Sunday, 11 August 2013

Making Good Straw-men: A Guide

Since I will never succeed in writing the blog post I've been trying to write about evolution here's a quick guide for all internet skeptics next time they want to straw-men their opponents! Enjoy!

Making a good straw man is an art that should be mastered by all master debaters. (Hurr hurr. Masterdebaters) The straw man is a useful tool in overpowering non-mainstream viewpoints on controversial topics. If you cannot make a good straw man here's your quick how to guide. Enjoy!

Step One:
If your opponent's thesis depends on how they define word A it is important you define word A in a fashion (in your response) such that the rest of their thesis makes no sense. Never clearly state your definition of word A and make sure you never quote your opponent where they clearly define word A. Maintaining a lack of clarity about word A is essential. If people realize you're both talking about different things they just may call you on your bluff!

Step Two:
Proceed to respond to out of context quotes with the distorted definition above. If you've defined A correctly it will be defined in such a fashion that it is incoherent. Make sure you point out how incoherent your definition of word A is and show your skeptic friends how incoherent your definition is. If you don't exclaim "Isn't it stupid how he defined word A to include the premise that he was trying to prove? Isn't that just like... fucking retarded? Hurr hurr" then your straw-man is not quite good enough.

Step Three:
This is the crucial step. It requires you have some credentials or know someone with credentials. It is also very convenient if your position is widely accepted by the majority of people. Proceed to cite important people saying that you are right and make sure your citations only point to important people saying that your are right. For example, a good citation would be "I, Dr. Joe, am a neuro-surgeon and I say that I am right about A because I have a degree that says I am right about A. I'm smart!". It is important that you cite no valuable information during this step. If you do someone might look at your citations and realize this is all just a straw man.

Step Four:
This is the fatality stage. This is the kicking them while they're down phase. If you're looking at including ad-hominem attacks this is where you include them. By this point you have distorted their view to such a degree that you can claim they believe pretty much anything. Call them hitler, call them a nazi or, even worse, call them a creationist. Once you've kicked them a few times run around the internet blogging ring such that your other blogger friends can tag-team them with you. Get a few fist bumps (and blog shares!) and make sure you all social network together to generate the maximum number of page views.

Step Five:
You have won! Congrats! The threat to your echo-chamber has been eliminated with style and flare. You are now a straw-man master. Very few of your readers care enough to actually understand what you are critiquing so your market share/internet popularity/readership remains intact! If somebody ever critiques you (Let's say by saying how do people say so much (lots of words) while saying so little (Lack of content)) just return to step one of the above guide.

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