Dock Your Boat at These Paradox

I find paradoxes fascinating.  It’s the kind of thing I can, quite literally, talk about for hours.  A good paradox will start off sounding rather logical and then, upon reaching it’s end, become absolutely absurd!  Or is it?

For those of you that don’t know what a paradox is, literarydevices explains it this way:

It is a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly but may include a latent truth. It is also used to illustrate an opinion or statement contrary to accepted traditional ideas. A paradox is often used to make a reader think over an idea in innovative ways.

Maybe what interests me more about paradoxes is the fact that it allows me, even forces me, to think about things from a totally different perspective.  To go outside how I would normally view something and come at it from a new angle.

The first time I was made aware of a paradox was from the video game Portal 2.  Without trying to spoil it for anyone that hasn’t played it (and I’d highly recommend you do!) you are tasked with escaping rooms by solving puzzles.  These puzzles are laid out by a spiteful A.I. that you must continually try to outsmart.  While solving these puzzles and entering more and more new rooms, you encounter a poster on a wall that reads:


After I finished playing I remember looking up tons of paradoxes and finding quite a few of them both entertaining and intriguing.  I’d like to share a few of my favorites with you!  But, instead of just sharing the names of a few paradoxes and explaining them, I’m going to share the actual paradox and let you try to figure it out…without going crazy trying to do so!

  1. A visitor to a new blog reads an entry about paradoxes.  The visitor decides to leave a comment and proceeds to write: “The next person to comment always lies.”  A second visitor decides to leave a comment and writes: “The person that commented before me always tells the truth.”
  2. Pinocchio says, “My nose is about to grow!”  What happens next?
  3. You did it!  You invented and built a time machine!  Congrats, but I have a challenge for you:  Go back in time and kill your grandfather.  Think you can do it?
  4. Here is a classic you may have heard before:  Can an omnipotent being create an object so heavy that he cannot lift it?
  5. There is a barber shop on the edge of a small town.  There is only one male barber working this barber shop.  His job is to shave townsfolk but he can only shave the townsfolk that do NOT shave themselves.  So, who shaves the barber?
  6. And, not really a paradox but fun nonetheless…If I brought you a DiGiorno pizza would it still be a DiGiorno pizza when I delivered it to you?


I hope you enjoyed this little mind poke as much as I did!  Do you have a favorite paradox?  Leave a comment and tell me!

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