A List of Self-refuting Statements and Proper Replies
by Mike Robinson
The Self-Deceived Assert Self-Refuting Statements
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Colossians 2:8).
The following list of self-refuting assertions is given to demonstrate the gaping defects in much of contemporary thought. The list has a number of self-refuting or false assertions; the erroneous statement is written first, followed by a stultifying question or appropriate response (see my book for the complete list). Selected assertions are self-refuting, self-nullifying, self-undermining, false, and/or self-defeating. Some of the statements may lead to disagreements over exacting definitions of the words. Some may be self-refuting only within specific parameters.
• You can’t know anything for sure.
Are you sure of that?
• You can’t know anything.
Do you know that?
• No one can know anything about God.
Do you know that about God? To assert that God is unknowable, is to say a lot about God.
• This sentence is false.
This is a strict self-refuting statement since it calls itself false (an example of the Epimenides Paradox).
• Commit to the flames any propositions or assertions that do not contain mathematics or facts obtained from observable experiments.
Did you test that statement with experiments or does that statement contain mathematics? No. Then commit it to the flames on the basis of its own content…
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