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collapse/expand topics back to Main/StrawmanHasAPoint

02:25:22 AM Mar 10th 2014
Just cut a bunch of awful examples in the Video Games section.

  • Dr. Breen is clearly Villain Has a Point.

  • The Neptunia examples clearly go against the part in the intro that points out authors aren't supposed to be invoking this intentionally.

  • The Mass Effect examples are clearly ignoring that Shepard did have evidence in the destruction of the Citadel, his visit to the Prothean homeworld, other people who are reasonably trustworthy that are able to verify his findings, etc. He's just being a dick when he starts doing the "air quotes" at him - he clearly wasn't interested in believing him in the first place. Udina is the same way - he explicitly does not give a fuck about anything except his own political position and frankly, his attitude and his refusal to take action are exactly why Shepard ends up having to go outside the law to save their skins.

  • When the Dragon Age example is literally arguing with itself and pointing out that the game is intentionally trying to create shades of grey and not make the player pick one position over the other, you know you failed at your example.
02:39:48 AM Mar 10th 2014
Can you please take a less confrontational tone and not personalize the wiki? Saying things like "your example" is more likely to lead to unnecessary conflict.

02:38:41 AM Feb 22nd 2014
edited by
  • In "Chain of Command", the audience is expected to side with Riker against Captain Edward Jellico, who's making many radical changes to the way the Enterprise is run, culminating with his decision to refuse to negotiate with the Cardassians for Picard's release. In fact, being the captain, Jellico has every right to make alterations as he sees fit; and to negotiate with the Cardassians that way would leave the Federation at their mercy, and actually make it less likely to get Picard back.

I don't really agree with this idea: re-watching the episode gives the clear impression that the writers intended for the audience to interpret Jellico any way they want. At no point do they really depict Jellico as being in the wrong (seeing as his methods wind up getting the Federation the advantage in negotiations and Picard rescued) and they make it pretty clear that most of Riker's objections to his decisions regarding running the ship and the negotiations come from his personal bias towards Picard's style of leadership (which is just apples and oranges), possible indignation over not being given command of the Enterprise, and the fear that Jellico isn't actually interested in having Picard saved (which is proven to be misguided).
03:28:37 PM Feb 2nd 2014
Deleted the below for the following reason:

* In 28 Weeks Later, the American military eventually order the total execution of all non-military personnel in London, infected or not, rather than risk letting the newly-resurgent virus spread. American soldiers gun down hordes of frightened civilians who are obviously not yet infected, which is pretty horrifying. However, we also know that the virus completely wiped out Britain in a matter of weeks, so this extreme position does not seem completely unreasonable. By the end, we learn that the heroes' successful escape from the mass execution has, in fact, allowed the virus to spread to the rest of the world and possibly doomed the human race. It's likely that the film always intended the heroes' position to seem somewhat dubious, albeit with good intentions.

There is enough documentation about the Wallbangers and Idiot Plot in this movie, agreed on by numerous people, to establish that the military had every opportunity to do everything and anything else to prevent this, and pretty much made the worst of all possible choices every single time to force the massacre at the end to happen. When military snipers see kids sneaking past the perimeter, they don't even fire warning shots to stop them. When a carrier of the virus that killed all of Britain in a month is found, they guard her with two guys, and a regular door. No actual guards are posted in the areas where civilians are sent to save them from zombies. Problems with sending these people to these areas are detailed in both Wallbanger and Idiot Plot. People aren't sympathetic to the military in this movie because they pretty much did everything except walk around spraying canisters of virus in order to cause the outbreak and end massacre.
07:29:26 AM Jul 22nd 2013
  • In The Gamers 2, one of the players goes on a long rant against a decision which privileged story-telling over character-building (using an Unlimited Wish spell to raise a dead character). Since they had previously raised another party member from the dead as a means to infiltrate the church, he may have been right about the wish being wasted (though it's possible that the second death was more "permanent"), the larger problem was less that he was wrong and more that he rudely rage-quit the game and stormed out.

This was deleted by Editor Pall Mall with the explanation: "characters having different opinions is not this trope". I disagree: it's clear what opinion the movie makers want the audience to agree with (Joanna), but the opposite side which is made to look wrong (Cass) has a point. Please explain.
11:42:43 PM Dec 14th 2013
Because characters having different opinions is not this trope?

For that matter, there's no strawman being set up here - Joanna made a choice in a board game and her ex-boyfriend inexplicably threw an over the top temper tantrum, humiliated her, then quit the game in a huff. When even the example has to note that his behavior is the problem and not his perspective, it's a bad example.
10:48:24 PM Jun 24th 2013
Again, this one was pretty clearly cut by an overzealous editor. (The guy openly admitted he was trimming at 5 AM and was clearly chopping out huge swaths of examples without reading carefully.)

  • From the Silver Age: Action Comics #176 Muscles For Money, where Superman decides to start charging money to save people. While it's certainly true that Superman was doing some reprehensible things (charging insane amounts, forcing people to sign contracts before he'll save their lives, etc) the primary argument seems to be that Superman doesn't deserve any sort of reward for the good he does. The worst part is when Superman politely requests the $10,000 reward for two criminals he brought in only to have everyone declare him a money-grubber for it, despite the fact that this is a reward the police themselves had offered and which anyone else besides Superman would have been given happily.

Again, if anyone thinks it needs to be removed/elaborated on, feel free to respond here.
10:41:46 PM Jun 24th 2013
So apparently someone cut the entirety of the Jack Chick section, apparently under the silly grounds that "strawmen used in morality tales are somehow magically not really strawmen." While this claim is laughably wrong, I do admit that most of the examples on this page weren't really strawmen so much as people generally disagreeing with Chick's beliefs. This example, however...

  • In the tract "Somebody Goofed" as well as the "edited for black audiences" version "Oops!", a man named Bobby overdoses on speed and as his friends and family are gathered around, a Christian shows up to tell them all about how Bobby is burning in Hell right now. When another man shows up to stop him we're supposed to side with the Christian. Of course, whether the Christian is right or not, moments after the death of a loved one is usually not the best time to preach to people (let alone say he's suffering eternal damnation for his choices), making the other man totally justified in trying to shut him up. Less justified, but still understandable is when he physically assaults the Christian.

...is absolutely a case of this trope. I doubt it needs to be explained and was probably trimmed accidentally by an overzealous editor, but just in case it does need to be explained:

The strawman in play is the man who tells the Christian evangelist to butt out. He is absolutely a strawman, with the portrayal here being that "anyone who attempts to stop a fundamentalist from evangelizing for any reason is automatically evil, and probably even a direct agent of (and/or actually is) Satan himself."

The has-a-point part here is that most people agree that "five seconds after the death of a loved one" is not the best time to try to convert people, especially when your opening line is essentially, "your best friend is roasting in Hell right now because he was a jerk, and you're next!"

Again, all of that should have been obvious from the example itself.

I'm putting it back on the page for the time being. If anyone thinks that it should be removed and/or reworded then feel free to reply here and say so. I'll check back for the next few days in case anyone has anything further to say.
10:09:55 AM Jun 20th 2013
01:13:40 PM Jun 15th 2013
  • In Ghostbusters, Walter Peck is correct that the Ghostbusters are operating very dangerous equipment in the middle of a densely populated area with no government oversight. It's within the EPA's purvue to ensure that these mysterious scientists aren't leaving hazardous waste or radiation in their wake. The fact that they're claiming to fight supernatural monsters only gives him more reason to investigate them. The Ghostbusters don't have any legal or ethical justification to refuse government investigation. They simply hope to ignore the rules. By Eagon's own admission, they're all tramping around with unlicensed nuclear accelerators strapped to their backs.
    • Any underlying wisdom Peck might've had quickly loses it's shine when he desides to start throwing the switches on the Ghostbusters' ghost vault, a machine he'd never even seen before, while the man who designed and built it was all but shouting at him that doing so would certainly cause a devestating explosion.

Please stop adding this. This is a prime example of a legitimate explanation for a character's motivations being blown up into a Strawman Has a Point argument. Peck is not a strawman and the Ghostbusters aren't actually in the right either. Peck is, at worst, full of himself and very careless. And let's not forget that the sequel to the movie opens with the entire business shut down specifically because of the damage and chaos their business caused. Just because Walter Peck is a jerk doesn't make him a Strawman without the obvious twisting of his legitimate purpose into a simplistic, obviously wrong argument that the heroes can claim moral superiority over.
02:26:26 AM Aug 31st 2013
Them, it's a case of Jerkass Hasa Point?
04:35:24 PM Jan 14th 2014
Oh man, we have that trope? Then yea, he's definitely one of those.
10:51:46 PM Jun 9th 2013
edited by
  • Of course, in the former case, this was deliberately invoked by Princess Celestia, who invited all of Twilight's friends in the hopes that they would "liven up" the party, and having already met them, knowing exactly what sort of mischief that would likely entail (though, in their defense, in Rarity's case it was the Canterlot pony who was boorish). The latter case is less excusable, though ironically, Twilight (who stayed out of trouble the last time) is from Canterlot, and was acting drunk at the time.

Just because Princess Celestia tried to invoke it doesn't make it justified. If anything, it validates the snobs' position! These people, only two of which are actually initially from Ponyville (Pinkie's from a rock farm, Fluttershy and RD are from Cloudsdale, and Twilight's from Canterlot), all currently live in Ponyville, and all of a sudden, Rarity is the only one to be able to go to a big fancy party without ruining it for everyone else, going so far as to force their crappy behavior onto others! For God's sake, Blueblood, the aforementioned Canterlot boor in the above example and one of the most popular punching bags in the fandom for his crappy behavior of Rarity in Best Night Ever, managed to not act like a complete dipshit that episode, which is a lot more than you can say about the rest of the Mane Six!
01:16:51 PM Jun 15th 2013
Okay, where's the Strawman argument that is being debunked by the morally superior heroes then? This isn't a page where you sit here and argue over storylines. If the show is technically agreeing with them or presenting them as even partially right (as you note, they were invited entirely because they were outsiders who would liven up a boring party), they're not Strawmen.

