Ah yes, the straw man fallacy. One of the most commonly used fallacies in the world today. Especially on the news media. The fallacy of the straw man is carried out by attacking a position that is not your opponents but that is similar to the opponent’s position. Or by refuting an argument that was not put forth by the opponent. Thus this fallacy is used on both the offensive and the defensive.
Do not get the straw man fallacy and the fallacy of distortion mixed up. They may appear to be the same but when you dive deeper and analyze further there are distinct differences between the two.
Here’s an easy example to understand:
John: What do you feel about the Hindu gods?
Mindy: I reject all gods, including the Hindu gods.
John: Oh, so you think that we were all just created by accident and that nothing matters.
Mindy: All I said was I reject gods and you went on to assume a lot of stuff.
As you can see, Mindy didn’t reply much to john, only saying that she didn’t subscribe to any god. With this, John took a leap of faith and went on to assume that Mindy was a nihilist.
Straw man fallacy is very easy to spot so I’m keeping this post very short.
Stay tuned for more posts!