Saturday, October 07, 2006

A riddle

Imagine you've died and awoken in a room with 2 doors. One of the doors leads to heaven and the other leads to hell. Neither door is marked. A guard stands next to each door. One of the guards always tells the truth and the other always lies. You are permitted to ask only one question to one of the guards before choosing a door to go through. What is the one question you could ask to be sure that you will know which door leads to heaven?

15 comments:

Ed said...

You could ask either guard a question that you know the answer too. If the guard lies to you then he is guarding the door to hell if the guard tells you the truth he is in front of the one to heaven.

Spider said...

You ask "If I asked the other guard which door leads to heaven, what answer wouldhe give me?" - this is a good one - had not thought of this one in years...

Jess said...

Couldn't I just use a Taser gun on both of them and then peek behind the doors once they're unconscious? Or would that be cheating? :)

Rebekah said...

ow.

Too early in the morning for this. My head hurts.

Lemuel said...

I thinks Spider's got it. It's been a long time since I heard this one, too. It reminds me of my logic course 40 years ago.

Did I ever tell you how I hated my logic course?


(LOL!)

Chunks said...

I googled this to see if I could find the answer and I didn't. I found a lot of wrong answers though.

I would ask if my eyes were blue. They are. The liar would say they weren't and the honest one would say they were, so that would be how I would find the door.

I wouldn't really care though, heaven or hell? Whatever. I probably wouldn't know anyone in heaven, since all my friends would be in hell...hahhahahahahahah!!!

Polt said...

If the guards are cute, I might just spend eternity there with them having all kinds of decadent fun.

Or is that not an option?

mainja said...

can you ask each guard a question (a total of two questions) or is there only one question between the two?

i know i've heard this one, but i don't remember the answer and if you can only ask a total of one question then i'm not really clear on how spider or ed's answers work.

of course, i've been a bit braindead of late so it's not really a surprise.

mainja said...

okay, wait, never mind, i get it. spider's got it. one question between the two.

A is the liar
B is the truth teller

If asked which door it is A would say left, which would be a lie. B would say right, which would be the truth.

If asked what would the other person say
A would say that B would say left (because A is a lying bitch)
B would say that A would say that B would say left (because she knows that A is a lying bitch), so you know to take right.

Ed said...

How do you know A is the lying Bitch? My way if you ask either one are my eyes green, if the one says no, then he would be the liar. If he says yes then he is telling the truth. This is of course assuming God would not have a liar guarding the gate to heaven.

toobusyliving said...

Am I even sure about wanting to go to Heaven?

Em said...

I hate this thing. I never get it. I know that Spider and mainja have the correct answer, but I never understand how you would know which door because you still don't know if the person is lying or not. Oh, I'm just lame.

But the thing is, if one of the guards were terrible and fierce and frightening, that would be the door to heaven because you have to learn how to not be afraid of the guard and then they can't touch you and poof, you are in and it isn't a nasty place with a bunch of self righteous jerks. That's what Joeseph Cambell says anyway.

mainja said...

ed, i was just being silly, it could as easily be a 'fibbing angel'. basically with the "what would the other guard say" question you will never find out which one lies, but you will find out which door it is, because they will both say that the other person would say left, so you know to take right. you have to continue on to your jouney not knowing which one lied, but perhaps the idea is that heaven would distract you from that particular mystery.

the problem with asking about something you know the answer to is that you only have one question, and you don't know which guard is guarding the door to heaven, and which one is guarding the door to hell. so, now you know which one lies, but you're out of questions and you still don't know which door is which.

Patricia said...

riddles, story problems. they both give me hives. it's like hearing if a train leaves boston going 75 miles an hour...

Anonymous said...

you ask one guard what the other door the other guard would take. and then take the opposite door that the guard says. because the guy who lies would point to the opposite door that the guy who tells the truth. and the guy who tells the truth would show the door that the guy who lied from.

:)