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TOPIC: The 'Straw Man' fallacy....

The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 30 Jul 2013 22:48 #1

  • diamondgeezer
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:chuckle: All forum users come across the Straw Man on a regular basis. BUT, do they always spot it..... ;)


Description of Straw Man

The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores another person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position. This sort of "reasoning" has the following pattern:

Person A has position X.
Person B presents position Y (which is a distorted version of X).
Person B attacks position Y.
Therefore X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because attacking a distorted version of a position simply does not constitute an attack on the position itself. One might as well expect an attack on a poor drawing of a person to hurt the person.

Examples of Straw Man

1. Prof. Jones: "The university just cut our yearly budget by $10,000."
Prof. Smith: "What are we going to do?"
Prof. Brown: "I think we should eliminate one of the teaching assistant positions. That would take care of it."
Prof. Jones: "We could reduce our scheduled raises instead."
Prof. Brown: " I can't understand why you want to bleed us dry like that, Jones."

2. "Senator Jones says that we should not fund the attack submarine program. I disagree entirely. I can't understand why he wants to leave us defenseless like that."

3. Bill and Jill are arguing about cleaning out their closets:
Jill: "We should clean out the closets. They are getting a bit messy."
Bill: "Why, we just went through those closets last year. Do we have to clean them out everyday?"
Jill: "I never said anything about cleaning them out every day. You just want too keep all your junk forever, which is just ridiculous."



Discuss...
The pen is mightier than the sword
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2013 22:49 by diamondgeezer.
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 30 Jul 2013 23:00 #2

  • PFIZIPFEI
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Admins and mods, too.

diamondgeezer wrote:
BUT, do they always spot it..... ;)
Discuss...


Dance ....

"The truth must be repeated over and over again,
because error is repeatedly preached among us, not
only by individuals, but by the masses. In periodicals
and cyclopaedias, in schools and universities; every-
where, in fact, error prevails, and is quite easy in the
feeling that it has a decided majority on its side."

~ J. W. v. Goethe

Johannes Lang "The Hollow World Theory" Blog
My Zone by PFIZIPFEI
Last Edit: 30 Jul 2013 23:13 by PFIZIPFEI.
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 00:07 #3

That's all I get from people DG, all i get all day everyday, nobody understands the Ultimate reality, and nobody really cares they're too rapped up in themselves ;)
...Molti nemici molto onore...
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 09:04 #4

  • PFIZIPFEI
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I don't like being thrown a "bone" and ordered to "gnaw" on it.
A personal comment coming with the c&p list would have helped to start the topic.
"The truth must be repeated over and over again,
because error is repeatedly preached among us, not
only by individuals, but by the masses. In periodicals
and cyclopaedias, in schools and universities; every-
where, in fact, error prevails, and is quite easy in the
feeling that it has a decided majority on its side."

~ J. W. v. Goethe

Johannes Lang "The Hollow World Theory" Blog
My Zone by PFIZIPFEI
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 19:03 #5

  • diamondgeezer
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There is a personal comment from myself to help start the topic PFIZ., right at the top of my op.

It addresses the fact that everyone who uses internet forums comes across the Straw Man argument/fallacy on a regular basis, but that many of us often don't spot it for what it is when its being 'cleverly done' so to speak.

I don't always spot it at first glance, do you? As the guy in the video explains, often it only becomes obvious when a particular poster on a forum uses the Straw Man frequently. ;)
The pen is mightier than the sword
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 19:20 #6

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People who accuse others of a "Straw Man argument" is basically just an excuse for being outsmarted in debate.
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 19:31 #7

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.......... wrote:
People who accuse others of a "Straw Man argument" is basically just an excuse for being outsmarted in debate.

Not necessarily although I've read posts people using the term so much that they could be accused of 'crying wolf'.

Sometimes I go off on a tangent in arguments but that's because I'm not very linear person. When I have to make an effort to be linear that's when you'll see me bullet point everything. Anyway, I hope my tangents don't get misconstrued.
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 19:46 #8

  • jonb
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I'm not sure about the strawman thing, Have you noticed as I have you come across people on most forums that start shouting strawman at the drop of a hat, and these are often the most anally-retentive types that reduce conversation to a mechanical to and fro. On the other hand we all have different ways of approaching things, and often some of the people I like most to hear from are the ones that use their empathy and put themselves in the other persons position, and then sometimes reiterate what they think the other person is saying.This can so easily look like they are creating strawmen especially a person locked in a heated debate..
For me the problem is in the thinking that we are debating, and it can be won or lost. My approach is that I am having a conversation and we are enchaining ideas. Sure we all get upset if we think we are not being listened to, but has any body been persuaded by someone slipping a bit of rhetoric in under the radar? At most we sit back and think I wish I said that in another way , those sort of things like strawmen I don;t ever think make us change our views.
Last Edit: 31 Jul 2013 19:49 by jonb.
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User(s) who Liked this post: diamondgeezer, ..........

The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 31 Jul 2013 19:49 #9

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jonb wrote:
I'm not sure, Have you noticed as I have you come across people on most forums that start shouting strawman at the drop of a hat, and these are often the most anally-retentive types that reduce conversation to a mechanical to and fro.

Very True...
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The 'Straw Man' fallacy.... 12 Aug 2013 08:03 #10

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Straw man is up there with left right paradigm and a whole slew of other terms and phrases that go around these forums so much that their meaning is muddy. I would prefer to discuss a particular example personally. To just discuss the term itself is like looking at the word sunset instead of staying up and watching an actual sunset.
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