The infamous Straw man is a common fallacy seen in politics, littering TV in attack ads around elections. The fallacy rests on misrepresenting an opponent’s argument and then attacking the misrepresentation. In logical construction, straw man arguments are fallacious because they have not refuted the proposition, only replaced it. For example, a politician characterizes a House bill introduced for proposed budget cuts in military spending as “An unpatriotic bill that threatens national security and endangers the lives of members of the armed services through deprivation.” In its common forms, straw man arguments oversimplify a proposition to circumvent the burden of actually creating a well-constructed argument or they quote a source devoid of context to distort the source’s position in what is called contextomy. Of course, the straw man is only successful if appealing to an uninformed audience. While crafting a straw man is an easy way to sway an audience, Phi Kappans should always strive to listen and give opponents the credit they deserve while pushing to create an airtight, logical argument. If you are not confident about a speaker’s point, ask a question to clarify before assuming. We are at our best when we handily destroy someone’s logic, not men made of hay.
Please join the Phi Kappa Literary Society this Thursday February 5th at 7pm on at Phi Kappa Hall on North Campus as we take on the resolution BIHR: It is less harmful for a group to be misrepresented than underrepresented by the media.
First Affirm will be Sister Hammond, and First Negate will be Sister Owens.
We will be using the following definitions:
- less harmful: causing fewer damages comparatively, especially in social, political, and mental repercussions
- group: a marginalized number of people considered or classed together based on a similar characteristic such as, race or gender
- misrepresented: portrayed in a false or misleading way; images and representations do not account for a variety types in the group.
- underrepresented: insufficient or inadequate in quantity (of representation)
- media: means of mass communication (including but not limited to television, radio, newspaper, and websites)
Please join the Phi Kappa Literary Society this Thursday at 7 p.m. as we gather to discuss the resolution BIHR: News media should publish leaked documents.
Brother Plaskowsky will be First Affirming, and Brother Hattori will be First Negating. The definitions will be set as such:
News media - reputable* disseminators of information to the general population by means of print, broadcast and Internet (*organizations and their affiliates that follow the standards of professional journalism as set by the SPJ ex. CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, NYT, Washington Post)
should - bears an obligation to serve the public’s interest
publish - print or release material
leaked documents - documents that have been illegally obtained by a 3rd party source
Come let us know what you think at Phi Kappa Hall on North Campus!
Please join the Phi Kappa Literary Society on this Thursday, January 15th at 7pm in Phi Kappa Hall on North Campus to for lively, educated debate on the effects of Greek Life on University life. Do you think that Greek Life does more harm than good? Do you think that frats and sororities are innocent organizations? Come share your perspective! Guests are encouraged but not required to speak.