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Straw Man Fallacy

 

Straw Man Fallacy

The straw man fallacy occurs when a position or belief is misrepresented; then the misrepresented position is easily defeated. The straw man fallacy is very common among billions-of-years-believers, evolutionists and atheists. It creates a distorted image of the opposing view. The straw man fallacy is usually used in refutation by misstating the argument being refuted. Rather than refuting the real argument, the other side constructs a man of straw, which is easy to knock down, making the other person(s) look bad.

Examples of the Straw Man Fallacy

"Anyone who believes in virgin births does not have empirical evidence for his or her belief.  This is a claim accepted on faith, which is an individual and subjective form of accepting information that should not have any effect on your beliefs."

This quote from Bo Bennet is an excellent example of a straw man argument and also equivocation. Putting the virgin birth in the plural is a form of the logical fallacy of the question-begging epithet. But to the point of this particular fallacy, Bo confuses the faith of God with the make-believe faith of the ungodly. The faith of God is not without evidence. It comes by hearing and hearing comes by the utterance of God. When we acknowledge God speaking to us, faith comes. In reality, revelation is the only way that we can know anything for certain. And all faith comes by hearing the utterance of God.

Fuz Rana: ". . . the young earth community is making the claim that what was found was an unfossilized T. rex femur that contained blood in it . . . Well, actually, this is not the case. It’s an incompletely fossilized femur, which is very different from an unfossilized femur."

Carl Weiland: "In fact, my article actually quoted Schweitzer as saying that "some parts deep inside the long bone of the leg had not completely fossilized." So anyone reading the word ‘unfossilized’ in the next sentence would have been fully aware of how I was using the term. The organic material in that section of bone had not been replaced by minerals."

Note how nuanced Fuz Rana's comment is. Often, fallacies are clouded in innuendo as a hedging tactic. The thoughts are clear enough that the readers get the message but unclear enough that the person committing the fallacy can easily provide an alternate explanation for their claim--"That's not what I meant."--when they are called on the fallacy.

"Evolution has been observed. You are stupid for not accepting evolution."

This is a combination of the straw man fallacy, the question-begging epithet, and the equivocation fallacy. It equivocates on the word, evolution. The first time the word, evolution, is used, it means changes from generation to generation within every kind of living thing—which has indeed been observed and no one argues with that.

The straw man is the implication that those who believe what God says about origins do not believe the science by which we know that there are minor changes from generation to generation.

The second time the word, evolution, is used, it means molecules-to-man evolution—which has never been observed. The fallacy is used as a ploy to avoid facing the fact that there is no evidence that conclusively shows that molecules-to-man evolution actually happened and plenty of evidence that indicates that it isn't even possible.

"You have faith, but we have evidence."

With the complete thought expressed, this person was saying, "We have evidence that God does not exist. You simply believe God exists with no evidence. Therefore, God does not exist." It is plain that there is more than one fallacy here. There is a universal negative, which claims omniscience in the first premise. But, focusing on the very common straw man of faith being simple make-believe, this is a case of the ungodly being guilty of their own straw man accusation, while those who follow Christ have evidence. There is no evidence for any argument against God other than made-up stories and assumptions, which must be taken on make-believe faith. However, biblical faith comes by hearing the Utterance of God. This faith is divine trust and belief that is given as a free gift when we acknowledge His leading, and it is powerful to give us access to His grace, which, in turn, says His words and does His works through us. So the accusation is a straw man and an example of someone accusing another of the very thing of which they themselves are guilty.

Sandy: "You are merely assuming the God exists because I can't prove that He doesn't exist. That is a fallacy of negative proof."

Roxanne: "I'm not assuming anything at all. I know Jesus Christ personally. Anyone who seeks Him finds Him and comes to know Him if they keep seeking in sincerity and humility. You can prove to yourself that He exists simply by coming to Him and seeking Him. There are no assumptions or stories required. The reason that you can't prove that the God of the Bible doesn't exist is because He does exist and all who follow Christ know Him."

Sandy brought yet another straw man argument by claiming that Roxanne is assuming God exists. This would be an easy position to knock down if that's all that Christ-followers do. That would make their faith no different than the faith of the person who believes in big bang, an Earth billions of years old, or evolution. The faith that Christ-followers have comes by hearing, specifically by hearing the Utterance of God.

