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Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:48 pm
by comperr
For those of you who don't know
wikipedia wrote:Schrödinger's Cat: A cat, along with a flask containing a poison, is placed in a sealed box shielded against environmentally induced quantum decoherence. The flask is shattered, releasing the poison if a Geiger counter detects radiation. Quantum mechanics suggests that after a while the cat is simultaneously alive and dead, in a quantum superposition of coexisting alive and dead states. Yet when we look in the box we expect to see the cat either alive or dead, not a mixture of alive and dead.


Lets assume instead of a cat we have a human. And a person (Bob) places another human (Alice) inside the box and seals the box close. Some time later Charles opens the box and sees Alice dead.

Who should responsible for the murder?

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:52 pm
by Domevlo
I'd have to go with Bob, because usually we prosecute the people that create the potentially murderous situations, rather than the people who discover them.

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:54 pm
by MastaChuck
well she was both alive and dead untill charles opened the box, maybe that means he half killed her :roll:

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:09 pm
by comperr
Domevlo wrote:I'd have to go with Bob, because usually we prosecute the people that create the potentially murderous situations, rather than the people who discover them.

What if he claimed that he was going to discover a way to open the box such that Alice would be alive. In that case it would be Charles that killed Alice, not Bob.

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:15 am
by Domevlo
comperr wrote:What if he claimed that he was going to discover a way to open the box such that Alice would be alive. In that case it would be Charles that killed Alice, not Bob.

Well did he claim that?

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:33 pm
by comperr
lets say he did - what would you say?

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 11:01 am
by OneArrow
comperr wrote:lets say he did - what would you say?


I'd say that they are both responsible - Bob for creating the situation that he knew could kill Alice, and Charles for accidentally "pulling the trigger," so-to-speak. Intent goes a long way in determining sentence, but it does not absolve one from reality.

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:57 pm
by thedotmaster
If you see someone hanging by their fingernails off a cliff, about to fall, and there is a rope and a large rock so you could get them up, but you decide not to, and you let them fall - is that murder?

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:28 pm
by OneArrow
thedotmaster wrote:If you see someone hanging by their fingernails off a cliff, about to fall, and there is a rope and a large rock so you could get them up, but you decide not to, and you let them fall - is that murder?


Depends, did you put them in that situation in the first place?

Re: Schrödinger's Cat and Murder

PostPosted: Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:31 am
by thedotmaster
OneArrow wrote:Depends, did you put them in that situation in the first place?

No, but you could very easily - at no risk to yourself - get them out of that situation.