What exactly IS a strawman?
He is discussed much on this board.
I would like someone to explain to this ignorant person what it is and give me an example of one.
Thank you.

From this page:

From here, other fallacies also explained.

A straw man argument is one in which person A claims that person B argues for a position that person B does not actually hold, then “refutes” that position and declares that s/he has won the argument.

For example, Terry and Pat are arguing over the best recipe for pasta. Terry says that one should boil spaghetti for 8 minutes. Pat says that heating the water on an electric stove takes six minutes to come to a boil, and that the spaghetti cooking time is actually 14 minutes. Since Terry has never addressed the issue of the elapsed time to cook the spaghetti, only noting the actual cooking time once the spaghetti has been placed into the boiling water, the reference to the total time is irrelevant to the cooking time (unless the discussion happened to be about how “fast” one could cook spaghetti).

Pat’s argument is a straw man.

… Which also means not to follow the Strawman’s travel advice when choosing which yellow brick road to take …


The point of something being a strawman is that, literally, it is an artificial opponent that is easily destroyed. Therefore to construct a strawman s to present a flimsy argument and then quickly, before anyone notices that this isn’t your opponent’s real point at all, pull it apart.

It momentarily gives the appearance of a resounding victory, but ultimately proves nothing.

You see it lots on this board because too many people are focused on point-scoring rather than addressing the real subject.

Thank you.