It’s interesting when people who are not indigenous English speakers say “me speak no English.” Why? Because it is self-refuting. They are speaking English to tell you they can’t speak English. It is a contradiction. It is like saying “I am not going to respond to that comment” or “I don’t have time to talk to you now.”
We automatically forgive people in cases like these, even though they should be a little more precise. However, on important issues, I have concerns when people, who should know better, make claims that are self-refuting. Even though some seem funny, people really make these statements.
We already talked about the old “tolerance” trick, the “knowledge makes one proud” topic and “man’s reasoning” statement. All are self-refuting. Here are others to watch out for in conversation.
“There is no truth.” What? is that claim true? if it is then that statement is false. It self contradicts because that statement is a truth claim.
“Nobody can know anything to be true.” Is that statement true? If yes, then your stating a knowledge claim about truth. If no, then there is a possibility of knowing things to be true.
“One can only know something by using the methods of observable science.” A person on facebook once told me something like this. I had to tell him that the process of science itself is not observable, it is a concept. Nor do we learn about the concept of science using the scientific method. In other-words the scientific method itself is not testable by observational science.
What if one says “I don’t believe in anything”? My question would be, do you believe that? do you believe what you are saying?
“You can’t know anything for certain.” The person who says this seems to be quite certain of what he is saying. You need to ask, “do you know that for certain?”
Unfortunately we see post modernity effecting our culture. It has made things relative and has made us sound silly. Proverbs states that the beginning of knowledge and wisdom is the fear of the Lord. These silly self-refuting statements seem to stem from a lack of biblical foundation.