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The Straw-man’s Steed

13 July 2012, 12:16

I've been irritating some of you with a point I've been trying to make.

The argument has been made: (And this is just an example)

“Believing in God is stupid. Do you believe in the invisible pink unicorn too?”

I have tried to point out that is a straw-man. This was not received well. But, enough of my complaining. Let me explain my argument.


 A straw man is a type of argument and is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by replacing it with a superficially similar yet unequivalent proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.[1][2]


Back to my argument.

It goes like this. The religious, lets call him…ummm…Charles, states there is a god (Point A). Someone teases back, that he might as well believe in santa, the invisible pink unicorn, or FSM (Point B).

We all know point A is a religious belief (Point X).

We all know point B is an arbitrary example (Point Y, by the way) used as argumentative devices by atheists. Don’t deny it; we all know this is true. But for this example let’s call it a superstition, like a black cat walking across your path.

 To many a commenter on News24, religious belief (Point Y) and superstition (Point X) is very similar. So here we have Point A being compared to Point B. Point B is being ridiculed in an attempt to destroy the opponent’s position (Point A). But the opponents position itself is being left alone, disproved by association. A straw-man in my opinion.

Any comments? And please attempt to be civil.

(Ps: Sorry Charlie, couldn’t resist.)

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