A Philosopher’s Conundrum


A melodious jangle from the shapely clock on the mantel piece alerted Joanne to the fact that precious time was ticking away. It was close to an hour since Mervyn had challenged her with the puzzle.

The world of 2084 allows customers to choose between two forms of self driven space pods. While the “Utilitarian” would sacrifice its owner in the event of an accident to save others, the “Egobot” would do exactly the opposite. The Egobot would crush everyone in its wake to save the owner.

If every potential customer chose the Egobot, would the world end?


This story was written as part of the FRIDAY FICTIONEERS challenge, more about which may be found HERE

For the complete list of entries, please click HERE 

The credit for the breathtaking photograph goes to J Hardy Carroll 


31 thoughts on “A Philosopher’s Conundrum

  1. How would these pods identify who is the owner? What if a glitch kills the wrong person? If everyone chose egobot, the owner would survive, would he not? So world may not end.


  2. You’ve shown great ingenuity in this piece, by writing the story in the form of a timed puzzle. It’s an allegory for the way mankind is treating the planet. I hope it succeeds in making readers think, and I hope it is spread widely. Good writing!


  3. If society ever got to that point I’d opt out of my choice. I can’t willingly select Utilitarian and not feel anxious when I’m on the road, and if I picked Egobot I’d feel the same. Especially around school buses and ambulances. Just flip a coin and don’t let me see the results.

    Great story man, it really got me thinking


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