My Twitter profile - Past Surveys
This survey question is about the absolute biggest moral dilemma in all of EGS. There are those who would consider the acceptance of homosexuality and all that to be a moral dilemma, but I consider that to just be common sense.
In any case, there is potential for great good and great horror depending on how the magic in EGS is used. Used benevolently, it could usher in a golden age. Used malevolently, it could have the potential to literally destroy the world. Note the "literally" there. I'm not talking Fallout games "life goes on" sort of end of the world here (although I really like Fallout 3).
In short, the consequences of it being common knowledge are unknown, which is in part due to the limits of magic being unknown. Odds are some dude with magic can't blow up the planet, but who knows for sure?
With all that said, here is how I originally presented the question (in the interest of full disclosure, I said nothing about "destruction of the world" potential prior to compiling the results):
You can prove magic is real. Public knowledge would irreversibly change the world, possibly making it worse. Do you keep magic a secret? http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2010-12-06
As a die hard skeptic I want knowledge to be available. The trick is how people are educated about it.
What makes you think I haven't already proven it is real and is keeping it a secret? People suck. They would be worse.
Yes, I don't have enough faith in humanity to not use it to in some way blow themselves up.
I would tell the world before I blink twice.
I think it would make it only 'worse' for the first year or maybe less. After that it would probably commonplace.
Make it look as though they are super rare cards that become real from the game Magic the Gathering. So it is forgotten by most
I would reveal magic to the world, I believe the benefits would outweigh the risks involved.
It would depend on how powerful the magic is. Very powerful, then keep it secret. Fairly basic, sure let the world know.
Of course not. Truth is truth and cannot be transmuted. Perhaps though it should be more gradually introduced...
No. Fruit of the poisoned tree, and all that.
Hell flippin' no way.
No. Secrets always get out and cost far more to keep secret than the cost of the truth being widely known.
That seriously depends on who has access to magic. If only some do, it might start a magic vs no magic war.. I tell either way!
no. because who's to say it won't get better? things can always get better or worse, so it's best to let what happens happen.
Not at first. I would engage on a public information campaign that would raise public awareness/acceptance first.
No. Secret use of magic is more dangerous to people than open use of magic. Plus more magicians = more discovery, new spells.
No, although I magic myself a flying castle, guards and a food/water supply to ensure me and close friends/family survive
Truth goes through 3 stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self-evident.
I'd keep it secret. There would be people who would use others power for themselves. The known enemy is better than the unknown
Nope, no secret keeping. So, the truth could destroy the world, sure. Who is to say hiding it wouldn't destroy it though?
Hm. If I have access to magic. Yes. I want to lord it over others in secret. If not, then no. I won't let them lord it over me.
That depends. If I have magic powers I would totally keep it a secret. If it's someone else... I'd probably rat them out.
The world is always changing. Is proving magic exists any worse that north Korea attacking the south? Than a Recession?
I would reveal that magic is real and hope that people begin preparing for Magic attacks.
For a little while, until I think that the world is ready.
It would depend. If most people could learn to use it definitely. If only a very few I would keep it secret for their sake.
Depends on the magic. Flight, sure. Ability to control animals, probably not. Summon demons? That needs to be kept private.
I'm the sort who would pick interesting times over peaceful ones every time, so out with the truth!!
No. Almost all has potential for good and bad. Methods, maybe keep secret but existance? No.
What circumstances? Is there an imminent threat from magic? What sort of magic? Present EGS situation: Continue secret.
no, I truly believe in freedom of information
I would only prove magic to a select group of people who can be trusted to use it well and no one else.
I'd have to weigh how much good revealing magic would do compared to how pain it might cause. Ultimately I think yes, however.
Not even if it costs me my life.
Much though I hate to say it (Wish magic WAS real), yes. Most of humanity isn't ready for magic yet, regardless of limitations.
Keep the knowledge of how to do it secret while admitting to its existence. Sell magically enhanced items to the public.
Hm... First I'd try to figure out some of the future possibilities, but if that failed... I'd go ahead and do it anyway.
Hell no. Chaos is what makes life interesting.
Yes, I would.
As with all knowledge, the sharing of it will have unforeseen consequences, good and bad. I'd show everyone.
Heck no! If I can make the entire world believe magic, thus increasing my chances of getting magic, I do so wholeheartedly.
if it's the real world + only magic, definitely yes. ignoring the potential race war between mages / muggles. if it's magic and monsters, absolutely not. don't want to scare the muggles. :D
Yes. Ruining the world would be bad.
I would prove magic to be real. It could just as easily make the world better. Either way, truth is easier than lies.
No. In this day and age it would become public knowledge someday anyway (And perhaps only because somebody loads a copy of a spellbook on wikileaks). A (somewhat) controlled release is better. But even if it could stay a secret Iwould release it.
Yes. Someone greater than me should be the one the one to reveal it, if it needs revealing at all.
Yeah, I'd keep it hidden until I done all I could to control fallout. Failing that, I'd move far away, and watch the chaos >:D
I'd be undecisive, *almost* exposing magic, then *almost* scrapping the evidence, etc. I've watched enough Heroes to know that!
My Response to Your Answers:
Pretty much what I expected, which is to say there were a mix of opinions. Some people want the information to be free, others think people are jackasses and can't be trusted, others don't know, etc. This makes me happy, because I want it to be a debatable moral dilemma. If there was a unanimous yes or no answer, it would put a bit of a monkey wrench in various EGS plots.
I would be torn. Odds are good that if I could prove it, I would have access to magic myself. As such, it would come down to how many other people I knew, or knew of, who also had real magic at their disposal.
If it was just little ol' me? Hell yes I'd keep it a secret. I've read about Salem. I don't trust the general public to not kill me to death over it.
If I knew of enough people and knew there were plenty of others out there who were in the same boat as me, however, I would consider letting people know about it. It would depend on numerous other factors, but if I genuinely thought it would be best for everyone and I had people to back me up on it, I would let the world know.
Of course, if we knew so little about magic that we couldn't be sure if magic atomic bombs or something were possible, that's the sort of thing where a "keep secret pending further research" policy might prove prudent.