A Note On Straw Men

A "Straw Man" argument is when somebody ascribes to another party a belief they do not actually hold (whether in whole or in part) and then proceeds to attack this belief, rather than attacking the things that the other party actually believes. This is often done intentionally as an underhanded debate tactic or in political advertisements, but it can also occur simply out of ignorance.

I am fully aware that, as I discuss the things I believe (or the things I don't believe, as the case may be) and contrast them with what theists believe, I run the risk of creating straw men as I argue against those theist beliefs. In fact, it is almost guaranteed, since religious beliefs come in a mind-bogglingly huge number of varieties and it is literally impossible to come up with any single valid statement describing what all theists believe. Except, perhaps, for the extremely nebulous and completely unhelpful "Theists believe in God."

All I can say in my defense is that the theist arguments and beliefs I present in my various blog posts are based on what I personally believed at one point in time and/or what I have heard others state as their beliefs. I fully acknowledge that many theists probably don't believe all, or most, or perhaps even any of the views I ascribe to theists. But some theists certainly believe some of the things I discuss, and those are the theists I am addressing in my posts.

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