And seriously....calm down. Your defense of the trope doesn't sound like a defense so much as your personal ranting.
01:56:20 PM Jun 9th 2013
I restored a small piece of info that got deleted in an overzealous natter/Thread Mode removal. In the New Jedi Order example I feel it's useful to note that later authors in the series recognized the position for a strawman and offered an alternate explanation that wasn't one (see Destiny's Way for the anti-strawman Take That). However I've also added a comment not to expand the example any further.
08:07:04 PM Apr 22nd 2013
edited by
@Editor Pall Mall I'd say it can be invoked, but it would have to be within the context of a Show Within a Show.
05:26:35 PM Mar 23rd 2013
Though this sentiment has been echoed a few times, I definitely do feel that there is too much justification for the Strawman having a point, in that it often gets turned around to "they're completely right!" and the tropers launch into some diatribe about why the supposed strawman is right. Now I know it's often the responsibility of the readers themselves to discern and make their own decisions, but when the trope has so much justification, I can't help but wonder if we're just getting locked into feeling they're right.
03:34:20 PM Mar 28th 2013
This trope page has devolved into nothing but tropers arguing with stories they don't like. Many entries don't even have an actual Strawman invoked - it's the troper saying "But, you know, in this circumstance, it might have been totally different!" I've been waiting for a slot on the Trope Repair Shop forum to get this one reworked.
04:52:30 PM Feb 13th 2013
edited by ztyran
The Dolores Umbridge examples are more an example of Jerkass Has a Point, given her personality and methods. Note: I also question the Hagrid comments, because during the events of the Umbrige's term, his work as Care of Magical Creatures Teacher is much improved. It's more clearly shown that Umbridge is focusing on Hagrid's half-blood status, rather then his skills.
03:37:41 PM Mar 28th 2013
edited by Rebochan
I took off all of the Harry Potter examples because none of the examples are Strawmen. Umbridge might have had a point if her goal was to remove incompetent staff, but the story never makes the argument that she is doing so. She is a racist purging people she finds unclean. Furthermore, the entry actually made the book's case by accident because firing Trelawny actually put her life in danger. In other words...no. She does not have a point. She is a terrible person.

As for the Cho Chang double bitch off, Harry isn't supposed to be justified. He's being incredibly cruel to Cho in this scene because he believes he's right and he does that to a lot of people in that story before eating a pile of humble pie when his antics cost him a loved one's life. Cho isn't a strawman, she's arguing a valid point and Harry isn't being put on a pedestal of righteousness, thus, no straw argument.

Finally...Filch complaining about mud? Really? There's not even an argument in the scene.
07:41:08 PM Mar 30th 2013
edited by ztyran
Actually Filch's complaint is valid, because as he says, "It might be a little mud to you, but to me it's an extra hour scrubbing." You have to remember he's a squib and has to clean up after hundreds of magical students by himself with nothing but elbow grease. His views on punishing the students on the other hand...
12:46:20 PM Jun 1st 2013
I may be stirring up a hornet's nest here, but I'm bringing back 2 of the 3 Harry Potter examples because I believe they are legitimate examples of Strawman Has a Point. I believe it just as strongly as Rebochan believes they're not.

Where is the evidence that Harry isn't supposed to be justified here? We see noboby in-story agreeing with Cho or being swayed by her arguments. While at the end of the book, we see Harry eating humble pie about several things, "being incredibly cruel to Cho" isn't one of them. He never once pauses to reflect that he may have been a bit too hard on Cho or concede that she had any kind of point here. Another way to look at Harry in this book is that while his temper may make him unpleasant to be around, most of the things he's angry about (being kept out of the loop, the Ministry's smear campaign, Umbridge's tactics, etc.) are things he's justified to be angry about. His anger at Marietta and Cho could be seen as one of the things Rowling meant Harry to be justified in.

There are 3 occasions after this argument where an opinion, or something like an opinion, is expressed about Marietta, the subject of the Harry/Cho argument. One each from the Power Trio:

  • In the chapter after the argument, Harry mentions it to Ron and Hermione. This prompts Ron to launch a big angry rant about Marietta (most of which we don't read because Harry's busy brooding about Snape's Worst Memory).
  • In Book 6, at the start of the next school year, Harry sees that the jinx is still on Marietta's face nearly half a year later...and the sight of her continuing deformity amuses Harry enough that he smirks at it. I find this quite significant because at the start of Book 6, Harry is calmer, more reasonable, and less likely to fly off the handle than he was in Book 5. But his smirk doesn't suggest his attitude towards Marietta or Cho's defense of her has changed in the slightest.
  • In Book 7, Hermione refers to her in passing as, "that stupid Marietta".

None of this suggests any softening of attitude towards Marietta, not even over the space of two years, or suggests that Cho's defense had any effect.

Finally, there's Rowling's own statment on the matter. When asked in a fans' interview about what happened to Marietta with Hermione's jinx, Rowling answered the question then added an unsolicited comment, "I do so loathe a traitor!" I find that a pretty strong clincher that Rowling loathes Marietta as much as (or maybe even more than) Harry does, that in the Harry/Cho argument, she fully sided with Harry against Cho. That she thinks permanent facial scars is a just, appropriate punishment for Marietta's "betrayal" and that Cho's defense was supposed to be a weak argument Harry easily refutes. Harry's summing up of Cho's words of Marietta as "a lovely person who made a mistake" could even be seen as a caricature of the more legitimate position, "Marietta doesn't deserve to be physicaly scarred on her face for the rest of her life over one failed attempt at snitching."

When you take the complete lack of anyone in-story agreeing with Cho, or of any softening in attitude towards Marietta, along with Rowling's statement of loathing, my conclusion- that Harry is supposed to be justified in this argument, that Cho is not supposed to have a valid point, but that Cho's valid points come through in spite of not because of Rowling's intentions- is a valid, reasonable conclusion to come to.

And while I feel less strongly about the Filch example, yeah, what ztyran said. And of course it's an argument. Harry argues that it's just a little bit of mud, Filch argues back that it's an hour's clean up for him, hence, an argument. And Filch, unlike Cho, is usually meant to be nothing more than a Flat Character Jerkass whom nobody has a good word for. We're not supposed to take his complaints seriously, yet this one has weight once we learn he's a squib.
11:27:06 PM Jun 4th 2013
These aren't real examples, just things that pissed you off. Removing. Please don't put them back up.
01:31:32 AM Jun 5th 2013
edited by
"I believe it just as strongly as Rebochan believes they're not."

You were told to stop putting them in the repair shop thread, after you derailed the crap out of it. Please stop dragging up this edit war.

08:57:37 PM Jan 27th 2014
Filch doesn't have to clean a damn thing, that's the house elves job.
03:06:29 PM Sep 28th 2012
edited by Gazatteer
  • Meredith cracks down on the mage population of Kirkwall with an iron fist, and is responsible for a lot of unfair repression given to the mages in her suspicion and rooting out of those responsible for Blood Magic, and is painted extremely paranoid. Except she's Properly Paranoid. The vast majority of the mages in the Kirkwall circle are practicing blood mages.

This entry here is not actually factually supported. There is never any evidence shown that the majority of the Circle are blood mages. The closest I can figure is that the editor who added this interpreted a conspiracy between some mages and some templars (largely made up of mages who originally came from another Circle) as being "the vast majority". There ARE a lot of blood mages in Kirkwall, and you could construct an argument to that effect here (I've heard people try to justify killing all of the mages that way), but not even a majority of the mages you encounter in combat are blood mages, let alone the majority of the mages you never even meet. And the game is pretty insistent (notably even giving you an onscreen example) that the reason there are more and more blood mages as the years go on is primarily because of Meredith's draconian policies. I'm personally inclined to just throw the example out — any objections?
06:52:06 PM Aug 17th 2012
Strawman DOESNT have a point? (No. (no real life))
04:46:33 PM Jul 20th 2012
Pulled the Daria entries because they didn't actually set up straw arguments the audience was supposed to be against. Closest maybe being Fizz Ed...except that even though Daria did sort of have a stand against the corporate sponsorship problem, she openly admitted that she also didn't care enough to do anything about it. The entries read more like the troper who wrote them didn't like the episodes and started making their own arguments without checking if there's an actual Strawman to be making them for the show in the first place.
01:02:35 AM Jun 19th 2012
edited by LentilSandEater
Some of the entries seem to be legitimate counter-arguments rather than straws with a good point.
02:47:26 AM Jun 19th 2012
^That's the whole point. "Straw" simply means "set up to be defeated", it doesn't mean "weak argument"
04:26:54 PM Dec 6th 2012
A straw man is simply a false argument constructed to be easily demolished by the "right" person. I just took out a huge stack of Harry Potter entries that didn't contain a single straw man.

I think a lot of people are simply venting disagreements with plot points and not checking to even make sure there was a Straw Man being railed against in the first place.
06:44:39 PM Jun 6th 2012
edited by Aquillion
Moved Mirai Nikki example here:

  • In Mirai Nikki, Minene Uryuu, the Ninth, is an insanely violent version of the Nay-Theist; having lost her parents to a religiously inspired conflict, she became a terrorist herself, focusing on attacking religious buildings, relics, priests, and congregations. Her most fervent belief is that religion should be stamped out, as if God does exist, then he is clearly far too malevolent to be worthy of reverence. Then we discover that Deus, who for all practical purposes is God in this series, has decided that the best way to decide on a replacement in order to keep reality running is... to give a dozen random people, most of whom are extremely warped in the head, magical diaries that foretell the future and provide other magical powers, and tell them that whoever kills off all the others, regardless of how many innocent casualties it takes, will take his place. It doesn't excuse her being a murderer, but it does give her "God Is Evil" stance some justification.

...as with the above examples, she's not really a strawman, in that the manga itself doesn't really seem to care whether she's right or wrong and certainly isn't presenting her to make a point about atheism / nay-theism or religion; if anything, her beliefs are used to make her more sympathetic, and it's entirely reasonable to read the fact that she's basically right as intentional.

[SPOILER since spoiler tags don't seem to work here]

(She's also one of the few characters who never changes her fundamental beliefs, and one of the only ones who survives all the way to the end, and she gets an unambiguously happy ending without ever giving any indication that she's changed her outlook — all of which gives the definite impression that the author might agree with her overall. Even when Deus saves her life, she complains, entirely accurately, that he was doing it purely for his own selfish reasons.)
08:45:48 AM Apr 24th 2012
edited by phasmid
This article misrepresents what a strawman is. In the opening,

"For those who are wondering "Is a straw man with a good argument still a straw man?", the answer is "Usually." The point in question is presented as bad, the audience is supposed to see it as bad ... The straw man can still have stereotypical, oversimplified arguments."

