For those born after about 1985, the word “Charizard” holds great and terrible implications. Like the Lost Ark, First Edition Charizards epitomized the temptation of easily achieved wealth, at minimal cost to others. Suppose you were a child in the mid 90’s. Chances are, had in your possession, or knew someone who owned, the much sought after Charizard card. And there were many wicked villains that would do anything to claim that card for their own. This included cunning deception of the innocent children who happened to be far too young to be playing Poke’mon, yet whose parents decided to buy them cards in a misguided effort to achieve popularity for their child. And unfortunately, it often worked. Yet this exclusivity singled out that individual for targeting by the schemers.
By passing off less valuable cards as rare, the trickster could easily obtain the fabled treasure at almost no cost to themselves. In a sense, the younger child was not harmed; it was, after all, partially their fault for not recognizing the inherent value of their possession. And the older child, who alone could recognize the value of the treasure, got the object of their desire. One person’s trash is another person’s ultra-rare holographic.
The problem here is obvious. Is it right to take advantage of another person, if that person lacks the capacity to understand the terms of the trade? In a sense, we must reject this line of reasoning. Ultimately, it is up to the individual to take personal accountability for their poor decisions. Yet we cannot blindly accept this reasoning either. To do so is to allow immoral deception as valid, without restriction, and that too is unacceptable.
The answer, therefore lies somewhere in between. What of a child who grasped some of the value of Charizard, yet failed to understand the whole? Where is the line drawn? That, therefore, is the Charizard Dilemma.