Talk:Self-refuting idea

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Wow, what a lame article. Could it at least explain what the title "means"? humanUser talk:Human 03:01, 14 February 2008 (EST)

That's what the first sentence is intended to do. Ungtss 10:24, 14 February 2008 (EST)
I find it a good article. It's a fallacy however. Maybe there already is a fallacy by a different name? Editor at CPBring TK back 10:36, 14 February 2008 (EST)
Thanks:). I've never seen it characterized as a fallacy -- might be though -- any ideas? Ungtss 10:43, 14 February 2008 (EST)
It seems similar, linguistically at least, to fallacies like "begging the question". Perhaps a better term might involve something like "overbroad generalisation", or "proofs that assume they themselves are true"? humanUser talk:Human 14:07, 14 February 2008 (EST)
Seems like it's kind of the opposite of begging the question -- if the proof is true, then the proof is false. Or, if the proof is true, then all sorts of other things are true which we know aren't true. Ungtss 15:45, 14 February 2008 (EST)
I only said it was similar linguistically, not in meaning. In other words, it's an English phrase that tries to capture a failure in logic (not necessarily a fallacy, per se), whereas most (but not all) straightforward logical fallacies have fancy Latin names, or very specific English names ("assuming the antecedent", for example). humanUser talk:Human 16:17, 14 February 2008 (EST)
Ah, got it. "Overbroad criteria?" Not sure that's any better than what we got. Ungtss 16:18, 14 February 2008 (EST)
I suppose we could use the latin adage in the last example? Ungtss 16:25, 14 February 2008 (EST)

Loving the passive-aggressive commentary section[edit]

Why can't some people just say what they mean? GrandSoviet 18:03, 23 March 2008 (EDT)

I believe this disaster was constructed during an edit war with an undercover Cdesign proponentsistser, who was trying to use it as a point elsewhere. humanUser talk:Human 18:35, 23 March 2008 (EDT)

I've removed it. Here it is:

Since none of these examples make clear what is meant,[1] let us now say what the error is. It is an attempt to somehow prove[2] the existence of supernatural entities, and their involvement in human life, by whining[3] about logical positivism and materialism as somehow flawed at their basic level.[4] Which is amusing, since they are the only tools that have ever proved useful in the attempt to understand the world around us.[citation needed]

It confuses the article by suggesting that this logical fallacy only exists in the context of trying to prove the existence of God or other supernaturals. This directly contradicts some of the examples above (e.g. the one about human beliefs stemming from wish fulfillment). weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 15:25, 17 December 2008 (EST)

  1. Or any damn sense, for that matter.
  2. Despite the absence of any reference to the supernatural or any identifiable arguments that it exists; in fact, the author does not believe the word "supernatural" holds any meaning.
  3. Whining: v. 1) The act of criticizing my beliefs through logic when I lack the mental resources to understanding what is being said; 2) The act of defending your beliefs when I lack the mental resources to understand what you mean.
  4. Which they might very well be.

Monty Python example[edit]

It certainly contains a logical fallacy, but I think it would go better as an example of false analogy or correlation does not equal causation rather than 'proving too much'. It doesn't fit in with the rest of the examples which are paradoxical statements. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 14:07, 26 September 2008 (EDT)

No response after several weeks, so I'm takin' it out. weaseLOIdWeaselly.jpg~ 15:15, 17 December 2008 (EST)

Revision please![edit]

There's nothing categorically fallacious about this just because some people apparently can't handle figures of speech everyone else understands*. A note should be added that this only applies to their usage in a strictly scientifical context where language is bound to very specific rules so as to conform to very specific requirements not found in everyday parlour.

  • this, too, was a mere figure of speech, and I want to emphasize that I did not intend to suggest that indeed 100% of all non-Asperger/comparable individual or multiple personalities that have ever existed or are currently existing or even might once exist throughout time and universe will indeed understand.

Thinking about it, I might be the one who is splitting hairs too much while indeed everyone is aware of that distinction and lets it pass unsaid. In that case I blame my Asperger's diagnosis.— Unsigned, by: Sumpfkraut / talk / contribs

The definition is unclear, too short and doesn't fit the examples[edit] well as what I've found on the Internet for "proving too much".--ZooGuard (talk) 13:41, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Possibly because this article was just made up from nowhere. Scarlet A.pngDon't click here 22:16, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

Commiting a fallacy while claiming one[edit]

The claim that "most of these can be fixed with a qualifier" is actually nonsense, since it either results in saying nothing at all or special pleading. The final example is a perfect case of special pleading in its "fixed" form: "everything is subjective, with a single completely arbitrary exception I require to make this statement." It's very similar to the special pleading of the "creation requires a creator" argument.

The actual fallacy of drawing a conclusion that is logically undermined by its own argument or premises is generally called Stolen Concept. Or "self refuting idea" if you dislike terms coined by Objectivists.

It's prone to being used to construct strawman by addressing versions of opposing arguments that were never supposed to be taken literally (the classic Objectivist example of Stolen Concept is "property is theft," noting that the concept of theft requires the concept of lawful property, even though it's obvious that's not what the statement is addressing), but it can be usefully applied to genuinely broken arguments. King Skeleton (talk) 08:05, 14 October 2014 (UTC)


Some content from and 32℉uzzy; 0℃atPotato (talk/stalk) 03:12, 1 August 2015 (UTC)