1. Standard memberUmbrageOfSnow
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    13 Oct '05 15:061 edit
    I am sick of people misusing the term Straw Man in this forum. Here is the definition from Wikipedia:

    The straw-man rhetorical technique is the practice of refuting weaker arguments than one's opponents actually offer. To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw-man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to your opponent.

    One can set up a straw man in several different ways:

    1. Present the opponent's argument in weakened form, refute it, and pretend that the original has been refuted.
    2. Present a misrepresentation of the opponent's position, refute it, and pretend that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.
    3. Present someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, refute that person's arguments, and pretend that every upholder of that position, and thus the position itself, has been defeated.
    4. Invent a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs that are criticised, and pretend that the person represents a group that the speaker is critical of.

    Please keep this in mind the next time you start throwing the term around.
  2. Standard memberHalitose
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    13 Oct '05 15:10
    Originally posted by UmbrageOfSnow
    I am sick of people misusing the term Straw Man in this forum. Please keep this in mind the next time you start throwing the term around.
    So you don't think this would apply in the latest "Proving Evolution" thread?
  3. Standard memberUmbrageOfSnow
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    13 Oct '05 15:22
    It has actually been bugging me for a while. Your post made me remember and I decided to post a definition. I just wanted people who choose not to read the newest evolution argument to read it as well.
  4. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    13 Oct '05 19:09
    Anyone want to practice strawman reasoning with me?
  5. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:14
    I think the greater challenge is to find an example in an actual human argument where the strawman has not been used by either and probably both sides.
  6. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    13 Oct '05 19:18
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    I think the greater challenge is to find an example in an actual human argument where the strawman has not been used by either and probably both sides.
    Poor old strawman, taking it from both sides.

    How about an argument then?
  7. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:26
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Poor old strawman, taking it from both sides.

    How about an argument then?
    All you would have to do is argue normally. I have yet to see an argument in which either side actually looked at their opponents argument clearly. A more interesting exercise would be to practice arguing without a strawman. Of course, as perspective is always skewed, how do you know when you are not using a strawman?
  8. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    13 Oct '05 19:29
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    A more interesting exercise would be to practice arguing without a strawman. Of course, as perspective is always skewed, how do you know when you are not using a strawman?
    We could always try to find out.

    Shall we practice leaving the straw man at home?
  9. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:30
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    We could always try to find out.

    Shall we practice leaving the straw man at home?
    Sure. What shall we argue about?
  10. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    13 Oct '05 19:33
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    Sure. What shall we argue about?
    Considering the venue, it would have to be something spiritual.

    OK, I'll argue that the concept of spirituality is meaningless in modern society. What do you say?
  11. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:37
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Considering the venue, it would have to be something spiritual.

    OK, I'll argue that the concept of spirituality is meaningless in modern society. What do you say?
    To keep it fair, I will have to argue the contrary, that is, that spirituality is not meaningless in today's society. I'm afraid that you have the harder side, for you have to prove complete absense while I just have to find one example to contradict.
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    13 Oct '05 19:381 edit
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Considering the venue, it would have to be something spiritual.

    OK, I'll argue that the concept of spirituality is meaningless in modern society. What do you say?
    OK, I'll argue that the concept of spirituality is meaningless in modern society. What do you say?

    Dam good! How broadly, however, are you defining "spirituality?" Are you including non-theistic expressions such as Advaita Vedanta, Zen Buddhism or the "monistic" expressions of religions that are ususally theistic--such as the Sufis in Islam, or the Kabbalists and hasidim in Judaism, or the likes of Meister Eckhart in Christianity?

    Dam, Bosse, see how easily I am "hooked?"
  13. Standard memberBosse de Nage
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    13 Oct '05 19:401 edit
    Originally posted by thesonofsaul
    To keep it fair, I will have to argue the contrary, that is, that spirituality is not meaningless in today's society. I'm afraid that you have the harder side, for you have to prove complete absense while I just have to find one example to contradict.
    Well, I'm more interested in the process than the outcome--and if I find myself losing I shall undoubtedly be tempted to bring the straw man out of his box--if only to see what he looks like.

    I shall mull it over and open the argument tomorrow.

    Vistesd--good point, terms have to be defined. As referee, you get to define what spirituality means in this argument.
  14. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:40
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]OK, I'll argue that the concept of spirituality is meaningless in modern society. What do you say?

    Dam good! How broadly, however, are you defining "spirituality?" Are you including non-theistic expressions such as Advaita Vedanta, Zen Buddhism or the "monistic" expressions of religions that are ususally theistic--such as the Sufis in Islam, ...[text shortened]... or the likes of Meister Eckhart in Christianity?

    Dam, Bosse, see how easily I am "hooked?"[/b]
    I was just about to ask the same thing. How, for the sake of the argument, is "spirituality" defined?
  15. Standard memberthesonofsaul
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    13 Oct '05 19:42
    And we will need a judge, someone impartial to announce when a strawman has been used. I suggest: everyone else who reads this thread.
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