The Straw Man Fallacy
A straw man fallacy usually takes place when an individual takes another individual’s opinion or argument, exaggerates it, distorts it in some extreme manner, and then attacks the extreme distortion as if that is truly the assertion the first individual is making. During disagreement of moral issues, individuals have the temptation to put into practice the straw man fallacy for many motives (Aikin et al., 224). Among the reasons is the fact that it is easier to disprove a straw man than the concrete claim. An individual can quickly point out the mistake in it on the foundation of ethical values by transmitting an individual claim to something out rightly immoral.
I usually feel so irritated and upset when a person uses the straw man fallacy in a disagreement with me. I find it usually challenging to flip the argument around when this is done in front of a group. Showing that my claim is not the same as the presented distorted version becomes so difficult. Most of the time, it disheartens me from continuing with the disagreement. There are several examples of the straw man fallacy that happen in everyday arguments. Below is an example of such an argument.
Person A: Alcohol consumption legal drinking age should be 17 years. The human body is ready to manage the complications of alcoholic drinks.
Person B: That sounds crazy and senseless. Alcohol consumption by young individuals affects society and the community at large.
This example illustrates Straw Man because person B didn’t respond to person A’s argument. As an alternative, person B took the view to the extreme. As a result, they did not proceed to discuss a plan or rational solution.
Aikin, Scott, and John Casey. “Straw Man.” Bad Arguments: 100 of the Most Important Fallacies in Western Philosophy (2018): 223-226.