History Main / SlipperySlopeFallacy

9th Aug '16 12:44:51 PM DavidDelony
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* Pops up a lot in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. Pro-choice people might say any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. Pro-life people, meanwhile, will proclaim that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social Darwinism, and so forth.

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* Pops up a lot in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. Pro-choice people might say any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. Pro-life people, meanwhile, will proclaim that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social Darwinism, and so forth.forth, also ignoring the fact that these things happened when elective abortion was illegal.
9th Aug '16 12:32:38 PM DavidDelony
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* A number of pro-gun people in the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanGunPolitics U.S. debate over gun control]] seem to think that anything less than allowing open carry of submachine guns in elementary schools will lead to the government confiscating all firearms.
5th Mar '16 1:28:08 PM BananaPancakes
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Based on the idea that an object placed at the top of a slippery slope will slide all the way to the bottom if given even a small nudge, the Slippery Slope fallacy is arguing that even a small step taken in one direction will lead to some drastic consequence. This argument usually ignores the individual connections between events in favor of simply linking one event inevitably to another. However, this is not fallacious in and of itself... after all, some slopes really are ''that'' slippery. It does, however, fall on the claimant to justify a logical, probable, and inevitable series of events. Without that, the argument has no meaning.

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Based on the idea that an object placed at the top of a slippery slope will slide all the way to the bottom if given even a small nudge, the Slippery ''Slippery Slope fallacy is Fallacy'' means arguing that even a small step taken in one direction will lead to some drastic consequence. This argument usually ignores the individual connections between events in favor of simply linking one event inevitably to another. However, this is not fallacious in and of itself... itself after all, some slopes really are ''that'' slippery. It does, however, fall on the claimant to justify a logical, probable, and inevitable series of events. Without that, the argument has no meaning.



* Dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. Many of the scientists were certain that using it would lead to an arms race and total destruction of civilization. We've done a pretty good job avoiding the second bit (albeit with a few close calls, some which were a '''lot''' closer than people knew at the time), but they got the arms race bit right.
* Used frequently by politicians. Especially shows up around election time where voting for an opponent will usually be portrayed as resulting in a {{dystopia}} of some sort, usually authoritarian in nature.
* DarthWiki/TropersLaw is a reaction to a slippery slope argument commonly found on this very wiki. "If we do ''anything at all'' in a way similar to the way that {{Wikipedia}} does it, we will become as restrictive and bureaucratic as Wikipedia is perceived." Of course, this does not address concerns that the site is becoming more restrictive and bureaucratic, only that it does not inevitably follow that any action in that direction will lead to a worst case scenario.
* [[RealTimeWithBillMaher Bill Maher]] rebutted this type of fallacious reasoning in a routine: "Gay marriage will not lead to dog marriage! When we gave women the vote we did not also have to give it to parakeets. When we freed the slaves we were not obligated to free the gerbils."
* Pops up a lot in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. On the pro-choice side, any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle...even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. On the pro-life side, it's been claimed that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism and so forth.

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* Dropping the atomic bombs on Japan. Many of the scientists were certain that using it would lead to an arms race and total destruction of civilization. We've done a pretty good job avoiding the second bit (albeit with a few close calls, some of which were a '''lot''' '''far''' closer than people knew at the time), but they got the arms race bit right.
* Used frequently by politicians. Especially shows up around election time where voting for an opponent will usually be portrayed as resulting in a {{dystopia}} of some sort, usually authoritarian in nature.
nature.
* DarthWiki/TropersLaw is a reaction to a slippery slope argument commonly found on this very wiki. "If we do ''anything at all'' in a way similar to the way that {{Wikipedia}} Wiki/{{Wikipedia}} does it, we will become as restrictive and bureaucratic as Wikipedia is perceived." Of course, this does not address concerns that the site is becoming more restrictive and bureaucratic, only that it does not inevitably follow that any action in that direction will lead to a worst case worst-case scenario.
* [[RealTimeWithBillMaher [[Series/RealTimeWithBillMaher Bill Maher]] rebutted this type of fallacious reasoning in a one routine: "Gay marriage will not lead to dog marriage! When we gave women the vote we did not also have to give it to parakeets. When we freed the slaves we were not obligated to free the gerbils."
* Pops up a lot in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. On the pro-choice side, Pro-choice people might say any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle...cattle even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. On the pro-life side, it's been claimed Pro-life people, meanwhile, will proclaim that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism Darwinism, and so forth.



