Presentation on theme: "Getting a rough feel for straw men arguments 4. Atheists think that God does not exist, so everything is permitted. But even atheists must admit that."— Presentation transcript:
Getting a rough feel for straw men arguments 4. Atheists think that God does not exist, so everything is permitted. But even atheists must admit that I would not be permitted to kill them! So atheism is nonsense. Reply: Atheism need not entail that everything is permitted. For instance, there may be social conventions that make certain actions morally impermissible, even in the absence of God.
Straw men and argument reconstruction If you reconstruct arguments using our seven-step process, you’re very unlikely to straw man an opponent. However, your opponent may well have straw-manned somebody else. Good reconstructions help you to pinpoint where the straw-manning occurs.
The example revisited 1.If atheism is true, then God does not exist. 2.If God does not exist, then every action is morally permissible. 3.Some killings are morally impermissible actions. 4.So, atheism is not true.
“Sure, it’s not great having the government collect our phone records, but it’s better than having them collect our body parts.” 1.Either the government collects our phone records or it collects our body parts. 2.Of these two options, it would be worse if the government collected our body parts. 3.So, of these two options, it would be better if the government collects our phone records.
“Either you are opposed to the government collecting phone records or you don’t care about civil rights.” 1.Either you are opposed to the government collecting phone records or you don’t care about civil rights. 2.Every reasonable person should care about civil rights. 3.So every reasonable person should be opposed to the government collecting phone records.
Premise 1 is false: evolution does not imply that humans are identical to apes, only that they have a common ancestor.
6. Stephen Colbert “Evolutionists’ main claim is that one day we decided to stop being monkeys and turned ourselves into humans. Well, if that’s true, why aren’t more monkeys escaping from zoos?...” “Think about it, they could turn into humans, then disguise themselves as janitors and walk out of their cages. But I guess evolution doesn’t have an answer for that one.”
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