You’re in a room with a king, a rich man, and a priest. Each orders you to kill the other two, and you’re the only one with a weapon. Who…

You're in a room with a king, a rich man, and a priest. Each orders you to kill the other two, an… by Abhimanyu Sood

Answer by Abhimanyu Sood:

I just love this question. I fucking love it. What’s so beautiful about this question is that it cannot be answered by analyzing what is given. Rather, the answer can only be found by analyzing what is hidden behind these black lines!

Let’s begin, shall we?

First of all, it’s safe to assume that the three designations described – the king, the priest, and the rich man are the three highest positions of power in the empire. Now, since I am the sword-wielder, I choose to be an ambitious one. And if I am ambitious, I would want one of these three positions for myself!

It’s evident that I’ll kill two of the three and spare one. So, instead of concentrating on what is to be lost by killing a particular person, let’s analyze what is to be gained by letting a particular person live.

Case 1) The king lives.

In this case, I kill both the rich man and the priest. What can the king do for me? The answer is clear – He can make me very very rich. But he cannot make me the priest. (The priest has to command the respect and devotion of the people, something a king cannot buy or order.)

Case 2) The priest lives.

Here, I kill the king and the rich man. Once again, I ask – What can the priest give me? He cannot make me rich. Most of the priests themselves choose to live a life of poverty (Remember High Sparrow?) But the priest can easily make me the king. He holds that much power over people, as is evident throughout our history (Again, remember High Sparrow?)

Case 3) The rich man lives.

I kill the king and the priest. Now, what can the rich man offer me? He can neither make me the king, nor make me the priest. Both of those positions require people’s will, acceptance and devotion; and that is something you cannot buy with money.


So, it is evident that the rich man is the most useless of all. He has nothing to offer to me. I kill him immediately.

Now, the king and the priest remain. The king can make you rich, and the priest can make you king. (Case 1 and 2)

So, it’s just a matter of the exact nature the sword-wielder’s ambition takes. Does he crave wealth or power? If he craves power, then he must kill the king. And if he craves riches, then he must kill the priest.

For me, personally, power is much more important than money. So, if you make me the sword-wielder, I’ll first kill the rich man. Then, when it’s just between the king and the priest, I’ll strike a deal with the priest that if I spare him, he has to make me the king with his support.

Then I’ll stab the king.

Boo ya!

Oops, I mean…

QED

You're in a room with a king, a rich man, and a priest. Each orders you to kill the other two, and you're the only one with a weapon. Who…

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