TeamGreen wrote:

Ok.

I’ll bite.

What were the bike owner’s “self-interests” after the thief hit him and his dad with a hammer AND proceeded to steal his bike?

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "bite", but I can say a bit more about these sorts of situations if you wish. First, there's little reason to believe that self-interest - rational or otherwise - motivated the son in this case. It was likely something more like rage or some other emotion. So you need to separate actual motivations from ideal motivations, which are the motives on which one would act if they were worked out what is in their rational self-interest (and sometimes the actual and ideal motives will lead to the same decision, but that's little more than a happy accident when it happens). Your interests in a situation where your loved one has been assaulted and you're being robbed are the safety of your loved one, your own safety, not giving up your property, and not going to jail for whatever it is that you do. I suppose there could be some secondary but less rational interests such as pride, but I think it would be best to disregard those. You will want to get some sense of the probable outcomes of each possible course of action. If the robber is already leaving with your property, then if you do nothing the probability of losing your property but maintaining your safety and freedom will be approaching 100%. If his back is turned and you have a clear shot with a weapon the probability of retaining your property is quite high, but the probability of forfeiting your freedom (which, presumably is much more valuable than your property) also increases (by how much depends on the variables of the situation and the jurisdiction). If what you have is a situation where you will engage in a fight, then all bets are off. It may be rational to assume a 50% chance if the only knowledge you have is that the other guy looks about your size, but you may lack other crucial knowledge - both about yourself and him. So, the actual probability and the probability that it is rational to assume in a state of relative ignorance may be radically divergent. This is why it is a massive risk. Given the stakes (say, a 2003 YZ250F), the risk hardly seems worth it. That would, of course, change if the assailant poses a continued risk. Defending yourself (and others) is the priority - it is the overriding interest.

The possible variables that can change which course of action is rational are nearly endless. Your goal should be to maximize the chances of positive outcomes and minimize the chances of negative outcomes. If you want to play with various scenarios you can plug the probabilities into Bayes' theorem and actually calculate the probabilities of various outcomes given whatever variables you like. This idea that if there are 2 possible outcomes each is equally probable is one of the most unbelievably silly things I've ever heard.

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Current rides: 2016 KTM 250SXF, 2017 KTM 350SXF