My love for self-refuting statements has only grown over the years. You see, I’m never sure if I should laugh or cry when I see them. Oh, you never heard of them? Well, you’re in for a real treat!
Also called “self-referential incoherent proposition” or “self-referential absurdity”, they can be seen when a non-indigenous English speaker says “me speak no English.” Did you see it? Look at it again, the person is speaking English to tell you he or she can’t speak English. It is a contradiction. It is like saying “I am not going to respond to that comment”, “I don’t have time to talk to you now” or “never say never”. We forgive these. But others sound funny, so funny that it would be like saying “thoughts don’t exist”, “there are no people”, “every assertion is false” or “my parent’s only child died last week”.
While these may never be said, there are some people who really make these types of statements, on important issues! Here are twenty amusing phrases that commit suicide!
- Philosophy is dead! Ah, ya, now I understand! That person’s philosophy is that philosophy is dead! Sorry, you need philosophy for every subject and everything in life, including having the philosophy that philosophy is dead!
- You should never tell other people what to do. So why are you telling me what to do?
- Don’t judge me, it’s wrong to judge others. Oh, really, why are you judging me for judging you?
- Minds don’t exist, only brains. Um, OK. This is the atheistic worldview at work here. I hope you see the problem.
- Christians should not use logic on spiritual matters. They are making a statement that needs a reason or logic. As soon as the reason is given, the statement self destructs.
- We should not use reason. So, what are your reasons for that position? A ‘pietistic’ but misguided view.
- Critical thinking is wrong. How is that true? Answer given. Obviously you need to do a little better job at critical thinking before you speak again! Even a statement like this used some level of thinking! Really, we all need to think deep about topics!
- Show, don’t tell. And why did you tell me that, I thought you were just supposed to show? This reminds me of the infamous “preach the gospel and if necessary use words”. My line is “speak the gospel with words and actions and rebuke those who tell you to only live it.”
- Knowledge is wrong! How do you know that? Well, years ago… OK, knowledge that knowledge is wrong…sounds a little funny. Again, a ‘pietistic’ but misguided view.
- There is no truth! Oh, really? Is that true? You would lose the debate without saying a word by just showing up!
- You need tolerance. What if my view is not to be tolerant of tolerance, will you tolerate it? Sadly, it seems, we are told to be tolerant of every idea but Christianity.
- Accept diversity! “Well I come from a different background, one that says there should not be diversity, will you accept me?” When I was a student, I was being challenged a little about a politically incorrect topic in a class that was very political correct. I sprung the diversity argument. Oh, by the way, it worked, no one had anything to say!
- Only science shows truth! I hear this on some Facebook groups at times, it’s called scientism. However, science can’t test science; you see science and the scientific method are concepts, thus, if this statement is true, there are other things besides science that are true.
- You should not force your morals on others. Oh, and is it okay to force that moral value on me?
- I don’t believe anything. So, do you really believe that?
- You can’t know anything for certain. Really? Are you certain of that view?
- All that exists is matter and energy. This line is a concept, believed by those with a worldview called materialism. But since this phrase is a concept and does not fall under either the category of matter or energy, the statement commits suicide.
- Language doesn’t carry meaning. What? Oh, so I guess that’s why this line does not make sense, it has no meaning? Sadly, some come the the Bible with this view!
- You are biased, I can’t believe you. So? How can I trust you? You are biased against me since I’m biased, so why should I trust you when you say I’m biased? This. Not. Make. Sense. Oh, I have a biased against ingesting poison…OK…stop listening to me…I’m being biased.
- All truth is relative. Are you trying to convey to me some absolute truth with this statement? If so, that is relative.