When Is The Slippery Slope Fallacy A Fallacy And When Is It Legitimate Logic?
Posted 12/14/15
I don't understand, I need scenarios to sort it all out.
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Posted 12/14/15
A slippery slope is a fallacy if there's no legitimate logical reason to suggest that we'll be going down it. For example, let's take a typical anti-gay marriage argument.

"If we legalize gay marriage, people will be marrying dogs and even their own daughters!"

This is guilty of the logical fallacy of slippery slope. It posits that X will cause Y when there's no proof suggest that Y will even occur in the first place, let alone that it'd be a direct result of X.
wyrvan 
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Posted 12/14/15
I say that a slippery slope is a legitimate topic when the incline is 45 degrees or greater. Of particular concern is when it is covered in wet leaves or moss thereby increasing the risk of slipping of falling.
mnmike 
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Posted 12/14/15
Personally, I don't like thinking of Slippery Slope arguments as logical fallacies. They are legitimate arguments. It's just that they are extremely difficult to logically prove, and so often they are used as a rhetorical device instead of a logical argument.

To prove a slippery slope argument usually involves either demonstrating a long causal chain ("if we legalize gay marriage, then we've undercut one of the key constitutional arguments against other kinds of "inappropriate" marriages, and so if those marriages were ever challenged in court there is an increased chance that they could win, which would necessitate further changes to marriage laws and to how society views the institution of marriage, which could in the end legitimize marriage between men and beasts,"), OR they rely on social tipping points ("if we allow you to break the rules, eventually EVERYONE will want to break the rules, at which point the whole system will fall apart"). Long causal chains are easy to disprove--simply break one link and the whole thing falls apart. Tipping point arguments can be strong, except that they they rely on knowing where the tipping point (e.g. how many people can break the rules before the system falls apart?) is and on understanding how information flows through the social network (e.g. will other people know that I've been allowed to break the rules?), and those are unknowable in most situations.

That being said, Slippery Slopes make for a strong rhetorical device because they sound like legitimate logic, even if that logic would break down upon close inspection.
Posted 12/14/15

GrandmasterCoolio wrote:

A slippery slope is a fallacy if there's no legitimate logical reason to suggest that we'll be going down it. For example, let's take a typical anti-gay marriage argument.

"If we legalize gay marriage, people will be marrying dogs and even their own daughters!"

This is guilty of the logical fallacy of slippery slope. It posits that X will cause Y when there's no proof suggest that Y will even occur in the first place, let alone that it'd be a direct result of X.


Oh, I see, thank you thank you.
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Posted 12/14/15

GrandmasterCoolio wrote:

A slippery slope is a fallacy if there's no legitimate logical reason to suggest that we'll be going down it. For example, let's take a typical anti-gay marriage argument.

"If we legalize gay marriage, people will be marrying dogs and even their own daughters!"

This is guilty of the logical fallacy of slippery slope. It posits that X will cause Y when there's no proof suggest that Y will even occur in the first place, let alone that it'd be a direct result of X.


If the dog loves the person back in that way then they can marry them.
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Posted 12/14/15

ILuvCats11 wrote:

If the dog loves the person back in that way then they can marry them.


Animals can't give consent. Humans can.
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Posted 12/16/15
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