A stereotypical or oversimplified argument is not not a strawman if people are actually using it. It doesn't matter whether the argument is presented as bad or not — that's a moral presumption or an assumption that the audience is on the same political/philosophical plank the author is. It seems this effect happens mostly when the author isn't using a straw-man at all, but is just presuming audience agreement.

"This trope is in play only when there is an actual Strawman involved, ie the argument is presented as completely wrong despite realistic arguments in the other direction."

Again, this is not a straw-man. A straw-man is a complete misrepresentation of the opponent's arguments. As the logical fallacy is about the context used in who, individually, you are arguing against, it's very hard if not impossible to have a straw-man that attacks everyone.

On a similar note, I most often see this invoked/discussed when a person watching the "straw-man" already agrees with the side being portrayed. In this case the villain doesn't even need to have a good point because he's representing (in a negative fashion, but using realistic arguments) what the viewer believes. Often this trope just boils down to complaining about the show.

Another common problem is the straw-man not actually representing the point they're supposed to have. Take the very first example, advertising/Kleenex: the "straw-man" (reusable towel) is not making any point, let alone claiming itself to be environmentally sound. This was inserted entirely by the viewer.

I would suggest a name more like Villain Has a Point or Villain Looks Better Than Hero. In the case where "the villain is making the best sense" it could be called Willing Suspension of Rationality, but it's usually still not a true strawman.
07:43:10 AM May 19th 2013
Villain Has A Point just sounds like Designated Villain.
07:44:39 AM May 19th 2013
Also, the point of the trope is that the author tries to set up a strawman, but either it's not weak enough or he's not strong enough for him to tear it apart.
11:50:23 AM Mar 25th 2012
I'm going to delete the 'Measure for Measure' example. This trope is quite specific that the writer should be setting up the argument as bad and not the character speaking it. In the case of Measure for Measure, we are not being invited to condemn Angelo for his strict new regime (The Duke specifically states that's the reason he's put Angelo into power), nor even for the fact that the first victim is the largely blameless Claudio and not the serial offender Pompey or Lucio (even Claudio's sister grudgingly admits he probably deserves punishment). We are invited to condemn Angelo specifically because he forces himself on Isabella as the price for saving her brother.
01:22:06 AM Sep 6th 2011
Not sure about the Merlin example. It admits right off the bat that it's circular in that Uther's ban on magic is what is attracting the magical attacks that supposedly make him an example of the trope, but furthurmore his "point" is undercut by the fact that Merlin is usually the one who ends up saving the day, with magic.

Plus there's the question of whether Uther should be considered a strawman at all, as the question of whether or not magic should be legalised is not exactly a relevant one.
05:44:29 PM Aug 17th 2011
Moving this bit until the rhetorical question is actually answered by someone who saw the film. As it is, it borders on Fan Myopia.

  • Knight Rider 2000 has a plot scene where the city hall has to choose from two projects: one of a female scientist's apparent wish to reduce crime by cryogening prisoners and removing lethal fire from cops' hands. A semi-psychotic (who is later depicted to just be tired of believing in humans) cop representative whole-heartedly agrees with the death penalty and insists cops should have the right to kill suspects, because he believes if they're just threatened with stunning, criminals will have less fear in committing crime. This is, after the scientist claims that cryogenics would save the state 1.5 billion dollars. All cut-clear until now, right? Guess who supports restarting the KITT project...
07:27:39 AM Jun 26th 2011
This trope needs a name change, or a severe purging. The strawman fallacy is specifically when an argument is misrepresented in order to attack it, and therefore the current name of the trope indicates that someone has incompetently misrepresented the 'villain' argument.

However, the examples are concerned with all failures of the text to refute the 'villain' argument. This is beyond the scope of the strawman fallacy. Many examples on this article do refer to strawmen, but many do not (if an argument is accurately quoted in order to be refuted that is not a strawman - even if the argument is not then refuted).

It would be a pity to zap all the good examples of that on this page, but the title of the trope is unrepresentative. It should be changed to something like "Wrong in the Right". (I'm bad at names)
01:30:43 PM Jul 12th 2011
edited by Keenath
I think the trope name is fine.

A strawman argument means creating a weaker or more vulnerable version of the opposing point of view so that it's easier to attack. This trope happens when the author fails to make his strawman weak enough. His "easy to attack" parody of the actual opposing opinion still winds up sounding more reasonable than (or at least as reasonable as) his chosen position.

If the author presents a villain's argument and then fails to show it to be wrong, he's either failed in his attempt to create a strawman or he was doing it intentionally to create morally ambiguity. As long as the examples don't include those, it's probably fine.

If you're saying that some of the examples don't show any sign of having been weakened in the first place (that is, the opposing view is more or less what is actually believed by people he disagrees with), the trope probably still applies; the author should have created a strawman and didn't, or he tried to and failed.
06:26:59 AM May 24th 2011
edited by Keenath
I went ahead and removed the Better Life example (recorded below). If you want to put it back, feel free to, but this example is going to need a lot of work before it really shows itself to be an example of the trope. The Straw Feminist character isn't attacking "being a single mother", which is what both of the negative events used as examples relate to. The examples would work if the teacher had said Sheila should stop dating because it was hurting the kids, but that's not what her point was. (And more to the point, a Straw Feminist would never claim that a woman should give up her social life to spend more time at home with the kids..!)

  • In Better Days, Fisks mother becomes furious when a Straw Feminist teacher implies that she is a disgrace to women for being a homemaker who dresses sluttily. Trouble is, Sheila's lifestyle has interfered with her life - the first time when she was out on a date and Fisk was attacked by rabid dogs, and the second time when Lucy was sick and Fisk gave her blood preassure medicine by mistake.
02:00:16 PM Mar 28th 2011
edited by khalini
I remember reading a medium-sized entry about Stargate Atlantis on this trope page just this month, but now it's not only gone, but doesn't appear anywhere in the page history (which goes back to November '10). Is this a bug of some sort?
11:31:05 AM Mar 7th 2011
Regarding the Better Days example: I thought Fisk's mother was a prostitute, not a homemaker. Could someone who's actually read the comic confirm or deny this?
08:31:13 AM May 19th 2011
edited by Keenath
She's not a prostitute, she just dresses like one. Actually I can't remember what her day job is. Waiting tables maybe?

I'm not sure I get what the "strawman's point" was here anyway. The strawman says Sheila is a disgrace to women for dressing sexy and focusing on raising her children rather than improving her social standing (or whatever). I don't see how that point is proven right by her kids having some close scrapes. Is a single mother supposed to stay home and never ever go out because the kids might get in trouble?

Even if there were some correctness behind that point of view, it still doesn't speak to the strawman attack, which was "you are a poor example of a woman because you dress like that and have no ambition".
03:31:52 PM Jan 30th 2011
Can the Marvel Civil War be a case of Strawman Has a Point? Weren't they both supposed to have valid point and neither were supposed to be strawmen? It's just that Bad Writing managed to make both sides simulataneously Strawmen With A Point.
04:25:45 PM Feb 1st 2011
So, yes, they are countered by those in the wrong, but those in the wrong aren't supposed to have a crappy argument to begin with.
09:32:15 PM Jan 27th 2011
Is it really Strawman Has a Point for A Team? I haven't seen the movie, but the description does not in any way inform us how the military were strawmen and not perfectly reasonable.
04:51:20 PM Jan 25th 2011
Wasn't Sally Floyd supposed to be correct, it's just that her arguments were so shallow that most readers rejected them?

That doesn't make her Strawman Has a Point.
07:38:27 PM Jan 25th 2011
Yes, but it probably makes her target a Strawman Has a Point.
05:25:58 AM Jan 26th 2011
But her target didn't say anything. He meekly stood down.
02:45:47 PM Oct 17th 2010
Moved these here, because they don't seem to make sense withing the context of this trope.

  • During the early 1960s, the police and fire departments of Birmingham, Alabama, employed violent measures to stop civil rights protesters (the former by siccing German shepherd dogs on marchers to bite them and tear their clothing, the latter by spraying them with high-pressure fire hoses so intense that they laid out protesters flat on the street and caused their clothing to stick to their bodies). The policemen and firemen tried to justify this brutality by claiming that the civil rights activists were not only undermining respect for the law, but were doing so en masse, and thus were fomenting Communist subversion (which is, of course, a major Wall Banger, since the marches were being organized by black churches and thus couldn't possibly be Communist in origin). But, as Martin Luther King, Jr., himself pointed out, most white Americans at the time tended to agree with the segregationists' basic argument, if not with their tactics.

Confused about this one as I don't understand who is the strawman here, and why they have a point? Is it because the segregationists, despite their harsh tactics, were basically doing what the majority populace wanted?

  • Once knowledge of the My Lai atrocities in Vietnam became widely known in the early 1970s, some ultra-hawkish Americans argued that American soldiers were after all operating in extraordinary conditions where the line between enemy combatant and civilian was almost totally obliterated and thus were entitled to defend themselves, even viciously; that, in any case, the victims were Communists and thus fully deserved what they got; and that, far from being court-martialed, Lieutenant Calley and his unit deserved to be given medals!

Are we agreeing with the hawks who championed the massacre of children because they were communists?
08:49:59 AM Oct 18th 2010
     Real Life 
  • Many critics of U.S. foreign policy (imam Feisal Abdul Rauf being the best example right now) have been painted as terrorist sympathizers (or at least America-haters) for asserting that Al-Qaeda was "made in America." As offensive as this statement might sound, there is some merit to the argument that it is true: in the 1980s, the U.S. government did provide arms to anti-Soviet militants (particularly in Afghanistan) who later revealed their true colors as radical Islamists, although this does not necessarily imply that the United States is to blame for the 9/11 attacks.
  • The segregationist owner of the Washington Redskins football team, George Preston Marshall, was under tremendous pressure from both political pundits and the media to allow African-Americans to play on his team. Things came to a head in 1962 when then-Secretary of the Interior Udall informed Marshall that, in light of the Redskins' relocation to a stadium on federally-owned land at Anacostia Flats, his team was compelled by law to racially integrate. Marshall was angered by this ultimatum, complaining that the government was violating his rights by telling him "how to cast the play." That Marshall was a bigot is certainly without question, but - the new stadium being on federal property notwithstanding - he was essentially correct in complaining that the government should not really impose moral standards on private entities.

Really, no Real Life examples belong on this page, since a strawman is a fictional character — indeed, a caricature — by definition
09:12:21 AM Oct 22nd 2010
edited by
I have a real life example me responding to this page; I expected the strawmen to all have compelling arguments, but in some cases it seems that the tropers just agree with the strawmen's ideologies.

