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If you were a robot, and I knew but you didn't, would you want me to tell you?

Updated on June 26, 2013

"Hypothetically" Speaking...

If you were a robot, and I knew but you didn't, would you want me to tell you?

This question was posed on The Big Bang Theory. I have spent quite a while (mostly while driving) contemplating this issue and attempting to come up with my answer.

It is not an easy question, but my answer (at least for today) is: No, don't tell me - I prefer ignorant bliss. Another day, I might prefer to be told.

Photo by peyri used under CC 2.0

Make Your Wishes Known Now - (just in case)

If you were a robot, and I knew but you didn't, would you want me to tell you?

Yes, tell me.

Yes, tell me.

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    • Jeff 20 months ago

      I'm a robot

    • anonymous 4 years ago

      Yes. If only I was fixed because of my emotional imbalance and sleep mode would be fixed, because I sleep a hell lot during the day.

    • mockingbird999 5 years ago

      It might come in handy to know.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Of course, I would. This concept came up when I read the Asimov "Robot" books as a teen and after seeing "The Creation of the Humanoids" horror movie at a drive in theatre.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Only if you programmed me to want you totell me.

    • Timothy Arends 5 years ago from Chicago area

      Well, I wanted to know the truth about religion no matter how disappointing it was, so I think I would likely want to know about my "robothood" as well. Fact is, I think we ARE robots, in the sense that we are biological machines that were programmed at birth by genetics with certain skills and personality types, whether we may like that fact or not. So yes, we ARE "robots."

    • tricomanagement 5 years ago

      tell me let me know so I can re-calibrate the data base

    • davie-olivo 5 years ago

      got oil?

    • Lawrence Hebb 5 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      It all depends in the software I was using! In the Bicentennial man the Robin William's one goal was to become Human! He finally crossed the threshold when he gained the ability to die! If not being Human means not dying then it might be nice to know!

    • Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

      If I were a robot, I don't think I'd have too many feelings. Unless, of course, I was like Lt. Commander Data on Star Trek when he was with implanted the emotion chip. So my answer: yes, I guess I'd want to know, so I could add the information to my data bank. I doubt it would have any emotional impact on me, however.

    • TeagueChubak LM 5 years ago

      I would LOVE to know that!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      the fact of to don t know is to hidde the reallity. the fact of being in a virtual world. so i wanna know.

    • ru55l33 5 years ago

      tell me that I'm genius...:)

    • phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

      It would help explain a lot. :)

    • anonymous 6 years ago


    • Othercatt 6 years ago

      Heck yeah! I'd want to know if I was a robot. Then I could do all sorts of cool stuff.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Well, duh. Can you think of any advantage of being human over being a robot? If you're older than six years old, you already know beyond a doubt that ou have free will or a soul or something like that. If our a teenager you probably know that you can *ahem*. Other than using an off switch, (which even you did not know about, so how could anyone else?) a human would have no way of beating a robot without a delicate laptop to transmit a virus.

      also. There is surely a reason why little kids dress up like robots, right? Robots are more repairable than humans. if you lose an arm, just get an arc welder or something and reattach it. Humans need surgery, healing time and stuff. If you're worried about afterlife, a robot would have no soul to torture in hell, so you can do whatever the heck you want. BAsically only the laws of robotics stop you from doing anyhting, and since you could disobey them before, you still can, and are, therefore, more free than anyone else.

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes but only if I get super high tech awesome gadgets :l otherwise no

    • pumpnut lm 6 years ago

      Gotta know what's up.

    • inkvamp 6 years ago

      I think I'd want to know so I could discover any cool robot stuff about myself like if I had a built-in laser or something... I'll probably change my mind a few times if I think about it more though.

    No, don't tell me.

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      • JoshK47 5 years ago

        I'd rather have the delusion!!!

      • iamtreehugger 5 years ago

        Even if you tell i still believe you ;) I hold on to what my innards/circuits are telling me..

