Would you push the button?

I just saw the trailer for a movie called The Box. In the trailer a couple is given the choice to push a button. If they push the button, they get a million dollars, and one person will die.

Would you push the button?

I think it would depend on if I knew the person or not. I figure if I never hear about or are affected by the death, then it wouldn’t bother me much. It would not seem real to me. So i would probably push the button and cash in.

so what would you do?

In the time it took me to read the OP, many people died.

Punch that button!

Well, if it’s anything like the Twilight Zone (I think…one of those series, anyway) episode,

The deal was if you push the button, someone you’ve never met will die, and you have to surrender the box to get paid. The guy that pays you then informs you that the box will be given to someone who’s never met…you.

so it ain’t something to do lightly.

Ever read a proper story? Because the classic result (and as was used in an anthology show in the '80s) is…

The box is given to another person… who doesn’t know you.

My SO and I were discussing it. We wanted to know how many times we could push the button and get a million for it. If it was something you could do repeatedly, our response was…PUSH PUSH PUSH and PUSH PUSH PUSH! :slight_smile:


In Soviet Russia, button pushes you!

There’s also the other outcome, it kills a loved one because you can never really know anyone (I believe this was the original from the short story).

No, I could never enjoy the money.

If I got the box, and I actually believed that somebody would die if I pushed the button, no. If I could choose who would die it would be tempting, really tempting (Hi, Kim Jong-Il!), but still, no. I think after the first the second would be easier and it would turn into one hell of a slippery slope.

Actually, I believe in Soviet Russia the protocol is to give the button to the General Secretary of the Communist Party while they assure you that an American PIG is the likely one to die and that the money will be spent for the good of the people of all Russia.

In a fucking heartbeat; before you could even finish the question.

I wouldn’t even be tempted, unless I knew the person and despised them enough to kill them anyway. Even then I don’t think I’d do it; both because of my general opposition to executions, and because it all reeks way too much of a classic Devil’s bargain. Even, or especially with the “person you don’t know” restriction…

Me: * push *

Box provider: “You know, there’s an interesting philosophical question. Does any man ever really know himself? After all, you never thought you’d push that button…”

Me: * URK *

  • THUD *

  • Money falls out of the air onto my corpse *

It’s based upon the short story “Button, Button” by author Richard Matheson. 1970 Playboy. Note that in the story, the ending is more like Der Trihs guessed!:eek:

The Twilight Zone epi-“Button, Button” is in the first season.

Actually I’m killing people everyday.

I see people asking for donations to somewhere in Africa on my way to law school every day.

But instead of sending $5 to Africa to save some kids I buy overpriced coffee almost everyday. I could spend less and send money to charity but I don’t. Because I want to save 4 dollars.

If I can stomach killing people for $4, and then you put a box in front of me telling me that one person will die and I get one million dollars, well . . .

All you capitalist pigs are killing people every time you horde money you don’t need. Push the button and stop feeling sorry about yourselves.

And there’s the little detail that if I off someone I know and hate, then the box is given to someone who wants me dead, then to someone who wants that third person dead…

I wouldn’t do it if I knew them, I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t. Even without getting into hair splitting, I don’t want to be willing part of anybody’s death if I can help it.

I don’t see any reason to think the guy making the offer won’t do whatever he wants with the button afterwards anyway. If he wants to screw me over he can do it whether I press the button or not. Might as well make the best of it.

Given the way the question is phrased, I expect the button would kill the pusher.

I would go to Vienna, climb into the Giant Ferris Wheel at the Prata, make a dramatic speech about the insignificance of human life (“If I offered you twenty thousand pounds for every dot that stopped, would you really, old man, tell me to keep my money, or would you calculate how many dots you could afford to spare? Free of income tax, old man. Free of income tax - the only way you can save money nowadays,”) and push the button. Mind you, I don’t actually care (much) about the money; I just want the opportunity to do a great Orson Welles impression, and I don’t have any red-headed femme fatales to get me involved in a complex murder plot.


No. Because I wouldn’t want to live with that on my conscience. And because it’s so easy to make all the money I want, so I don’t need the deal.

Some people would press the button no matter what, because it is a button.