Awards/Golden Straw-Man

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The Golden Straw-Man Award is given to those who most blatantly misrepresent their opponents' arguments so as to demolish their position. We haven't yet worked out how often the award will be bestowed or what it will consist of, but we are definitely thinking hard about it.

It is named jointly after the straw man argument and a well-known fantasy character who wishes for a brain.


  • 2015/01/26 Uzay Bulut, for Islamic Terrorism: The Taboo Topic "Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the 'Christian terrorism' of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, 'Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists.'" (see also Issuepedia)
    • The author claims Islamic terrorism is a taboo topic, when it is in fact one of the most widely-discussed topics today.
    • Bonus points for using a "free speech" argument to dismiss a position with which he disagrees.
  • 2014/12/16 Peter Morcombe, for Countering Consensus Calculations: "Nobody believes in CAGW any more; today we discuss 'Climate Change'. You have to love the brilliance of this re-branding... who could dissent with the idea that climate will change?" He goes on to rant about the downsizing of Kennedy Space Center "while the Goddard Institute of Space Studies remains fully funded"; all of his hypotheses about why this might be the case assume injustice or incompetence. (The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) is focused on Earth studies, including climate change.)