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SHORTS   ?'?m?f Several short scripts, self-defeating arguments

STATISTICS

AMY -- Hey, did you see this?

LIZ -- What's that?

AMY -- This article in this magazine says that 63% of all
statistics quoted in magazines and newspapers are false.

LIZ -- You don't believe that, do you?

AMY -- Of course! It's written right here in this magazine!


SCIENCE VERSUS RELIGION

LIZ -- Do you know why I'm not a Christian?

AMY -- I'm sure you'll tell me.

LIZ -- I'm not a Christian because Christianity is not
scientific.

AMY -- Is that supposed to mean something?

LIZ -- Yes, I only believe in things that can be measured,
studied, or observed with the senses.

AMY -- Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. You only believe
in....

LIZ -- I only believe in things that can be measured, studied,
and observed with the senses.

AMY -- So, you don't believe in your own thoughts.

LIZ -- Yes I do!

AMY -- What kind of microscope do you use to measure, study and
observe your own thoughts?

LIZ -- Silly goose! You don't use a microscope!

AMY -- What do you use, then?

LIZ --  Actually, I'm not sure.

AMY -- What about love? You couldn't possibly believe in love
either.

LIZ -- Yes, I do.

AMY -- How about loyalty? You couldn't possibly believe in
loyalty either. Or enthusiasm. Or hatred. Or patriotism. Or
Memories. Or infinity. Or...

LIZ -- Alright! Alright! I get the point!

AMY -- You get the point.

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- How do you measure that?

LIZ -- Measure what?

AMY -- How do you study, observe, or measure getting my point?

LIZ -- (exits) Nevermind.


TIME VS RELIGION

LIZ -- Do you know why I'm not a Christian?

AMY -- I'm sure you'll tell me.

LIZ -- I'm not a Christian because Jesus lived in the past and
you can never know for sure what happened in the past.

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you just say something?

LIZ -- Don't be silly! You were looking right at me when I said 
it. It's a very simple proposition. I merely said, "you can
never know for sure what happened in the past."

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you just say something?

LIZ -- What is your problem?

AMY -- As soon as you finished that last sentence, it was
already in the past. So, according to your own logic, I can
never know for sure that you even said it.

LIZ -- (exiting in a huff) Oh, that's just like you Christians
to play dirty.


GOD IS INDESCRIBABLE

LIZ -- Do you know why I'm not a Christian?

AMY -- I'm sure you'll tell me.

LIZ -- I'm not a Christian because you Christians think you know
things you couldn't possibly know.

AMY -- And just what things do we think we know that we couldn't
possibly know?

LIZ -- Well, God, for one thing.

AMY -- So, you think we couldn't possibly know God.

LIZ -- That's right.

AMY -- And why couldn't we possibly know God?

LIZ -- Because God is indescribable.

AMY -- Did you hear what you just said?

LIZ -- Yes. I said, God is indescribable.

AMY -- Let me ask the question another way. Are you aware that
you just described God as indescribable?

LIZ -- I did?

AMY -- Yes.

LIZ -- (exiting) See what I mean?

AMY -- Actually, no.


HUMAN LANGUAGE

LIZ -- Did you know that human language is incapable of
describing reality?

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you say something?

LIZ -- Yes I did. I said, Human language is incapable of
describing reality.

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you say something?

LIZ -- I know you heard me. You were looking right at me! I
said, Human language is incapable of describing reality.

AMY -- If what you said is true, you didn't say anything,
because you used human language. And if I answer I would have to
use human language, which wouldn't mean anything.

LIZ -- (exits in a huff) I can't carry on an intelligent
conversation with you!

AMY -- Apparently not with human language.


ABSOLUTE TRUTH

AMY -- So, they tell me that you're a relativist.

LIZ -- Yes. There is no absolute truth.

AMY -- Is that true?

LIZ -- Yes. No. What I mean is, it's true for me.

AMY -- Is that the absolute truth?

LIZ -- Yes. No. What I mean is, it's relatively true for me.

AMY -- But you can't be sure.

LIZ -- Of course I'm sure!

AMY -- Then, it's absolutely true for you.

LIZ -- Yes. No. What I mean is, there is NO absolute truth.

AMY -- Well, then, if what you say is true, then what you say is
false?

LIZ -- (exiting) If it was anybody but you, I'd say yes.


UNIVERSAL MORALS

LIZ -- So, you're a Christian, huh?

AMY -- Yes, I am.

LIZ -- I'll bet you're one of those Christians who believes that
there are universal morals.

AMY -- Yes, I am.

LIZ -- How archaic. Universal morals went out with high button
shoes!

AMY -- Then you wouldn't mind if I punched you in the nose?

LIZ -- Yes, I'd mind!

