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Strawman arguments are valid arguments.

Discussion in 'Creation & Evolution' started by RichardT, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. RichardT

    RichardT Contributor

    +194
    Pantheist
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    When I read that I couldn't stop laughing for 10 minutes straight. Seriously.

    Lol...
     
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  2. InterestedAtheist

    InterestedAtheist Veteran

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    Where did you read it?
     
  3. sbvera13

    sbvera13 Senior Member

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    One of Gottservant's posts.

    A strawman argument is a logical falalcy, and thus by definition invalid. Gottservant's statement proves his ignorance about debate.
     
  4. Ryal Kane

    Ryal Kane Senior Veteran

    +427
    Atheist
    :swoon: Phew.

    For a moment there when I clicked it I thought the OP was serious. But nope. just quoting Gottservant.

    Until Gottservant explains to me why his religion worships flying purple pumpkins, I'm refusing to engage him on evolution. ;)
     
  5. Grengor

    Grengor GrenAce

    +50
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    I don't see how people still take him seriously. Some of his posts scream "I'm not serious!" but yet people still do. Even if he is, he's so out there it hardly seems worth discussing anything with him.
     
  6. RedAndy

    RedAndy Teapot agnostic

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    I think that because most of the YECs hide away on the Origins Theology board where the cold, harsh realities of modern science cannot reach them, many people on this board are willing to engage with any Creationist, no matter how Poe-tacular.
     
  7. Steezie

    Steezie Guest

    +0
    This forum is a rather one-sided battleground with the field always seeming to go to Evolution.

    What SERIOUSLY de-values the Creationist argument is the rejection of science.....and then posting websites that attempt to combine science and the bible with a sledgehammer and blowtorch.
     
  8. random_guy

    random_guy Senior Veteran

    +134
    Christian
    Oh no, science reaches that board, too. The discussion there is dominated by TEists, since science crosses all boundaries. The only place where science is not allowed is the Creationists Only forums. Posts are deleted for giving correct scientific information on that board. That's where you'll find the Creationists.
     
  9. Morcova

    Morcova Well-Known Member

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    Are you serious?!:scratch::eek::doh:
     
  10. RobWW

    RobWW searching

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    It seems pretty obvious that science wouldn't be allowed in the Creationist only forum. All science points away from Creationism, so anything countering Creationism (science) appears as a banned type of debate (instead of honesty), thus scientific information is deleted.
     
  11. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +257
    Messianic
    You laugh but by definition "that argument is a strawman argument" is a strawman argument. Strawman arguments can't not be valid if that is the case.

    Its unrealistic to think that every possible angle on an opponent's theory will be covered by an argument.
     
  12. CACTUSJACKmankin

    CACTUSJACKmankin Scientist

    +124
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    Before I start: submitted!
    In any debate, every point raised by either side is by definition an argument. There are a specific type of arguments known as logical fallacies, which are invalid because for one reason or another they address something other than the arguments that the opponent raises or they make assumptions that aren't necessarily true. Strawmen are invalid because by definition they involve a mischaracterization of the opposing side to make one's point. For example, the statement "humans didn't evolve from monkeys" is a strawman because evolutionary science has never claimed that humans evolved from monkeys.
     
  13. Morcova

    Morcova Well-Known Member

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    That's just sad.
     
  14. WilliamduBois

    WilliamduBois BenderBendingRodriguez

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    Is it just me that has the feeling he has no idea what a strawman argument is?
     
  15. Gottservant

    Gottservant God loves your words, may men love them also Supporter

    +257
    Messianic
    There's a big difference between a mischaracterisation and a false characterisation. A mischaracterisation is one that simply exaggerates the truth and false characterisation is a lie. If evolution had never said our ancestors even looked like apes, I might agree that blaming evolution for that was mistaken. The fact is that evolution does paint our ancestors as ape-like, so its quite valid to say evolution claims that we descended from apes if your prepared to call the pictures of ape-like people apes. I am. Lucy is an ape.

    Its all very well for people to shout "strawman this" and "strawman that" but half the time the characterizations are quite accurate. There's nothing wrong with characterization being used in an argument, that's why I call strawman arguments valid. If I say evolution seems to predict that all species will develop massive numbers of offspring at every possible opportunity and someone say "strawman", why should I care? I have characterized evolution as best I can and have subsequently made an interesting finding: so be it.

    Strawmen are innocent until proven guilty.
     
  16. lemmings

    lemmings Veteran

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  17. RedAndy

    RedAndy Teapot agnostic

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    That's quite different from saying "evolution says we descended from monkeys."

    And so am I. And so are you, for that matter.

    Nobody has a problem with your "all species will develop massive numbers of offspring" idea; in fact, to some extent, it's true. The only thing is that natural selection weeds out most of the offspring so not many survive to the next generation.

    What is a problem - and a straw man, however - is your idea that "people should be able to remember having evolved," "people should give birth to clones of their parents" and so on. Evolution does not say any of these things, so your characterisation is a straw man.

    As is so often said on these boards, proof is for mathematics (and alcohol). But we've been happily demonstrating your straw men to be "guilty" for quite some time now.
     
  18. RecentConvert

    RecentConvert Regular Member

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    There's little difference between a mischaracterization and a false characterization. You're mischaracterizing characterizations and building a strawman argument in the process.

    But the best you can do mischaracterizes evolution and builds a strawman argument in the process. If you feel that your characterizations are accurate then argue that and not that strawmen arguments are valid...

    It appears that you don't understand the etymology of the term if you think this sentence helps your case. Strawmen are the opponents that you are attacking instead of attacking your opponent. So, if strawmen are "innocent" until proven "guilty," why are you attacking it?
     
  19. FishFace

    FishFace Senior Veteran

    +163
    Atheist
    Since Gott probably can't be bothered reading a wiki article, here's a strawman in short terms:

    A strawman argument is any argument that attempts to refute another argument, by refuting a mischaracterization or "straw man" of that argument.
    It is thus invalid because it doesn't defeat the argument (evolution) it defeats a different one (a fantasy theory of evolution in which we are predicted to give birth to clones)

    For example, if I said that Creationism is a load of nonsense because sheep are woolly, that would be an (exaggerated) strawman, since creationism doesn't predict non-woolly sheep.
     
  20. Pesto

    Pesto Senior Member

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