Main Strawman Has A Point Discussion

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06:13:39 AM Dec 4th 2017
I know this is minor, but could people please stop over-using the word "however" in the examples? There are over 50 howevers so far, and it's getting tedious.
04:21:09 PM Jul 22nd 2017
  • In the pilot episode "Caretaker", we're supposed to see Janeway's decision to destroy the Array that brought them to the Delta Quadrant in order to protect the Ocampa, rather than using it to get home, as a noble choice. However, Tuvok pointed out that destroying the Array would not only leave them stranded but could be considered a violation of the Prime Directive because it would affect the balance of power in that sector. He's waved off with a one sentence bit of "wisdom" from Janeway about how they're already involved so the Prime Directive no longer applies. When B'lanna also objects, she's told to shut up because Janeway is the captain. What's frustrating is that they undermined the whole dilemma by having Tuvok mention that the Array would take several hours to use without the Caretaker's help and that was before a Kazon ship crashed into it, disabling the self-destruct and God knows how many other systems, so they probably couldn't use it in the time they had.

Pull this for reasons I gave in the edits: The array being destroyed hardly counts as a good example since Janeway's decision *is* controversial in-universe. She is never presented as clearly in the right like this trope demands, the choice is consistently reexamined and the audience encouraged to consider that it might have been the wrong thing to do. In S 5 E 1, "Night" Janeway herself even regrets it, saying that it was selfish, wrong, and that she should have put her crew first. "Strawman Has A Point" is supposed to apply to when the story demands that the audience see one side of an issue as *clearly the correct one* when it actually has considerable flaws, NOT merely when a decision that a "good" character makes that they believe is correct (at the time) may be considered flawed (and indeed, is pointed out to be in a way the doesn't demonize those pointing it out). Thus, characters who question Janeway's decision are not Strawmen.
08:50:47 AM Jun 2nd 2017
Recently the following example was removed:

  • In his first encounter with the female Thor, the Absorbing Man acts like the sexist jerk he is, actually saying, "Thor? Are you kidding me? I'm supposed to call you Thor? Damned feminists are ruining everything!" That's the sexist jerk part. But he then goes on to point out that if the female Thor wants to put on a costume and be a superhero, okay fine, but she should get an identity of her own and not steal the identity of her predecessor. Because by calling herself "Thor," that's precisely what she is doing: stealing the original Thor's identity, since "Thor" isn't just a "superhero code name" for him but is, in fact, the actual name he was given by his parents when he was born!

The edit reason was " The comics make it clear that 'thor' is a title, one which Odinson had proven himself unworthu to bare (beta-ray bill anyone?) In this case the "straw-man" very much does not have a point. Who ever wrote this entry wasn't much of a comics fan."

The Marvel wikia, at least, lists Thor as part of his birth name- and the Marvel wikia definitively was created by comic fans- but i know that it already realized errors in the past, then, any opinions about this?
04:52:00 PM May 27th 2016
So this was added to the page:

Aside from the fact that it breaks the rules by using an example as a link, the example is about Red Skull, a literal Nazi, showing admiration for militant reaction to Syrian refugees. So, this basically puts us in the following position...

Earlier this year, High Crate argued that we should allow examples that are politically sensitive as long as we "show both sides equally"; he did this by writing in the example that the strawman had a point because the story was unlikely to change an opponent's mind. If that's the precedent we're going with, we can certainly argue that certain political groups (alt-right, MRAs, neo-conservative, nationalists, ultra-patriots, etc.) would agree with the Red Skull, despite his position as the villain.

The problem, though, is that the "other side" of the argument is that what the Red Skull is saying is false hatemongering. The "other side" (the left, liberals, democrats, etc.) would say that the Red Skull has no point whatsoever because what he's saying is a flat out lie.

So, tl;dr: do we add or do we not add?
04:55:39 PM May 27th 2016
Cut since, content aside, Weblinks Are Not Examples.
05:06:14 PM May 27th 2016
Already cut. Just bringing it here since I've gotten a lot of flack for my choices lately.
02:01:58 PM Apr 21st 2016
Ok, considering how much support Marietta Edgecombe has i'm probably sticking my head into hornet's nest by saying this, but entry about her isn't valid.
  • Another example occurs in Order of the Phoenix with Cho Chang and Marietta Edgecomb. The latter ratted out Dumbledore's Army to Umbridge, which caused her to develop permanent boils on her face that read "sneak," via a jinxed sign-up sheet set up by Hermione. Cho later explains that Marietta did what she did because her mother worked for the Ministry of Magic and feared her involvement would get her fired, and knowing Umbridge's rather medieval disciplinary methods (that Harry experienced first-hand), worse probably would have happened to her, and yet she is painted as a worthless traitor for not being as strong-willed as Harry.
Yeah, fine, there is only one problem. It was MARIETTA who initiated the meeting, not Umbridge. Marietta was the very reason why anything happened to DA in the first place, the group operated for months without Umbridge noticing, and there is no reason to suspect it would've changed. And if Marietta felt uncomfortable with DA She could've just said that she wants to leave the group, or better, not join in the first place. She doesn't even consider these options, she doesn't tell Harry or anyone that she wants to get out, no, she goes straight to Umbridge and comdemns 28 students including her best friend to the very punishment that entry uses to justify her action plus getting thrown out from Hogwarts.
  • Cho calls Hermione out on what she did as a "mean trick," and "mean trick" would be a massive understatement. A hex that permanently disfigures somebody's face should be considered an act of Dark Magic.
First of all there is a common misconception that Cho call Her out on disfiguring Marietta. She didn't, she actuallly called her on not telling about enchanting the list. Whether or not she should have is a matter for debate, but clearly Cho didn't make any good agruments as to why she should have because... she didn't make any arguments at all. She just stated that she should, and when Harry defended Hermione Cho said that it's because she's Hermione, which was more of her being jealous about Hermione than defending Cho.
  • Not only that, but it's very hypocritical of Harry and his friends to think it was brilliant when one of the reasons they were rebelling against Umbridge was because she forced Harry and a few other students to repeatedly carve lines in their skin, which left a hardly noticeable scar.
No it wasn't, DA was created for one reason and one reason only: because Umbridge sucked as a teacher. Not only it was year of owls for Harry and the team, but also with Tom at loose it was critical that people should learn how to defend themselves. Not to mention that Harry having to cut his arm was Cold-Blooded Torture, while Marietta was merely aestethicaly altered.(I'm not saying it's not a big deal, but cretainly having your arm cut is bigger one) Message is actually: mutilating somebody is bad unless they deserved it. Entry seems to be treating hermione as if she cut Marietta's face with knife for jaywalking, or For the Evulz. Being thrown out of Hogwarts earns you broken wand and practically ends your life as a wizard, and this is fate that Marietta sentenced 28 people to. Dumble managed to save them, but that doesn't justify what she did. You may or may not agree that nasty pimples is adeqate punishment, but at least don't pretend Marietta did nothing wrong. PS: With all those Marietta defenders i'm suprise that no one ever defends Peter Pettigrew for selling out Potters to Tom, despite the fact that Peter was legitimately scared for his life, and would very likely have been killed if he didn't.
10:41:17 AM Jun 4th 2016
This trope is YMMV so obviously no one has to agree. For one I do think what Marietta did was wrong but having her face permantly disfigured is indeed an overly harsh punishment. Cho says that it's a "mean trick", and that's the point that lot of people agree with. Yes Umbridge inflicts similar torture to Harry but it's likely that Marietta didn't know since Harry was to proud (or stupid?) to report the incident to anyone. I don't remember (it has been years since i last read HP) wen it's stated that the members of Dumbledore's army would have their wands broken.
12:34:47 PM Jun 5th 2016
The broken wands weren't mentioned in context of DA, but everywhen else when being thrown out was discussed. Ollivander immedaitely knew Hagrid's wand was broken when he was thrown out, and when Ministry wanted to throw out Harry for outside-school magic at the begginning of the Oot P the letter mentioned breaking his wand suggesting it's standard procedure. I know Entry is YMMV that's why i'm not saying i disagree (nor do i say that i agree) but that entry simply got the facts wrong. The entry said that Marrietta was "not as strong-willed" when in the book she willigly went to Umbridge to tell her about DA. If she didn't know Harry was tortured, then that makes entry is even more invalid for using it as justification for her actions. About Cho every definition of this trope i've seen is Strawman making better argument than his opponent. Like i said Cho didn't even attack enchanting the list, she attacked hiding it from DA, calling it "mean trick" hardly qualifies as argument and no other argument was used. how can there be better argument if there wasn't any argument in the first place? Hence the misuse which was my reason for deletion.
06:20:05 PM Mar 24th 2016
Removed this.

  • An episode of Loonatics Unleashed had Lexi Bunny ignoring the team's tech guy's warnings (apparently the latest of several times) not to play with his inventions, and messing around with something that looks like a video game but is actually the controls for a real weapon system. The spaceship she blew up was real and belonged to an understandably peeved Melvin the Martian who demands restitution from them, and agrees to spare the world if Lexi will be his opponent in two-player games from then on. Team leader Ace Bunny refuses out of hand (even when warned by their tech guy that the best they can hope to do is hold Melvin off for a little while). Teammate Danger Duck, the one who's always wrong, urges Ace to reconsider, and while Duck's doing so out of a desire to preserve his own hide, his point's still valid. Intentional or not the Loonatics launched real missiles at someone paying no attention to them, who made an offer of taking a single hostage (who's a superhero yet, meaning she's expected to be willing to risk her life) in exchange for forgetting said unprovoked missile attack. The episode tries to justify the way the Loonatics act by saying Melvin's a member of a dreaded warlike race and him not cancelling the invasion after Lexi does hand herself over, but that doesn't really negate Ace committing the planet he's supposed to be protecting to a war it can't win over something his teammates totally did do.

