China the Beautiful

Unpenetrable Shield and All-piercing Spear
(A contradiction in logic)

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An armorer of Chu boldly claims to make the best spears and shields.

"My shields are so strong; they cannot be penetrated by any weapon," he said.
"My spears are so sharp; they can pierce any shield," he further said.

A man asks, "If your spear is thrown at your shield, what then?"
The armorer had no reply.

By logic, both an unpenetrable shield and an all-piercing spear can not exist at the same time.

-State of Chu (841-233 b.c.), Chou Dynasty

What is the moral of this story? Have you heard a similar story in Western literature?


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