* The musical comedian Rob Paravonian had some fun with this in "Pushing Band Candy," his tale of how he built an empire out of selling candy bars for school band fundraisers. And really, once he went too far pushing the product and got himself expelled, what else could he become but a hardcore drug dealer?
* ''AnimalHouse'' rather awesomely uses this argument in the scene where Otter convinces Dean Wormer that it is unethical to target the entire fraternity for the action of "a few sick and twisted individuals". He then claims that if they are going to blame his fraternity, then they should blame the entire fraternity system, and if they are going to blame the entire fraternity system, they should blame the entire American society in general. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome They then leave the room humming the national anthem.]]

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* The musical Musical comedian Rob Paravonian had some fun with this in "Pushing Band Candy," his tale of how he built an empire out of selling candy bars for school band fundraisers. And really, once he went too far pushing the product and got himself expelled, what else could he become but a hardcore drug dealer?
* ''AnimalHouse'' ''Film/AnimalHouse'' rather awesomely uses this argument in the scene where Otter convinces Dean Wormer that it is unethical to target the entire fraternity for the action of "a few sick and twisted individuals". He then claims that if they are going to blame his fraternity, then they should blame the entire fraternity system, and if they are going to blame the entire fraternity system, they should blame the entire American society in general. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome They then leave the room humming the national anthem.]]



* This is generally accepted as one of the three prohibited taboos of academic debate (British Parliamentary Style at least), the others being the related [[ApocalypseHow armageddon]], and any mention of [[GodwinsLaw Hitler or the Nazis]].
* Weird Al Yankovic says that if you download "Don't Download This Song" (which is freely available on the internet) than you will become a hard case, robbing banks and driving over people in your car.

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* This is generally accepted as one of the three prohibited taboos of academic debate (British Parliamentary Style at least), the others being the related [[ApocalypseHow armageddon]], Armageddon]], and any mention of [[GodwinsLaw Hitler or the Nazis]].
* Weird Al Yankovic says that if you download In "Don't Download This Song" (which is Song", Music/WeirdAlYankovic says that [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil if you download music]] [[HypocriticalHumor (his own song being freely available on the internet) than Internet)]], [[DigitalPiracyIsEvil you will become a hard case, robbing banks and driving over people in your car.car]].



** An inversion of sorts comes from the promoters of Atheism+ like P.Z. Myers, who [[OpinionMyopia are baffled that many existing atheists who came to their lack of belief through rationality do not support the same social justice issues he does, like feminism]], to which he says "[[NoTrueScotsman Why bother being an atheist?]]". Never mind that they may have different social and political opinions, there being no necessary connection between them. Partly this is CreatorProvincialism, as atheists in the United Stated tend to be left-wing. Countries with greater numbers of atheists have more even distribution on the political spectrum.

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** An inversion of sorts comes from the promoters of Atheism+ Atheism-Plus like P.Z. Myers, who [[OpinionMyopia are baffled that many existing atheists who came to their lack of belief through rationality do not support the same social justice issues he does, like feminism]], to which he says "[[NoTrueScotsman Why bother being an atheist?]]". atheist?]]" Never mind that they may have different social and political opinions, there being no necessary connection between them. Partly this is CreatorProvincialism, as atheists in the United Stated States do tend to be left-wing. Countries with greater numbers of atheists have more even distribution on the political spectrum.



* ''TabletopGame/CardsAgainstHumanity'' {{invoke|dTrope}}s this with a 2-white-card black card: "_____ is a slippery slope that leads to _____."
* Used often in the US minimum wage strikes. Pundits frequently asked if the minimum wage was going to be raised by a few dollars now, what was to stop it growing to absurd levels. This led to many parodies on ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'', especially when one anchor asked "why not raise minimum wage to one hundred thousand dollars an hour?" Apparently there is no middle ground between less than three-hundred dollars a week and four million.
* In the "Trans-Fascism" episode of "King of the Hill", Hank had to struggle between what was legal and what was right when he and his pals started running a lunch truck that sold food banned by the city council. He knew that the town was enacting an unfair law that even the guy who had suggested it in the first place now regretted, but knew he could well cause worse problems. In a DreamSequence during the episode where he was confronted by UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, and Tom Landry (who all faced Slippery Slope crises on a ''much'' bigger scale) Washington quoted the Trope directly.