Eff that. Heroes... no, halfway decent people do not sell out their friends. Even if they believed Melvin when he promised not to mistreat Lexi - which they had no reason to believe - they would still be essentially selling her into slavery to a warlord from half a galaxy away and she would never see her home or friends again.

Yes, Lexi was guilty of the crime in question and trying to negotiate a reasonable, diplomatic solution would be the right thing to do, but THAT solution was not reasonable. You can't even argue that he was forcing the planet into an unwinnable war when a) they'd defeated stronger foes in the past and b) they defeated Melvin by the end of the episode anyway, despite him supposedly being invincible.

To make a long story short, Strawman Has a Point is supposed to be for when the strawman is making an argument that any reasonable person could concede is legitimate, but only a Dirty Coward could possibly condone selling your best friend into slavery to save yourself.
01:12:25 AM Mar 25th 2016
You're being a bit overdramatic and confrontational, but I overall agree with you.
05:41:27 AM Mar 25th 2016
If i understood well, the points are a)the sacrifice of a person to save the entire world is something worthy, in other words, an argument based in utilitarism. b) The own character in question realized the crime in question.
07:16:04 AM Mar 25th 2016
And if they had asked the character "are you willing to make this sacrifice?" that would have been acceptable. Saying "screw it, give her up, just don't let them hurt me!" is NOT making a good point.
07:58:01 PM Mar 25th 2016
edited by starofjusticev21
I do think you're being a bit confrontational over this myself, but I've seen this episode and I don't like it, but mostly it comes from the awful handling of the issue being discussed. The problem is of the Loonatics' own making, yet they act like unreasonable demands are being made of them when somebody they shot with heavy weaponry demands some kind of restitution. And yeah, if you think about it, they are completely and totally imperiling everyone in the world over something really stupid they did by insisting on battling it out. I also disagree that you can call Lexi and Duck "best friends". If you watch this show they're at each other's throats all the time, and the show makes it clear you're supposed to support her over him all the time. I might even argue you can't say the Loonatics have fought stronger villains because they never had to fight a full-scale alien invasion before, but that's neither here nor there.

I do agree you shouldn't hand over your friends the moment something unpleasant happens. But the Loonatics were absolutely at fault, and they absolutely did imperil the people they're supposed to be protecting over an idiotic thing they did. The problem is the show never stopped and actually presented them as being at fault, seeming to expect you to take their side in anything that happened because they're "the heroes". If it had done so, then it all would've gone down a lot more smoothly. As it is, it's mostly a case of Protagonist Centered Morality and just poor writing in general, and yeah, this isn't really an example that belongs on this page.
07:38:44 PM Mar 29th 2016
Upon further thought... it's actually been a while since I watched this show, so maybe I shouldn't argue it too much... even so, I don't see this as an example, for the reasons Star quoted.
11:02:00 AM Jun 7th 2016
I haven't seen the show in question but let me add my opinion to this discussion.

If i got the facts right Lexi accidentally attacked someone, namely Melvin, and guy was pissed off, and demanded Lexi as a repayment for what she did. Ace didn't want, Danger said they should agree, Ultimately the Loonatics just kicked Melvin's rear end, Danger was presented as wrong.

The way i see it from Lexi was clearly at fault, so handing her to clear mess she started isn't really THAT unreasonable. Either way the way i see it the example shouldn't be deleted on basis that wrm5 disagrees with it, because the trope is YMMV. You don't have to agree to make it valid example(as i was told several times despite never deleting any example on basis of disagreement), is people see Danger as being more reasonable that Ace then it's valid unless it's wrong for some other reasons.
08:13:30 PM Jan 22nd 2016
Re: this example that I Am Not Beast added, King Zeal removed and I Am Not Beast re-added:

  • Politically Incorrect Man: The title character is meant to look like a bully for defending a man who was being prevented from entering an area simply for being male, pointing out that minorities can be just as racist as white people, and expressing concern about obesity (a condition that comes with serious health risks).

The example is potentially inflammatory, written in a non-neutral POV and may violate the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement. Some more thought should be taken before it's re-added.
08:18:21 PM Jan 22nd 2016
Now that makes sense. Sorry for the trouble. It won't happen again.
08:22:12 PM Jan 22nd 2016
edited by KingZeal
It shouldn't be re-added period.

The entire comic is political in regards to a very heated subject. No matter whether agreement or disagreement, inclusion here is instantly biased. The entire comic is a summary of feminist/SJ views. You either agree with the message of the comic or you don't, but there is no way putting it here won't be biased.

A neutral tone is pretty much an impossibility.
08:52:37 PM Jan 22nd 2016
A completely neutral tone may be impossible, but with some more input I think it may be possible to clean up the example enough to be presentable, at least. The page won't suffer greatly if it's not re-added, though.

10:33:49 PM Jan 22nd 2016
I am highly skeptical on how one would "clean up" the example without demonstrating a bias.

Either you side with what the comic is saying about the issues presented or you think the title character is right.
07:33:23 AM Jan 23rd 2016
Question: If potentially inflammatory examples can be removed, this means that the following example can be removed, right?:"Similarly, in "Bridle Gossip" the viewer is supposed to find the cast's suspicions of Zecora to be unfounded and based on misconceptions. The problem is that while they go a bit overboard, their suspicion isn't entirely unfounded as 1) Zecora lives in a forest that's infamous for being full of dangerous creatures, 2) Zecora is a zebra, a species that none of the cast members have ever seen before and have no frame of reference for, 3) Later episodes confirm that there are all sorts of dangerous creatures and persons in the setting, 4) Zecora's behavior doesn't exactly help her case; she shows up wearing a cloak with Glowing Eyes of Doom and when she comes around she just sort of walks around aimlessly rather than making any attempt to communicate. In light of that, it isn't really that odd that the townfolk are a bit wary of her. It's especially true in AJ's case; it's not exactly surprising that she'd want to keep her little sister from following a stranger into a dangerous forest."
08:59:45 AM Jan 23rd 2016
Not seeing how that's inflammatory. It's also off-topic.
10:19:02 AM Mar 29th 2016
edited by wrm5
I'm sorry, is this page Strawman Has a Point, or Strawman Has A Point King Zeal Agrees With?

But seriously, though. Zeal, you need to stop this. You claim you're trying to fight against "bias" but you don't seem to realize this is a YMMV page... it's all about opinions, ie bias. By trying to silence every opinion you disagree with you are only creating further bias.

As for the comic, I read it and I can honestly say that it counts. Here's why.

First, yeah, Politically Incorrect Man is kind of a jerk. If you pay attention you notice that he doesn't actually resolve any of the problems in the beginning of the comic. He just swoops in, lectures someone, and then flies away. That's what makes him a strawman.

The thing is, though... the points he was making were all valid. Note that I said "valid," not "God's own truth." We could question whether those points are correct, but we can't just dismiss them as obvious BS. That's what we mean when we say he "has a point."

The further issue is that Mx. Respect For Others doesn't adequately prove that he's the bad guy. She argues that he isn't really trying to promote free speech, he's just trying to protect people when they're called out for being rude. Except... none of the people in question were actually being rude.

The guy in the first case was just trying to see his girlfriend, and the fact that he was talking with the woman outside the building proves that he was obviously willing to be reasonable. NOT RUDE.

The woman in the second case wasn't cursing or screaming or throwing racial slurs. She was sitting on a bench and calmly making an argument. NOT RUDE.

As for the third case, the guy with the hat was being very blunt, but the fact is - and I'm saying this as a person who has long been considered clinically obese - he is objectively right. NOT RUDE.

The issue isn't that PIC Man is perfect and the hero, it's that the comic failed to adequately prove that he's wrong. (And honestly, Mx. Respect For Others ALSO didn't actually solve anyone's problems. She just swooped in, lectured PIC Man, and then flew away.)
10:25:17 AM Mar 29th 2016
Yes, it is "Strawman Has a Point". Not "Strawman disagrees with a specific political opinion".
10:53:32 AM Mar 29th 2016
I edited the above, read it again please.
11:14:01 AM Mar 29th 2016
edited by KingZeal
See, your definition of "valid" in this case is falling back on a subjective definition of "rude". In this context, the "rudeness" of the people in question is in their inability to empathize with the position of the other person and/or be dismissive other person. In fact, the third guy flat out uses the term "making excuses" in reference to the other debater; if that's not rude, it's certainly dismissive.

Also, your assessment that it "failed to adequately prove he's wrong" is ANOTHER subjective argument that requires that we unpack the political leanings of both positions. And unpacking said political leanings will inevitably bring politics into this, which the powers that be don't want here.

Likewise the argument that she didn't "solve anyone's problems"—PIC Man flat out interrupted persons speaking before they could make their case. At the very least, the woman can finish making her case about her weight.
11:26:34 AM Mar 29th 2016
edited by KingZeal
While I'm at it, though, let me also address these personal attacks you insist on.

