The Crocodile’s Dilemma | paradox |
A crocodile, who has stolen a child, promises the father that his child will be returned if, and only if, he can correctly predict whether or not the crocodile will, in fact, return the child. If the father correctly guesses that the child will be returned, the transaction will go without a hitch.
But a dilemma could arise for the crocodile if the father guesses that his child will not be returned.
If, in that case, the crocodile decides to keep the child, he violates his own terms; the father’s prediction is correct, the child should be returned. However, if the crocodile then decides to return the child, he is still in violation of his terms, the father’s prediction is falsified, and the child should not be returned.
There is no justifiable solution.