They Are Not Skeptics
In high school, I had a chemistry teacher who was very influential in my life. Not because I went into chemistry (I didn't), but because he taught me the difference between skepticism and cynicism. A skeptic demands to be proven wrong, but keeps an open mind. A cynic refuses to be proven wrong, and rejects all evidence.
The media seem to have adopted the practice of describing the "Truthers" as skeptics. For example:
A double-bill presentation scheduled in this city Monday evening by two leading voices of what’s known as the 9/11 truth movement has triggered lively debate over freedom of expression – after one researcher at the university where the event is being held labeled skeptics unconvinced by official U.S. government reports as “liars” and “intellectually dishonest.”
Three Canadian universities will be used as venues for a speaking tour by prominent 9/11 skeptics.
As we have pointed out many times in the past, most Troofers, when asked what would falsify their beliefs, will say that nothing can convince them that they are wrong. That is cynicism.
What would convince me that I am wrong and the Troofers are right? I can think of quite a few things:
1. Video or audiotape of Bush and Cheney planning the attacks.
2. Shyam Sunder joining Richard Gage's gaggle.
3. Evidence which does not consist of quote mining, publication in joke journals, and which is verified by sources independent of the "Truthers".
That is the difference between the Truthers and me. I can remember at least one occasion when I actually did wonder if they had something; when Barry Jennings' story came to light. But it wasn't long until I realized that Jennings just had his timeline wrong, which explained the difference between his experience and everybody else's.