For example, here is me editing out an example that specifically attacks anti-feminists because the entry is flat out Flame Bait. Whether I agree with a position or not, I try to remove anything that can devolve into political or ideological debating.

That being said, though, SOME positions I don't see any way to mediate without falling into a Golden Mean Fallacy. For instance, I used the example of an edit that unironically and uncritically calls Holocaust Deniers The Cassandra. If a work does it, then we need to very carefully indicate that this is the work's position. However, this position doesn't apply if this is external logic and not in-universe logic—for example:

  • The Cassandra: During the final battle, Dillan casually mentions the Jewish plot to promote Holocaust propaganda. Predictably, he is laughed off.

Assuming that no Jewish conspiracy is an actual plot in the story, that example is not referring to a fictional trope. It's using an opinion from OUTSIDE of the work to create an example. No amount of "mediation" or "neutrality" is going to make that work. It either gets cut or it doesn't.

Strawman Has a Point, by its nature, requires external logic.
11:55:51 AM Mar 29th 2016
edited by wrm5
But turning into political debate isn't "devolving." Political and ideological debate are important. They help us to grow and to learn, and to "evolve" into something more than what we are. By removing anything that can lead to a political debate all you're really doing is helping to propagate the dumbing down of society.

Though that's more of a problem I have with TV Tropes in general... and to be fair, I get it. This is an entertainment site, not a politics site.

That said, what you're still failing to realize is this: Strawman Has a Point is a YMMV trope. Yes, my arguments are subjective. THAT'S WHAT MAKES IT YMMV. It's opinion. She failed to prove to a significant portion of the audience, including me, that he's wrong. YMMV is all about opinions. Arguing that an opinion-based entry is invalid because it relies on opinion is like arguing that the ocean can't be comprised of water because it's too wet.

As for it being about politics... when we say that we don't want politics on the site, what we mean is that we don't want mindless political bickering on the site. Trying to proactively nuke any and all political things is idiotic, because in the end anything based on opinion could be argued to be "political" and could potentially turn into bickering.

And frankly, what's the fear? If it does turn into mindless bickering and edit-warring, well, that's what we have mods for. Do you know how much work it takes for them to fix such a war? NONE. Check it out - click - click - click - done. People are suspended, problems are reverted.

There's no need for this "shoot first, ask questions never" approach.
11:59:03 AM Mar 29th 2016
IIRC, the mods have made it clear that they A) do not want political debates on the site and B) that YMMV does not mean "everybody's opinion counts".

Also why are you using the term "what we mean"? Are you a mod or admin?

For what it's worth, I agree with you on the "any opinion can be political", but that isn't my call.

Really, all of this just sounds like stuff you should be asking/talking to site staff about. I'm just some guy.
12:00:25 PM Mar 29th 2016
You're the guy who's fighting to have a legitimate example pulled from the page. That's why I'm talking to you. If you don't want to discuss it, then feel free to back off and let the entry be re-added - with a re-write, of course, because the way it was worded was quite poor.
12:03:24 PM Mar 29th 2016
edited by KingZeal
No, because what you're proposing still violates the rules and/or peace of the wiki as I understand it. Therefore, I will continue to oppose the re-addition of the entry until either consensus disagrees or a member of the staff intervenes. Besides, it wasn't even ME that started this topic. I'm not going to make a unilateral decision based a short-lived back and forth with one person.

Again, if you think this is the wrong call, feel free to bring in the staff.
12:04:27 PM Mar 29th 2016
And for the record, yes, YMMV does actually mean "everybody's opinion counts." That's why we have an issue notifier for removing YMMV items.

The only exception is if it's...

  1. ...blatantly inflammatory. This isn't, it's just stating an opinion... and ironically, by trying to shut down all discussion of it you're doing exactly the thing Mx. Respect For Others was complaining about in the comic. :p
  2. ...based on provably incorrect information. For example, "I believe Star Wars sucked" is a valid opinion. "I believe Star Wars sucked because I dislike the character of Jean-Luc Picard." is not valid, because Picard wasn't in Star Wars.
12:09:18 PM Mar 29th 2016
Also, I asked on ATT. We'll see what happens.
01:35:35 PM Apr 1st 2016
The ATT topic has slid off the front page; it's become clear that the mods aren't going to jump in with a ruling. Meanwhile, the general consensus (with the obvious exception of King Zeal, who has argued strongly against it, but seems to be alone in this) seems to be that while the original example writeup was needlessly partisan and potentially inflammatory, the example itself is valid.

If further discussion results in that consensus changing, the example may need to be altered and/or pulled down again, but for now, I've replaced it with a more neutral writeup and a note to come here before altering or removing it.
01:47:32 PM Apr 1st 2016
Looks good to me. Just because we may not like the strawman's position doesn't change the fact that the writer can completely bungle their strawmen.
04:37:14 AM Jun 21st 2016
I'm still really sorry for bringing it up.
11:19:39 AM Jan 27th 2017
Related to the "disrespectful man" - Mx. (pronounced "Mux") is a honorific for the non-binary (those who do not identify as male or female), so referring to the Designated Hero of the comic as "she" is probably misgendering them.
05:00:03 AM Dec 18th 2015
Threw out this from Harry Potter:
  • The fact that Barty Crouch Sr sent his own son to Azkaban is used to show how far has he gone on his fight against the Death Eaters, and to establish him as a man that puts his own ambitions before anything, including his family. But the evidence against his son was conclusive, his crime was torture and murder, and using your political influence to get a relative off the hook in a situation like that would be deemed immoral and criminal everywhere else.
That would be valid for the movies if they presented Barty as wrong for getting his son to Azkaban. I've seen it quite a while ago and didn't really like it so i wouldn't bet on it but i don't remember him being shown as wrong in the movie. In the book however the "conclusive" evidence against junior was simply that he was caught together with three Death Eaters, and the trial was a Kangaroo Court, just meant to show that even his family is not safe rom him. After Junior's "death" it was speculated that he might've been just at the wrong place at the wrong time. Sirius even pointed this out as a possibility. The fact than in the end Junior turned out to really be evil does not change the fact that Crouch did't even give him any chance to defend himself.
01:17:29 AM Sep 21st 2015
  • Triton is the intolerant Jerkass telling Ariel how cruel and evil humans are, and Ariel's idealistic views all turn out to be right. But given humans have been exploiting the oceans for millennia, along with using it as a giant garbage dump, and as seen in the prequel, are directly responsible for the death of his wife, as far as he knows humans really are evil.

I'd say the part about his wife should at least be changed to "humans are partially responsible". A pirate ship appears, and everyone tries to get away. Unfortunately, Athena decides to throw herself in front of the ship to prevent them from stealing a music box, and gets crushed to death. As far as I can tell, the pirates couldn't have avoided her even if they wanted to. Athena died because she was Too Dumb to Live, not because some evil humans killed her.
08:20:44 AM Jan 24th 2016
Would Triton be a Justified Trope or a subversion? It's not that he's naturally rascist or is spiteful no reason; he's grieving. That's why he has an unbearable hatred of music and humans now, when he was fine with them before his wife's death. It's why he hates things for unjustified reasons. That's the point of his character development. In the prequel movie, he learns that music and dancing is a good thing after all. In the original, he learns that there are good humans in the world.
08:16:47 AM Mar 31st 2015
Removed the following:
  • In The Incredible Hulk, General Ross is wrong because he is obsessed with weaponizing the Hulk Out for an army of Super Soldiers. At one point, he says "As far as I'm concerned, that man's whole body is property of the US government". In a way, he is right: Banner tested the procedure on himself, and that automatically made him the government's responsibility, since the experiment was Backed by the Pentagon to begin with. Ideally, the solution would be to give Banner a place to relax and be humanely treated while they work on a cure/synthesize it. However, Banner is determined to prevent the Hulk from being weaponized, so he stays on the run until he finds a cure. Of course, Ross could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he hadn't lied to Banner about the project's purpose (radiation treatments instead of Super Soldiers) so he could recruit a known Technological Pacifist for such a project in the first place — except that he seems to believe that most scientists ARE Technological Pacifists in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    Ross: He's a SCIENTIST. He is NOT one of us.

The problem here, is that Banner being property of the government isn't the real argument going on here, and the proposal of Banner getting a relaxing lab to find a cure is never on the table. The clash here is that Ross wants to weaponize the Hulk, and Banner feels that it would be too dangerous, since there'd be no way to control the Hulked Army. In this, I've seen no arguments that support Ross.
06:34:58 PM Sep 8th 2015
Good cut. As near as I can tell the "good points" he thinks are being made by Ross boil down too...

  • Slavery is okay as long as you're a government employee.
  • Rage-fueled super-soldiers who live only to smash are a good thing.

While there is a depressingly high number of people who would probably agree with those two points, neither is something I would call "a good point".
01:09:36 AM Mar 25th 2016
Sorry. I just noticed this. As the person who wrote this entry originally, I think you're both missing the point.

The issue isn't that Banner should be a "slave". The problem is that Banner made himself the government's responsibility. What Banner did was the equivalent of helping the government make a new form of drug, then permanently and willfully testing it on himself, and finding out that it turned him into a biological weapon.

Although Banner should NOT be forced into government "slavery", the problem is that he shouldn't be on the loose either. General Ross makes a strawman villain because all he and his superiors care about is harnessing the Hulk's power for themselves and mass-producing it. The issue is that Banner's entire body is now a military-grade weapon.

