In this lesson, you will learn about logical fallacies that aim to distract you from real issues. These fallacies include red herring, ad hominem, and straw man.
Have you ever listened to political candidates' debates? When they are over, you are probably left wondering, what just happened? The debates are supposed to be about the real issues faced by voters and the solutions the candidates are offering. Instead, they are typically filled with distracting techniques designed to shift the audience's focus off the real issues, and put opponents on the defensive.
These techniques include the red herring, which is an odd name for a common logical fallacy. Red herrings are simply any unrelated topic that is brought into an argument to divert attention from the subject at hand. Ad hominem is another distracting technique. It refers to an attack on the person making an argument, rather than on the argument itself. By shifting the focus to the personal, the topic of the argument is forgotten, and the person being attacked goes on the defensive. In straw man fallacies, you are distracted from the real issue by a distortion or exaggeration of that issue. Straw men deliberately misrepresent an opponent's view or stand on an issue, creating an argument that is easy to win.
While these distracting techniques are usually easy to spot, they can be challenging to deflect. If one is aimed at you, it's critical to understand how it works and how to take it apart so attention can be refocused onto the real issue.
Was this article helpful?
To do this successfully you need to build a clear path of action by using tools if necessary. These tools would be facts, evidence and stories which you know they can relate to. Plus you always want to have their best interests at heart, in other words, you know what is good for them