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A Philosophical Fable

May 22, 2012

Compromise

Once upon a time two boys found a cake. One of them said: “Splendid! I will eat the cake.” The other one said: “No, that is not fair! We found the cake together, and we should share and share alike; half for you and half for me.” The first boy said, “No, I should have the whole cake!” The second said, “No, we should share and share alike; half for you and half for me.” The first said, “No, I want the whole cake.” The second said, “No, let us share it half and half.” Along came an adult who said: “Gentlemen, you shouldn’t fight about this; you should compromise. Give him three quarters of the cake.”

This is from Raymond Smullyan’s This Book Needs No Title: A Budget of Living Paradoxes. It will be Smullyan’s 93rd birthday on Friday, the 25th of May. I hope he finds a cake.

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