Ross may have phrased his point wrong (Banner isn't "property", per se) but he's right that the government has a say in what Banner is allowed to do.
01:11:53 AM Mar 21st 2015
edited by MasamiPhoenix
Removed the following:
  • The Wicked Witch Of The West. Hands down. All she actually wanted was a pair of shoes - shoes that belonged to her sister, who died when Dorothy's house crushed her. Dorothy not only (accidentally) killed the Witch Of The East and stole her shoes, but mounted a gang, tracked the other Witch down and confronted her in the Emerald City, eventually killing her as well. One actually wonders who is the real villain in The Wizard of Oz...

This is blatant reworking of the facts. She is neither a strawman, nor does she have a point. She wants the pair of shoes because they are dangerously powerful magic, not just to remember her sister. She is willing to kill multiple innocent people, most notably Dorothy, just to get them. She (and her sister) are dangerous, violent dictators who threaten the peace of Oz. Meanwhile, Dorothy is an innocent girl (who had friends, not a "gang") who killed the witches by accident, the latter while trying to save her friend whom said witch was actively trying to kill.
01:14:25 AM Mar 21st 2015
Not to mention Dorothy did not organize a gang; the others were just random friends she made who joined together to see the Wizard. Their goal was never to kill the Wicked Witch, but to get her broom in hopes that Oz would give them what they needed most.
04:09:58 PM Feb 18th 2015
Considering editing that Punisher example. As is it does a lot of Leather-Pantsing for Punisher (making it out as if he only ever kills horrible serial killers and that he's always right) and demonizing for the other heroes (claiming that superheroes constantly get civilians injured (as if shooting people to death is less destructive than punching them) and that they constantly commit violations of others liberties). It also comes off less as "Punisher has a reasonable argument" and more "Murder is cool as long as it's bad guys getting murdered". Objections?
01:15:00 AM Feb 15th 2015
edited by TunnelRat
Removed the example of Cartman in South Park's Family Guy episode. While the episode does take a mocking stance towards those wanting to censor under threat of violence, Cartman isn't exactly set up as a strawman. Cartman in the episode is more presented as a counter-argument about how when you let fear of violence control your actions/expression you open the door to exploitation. Also I hardly see how Cartman could be a strawman with a point when he was never sincere about said point (people potentially dying) in the first place. Finally, both sides of the argument were pretty fully represented and the "free speech" side was fairly well-argued, so all in all this example doesn't seem to fit the trope at all.
06:57:00 PM Dec 8th 2014
  • In the The Chronicles of Narnia this happens frequently, as C. S. Lewis likes to use straw characters. Of particular note is The Last Battle, in which the evil Black Dwarves refuse to acknowledge Aslan even when he's standing right there as an obvious Take That! directed toward atheists, by which we can assume Lewis felt real-world ones were also like this.

I removed this since it's not related to this trope. The "straw dwarves" here clearly don't have a point.
05:28:23 AM Dec 9th 2014
06:16:54 PM Nov 24th 2014
edited by
Removed the following.

  • Channel4's game The Curfew is meant to be a look at the oppressive checks and Orwellian surveillance instituted in a hypothetical UK in the year 2027 by the Shephard party, where most are legally bound to be in by 9PM, and immigrants have to earn "citizen points" before becoming citizens, or moving from citizen Class B to the privileged Class A. The player's job is to listen to and play through the stories of the four people they're stuck in a hostel with so they can figure out which to give information that might topple the ruling regime. While the question of what human and civil rights are and should be is an interesting one, the event that propelled the party into power was a major, catastrophic nuclear attack on Great Britain, which had been preceded by a major economic depression. The titular Curfew is aimed at preventing another such attack.

It isn't much of a point when the measures taken don't help at all. The citizen tiering? How sit that supposed to do anything for security? Creating a caste system has nothing to do with making things more secure and everything to do with oppression. The best it does is cause any malevolent actors to spend more time undercover until they rise to Class A and decide now is a good time to plant another nuclear bomb.

The value of a curfew itself is questionable and it is the most legitimate part of it. Besides, when dealing with a nuclear bomb if a malevolent actor is at a check points then it is worthless because it is already too late given the very wide area of effect of nuclear weaponry.
06:30:37 AM Nov 3rd 2014
"They aren't considered more than property and the one Reploid in a later game that advocated for equality PEACEFULLY was ridiculed for it."

Which Megaman X/Zero series game was this? If it was during the Zero series, I'd like to point out that was after over a century of crud hitting the fan and thus necessarily not a good indication of how reploids were treated during the X series.
07:10:38 PM Oct 29th 2014
edited by
In the page image, which one is supposed to be the Strawman that Has A Point?

Cause if it's the junkie...not an example. "Doing drugs is okay because everyone else does it."
07:03:14 PM Nov 13th 2014
edited by
Yeah. The junkie's argument is misapplied. Tim is arguing 'the law should be obeyed', so pointing out that alcohol and tobacco are legal while drugs are illegal isn't even addressing the point Tim is making, much less refuting it. Alcohol and tobacco are legal while drugs are illegal because the line had to be drawn somewhere, and the voters just chose to draw it there rather than somewhere else. (Indeed, it took the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution — the only amendment ever ratified by popular referendum rather than by state legislatures — to make alcohol legal again after Prohibition was passed). The junkie in that argument is basically saying that he should be allowed what he wants when he wants it even if it isn't what the majority vote wants, while simultaneously using examples of things that were indeed ratified by majority vote. His argument contradicts itself and makes no sense, and we could really use a better page image.
05:52:38 PM Nov 24th 2014
edited by
Well part of his point is that the lines are drawn backwards. "They allow more lethal things yet the far less lethal is illegal." Besides "the law isn't always right" and "unjust laws shouldn't be obeyed" are well established lines of thought. Ironically anti-drug aesops often use "think for yourself" as a moral. Still, regardless of which stance is right the issue is enough of a distraction that there are probably better strawmen with points out there that should replace it as soon as a better candidate image is found.
08:29:27 AM Dec 2nd 2015
Disagreed, i think junkie make a pretty valid argument. When asked for reasons not to smoke Tim just says "it's illegal", keep in mind that the whole point of disscusion was drugs, not whether or not law should be obeyed. Junkie argued that by pulling "obey the law" card without any other arguments Tim basically says that everything allowed by law is perfectly ok, including more questionable things like alcohol, tobacco and guns. What's more Tim is working with vigilante, and vigilantism is also illegal, so Tim's argument(junkie doesn't know that but the audience does) is also hypocritical. Of course Don't Shoot the Message is present as well
04:53:37 PM Jan 19th 2016
I think it needs to go, in a democratic system you don't just ignore laws you don't like. Laws can be changed through democratic process. You can't just break the law because you personally disagree with it.
12:46:50 AM Jan 20th 2016
Which is exactly what Tim is doing by being a vigilante.
12:50:45 AM Jan 20th 2016
I think it is a decent image. It's not that we know that the junkie is wrong, it's that his argument looks harder to refute and more factual than the writer presumably intended. If there is an image that gets it across better, let's see it.
08:16:14 AM Jan 24th 2016
But if the point he's making is refuted anyway, why does it matter how compelling it is? Any number of people, real or fictional, have made compelling, but ultimately wrong arguments to justify their actions. If your point sounds compelling, but is ultimately wrong, then you may as well have no point at all. Can a straw man still count as an example if their point is disproven? Shouldn't all straw men be here then? Isn't this trope about when a work fails to disprove their straw men? Also Nithael, Tim isn't being a vigilante. He's a kid being offered drugs by a peer, something many highschoolers have experienced.
12:11:29 AM Aug 20th 2016
Tim isn't a vigilante in this specific scene, but we're talking about Batman's Sidekick here, in general he IS a vigilante. I haven't seen the comic in full but from this scene it doesn't seem like his point is refuted, and even if in author's eyes it would be refuted, what about it? If he convinced Tim he wouldn't be much of a strawman in the first place.

That being said what do you actually disagree with? The case he's arguing for or the argument itself?
02:20:38 PM Nov 20th 2016
In this case, both. I'd like to pint out that his argument is essentially "It's my body, so I can do what ever I want to it." Essentially, he knows it's dangerous but should be allowed to do it because it only hurts him. The problem is that he'd just offered someone else drugs. The argument falls apart because he's trying to get other people involved. You can't claim his argument of "I'm not hurting anyone but myself" if he just tried to get someone to try a substance that he admitted was bad for him. Also, even if you think Tim is being a hypocrite, that doesn't refute his actual argument. Also, I think the laws regarding superheroes are different in the DC universe. His other argument is that pot should be legal because alcohol, tobacco, and guns are legal. Guns do hurt other people but you can only do so in self defense. His other argument is that Pot is not as bad as Alcohol or Tobacco, a statement that is highly contested in itself. To use that to back up his statement, he must provide additional arguments. Since he doesn't, it isn't an effective argument. You may agree, but it isn't backed up so it's objectively a poor argument. Objectively poor arguments are the opposite of this trope. The whole "It's my body so I'm not hurting anyone else" argument also has a few holes. The biggest being that drug addicts put a strain on the economy and that buying drugs can help criminals fund more dangerous crimes.
11:12:19 AM Sep 24th 2014
Pulled these two Next Generation examples for not being strawmen, just morally grey:

  • Back when the Federation forcibly relocating a people was considered a bad thing, Picard had to relocate some people descended from Native Americans from a planet that was about to become Cardassian territory. The problem for the aesop was that the Federation really was doing this for the colonists' own protection was not some thinly-veiled excuse, as the episode tried to imply by historical comparison, but because the Cardassians were brutal to the inhabitants of planets they occupy. The Federation citizens in question opted to join the Cardassians so they wouldn't have to relocate, but had acknowledged the dangers involved.
    • And what happened next? In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, we saw the Maquis revolt, the Cardassian crackdown, and all the predictable atrocities these caused. They chose Cardassian rule so they wouldn't have to move, but then once the consequences of living under Cardassian rule kicked in, they regretted their choice and bloody revolts and atrocities kicked in. The straw man forced-relocation position turned out to be right—albeit not because the writers intended it that way.

