The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example

Fallacies are errors or misrepresentations of facts that can be used either deliberately or unconsciously in an argument to convince the opponent. The Straw man fallacy is one of these common mistakes that obstruct people from objectively evaluation the viewpoints of each other. This paper aims to explain the specifics of the Straw Man, compare it to other fallacies, and present a real-life example to illustrate this method.

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The fallacy of Straw Man describes the lack of acknowledgment of a person’s argument in a debate. In essence, through this approach, one avoids confronting a specific viewpoint or refuting it with counterarguments. Instead, he or she chooses to address a different matter, fact, or opinion or misrepresent information. From this description, one can argue that no constructive discussion can arise if either one of the opponents uses the Straw Man.

It is different from merely disagreeing with someone’s view since by using this fallacy, a person addresses a problem that was not stated by his or her opponent. Hence, a disagreement would involve explicitly saying that a particular argument is not correct. In the case of the Straw Man Fallacy, one disagrees with an argument that was not talked about by another individual. This lack of acknowledgment and not addressing an actual problem is the primary difference between disagreeing and the Straw Man fallacy.

The mistake that arises as a result of Straw Man’s Fallacy is discussing the wrong argument. For instance, if the first person presents an X argument and the second individual in his or her response address Y argument, the discussion is not going to be productive. Through this technique, one can come to the conclusion that the opponent’s arguments were refuted, although it is not valid.

The example that demonstrates the Straw Man’s Fallacy is an online discussion of the United States President who wanted to prove that journalists misrepresent facts and lie to their readers. Ursin (2016) argues that President Donald Trump used the Straw Man as a technique when describing the apology the readers received from the New York Times. The author states that the newspaper did not confirm posting such a letter or article. Although in this debate, the President did not argue with a specific individual since he addressed everyone following him on social media, the example is a good representation of the Straw Man.

This event is a representation of the Straw Man’s Fallacy because, in the debate regarding the freedom of press and journalists’ ethics, the President addressed the non-existent fact. Instead of pointing out the actual examples of false news or other issues, he came up with a false story, addressing the problem that was not a part of the discussion. In comparison, other fallacies such as Appeal to the Person are focusing on a person’s characteristics or on trying to convince someone based on opinions and not facts. Both the Straw Man and the Appeal to the Person do not address facts; however, the latter usually focuses on the characteristics of the opponent. The Straw Man can be applied without regard for a person’s appearance or character. Overall, the Straw man fallacy is an approach through which an individual fails to acknowledge an argument. Instead, he or she focuses on discussing another issue, shifting the focus of the conversation or using false facts.

Reference

Ursin, C. N. (2016). Trump tweets as examples of common logical fallacies. Web.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, June 14). The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/the-straw-man-fallacy-in-a-real-life-example/

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"The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example." StudyCorgi, 14 June 2021, studycorgi.com/the-straw-man-fallacy-in-a-real-life-example/.

1. StudyCorgi. "The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example." June 14, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-straw-man-fallacy-in-a-real-life-example/.


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StudyCorgi. "The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example." June 14, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-straw-man-fallacy-in-a-real-life-example/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example." June 14, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/the-straw-man-fallacy-in-a-real-life-example/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2021) 'The Straw Man Fallacy in a Real-Life Example'. 14 June.

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