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Slippery Slope

In a slippery slope argument, a course of action is rejected because, with little or no evidence, one insists that it will lead to a chain reaction resulting in an undesirable end or ends. The slippery slope involves an acceptance of a succession of events without direct evidence that this course of events will happen.

Example:

  1. We can't permit the sale of marijuana by doctor's prescription, because that will lead people to believe it's an acceptable drug; this will open the floodgates to the complete legalization of the drug for use by every pothead in the country.
  2. Today late for ten minutes, tomorrow late for an hour, and then someday you will simply cease to show up.
  3. Earlier this year in New York, a cop killed a pedestrian on the following reasoning: Oh! Here is a man who is scratching his head in public. He is so rude! Next he will pick his nose. Then when he gets on the bus, he will put his germs on the handrail. The next moment an inadvertent child's mouth will touch it. And then the child will get sick. Then, his whole family will get sick as well. There will be an outbreak of disease in the city! The cop could not bear thinking any further, and fired his gun.
  4. People who drink more than six alcoholic beverages a day are more likely to have health problems than people who do not drink alcohol. After one drink, people lose their ability to make good decisions and end up drinking more and more until they are drinking more than six drinks each day. Therefore, all consumption of alcohol should be banned.
  5. If Texas adopts a personal income tax, I'm moving away. An income tax at the state level is just a first step to communism.
  6. If we legalize pot, then that will lead to every drug in the world becoming legal. I'll vote no on Proposition 34.
  7. I don't think it's a good idea to lower the drinking age. Next thing we know kids will get to drive at age ten, and vote at fifteen. Let kids be kids and adults be adults.
  8. Juan: I knew he was a dishonorable government official all along and now I can prove it. Maria: How? Juan: Well, he admitted that as a prisoner of war in Vietnam he continually lied to his captors. Maria: Yeah, he should have. Juan: Sure, most people think that you can justify lies that protect your country in wartime. But then, of course, lying could be justified to protect your country in times of peace. Then, government officials become capable of justifying lying about all their activities. Now you can be sure that since he is accomplished at justifying his lies, he tells lies whenever he feels like it. Now, we can never trust a thing he says.
  9. Today, women want the vote. Tomorrow, they'll want to be doctors and lawyers, and then combat soldiers. Give them that, and before long, they'll insist on taking the initiative in sex. If you want to protect the very meaning of masculinity, you must deny them suffrage.
  10. First we loosen up the laws against abortion. Next, mark my words; we'll take seriously the option of infanticide in certain severe cases. And this will lead us to look with favor on euthanasia for those we deem social deviants