I encountered it recently, and it went like this:
“Anyone who thinks that the reason we went into Iraq was for anything other than oil is insane.”
As I tried to think of a counterargument to this I quickly realized that the task was futile. This truly was an invincible argument. I had no choice but to accept it, as you, my dear readers, must now be realizing yourselves.
Normally when you encounter a statement which is false, you can refute it with a statement of fact. But no statement can be uttered in contradiction to this one without the speaker classifying himself among the mentally unhinged, thereby rendering his own statement, as well as anything else he may say–or even think–as dismissible, at the least. (At the most, he ought be carted off to the funny farm as a preventative measure against further pronouncements of nonsense)
The argument of the type “Anyone who thinks/believes X is insane” is therefore completely impervious to all refutation. It is thoroughly unassailable; the bulletproof standard of debate. It is to debate what Shaquille O’Neal is to basketball. Like the Pythagorean Theorem, it ain’t got no answer. My regret is that it took me this long to discover it. Think of all the applications!
Work – “Anyone who thinks that the most valuable employee this company has got is any person other than myself is insane.”
Try this with your coworkers. Should they attempt to deny it they’ll come out looking like imbeciles in front of your boss, which can only be good for you.
School – “Teacher, anyone who thinks that this assignment is anything other than a total waste of time is insane.”
Ouch! Just imagining the silence with which these words would have stricken my high school chemistry teacher tickles me with delight…and not a small amount of nostalgic regret.
Dating – “Gertrude, anyone who thinks you’ve got anything better to do with your time than go moshing with me this saturday is insane.”
This one is almost too good to share.
Well now, what should you do when you find yourself on the receiving end of the golden argument? You should agree with the speaker–quickly. Otherwise, I’ll be seeing you in the padded cell across from me.