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 The guilty demon (Posted on 2002-05-29)
As the story goes, Prometheus stole fire from the gods of Olympus and gave it to humans. This made Zeus very angry. Prometheus was told to return the fire by 1:00pm, an order that he defied.

To punish Prometheus for his disobedience, at 1:00 pm, Zeus paused time (he can do this as a god), and conjured up an infinite number of demons. To the first demon he said:
"If Prometheus is still alive at 2:00 pm, kill him!" To the second one he said:
"If Prometheus is still alive at 1:30 pm, kill him!" And to the third:
"If Prometheus is still alive at 1:15 pm, kill him!"

So he kept ordering each of his demons to kill Prometheus in half the time of the demon before. After giving orders to all the demons, Zeus un-paused time again and waited.

At two o'clock, Prometheus was dead, and the council of gods was none too happy about it. They told Zeus:
"Tell us which one of your demons killed Prometheus, so that we may punish him!"

"But none of my demons could possibly have killed Prometheus!" answered Zeus. How can this be?

 Submitted by levik Rating: 4.1875 (16 votes) Solution: (Hide) The reason this is a paradox, is that for any given demon, N, there exists a demon N+1 who would have killed Prometheus earlier. To say that some demon actually did kill the hero is equivalent to saying that there exists a maximum counting number N for which there is no N+1.

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