“Creationists claim that God made the Earth appear old.”

Maybe some creationists claim this. Who knows? But, in general, creationists don’t claim that God made the Earth appear old, and the Earth doesn’t appear old. Age cannot be seen. The Earth appears created completely. God has revealed that the Earth was fully functioning from the beginning. The actual observation/science is very compatible with an Earth that is only a few thousand years old.



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Last updated: Aug, 2014
 
 




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Logical Fallacy of Avoiding the Issue / Avoiding the Question / Missing the Point / Straying Off the Subject / Digressing / Distraction

Logical Fallacy of Misleading Vividness

Logical Fallacy of Dodging the Question

Logical Fallacy of Ignoratio Elenchi / Irrelevant Conclusion

Logical Fallacy of Irrelevant Question

Logical Fallacy of Proof by Consequences / Argument from Consequences / Parade of the Horribles / Argumentum Ad Consequentiam / Appeal to Consequences of a Belief / Argument to the Consequences

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Bribery / Appeal to Motives in Place of Support

Logical Fallacy of Red Herring / Digression / Diversion / Evading the Issue / Side-tracking

Dodge of Answering a Question with a Question

Dodging by Answering a Different Question / Answering a Question That Was Not Asked

Logical Fallacy of Non-Support

Logical Fallacy of Logic Chopping / Quibbling / Quibble / Splitting-Hairs / Nit-Picking / Trivial Objections / Smokescreen / Blowing Smoke / Befogging the Issue / Clouding the Issue / Megatrifle / Trivial Objections / Cavil / Spurious Superficiality

Admitting a Small Fault to Cover a Big Denial

Logical Fallacy of Arguing a Minor Point and Ignoring the Main Point

Logical Fallacy of Ad Misericordiam / Appeal to pity / Appeal to Sympathy / The Galileo Argument

Galileo Wannabe Fallacy / Galileo Argument (Appeal to Pity)

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Novelty / appeal to the New / Ad Novitam

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to High Tech

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Tradition / Argumentum Ad Antiquitatem / Appeal to Common Practice / Appeal to Antiquity / Proof from Tradition / Appeal to Past Practice / Gadarene Swine Fallacy / Traditional Wisdom

Logical Fallacy of The Way We Have Always Done It

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Desperation

Straw Man Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Extension

In a Certain Respect and Simply / Secundum Quid Et Simpliciter Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Appeal to Extremes

Logical Fallacy of Taking a Quote Out of Context / Contextomy (type of) / Abstraction / Quote Mining

Logical Fallacy of Misquoting

Logical Fallacy of Accent / Accent Fallacy / Accent by Emphasis / Emphatic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Accent by Abstraction / Emphasis by Abstraction

Misleading Context Fallacy / Contextomy

Logical Fallacy of Misinterpretation

The Mind Game of Playing Dumb

Logical Fallacy of Arcane Explanation

Logical Fallacy of Hyperbole

Logical Fallacy of Exaggeration / Stretching the Truth / Overstatement

Logical Fallacy of Irrelevant Thesis

Logical Fallacy of Burden of Proof / Shifting the Burden of Proof

Logical Fallacy of Demanding an Uneven Burden of Proof / Demanding Uneven Standards of Acceptance

Burden of Proof Fallacy Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Argument to Moderation / Argumentum Ad Temperantiam / Middle Ground / False Compromise

Logical Fallacy of False Fallacy / Fallacy Abuse

Logical Fallacy of Confusing an Explanation with Proof

Logical Fallacy of Moralism

Logical Fallacy of Ought-Is / Moralistic Fallacy / Moral Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Is-Ought / Is-Ought Fallacy / Arguing From Is to Ought / Is-Should Fallacy / Hume's Law / Hume's Guillotine

Naturalistic Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Notable Effort

Logical Fallacy of Political Correctness / Political Correctness Fallacy / PC Fallacy

False Compromise Fallacy

Logical Fallacy of Lip Service

Logical Fallacy of Tokenism

Logical Fallacy of Argument by Denial / Paralipsis Attack / Paralepsis / Apophasis

Diminished Responsibility Fallacy

Contrarian Argument Fallacy


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