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Liar Paradox (Eubulid or Epimenides Paradox)


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220 replies to this topic

#11 Dominicano0519

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Posted 02 July 2007 - 07:41 PM

dont forget while it is very easy to call him a liar
the paradox is that he can also be telling the truth

remember just because someone is a liar doesn't mean they have to lie all of the time.

he can tell the truth one day and lie the next. as long as he has said one lie he is a liar.

for example i am a liar. i can lie about my age but i can tell the truth about this. but i am still a liar.

and also making the cretan a liar also works.

nice paradox
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#12 TCDR

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 12:56 PM

initally the speak is identified as a Cretian and states that all cretans are liars, yet it is under the discrepency of the greeks ashore to assume or know that this man is truly a cretan. If greeks believe so, the question then arises of the vailidity of his statement if he reports that he belongs to a group of whihc are ALL Liars. tHUS, INITIALLY TWO POSSIBILTIES EXIT: 1. HE IS A LIAR WITH ASSUMPTION THAT HE IS A CRETAN 2. HE IS NOT TRULY A CRETAN AS STATED, THUS NOT COMMITTED TO BEING A MEMBER OF A GROUP OF LIARS, THUS HE MAY SPEAK THE TRUTH.

SO ONE CAN SAY CRETANS ARE OR ARE NOT LIARS.

NEXT, HE STATES THAT HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH, AND HE IS A CRETAN (WHO LIE). DICHOTOMOUS OF COURSE. BUT IONE CANNOT TRUST THE VAIDILTY OF HIS INITIAL STATEMENT THAT ALL CRETANS ARE LIARS IF HE IS A LIAR, SO PERHAPS HE IS LYING ABOUT ALL THE CRETANS BEING LIARS AS WELL AS HHIS SPEAKING THE TRUTH,. ON THE OTHER HAND,
IF HES A CRETAN AND HES LYING THEN THERE IS NO WAY TO DEPEND ON HIS STATEMENTS; THUS LYING AND TRUTH LOSE SIGNIFICANCE AND IDENTITY BECOMES THE FOCUS.

AND WHO TRUSTS THAT GREEKS TRULY KNEW THIS MAN WAS A CRETAN AT ALL.
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#13 TCDR

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Posted 03 July 2007 - 01:25 PM

Ok, so first the speaker is identified as a cretan
automatically discrepency arises for who trusts that the identifier is of truth.
Next, this so called "Cretan" proclaims that all cretans are liars,
yet it is under the discrepancy of the Greeks ashore to assume or know that this man is truly a Cretan.Upon determination of this truth, we must again decide between two possibilites.
If we trust the Greeks that he is truly a Cretan the question then arises of the validity of his statement if he reports that he belongs to a group of which are ALL Liars.
Again, two possibilities:
1. HE IS A LIAR WITH ASSUMPTION THAT HE IS A CRETAN , yet some cretans can be liars and some not for if he lies, then how do we know that there truthful parts of he or the Cretans exist.

2. Or HE IS NOT TRULY A CRETAN AS STATED, thus he is not a member of a group of questionable liars, yet his character is far from elucidated. Who is to say he is not a lying Greek?

So we can have a lying greek, a truth telling man of unknown descend, a liar of unknown descent, a Cretan who lies at times, but may be telling the truth, or a cretan who is lying now.

NEXT, HE STATES THAT HE SPEAKS THE TRUTH, AND HE IS A CRETAN (WHO LIE). DICHOTOMOUS OF COURSE. BUT ONE CANNOT TRUST THE his initial statement *we dont know if hes lying anyway*, here presents the same issues in a different light

1. if indeed the first man is a Cretan, there is no substance to his statement because we cannot trust whether he lies or speaks the truth.
2. If we believe he is indeed a liar, then what realm does this word lie' include? all words, some words. and has he the Cretan been lied to if indeed he is surrounded by others of deception.

i believe that the truth and a lie cannot be defined by one who generalizes that ALL of people are such a way, for a speaker of pure truth would know that it is impossible for ALL to be liars without defining the parameters of the term lie, thus i begin to wonder whether this man is a Cretan at all and the Greek who determined these men are Cretans is of knowledge, has been deceived, or is a Cretan himself.