Does the strawman really have a point if you just agree with his ideology? And If you agree with the strawman is he really a strawman?

01:29:33 AM Dec 21st 2010
edited by DanDanNoodles
I'm not sure about the removal of Real Life examples. Though I understand your point, there are plenty of Real Life examples of people using other people as strawmans. (Strawmen?) For example, Ted Kaczynski is often used as a shortcut for "crazy, dangerous loner". If you are compared to him, it is almost guaranteed not to be a compliment. Yet, if you read the Unibomber Manifesto, he actually makes quite a bit of sense in his analysis of how technology can isolate people and fracture society. There's no question that his solution was full-bore nutjob, but it is a little disconcerting to read what is supposed to be the ramblings of a lunatic and find yourself nodding in agreement.

This happens in politics, as well, especially at election times. Political attack ads can easily backfire if you aren't targeting the right demographic.
03:23:31 PM Oct 1st 2010
Removed the Megaman X example because they really aren't strawmen. In fact, I intervened specifically because the people were strawmanning the Maverick Hunters with regard to Repliforce painting the latter as these innocent angels unfairly persecuted when under those circumstances, Repliforce's behavior directly precipitated the war with their refusal to answer why their troops and their equipment were seen at the scene of an atrocity. But if we go and heap more and more in-universe justifications then they are not strawmen.

  • The Mega Man X series has done this for all sides of the conflict (Maverick, Hunters, and Humans) since the fourth game. A lot of the later games have Mavericks fighting because they feel Reploids don't get a fair shake, that the governments are too willing to declare them Mavericks, and often point to Repliforce being declared Mavericks for an incident they were not guilty of. But at the same time, the Maverick Hunters are increasingly portrayed as Knight Templar with a shoot first, ask questions later attitude, but far too many Mavericks, free-willed or not, refuse to negotiate and try to kill the heroes in a fit of paranoia (when they're not outright genocidal). Furthermore, the Repliforce was not declared Maverick on a whim. They're an army answerable to the world governments, and their refusal to stand down in light of an atrocity they were implicated in looks extremely suspicious. Eventually, even the main characters begin to show the strain of dealing with so much moral ambiguity and admit that the villains, while usually wrong in both methods and goals, have a point.
    • Especially in Mega Man X8, where many of the Mavericks, depending on who you reach them with, will try to discuss their point of view and point out some pretty obvious facts about the state of the world. Bamboo Pandamonium reminds X that the very first rockets created were for war, and that humanity has been seemingly trying to destroy itself for centuries. Burn Rooster angrily tells the Hunters to listen to the voices of all the Reploids that were retired and sent to the volcano waste-disposal center, asking how many of them were destroyed for reasons other than being truly Maverick (infected by the Wily Virus). Even Sigma points out that the world is worn out and crumbling, and when you look back through the games and see that everything is mechanical, even the animals and plants, you think that maybe Earth and humanity really are running out of steam.
09:15:03 AM Sep 10th 2010
I deleted the following entry.

An episode of Aeon Flux involves the Demiurge, a godlike being that Aeon and her crew plan to blast into space to rid the world of its influence. Trevor Goodchild and his forces attempt to stop them. Even though Trevor is generally portrayed as the villain, a focus group showed that most viewers actually sided with him. After all, there is nothing in the episode showing that the Demiurge has done anything wrong or that its influence is inherently bad. The reason they appear to try to eliminate it is the show's theme of authoritarianism vs. anarchy, the anarchy-leaning Aeon and the Monicans seem to resent that the Demiurge's influence could possibly restrain the personal freedom of the individual, but few would disagree that completely unlimited freedom is not a good thing. Of course, Trevor is a Well Intentioned Extremist who is trying to provide security and order to the world (While Aeon who is another Well Intentioned Extremist in the opposite direction.)

First off Aeon is not a well intentioned extremist in a direction opposite to that of Trevor Goodchild, to be a well intentioned extremist in the opposite direction she would have to run around attempting to destroy the Breen government in order to leave the Breen people devoid of any rules and laws so that they can run around eating babies. So I ask at what point during the course of the Demiurge episode and the remaining 9 episodes of the series and the silent shorts that predate it and the shitty live action movie that has nothing to do with the series is it ever stated that the goal of Aeon and the Monicans is to remove all trace of authority so that people can run around enjoying “unlimited” freedom and the cannibalistic benefits there of. Anarchy is not chaos, it is not lawlessness it is not in any shape evil or wrong it does not represent unlimited freedom it is just very difficult to implement. The only episode in the entire series that brings the political side of Aeon Flux into the light is the episode Utopia or Deuteranopia? where Aeon gets rid of Gildemere a breen-loyalist doing Trevor Goodchild a favor in the process , the reason for this is because she sees the return of Clavius Trevor’s prisoner to power as a problem and it’s more convenient for her to have Trevor in the seat of power then anybody else . Aeon isn’t working in a direction opposite to that of Trevor she is only trying to maintain the status quo, the balance, the equilibrium, she knows the breen population can not live without a government so she doesn’t try to destroy she tries remove the malicious forces from it . Furthermore Aeon flux as a series simply can not contain any instances of strawman has a point, because the series as a whole is devoid of any moral, message, or any point, the only conclusion an episode can have is the one made-up by the viewer using the given contents of said episode. Attention to this fact is drawn by Aeon in the demiurge episode when she says “We won, we must have been right” the episode continues past that point showing that the ideas behind the whole demiurge affair still remains to be explored. The creator of the series Peter Chung isn’t using the series as a vehicle for some personal opinion he leaves the moral side entirely to the audience as such strawmen are completely absent. On top of all this Trevor Goodchild isn’t even the villain of the show, Peter Chung has stated so in an interview (as seen here:http://community.livejournal.com/monican_spies/44607.html) he is merely one side of the argument and if the audience sides with him it is only because the writer of the show is doing a good job.

I rest my case regarding the absurdity of the deleted entry.

10:25:26 AM Dec 30th 2010
Dude, take a breath.
11:53:37 AM Aug 31st 2010
I don't think this counts as an example of Strawman Has a Point, but can anyone tell me what the PC vs Mac adverts, and their portrayal of the PC's as sympathetic losers and Mac's as arrogant twats are an example of?
06:54:15 PM Aug 31st 2010
They are an example of the trope Google The Wiki for pc vs mac.
07:36:03 PM Aug 31st 2010
Huh. Sorry, I seemed to have been struck by a sudden burst of idiocy.
05:21:30 PM Aug 9th 2010
edited by Peteman
Can we stop with the incessant justifications? The fact that they're strawmen is the reason they act like idiots. They're not supposed to have points. They have points only because the Fridge Logic sets in, and you realize that "hey, that guy that was portrayed as a douche or a moron and that we were supposed to completely disagree with actually had an element of truth to it that the writer didn't intend!"
05:28:00 PM Aug 9th 2010
And yes, I am well aware of my own sins in this matter, but my problem is the blatant white washing people do of Repliforce in the Megaman X games. There's refusing orders when you're a second class citizen unfairly forced to by the government to obey at gun point, and there's refusing legal and reasonable orders when you joined of your own will an organization that requires you to obey legal and reasonable orders.
05:47:46 PM Aug 23rd 2010
I don't think there would be as many Justifying Edits if people realized that this trope wasn't "The Strawman is 100% correct and the "Good Guys" are morons." I was involved with the Star Wars Natter, and that was my problem, that someone was implying that things would have been better if the heroes hadn't fucked with Palpatine's ineffable plan to save the GFFA (c). If this article was just about strawmen with better arguments than the author intended, (as opposed to all the people trying to invert the canon of whatever they're putting here), this page would be pretty orderly and not at all full of justifications.
06:04:31 PM Aug 25th 2010
I think we need to distinguish when a character is a blatant bad guy who uses a good point as a means of manipulating people, and when they are actually strawmen. I think Palpatine is a good example of the former. I haven't really read most Star Wars Expanded Universe material, but I never really got the idea that Palpatine believed for a second that he was going to be invaded by an extra-galactic force. It was just a means of instilling paranoia in the people he needed to approve the funding. Tom Zarek also came across like that to me. He wasn't a villain who sold his point poorly, he was a Manipulative Bastard who knew how to inflame public opinion, and deliberately invoked his points to make himself sound reasonable, all the while using it as a smokescreen to up his position, even and especially if that meant killing anyone in his way. The fact that he was so viciously self-serving at a time when humanity was nearing extinction was what made him repugnant.
05:35:47 AM Jul 21st 2010
edited by Peteman
I helped write the removed Strawman Has a Point for Mega Man X because the original post commented about how the Repliforce was innocent and were basically declared Mavericks for no good reason.

But the thing is is that Repliforce had been implicated (their troops and their gear were involved) in a major atrocity that killed millions, and rather than submit for questioning, they told X and Zero to piss off. Not for any reasonable reason either ("They'll scapegoat us!" "We don't answer to the Maverick Hunters"), but purely pride, which when millions of people die, is a pretty suspicious reason. If I'm not mistaken, if they were human, what they did would be called treason. By the time Magma Dragoon was discovered as the perpetrator, Repliforce had turned this into a shooting war. They weren't innocent at all. Just not of the original crime they refused to help acquit themselves of.
11:58:18 PM Aug 1st 2010
I'm wanting to remove the Megaman X example that got put back in, because it creates a Strawman Has a Point for the Maverick Hunters. Repliforce did not do nothing. They were implicated in an atrocity, and rather than help diffuse the situation, they acted in a manner that would exacerbate it. Complaining about Reploids being unfairly judged Mavericks because they won't obey orders is one thing, but when you're an army you lose a certain amount of your freedom to choose what orders you obey. And "disarm and come in for questioning" is not "open fire on those protesters". And somehow, I don't see the Repliforce stopping the war either once it became apparent they were indeed framed, especially since an army that disobedient would probably be disbanded anyway, and the Repliforce had proven they would fight to the death to maintain their pride.
07:01:20 PM Jul 7th 2010
Concerning the "Accepted" entry:

"The guy's a Jerk Ass, and the new school is presented as a brave bastion for new modes of education, but it doesn't take a crusty old academic to argue that a school without a library, decent teachers, a course plan better than "I want to learn this, someone teach me", and built in an old mental institution has serious problems."

