Self-Refuting Statements You Must Know

by Sean McDowell

“Never use the word never.”

My mom spoke these words to me when I was in high school. Since I was a budding philosopher (and probably a bit sassy), I replied, “Never use never. Didn’t you just use it?” While her statement was certainly self-refuting, I have since learned to use much more tact!

Recognizing self-refuting statements is critical for being a clear thinker and a good apologist. By self-refuting, I mean a claim that is undercut by its own criteria. Perhaps the best way to understand self-refuting statements is to consider some examples.

Below are some common examples I have learned from reading, discussing, and studying. A few of these came to me by my friends on Twitter (see the bottom). It’s amazing how commonly people make claims that simply self-destruct. Taking some time to understand and recognize self-refuting statements will serve you well. And after you grasp them, take the time to share them with someone else…

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Self-Refuting Statements You Must Know – Sean McDowell