Top Ten Philosophical and Science Fiction Paradoxes

What will happen if a time machine ever gets invented? If it does, don't give them on sale to the whole world (like, hp Time Machine worth 2000000$)! Otherwise some idiots may lead to these, mind boggling, but interesting paradoxes, that can have immeasurable influences, which won't be very favorable for us.

The Top Ten

1 Nihilist Paradox

Nothing is true, then if nothing is true, that sentence has to be wrong... - Toshin

This has nothing to do with nihilism. The sentence just indicates that you cannot prove the sentence itselfs. The theory of Kurt Gödel has a same logic with the sentence ; " This sentence cannot be proven " which means if this is true than it must be untrue and if it is not true it must be true. The latter means also that if we cannot prove the truth of the sentence that the sentence cannot be intern consistent. In its final system it means that the sentence is true but unprovable which also indicates that the human mind ( and even a computer ) has limits. And limitation doesn't mean nihilism.

2 Grandfather's Paradox

There is a theory that a universe is created every time there is a decision. Maybe that applies. One universe for the grandfather dying and the father and son ceasing to exist, and another where they all survive? I like this paradox!

This could be made possible if you had a handy paradox machine. "Allowing the past and the future to collide in infinite majesty" - IronSabbathPriest

Now this paradox does concern a grandfather (and I am not joking). Actually, the grandfather of the time traveler concerned.
Lets take a short story to explain this.
Mr. Adams, a scientist, worked very hard and finally made a time machine to fulfill his one and only dream; to kill his grandfather. His grandfather was a cruel, cold blooded murderer, and he was the cause of the death of his girlfriend's grandfather (she was already born before that). Now out of hurry, he travels back to past and kills his own grandfather aged 21(so that his grandfather doesn't kill his girlfriend's granddad when they both become 67 years ), without realizing that his father was not yet born at that time.
Now a contradiction takes place here
1. If his father is yet to be born, then he shouldn't exist or cease to exist.
2. If he ceases to exist in this timeline, then his grandfather must die, but for this he must kill him, but then he can't because his grandfather died so he doesn't exist ...more - Kiteretsunu

This is a mindbogleing concept - Toucan

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3 Bootstrap Paradox

This Paradox sure has a funny name, and is interesting too! It states that a piece of information will lose its origin, if it's passed from the future to the past. Lets take an example for this.

Suppose Mr James, a scientist, is working very hard to make a time machine, but all his attempts turn fruitless. But suddenly he notices a space time warp, and a time machine lands in front of him. And out comes Future Mr. James, holding a blueprint with him. He gives this blueprint to the Present Mr. James, and says that this is the blueprint of the time machine the Future Mr James has made. He then bids goodbye to his past self, and goes back to his own timeline. The Present Mr James follows the instructions of the blueprint exactly and successfully makes a time machine for his own. He then clutches this blueprint in his hand tightly, and travels back to his past, to pass this golden blueprint to his own Past self, so that he also be able to make the time machine.

The question ...more - Kiteretsunu

An adult goes to a windmill hut and meets an angry man there. The angry windmill man mentions a young boy who played a magical song and messed up his windmill. The adult learns the song from the windmill man and plays it. The adult then goes back in time to when he was a young boy. The young boy goes to windmill. He plays the song for the man who lives in the windmill. The song messes up the windmill causing the man to get angry.

If the adult only knew the song because the angry windmill man taught him, and the angry windmill man only knew it because the young boy played it, and if the young boy only knew because his adult self went back in time after learning it, then who created the song? Where did the information come from? That is the paradox.

(From: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Learning the Song of Storms paradox.)

If you have ever played Ocarina of Time, think Song of Storms paradox.

I remember this. Very confusing. Also, there is the Zombie paradox... - CityGuru

4 Paradox of Value

Water is cheaper and diamonds not that cheap just because diamonds are less in quantity to find and for that matter rare. But in the end when it comes to make profits in money, it's water that will give more money because it's sold more iall over the world than diamonds. The end result is that water has more value. You just need to sell more quantities. It's like saying that Toyota is cheaper than Lamborghini but ithe end result of benefits and profits is that Toyota makes more money because they sell more cars than Lamborghini.

Not really a paradox. It is supply and demand. The supply for water is very high that is all. Soon, when the supply of water drops considerably, water's value will skyrocket.

It is also known as diamond-water paradox: Water is more useful than diamonds, yet is a lot cheaper. Why? - Kiteretsunu

There is so much water but not much diamonds - CityGuru

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5 Predestination Paradox

Lets take a story to understand this.
In 1850, Bob's horse was spooked by something, and almost took Bob over a cliff, had it not been for a strange man stopping the horse. This strange man was later honored by having a statue of him erected. Two hundred years later, Bob goes back in time to sight-see, and sees someone's horse about to go over a cliff. He rushes to his aid and saves his life. (this story is taken from a wikipedia article)
So how was Bob able to save himself? If you say that his future self saved him, then how did the FUTURE SELF survive for that long to save himself. But then again it can be said that the FUTURE SELF'S Future Future self saved him. Then how did THIS FUTURE FUTURE self survive that long to save himself! - Kiteretsunu

A paradox requires some semblance of a logical basis.
None exists here, as it presumes either that Bob has an extraordinary lifespan, or that the theoretical concept of future events preexisting their past is anything more than a pointless thought exercise.
In other words, it's nonsense.

Either you don't know about parallel time-lines (parallel universes), or you would find that this statement is perfectly paradoxical with a perfect logical basis. - Kiteretsunu

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6 Dream Argument

Well, the "visitor below " was DELETED.
The visitor simply pointed out that this, once again, was not a paradox, but a conundrum, and that it wasted a lot of words to ask a simple, three-word question.
First off, it's not an ARGUMENT, but a QUESTION.
Second: NOT "all arguments" in philosophy are "like this."
That statement alone makes you look foolishly amateurish.

