Cat in a glass box logical puzzle

You’re a private detective. You’ve been called on a Saturday morning to urgently help a wealthy family solve a puzzle setup in their mansion by a psychopath.

You arrived at the mansion and saw the distressed family surrounded by police, friends and family. All trying to solve the puzzle.

You were greeted by a friend of the family (the person who called upon your help) and handed a copy of a note written by the psychopath.

With the note in your hand, you entered the living room, where the psychopath setup his/her puzzle, and noticed the following:

The family’s cat is locked up inside a glass box.

The glass box has two buttons, red and green.

Next to the box is a small computer with a mic.

You looked down at the note in your hand and read the following message written by the psychopath:


There is enough oxygen in the glass box to last the cat 24 hours.

One of the two buttons safely unlocks and opens up the box.

The other button however releases a poisonous gas that instantly kills the cat.

Trying to open the box without pressing any buttons (e.g. breaking the glass, etc..), or pressing both buttons at the same time releases the gas which also instantly kills the cat.

I’ve placed a computer with a mic that could hear and answer only one “yes/no” question (i.e. it can only answer with either the word “yes” or “no”).

The computer knows which of the two buttons unlocks and opens the box and which releases the gas.

You could ask the computer one question to help you solve the puzzle, but there is a catch.

The computer I placed here is actually one of two computers that I’ve built myself.

One of the two computers that I’ve built is designed to always tell the truth, while the other is designed to always lie.

However, I forgot which one of the two computers I’ve placed here, so it could be the liar or the truth teller.

Anyway, you have only one “yes/no” question to ask the computer. Use it wisely.

After reading the note, you now have a full understanding of the puzzle.

How would you solve it to help save the cat? What would your question to the computer be?

Further clarification:
The computer answers only questions that could be answered with either the word “yes” or “no”.
e.g.
it can answer “Is today Saturday?”
it cannot answer “What day of the week is today?”

The root of all Evil

Some might say money, others, with tongue-in-cheek, might say women. But in the pursuit of such root, if one does exist, we might find the root of all what drives our actions, good or evil.

Give it a minute before continue reading. Think about what could be the root of all Evil.

If you dig deep, you’d reach to the root of all that drives our actions. It’s a root of constant struggle through free-will to achieve a state, by means of not in gaining or obtaining something but rather the absence of something deeply rooted in our conciousness.

Such state can only be the absence of emotional (not physical) pain.

All our actions are just means to achieve such emotionally pain-free state. Everything we do revolve around the avoidance of emotional pain.

If we close examine our actions, we’d realize they are merely reflections of our decisions. Such decisions are formed by our capacity for independent choice (free will).

Strip our independent choice (free-will) and dissect its mechanism, you’d find it always tries to lead you down the path of least resistance to this emotionally pain-free state.

This resistance is controlled by non-other than our conscience.

This conscience in each of us is the one responsible for carving the flow of our choice mechanism by raising and lowering the resistance down the many routes leading us to the choices that lands us on our emotional pain-free state.

It is this conscience that is the root of our good and evil actions.

Give this theory a try, have as much examples as you’d like thrown at this abstract human independent choice mechanism. And trace it down to which road it will lead you.

You’ll find it, remarkably without fail, taking you down the path towards this one particular emotionally pain-free state, through the route of least resistance according to your conscious.

Here is a very basic and simple example to test this theory; someone offering you a tasty ice cream. You could choose to accept or reject such offer.

You’d accept, possibly, to avoid having the discomfort feeling (emotional pain) associated with the thought of unattainable desire.

You’d reject, possibly, to avoid having to deal with the emotional distress of gaining weight and its possible consequence on your social status and/or well-being.

Both choices are laid out on paths with your self-conscience controlling the resistance leading you to the choice that lands you at your emotional pain-free state.

If your conscience is more resistant to the idea of losing social status / well-being, then the path would lead you to the rejection choice.

And if unattainable desire is your conscience’s least resistive path, then accepting the offer is the path of which your choice will take

Apply other examples, but introduce moral judgement, and you’ll find the mechanism is always the same.

Every action seeks the goal of reaching an emotionally pain-free state through a choice path dictated by the conscience.