Found an old book.....

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
404
0
#1
I used to be heavily into debate classes in my school days. I have since come to hate the lack of sincerity in the whole thing.
But, I still have many of the collection of books of silly "rules" that I once almost worshiped. And, looking at this little book, it occurred to me that there is one Logical Fallacy that keeps coming up here, that perhaps a lot of people may not fully understand.
So, I thought I would post the definition here to hopefully eradicate some of the possible confusion surrounding the term.

Straw Man
Intentionally caricaturing a person's argument with the aim of attacking the caricature rather than the actual argument is what is meant by “putting up a straw man.” Misrepresenting, misquoting, misconstruing and oversimplifying are all means by which one commits this fallacy. A straw man argument is usually one that is more absurd than the actual argument, making it an easier target to attack and possibly luring a person towards defending the more ridiculous argument rather than the original one.

For example, "My opponent is trying to convince you that we evolved from monkeys who were swinging from trees; a truly ludicrous claim. This is clearly a misrepresentation of what evolutionary biology claims, which is the idea that humans and chimpanzees shared a common ancestor several million years ago." Misrepresenting the idea is much easier than refuting the evidence for it.
 
Last edited:

Seedz

Senior Member
Aug 8, 2017
646
55
28
#2
Ahhh so many flashbacks...
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
7,411
534
113
#3
1. I agree that debate, for the sake of debate, is pretty useless and insincere.


2. I think that out in the real world, debate does have a place... but it should never just be for the sake of debate itself, and trying to win a fight.

If you just want to fight, It's much more honest to just put on a pair of boxing gloves.
At least you can be friends after that, lol.


3. I totally agree with the "straw man" problem around here.

It's very common in religious debate, and in political debate.

Also, I think a lot of sincere people do it ACCIDENTALLY, because they haven't taken the time to learn the other party's real position.

I think we all fail at this, but the honest thing is to at least make at effort at it.
We should at least make an honest effort to understand the other person's position.
 
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
404
0
#4
1. I agree that debate, for the sake of debate, is pretty useless and insincere.


2. I think that out in the real world, debate does have a place... but it should never just be for the sake of debate itself, and trying to win a fight.

If you just want to fight, It's much more honest to just put on a pair of boxing gloves.
At least you can be friends after that, lol.


3. I totally agree with the "straw man" problem around here.

It's very common in religious debate, and in political debate.

Also, I think a lot of sincere people do it ACCIDENTALLY, because they haven't taken the time to learn the other party's real position.

I think we all fail at this, but the honest thing is to at least make at effort at it.
We should at least make an honest effort to understand the other person's position
.
Yes, about the only thing good that came out of my time in debate classes was that we were often required to totally change positions, and argue, positively, for the other person's point of view.
 

Corbinscam

Senior Member
Jul 17, 2016
558
33
28
#6
Also, I think a lot of sincere people do it ACCIDENTALLY, because they haven't taken the time to learn the other party's real position.

I think we all fail at this, but the honest thing is to at least make at effort at it.
I think this is very accurate. Most people do it yet have no clue what they're actually doing they simply never bothered to fully research the topic to know what or why the other person is wrong. I find this pretty common....especially with religious people. I was taught why some beliefs were wrong...had it hammered into my head but I never really had anyone take an effort to teach me to study or drill the importance of study into my head. .It all becomes an "I'm right! You're WRONG!" argument....and it's of zero benefit.

I personally enjoy debate a lot. Not heated screaming but I enjoy being presented multiple sides and really studying it.
 
D

Depleted

Guest
#7
Maxwell,

This is especially for you. I think you will enjoy going through this little book.

https://bookofbadarguments.com/
When I read your first post, it reminded me of that book in the link you just gave. I know I saved it as a page, but I have something like 10,000 (if not more), saved pages, so knew I'd never find it.

Love that book. Wish I could copy/paste just one page from it.
 
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
404
0
#8
When I read your first post, it reminded me of that book in the link you just gave. I know I saved it as a page, but I have something like 10,000 (if not more), saved pages, so knew I'd never find it.

Love that book. Wish I could copy/paste just one page from it.
I have the basics of it (29 pages) on my computer.... but I have no idea how to send a WORD.DOCX file to you.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
5,347
761
113
#11
It's a cute book... I like the illustrations because they show the fallacy in simple terms. There are several decent websites explaining fallacies... but I will leave you all to do your own googling. :)
 

maxwel

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2013
7,411
534
113
#12
It's a cute book... I like the illustrations because they show the fallacy in simple terms. There are several decent websites explaining fallacies... but I will leave you all to do your own googling. :)
True story:

In a lecture from an atheist scholar on all the things wrong with Christian apologetics, the professor actually FABRICATED, from THIN AIR, a bunch of brand new logical fallacies, which, by the way, were entirely illogical.

And then, armed with his newly invented logical fallacies (which were quite illogical) the professor went on to "prove" all the Christian arguments for God were wrong.


I was in awe.
:)

It was like making a tape measure with giant foot markings, then measuring me, and saying "Wow, you're only 3 feet tall."


That guy could run for any political office in the land, lol.
 
Last edited: