What would happen if suddenly every wish that was made by someone came true? Nothing else would change, but everyone would be aware that they could wish for anything and it would come true. Language has no effect on wishes, as the wish is granted based on what the person imagines.

Stipulations on wishes:

  1. No wish can be about affecting other wishes. An example of a wish like this is: "I wish only my wishes came true" or "I wish John's wishes didn't come true"
  2. If two wishes are opposite, they cancel each other out. If John wishes to be president and Carl wishes to be president, then it will go on as if neither had made a wish. After this, the wish couldn't be remade by either of them, and anyone making either wish would also get cancelled.
  3. Two wishes may seem like opposites but are not unless they 100% contradict each other. If John wishes to be president, but Carl wishes to receive the most votes, then somehow Carl would receive the most votes but be unable to be president from this and John would end up being president. (This allows for an unintentional monkey's paw effect)
  4. No wish can bring back someone who is dead, or intentionally kill someone. A person's death could be the unintentional result of a wish (such as the one above), however it cannot be the intended result of the wish. Also, no wishes for means to hurt/kill someone such as wishing for a gun with the idea of using it to kill someone. The idea of using the wished-for gun to shoot someone would prevent the gun from being wished for, but if the wisher does not have this idea at the time of wish, then they could wish for the gun. To summarize: No wishes to intentionally harm someone, but harm can be an unintentional side-effect
  5. No wishing to travel through time or for time machines, as this would circumvent Rule 4.

What would be the immediate and long-term results of this? Would society form into a utopia or would it collapse?

Rules are intended to prevent any individual person from destroying the world. If you see any big loopholes in the above rules that would circumvent the intentions, let me know

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can someone wish that wishes would no longer come true? $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2015 at 2:53
  • $\begingroup$ I like the idea behind this question but it's really broad. You're asking us to work out the effects of all human wishes, in their infinite variety across every aspect of human society. Can you narrow it down somehow? Just wishes from kids would be interesting. $\endgroup$
    – Green
    Aug 18, 2015 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ Did I misunderstand the purpose of this SE? I was under the impression that this was for people creating hypothetical worlds that would make sense under these circumstances, which it seems would pose a lot of "broad" questions... $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2015 at 17:22
  • $\begingroup$ Could someone wish peoples understood how to ask questions in WSE ;) ? $\endgroup$
    – Mystra007
    Aug 18, 2015 at 19:24

3 Answers 3


money would no longer have any value. no nobody would go to work. People would have all their needs fulfilled. some people would be left with nothing better to do than to spend their time thinking up sadistic wishes to make. Then the rest of us would have to cooperate to think of a way to find out who these people are and how to stop them.

It's possible that wishing would eventually become very difficult because you need to think of a way to word it so that you are not contradicting a historic wish in some way. For example, some jerk might say, "I wish to hold a total monopoly on all food." Could people then still wish for food when they are hungary? Or would they have to go back to growing the food? So they would have to wish for farming tools. Until someone intentionally messes that wish up too. And so on and so forth.

Eventually everything goes back to normal except that very clever people can still imagine new wishes that are still possible.

  • $\begingroup$ What a funky world. I would probably deal with the first jerk by killing him outright. I know what stack of wishes I would make early, and they would be difficult to cancel, but would constrain very little. Yet anybody with half my imagination would easily become a power dangerous to contend with. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Feb 29, 2016 at 18:55

The world would end in pretty short order

We have mental institutions full of people who are absolutely bat-shit insane and everything they wish for is going to come true. We have no idea what these people might do, but we know that even without the power of wishes they are a danger to themselves and society.

Then we have people who are depressed and want to kill themselves, and do it publicly. And they have the power to wish for the most spectacular kinds of deaths with huge collateral.

And of course we have dictators and dictator-hopefuls who can now summon weapons and terror instruments out of thin air and going about it. Everyone in the world can be a nuclear superpower just by wishing it so.

Normally, these things are kept somewhat in check by society cracking down on it, but when you give essentially unlimited power to each invidividual, you get to the point where you simply cannot fight the bad elements anymore because the sheer collatoral will destroy everything.


"Be careful what you wish for" would go from being the subject of fairy tales to something children are educated on in school.

Also, a well timed announcement of "Allright everybody, nobody wish for a purple elephant" would certainly ensure there was an elephant in the room to talk around in every debate.


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