While the first and last problems are obvious, and wether or not Lewis Black's character is a decent teacher is a matter of opinion, the problem with the third issue is that there are schools without course plans better than "I want to learn this, someone teach me." Elementary schools, high schools, and colleges like this have been around for decades. They're administrated in a much less chaotic fashion than S.H.I.T. was, usually run by democratic school meetings, and they have rules in place to prevent some of the shenanigans seen in the film, but they exist, and they usually have very small faculties (usually around five to ten, depending on the number of students, so more than one, but still). It's not a huge deal, but I went to such a school (we tend to look at Accepted as presenting a very watered down version of the school's philosophy and are slightly embarrassed by it, although I find it funny in it's stupidity), so I thought I'd mention it.
06:58:45 PM Aug 3rd 2010
When I first wrote the entry, I focused entirely on the library point. Someone else added in the stuff about decent teachers and lesson plans, which I deliberately avoided for the reasons you mentioned. If you want to delete everything between "library" and "has serious problems," go wild.
12:14:53 PM May 30th 2010
Okay, I swear I wrote this last night, but I can't find the post. Apologies, since I wrote "See discussion" in the history when I removed them.

  • In Hellsing, the Strawmen in question are random members of the Military who try to fight off the Nazi invasion, even though Integra points out that the Nazis are vampires. The problem is that Integra never shows any evidence of the existence of vampires, like summoning Alucard for example. As far as the military are concerned, the Helsing organization are just a well-trained paramilitary personal security force for a noblewoman. Why would the armed forces need their help to fight off a single ship full of nazi soldiers?
    • Because the military DOES know about Hellsing and the vampires. The Knights of the Round Table, made up of several groups, including Hellsing and the military, are the real power in Britain.

Okay, straightforward enough. Example was wrong about facts of situation.

  • In Sailor Moon S, Haruka and Michiru are portrayed as being utterly wrong in forming a plan to save the universe at the cost of killing an innocent person. Thing is, the only reason Sailor Moon was able to save the world without killing an innocent person was because Hotaru turned out to be Sailor Saturn, which none of them could possibly have known at the time.

Needs some context, which was way too long to include in the page history.

  1. First off, the entire theme of the season was whether sacrifices of innocents were necessary to save the world. Considering which side of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism this show sat on, it should be obvious which was right. But within the context of the storyline, nobody was presented as right or wrong until one of them finally had to take a course of action. Despite how ruthless Haruka and Michiru's outlook was, the story didn't present them as inherently wrong - if anything, it presented Usagi's more hopeful outlook as something she would have to fight for and not necessarily possible.
  2. When it came time to make a decision at the end of the series, when Mistress 9 was begging for the Holy Grail and Professor Tomoe wanted to save her, Sailor Moon gave it up while saying that she was doing so because she didn't have the strength to kill someone. She even admitted that she wasn't sure she could save the world this way, but she thought she could at least save a single person. Since that destroyed the Holy Grail and allowed Mistress 9 to summon Master Pharaoh 90 (her original intent), it actually proved that Usagi might have been wrong. And considering her helplessness after Sailor Saturn appeared, she was apparently aware of it.
  3. Even other characters acknowledged after all was said and done that Usagi got lucky in being able to save Saturn and the world.
  4. And then Usagi was asked to fight to prove she was right. Yes, she had to fight Haruka and Michiru, but Tuxedo Mask stopped anyone else from intervening - meaning that Usagi's choices were something she had to answer to.

So to sum up, it's hard to be a Strawman when the show considered your choice a valid course of action and the hero's choice to be one she had to answer for. Even if their choice was wrong in the long run, it was still considered reasonable.
10:50:32 PM May 29th 2010
edited by Jordan
I found one example that bothered me- the Wall Street one, and here's my reason for deleting it. First, it's arguable whether the film actually is an anti-market tract, because IIRC, the director himself said that he saw capitalism as a pretty good thing, and denied that was his intent.

Also, Gecko commits insider trading, and even if not completely illegal at the time of the setting, is really shady. It's more like he knows how to give a good speech, but doesn't play by the rules- he's a hypocrite.

Edit- To reply to Richard's post, the problem is that a lot of examples aren't so much "has a point" as saying "the villain was right and the heroes were wrong". There's also an issue that a lot of times, writers actually are intending the moral situation to be complex (or at least have the villain have rhetorical skills). Saying that the example is Strawman Has a Point is to say "the writers were stupid and they accidentally made the villain have the better point"- and admittedly, some media actually do fit this.
12:31:07 PM May 30th 2010
Your point about Wall Street is understandable. You're saying that Gecko may not be a straw man at all in the first place. And you're right, there are examples which really seem to be about the heroes being wrong and the villain being right. Such examples do fit this trope, in my opinion, if the text intends for the audience to see the villain as obviously wrong and the heroes as obviously right.

I actually agree with you about Wall Street. Gecko is not intended to be a straw man. He's written as someone with a legitimate point of view who goes too far. If no one wants to argue for Wall Street as an example at this time, I would suggest removing it from the main page while preserving it in a comment on this page with an explanation for its removal. (This was already done, more or less, except the comment didn't quote the text of the example.) Because even though I agree with you, it's possible that someone else might disagree, and I think unilaterally erasing someone else's example when the trope is inherently subjective is not a civil or sensible way to handle situations like this.
04:10:00 PM May 30th 2010
I'm embarrassed to admit that I don't know how to quote text. Not trying to be an Orwellian Editor. Can someone edit so that the removed text is visible?
06:01:12 PM May 30th 2010
edited by RichardAK
No need to be embarrassed. I don't know how to bring text back after it's been erased, but I can tell you how to quote text. Just put these symbols: - > or these symbols - - > before the quoted text, but without the spaces. (Using two hyphens indents it further.)
06:04:13 PM May 30th 2010
edited by Jordan
Giving it a try:


—>Wall Street was intended to be the Ur Example of an anti-market tract. Except its iconic scene is the famous "Greed Is Good" speech, which perfectly argues the benefits of a free market economy.
07:08:51 PM May 30th 2010
Maybe you do need two hyphens. If all else fails, you can always use quotation marks.
04:57:33 PM Sep 1st 2010
It seems to me that, much as "Uncle Tom" has acquired a cultural meaning that is separate from the actual literary character, "Gordon Gecko" has acquired a cultural meaning, and that even if the people who created the "actual" Gordon Gecko didn't intend him to be a strawman, the cultural conception of "Gordon Gecko" is a strawman. But if this is too fuzzy an idea, I'm not terribly disappointed if people delete it.
11:54:12 AM May 28th 2010
Removed this:
** ...you can do that via alchemy?
  • For a certain definition of alchemy.
    • Alchemy is a spiritual art distinct from particle physics. You can't transmute lead into gold using alchemical methods, so the original point still stands. You simply can't stretch definitions of ancient magical arts to include modern technology. Otherwise, magic curses that can kill someone at a distance really work, so long as you redefine magic curses to include sniper rifles.

Because it's natter, and the discussion rightly belongs here. Also, yes, one definition of alchemy is that it is a spiritual art. Another definition (the second at wiktionary) is that it is "the causing of any sort of mysterious sudden transmutation." And the trope here is Strawman Has a Point, not, Strawman Is Absolutely Correct In Every Particular From Every Possible Point Of View.
10:00:55 PM May 28th 2010
But it's neither mysterious nor sudden. That form of transmutation is done in a controlled environment developed through years of scientific research. I know you really want this to be an example, but you're reaching...
06:50:35 PM May 29th 2010
edited by Westrim
By your standards, almost every example could be considered reaching. After all, saying that someone has a point is an inherently subjective issue. On top of which, saying that something is "mysterious" or "sudden" is also subjective. Radioactive decay is governed at least partly by the weak nuclear force. How well do you understand that force? Can you honestly say it's not at all mysterious to you? Do you think it's unreasonable for others to consider it mysterious? Also, radioactive decay is always sudden. Whatever the half-life of a given substance, the decay of any given individual nucleus happens instantaneously. I know you really want this not to be an example, but you're reaching....
08:14:42 PM May 29th 2010
edited by MatthewTheRaven
OK, you win. I'm not getting into an argument about semantics or metaphors.
08:26:55 PM May 29th 2010
edited by Westrim
I'm deleting the whole shebang. The point of the shirt is that alchemy as a proto-chemistry discipline (not the adjective, which can be applied to anything including the odd formation of a sock from lint that apparently happened last Monday...) is bunk and no amount of hedging will get you a magical formula to make lead into gold. It. Will. Not. Happen. Bringing in other disciplines like nuclear and particle physics is Completely Missing the Point (that is, that alchemy(the discipline) is not a scientific discipline, no ifs, ands, or buts.).

09:55:49 PM May 29th 2010
edited by RichardAK
I'm not putting it back, at least not right away, because I'm not interested in an editing war on a wiki. I might put it back later. First though, let me submit that it is you who are Completely Missing the Point. The point is not that the discipline of alchemy is a completely valid scientific discipline. That would itself be a straw man for you to knock down. The point is that the Strawman Has a Point, not that the Strawman Is Completely Correct In Every Way. The issue here is that the straw man, alchemy, actually does have a point: it is possible to transmute lead into gold, even though medieval alchemists obviously had no idea how to do it. But really, do you want to go through every example listed on the trope page and remove every single one someone could argue with, or every single one where the straw man is not completely correct, or where the straw man's point is only a technical one? There may not be much of a trope left at that point.
10:16:09 PM May 29th 2010
I wanted to comment on the geocentrism t-shirt and your points on it. Given that its a pro-evolution, anti-creationism joke, I'd bet that the t-shirt has a lot to do with geocentrism being promoted for religious reasons during the middle ages/renaissance. By way of analogy, people claim we should "teach the controversy" regarding evolution, because they oppose it for religious reasons, just as people advocated geocentrism and attacked heliocentrism for religious reasons.

Similarly, it's not really a strawman, because science classes do tend to mention discredited earlier theories and what they got right/wrong. "Teaching the controversy" would be like pointing out some things Galileo got wrong and then using that to argue that geocentrism was right (substitute Darwin and creationism/intelligent design). It's not a strawman to say that would be ridiculous.

Also, I really have a loathing for this trope, because it's generally an excuse for tropers to saying that a villain was right and the heroes were wrong, because their political views better align with those of the villain.
10:40:33 PM May 29th 2010
edited by Westrim
It's like we're pitching balls at each other and missing the catch. I never said you said that alchemy was legitimate- that was said as counterpoint to the "what about other definitions?" thing that was going on.