Well no, forced relocation is always bad. Presenting a story where moving people "for their own good" as right, especially when those people are actually descendants of a group of people that historically suffered genocide for their own good, opens up a huge hornet's nest of awful implications. They have the right to make a dangerous choice - the Federation doesn't have the right to make it for them.

There's a pretty clear implication here that a group of Native American descendants probably aren't that keen on a bunch of white people showing up and telling them to move "for their own good." The fact that the storyline continues and shows that they do suffer for their choices across the series indicates that the show is acknowledging the issue is not simply "Moving bad, staying good!" The latter would be the straw man.

Now I say all this with the caveat that I haven't seen that particular episode and if the episode itself is using straw arguments that the later series attempted to rectify, that would be a great way to include these two examples - but make sure we get a proper strawman in there first.

For example, I didn't see any issues with including Insurrection, but I am familiar with that movie and why it qualifies. I did slightly alter the entry to make where the straw fallacy appears more obvious, but it works because in this example, the movie really DOES try to say "Moving bad, staying good" and tries to stack the deck in the favor of the Baku. The villains are portrayed as evil because they're vain, but the Federation is also looped in as evil for for helping them when they actually have a more morally respectable motive. That and the Baku aren't actually natives and don't really have moral rights to tell everyone else to kiss off and in fact their treatment of the S'ona, which is to condemn them to death over a philosophical difference, makes them just as rotten frankly.
07:23:04 PM Jun 12th 2014
Moved here because I'm not familiar with the work.

You cannot invoke Strawman Has a Point except as criticism of another work or in a Show Within a Show format.

  • American History X: Intentional. The film doesn't shy away from giving racist characters the chance to make their cases, often revealing the kernels of intelligent arguments made in defense of racist ideologies. In these situations, it's the other characters who actually play the strawman to the racist's arguments, failing to put up much of a defense for racial tolerance. This was the cause of some controversy among critics, but the filmmakers felt that they had to accurately portray the ideological conflict, even the elements of it that would be unpopular, for the movie to be effective.
    • During the "Rodney King flashback", Derek argues that the riot was "opportunism at it worst," that the rioters were just "finding any excuse they can get to loot stores", that Rodney King's actions were criminal, and that police and firemen do not receive the respect they deserve from the community for their dangerous work. The others at dinner just half-heartedly defend the rioters by making Freudian excuses and playing the victim card for them. Even Derek's college-educated sister can't do any better than to break Godwin's Law note , and gets agitated when she can't counter Derek's claim that Darryl Gates was simply a scapegoat to calm down the rioters, and that the riot wouldn't have happened if Willie L. Williams had been the chief. However after this speech Derek assaults his sister then says he did it out of anger, echoing the entire starting point of the conversation. So subtly the movie actually disproves Derek's rant.
    • Derek and Danny's father Dennis appears in a flashback and reveals himself to be an armchair racist, providing a latent reason for Derek's Freudian Excuse in becoming a skinhead shortly thereafter. Along the way, however, Dennis actually makes intelligent points by criticizing the philosophy behind affirmative action and the way new books are replacing established classics in the canon to increase racial diversity.
07:31:31 PM Jun 8th 2014
Pulled this for not being a strawman argument:

  • Tarrlok in The Legend of Korra. It might be clear that he's forming an anti-Equalist force to increase his own power, but he does have a point that a large, armed force is being created in the city with the specific goal of overthrowing the government and no one else on the council is offering any alternative solutions. However, he retains his strawman credentials by bullying the non-bending population by instilling curfews and arbitrarily cutting off their power, that his behavior lent credence to the possibility that he was Amon and was deliberately trying to foster resentment and increase the Equalists' recruiting power.

Tarrlok isn't portrayed as bad and wrong for wanting to deal with an active armed terrorist organization. Korra doesn't march into his office and defend the poor little innocent terrorists. She protests that he's gone too far well after the point that he's gone too far, so she's not even being proven "right" by his actions.

i.e. There is no strawman here.
03:57:19 PM Jun 13th 2014
edited by
Disregard. Misread.
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.

05:26:33 PM Apr 19th 2014
edited by
I have to strongly disagree. In the first and second games Shepard can't prove any of his claims (his visit was simply to follow Saren, he never was able to prove that Saren was under the control of any Reapers), and the people who are supposed to be so trustworthy are:

A krogan mercenary and criminal.

The daughter of a traitor and who is in her species' terms barely out of her teens and infatuated with Shepard (and who becomes a shady semi-criminal 'information broker').

A random quarian who came out of nowhere and then went back to her fleet.

A cop who abandoned his job and then went off the grid.

One of Shepard's subordinates.

There was no independent evidence provided by anyone else, nor did anyone more reliable witness it.

This just seems to me to be disliking characters from their attitudes rather than their arguments.

In case you don't notice this at the moment since the discussion was made a while back, I will send a PM to alert you to give you a chance to argue your view.

Edited since one of the lines could be too harsh.
12:57:47 AM Apr 21st 2014
edited by
"I have to strongly disagree. In the first and second games Shepard can't prove any of his claims (his visit was simply to follow Saren, he never was able to prove that Saren was under the control of any Reapers)"

Factually incorrect. His mission was to deal with Saren. Plus all of this? He had other reliable witnesses who could vouch for seeing the Reapers, seeing the Protheans, seeing the beacons, etc. At this point, trying to say "Well that's not RELIAAAAABLE" is going out of your way to dispute his evidence. Also, they are incapable of the hell Shephard teleported all the way across the galaxy and landed on the Citadel, which was now on fire and being attacked by the very thing he kept telling you was going to attack you. Thus proving that, oh, hey, maybe the guy that did all that can in fact be taken at his word given that he's clearly done more to keep the very people disbelieving him alive than they ever will. Oh, and he was explicitly hired as a Spectre based on their trust in him to do the job he's supposed to be doing for them, so dismissing him because what he says is politically inconvenient (and yea, the game isn't subtle that this is exactly what is going on) does not make them have anything approaching a valid point.

You give no reason why any of his teammates should be dismissed out of hand. Just that they work with Shephard, therefore, they should automatically be dismissed because "reasons."

Neither character has any point, and you've kind of proven that.

In retrospect, this might honestly prove that these characters are juggling Idiot Balls since otherwise BioWare had written themselves into a corner.
11:53:02 AM Apr 21st 2014
No, it is not. My point was about Shepard going to Ilos, the prothean homeworld (and as a bit in game canon, Ilos wasn't the prothean home world). Shepard never went there as any effort to provide evidence for the existence of Reapers, and Ilos was already known the galaxy in general. Nothing about Ilos proves that Reapers exist.

None of the characters who would ever have an opportunity to be present for the conversation with Sovereign would be at all reliable. I even gave you the details of why they would not be reliable. Please don't claim that I didn't give details when I explicitly did. Anyone can look at my comment and see those details. It seems downright dishonest to pretend otherwise. I even have a screen shot of my comment proving that I did not go back and edit in those details after you commented, they were there beforehand.

And nothing about the attack proves that Reapers exist. If you were not there to actually witness the conversations there really isn't anything to prove that it wasn't just the Geth and Saren. The Beacon is destroyed. Vigil is gone. Getting there from Ilos does nothing to prove that Reapers exist, all that shows is that Saren and then Shepard used an experimental mass relay.

And I don't believe that I've have in any way proven that the turian councillor or Udina have no point, and I feel that you haven't actually read my arguments (shown most by your claim that I gave no reason for why Shepard's teammates aren't considered reliable) but rather chose to dismiss them out of hand. Please provide stronger reasons for why anyone not on Shepard's team should believe that Reapers do exist and reasons for why people should consider Shepard's team reliable (beyond incorrectly claiming that I do not give any reason) or I will decide to restore the entries you removed in the next two days.
07:33:36 PM Apr 22nd 2014
edited by
The problem is, the only reason any of those witnesses are "unreliable" is if the person listening to them is determined to find something wrong with them so they can handwave anything they say.

"Oh, we can't believe this guy, he's a KROGAN!" "I don't care how respected a scientist she is in her field, her mother was a bad guy therefore anything she says is obviously a lie!" "Oh, sure, s/he's a decorated war hero, but take anything they say seriously? Pfffft, of course the most logical answer is no, they were a subordinate of him at one point and of course all military soldiers will lie under oath because it's not like there's any kinds of repercussions for that!" "A Quarian? Oh, suuuure, she's literally the reason we had hard evidence of the conspiracy in the first place and trusted so much on her word that we even fired Saren, hired Shepherd, and sent him to go KILL Saren....but it's not like THAT'S a reason to trust her on anything else! She went home, that makes her untrustworthy because she...went home!"

