Straw Man

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Related to Straw man argument: fallacy, Slippery slope fallacy

Straw Man

An individual who acts as a front for others who actually incur the expense and obtain the profit of a transaction.

In the terminology employed by real estate dealers, a straw man is an individual who acts as a conduit for convenience in holding and transferring title to the property involved. For example, such a person might act as an agent for another in order to take title to real property and execute whatever documents and instruments the principal directs with respect to the transaction.

straw man

n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a business interest is transferred for the sole purpose of concealing the true owner and/or the business machinations of the parties. Thus, the straw man has no real interest or participation but is merely a passive stand-in for a real participant who secretly controls activities. Sometimes a straw man is involved when the actual owner is not permitted to act, such as a person with a criminal record holding a liquor license. 2) an argument which is intended to distract the other side from the real issues or waste the opponent's time and effort, sometimes called a "red herring" (for the belief that drawing a fish across a trail will mislead hunting dogs).

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Since the anonymous "you" is, by definition, a fiction ("a statistic" Harris might claim, or perhaps "a pastiche"), all Harris's arguments are straw man arguments.
They distort my arguments and then attack the distorted versions; that is, they rely on straw man arguments at a number of points--a classic informal fallacy ("imputing to one's adversaries opinions a good deal more extreme than those they have set out and are willing to defend," Engel, 1994, p.
One could argue that it is far more tricky to rely on informal fallacies such as straw man arguments and emotive language in place of arguing ad rem.