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        i would probobly break myself if i knew

      • Mim Art 5 years ago

        As much as I would want to know the truth, I don't think you should tell me - let me enjoy my delusion (unless I have super powers or some sort of really cool ability - then heck yeah, I'd be the life of the next party!!). ... hmm.. so which am I voting for then? *pondering* (technically my vote is still with the jury)

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        ya i do wont to tell u

      • Technospunky 5 years ago


      • anonymous 6 years ago

        No. If I were living as a human, finding out that I was a robot would be devastating since it would mean that my whole life had been a lie -- no real parents, no real siblings, no real spouse, no real friends -- just computer programming that made me think all those people were real. I would have the same feelings I always had, but knowing that nothing was real would make me want to self-terminate...which I don't believe robots can do. So it would be a living HELL!

        What's more, you would begin to wonder what people do to you when you are 'off' or in an 'altered state'. Do they make you have sex with them, do they make you kill people without your knowledge. All of this would haunt you while you are in a conscious state.

        Also, Bliss is not a product of ignorance - it is a product of the life you have built for yourself, which you would suddenly find out was a lie. So my emphatic answer is NO!!!!!!!

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        No. Unless I could shoot lasers out of my eyes, have ridiculously hard armor plating, look like a terminator under my skin, or anything else that might be awesome.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        No,it would change everything.Ignorance IS bliss,at least in this case!

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        Robots have genitals???

      • raceface 7 years ago

        But what if i knew you were a robot, but had not told you. You wouldn't know that i know, that you thought you knew. Would you want to know what i knew after what you're about to tell me what you knew?

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        What would it matter if I were? Thus, why worry about it. If you did, it would forever alter the course of future events. Who are you to meddle with peoples' futures?

      • Virtue Creations 8 years ago

        No - No one else seems to have realised.

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        I don't even think I would understand the concept of robot if I were a robot. So no.

      • mommal 8 years ago

        If I wasn't smart enough to know I wouldn't be much of a robot.

      • Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

        Ignorance is bliss...

      • Verdul 8 years ago

        I like who I am. As long as I am a happy productive robot don't tell me.

      • Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

        My brain is fizzing from this right now and I'm human, I I can't imagine what it might do to a robot. So, no, don't tell me.

      • revdan 8 years ago

        I think I would rather go on blissfully ignorasnt about being a heap of junk.

      • anonymous 8 years ago

        The movie Blade Runner answers that question.

      Koothrappali, Wolowitz, Sheldon, and Leonard

      Koothrappali, Wolowitz, Sheldon, and Leonard
      Koothrappali, Wolowitz, Sheldon, and Leonard

      Discussion of this Hypothetical

      (from the Big Bang Theory)

      Wolowitz: Sheldon, if you were a robot, and I knew and you didn't, would you want me to tell you?

      Sheldon: That depends. When I learn that I'm a robot, will I be able to handle it?

      Wolowitz: Maybe, although the history of science fiction is not on your side.

      Sheldon: Uh, let me ask you this: when I learn that I'm a robot, will I be bound by Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics?

      Koothrappali: You might be bound by them right now.

      Wolowitz: That's true, have you ever harmed a human being, or through inaction, allowed a human being to come to harm?

      Sheldon: Of course not.

      Koothrappali: Have you ever harmed yourself or let yourself to be harmed except in cases where a human being would've been endangered?

      Sheldon: Well, no.

      Wolowitz: I smell robot.

      Would it matter if you are currently happy or not?

      Would it make a difference in whether you would want to know that you are a robot if you are extremely happy or in a state of depression?

      Would your current state of happiness affect your decision?

      See results

      Download episodes of Big Bang Theory

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      for just $1.99


      Do you have anything more to add to this discussion of the robot hypothetical? or comments on this page?

      Further Thoughts

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        • profile image

          lionmom100 4 years ago

          Don't tell me. Ignorance is bliss.

        • HomeDecorKnight profile image

          HomeDecorKnight 4 years ago

          Very funny, but interesting idea. I like the lens.

        • profile image

          grannysage 5 years ago

          I really need to watch Big Bang Theory. They seem to have lots of interesting conversations. I really don't know the answer to that question. I need to pass it on to other robots, er I mean humans.

        • tricomanagement profile image

          tricomanagement 5 years ago

          what please reset my typing program

        • mbgphoto profile image

          Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

          fun debate

        • Country-Sunshine profile image

          Country Sunshine 5 years ago from Texas

          Interesting idea, and one I had never considered. Something to think about...

        • Mim Art profile image

          Mim Art 5 years ago

          Great and unique lens/debate! (still pondering)

        • TeagueChubak LM profile image

          TeagueChubak LM 5 years ago

          Love this lens idea.