To the visitor below me, what the hell are you talking about? What's your problem? If you didn't know, all the arguments in philosophy are like this. Philosophy as a subject is like this.

What so difficult to understand about this dream? Have you never heard about third party perspectives? Others than you who agrees about reality? Plus, Science can measure dreamwaves ( the frequency of the delta and theta wave activity ) and so on...

7 Paradox of Hedonism: In seeking happiness, one does not find happiness

Hedonism comes from the Greek word " Pleasure " and not " Happiness ". Hedonism is looking for instant pleasure at a certain moment ( once done with one pleasure they move to the next pleasure without looking back ). Hedonism sometimes waits for a certain pleasure ( for instance eating something you like ) so that you can have a greater pleasure of the taste when you finally eat what you've waiting for. All this subtle things of " pleasure " can make you happy. In other words, hedonism is not seeking " the " happiness. It seeks the pleasure in one way or another or grabs the pleasures whenever that comes or whenever you didn't expect it ( the " carpe diem " ). Hedonism is not a paradox because it's a way of life you freely choose.

8 Paradox of Fiction: How people can experience strong emotions from purely fictional things?

It states the following arguments
1. Most people have emotional responses to characters, objects, events etc. which they know to be fictitious.
2. On the other hand, in order for us to be emotionally moved, we must believe that these characters, objects, or events, truly exist.
3. But no person who takes characters or events to be fictional at the same time believes that they are real. - Kiteretsunu

What's the paradox in that? If you take for instance a substance like LSD you will experience also strong emotions that seems real and those emotions can even come back many months or years after you took those substances ( flashbacks ). Why? Because you are altering some chemicals in your body like dopamine, serotonine, adrenaline, nor-adrenaline and some neurotransmitors like glutamate. So, if you experience an emotion without substances it's still because some chemicals in your body start to react (in a way it doesn't react all the time or like it's supposed to do ).

"Isn't that mysterious in itself? "
Clearly, you do not understand the meaning of "empathy," else you'd not (hopefully) find it "mysterious."
See: abstract thought.
"But I think it's useless to argue with you."
A mundane dodge by people who have no coherent argument.
See: politician; sociology professor. least back your argument with proper reasoning."
See: irony (not to be confused with "paradox.")

Fiction stirs emotions inside of us. We do not need to believe something is real to feel emotions. - CityGuru

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9 Barbershop Paradox V 1 Comment
10 Twin Paradox

The idea that if one twin went into space and accelerated near light speed while the other stayed behind, the effects of time dilation mean the twin in space comes back younger than the other twin. - PositronWildhawk

The fact is the space twin doesn't become younger, but time passes slower to him. Time passes faster to the twin who stays behind. - keyson

The Contenders

11 The Bus Stop Paradox

Suppose you see a bus leaving from a bus stop, and thus you're late and must catch it. But to reach the bus stop, you must cover half the distance, and to cover half the distance, you must cover one-fourth of the distance, and to cover one-fourth you must cover one-eighth, and to cover one-eighth you must cover one-sixteenth of it and to cover... Thus leading to infinity. So you have to cover infinite series of distances to reach the bus stop, and thus the distance must be infinite. And if that's so, you will never reach the bus stop, because it takes infinite time to cover an infinite distance! - Kiteretsunu

This is not a paradox, as a paradox must relate to reality.
The fact is, you CAN reach the bus stop. This renders the non-paradox entirely moot, and just another thought exercise with no apparent purpose other than to illustrate it's own silliness.

A anyone knows where I can catch the bus to the brain repair shop - Toucan

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12 Unstoppable Force Paradox

If "there can be no immovable object," then there MUST be an unstoppable force.
If there is "no unstoppable force," then there MUST be an immovable object.
Houston, we have a problem.
It's called separation from logic.

Quite simple, there can be no immovable object or unstoppable force - CityGuru

What happens when an Unstoppable Force meets an Immovable object? - Kiteretsunu

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13 The Fermi Paradox

While eating lunch with his friend Enrico fermi asked his friends,"Where Are They "(they meaning Extra terestials ).his statement asked many questions on E.T s excistance and there have been many solution and oppositions to his questions,but we still don't have an answers - Toucan

14 Pinocchio Paradox

This paradox is when Pinocchio says my nose will grow now. That means he was lying than because he lied his nose will grow but that would mean was telling the truth.

15 Achilles and the Tortoise

Achilles once challenged a tortoise to a foot race. Achilles knew he would win, but to make it fair, he gave the tortoise a ten yard head start. Suppose Achilles runs ten times faster than the tortoise.
So when Achilles has run ten yards, the tortoise has ran one.
When Achilles has ran that one yard, the tortoise has run one tenth yard.
When Achilles ran that one tenth yard, the tortoise ran one hundredth yard.
Achilles can never overtake the tortoise, - CityGuru

It's like saying that this particular vacuumcleaner will save you half the time of work than another vacuumcleaner and you say ; " Okay, give me two vacuumcleaners then ". We all know that the sum of a infinite number of zeros doesn't mean that it is equal to infinity. In the case of the tortoise, he will ran a number of times till he gets to a distance that equals zero. At that moment Achilles will grap the tortoise and beat him. The lie in this paradox is to think that zero equals infinity!

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Top Remixes

1. Paradox of Value
2. Grandfather's Paradox
3. Bootstrap Paradox
1. Grandfather's Paradox
2. Bootstrap Paradox
3. Predestination Paradox



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