AMY -- Then, are you saying it would be WRONG to punch you in
the nose?

LIZ -- Yes. No. What I mean is, in this interpretive community
it's wrong for you to punch anyone in the nose.

AMY -- Bad luck. I don't happen to belong to your interpretive
community. (makes fist)

LIZ -- On the other hand, what if I admit that there is just one
thing that is universally morally wrong?

AMY -- Then, I'll answer by stomping on your foot. Would there
be TWO things that are universally morally wrong?

LIZ -- Listen, forget I said anything against universal morals.

AMY -- So, what you're saying is, there ARE some things that are
universally wrong for everybody.

LIZ -- Relatively speaking.


TIME AND RELATIVISM

LIZ -- Do you know why I'm a relativist?

AMY -- Because you don't get enough attention from your mother?

LIZ -- No. It's because of time.

AMY -- You're a relativist because of time?

LIZ -- Yes. I'm a relativist because everything is in a state of
flux. Nothing is the same from moment to moment.

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you say something?

LIZ -- Don't pretend you didn't hear me. I said I'm a relativist
because everything is in a state of flux. Nothing is the same
from moment to moment.

AMY -- I'm sorry, did you say something?

LIZ -- So, what you're saying is that you don't have an answer
for me.

AMY -- Well, actually, I DO have an answer. But, in order to
answer you, even if I answer you in one short sentence, that
sentence takes time to speak.

LIZ -- Yes, so?

AMY -- So, according to you, everything is in a state of flux.
Nothing is the same from moment to moment. By the time I finish
my sentence, the meaning will change. You won't know what I
mean. But first I have to understand what you said in a state of
flux. And in a state of flux I'm not really sure you said
anything.

LIZ -- I'll talk to you later.

AMY -- I doubt it. It's time for lunch.

LIZ -- What does lunch have to do with flux?

AMY -- After lunch you won't get back to ME, because I won't be
the same person with food in my stomach as I am now.


LITERARY CRITICISM

LIZ -- (points to book) This author says that writers never
write what's true, only what they feel about the subject.

AMY -- Then, you can't believe a word he says.

LIZ -- Why not?

AMY -- Because he says writers never write what's true. He's a
writer isn't he?

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- So, by his own definition he never writes what's true,
only how he feels about the subject.

LIZ -- It sounded so intellectual when HE said it.

AMY -- You know there IS a way that that book might not be
wrong.

LIZ -- How's that?

AMY -- (exits) If he left all the pages blank.

LIZ -- (follows) I paid good money for this book. I think I'll
get my money back.


KNOW GOD

LIZ -- (points to book) This author says that it's impossible to
know God.

AMY -- Why is it impossible?

LIZ -- Because you can only know things that can be verified, he
says.

AMY -- Can that sentence be verified?

LIZ -- What sentence?

AMY -- "You can only know things that can be verified."

LIZ -- Gee, I don't know. How could we verify it? Maybe if we
knew God.

AMY -- But he says it's impossible to know God.

LIZ -- Maybe if we know for sure that God doesn't exist.

AMY -- How would you know for sure?

LIZ -- You can't. All you can prove is that God is not where you
looked.

AMY -- Is God the kind of thing you can find by looking?

LIZ -- No. I suppose not.

AMY -- So, can you verify the author's statement, "You can only
know things that can be verified?"

LIZ -- No! (slams book shut) Even his own statement can't be
verified! The guy is a fraud!


BRAIN POWER

LIZ -- This author says "Thought is a reflex of the brain"

AMY -- Are you sure you didn't misread that?

LIZ -- No. I'm quoting it exactly as it appears in the book.
"Thought is a reflex of the brain"

AMY -- Where did that sentence come from?

LIZ -- From this book.

AMY -- Where was that sentence before the author printed it in
his book?

LIZ -- Oh. It was a thought.

AMY -- And a thought is....

LIZ -- A reflex of the brain.

AMY -- So, he charged you $22.50 to look at the reflexes of his
brain?

LIZ -- (slams book shut) Maybe he was just talking about the
thoughts of people stupid enough to buy his book.


TOLERANCE

LIZ -- Do you know why I stress tolerance?

AMY -- I don't know. Enlighten me.

LIZ -- I stress tolerance because "All differences are
illusory."

AMY -- Silly me. And I thought you were going to suddenly make
sense.

LIZ -- What. You don't believe that all differences are
illusory?

AMY -- No.

LIZ -- Why not?

AMY -- How many words are in the sentence "All differences are
illusory"?

LIZ -- Four.

AMY -- How many of those words are the same?

LIZ -- None.

AMY -- So all the words are different?

LIZ -- Yes.

AMY -- So, by the author's own definition, that sentence is an
illusion.

LIZ -- (exiting in a huff) Oh, you're just intolerant!

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