In addition what man can exist in ENTIRETY as a liar or truth speaker? and what human has the true ability to know how existence is present as ONLY and ALL of one ethical and moral being. It is beyond the realm of human thinking. Thus, the paradox reveals itself in that even the words truth and lie are not concrete, rather depdendent upon others' understanding of such states that exist in spectrums far too broad to earn explanation with one word.
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#14 biemer_m5

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 10:02 AM

The man is a liar, he lies about all Cretans being liars but in fact he is a liar.
That is why he lies about what he says is always the truth.
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#15 Naruki

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Posted 10 July 2007 - 06:25 AM

It's curious how many times a good answer was given, then someone else came along and obscured it with their bad answer.

Anyway, the man may or may not be a liar, but he is certainly a fool.

The first word you (well, most of you) should look up is "liar". While you're doing that, I'll continue.

In order for the Cretan (there was only ONE in this story, and his nationality was clearly established by the dialog - READ CAREFULLY) to make a logical assertion about ALL Cretans, he would have to know it was true in ALL cases.

Now, assuming that Crete had more people than just his immediate family, do you propose that he personally verified each and every Cretan alive (even the babies) to have told at least one lie? Very unlikely.

If you've finished looking up "liar" now, please explain where it says a liar always lies. (If you attempt to do that, then you'd better go back and look up "always".)

In short, the Cretan most likely could not have known if his statement was true or not. In real life, everyone would just assume he was a bitter man who had been lied to by many of his countrymen. (Unless they believed in the gods and felt Crete had been magically cursed to lie.)

In shorter, there is no paradox here. But Filetos seems like an idiot.
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#16 HowNowBrownCow

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 05:08 AM

Fear not it has been solved!!!
Seriously though. Logically, this guy probably has know idea what he's talking about. The chances of his words being consistant in his honesty aren'y very good so I've come up with three likely reasons he talked the way he did.
1. He knew all pure-blood Cretans lied but he himself was only half Cretan (his father was a very rich Egyptian who died mysteriously one night, leaving the mother and her boy very rich indeed) whose appearance was more similar to that his mother. He said all Cretans lie (for at that time he was the only half-blood Cretan due to high travel costs) then realized that he himself appeared to be a Cretan and so returned to inform them that all Cretans are liars except himself!
2. He was just trying to confuse the Greeks so the Cretans could overtake their land in war.
3. He was drunk.
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#17 almass

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Posted 20 July 2007 - 05:20 PM

I think that that you need to prove someone a liar instead of making a statement that they are liars. It would not be fair if without any fault I called you a liar for no reason. For example, If you did steal something and there is no witnesses to prove you stole and you lie to protect yourself you are not considered a liar until proven guilty.
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#18 darightstuff

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Posted 22 July 2007 - 08:25 PM

The first time he says all Cretans are liars, which is therefore a lie because he himself is a cretan thus, properly interpreted the real message is: all cretans speak the truth or something close to that.

Next he says all Cretans are liars except me, I speak the truth. If properly interpreted this means: All cretans speak the truth but I am a liar.

*Note- (This is my opinion however the answer may be somewhat different)

It is not nessesary that whom ever speaks of himself is a liar but whoever considers himself supirior to others is in most cases a liar.
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#19 balletgirl13

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Posted 25 July 2007 - 11:30 PM

Well if he is saying that all cretans are liars then wouldnt he be lying about them all being liars so therfore what he is saying is false! I think that made sense!!!
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#20 hoktaur

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Posted 28 July 2007 - 04:32 PM

He said all cretins are liars AND I tell the truth all the time. Because of that AND, for the entire sentence to be a lie, only one of the two things needs to be false.

So he can assumably be telling the truth about the first part and lying about the second part, making the sentence as a whole a lie, making him a "liar" and doing away with the paradox there. It's the first part I'm wondering about...
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