# mamert comments on The Parable of the Dagger

• Breaking #24 of the Evil Overlord List makes me wince, too, even if it’s a jester doing it. Not sure if that’s the main point, though, but then, none of the proposed explanation for how the king could pull his “riddle” off without at any point lying feel entirely right to me, so, unless someone offers to help me, I shall have to take your advice and not let myself get entangled in the “complex and detailed logic”, when the answer might as well be “BS”.

• There’s a lot of value in that. Sometimes it’s best not to go down the rabbit hole.

Whatever the technicalities might be, the jester definitely followed the normal, reasonable rules of this kind of puzzle, and by those rules he got the right answer. The king set it up that way, and set the jester up to fail.

If he’d done it to teach the jester a valuable lesson about the difference between abstract logic and real life, then it might have been justified. But he’s going to have the jester executed, so that argument disappears.

I think we can all agree, The King is definitely a dick.

• I’ll somewhat echo what CynicalOptimist wrote. I think the message is is one any first semester logic student should have been taught or know: a valid argument is not necessarily true. The validity of an argument’s conclusion is all about form of the argument. The truth of the conclusion is an external fact existing completely independent from the argument’s structure.

• I’m trying to stay levelheaded about King Richard. What I meant was that there seems to be extraneous details here—about the order things were done in, first inscribe (“key is here”, on an empty(?) box), then put dagger in, or that it was written, not spoken. Many comments only enforce the importance of that.

The “real” answer seems to be one that effectively makes all kinds of communication useless, and what I’ve spent so much time on was trying to pin down the borders of this insanity, some marker saying “abstract logic application to real life* not allowed past this point”.

*) the use of physical boxes binding the riddle to “real life”