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* ''TabletopGame/CardsAgainstHumanity'' {{invoke|dTrope}}s this with a 2-white-card two-white-card black card: "_____ is a slippery slope that leads to _____."
* Used often in the US U.S. minimum wage strikes. Pundits frequently asked if the minimum wage was going to be raised by a few dollars per hour now, what was to stop it growing to absurd levels. This led to many parodies on ''The Daily Show ''Series/TheDailyShow with Jon Stewart'', especially when one anchor asked "why "Why not raise minimum wage to one hundred thousand dollars an hour?" Apparently there is no middle ground between less than three-hundred three hundred dollars a week and four million.
* In the "Trans-Fascism" ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode of "King of the Hill", "Trans-Fascism", Hank had has to struggle between what was legal the law and what was right his morals when he and his pals started start running a lunch truck that sold food foodstuffs banned by the city council. He knew that the town was knows Arlen is enacting an unfair law that even the guy person who had suggested it in the first place now regretted, regrets, but knew he could well cause worse problems. In a DreamSequence during the episode where he was confronted by wherein UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington, UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln, and Tom Landry (who all faced Slippery Slope crises on a ''much'' bigger scale) confront him, Washington quoted quotes the Trope trope directly.



-->'''Miss Grotke:''' Maybe the kids have a point. Maybe we should give them what they want. It's just a jungle gym.
-->'''Miss Finster:''' Just a jungle gym? I always knew you were a troublemaker, Grotke. Give in to the jungle gym today and they'll want better food tomorrow. Soon they'll demand a longer recess and then more free reading time. Eventually, society will crumble and western civilization as we know it will come to an end!
* ''{{Film/Lincoln}}'': During the debate over passage of the 13th Amendment, which would outlaw slavery in America, Representative Yeaman announces that he's against the amendment, despite hating slavery, because he fears it would lead to further reform, such as letting all black people vote. Lincoln urges him just before the vote on the amendment to focus on the singular issue of slavery and let the rest be debated about in its own time.

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-->'''Miss Grotke:''' Grotke''': Maybe the kids have a point. Maybe we should give them what they want. It's just a jungle gym.
-->'''Miss Finster:'''
gym.\\
'''Miss Finster''':
Just a jungle gym? I always knew you were a troublemaker, Grotke. Give in to the jungle gym today and they'll want better food tomorrow. Soon they'll demand a longer recess and then more free reading time. Eventually, society will crumble and western civilization as we know it will come to an end!
* ''{{Film/Lincoln}}'': During the debate over passage of the 13th Thirteenth Amendment, which would outlaw slavery in America, Representative Yeaman announces that he's against his opposition to the amendment, despite hating slavery, because he fears it would lead to further reform, such as letting all black people vote. Just before the vote, Lincoln urges him just before the vote on the amendment to focus on the singular issue of slavery and let the rest be debated about in its own time.
16th Feb '16 2:01:38 PM CaptainCrawdad
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** [[TheCuckoolanderWasRight Except that]] almost immediately after the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," MoralGuardians were not at all surprised at the introduction of a proposal for a bill that had entered Congress, which would allow for bestiality rights among troops. Of course, the bill was introduced by an opponent of gays serving in the military, which suggests trolling.
** And Maher himself used a similarly fallacious argument during the last scene of Film/{{Religulous}}, in his "religion must die for mankind to live" speech.
** One particular counter-argument that shows the absurdity of the slippery slope is to reverse it: e.g. "If we ban gay marriage, then we'll ban straight marriage as well!", as seen [[http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=1748#comic here.]] Perhaps it might be attractive to those who dislike straight marriage, but c'mon.
11th Jan '16 3:37:21 PM R1ck
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* Used quite famously by GlennBeck, and then parodied by Creator/JonStewart.
30th Nov '15 9:31:50 AM FF32
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** Young Earth Creationists frequently use this for arguing that [[http://www.answersingenesis.org/CreationWise/CW_Pages/0408.asp accepting evolution and that the Earth is millions of years old]] will lead you to question the rest of Literature/TheBible and lead you to atheism. Surprisingly, RichardDawkins agrees with them in this sense.