Just like they're willing to disregard what Shephard has to say about the Reapers when he's...oh...the guy they hired to look into it. If they're not willing to trust him when they themselves hired him because they trusted him to look into this, then how do they have anything close to a point in not trusting him?

Yea, great details there. Real convincing argument in the favor of the Council - "Well of course they have a valid point, they're apparently racist and willing to completely disregard the work of the guy they hired because they think what he says sounds stupid even though everything he's said up until now checks out given that our entire base is now on fire and thousands are dead because we ignored him the last time he pointed this out! What poor misunderstood strawmen are we!"

By the way, you don't get to set a time limit on when entries are "okay". That's just a straight up edit war.
11:26:09 PM Apr 22nd 2014
I think you are deliberately ignoring the points I outright laid out. Let me lay them out again, just as a reminder.

Wrex. Besides being a krogan, which means that most of the galaxy considers him unreliable at best, he is a known mercenary and criminal who has outright committed murder on the Citadel. Besides that, he has absolutely no connection to Citadel politics and after Shepard's death went back to Tuchanka. So we have three separate reasons, any one of which would be more than enough for why the Council wouldn't believe him even if he did try to tell them.

Tali. A quarian which, like the krogan means that she is automatically considered a bit suspect and being an admiral's daughter never helped her before, why should it now? Besides that, she has no credibility. She's an almost complete unknown to the Council. And Shepard's the one that provided the information to them, I don't think the Council ever actually acknowledged her.

Garrus. A turian C-Sec officer, which might help his case, but for two problems. The first is that he just went and left his job to go with Shepard. The second is that even before then he was known for butting heads with superiors and taking reckless risks, which is a serious problem for both turians and officers.

Kaidan/Ashley. A human soldier who is subordinate to Shepard and neither of which has any special status of their own or contacts. If their superior is saying something, it is not that surprising that their subordinate might decide to back them up.

Liara. She is, as I've pointed out before, barely out of her childhood/teenage years, not an established scholar (she actually notes that she doesn't have much respect yet so there goes that part of the argument) and set herself up on Ilium in a dubious line of work where she made death threats to debtors and made the ruling asari so nervous they sent Aethyta to spy on her. So yeah actually, it's made pretty obvious right from the start that Liara was never considered credible.

And those are the only characters who would have ever had a chance to see Sovereign speak or hear Vigil. No one else. And yes, the species does matter. Because, if you played Mass Effect, you might notice that the Council has problems with the Migrant Fleet and krogans in general. It might have something to do with the fact that the krogans tried to enslave the galaxy and when that failed they settled into self-destructive wars with themselves while the quarians first managed to cause an AI uprising that destroyed their power and after that wandered the galaxy strip mining and, in the words of Hackett in ME 3, at least in the past few decades caused many naval incidents. So obviously if a random quarian or krogan shows up and claims they know that something absolutely insane is actually true, the Council will drop everything and listen.

And on trustworthiness, let's examine exactly what Shepard is saying. If Shepard said "Saren discovered ancient prothean technology that gives revolutionary ship building techniques and was swayed by his anti-human prejudice to ally with the Geth and take over the Citadel so he could destroy humanity" the Council might plausibly listen. But Shepard is saying "there is a species of ancient ship monsters that appear once every 50,000 years to exterminate all life in the galaxy and the only evidence I can present to you is a single person mentioning them once vaguely with no context". For context on how ridiculous that is, change it to "American marine tells UN Security Council that a Chinese soldier and his submarine crew haven't gone crazy and decided to preemptively launch nukes on America in a joint strike with North Korea, they've actually been taking over by a species of cyborg squids that live deep in the ocean who appear once every three thousand years to destroy human civilization and that's what actually destroyed the ancient Mittani empire". And your evidence of this is the word of a man who shot himself, one of his computers which got blown up, and an odd ship that was part of an attack on Hawaii that was so destroyed that salvage and investigation is physically impossible. Yeah, I'm sure that the P5 would take you seriously.

And what does Shepard do in ME 2 when s/he meets the Council? Why, Shepard shows up on a ship carrying the markings of paramilitary xenophobic human organization that has been responsible for multiple murders and bombings, including the assassination of an Alliance admiral just for investigating them and Shepard provides no new evidence. Shepard should be grateful that the Council doesn't just order the Spectres and C-Sec to arrest Shepard as an obvious traitor.

And I set that limit because I don't intend to just get into an ad nauseam argument or indefinite wait. It seemed to me that if you couldn't check at least once every few days and give at least some argument, it would be ridiculous to constantly wait in the vain hope that you might respond. That was just a friendly notice.
01:37:33 PM Apr 29th 2014
Been having log in issues at home. Still am, actually, so my access to the site right now is going to be limited. Anyway.

So, for Wrex and Tali, you still opened up with "Well, they're a krogan and a quarian, which automatically makes them unreliable." Again, you're claiming the poor maligned strawman with a valid point is a guy that is literally willing to disabuse the testimony of other people on the basis of straight up racism. I really shouldn't have to explain to you why that's not helping your argument. Furthermore, Wrex may be a lot of things, but if he's literally saying the same thing everyone else who is considered more trustworthy is saying, you would be a complete idiot to go "But he's a krooooooogaaan!"

You also again are undermining the Council and Udina when you claim that Tali being an admiral's daughter wouldn't make a difference because they hate her for her race anyway. That's not a valid point. That's being a dick who is deliberately endangering lives and scraping the bottom of the barrel for excuses why it's okay.

Garrus only went "rogue" because nobody would listen to him regardless of how much evidence he put together even when following the law to the letter, including the Council. And why didn't they listen to him? Because they just didn't want to listen to anything inconvenient to their narrative. In otherwords, they already drove him off in the first place for stupid reasons, so their stupid reasons don't suddenly become valid two years later.

Kaiden/Ashley do not only report to Shephard - they're representatives of the Alliance military and are required to report to people above him. By the time 2 opened up, they don't even work for him anymore and it would actually look better for them to throw the guy under a bus the second they detected conflict for it, which actually makes their word *more* valuable, not less. There's legitimate repurcussions for them if they fabricate reports to make their boss look good. And seriously, if you're going to disregard the word of people simply because they work for a guy saying something you don't want to hear, you're not the poor maligned victim in the scenario.

Liara is explicitly recommended by the Council to Shepherd for her expertise. In other words, they literally trust her with one of the most sensitive and dangerous operations they've had to send a Spectre out to handle. So isn't just a wee bit hypocritical for them to recommend her as this brilliant expert on the very subject that you're claiming they have every right to disregard her on? And for that matter, they have no reason to think she wants to jump Shepherd's bones unless she's actually dumb enough to tell them...and again, she'd only be saying the same thing *everyone else on the crew would say*, which makes it less likely she just made it up to protect her dreamboat.

And that's not even getting into the fact that Sovereign stormed the damn Citadel himself, which is pretty damning evidence that even Shepherd points out would be stupid to ignore. They promptly ignore it and declare it a Geth vessel...based on zero evidence. They literally hited Shepherd because they have no idea who the Geth are, how they operate, or even what the hell their chain of command is. But after Shepherd does exactly what they hired him to do AND after their catastrophic fuckery has killed a few hundred thousand people and cost unestimable economic damage...wait, why is the Council or Udina even remotely trustworthy on anything at this point? They let the damn Citadel burn. No, they didn't just LET IT burn. They were told the Citadel would burn, refused to listen, and actively tried to prevent the guy they hired to stop things like letting the Citadel burn from doing anything about it. Frankly, the fact that anyone in the chain of leadership in that game has a goddamned job is kind of an amazing plot contrivance really. Oh, and that's even assuming that Shepherd also saved the Council's lives when he had no motivation to do so and they still consider him untrustworthy and are still scraping for reason why some two years after they've pretty much secured political power in spite of massive failures to actually do their damn jobs. Arrest Shepherd as a traitor just because his ship has markings of an enemy ship? Uh, he's a Spectre. He's explicitly authorized to do whatever he needs to do to get his job done. THEIR authorization. For all they know, he's deep under cover or running a false flag operation. If anyone should be grateful, both the Council AND Udina should be grateful Shepherd the great hero hasn't gotten them all fired, imprisoned, or worse for all the people they actively got killed because it was seen as politically feasible to do so.

What I'm trying to get at in all of this is, this trope covers people who are portrayed as having a wrong position simply to make the good guys look better...except the "wrong" position is something the reader would actually find more compelling. These guys aren't going to make that cut because they've been such colossal morons from the start that their behavior continuing to the point it does through the series snaps suspension of disbelief in two because it's so catastrophically wrong. Seriously, why would any sane viewer go "Yep, that guy that's disregarding a threat we all know to be true is absolutely right to ignore the hero because of racism and trust issues!"
03:21:13 AM Apr 30th 2014
My point was (which you seem to be deliberately ignoring) that they've had serious problems with both species in the recent past. There's a massive difference between "they hate all of them" and "in mundane politics this is the sort of thing we're used to seeing and now you want us to believe that the cyborg ship apocalypse is at hand?" And you've completely ignored me repeatedly pointing out that Wrex is probably the single weakest member of the team to say that people should listen to. Besides being from a species that is literally genetically inclined towards violence, is there something not clear enough about the word "murderer"? Because that's what he's openly on the Citadel to do, and what he does if Shepard brings him to the club. He murders the owner. Can't make any claims about necessary for galactic peace or anything, it's just cold blooded murder. The fact that the guy tried to set Tali up doesn't change what happened to him.

