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An indepth discussion into who you really are.A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position. To "attack a straw man" is to create the illusion of having refuted a proposition by substituting a superficially similar proposition (the "straw man"), and refuting it, without ever having actually refuted the original position.Presenting and refuting a weakened form of an opponent's argument can be a part of a valid argument. For example, one can argue that the opposing position implies that at least one of two other statements - both being presumably easier to refute than the original position - must be true. If one refutes both of these weaker propositions, the refutation is valid and does not fit the above definition of a "straw man" argument.OriginA man made of straw, such as those used in military training, is easy to attack. Attacking a straw man can give the illusion of a strong attack or good argument. In the UK, it is sometimes called Aunt Sally, with reference to a traditional fairground game.ReasoningThe straw man fallacy occurs in the following pattern:1. Person A has position X.2. Person B ignores X and instead presents position Y.Y is a distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including: 1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent's position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent's actual position has been refuted.2. Quoting an opponent's words out of context — i.e. choosing quotations which are intentionally misrepresentative of the opponent's actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).3. 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.4. 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.5. 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.Debating around a straw manStrictly speaking, there are three ways to deal with a straw man setup.1. Using the terms of the straw man and refuting the theory itself: Beach debate: "There is no threat to morality with "free" sex. Sex for purposes other than procreation is something that shouldn't be tied to morality, shame, or guilt". (Note: A weakness of this retort is that agreeing to use the terminology of the opponent may deflect the debate to a secondary one about the opponent's assumptions).2. Clarifying the original theory: "I said evolution should be taught, not that I believe in the big bang". This may involve explicitly pointing out the straw man.3. Questioning the disputation ("Why could it not have been created by random chance?").

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