Quote Originally Posted by HeathDavisSpeed View Post
When did this become such a popular term?

I swear, I posted on this forum for at least 4 years and this term never came up once.

I hate it. It seems the in thing to say now to try and discredit arguments without explaining why. Straw man this, straw man that.

And to make things even worse, the poster who goes by the moniker "Straw Man" comes across like a top lad, and I feel the derogatory terminology associated with the term to be incongruous with the poster.

Cut it out.

The straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern of argument:
  1. Person A has position X.
  2. Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially similar position Y. The position Y is a distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:
    • Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position.
    • Quoting an opponent's words out of context i.e. choosing quotations that misrepresent the opponent's actual intentions (see fallacy of quoting out of context).[2]
    • Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person's arguments thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.[1]
    • Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
    • Oversimplifying an opponent's argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.
  3. Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.

This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.

Cheers Wikipedia.