Thursday, October 6, 2011

This

You believe this sentence is false.

If you're not from Mars then you believe this sentence is false.

If and only if you prefer to be right about this sentence then you do believe this sentence is false.

If the previous sentence frustrated you then you believe the next sentence is false.

If you haven't yet caught on that there's something screwy about logic then you believe the previous sentence is false.

4 comments:

Josh Wilson said...

This sentence is uncomfortable with self-referential paradoxes.

Craig M. Brandenburg said...

Josh— According to legend, the mathematician Kurt Gödel proved God's existence. It's also said he found a contradiction in the US Constitution that allows the US to be turned into a dictatorship. Read here.

http://morgenstern.jeffreykegler.com/

I doubt the validity of either story, but you can make self-referential sentences say all sorts of funny things in pure fact. One such thing is you can force someone to admit X or else be wrong about an infinite number of other claims.

Josh Wilson said...

That was sporting of Kurt since it was God who proved Gödel's existence in the first place. :)

Craig M. Brandenburg said...

Josh— Meanwhile, silence was not improved upon.