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Debate Score:19
Total Votes:22
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 Thought experiment on killing (17)

Debate Creator

Amarel(4207) pic

Thought experiment on killing

Imagine a magical scenario wherein everyone in the world gets the ability to kill anyone else immediately and surely by simply looking at the target and thinking some specific magical words while having intent. What would happen to the world? 

Also imagine that when a person kills in this manner, their action and the identity of the victim are known to all others on sight. Meaning anyone who sees you will immidiately know what you did and to whom. How would this change what happens to the world?
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1 point

That's probably already happening on Central African Republic.

1 point

Hello A:


If everybody I came across knew that I was a murderer, I'd just look at them. But, let's go back to the beginning..

Even IF I'd be AGAINST using that power, and I WOULD be, I'd be FORCED to use it, or die.. Clearly, I HAVE enemy's.. So, we'd be reduced down to the fastest lookers.. Slow lookers are DEAD.. I'm a pretty fast looker, so I'd survive.. Unless somebody looks at me from the back.. Hopefully, there'd be some rules built in to look killing.. Seems like looking at someone from the back would be so unfair.

Anyway, where was I?? Oh yeah.. If everybody KNEW that I was a murdering looker, I suppose that'd mean everybody was looking for me, so they could look at me. Hopefully, I'd look at them first..


outlaw60(13485) Disputed Banned
1 point

Murders need to go to jail but as Progressives view things murders are not a problem.

You are an Idiot

Amarel(4207) Clarified
1 point

I'd be FORCED to use it, or die..

The flip side of this is that you would have to refrain from using it because someone will surely kill you for it.

If everybody KNEW that I was a murdering looker, I suppose that'd mean everybody was looking for me, so they could look at me.

People would always be on the lookout for someone who used it. But not wanting the stigma themselves, they would report it. Then it can be sorted out if someone look/killed in self-defense. Eventually, people wouldn't use it at all because the threat of look/death is too great. People likely wouldn't act in ways that could provoke look/death either. With equal threat of violence from all, I think the long term outcome would be peace.

excon(9674) Disputed
1 point

Hello again A,

Can I borrow your rose-colored glasses?


1 point

If a society like this came into being after an initial period of readjustment laws would be introduced and one would be prosecuted and held responsible for their actions .

Maybe society would improve because if your crimes were known to everyone on sight surely crime rates would plummet as one would be shunned from getting employment, a spouse , forming friendships etc , etc .......then again it might set up a second society within society with muderers setting up there own society that would enable them to mingle with their own

It’s an intriguing question

Amarel(4207) Clarified
1 point

I think after a period of extreme violence, violent crime would essentially disappear. No one will want to assault anyone with the threat of instantaneous death as a possibility. Furthermore, murder will almost cease since it will be so easy for someone to take the life of the murderer in retribution.

1 point

Is this a question you came up with yourself as I’ve never heard it put forward before ?

1 point

So... Deathnote without the Deathnote.

I suspect that the pro-sociality and self-preservation instincts of most people would kick in, such that using the power would effectively be an automatic death sentence with social coercion operating as a generally effective deterrent.

But I could be wrong and we could all kill each other off except for a few highly isolated and paranoid lunatics.

Amarel(4207) Clarified
1 point

I expect you're right in the long run. Quite a few people would kill each other at first, and then kill each other in retribution. Eventually people would get their heads on straight and recognize the mutually assured destruction game at play. In the long run, the world would be a much more peaceful place with everyone having equal power to kill.

Jace(4696) Clarified
1 point

I imagine it would be more immediate than that, and I don't think it would ultimately culminate in a more peaceable place (particularly if involuntary or half-hearted intent is sufficient). Collectivist oriented sanction is already a powerful interpersonal force, and this would only make it stronger. Whereas killing with ease is already generally an option in most cases I'd say.

1)I think the ones who can think to an extent will realize that their existence depends on the existence of a society and hence we shouldn't generally see massacres.

2)If we do have a murderer, anyone who knows so will try to eliminate the murderer just cause of the fear of being killed(not always though, but sure is a possibility) and if the person chooses to kill the murderer, would end up becoming a murderer and there is a chance this cycle could go on.

3)As of the above point, it's a possibility provided that there aren't ways to contain murderers. Which brings me to the point where people would gather around and find better ways to stay alive by doing things necessary to not let people kill anyone randomly. A suggestion could be making the murderer blind.

4)If seeing someone and killing them is also applied to people seeing through cameras, warfare just got an update.

It all comes down to what percentage of the population cares about the bigger picture of surviving as a species..

0 points

Sorry but I think #2 will describe the pro death penalties 😏

beastforever(539) Clarified
1 point

Sorry but I think #2 will describe the pro death penalties 😏

seems totally irrelevant..

1 point

We would all be dead within a week, I reckon. Hate is universal.

Amarel(4207) Clarified
1 point

Hate is universal.

As widespread as hate may be, self-preservation is a more prevalent phenomenon. While a fair portion of short sighted individuals would be dead in a week, most others would figure out the dilemma fairly quickly.

seanB(545) Disputed
1 point

You can't exactly self-preserve if any hateful moron can take your life with a glance.