Category: Thought Experiments

  • Random ideas for a short story

    fate vs free choice a secret reason a quiet sacrifice betrayal of an old relative flirting with a stranger flirting with an old friend predator vs prey a symbolic object jealousy second language words or phrases specialty jargon animal captivity symbol of good symbol of evil annoy your brother regret a decision choose safety over […]

  • The Most Important Choice of All

    Suppose there is a genie with the power to turn back time to before you were born. She gives you the opportunity to decide who you want to be. Would you choose to be you? If so, does this show that you have a healthy self-esteem, or does it show that you think too highly […]

  • The Next Dr. Frankenstein

    Suppose you are going to make a monster out of body parts robbed from graves. For the monster’s brain, you will use the brain of a dead criminal. Little did you know that this criminal’s last thought before dying was his intention to kill his partner, Hans. Because this thought is still in the brain […]

  • An Island of Your Very Own

    For your birthday, your best friend gives you a lottery ticket. “It may only have cost a dollar,” he says, “but if you win, you will become the sole owner of a beautiful tropic island, along with 1 billion dollars to develop it as you see fit!” And, lucky for you, the ticket wins! As […]

  • The Grandchildren That Never Where

    It is the year 2100. In the year 2090, World War III began. In the year 2095, a biological weapon that destroys the human immune system only was released and used by both sides in the war. As a result, human beings have become extinct. The beautiful parks that the people of the early 21st […]

  • Desert Dessert

    Imagine that you are babysitting a 6-year-old and an 8-year-old. The parents have left some treats for dessert: two bananas, a lollipop, and an ice cream bar. The parents instructions were to allow each child to choose one treat. Unfortunately, both kids want the ice cream bar. How can you distribute the goods fairly? The […]

  • The Pleasure Centers

    Imagine scientists have mapped out the pleasure centers of the brain, so they know exactly which brain cells “fire” when you experience the pleasure associated with eating and drinking, exercise, sex, etc. Suppose further that the scientists can insert electrodes into your brain and stimulate those brain cells in such a way that it feels […]

  • Time Traveling Yourself Out of Existence

    Imagine you’ve been studying the history of warfare in the 20th century. Then you travel back in time to 1939 and tell someone how the Nazis could win World War II. Suppose your information is overheard by someone else who becomes a Nazi general and uses it to actually win World War II for the […]

  • The Mob and the Scapegoat

    On a hot summer evening, Thomas is driving through a central Alberta city where two racially motivated murders have just occurred. Mobs have formed, and it looks as if there will be riots with severe loss of life if nothing is done. The local RCMP sergeant knows the mobs will disperse if they have a […]

  • Just the Way You Are

    Imagine that it is the year 2050 and it has become popular to select children that are tall and have clear skin. Your parents, however, could not afford genetic selection, and you are short and have acne. Imagine further that you are the only person in your neighborhood who is short and has acne. How […]