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Author Topic: Have you met Mr. Straw Man?  (Read 5555 times)

Offline coberst

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Have you met Mr. Straw Man?
« on: 22/05/2009 20:04:28 »
Have you met Mr. Straw Man?

Quickie from Wiki: “A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man

The straw man fallacy is an often used fallacy in the United States because American citizens have a low level of intellectual sophistication.

One recent use of this fallacy is that Guantanamo detainees are terrorists and thus too dangerous for detention on American soil.

Obviously American prisons contain many bad guys from whom the public must be protected.  Also most of these bad guys are released while still alive.  Also records indicate that that many of these released become recidivists.

The FBI scares us by saying that these terrorists represent a different kind of detention problem.

The “Fallacy Files” web site {http://www.fallacyfiles.org/} provides an important introduction to both formal and informal fallacies.  I think their work on informal fallacies being the most important for our needs today.  It is the informal fallacies that we must learn to recognize. 

The early settlers had to learn the sign and behavior of the wolf and bear but it is the informal fallacy that today’s citizen must learn.  When not recognized the manipulative sophistication of those who wish to control our society will cause us similar damage.

Those members of our early American settlers were required to understand many things about their natural habitation in order to survive.  These early frontier settlers had primarily natural conditions that threatened their existence.  They worried about and learned to understand the signs of the wolf and the bear also the clouds and the weather in general.  Their survival depended upon it.

Today our well being, if not our very survival, depends upon our ability to understand the society we live in and the fellow citizens that occupy our space with us.  Our needs for understanding our environment especially that part of it that contains fellow citizens has become acute because our fellows have become expert at manipulating our environment.  If we do not understand how these things are being manipulated we are the losers.

Many of us who were first introduced to the concept ‘fallacy’ when we took a college course on ‘Logic’ found the matter to be boring.  It appears, from what I hear, that many students took away from those classes distaste for everything related to the concepts of ‘logic’ and the associated ‘fallacies’.  That is unfortunate and is perhaps an indication of why it is so important for all individuals to become self-actualizing self-learners after their school daze is over.

This wonderful phrase “the ubiquity of ambiguity” I found on a web site that I think all individuals who understand the importance of CT (Critical Thinking) might wish to visit.
http://www.fallacyfiles.org/ambiguit.html

What I am trying to say is that the folks living in the early days had to know the habits of the wolf and the bear to survive.  Today we have to know the habits of those who wish to manipulate us by using logical fallacies.


 

Offline Ophiolite

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Have you met Mr. Straw Man?
« Reply #1 on: 22/05/2009 21:40:58 »
You have posted the identical item on the following forums:
The Interfaith Forum
Whistlestopper forum
The Skeptics Forum
Hypography
The Science Forum
Anarchist Discussion Forums
Keep Touch Community Portal
Forum Garden
Science Chat Forum

Interesting. Do you really want to discuss these points, or do you just wish to make them?
 

Offline coberst

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« Reply #2 on: 22/05/2009 22:45:26 »


Interesting. Do you really want to discuss these points, or do you just wish to make them?

I think that this is a very important matter.  The ability of our politicians to make good decisions is limited by the ability of our citizens to comprehend reality.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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« Reply #3 on: 23/05/2009 02:16:22 »
I think that this is a very important matter.  The ability of our politicians to make good decisions is limited by the ability of our citizens to comprehend reality.
And yet for the last two years at least you have maintained a constant stream of such posts on a multiplicity of forums though you rarely engage with any forum members who respond. Frequently your apparent responses are merely reposts of a response to another poster on another forum. Do you even take a few moments to explain that this is merely an additional thought? Never that I have seen, yet it is evident that this has often confused people who try to make sense of how your (unrelated) post ties in to their questions or comments.

So what's it all for coberst? It's not self critical, it's self righteous. It's not self acutalising, it's self indulgent. When are you going to give your audience some credit for having some of the answers themselves? When are you going to actually listen to what people say, rather than writing a half baked precis of the work of a 'great thinker'?
When are you going to relate?

I live in hope.
 

Offline Don_1

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« Reply #4 on: 23/05/2009 11:59:03 »

I live in hope.

Don't hold your breath!!!
 

Offline coberst

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« Reply #5 on: 23/05/2009 12:53:12 »
We can discuss things, people, or ideas.  I prefer to discuss ideas but most responders like to discuss about people and cannot seem to focus upon the subject matter of the OP.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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« Reply #6 on: 23/05/2009 20:47:39 »
So rather than engage with them, rather than saying - look I think you may have missed my point, instead you just ignore their offering and post yet another third rate Reader's Digest style precis of some philosopher, typically pulling together facts that belong together as much as a perfumier and a skunk.

