In a previous blog post about the relation between contradictions and aggression, we suggested that on-going paradoxical messages could affect a person’s mental health. Also, contradictions, if not noticed, can lead to feelings of powerlessness and furious destructive aggression. The title of this post is such a contradiction or a paradox.
In Don’t Think You Can Think (1) we gave some examples of contradictions. We admitted that it needed some thinking effort to fathom the double meaning of some of the examples so we did not present all of our examples. Here are some more.
- “I am not mad”, said the lunatic.
- On a wall is a sign with the text: ” It is forbidden to post notices on this wall”.
- Military Intelligence.
- A father to his 4 years old child : “You do know that you’re too young to cross the street on your own. But you did it anyway and that proves that you are too young to cross the street on your own”.
- “This sentence contains one mistake”.
- “This sentence contains two mistakes”.
- “Of course I want staff members who have their own opinions, but why should I listen?”
- “I do have the right answers, but they ask me the wrong questions”.
- Psychiatrist to a whistle-blower: “You see things that don’t exist, you have a mental illness”. Whistle-blower: “I am not mentally ill”. Psychiatrist: ” That just proves your mental illness”.
- A professor: ” Next hour I will give you an introduction in the philosophy of science, but don’t trust me and don’t take it seriously”.
- Chairman to a critic: ” I believe that what you just said is best left unsaid”.
- “I’d never become a member of a society that wants me as a member”.
- A Member of Parliament to the Prime Minister: “Is this a policy, or have you just invented it?”
- Employee to a colleague: “I don’t understand why no one is making a fuss about this”. Colleague: “Dude, chill out!”
- “The merely fact that the board of this company has promoted me to the board proves that the board is truly incompetent”.
- “We highly appreciate that you try to achieve something for our company. If you succeed we will ask you why the results were not achieved earlier. And if you don’t succeed you are a failure”.
- “I will say this as a private person, not as an official”.
- “Marriage is an awful concept. Without my wife I would never be who I am”.
- “Actually, I am not allowed to speak with you”.
- “Sure, I do have that information, but not officially”.
- “Do you mind if I smoke? Not that it matters if you do”.
- At a reception for diplomats:” Who is that weird person?” His colleague: “Oh, so you think that Pierre is the weird one?”.
- Professor to his students: “Can you hear me in the back of the class room?” “Yes, but it is not too disturbing.”
If you have any other examples, you are most welcome to post them in the comment section. Thanks!