        • Technospunky profile image

          Technospunky 5 years ago

          If I were a robot and had emotional issues of any kind, it would probably mean my AI was working properly. I would not want to spoil neither my self image attained nor would I want to have to examine or recalculate life as I knew it. so I am going ignorance is definitely bliss of the human kind and proper AI. Loved your lens *beep.

        • profile image

          ru55l33 5 years ago

          very good ideas.....bravo..

        • phoenix arizona f profile image

          phoenix arizona f 6 years ago

          Great lens idea!

        • Commandrix profile image

          Heidi 6 years ago from Benson, IL

          Interesting question...Of course I'd want to know if I was a robot (or cyborg). Hypothetically speaking, of course.

        • Othercatt profile image

          Othercatt 6 years ago

          So....Am I a robot? Come can tell me!

        • pumpnut lm profile image

          pumpnut lm 6 years ago

          Quite a poser!

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          That's one very interesting question.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Very interesting lens-enjoyed it!

        • JenOfChicago LM profile image

          JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago


        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Too funny, kab. I'll laugh off and on all day just thinking about this. Loving it!

        • blondeheroine profile image

          blondeheroine 8 years ago

          Another BBT fan! Love it!

        • TreasuresBrenda profile image

          Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

          Interesting...I'm going to ask this question at dinner tonight!


        • Kiwisoutback profile image

          Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

          Congratulations on LOTD! From a year ago...I'm late. I'm updating a lens of the day table of contents lens and found this through the LOTD blog. Nice work.

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          Blade Runner answers that question!

        • PaulHassing LM profile image

          Paul Hassing 8 years ago

          Insufficient data. Please extrapolate. Buzz. Click. P. :)

        • emmaklarkins profile image

          emmaklarkins 8 years ago

          Great thought-provoking question! Now time for coffee so I can truly process it.

        • MarcoG profile image

          Marc 8 years ago from Edinburgh

          Dammit, I really don't understand the question. If I were a robot, and I knew and you didn't...didn't know what? If I didn't know that I was a robot? Would I want to know? But I would, wouldn't I? I mean, being the brain hurts :(

        • dc64 lm profile image

          dc64 lm 8 years ago

          Love the robot question, it was great.

        • aka-rms profile image

          Robin S 8 years ago from USA

          Congrats on winning the devilishly delicious debater award. This lens is being featured at the Showcase today.

        • profile image

          sarahlovesmickey 8 years ago

          yup, because if I was a robot and you told me, my feelings wouldn't be hurt because I am a robot and robots don't have feelings. =)

        • profile image

          anonymous 8 years ago

          I have DNA, so I must not be a robot. Do robots have DNA? I'm so confused!

        • profile image

          witster 9 years ago

          So, you a robot poem but no songs. How come you don't have Styx's 'Mr. Roboto' listed?

        • profile image

          TheRealDiel 9 years ago

          YES, Don't be Robot Tax Slave!

          Receive Cash Now Overnight!

          Visit my lens and copy and paste URL into

          your browser:



        • profile image

          roysumit 9 years ago

          Robot or norobot, we humans are some time robots with a tint(?) of humane ness and at times are humans with lot shades of robot ness. No offence intended to humans or robots.

        • profile image

          gabi_kiana 9 years ago

          Cute lens, the title drew me in immediately!

          great idea, keep them coming!

        • profile image

          Ignoti 9 years ago

          asimo with a realdoll body and a clever ghost in her shell... love.

        • teamlane profile image

          teamlane 9 years ago

          Nice work KAB, and a belated congrats on LOTD! ;)

        • eccles1 profile image

          eccles1 9 years ago

          Great Job!!and what a cute robot picture I think you are right most humans are very mechanical and what a great question !

        • Clairwil LM profile image

          Clairwil LM 9 years ago

          What a fantastic lens! *****

        • EshanMonteath profile image

          EshanMonteath 9 years ago

          Great lens, and congrat on Lens of the Day!

        • pylemountain1 profile image

          pylemountain1 9 years ago

          Interesting lens - cool idea. Congrats on the Lens of the Day...

        • profile image

          filmmakershelp 9 years ago

          Nice lens guys!

          grabbed me right of the first glance with the robot question.