As for gold into lead- yes, but not at all in the way in which they intended- that is, not involving extremely large, complex, and precise machines but instead chemical formulas and such. By analogy, thinking that you can reach the moon by building an extremely tall pyramid is still extremely wrong, even if you later find that rockets do the trick, or that you later find that if you applied enormous amounts of force you could change the orbit and rig up a space elevator. The process is still extremely different, and alchemy was still extremely wrong to think that it could get gold its way. Period. The strawman did not have a point. I believe your error is ignoring the journey for the destination.

@Jordan: While I don't loathe it, the deficiencies you mention are why several times in the past I have gone through this trope and cleaned out a lot of it. It used to be several pages longer. It's been a month though, so perhaps I should whip out the broom again.
10:45:10 PM May 29th 2010
To be honest, I'm not sure if some of the examples that really bugged me are still on the page- but thanks for deleting some of those.

Regarding alchemy and geocentrism- both do have something of a point (alchemy is proto-chemistry and geocentrism does kind of fit the frame-of-reference from Earth), but that still shouldn't be an example, because the t-shirts aren't strawmanning them.
01:06:46 AM May 30th 2010
edited by RichardAK
Look, of course the context is this whole debate about evolution and creationism. And boy do I not want to step in that one. But is it possible you're overthinking this a little bit? The shirts are making a fairly straightforward joke: "Ha, ha, isn't it silly to believe that the sun orbits the earth," or "Ha, ha, isn't it silly to think it's possible to transmute lead into gold." My point is that, well, yes, Copernicus and Galileo made major contributions to astronomy, and yes, alchemy deserves to have been discredited, but there is a sense, even if only a technical one, in which the sun does orbit the earth and it is possible to transmute lead into gold. Which as I see it, fits this trope.

Now look, this is inherently a subjective trope. What one person will see as a straw man, others might see as a well reasoned position. The Wall Street example is all about this: some people see Gecko as a straw man form of capitalism, others don't. Likewise, some people will see a point in the straw man's argument where others don't.

What I don't understand, Jordan, is why you and Westrim feel you should go through the page all the time and remove examples just because you don't entirely agree with them. It would be one thing if it's an example that couldn't possibly fit the trope, and no one is prepared to argue that it does. Otherwise, I think this is just a case of your mileage varying.
10:47:53 AM May 30th 2010
edited by Westrim
see below

11:17:24 AM May 30th 2010
edited by Westrim
Well, lost the first version so I'll do a second version.: It's called Strawman Has a Point because Strawman Has A Valid Point is awkward. If you read the trope description its clear that if you have to really reach (say, into entirely different disciplines and centuries), it doesn't fit the trope. Or, to reverse your apocalyptic view of a gutted page, we'd have to include every example where the strawman could, by some tortuous stretch, be right. (eg. "all humanity must die because it eats kittens!" Well, since kittens shed fur and skin and that wafts around the atmosphere that's probably technically true. Doesn't make it this trope.) We don't want the trope page bloated either.

I won't get into Wall Street since I haven't seen it.

You are welcome to look at the page history and see the edits I made. Most of it was Conversation in the Main Page, IGBM, and bitching not fit even for IJBM, several of which never actually said what the point was. I left many in that I did not agree with or changed the wording to be less confrontational.

Pages collect detritus- that's a fact of every wiki but especially this TV Tropes, and it needs periodic sorting out. It's not that Jordan and I do it to this page, its a wiki wide thing. Editors find the pages they think need work or maintenance and overhaul them periodically, since most edits are with their one bit in mind, not the flow of the page as a whole. And I think that's it.

Sorry about the double post.
12:02:44 PM May 30th 2010
edited by RichardAK
Yes, wikis collect detritus. It's one thing to remove natter or examples that clearly could not possibly fit. It is another thing when you just have a legitimate difference of opinion over an example. Also, you do understand that whether or not the straw man's point is "valid" is a matter of opinion? Hence, YMMV?

I did read the trope description, and it doesn't say anything about how far it's reasonable to reach to find the straw man's point, which would still be a subjective issue in any case. (From my point of view, I didn't have to reach far at all, since the relevant information was right there on the shirt.) It does say "the reader realizes," indicating an inherently subjective issue. It also says "the straw-man argument turns out to not be as weak as the author planned," indicating that the straw man's point doesn't have to be overwhelmingly strong, just not as weak as planned.

In short, your entire argument boils down to saying "I don't agree with the straw man's point in this case." What you're doing has nothing to do with responsible wiki editing. And I'm done arguing about it, because we're just going around in circles.
10:51:05 AM May 6th 2010
I cut this because it is dialogue with an example, and so more properly belongs here:
** Basically, modern physics can be formulated without any particular frame of reference. The reason the sun is favored is because of the measurements of orbital and rotational movement. The theory of special relativity implies that inertial reference frames are relative. This does not imply that rotational reference frames are relative. Unlike velocity, rotation requires constant acceleration, which can be unambiguously measured. Rotation is therefore not described by special relativity. The same principle can be extended to revolution.

This is correct, but somewhat misleading. It is true that all rotating objects are accelerating, and therefore are not included in the special theory of relativity. They are, however, described by Einstein's general theory of relativity. As such, it is still the case that from the frame of reference of an observer standing on the surface of a rotating planet, he is at rest and the rest of the universe is revolving around him.
11:25:17 AM May 11th 2010
edited by ading
I cut this because it feels very wrong to me:

  • Related to the whole Copernicus/Ptolemy debate, in modern times it is quite common to use the theory of the geocentric universe as an example of an obvious falsehood that only ignorami or madmen could believe. Except that, according to Einstein's general theory of relativity, all motion is relative, so Ptolemy's theory of the geocentric universe is correct from the earth's (and humanity's) frame of reference.
    • But Einstein's model doesn't say that the sun revolves around Earth, while all other planets still circle the sun. Besides, EVERY point of the universe but Earth could be seen as the center of the universe as well, according to relativity.

@Richard AK: "[...] it is still the case that from the frame of reference of an observer standing on the surface of a rotating planet, he is at rest and the rest of the universe is revolving around him."

I think it is not true. If there are two observers, A and B, and A is rotating around B there is a way for them to determine which of them is rotating and who is not. A rotating observer is accelerating, which creates centrifugal force, (undistinguishable from gravity because of the equivalence principle), possibly making him slightly nauseous. Observer B is not accelerating, so no centrifugal force and no gravity (or nausea) for him. Which means that frames of reference are not interchangable, so that it would be false to say that it's B who's rotating around A. Same here. In other words, Sun definitely is NOT rotating around Earth, because it's we, who experiences admittedly infinitesimal centrifugal force, and not the Sun.

But! - and this is a huge 'but'. I am a poor physicist. If I made any mistakes you may persuade me and we will put it back.
04:57:55 PM May 18th 2010
I don't mean to be rude or flippant, but you are indeed, as you say, a poor physicist. First of all, what we call centrifugal force is just the way one experiences, in an accelerating frame of reference, what is usually called centripetal force in classical physics. Physicists usually speak of centripetal force, not centrifugal force, just as they usually speak of the earth revolving around the sun, not vice versa. The point of Einstein's general theory of relativity is that both frames of reference are equally valid.

From the sun's frame of reference, the earth and everyone on it is accelerating centripetally toward the sun, that is, revolving around the sun. From the earth's frame of reference, the sun is accelerating centripetally toward the earth, that is, revolving around us. (An object rotates on its axis; it revolves around another object.) You'll note that we don't feel any centrifugal force pushing us toward the ground, just gravity, just as, if you could stand on the sun, you would feel no centrifugal force pushing you to the surface, just (much greater) gravity. You would not be able to tell the difference based on centrifugal force.

The reason you don't experience any centrifugal acceleration toward the ground, incidentally, is that you, like the earth, are also caught in the sun's gravity, and are centripetally accelerating at the same rate as the earth. The reason you experience a sense of centrifugal force when you are sitting in a car that makes a sharp turn is that what causes you to centripetally accelerate in that case is not gravity, but either your seatbelt or the side of the car catching you and carrying you with the rest of the car.

I'm putting this example back. Please do not remove it.
06:57:33 PM May 18th 2010
Couldn't one argue against the geocentric model by ignoring the motion of revolution and focusing on the gravitational field? You could argue against the Ptolemaic model simply by showing that the other planets revolve around the Sun instead of around the Earth. In that sense, Copernicus was objectively right and Ptolemy was wrong.
09:03:50 AM May 19th 2010
edited by ading
Hi, Richard! Thank you for trying to explain these things to me.

Unfortunately, I can't say I understand you completely. Are you trying so suggest that centrifugal force can not be detected, and therefore can't help us distinguish between to frames of reference, because it's always completely balanced by the force of the gravity (Gravity of the Sun, from Earth's point of view, gravity of Earth, for the observer on the sun), that vectors of these to forces point in the opposite directions and have the same lenth, thus there sum is zero, and that you do feel centrifugal force while sitting in a car, because your seatbelt or whatever doesn't and can't act on every atom of your body equally, like gravity does? Is that what you are saying, or did I get it wrong? Clarify it, please.

Also, while I am not going to cut that example again, it would be nicer of you if you put it back after we finish our conversation, not before.
06:24:16 PM May 20th 2010
You're welcome, gg, and thank you for not erasing it again. Also, I'm sorry if I offended you. I feel, however, that it would have been nicer of you not to erase the example at the beginning of the conversation. Also, please allow me to take another shot at explaining some of the physics involved.

Centrifugal force can be detected, and it can be used to distinguish one frame of reference from another. Suppose you swing a yo-yo around your head. From one frame of reference, the yo-yo is, at any given moment, moving in a straight line tangential to its orbit, but a centripetal force provided by the string keeps it turning toward your head. From another frame of reference, the yo-yo is flying right at your head, and a centrifugal force is keeping it moving in a circle around your head. In yet another frame of reference, the yo-yo isn't moving at all; you (and the rest of the universe) are. Einstein's point was that all of these frames of reference are equally valid. There is no one right, true frame of reference. So centrifugal force an be detected, but it can't be used to say which frame of reference is truer or more valid, because there's no such thing.

I fear that the whole thing about cars and seatbelts ended up obscuring a point I was trying to clarify. I was just trying to explain why we don't feel a sense of centrifugal force because of the earth's revolution around the sun. We are moving with the earth, which is to say that we are at rest relative to the earth, and so are in the same frame of reference. When we're in a car and the car accelerates, we feel a sense of acceleration because it takes a moment for us to accelerate to match velocities with the car. We are, from a certain frame of reference (not ours), experiencing a centrifugal force pushing us away from the sun. We just don't feel it.

