We Caught Him in the Act

We have a “no shoes” rule in our house. We also have four kids who think this rule is ridiculous. My oldest, who’s living at home while going to college, tip-toed up the stairs on his way to work a few days ago, and yes he had his shoes on. When we caught him, a straw man conversation blossomed. Here’s how it went:

My wife: You’re not allowed to wear shoes in my house. (the claim)

My son: They’re not shoes mom, their boots. (The straw man argument)

My wife: I’m not defining your footwear. Follow the rules or pay the carpet cleaning bill.

A straw man argument is when you ignore the original claim, and you come up with a related, but irrelevant response that’s easier to attack.

This made me think of today’s message on reading. I’ve come across books who attack a specific argument, but they do it with a straw man fallacy. Instead of addressing the real issue, they craft a similar, but irrelevant idea and then spend 300 pages beating it up. Those books should be avoided. Seek out the best authors, the ones who are willing to do their research, cite proper sources, and address both sides of an argument.

Until tomorrow, read slowly – take notes – apply the ideas.


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