirst. B's actions had absolutely no effect on the outcome - C's death.

That's ridiculous. C died because of B, so B is the murderer. The poison is not what killed C.

If someone poisoned you, and than someone else blew your head off with a gun, who killed you? The answer is obvious.




Rich19

Italicised no more

50 XP

14th August 2004

0 Uploads

4,058 Posts

0 Threads

#6 11 years ago

Afterburner;3648749That's ridiculous. C died because of B, so B is the murderer. The poison is not what killed C.

If someone poisoned you, and than someone else blew your head off with a gun, who killed you? The answer is obvious.

Stopping someone drinking poisoned water is by no means murder, though.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#7 11 years ago

But you still killed them. If you kill someone after accidentally saving them you are still killing them.




Rich19

Italicised no more

50 XP

14th August 2004

0 Uploads

4,058 Posts

0 Threads

#8 11 years ago

I don't think there is a real answer. It's interesting that you can view the problem from several angles - moral, legal and scientific (looking at causation, specifically).




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#9 11 years ago
Rich19;3648779I don't think there is a real answer. It's interesting that you can view the problem from several angles - moral, legal and scientific (looking at causation, specifically).

Ok so let's do all three.

Moral- Both attempted to kill the man, which I think makes them equally bad morally.

Legal- Person B ultimately killed the man, and person A could only be brought up on attempted murder charges. So person B would legally be considered the man who killed C, assuming anyone ever found out he drilled the hole of course.

Scientific- Person B saved the man by removing the poisoned source of water. But by removing that source of water he later killed the man. So therefor B is the murderer.

Any way you slice it, B is the murderer.




Rich19

Italicised no more

50 XP

14th August 2004

0 Uploads

4,058 Posts

0 Threads

#10 11 years ago

Afterburner;3648785Ok so let's do all three.

Moral- Both attempted to kill the man, which I think makes them equally bad morally.

Legal- Person B ultimately killed the man, and person A could only be brought up on attempted murder charges. So person B would legally be considered the man who killed C, assuming anyone ever found out he drilled the hole of course.

Scientific- Person B saved the man by removing the poisoned source of water. But by removing that source of water he later killed the man. So therefor B is the murderer.

Any way you slice it, B is the murderer.

Well, I make it this:

Moral - They are equally guilty.

Legal - B ultimately killed C

Causal - C was doomed when A poisoned the water. B's actions had no effect on the eventual outcome.