According to Gregory Koukl, poorly expressed ideas “self-destruct.”

Often we hear, or say, a sentence that directly contradicts itself. You doubt this? Well look at these:

“Nobody goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.” 

(It’s not crowded. It is crowded.)

“These terrorists have a technology we don’t even know about.”

(We know about things we don’t know about.)

“I never, never repeat a word. Never.”

(I don’t repeat a word. But I just did repeat a word.)

For more examples, and what this sometimes implies, go through the DOOR.


On familiar legal and business documents (in which logic is highly valued–and sometimes expensive) we often find nonsense like this:

This page is intentionally left blank.

(This page is blank. This page is not blank.)

“I used to believe in reincarnation, but that was in a former life.”

(I don’t believe in reincarnation. I do believe in reincarnation.)

“You’re in rare form, as usual.”

(Your performance is rare. Your performance is not rare.)

Yes, I’m been accused of that last item…and yes, I get the sense of what is meant even though the logic sounds twisted. That sentence, as expressed, might not be understood by humans who don’t share the experience. What is meant here is that “rare” describing the “different-from-others” way I present myself is typical of me, whether I’m appearing every day or once a month. (“Rare,” then, is used in two noncontradictory ways. This, of course, could drive robotic yes-no analyzers nuts.)

Sometimes we talk past each other that way. This is related to our “LOGIC LOST” post on Apr. 1, 2013. Sometimes, according to Koukl, in serious conversation we get sloppy and make logical mistakes. And if we tune our ears, we can detect them. In discussing religious beliefs this happens frequently.

Take it from me…

    “In a crazy world you can’t believe what you’re told.”

(except from me, of course…)


[Adapted from Ch. 7 of Gregory Koukl’s Tactics (Zondervan, 2009, Kindle version)]


[♠]  Hmsch:  Create sentences of you own that you could pass off as “real” that commit logical suicide.