On Garrus, not really changing at all the point that he just went rogue because of C-Sec's red tape, even when that red tape means things like "don't shoot at ships that are actually on the Citadel" and Garrus is taking shots that a Paragon Shepard will point out seriously endangered the hostage. Notable that the writers don't actually tell us what he laid out to his father between ME 2 and ME 3, probably because they couldn't think of anything that could be laid out.

On the Virmire Survivor, when the subordinate is making the same exotic claims as Shepard, it tends to hurt their credibility, especially since they weren't promoted or sent anywhere in ME 2 based on their knowledge of Reapers but to investigate Shepard.

And no, Liara was mentioned because she was Benezia's daughter. Seriously, that is the reason Udina gives you for why you might want to look into her. And when it next comes up, the Council openly wonders about her reliability. And Liara outright says that because of her very young age she's still not considered a major figure on the protheans despite her knowledge on the subject. Between that, what we see of Liara in ME 2 and the revelation from ME 3 that the matriarchs had her under observation with the real threat of assassination, and it's incredibly clear that they never once considered her someone to trust. See this video starting at roughly 8:50:

And the next point makes no sense. It was flying along with a Geth fleet. No one alive and out of stasis in Mass Effect has seen the Reaper fleet. Between assuming that it was an advanced Geth warship or assuming that it was an omnicidal cyborg ship at least 50,000 years old that had just decided to go into hiding between the disappearance of the protheans and now, which would anyone on Earth ever consider more likely? Again, using my previous example this is like saying that because the North Koreans had a single powerful warship during an attack, it must mean that there is a race of cyborg squid that destroyed the Mittani, instead of the possibility that the North Koreans themselves somehow built it. And it is made very clear by Anderson in ME 2 that Sovereign was too badly damaged to investigate.

And no, Shepard does nothing, absolutely nothing, to ever make the Council think that the apparent reason for showing up on a Cerberus ship isn't the actual reason. Shepard never communicates to them any secret plan or anything. From the Council's perspective, Shepard abruptly disappeared two years ago, then showed up in a terrorist vessel making the exact same claims as before, with the same total lack of evidence as before. This is really no different from saying that a SEAL makes those claims about cyborg squids allying with the North Koreans, then the SEAL disappears for two years and when they reappear it's with a company from FARC. Somehow I don't think anyone in reality would think they were anything other than a traitor. Note that when Virmire Survivor is given the chance (the same one you think should be given excessive trust by the Council) they outright cite Shepard's company as the reason they're refusing.

Here is all the evidence that Shepard has before ME 3 that Shepard is ever permitted to mention to the Council (so I'm not counting the Collector Base because the writers wouldn't). In ME 1 a single mention of "Reapers" with no clearer context, a broken Virtual Intelligence that isn't functioning by the time the Council can check it, a broken Beacon and an advanced ship that was too badly damaged to actually inspect. In ME 2 I think the only extra thing you can mention is that colonies are disappearing. Colonies that happen to be in the most dangerous part of known space, and when in the prologue Joker points out that something destroyed multiple ships, your own XO points out that it was probably slavers. That's the evidence. Machines that have a tendency to be too broken for anyone to check Shepard's story and people missing in a part of space where people have a tendency to go missing. With that information provided, the sensible thing is not to assume that there is an ancient species of monsters that kill other species and then go off somewhere leaving no traces. The sensible thing is to assume that the apparent answer, that Saren really was just working with the Geth, is the correct answer.
05:22:09 AM Apr 30th 2014
May I recommend to make shorter arguments? No debate here needs this kind of Wall of Text posting.
03:53:42 PM Apr 30th 2014
I'd like to, but that's really not easy considering how much there is.
09:16:17 PM Apr 30th 2014
No, there really isn't that much there. You just keep repeating yourself over and over again while ignoring my key argument - the only reason to be racist or scream about Shepherd suddenly piloting a terrorist vessel or declare a ship that Shepherd has just told you is not a Geth vessel on zero evidence is because you are deliberately looking for reasons to dismiss anything he says that you don't like. Let's not forget that the Council also blatantly ignored the massacre on Eden Prime in spite of dozens of witnesses and officials witnessing it simply because Saren was a turian and the Council is so racist they dismissed all witnesses to the massacre as being hysterical or liars. Even assigning Shepherd Spectre status wasn't so much a way of admitting wrong doing as it was a way to make their problem become someone else's problem (and thus absolve themselves of all consequences.)

Seriously, you actually suggested that had Shepherd lied to them about what Sovereign was, the Council still only might have believed him. This is not an issue of a strawman with a flimsy argument being used to bolster the main character's obvious point. Why would the reader ever sympathize with the racists who actively got hundreds of thousands of people killed purely to because they thought it looked better politically?

Now stop wall of texting and trying to start an edit war and address that point about why these guys are strawmen and what they are being used as a foil for and why the reader should be sympathizing with them instead of Shepherd. Because I'd out that until the third game when Shepherd commits an act of genocide, there is absolutely no reason to distrust him no matter what flag he's flying given everything he's done for the Council and the Alliance.

And since your example only goes up to the second game (where you again ignored my point that the Council not only dismissed his evidence, but openly mocked him with rude gestures), well, Batarian genocide isn't really relevant.
11:46:09 PM Apr 30th 2014
edited by
This is ridiculous.

You've accused me of Wall of Texting while nicely ignoring the your own posts. And trying to start an edit war? I was kind enough to actually send you a PM to let you know that I was disagreeing with your points and then I went to the length of actually giving you over a week to respond to a post. I could have simply put the entry back in. I deliberately didn't because I was hoping for something a bit more than what I've seen. So far my hopes have been dashed.

I note that you haven't really responded to my point that the hard evidence tends to get destroyed before it can be shown. You just simply set that aside, as if you're hoping the problem of ruined computers and fragmented ships will disappear if no one mentions them. Much like refusing to acknowledge just how insane a species of omnicidal cyborg ships that appear and disappear once every 50,000 years is if you don't actually see it. And there was a reason why my evidence only went to the second game. That's the last time Shepard tries to tell the Council about the Reapers. I don't think Shepard ever tried to contact the Council during Arrival and it's a moot point in Mass Effect 3 because there's hard evidence of the Reapers everywhere.

And lastly, no, you have a grand total of a single person, a self-confessed smuggler at that, to tell you Saren was ever on the planet. There were no dozens of witnesses or officials. One smuggler. Shepard never even saw Saren before going to the Citadel the first time. The Council never suggested the Geth weren't responsible. The Council just pointed out that Shepard doesn't have any proof Saren was ever there. By this point I have to seriously question whether you have ever actually played Mass Effect 1.

Regardless, I'm just giving up in disgust. You've claimed things about characters that directly contradict major parts of their backstory and character development, decided that 'rude gestures' is incontrovertible evidence of no attempt to consider the situation, refused to consider why anyone would have reason to believe what the main character is saying, suddenly criticized me for things you've done yourself with no hint of self-awareness and now are just claiming that characters saw things when the fact that they didn't is brought up in the game itself. There is no chance of any rational discussion of this, and it's a pity.
01:00:57 AM May 1st 2014
So you gave up in disgust without ever answering the only question that actually matters - why are these people strawmen? Why is anything they say a deliberately weak argument to make Shepherd look better that backfires because the reader finds the straw argument more reasonable?

Because that's really all that matters in this trope.
01:38:28 AM May 1st 2014
I have responded. I've gave up because of the apparent response. If you're really willing to look at this, then one more go (and these were in the original entries that were removed as well):

The first, on the turian Council member (and really the Council in general). He and the other Council members are right in ME 1 and 2 that it makes more sense to assume that Sovereign was a Geth ship than an agent for a species of cyborg ships that simply appear once every 50,000 years and wipe out all advanced life. We're meant to think that they're just being obtuse and obstructive, but in reality they were never with Shepard and no other individual working for the Council like another Spectre saw any of the things Shepard saw. The Beacon that gave Shepard the images of Reapers is broken and can't be inspected for anyone to figure out what it really was for (in ME 3 Shepard outright says to Javik that no one could understand it in time), the VI Vigil lost power some time between ME 1 and 2 so they couldn't go to it for information and even Anderson will tell Shepard in ME 2 that Sovereign, the best evidence, was too damaged to confirm everything.

Now, there were things Shepard could have done to try to convince them that the Reapers were real, like asking Liara to use her Shadow Broker persona to tell them, or to provide them with evidence of the Collector Base. But the story deliberately ignores things like that. So, working purely with what the story allows Shepard to say, the turian Council and the Council in general actually have a point when they tell Shepard that it sounds ridiculous and that they believe Sovereign was a Geth ship.

Udina (from my own entry): Udina is clearly meant to be taken as a bumbling bureaucrat who ungratefully takes advantage of Shepard and ignores or yells at Shepard whenever convenient and his statements are supposed to be those of a willfully blind person. The problem is that Udina is pointing out that Shepard's actions in the first act of ME 1 are causing a serious amount of political damage. Shepard had just made accusations towards the Council's most trusted agent without any proof beyond a smuggler's word, and Shepard then shot up a bar and was possibly an accessory to the murder of its owner. Shepard doesn't have much authority at this point, and if Shepard wasn't lucky enough for Tali to happen to have that information, Shepard probably would have just set back the Alliance's efforts by years if not decades.
02:43:35 AM May 1st 2014
Incidentally, sorry for the previous comments. They were really uncalled for from me.
07:39:20 PM May 1st 2014
And you're still ignoring me - the only reason Shepherd's credibility is called into question is because the people in question are looking for reasons to doubt him.

