The Hardest Logic Puzzle ever

What is logic? Why is it important? We at LSS think that logic is the ability to create chains of linked thoughts in a way that the links between them are strong. If A=B and B=C, you can be confident that A=C. When it is used on conjunction with observable facts it’s pretty powerful, giving us satellites, antibiotics, computers, and understandings of things like photosynthesis, star formation and other interesting things which were unknown to previous generations. When it is not used, you get things like climate change denial, opposition to vaccines, celebrity magazines, and all manner of strange and lethal political and religious beliefs.

Now we at LSS know that our intelligent and curious readership like nothing better than a good logical puzzle. So, courtesy of Brian Gallagher of Nautilus, we are proud to offer you the hardest logical puzzle ever. But don’t worry- it comes in step by step guides, with lots of sub puzzles. So you can read as far as you want, solve the puzzles, take your time, and if you finally get fed up, move down to the solution at the end. Here’s the puzzle, courtesy of Professors Raymond Smullyan and George Boolos.

Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, True, False, and Random. True always speaks truly, False always speaks falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language, in which the words for “yes” and “no” are “da” and “ja,” in some order. You do not know which word means which.

We at LSS don’t think pure logic will solve all our problems. But we do think it should be taught a lot more in schools. Because the consequences of illogic can be found today, burning, throughout the world.

we thank Mr Peter Seymour of Hertfordshire for this post

#locic #reason #criticalthinking #climatechange

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