The straw-man trick

Prompt  ….

This week’s photo prompt is provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode. Thank you Louise!

Farmer Rick had moved his fence  four feet in to the Farmer Jenkin’s land and thus acquired  a thousand feet of land illegally while Jenkin  was away with his family.

There was an argument between the two when Jenkin returned and noticed the loss of his land. The two argued incessantly till Rick used an old trick.

R – You see that straw man?

J – So?

R – Why did you leave it leaning on the fence?

J- To prevent crows like you from moving my fence.

R- No, You left it there so that it may catch fire and burn my standing crops along with it.

J- That is farfetched. How would a straw man catch fire without a spark?

R- You left an incendiary device in it.

J – There is no incendiary device in it. You can check it.

R – No, I shall call the police and sue you for trying to set my crop afire.

Words ~156

Straw man is the name of a logical fallacy, which means that if you carefully dissect the argument or statement, it doesn’t make sense. Debaters invoke a straw man when they put forth an argument—usually something extreme or easy to argue against—that they know their opponent doesn’t support. You put forth a straw man because you know it will be easy for you to knock down or discredit. It’s a way of misrepresenting your opponent’s position.

It’s as if you took a flaming scarecrow, threw it onto the debate floor, yelled “Look, it’s my opponent’s dangerous straw man,” and then you appeared to save the day by dousing the flames with water. All while your opponent mutters, “That’s not my straw man. What just happened?”

It can be annoyingly effective because in response you may be lured into clarifying what your position is not instead of talking about what your position is, and studies have shown that when you repeat a lie, even if you are repeating it to refute it, the repetition can make people more likely to believe that the lie is true.


Thank you Priceless Joy



12 thoughts on “The straw-man trick

I love arguments

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