moving user ID Comments to --expert mode

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Fri Feb 4 02:52:40 CET 2011

On 2/3/11 8:36 PM, Doug Barton wrote:
>> then it's disingenuous to say "but they can just use expert mode."
> Why?

Because it does not recognize the validity of a well-answered question.
 When a question is asked and answered, it is good form to recognize the
answer, rather than say "... well, but!...".  Moving the goalposts, in
addition to being a logical fallacy, tends to persuade people that
you're not really interested in the answer.

... E.g., "Lee Harvey Oswald didn't kill Jack Kennedy!  The shots
weren't fired from the Texas Book Depository."  Well, in point of fact,
his co-workers saw him going up to the floor where he fired from, and a
lifelong hunter co-worker of his was exactly one floor below and heard
the gunshots, the shooter working the bolt of the rifle, and the brass
ejecting on the floor.  "But there's no way any human being could fire
those shots that quickly and accurately!  That's the work of a military
sniper, not a deranged gunman!  Oswald couldn't have been the shooter!"
 Well, now you're moving the goalposts: but, while we're talking about
it, the Warren Commission was able to find an Army specialist[*] who was
able to not only fire faster than that, but with better accuracy.  "But
what about the grassy knoll and the fourth gunshot?!" ... Listen, you're
not really interested in having a discussion about this, are you?  For
every claim of yours that gets refuted, you just move the goalposts
somewhere else.  I'm done talking: it doesn't matter what answer I give,
you're going to keep subscribing to these ridiculous and refuted
conspiracy theories.

[*] Non-Americans: 'specialist' is a rank in the United States Army,
just barely above a raw recruit.  Instead of being a "specialist
shooter," as you might think from the phrase "Army specialist," it
really means, "the Warren Commission found a young soldier who was
barely able to tie his own shoes without a sergeant's help, and even
*he* was able to do a better job than Oswald."

More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list