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** Young Earth Creationists frequently use this for arguing that [[http://www.answersingenesis.org/CreationWise/CW_Pages/0408.asp accepting evolution and that the Earth is millions of years old]] will lead you to question the rest of Literature/TheBible and lead you to atheism. Surprisingly, RichardDawkins UsefulNotes/RichardDawkins agrees with them in this sense.
23rd Oct '15 6:41:13 PM Fireblood
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* Used often in the Minimum Wage strikes. Pundits frequently asked if minimum wage was going to be raised by a few dollars now, what was to stop it growing to absurd levels. This led to many parodies on ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'', especially when one anchor asked by not raise minimum wage to "One-hundred thousand dollars an hour" (Apparently there is no middle ground between less than three-hundred dollars a week and four million).

to:

* Used often in the Minimum Wage US minimum wage strikes. Pundits frequently asked if the minimum wage was going to be raised by a few dollars now, what was to stop it growing to absurd levels. This led to many parodies on ''The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'', especially when one anchor asked by "why not raise minimum wage to "One-hundred one hundred thousand dollars an hour" (Apparently hour?" Apparently there is no middle ground between less than three-hundred dollars a week and four million).million.
6th Oct '15 3:21:50 PM Tuckerscreator
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Added DiffLines:

* ''{{Film/Lincoln}}'': During the debate over passage of the 13th Amendment, which would outlaw slavery in America, Representative Yeaman announces that he's against the amendment, despite hating slavery, because he fears it would lead to further reform, such as letting all black people vote. Lincoln urges him just before the vote on the amendment to focus on the singular issue of slavery and let the rest be debated about in its own time.
-->'''Yeaman''': What shall follow upon that? Universal enfranchisement? Votes for ''women''?
6th Oct '15 3:16:01 PM DarthNANAME
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* Sometimes used by pro-choice activists: supposedly, any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle...even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. Just in case anyone thinks this rhetorical technique is used exclusively by right-wing politicians. On the flip side, it's been claimed that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism and so forth.

to:

* Sometimes used by Pops up a lot in the pro-choice/pro-life debate. On the pro-choice activists: supposedly, side, any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle...even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. Just in case anyone thinks this rhetorical technique is used exclusively by right-wing politicians. On the flip pro-life side, it's been claimed that the legalization of abortion necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism and so forth.
29th Sep '15 11:49:21 PM 10-13-2
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* Sometimes used by pro-choice activists: supposedly, any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle. Just in case anyone thinks this rhetorical technique is used exclusively by right-wing politicians. On the flip side, it's been claimed that the legalization of abortion nescessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism and so forth.

to:

* Sometimes used by pro-choice activists: supposedly, any restrictions on abortion will inevitably result in a theocratic Christian fundamentalist dystopia where women are used as breeding cattle.cattle...even though this didn't happen in any of the Western democracies during the many decades when abortion was ''illegal''. Just in case anyone thinks this rhetorical technique is used exclusively by right-wing politicians. On the flip side, it's been claimed that the legalization of abortion nescessarily necessarily opens the door to eugenics, euthanasia, social darwinism and so forth.



* ''AnimalHouse'' rather awesomely uses this argument in the scene where Otter convinces Dean Warner that it is unethical to target the entire fraternity for the action of "a few sick and twisted individuals". He then claims that if they are going to blame his fraternity, then they should blame the entire fraternity system, and if they are going to blame the entire fraternity system, they should blame the entire American society in general. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome They then leave the room humming the national anthem.]]

to:

* ''AnimalHouse'' rather awesomely uses this argument in the scene where Otter convinces Dean Warner Wormer that it is unethical to target the entire fraternity for the action of "a few sick and twisted individuals". He then claims that if they are going to blame his fraternity, then they should blame the entire fraternity system, and if they are going to blame the entire fraternity system, they should blame the entire American society in general. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome They then leave the room humming the national anthem.]]
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