Dismiss the Slippery Slope

Dismiss the Slippery Slope November 2, 2013

I was tempted to call this post something like “Don’t accept a slippery slope argument unless it is from a geocentrist in an arranged marriage” but that seemed a bit too long for a title.

Eric Reitan has been posting about slippery slope arguments, tackling them in detail in order to show how they are problematic.

As for myself, I think that slippery slope arguments should be dismissed outright when they are offered by anyone who is already on the slippery slope and yet claims not to be slipping.

Young-earth creationists use the argument. But they have already shifted away from an unmoving Earth, a literal solid firmament, and many other details the Bible mentions.

Opponents of same-sex marriage use the argument. But few of them are in arranged patriarchal marriages of the sort the Bible takes for granted as what marriage is.

Self-proclaimed Biblical literalists use the argument. But few would say they literally think with their heart. And none I have met have given up all their property, yet they still say they are followers of Jesus.

All these viewpoints, and many others, claim that any departure from their viewpoint leads to a trip down the slippery slope. And yet their stance is a departure from an even more conservative one that some people adopt, or could adopt.

And so those who talk about a slippery slope need to acknowledge, if they are honest, that it is possible to stop at arbitrary points on the slope – in which case it isn’t as slippery as they claim.

Or otherwise they should just lie back and enjoy the ride, because they are already on the slippery slope, and are presumably headed in your direction further down the hill!

I’ve posted on the slippery slope argument several times before, and so I’m embedding links to those posts in this sentence!

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