        • profile image

          sforstrom 9 years ago


        • profile image

          site-builder 9 years ago

          Most people think and react mechanically. Someone says something nice about you and it's time to be happy. Someone says or does something so called bad to you and it's time to be sad or angry.

          Just like pushing a button...

          I'm a robot -- You're a robot. Everybody is a robot.

        • funwithtrains lm profile image

          funwithtrains lm 9 years ago

          Nice Lens! Congratulations on LOTD! Please visit my Lionel Trains lens.

        • profile image

          pope 9 years ago

          yes, then I would know you are one of us. The world is already getting to know this level one code. You may be one of the 1001 wetnicks that were recalled in the 1980s and did not have your levels checked before START was set. No worries your next action will tip off the robot code of your exact need. I suggest you tell everyone of us you meet so you can progress to bliss (found and recovered)

        • evelynsaenz1 profile image

          Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

          Fancy Nancy loves your lens so much that she is sending you virtual Adjectives. To help you feel more human.

          Congratulations on Lens of the Day!

        • PromptWriter profile image

          Moe Wood 9 years ago from Eastern Ontario

          I love this show. DH the mathematician and scientist doesn't see the humor in it at all. Until I saw this lens I actually thought I was the only one who watched it. :)

        • profile image

          starvingbusiness 9 years ago

          Hi come see my lens

        • profile image

          dtbs 9 years ago

          congrats on the LOTD!

        • Squidoophile profile image

          Squidoophile 9 years ago

          I think robots must convert to magical AIDS to provide them with the right answers like the crystal balls, magical mirrors or the fortune tellers, they are too reasonable to use these things, they must be a lil more superstitious!!!

        • archangelptx profile image

          archangelptx 9 years ago

          Fun lens! 5 stars! Check mine and give me some advice,

        • LiveandLearn LM profile image

          LiveandLearn LM 9 years ago

          What can I say? some people just have the ability to create lenses like this which keep you laughing for hours. Keep it up - Natural Penis Enlargement Exercises

        • GreenRevolution profile image

          GreenRevolution 9 years ago

          Cool lens! Very interesting responses. Great job!

          5 *****

          Top 10 Fuel-Saving Tips

        • collagen lm profile image

          collagen lm 9 years ago

          Great lens and amazing theme. Keep up the good work. Health, Beauty and Anti Aging Skin Care.

        • mythphile profile image

          Ellen Brundige 9 years ago from California

          I think the next line in that dialog should've been, "Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true..."

        • SusanDeppner profile image

          Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

          Love the responses! This is a great watercooler lens. Congrats on LOTD!

        • Christene-S profile image

          Christene-S 9 years ago

          I love the Big Bang Theory! It's on my TiVo season pass list. :D

        • profile image

          PricePiece_Marketing 9 years ago

          Great lens, 5 stars! - Live Streaming Video

        • profile image

          ShortSaleRealtor 9 years ago

          great lens 5 stars 4 u

        • PlushMemoriesPlus profile image

          PlushMemoriesPlus 9 years ago

          Congrats on being the Lens of the Day! Great job on your lens!

        • profile image

          Health101 9 years ago

          Great Lens. The question is great, it definitely had me thinking for a minute.

        • profile image

          TonyPer 9 years ago

          Fun Lens (5*)! I made a comment above, but I was not logged in! Dohhh! I must re-boot!

        • profile image

          Adelaide 9 years ago

          It's a great lens - I LOVE the Big Bang Theory. Interesting question too - I definitely think it depends on your state of mind at the time.

        • Retro Loco profile image

          Vicki 9 years ago from USA

          Such a tough question. This is going to be on my mind all day. What a horrible question to ask of people who have trouble making decisions. Shame on you! Fun lens. Congrats on LOTD, & 5 stars from a fellow geek.

        • TonyPayne profile image

          Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

          Interesting question that's for sure...

        • KimGiancaterino profile image

          KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

          Clever... and congrats on LOTD. An Angel Blessing too!

        • chefkeem profile image

          Achim Thiemermann 9 years ago from Austin, Texas

          ! ......---00--- 5***** !


        • GypsyPirate LM profile image

          GypsyPirate LM 9 years ago

          This is a television show I just discovered (thanks to TheFluffaNutta) and I'm really glad I did. It is such fun - as is this lens. Nicely done!

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