You are given the power to kill people simply by thinking of their deaths and twice repeating the word “good-bye.” People would die a natural death and no one would suspect you. Are there any situations in which you would use this power?
That’s a horrible power. Unless you’re some kind of super-villain. Personally, I don’t think I could handle the effect that using that power would have on my conscience. Sure, it would look like a natural death and no one would know that I killed someone with my mind, but I would know. I can’t imagine any situation in which it would be okay for me to become a murderer.
And what about the implications of accidentally using that power? I mean, I guess the part where you have to say “good-bye” twice is supposed to provide you with a fail safe. But what if you get into an argument with someone and, in the heat of the moment, wish they were dead. You probably don’t mean it, but people say things they don’t mean out of anger all the time. And what if you’re just joking around? Scenario: you’re on the phone with a friend. He says he’s gonna tell that girl from chem lab that you have a thing for her. You tell him not to… “Don’t do it, dude. Seriously, I’m gonna kill you.” You don’t really mean you’re gonna kill him. You’re just messing around. It’s hyperbole, right? Then the conversation is coming to an end. Your cell signal isn’t great, so you say good-bye. He doesn’t hear you clearly and asks what you just said. So you repeat it. And then your friend is dead.
No. I don’t want this power.
*The Question of the Week can be found in The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.