A paradox is, in essence, a statement that contradicts itself, or a statement that has a different meaning from what we think intuitively. One famous paradox include the statement made by Salman Khan in the movie ‘Wanted’, “Mujhpe ek ehsaan karo ki mujhe koi ehsaan mat karo,” meaning ”Do me a favour by not doing me a favour.” So if you want to do him a favour, you should not do him a favour. And if you do not want to do him a favour, then you should do him a favour. Confusing, isn’t it? Well, that’s what all paradoxes are.
There are several instances where a situation or a statement made by a person is a paradox, though we may not realise it at a first glance. Here are some of these inconspicuous situations and statements.
The Energy Paradox:
We may have often noticed that when we play an outdoor game or workout intensely, we stay more active. But, isn’t it strange? Because, by logic, if we consume more of something, we will have less of it. But here, we are consuming a lot of energy, but yet we feel more energetic. In other words, we consume a lot of energy, and still we have more energy, as compared to how much we would have if we didn’t do the energy consumption in the first place. This presents the Energy Paradox.
The Liar Paradox:
Although not something we witness in our daily life, this paradox is a really puzzling one, and we can use it to make ourselves and our friends think hard to solve it. Let’s say someone says “I always lie.” So if he is speaking the truth, he is lying. And if he is lying, he is speaking the truth. So what is he speaking? Truth or lie?
The Dichotomy Paradox:
Suppose we are walking from one point A to point B. To reach point B, we first have to reach half of that distance. And to reach half, we need to reach quarter of that distance. Again, to reach quarter, we first need to reach one-eighth of the distance. This goes on and on and on. So we can see that just to move from A to B, we have to perform tasks that are infinite, and impossible. Every distance can be broken down into smaller units, no matter how small it is, otherwise there wouldn’t be any distance between A and B whatsoever. So one task of covering a distance can be halved, and further halved, and so on. So essentially we cannot start our journey in the first place, since if we start the journey, we have to perform an infinite number of tasks to reach the other point.
The Paradox of Fiction:
Often, things that move us are material in nature. It’s actually more or less obvious that things that move us exist. However, the paradox lies in the observation that, the things that deeply move us, actually do not exist. How many times have we felt inspired by a particular hero or heroine in a novel, or an event which has occurred only in our imagination? Some of our most profound emotions are drawn out by things that never really exist.
The “You can be truly alive for something only when you are willing to die for it” paradox:
This might seem odd at first. If you are willing to die for something, how can you be alive for it? But it is actually true. For example, let’s say we truly love our passion for dance, in a way that we are willing to die for it. Then we will actually be able to feel and enjoy every moment of dancing. This is true in almost every case, where we are so much passionate for something that we are willing to die for it. This also leads us to another paradox that “The more afraid you are of death, the less you will be able to enjoy life.”