Also, Matthew The Raven, no, because you're assuming the very thing you have to prove. You're assuming that that's how gravity works, and, of course, it is how gravity works, in certain frames of reference. Remember though, we detect forces in the first place because they cause motion. Remember the Newtonian definition of force is mass times acceleration. So the whole idea that the heliocentric model is more valid because we know that gravity causes less massive objects to revolve around more massive objects doesn't work because gravity only works that way from the frame of reference of more massive objects.

Does that clear any of this up?
04:19:40 AM May 21st 2010
Alright, minor misunderstanding. When I wrote: "Are you trying so suggest that centrifugal force cannot be detected, and therefore can't help us distinguish between to frames of reference,... yadda-yadda" I meant to say - "specifically in one particular situation we are talking about, from the point of view of an observer on Earth as it is revolves around the Sun". (Of course, situations it can be detected in all kinds of different, just not in this one.)

Then, you say: "I was just trying to explain why we don't feel a sense of centrifugal force because of the earth's revolution around the sun. We are moving with the earth, which is to say that we are at rest relative to the earth, and so are in the same frame of reference." Would you agree that we don't feel it because it's cancelled out by the force of the gravity of the Sun, just like the force of the string is cancelling out the centrifugal force acting on yo-yo, not letting it fly away?

I might agree with this speaking of this particular example. I am not sure it's true generally speaking. A (somewhat unrelated) example: suppose we have a ball rotating around its axis. First frame of reference: ball is rotating and the rest Universe is not. In this frame of reference an observer on the ball is expected to notice great unbalanced centrifugal forces. If the ball is big enough to stand on and is rotating quickly enough, a person standing on it might be just thrown away from it. In this example, unlike the one we were talking about, centrifugal force can really be detected. But if we decided to use the second frame of reference: where the ball is not moving and the rest of the world is rotating around it, then the rest of the world - you, me and aliens on Alpha Centauri should be able to detect great unbalanced centrifugal force pushing us all away from the ball, because this time we are moving in circles around it, and there is no string holding us, no car door, no gravity to cancel out this force. Since this is not what happens every time you make a marble spin, I feel that the second frame of reference is simply invalid.

In other words, there definitely is no absolute motion by straight lines (it's impossible to say whether the train is moving forward or is it standing still and the world is moving towards it), I might agree (now) that there is no absolute revolution, but I still insist that there at least is absolute rotation.

07:26:08 AM May 21st 2010
edited by RichardAK
In answer to this question: "Would you agree that we don't feel it because it's cancelled out by the force of the gravity of the Sun, just like the force of the string is cancelling out the centrifugal force acting on yo-yo, not letting it fly away?" No, I would not agree. We don't feel any sense of centrifugal force because, in our frame of reference, the earth isn't moving. It's the same reason why, when you are flying in an airplane, and the plane is at cruising speed, it feels like the plane is standing still. In your frame of reference, it is.

The problem with your example of the person standing on a spinning ball is that if you're talking about, let's say, a circus performer balancing on a spinning ball no more than a meter across, the thing holding the acrobat at rest relative to the ball is just the force of friction between his feet and the ball. He'll have a sense of movement because he'll feel the air rushing around him as he spins, and he'll see faces in the audience turn into blurry lines, and so forth. To take another example, when you go to a show at a planetarium, they'll usually warn you before hand that you might feel a sense of motion sickness because of what's on the screen, but if you just shut your eyes, it will go away. The sensory perception of motion is what creates the sense of motion.

Technically, from the frame of reference of the circus performer falling off the ball, it was the entire universe spinning around him that made him lose his balance. You can use the frame of reference of Alpha Centauri if you want, or of the audience in the circus, and yes, from that frame of reference, he's the one spinning. But from that frame of reference, there is no centrifugal force at all. From that frame of reference, there's a centripetal force, provided by the friction between the performers feet and the ball. When he falls, it's because the centripetal force is not great enough to overcome the inertia of his lateral momentum.

Also, there can be no absolute rotation because all rotation is, at a certain level, revolution. When a sphere rotates around its axis, that means the molecules that compose the sphere are revolving around the axis. Furthermore, all revolution is really lateral motion. At any given instant, the molecules in the sphere are moving in a straight line tangential to their revolution. All motion is relative.
08:55:34 AM May 21st 2010
edited by gg
"No, I would not agree. We don't feel any sense of centrifugal force because, in our frame of reference, the earth isn't moving. It's the same reason why, when you are flying in an airplane, and the plane is at cruising speed, it feels like the plane is standing still. In your frame of reference, it is."

In our frame of reference Earth isn't moving indeed - but in the Sun's frame of reference, it is. So, an observer on the Sun might ask: 'Look at that planet: it's moving in circles, therefore centrifugal force must be acting on it. Why doesn't it fly away then?' And the answer would be that it doesn't fly away because that centrifugal force is canceled out by the force of Sun's gravity, that's what's preventing Earth from flying away. Do you agree with that, that was what I was trying to ask. Airplane is different - it is a perfectly good inertial frame of reference, no disagreement there, but we are talking about more complicated frames right now.

Your example with a circus performer isn't exactly what I had in mind; I'll try to give a better one. Imagine a wheel-shaped space station far from Earth. (ever saw '2001'?) It is rotating very quickly, in order to create artificial gravity. People inside the station do not feel motion sickness, or air in their hair, because the air is rotating with them, they don't feel any motion at all, because they are rotating together with the station, except for one thing: they feel a mysterious force, undistinguishable from gravity, that pushes them towards the walls of the station, away from the axis of rotation. So they wonder: 'We are far away from any source of gravity, why is that we are not in the state of weightlessness? What is this strange force which is still causing the apples to fall away from the central axis of the station, when dropped?' And the answer is - centrifugal force, created by rotation. In other words: if you are in space and see stars circling around you, check whether you are in the state of weightlessness or not: if you are not, you are rotating, if you are - it means that evil alien god Azathoth is messing with the Universe again, rotating it around you. (The second scenario is somewhat less likely.) This is what makes me say that rotation is absolute.

"Also, there can be no absolute rotation because all rotation is, at a certain level, revolution." Yes and no. It is unlike the revolution of a planet around the star caused by gravity, and although there is a similarity, it's not total.

"Furthermore, all revolution is really lateral motion. At any given instant, the molecules in the sphere are moving in a straight line tangential to their revolution. All motion is relative. " No, they are not. Saying that at any given instant they are moving in a straight line is just as wrong as saying that at every given moment they are standing still, a la Zeno. In reality they are only moving in straight lines +o(something), with some mistake that decreases as the length of arc decreases, but it's NOT the same as moving in a straight line. This little correction is making the huge difference, all the difference. In fact, you could say that those molecules are changing their direction at any given moment, that would be closer to truth.

To conclude: I think I was genuinely mistaken about the revolution, thanks for correcting me. But now it seems to me that your other ideas about motion are wrong-wrong, sorry.
11:45:09 AM May 21st 2010
edited by RichardAK
I promise you that they are not wrong, or wrong-wrong, and I assure you that if you ask any professor of physics at any accredited college or university in the United States, or any similar institution in any other country, they will tell you that I am right and that you are wrong.

Your example with the space station proves nothing, because, again, you're assuming the thing you have to prove. Yes, in one frame of reference, the space station is spinning, and this creates a centripetal acceleration that simulates gravity for the residents of the space station. In another frame of reference, that of the station itself, the station is not moving at all. The occupants of the station are undergoing centrifugal acceleration that is pushing them against the bulkheads.

"No, they are not. Saying that at any given instant they are moving in a straight line is just as wrong as saying that at every given moment they are standing still, a la Zeno. In reality they are only moving in straight lines +o(something), with some mistake that decreases as the length of arc decreases, but it's NOT the same as moving in a straight line. This little correction is making the huge difference, all the difference. In fact, you could say that those molecules are changing their direction at any given moment, that would be closer to truth. "

Actually, it is entirely correct to say that, at any given infinitesimally small moment in time, each molecule is moving in a straight line. You are correct to say that they are undergoing a constant centripetal acceleration, which constantly changes their velocities from moment to moment, keeping them moving in a circle. That is what centripetal acceleration is.

"In our frame of reference Earth isn't moving indeed - but in the Sun's frame of reference, it is. So, an observer on the Sun might ask: 'Look at that planet: it's moving in circles, therefore centrifugal force must be acting on it. Why doesn't it fly away then?' And the answer would be that it doesn't fly away because that centrifugal force is canceled out by the force of Sun's gravity, that's what's preventing Earth from flying away. Do you agree with that, that was what I was trying to ask. Airplane is different - it is a perfectly good inertial frame of reference, no disagreement there, but we are talking about more complicated frames right now."

Yes, in the sun's frame of reference, the earth is moving. That is completely true. However, a more accurate observation from the sun's frame of reference would be: 'Look at that planet: it is moving in a circle. That means that the direction of its movement must be constantly changing; in fact, when it is on the opposite side of the sun from where it is now, it will be moving in precisely the opposite direction. I know that, since velocity is a vector, any object that is changing its direction of motion must be changing its velocity, meaning it must be accelerating. Ergo, the fact that it doesn't keep moving in a straight line but instead keeps turning toward the sun must mean that it is undergoing centripetal acceleration. That is, the sun's gravity keeps pulling it toward the sun.' It would be incorrect from the sun's frame of reference to say that the earth is undergoing centrifugal acceleration. Here is a link to a short piece on the difference between centifugal and centripetal forces.

I think making an effort to understand the difference would help you understand this whole situation, because then I think you'd understand that saying there's a centrifugal force depends on being in an accelerating frame of reference in the first place, and that you cannot therefore use centrifugal force to declare one frame more valid than the other.

"In other words: if you are in space and see stars circling around you, check whether you are in the state of weightlessness or not: if you are not, you are rotating, if you are - it means that evil alien god Azathoth is messing with the Universe again, rotating it around you. (The second scenario is somewhat less likely.) This is what makes me say that rotation is absolute."

