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As per the discussion on this answer, are we to consider that any answer, by default, claims to be the only possible solution? That, unless an answerer either prefaces each and every answer with "This may or may not be the only solution to your problem" or exhaustively defines any other possible solution and prove they wouldn't apply, the resulting answer is open to massive downvotes?

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I find that this way of answering is completely unnecessary and does not solve any actual problem. It just creates boilerplate text for answers, which is both a waste of time and a waste of effort. Answers should not be considered, by default, to claim to be the only solution because that just results in nobody answering for fear of being downvoted because there's another solution out there or just ends up with every answer having a beginning paragraph of pointless disclaimer text.

Answers should instead be considered one of many possible solutions by default, not the definitive answer. Arriving at the definitive answer is not and should not be the goal of any answerer.

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  • Then this site is no good fit for the Q&A format of SE. The goal of SE is to find the answer. Not answers. There is one. One solution that fits the need of the OP. Any answerer should attempt to bring with it all possibilities for that problem. Questions that don't fit that are too broad and should be closed, not answered. – Angelo Fuchs Dec 11 '14 at 6:11
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    Actually, you're wrong. The goal of SE is to find the best answer. The best answer is not necessarily the only answer and even the best answer is subjective. This is why you can find questions with accepted answers that are not the most upvoted answer. Really, the goal of SE isn't even to find the best answers, it's to make sure all the best answers (of which there may be several to the same question) are in one place to be found easily. – Origin Dec 11 '14 at 6:32

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