The use of calling out strawmans.

Author: Ancap460 ,

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  • Ancap460
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    Ancap460
    I'm relatively new to the site, but in the few debates I've had, I've noticed people will say something is a strawman and do nothing else on a point. I wanted to throw that out there and see what people who had used the site longer than me (as well as debate better than me) think, as well as I just wanted to give my opinion on it.

    My opinion is just that if you think your opponent is using a strawman, I don't think it's strategic or fair to throw it out as a buzzword and move on. I think you need to justify why they're employing a strawman fallacy and then still answer the point if there is some connection, otherwise it seems like ceded offense. Just wanted some other thoughts on it.
  • Lemming
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    --> @Ancap460
    If you don't tell someone, or the audience 'why that person's argument/strawman is wrong.
    They might not end up thinking it's wrong, sure.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Ancap460
    If your debating just pull out the strawman thing for good measure....It's generally meaningless, but looks good and might just clinch a vote.
  • MisterChris
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    --> @Ancap460
    If your debating just pull out the strawman thing for good measure....It's generally meaningless, but looks good and might just clinch a vote.

    Yeah... no. I disagree with this. I tend to address the central point of my opponent's argument, and if they are using a strawman fallacy, I will sprinkle that in as well. Judges are smart on this site, and will see right through you most of the time if you just throw the word around. 
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ancap460
    Yes it is. If a person is making straw man, they are making points that are unrelated to topic and are going off topic. It is essential to point this out in a debate because they are using false logic and you must extend this
  • Ancap460
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    --> @SupaDudz
    Yeah, I agree, but do you think just using the word and then moving on without explaining why they are using the fallacy or why the fallacy isn't going to work for this scenario is good? I feel like the fallacy fallacy uniquely applies to strawman and slippery slope in the sense that they are used as buzz words without warrants behind them.
  • Discipulus_Didicit
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    --> @Ancap460
    but do you think just using the word and then moving on without explaining why they are using the fallacy or why the fallacy isn't going to work for this scenario is good?
    I would say it is sufficient to dismiss the opponents point. Could you give a specific example? Might be easier to talk about if you do.
  • Ancap460
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    --> @Discipulus_Didicit
    A debate I was recently in. "Government is necessary to perform several basic functions." In my opponent's last speech, it felt like most of his arguments were "this is a strawman, moving on" without any analysis as to why.
  • zedvictor4
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    --> @Ancap460
    Exactly.
  • SupaDudz
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    --> @Ancap460
    With proper warrants to these arguments, they are effective ways to win. Pointing out fallacies area part of the debate argument and when your opponents links "eating pizza" to "nuclear war," that's a slippery slope and with evidence can win your arguments
  • RationalMadman
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    --> @Ancap460
    I warn you that I know exactly what you're complaining about and some voters, even very well respected ones, fall victim to thinking that because the opponent has pushed your argument away as a faulty attack that they therefore earned that point and you lost it. Equally, they think if you don't directly address the stupid accusation that you're wrong or fallacious, that therefore you definitely are.

    It helps to learn who are debaters that don't like to play dirty and to keep vsing them.
  • 3RU7AL
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    --> @Ancap460
    A debate I was recently in. "Government is necessary to perform several basic functions." In my opponent's last speech, it felt like most of his arguments were "this is a strawman, moving on" without any analysis as to why.
    A STRAWMAN is an INTENTIONAL misrepresentation of an opponent's argument.

    A sincere attempt to paraphrase an opposing argument is often mistaken for a STRAWMAN.

    I try to avoid this misunderstanding by always phrasing my summary as a question (would you say, "" or Is it fair to say that you think, "").

    A QUESTION is not, and can never be considered a "logical fallacy".

    It's always unpleasant when someone tries to tell ME what I THINK.

    You're free to say "it seems like you're saying" and or "if I had to guess" or just ask for clarification.
  • Sum1hugme
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    --> @Ancap460
    "A debate I was recently in. "Government is necessary to perform several basic functions." In my opponent's last speech, it felt like most of his arguments were "this is a strawman, moving on" without any analysis as to why."
    I'm not one to rehash a finished debate, but for the record, I did take the time to explain why the objections you presented in round 3 were indeed straw men, rather than my actual arguments.
  • Ancap460
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    --> @Sum1hugme
    I had no intent to call you out or anything, and I see what you were saying. I just felt like you were zooming parallel to my arguments and not clashing with them.
  • Sum1hugme
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    --> @Ancap460
    I gotcha man. My final rebuttals was where I picked up on the straw men. But final round blitzkriegs are frowned upon, so I tried to just state the fallacy, restate my actual case, and move on instead of bringing up whole new arguments for you to have to address at length In your closing statements.