7 paradoxes that will drive you crazy
A paradox is always an interesting situation, which largely contradicts itself. A phenomenon that can exist in reality, but has no logical explanation. Common sense is alien to the paradoxes that surround us, nevertheless they are very valuable for the development of critical thinking. We find new ways to explain the various mysterious phenomena, further advancing the knowledge of the world. Tease your mind and ask difficult questions – a large part of intellectual activity. And the closer you look at things around you, the more you will find strange and incomprehensible.
Here are some of the most spectacular paradoxes of today, about which you should know. Enjoy! If you know any more, share them in the comments.
1. The Fermi Paradox
Physicist Enrico Fermi apparently did not comprehend the series «Secret Materials» and for him the existence of extraterrestrial life and technologically advanced, a very dubious idea. The infamous Drake equation gives hope to ufologists, logically justifying a higher chance of meeting an alien intelligence. But Enrico Fermi just is not fooled, and he asks: «where are they? Why we have not seen any traces of intelligent extraterrestrial life, such as probes, spacecraft or radio transmissions?» This issue and formulated the paradox:
On the one hand, there have been numerous arguments that the Universe must exist a significant number of technologically advanced civilizations. On the other hand, there are no observations that would confirm that. The situation is paradoxical and leads to the conclusion that either our understanding of nature, or our observations are incomplete and erroneous.
2. The paradox of ship of Theseus
If to describe briefly, it reads: an object, all of whose components replaced remain the same object?
This classic paradox was retold by Plutarch. According to mythology, the ship on which Theseus returned from Crete to Athens was kept by the Athenians before the era Demetria Phaleron, and annually went to the sacred Embassy to Delos. But here’s the point. Every time before sending it replaced the Board. And here among the ancient philosophers there was a dispute, whether that is a ship that plied the seas Theseus or not? And if you build from the old boards a ship, then which one is real?
A new version of this paradox replaces the ship on the brain, thereby inquiring into the unknown: «If a person is to transplant the brain of his clones, will there be people yourself?»
3. The grandfather paradox
A science-fiction writer Rene Barjavel loved to write about time travel, but one day, in 1943, he described the following paradox.
Let’s assume that time travel is possible, and you have a special time machine for this. You went back in time and killed your biological grandfather before he met your grandmother. Why would you do that, we don’t know. Perhaps you are a mentally ill psychopath who hates all people who are over 60. But that’s not the point. So, you killed your grandfather, therefore one of your parents was never born, and therefore you were not born. It turns out that in the end, you wouldn’t be able to travel back in time, because you don’t, so your grandfather would still be alive, and you, accordingly, would be born and this would allow you to travel back in time, and means to kill his grandfather. Here’s a brain explosion.
4. The paradox of Almighty God
In General, these paradoxes to the whole family, but they all boil down to what can make a very powerful being, and could limit its omnipotence, the ability to perform the actions of God?
The simplest example is: «can an omnipotent God create a stone that he can not lift?»
Richard Dawkins, meanwhile, notes that the omnipotence and omniscience of God also come together in a conflict, or God knows what he will do tomorrow, or he has the freedom (ability) to do anything.
5. The Paradox Of The Liar
Common paradox, which has several subtypes. Not without the Greeks, like the biggest fans to ask questions to which no clear answer. For example, the topic of Epimenides, a Greek priest and seer. A paradox, by the way, you can read in the New Testament the Apostle Paul. It reads: «a Cretan He claimed that all Cretans are liars.» It turns out, if He is right, that all Cretans are indeed liars, but he is a liar, so the statement is false. If he was a liar, then, paradoxically, he speaks the truth.
6. The paradox of the Barber
Very similar to the previous paradox, and in fact are interpretations of Russell’s paradox, demonstrate the inconsistency of Frege’s logical system, is an early attempt at formalizing a naive set theory of G. Cantor. But we will not delve into the logic and philosophy, and reveal the essence of the paradox through the situation, suggested by Russell himself.
Imagine that the tip of one of the village put the installation your hairdresser to shave all the men of the village who do not shave themselves and only those men. Should the Barber shave himself? If so, it refers to those who shaves himself, so he must not shave himself. In the end, the Barber shaves himself when he shaves. But this is impossible. On the other hand, this paradox violates the law of logic – the law of identity, which was formulated by Aristotle in his treatise «Metaphysics». Actually, that’s why many people the paradox of the Barber is perceived as pseudopanax.
7. The Paradox Curry
You’ve heard of it, we think. It is as simple as a bacon sandwich: «If this statement is true, that mermaids exist.» Instead of mermaids can specify the spaghetti monster, Cthulhu, dragon and the like.
The train of thought that leads to the paradox, the following:
– denote by S the statement «If S is true, then the spaghetti monster exists»;
– we do not know the truth of the statement S. But if the statement S was true, it would mean the existence of a spaghetti monster;
but that is what is alleged in the statement S, so S is true;
so, spaghetti monster exists!