The straw man argument

The straw man of antiquity is still with us

It’s good timing and it’s also a perfect time to expose the illogical rumors, rumors of rumors and downright lies that can circulate around the drain. Spinning around and around until they are hopefully, flushed down where they need to go. Let Gator clarify that: Just because these lies are being flushed does not make them good fertilizer for growth. They still smell bad.

There are many ways to lie, but the most effective way is to think you are speaking the truth. To believe the lie so well that you would pass most lie detectors. It’s the lie of non logical thought.

Gator has recently been studying logic and philosophy and this straw thing is huge in our society. Let’s start with an easy example. One starts with what is called a ‘premise’ An uncontested piece of information we can describe as a truth. Our first premise then will be: “Water is wet” Second premise “Everyone needs water” Both true statements. The intersecting straw man that tries to join these would be: “ Everybody likes to get wet” We do it a lot, most without thinking.

Gator could put a few sarcastic comments in now but they also apply to him, the not thinking statement. You could make a straw man argument out of that as well. Try it on someone and see if they get the illogical. “ Most people read about a lot of things” “Reading is a good thing” “ Not reading is a bad thing” A little more subtle. That’s the way it sneaks in.

A common but false etymology is that it refers to men who stood outside courthouses with a straw in their shoe to signal their willingness to be a false witness. The Online Etymology Dictionary states that the term “man of straw” can be traced back to 1620 as “an easily refuted imaginary opponent in an argument.”

These days the straw men are lining our roads with signs. They tell each other tales of struggle and hatred perceived in their minds. It sounds logical until you draw three interlocking circles. You draw one circle with a true precept naming it. Same thing for the second precept. These are two things that are known truths. Then you interlock a third circle encompassing one and two. Designate it what you want to come forth as you think your logic is correct. We do it a lot, more than we remember.

So…here is the straw man that is tumbling our area like a berserk raccoon trapped in a washing machine.

Precept 1. Farmers own a lot of land which they use to support their families.

Precept 2. Huge factories of animal production want to use this land to build factories upon.

Conclusion:Neighbors who don’t want the factories hate farmers.

Straw Man argument.

Precept 1.I have lived in this area a long time and so has my family. We own a lot of land

Precept 2.You have lived in this area for a short time and do not have a lot of land.

Conclusion: I am more important than you because of my wealth.

We do these things without even thinking about them. We think we know truth. These things can be seen and heard and avoided if you listen. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator

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