This is in addition to my post on self-refuting statements yesterday. No no…..I am not going to attempt another contradiction. My brain needs a break. I just wanted to share with you another study I discovered today. It is quite similar to self-refuting statements except that now we are learning about self-refuting arguments. They call it Arguments that Commit Suicide. Haha…I like that!

Here’s are some excerpts from the article and I will provide the link to the full article later.

  • Moral Relativism Self-Destructs
    Whenever someone says, “You shouldn’t force your morality on me,” always ask, “Why not?” Usually the response is going to be an example of her forcing her morality on you. To make sense out of the objection, she’ll have to state a moral rule while denying any moral rules exist. Such attempts reduce to, “You’re wrong for saying people are wrong,” or more bluntly, “You shouldn’t judge, you narrow-minded bigot.”
  • The “Christian” version of postmodernism fares no better. Some Christian thinkers flirt with relativism, baptizing it with religious language. “There are two kinds of truth,” they say, “God’s Truth and man’s truth. God’s Truth is absolute and can only be known by Him. We can only know man’s truth, which is limited and relative to our personal perspectives.” My question is: Which kind of truth is reflected in that statement? If it’s God’s Truth, how did they come to know what only God can know? If it’s merely man’s fallible perspective, then why should I trust such a sweeping generalization about the issue of absolute truth?
  • Hinduism as a religious view also seems compromised by contradictory notions. It claims that reality as we know it is an illusion. We’re each part of the illusion and have no true individual identity. Here’s my question. If I am part of the illusion, how could I know it? How could I possess true knowledge that I don’t exist, or have any knowledge at all if I’m not real? Do the individuals in a dream know they’re mere phantoms? Does Charlie Brown know he’s a cartoon character? The Hindu concept that the world is an illusion contradicts the idea that I can have the knowledge that I’m only an illusion, rendering Hinduism self-refuting.

And this is my personal favorite!

  • You Are What You Eat?
    I once saw a sign in a restaurant that read, “You are what you eat.” I pointed out to the waitress that if we are what we eat, then we couldn’t be something until we’ve eaten something. But we can’t eat something until we are something. So we must be something before we eat something. Therefore, it’s not true that we are what we eat. The waitress looked a me and said, “You’ll have to talk to the manager.”

Always be alert for arguments with suicidal tendencies. Ask the question, “Does that position carry with it the seeds of its own destruction?” Don’t feel like you have to do all the work refuting a bad argument. Keep you eyes open and stay alert. When you discover an opponent’s view is self-refuting, ask a question that exploits the problem. Then let him sink his own ship.

The full article by Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason can be found here. It’s a pretty short read compared to Glenn Miller’s at ThinkTank, so it won’t take up much of your time. Go on….who knows, you might just win that argument with your spouse!

rk

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