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straw man argument Archives - David Werdiger

The Real Problem with Pauline Hanson

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Another week, another audacious and controversial statement by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson. The recent terrorist attack in London prompted her to repeat her proposal for a “Muslim ban”, and present her own hashtag #Pray4MuslimBan instead of the sympathetic #PrayForLondon. Her statements temporarily reignited the debate about Muslim immigration and how we ought to respond to terror attacks – threatened and actual. But yet again, the debate was superficial and highly polarised, and quickly fizzled. Hanson’s statements are inflammatory and…

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On Gay Marriage, Polyamory, Slippery Slopes and Straw Men

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It started when I read recently that Cory Bernadi “equated gay marriage with bestiality“. Did he really do that? It sounds absurd! Before I go any further, an important disclaimer: this article does not take a position on gay marriage. Rather, it looks at the way it is debated and reported. In the current world of “media stories with dubious connections to reality” (which beats the now meaningless term “fake news“), I felt obligated to investigate further before commenting,…

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So many guns, so little intelligence

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Twitter is not the right medium for a complex debate, I’ve discovered. It is near impossible to mount an argument or respond to one in chunks of just 140 characters (or a lot less once more people latch on). So after I tweeted an article from former Australian PM John Howard about gun control in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre of 1996, I was quickly accosted by a bunch of gun activists. My…

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