Looking down a slippery slope argument

Thanks to Stephen Fry for sharing on Twitter. Beware slippery slope arguments.

The Uninvited Interlocutor

There are lots of good books and websites (see:  The Fallacy Files and Your Logical Fallacy Is ) on critical thinking, logic and fallacies, but unfortunately there’s still widespread ignorance of such things.  So, I think it’s always a good idea to discuss common errors in reasoning with a view to explaining why they are errors.

The “Slippery Slope” is one of the most frequently misused and misunderstood argument forms — because those who employ it believe it to be a strong argument form when it is, in fact, the exact opposite.  It’s a commonly used phrase and most who use it are attempting to show that if one does “A” then a chain of events will occur which will eventually lead to the undesirable result “D”, for example.  The imagery is quite simple: by initiating “A” one has stepped out onto the top of a steeply angled and slippery incline…

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