Cleary you are no dummy coberst, so why do you act so dumb so much of the time? Stop this unending stream of drivel and engage properly in a grown up discussion. To do that you will have to actually respond to posts that you think are irrelevant. They weren't irrelevant to the person who took the time and trouble to post them. Have the courtesy to acknowledge that, have the courage to admit you may be wrong, and have the confidence to try a new approach not instead of your goal, but as the only bloody way you stand any chance of achieving your goal.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

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« Reply #7 on: 24/05/2009 00:16:55 »
Didn't realise you were such a busy man coberst.
 

Offline _Stefan_

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« Reply #8 on: 24/05/2009 13:49:53 »
Finally someone tells him this. Can we hope that he'll stop posting his nonsensical and/or long-winded ramblings altogether?
 

Ethos

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Have you met Mr. Straw Man?
« Reply #9 on: 24/05/2009 15:41:38 »



The straw man fallacy is an often used fallacy in the United States because American citizens have a low level of intellectual sophistication.

I beg your pardon!!!!!! A true intellectual is able to see beyond himself, and I dare say, something you have yet to master.
....................Ethos
 

Offline Ophiolite

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« Reply #10 on: 28/05/2009 00:06:58 »
So what's it all for coberst? It's not self critical, it's self righteous. It's not self acutalising, it's self indulgent. When are you going to give your audience some credit for having some of the answers themselves? When are you going to actually listen to what people say, rather than writing a half baked precis of the work of a 'great thinker'?
When are you going to relate?
This may be unethical, but coberst I'm not going to let you walk away from this one the way you've walked away from every other discussion you have intiated. Please have the courtesy to come back here and explain yourself. It should be obvious to you by now your message is not getting through and many people are laughing at you. I don't want to laugh at you. I want to work with you, but I don't want to receive yet another hit and run patronising lecture. So come on. Are you man enough to face reality?
 

Offline coberst

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« Reply #11 on: 28/05/2009 13:07:40 »


So what's it all for coberst? It's not self critical, it's self righteous. It's not self acutalising, it's self indulgent. When are you going to give your audience some credit for having some of the answers themselves? When are you going to actually listen to what people say, rather than writing a half baked precis of the work of a 'great thinker'?
When are you going to relate?
This may be unethical, but coberst I'm not going to let you walk away from this one the way you've walked away from every other discussion you have intiated. Please have the courtesy to come back here and explain yourself. It should be obvious to you by now your message is not getting through and many people are laughing at you. I don't want to laugh at you. I want to work with you, but I don't want to receive yet another hit and run patronising lecture. So come on. Are you man enough to face reality?

I am constantly relating to readers who are interested in discussing the ideas in the OP.  There are two kinds of responses to the OP.  There are responses to OPs that are designed to facilitate comprehension and there are those that are designed to inhibit comprehension.  I try to relate to the former.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #12 on: 28/05/2009 20:48:26 »
I've tried telling him this before too, it didn't seem to have any effect.
 

Offline Ophiolite

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« Reply #13 on: 01/06/2009 07:51:08 »
I am constantly relating to readers who are interested in discussing the ideas in the OP.  There are two kinds of responses to the OP.  There are responses to OPs that are designed to facilitate comprehension and there are those that are designed to inhibit comprehension.  I try to relate to the former.
You make a decision that appears to be based upon the notion that you will respond to people who seem likely to agree with you and ignore those who do not. This may not be the basis on which you make your choice but that is how it appears.

Further, if you open a thread then anyone who repsonds is entitled from simple courtesy to expect that you will interact directly with them. This is something you rarely do. As I noted above on some occasions you post the same follow up post in multiple forums. Readers are led to believe this post is a response to the previous one, yet it is not. That is is also discourteous.

Nor do you continue a discussion once initiated, for more than a few posts. Indeed I am hard pressed to recall any thread in scores of postings in which you have made more than two or three total posts. What this smacks of is the same arrogance that imbues all your posts. You act as if you have insights wholly lacking us poor mortals. You will spend a moment with us to enlighten us, perhaps speak briefly with one of the chosen whose words have pleased you, before moving on to speak the next fragments of your Word.

Try genuinely engaging coberst. Don't just repsond to those who agree with you. Don't brush of those who disagree with self righteous waffle. Try debating something for a change. You might just learn something for yourself for a change instead of leaning on 'great minds of the past'.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #14 on: 01/06/2009 17:14:34 »
Well said, but i doubt he'll reply :p
 

Offline Ophiolite

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« Reply #15 on: 03/06/2009 20:24:23 »
Coberst, are you going to respond, or are you going to run away from a challenging discussion as you always have in the past? Do you truly believe only you have something to teach us and that you can learn nothing from someone like me? Is that a measure of your arrogance? Or are you simply too busy posting the next twenty tired Reader's Digest summaries on a score of websites?

Wake up man, and stop trying to sell plastic roses!

Thank you Madidus for inclining me to believe that it is not me who is crazy.
 

Offline Madidus_Scientia

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« Reply #16 on: 07/06/2009 08:04:10 »
It's pathetic that he doesn't even bother to reply

He's too good to converse with us lowly peasants, he's a philosopher!
 

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« Reply #16 on: 07/06/2009 08:04:10 »

 

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