Imagine a man breaking into your house. He hears you calling the police. But, since the nearest town is far away, the police cannot arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
The man orders you to open the safe in which you hoard your gold. He threatens that, unless he gets the gold in the next five minutes, he will start shooting your children, one by one.
What is it rational for you to do? You need to answer fast.
You quickly realise that it wouldn’t be rational to give this man the gold. The man knows that, if he simply takes the gold, either you or your children could tell the police what he looked like as well as the make and number of the car in which he drives away. So there is a great risk that, if he gets the gold, he will kill you and your children before he drives away.
Since it would be irrational to give this man the gold, should you ignore his threat? This will also be irrational. There is a great risk that he will kill one of your children, to make you believe his threat that, unless he gets the gold, he will kill your other children.
What should you do?