A Genie question

Here’s the scenario-
You find a Genie who offers you one wish. However, you do not get to choose the wish; Instead, the Genie will look into your mind and grant the wish that you would make if you truly knew your own desires and were completely honest. In short, you probably will not get what you think you want, but you will most definitely want what you get.

Do you take the offer?

Sure, I can’t see much of a downside…

I’m not seeing the downside. If I will want what I get, why would I refuse?

If you asked me, I would say millions of dollars or something like that, but what I probably really want is to not have to worry about my children’s futures. If the genie could take care of seeing to that I would be very pleased.

Except what if the genie interprets your wanting not to have to worry about your children’s futures by arranging for their immediate deaths?

Hmm, damned interesting question.

Do you get to find out what the wish was for? Just having a genie that could tell me my greatest desire would be fascinating in its own way. Or would I have the wish granted without knowing what it was; maybe that job offer I got the following week was magic, or was it just a coincidence?

I think I’d go for it in any case, but the question does offer up some intriguing possibilities.

You will want what you get. If your children’s deaths isn’t what you want, the genie won’t grant it.

I would because I’m near certain I know what I want more than anything else in the universe.

You’re either being sarcastic, or you haven’t read enough fantasy literature.

Have something look into my head and grant my deepest desires without my conscious control? Are you NUTS?
Haven’t you people seen Forbidden Planet?

Or the *Outer Limits * episode “The Man with the Power”?

Well, sure, but the question as asked doesn’t seem to have any downside unless you’re worried that your most secret desire is to murder your wife. Since I’m certain that’s not the case, I’d be crazy to turn down the fulfillment of my greatest desire.

Therefore, monkeying with the premise of the OP makes the discussion more enjoyable.

Amazon gift card for you too, eh?

Ayup. This ain’t The Monkey’s Paw.

i’d take 1 conscious wish over 3 subconscious wishes

So what you’re saying is we don’t always get what we want, but we get what we need?


I’ve played enough D&D to understand that the surest way to destroy someone is to grant their deepest wish. Preferably in the most perverse and destructive way possible. Because any fictive entity with the power to grant wishes is unlikely to be a particularly nice fictive entity. At the very best, finicky, literal-minded, and completely rules-lawyer-y.

If you try sometimes then you might find that.

Genies always screw you over, and you should always be careful what you wish for.

I’d be amazed if I didn’t end up with ten million dollars in this scenario. I think my true desires are pretty easy to figure out. This idea that “you don’t know your deepest desire” is bollocks in my case. Screw you, Freud. It’s cash, OK? It’ll be cash. But the cash would turn out to be lifted from the nearest bank, and the police would be knocking on my door. That’s how genies operate.

I would totally go with a genie that gave me what I needed, rather than what I wanted. Although, it would suck to meet a genie, only to walk away with a shower and a change of underpants. There are always tricks! And small print!

Sure. I’ll be dead, but I won’t care.

Unless there’s a good reason that what you actually want/desire isn’t actually a good thing. Barring the extreme things like “sleep with a hot 12 year old” it could be something as seemingly innocuous as “getting back together with an ex girlfriend”. What would you current wife think? I mean, technically it’s your greatest desire to have your first love back, but if she was toxic for you and/or the relationship just wasn’t good…do you want that given to you?

Personally, it would definitely give me pause

Or Wishmaster??! :eek:

You’ll put your eye out!