Friday, June 26, 2015

Today's Logical Fallacy is... Slippery Slope!

This fallacy has been chosen especially in honor of today's Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage!


(Also known as “Snowball Argument,” “Domino Theory”)

The slippery slope fallacy is based on the idea that if we allow one thing to happen (“A”), then it will inevitably lead to a chain reaction of consequences, eventually culminating in something reprehensible (“Z”). 

There are two main problems with this reasoning: 
1) it forces any acceptance of “A” to the automatic acceptance of “Z" regardless of the likelihood of it happening, and 
2) it doesn’t actually address the issues; it only focuses on extreme hypothetical situations as the basis for rejecting the supposition. 

This entire argument is based on appealing to emotions and instigating fear. Essentially, it’s an unsubstantiated conjecture.

Examples:

If we allow same-sex couples to marry, then the next thing we know we'll be allowing people to marry their parents, their cars and even monkeys. 

If we legalize gay marriage, next people will want to legalize polygamy.

If you two go and drink coffee together, one thing will lead to another, and soon enough you'll be pregnant and end up spending your life on welfare living in the projects.

If we cut and run in Iraq or Afghanistan, pretty soon all of southwest Asia will be run by Al-Qaeda.

“Why stop at $7.25 an hour? Why not raise the minimum wage to $15 or $20 an hour? For that matter, why not mandate the price of housing? ... If we believe Congress has the power to raise minimum wages, where do we go next?” Bill Sali, Argonaut, 2/13/07

The inevitable result of handgun control is the government seizure of all guns.

"What we see in El Salvador is an attempt to destabilize the entire region and eventually move chaos and anarchy toward the American border." Ronald Reagan, May 9, 1984

If the Supreme Court allows abortion, next thing you know they'll allow euthanasia, and it won't be long before society disposes of all those persons whom it deems unwanted or undesirable.

If I let one student interrupt my lecture with a question, then I'll have to let others and, before long, there won't be any time left for my lecture.

"With three states having legalized physician-assisted suicide, this provision could create a slippery slope for a more permissive environment for euthanasia, mercy-killing and physician-assisted suicide because it does not clearly exclude counseling about the supposed benefits of killing oneself." Rep. John Boehner

“The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil. Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at t
he center of any health care discussion.” [Sarah Palin Facebook post, 8/7/09]


If this doctor isn't punished for helping his patient to commit suicide, we send doctors the message that they can engage in euthanasia without fear of prosecution.  If that happens, cases of euthanasia will become common.  Thus, the public and the medical profession will become used to the idea of taking human life.  Physicians will lose their natural reluctance to put patients out of their misery. Soon, assisted suicide will become commonplace, just another lifestyle choice.