What evidence do they have that Sovereign was a Geth vessel? None of them have ever seen a Geth nor know what their vessels look like. If Shepherd tells them it isn't, the only reason they have to doubt him is that they inherently don't want to listen to him.

And yea, I brought up the rude gesture because that makes the Turian councillor's motivation quite clear (and the fact that he isn't censured for gross unprofessionalism should tell you what the other two Councillors think). The fact that even into Mass Effect 3, they're still stonewalling even as the galaxy is going dark just because they don't give a crap about humans shows that yea, they really are obstructive bureaucrats, the interpretation of them is reasonable, and why should the audience side with them when they never give a reason beyond "Screw you, we don't like you and you're annoying?"

I mean, seriously, this is a reasonable position:

"Hey, we want to work with you on this Reaper thing, and you've already prevented or solved a lot of crises related to to the Geth and the last time we doubted your word, our station got infested with Geth. Still, we can't deploy every military in the galaxy on your word alone. Since we explicitly hired you to handle this kind of crap, we'll give you the resources to do your job and you'll bring us the hard proof we need to take action."

This is not:

"Oh, yes, those *air quote* "Reapers" you keep blathering about. Oh, how droll. Why would we ever listen to a silly human anyway? Our opinions are infallible, as you can see from the giant smoldering whole in the Citadel, the mass grave left behind from the last time we blew you off, and the hundreds of thousands of human lives lost to save that we're disregarding because we can."

The latter is the argument that was made. Now, you could well have a case if this is the alternate Council that got put in power because Shepherd murdered the previous one, since they have a real good reason to see him as an opportunistic guy not above manipulating circumstances to his or his species favor. But we're not.

You also still keep ignoring that the Council and Udina both look really bad going into ME 2 given that they actively worked to stop Shepherd from doing his job explicitly because of political implications. And for that matter, it was heavily implied that even the hard evidence of Saren and the Geth on Eden Prime was only barely enough to overcome the outright racism they had towards humans (not to mention their utter unwillingness to help those murdered on the planet because they hated humans.)

Really, the failure in the storyline isn't that these guys are anywhere close to in the right, but that's out of the scope of this trope.
08:39:42 PM May 1st 2014
edited by
No, they are saying it because saying that there is a species of cyborg ships that kill every interstellar species once every 50,000 years is a very improbable thing. I have pointed out more than once that if some soldier came forward and made the same allegations today, no one on Earth would take them seriously. There are people who claim the pyramids were made by aliens, or that Jews and Freemasons control the world economy or that Atlantis actually existed. The vast majority of people ignore those kinds of claims.

The Council has never seen a Geth ship? That is demonstrably completely incorrect. Not only does the entire galaxy have records of what Geth and Geth ships look like, you repeatedly fight them on planets and see their ships in the first game and Sovereign was leading a fleet of Geth ships and the Geth made up the majority of the attack forces.

And in Mass Effect 3, no they aren't. Heck, the turian Councillor you say is so bad is the first of the Council to offer any kind of support if Shepard can get his leader to a safe place to negotiate.

And 'hated humans'? The only one to ever suggest any actual anti-human opinions is the turian Council member. The asari and salarians? They never do.

And for the last time, no there was never any hard evidence of Saren's presence on Eden Prime until you provide the audio recording, at which point the entire Council believed Shepard about Saren.

Again, this is why I am saying that this seems more like the defense of them not being strawmen is based more on hearsay about the game than actual gameplay. Bits of the story such as Liara's backstory and relationship with the asari government, Wrex's legal status, whether anyone has seen a Geth ship, when you get evidence about Saren and what the Council does, what the turian Councillor is like in ME 3 and all are not things that are easy to miss in the game. So if you honestly don't remember or know these things, I'm just walking away.
12:05:08 PM May 2nd 2014
First, Sheperd isn't some random soldier. He's a Spectre. It's his job to look into crazy shit like this and tell the Council what he saw. As it is, he's done a crapton of work for them that prove his reliability and lack of need to lie. And by ME 2, he's also saved their butts from an untimely death that is technically their own fault. Bit of a difference between a redneck in Arkansas swearing aliens built the pyramids and a guy who's been storming the last guys you refused to believe existed providing you critical intelligence. I already provided to you a contrast between how Shepherd could have been treated to make their position legitimate, and how their position in the game is actually presented.

Second, the Geth hadn't left the Perseus Veil for 300 years. Nobody outside the veil had seen one, to the point that it was already unbelievable to see them in Citadel space. So yes, it's logical that the Council already can't tell the difference between a Geth ship and a Reaper ship and in spite of a lack of any evidence proving so just call it a "Geth ship" and refuse to do anything else (like at least assign a classified team to study the wreckage of Sovereign so as to prevent a panic.)

Third, the audio recording from Saren and Benezia also included a reference to the Reapers, so there's two more people to verify at bare minimum that pursuing the lead was vital (and two people who the Council irrefutably knows were pursuing it strongly enough to rally an army against the Citadel.)

Fourth, you keep ignoring that the only reason to keep dismissing things like the smuggler's testimony and the witness accounts of the VI is because the listener is actively trying to disbelieve Shepherd.

And fifth, this is the umpteenth time you've ignored both that the Council and Udina actively stopped Shepherd from doing his job in the climax of Mass Effect by containing him on the Citadel and relieving him of his ship entirely because they don't want to believe him. And that the result of this action was Shepherd was incapable of reaching Ilos in time to stop an invasion of the Citadel that left hundreds of thousands dead.

And seriously, stop with the insults and stop with the threats to take your ball and go home.
02:25:40 PM May 2nd 2014
No, I don't think you get it. I really am done with this. I even gave it one last chance, on top of multiple efforts spent giving you all the time you needed to respond that I didn't even really need to do.

I've seen you criticize me for doing the exact same thing you did without even a hint of reflection on your part, I've seen you state things that directly contradict well known canon facts that are very hard to be ignorant of (we aren't talking about things only present in the books, we're talking about what major characters say and do in the actual games), and I've seen you repeatedly bring up points that I've already pointed out are weak.

There is no chance of resolution of this because you either need to stop and go replay the games, or you aren't actually arguing seriously but to be contentious. I'm not sure why you even put this in discussion if this is how it's going to be treated.

Either way, there's no way to resolve this and this is the sort of thing that I'm worried is going to ruin the entire system if people have to refrain from correcting incorrect edits for fear of edit wars with people who apparently aren't even checking to see what canon material says.
08:07:44 PM May 17th 2014
Sometimes I hate feeling prescient.
07:18:34 PM May 18th 2014
The real irony is that the most direct example you quoted wasn't even what sparked the argument...the Dragon Age editor never came by O_O
11:53:50 PM Jul 19th 2014
edited by
Oh no, the Dragon Age editor did come by. It's just that I had already been told that I made a mistake in my posting, and that it was more a Grey and Grey Morality or Evil vs. Evil situation as opposed to Strawman Has a Point. I didn't really get the spirit of the trope, so I was told I made a mistake, and I understand it better now. That said? Being an asshole about it was uncalled for. "you know you failed in your example." That confrontational tone is deliberately insulting. I did not, in fact, know. And it's one thing for someone to make a mistake. It's quite another to imply they were stupid for doing so as opposed to not understanding it. If you want to correct a mistake, correct it. Insulting someone in the process only makes you a jerkass.
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. 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.
02:33:04 PM Nov 20th 2016
I'd like to point out that Peck was actually in the wrong. He handled the situation very unprofessionally, was deliberately confrontational, and overstepped the bounds of his authority. It's been pointed out (mainly by SF Debris) that while if Peck was investigating for a fraud investigation firm, or maybe the Nuclear Regulatory Committee, he'd have a point but the EPA has no grounds to shut down the Ghostbusters. The chemicals they were buying were for a small scale operation, so they were almost certainly well within the bounds of EPA regulations. Basically he was exactly what most would see him as, a jackass with a power craze who cause a catastrophe because of his hatred of the people he was investigating.
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 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.
03:08:27 PM May 17th 2014
Then why is he there? I think the House Elves job is to attend to the fires, cook the food and other things like that. The janitorial work is his which is why we see him constantly cleaning.
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. 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: 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 vs. 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:
** 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.
07:12:01 AM Aug 13th 2015
What about the Overseers in Dishonored? In the game we have control of the magic-using Corvo but the Overseers and their religion demonizes all magic users as dangerous heretics. However, aside from Corvo and, to a lesser extent, Daud, we aren't given much else to the counter their arguments against magic users. Any people that end up getting magic end up either becoming assassins or forming covens like Delilah in the Brigmore Witches. From some conversations in between characters there it isn't hard to think the witches are, by and large, at least as fanatical as the Overseers if not more. As for the assassins, their assistance in the overthrow of an empress, resulting in the rule of the tyrannical Lord Regent just for the money, isn't exactly morally gray and while Daud does regret his participation in it all, the other assassins seem to be a bit more silent on this issue.
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