The following is a paradox first introduced by Robert Nozick in his book The Nature Of Rationality. This paradox is a paradox of decision. Unlike most paradoxes which arise in either mathematics, epistemology, or metaphysics, this paradox develops when one asks, in this case, what aught person X do? Here is the problem:
Imagine before you are two boxes. One box is transparent, while the other is not. In box one there contains $1,000 dollars; box two either contains $1,000,000 or is empty. Moreover, there is a highly reliable predictor who has predicted you actions. Moreover, assume he is correct in his predictions 95% of the time. You also know that you can either take both boxes, or just box 2. You also know the following two conditionals:
(i) if the predictor predicted that I take both boxes, he would have left the second box empty.
(ii) if the predictor predicted I would only take box two, he would put the $1,000,000 in it.
the question is, do you two-box or one-box?
Argument for Two-Boxing
(1) either the predictor put $1,000,000 dollars in box two, or he left it empty [LEM]
(2) Assume he put $1,000,000 in box two
(3) If (3) is correct, then it would be most rational to take both boxes, for then I would have $1,001,000 instead of just $1,000,000.
(4) assume left box two empty
(5) If (4) is correct, then it would be most rational to take both boxes.
Ergo, either way, I achieve the maximum payout by taking both boxes.
Argument for One-Boxing
(1) The predictor is very reliable
(2) If I were to pick both boxes, the predictor would have left box two empty (with all probability)
(3) If i were to pick only box two, then the predictor would have put $1,000,000 in it.
Ergo, it is most rational to only take one box
Alright, solve the problem people!
I would one-box...and I will justify that after I hear some possible solutions to this paradox.
"In the high school halls, in the shopping malls, conform or be cast out" ~ Rush, from Subdivisions