Again, no. The fact that you see the universe spinning around the space station and you do not feel a sense of weightlessness emphatically does not mean that the frame of reference in which the station is spinning and the universe is at rest is more valid than the one in which the station is at rest and the universe is revolving around it. Remember, the reason you feel a sense of artificial gravity due to the station's rotation is because the station is accelerating relative to you. Just as you get thrown into your seatbelt when the car you're riding in turns, you are pushed against the side of the station because it is turning. In one frame of reference, you are at rest, and the entire universe, including the station, are revolving around you. As a result, you are at rest and the side of the station gets pushed into you, creating a sense of artificial gravity. In another frame of reference, the universe, including the station, are at rest, and you are accelerating into the side of the station, creating a sense of artificial gravity. In yet another frame of reference, that of a comet or asteroid somewhere, it is at rest, and you, the station, and the rest of the universe are all moving at different velocities. All these frames of reference are equally valid.

Again, if I'm not explaining this well enough, and so far I have failed even to explain the Newtonian concept of centripetal acceleration and how it differs from centrifugal acceleration, I suggest that you consult a professional physicist.
12:48:45 PM Apr 27th 2010
edited by matruz
Moving the Naruto entry here:

  • Recently in Naruto, they have been exploring the concept of idealism vs cynicism with Naruto as the idealist, and Killer A, and Danzo as the people who are cynical. The problem is that Killer A, and Danzo are much more realistic, and are shown to care for their entire village, while Naruto is completely obsessed with Sasuke. The entire thing seems to boil down to the fact that if Naruto can't save one person how can he save the world, when frankly the world is currently at peace (with only Missing-nin as the enemy), and can easily be kept at peace by using diplomatic solutions and trade agreements. Naruto's solution so far appears to be to allow himself to get his ass kicked for a guy who has stated that his goal is to massacre the entire Leaf Village. The cast keep on calling Naruto insane for his beliefs and frankly so is the audience.
    • The world is at peace? Danzo cares for Konoha? Have you perhaps heard of a group called Akatsuki? No? Well, right now, the world is not at peace. The world is at war, with Madara and the Akatsuki. Danzo, if you remember, was perfectly content with letting Pain destroy Konoha and kill thousands if it meant he would be Hokage. He also believed that in the Ninja World, military power was the only path to supremacy. He was no pussy peace-monger. He cared nothing for the villagers, only for the village.
      • Not only the world was at peace, but is now united against Akatsuki and Madara. Naruto's obsession with Sasuke has been mostly settled now too. He's prepared to kill Sasuke. And he's not being angsty about it either, when he has every motive to. Give the teen some credit.
    • Killer A being the Raikage,BTW.
      • It almost makes a twisted sort of sense from Naruto's viewpoint. He wants to be Hokage, in order to protect the Leaf and change the world. But if he can't steer someone he's as close to as a brother back to the right path, how can he trust himself to lead an indeterminate number of people and countries to the right path? It doesn't make much sense unless you experience it firsthand, perhaps. It's just hit a lot harder by his failures than his successes. Spider-Man is the same way.
    • This troper felt this very strongly toward Pain. "You can't truly understand someone until you've endured the same pain they've endured... but understanding them doesn't necessarily mean you can reach an agreement." Sounds accurate to me. Yet he is treated as being wrong by virtue of being a Well-Intentioned Extremist (and, more significantly, disagreeing with the protagonist) without the author actually explaining why he's wrong.
      • Yeah, es good as Pein's point might be, killing hundreds and thousands of people is hardly ever a proper way to do any good. Even if his goal was proper his actions were definitely evil.
    • Okay, one could argue forever but the basic thing is: Naruto (the whole series) can't be taken serious. At least not in the last year or something. Argueing over what characters do why... One might argue Kishi just makes stuff up as he goes. The third Shippuuden movie's Aesop is basically made of this trope, though the writers obviously seem sure Strawman lost. The Story is about a dangerous ninja who wants to abduct Kakashi to become invincible. Kakashi turns himself into a suicide bomb to sacrifice himself stopping him. Naruto goes after him against all orders to save Kakashi risking a already much stronger than himself ninja becoming even stronger. Of course, in the end he saves Kakashi and wins via Deus ex Machina. Kakashi, Shikamaru, Tsunade... everyone agrees Naruto was right in going to save him no matter the risk.
    • The reason they are actually wrong (and not just designated so) is that Danzo is a megalomaniac who cares nothing about what's good for the village, only himself. He pulled off a coup and attempted to brainwash the other kages. He is also on the record having dealings with enemies including Orochimaru and Salamander Hanzo, and those are just the crimes we know about. The Raikage gets it because only a Complete Monster would have anything to do with attempting to kidnap a three year old girl in order to steal her eyes, while pretending that it was a treaty negotiation, and then having the audacity to demand her father's blood for killing the man caught in the act. If anyone should have been demanding war after that, it's Konoha! The right thing to do would be to repudiate the attack and claim that the intruder acted of his own volition alone. Betraying a truce to target a child in her bedroom is not only an act of war, it ought to have been regarded as a criminal action by everyone in Kumo, and failing to repudiate it is indefensible.

This is getting way too long. Any issues people have with the entry should be worked out here, and we can re-add it once we have something that everyone can agree with.
12:58:20 PM Apr 27th 2010
It shouldn't be added to this page in any event- no one here is actually a strawman, they're practicing Informed Wrongness.
05:44:08 PM Apr 15th 2010
I see "Wall Street" mentioned on this page for its famous greed speech, but my understanding is that it was *deliberately* well-written precisely to avoid making Gekko into an outright strawman. I'd suggest that part should be modified to mention that this is likely a deliberate example of the trope, rather than the result of bad writing.
05:46:01 PM Apr 15th 2010
Wouldn't that therefor not be an example, because by definition, Strawman Has a Point is the result of bad writing.
05:56:03 PM Apr 15th 2010
Also, isn't the point that Gekko is kind of hypocritical to his speech, since he "cheats"- all of his actions might not have been illegal at the time, but they soon were and were still pretty shady.
11:14:12 AM Apr 6th 2010
edited by
Deleted the Admiral Proudmoore entry:

  • Similar case with Admiral Proudmoore. He's painted as an inhuman monster because he's waging war on the orcs after a period of relative peace, but as he says these are the exact same orcs that were once slaughtering their way across the planet; it's just their philosophy that's apparently changed. Blizzard attempt to give this some weight with his comment about Jaina being too young to remember the horrors of the war, but a lot of people skip over it. Not to mention Grom Hellscream recently led many orcs back to the rampaging demonically-possessed orcs of yesteryear. From Proudmoore's position, what is stopping them from going back again?
    • Proudmoore's status as a strawman is a bit unclear. In a conversation with Thrall, he points out how much blood the Horde has on their hands, which Thrall has no response to. After killing him Rexxar (who's not exactly a people-person) tells Jaina that above all else, Proudmoore was a proud warrior. Finally, in one of section of the RPG books written in-universe, Brann Bronzebeard says that Proudmoore had a point, but he still has to slap him with a "big, fat jerk" label because he jumped the gun. Perhaps Blizzard intended for it to be more ambiguous, but it didn't come across well.

Reason: Admiral Proudmoore's logic has two gaping holes in it: First off, even if we accept that Proudmoore would be justified in re-starting a war that has been stopped — formally stopped, with a peace treaty and an alliance — on the grounds that the orcs are unrepentant of their prior crimes, this logic fails in that they are not, in fact, unrepentant. The orc race as a whole decided to turn on its former masters and fight alongside the humans and night elves to save the world from them. If this doesn't qualify as a suitable penance, then nothing will.

There is also that Proudmoore is incorrect in assigning the moral onus of the orcs' prior crimes to the orcs he is attacking. Many of them, including Thrall, their current head of state, were not even alive at the time of the Azeroth campaign. Of those that were, all of them can plead diminished capacity: being juiced on Mannoroth's demonic blood rendered them incapable of exercising their own moral agency, turning them into corrupted tools of the Burning Legion until the influence was purged by the death of Mannoroth. The only orcs that Admiral Proudmoore could correctly accuse of bearing the moral responsibility for the original war with Lordaeron are those orc chieftains who originally willingly accepted Mannoroth's blood corruption, and by the time he reached Kalimdor every single one of them was dead. Assigning the moral onus of their crimes to their successors is "bloodline guilt", which is a barbaric concept.

As to the objection that Admiral Proudmoore could not possibly know any of the above: originally, no, he couldn't. All of his initial attacks on Durotan are morally justifiable, in that based on the information he had available at the time, he was doing the reasonable thing. But this moral equation completely changes the instant Daelin Proudmoore re-unites with Jaina, because she knows everything just outlined above. She was even a direct witness (and participant) to most of the critical events! And she is his own daughter... and also the legitimate ruler of the human nation formed adjacent to Durotan. He has no excuse for not stopping long enough to listen to her when she tries to tell him what's actually happened in his absence, much less taking over Theramore in a military coup. And so in the last act, Daelin Proudmoore fails to have any justification at all: in the final analysis, its all about his inability to let go of his hatred, and not defending humanity. Because even when he arrives in a situation where humanity entirely does not need defending, and was able to fight alongside the Horde against a common threat that endangers all life on the planet, he just doesn't care.

As for Varian Wrynn, well, I think he has his head up his ass too, but as I didn't actually play that part of the game, I'm leaving the entry up 'cause I'm not going to stick my neck out on something I might have incomplete information on.
03:43:47 AM Apr 4th 2010
There was a documentary on The Comedy Channel called "Hecklers" which, at first looked like a documentary specifically about people who actually anoy comedians in the middle of their acts live on stage. {{Trailers Always Lie and was advertized as such.}} It soon morphed into a documentary also about legitimate movie reviewers and internet discussions. (you think it's gonna draw a distinction between Hecklers and professional reviewers, but instead it mixes them up) The show lost me when I realized it had Joel Schumacker and Uwe Boll... and it was on THEIR side!
11:41:52 AM Apr 4th 2010
So...? Why did you post that here?
11:11:22 PM Mar 23rd 2010
"You can't deliberately set up Strawman Has A Point. Strawman Has A Point is by definition unintentional."

Well, actually, it can be, under the usual standards of They Plotted a Perfectly Good Waste. In the case of Strawman Has a Point, this would be under the "satire" form of Good Waste.

I'm not saying the Simpson's example in question is valid. It probably isn't. Just making the point that it's possible for such an entity to exist.
07:52:43 AM May 19th 2013
Then it's not a strawman.
08:05:13 AM May 19th 2013
I think the only way you can have an intentional Strawman Has a Point is via Show Within a Show.
back to Main/StrawmanHasAPoint

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