Fallacy of the Week – Slippery Slope Fallacy

Slippery Slope Fallacy _ the claim that a particular action will trigger a negative chain of events, when in reality many surrounding factors would prevent the result.

Example:

“We can’t allow people to bring beverages into the conference room. If we do, soon they’ll be bringing in snacks and then meals. Pretty soon we’ll have a full-blown restaurant in here! I’d have to hire wait staff and a chef! We could get shut down for a health code violation! Somebody could even choke and die! Do you want that on your conscience?”

The power of this fallacy comes from the “domino effect” of linking one hypothetical scenario to another, and so on, to an undesirable end. That end result is then used as a powerful emotional reason to prevent the so-called “cause”.

There are valid cause and effect relationships to everyday scenarios and by using logic and information, we can extrapolate those results with accuracy. However, in the Slippery Slope fallacy, the normal safeguards between the steps which would prevent the progression are intentionally left out.

The fallacy is identified by an increasing number of vaguely defined steps between cause and effect to draw out an emotional response.

It’s also important to note that the Slippery Slope fallacy is not incrementalism. Progressives have an agenda to move people from one paradigm to another slowly, without much notice or resistance. In this case, the safeguards are removed by stealth and deception. The progress to the desired outcome is carefully controlled and monitored.

Next Week:

Fallacy of the Week – Special Pleading

 

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