What is this rhetorical tactic called?Submitted by RonPauler on Fri, 04/08/2011 - 10:13
A theological debate in another context, but I'm looking for the rhetorical label with this question.
The debate is over coerced obedience to God. My argument is that, since Christ was clear that it is what a person intends in his heart that is sin, then the person who is coerced into obeying God is not sinning less because the coercion stopped him. (Leaving the sin on the part of the coercer out of this debate.)
So, the rebuttal to an advocate of coerced obedience is that it is what is in the heart that matters.
The problem I'm running into is that gurus who argue FOR coerced obedience will first go on and on and on about how their primary concern is the heart (shepherding the heart is the nice-sounding phrase they use), but then tack on a case for coerced obedience. My problem is that the rebuttal to coerced obedience as having value is that it is the heart that matters. They are stating my rebuttal upfront, though it is incongruous with what they're advocating. They are basically stealing my rebuttal as if they've been advocating it all along, but it makes their case dissonant.
My defense against this is to call them on it, stating that, just because they said it first, doesn't make it not my rebuttal. I need to name that devil, put a label on it. What do you call the tactic of beating me to the punch by stating my rebuttal first, but pretending to hold both positions?