Scribe of wisdom

Strawman fallacy

This is a type of logical fallacies which is usually found in political debates.

The basic structure of the argument consists of Person A making a claim, Person B creating a distorted version of the claim (the “straw man”), and then Person B attacking this distorted version in order to refute Person A’s original assertion.
Often, the distorted interpretation is only remotely related to the original claim. The opposing argument may focus on just one aspect of the claim, take it out of context or exaggerate it.

Thus Strawman fallacy is an example of red herring (something that misleads or distracts from a relevant or important question)

Example 1

Husband and wife, choosing a pet

Husband “I’d rather have a dog than a cat”
Wife “Why do you hate cats?”

The husband never said that she hated cats, only that he preferred dogs. The wife either assumed or pretended that his argument was against cats instead of for dogs. Now the husband must argue that he doesn’t hate cats — which completely changes the course of the discussion. This example of a straw man argument is related to slippery slope reasoning.

Example 2

Providing free vaccination to all – Debate between politicians

Politician A “Providing vaccine free of cost would be costly and hence, those who could afford shall pay for it so that the one who cannot afford shall be provided with free vaccine”

Politician B “You don’t care if people die from not having vaccine”

Politician A’s position is not against letting people die from not having vaccine but to ensure the means for the same is limited and public participation is required. Politician B is byepassed the argument and converted it as a political diatribe.

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