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自圆其说 refers to making one's statement plausible.

Is there a similar saying, indicating the action of justifying one's own reason, but justifying it to oneself, i.e., without necessarily making it plausible?

For instance someone may do this off they felt under attack, and had little grounds or means of defending themselves, a common case experienced by many.

The witnesses and people responsible for positive change of mindset, change, and support at that time may lie elsewhere.

One of the reasons for this may be that the situation or state of belief surrounding them may not be rype for their explanations or their actions to be accepted, without the proper full picture being depicted.

EXAMPLE: Wang Lang has a brown bear at home. To fill his desire to overcome freedom, he gets out and walks among streets filled with brown bears, telling himself, "I am not scared of brown bears". Then, suddenly, he might think he is done and sees a red bear. He knew this was possible, and he knew that by "brown bears" he actually meant bears, so he 自圆其说s this statement to himself, because of his hope. But he knows it is just self justification, and not justification to others (he only thinks what he is saying to himself). So, because of this, does 自圆其说, or is there a better 熟语 for what I am describing?

  • Could someone rephrase the question? I can understand every word, but not a single sentence... – jf328 Aug 19 '16 at 14:23
  • From whose perspective, and how much judgement is involved? Such as, are you looking to describe oneself, or someone else? – judester Aug 19 '16 at 18:11
  • The question is in the topic title and the first two lines. the OP is seeking "alternative phrases to 自圆其说, but for self-justification". Which means he is looking for another words for 自圆其说, but the alternative phrases have to imply the subject's words is not logical or believable to others but himself. – Tang Ho Aug 20 '16 at 20:07
  • I have updated my post with an example. – Jack Maddington Aug 23 '16 at 5:03
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自相矛盾 would do, defending an obviously lost cause.

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My suggestion is:

砌詞狡辯 (use twisted logic or make up stories to defend oneself)

I do not recommend 自相矛盾

自相矛盾 (contradict oneself)

This idiom came from a story about a weapon merchant claimed his spears could pierce through any shield, and his shield could withstand any attack. when someone asked " what happens if I use your spear to attack your shield? " He had no answer. This idiom not only apply to words, it can apply to actions too.

前後矛盾 (previous and current action or statement contradict each other)

For example: someone making two statements,

Statement 1. "I was working that morning, I couldn't be the killer,"

Statement 2. " I was out of town that morning, I couldn't be the killer"

These two statements contradict each other. At least one or both are lies

Update:

The OP added an example, basically, he was seeking other phrases beside 自圆其说 to describe the action in the example.

To rephrase the example:

'A man owned a brown bear at home. One day he walked down the street and saw many brown bears running around. He felt scared, but told himself: "I have a brown bear at home, there's no reason for me to be afraid of other brown bears." To other people who were safely hiding in their house, that guy's reasoning is illogical, but to the guy himself, it was justified.'

Of course, when later a red bear came out and ate him for lunch, he would understand that he was wrong, but this part is beside the point.

The way he justified " I am not afraid of bear because I have one at home." is called 自欺欺人 (fool oneself and others)-- meaning someone is either in denial or firmly believes in something that's false, and his argument might sound solid in his mind, but to others, it would be all lies.

  • What would you mean by "twisted"? You mean faulty or corrupt? Are you saying some forms of logic are inherently evil? Why so? – Jack Maddington Aug 23 '16 at 5:04
  • Anyways, I have updated my post. See if you can add to your answer. – Jack Maddington Aug 23 '16 at 5:05
  • meaning of twisted logic: answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090718214750AAC9q2v – Tang Ho Aug 23 '16 at 5:50
  • Yeah, maybe he had a golden bear at home. And the read bear didn't exist. And the brown bear... was actually more than one, but were more or less the same, despite their large number. Then one day an orca came about, jumped out of the swizzly ocean, and everyone saw its belly. Bye bye. – Jack Maddington Aug 23 '16 at 8:00
  • Call it a bear, or call it a pear, they do not exist, they are part of your imagination. – Jack Maddington Aug 23 '16 at 8:02

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