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Talk:Slippery slope

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Terrible Example[edit]

The example of a "Slippery Slope" is really quite lame and contrived. While it can be a "domino effect", more often a slippery slope argument describes a single situation that is claimed or implied to get worse. Thus the name "slippery slope"... you go out a little way, and end up sliding all the way down. That is why it is not named "the domino effect fallacy".

A much better example of slippery slope argument might be: "Raising the minimum wage will lead to runaway inflation! Higher wages mean higher prices for goods, which require even higher wages to afford those prices, ad infinitum."

Note that this is a Slippery Slope argument regardless of whether it is true! It is important to point this out prominently because genuine slippery slopes exist, and that is where many people err.

It is only a Slippery Slope fallacy if the statements do not describe a real slippery slope, which is not always easy to determine. The wage example is good in that regard, as it describes a situation that has been long and hotly debated, and could at least conceivably be either true or false. Many people make the mistake of crying "fallacy!" only because it is a slippery slope argument. But that is incorrect. A fallacy exists only if it can be credibly shown that a real slippery slope does not.

Here is an example of an unambiguously fallacious slippery slope: "Why, if you decriminalized drugs, everybody would start taking drugs!"

One can nip this argument in the bud by simply asking "Really? Which ones would YOU take?" But we also have real-world examples of countries which decriminalized drugs, and drug use did not increase significantly. So this argument is clearly incorrect, and represents a (clear and unambiguous) Slippery Slope Fallacy.

Because one must judge truth before knowing whether the argument is fallacy, accusations of "slippery slope fallacy" have often been made inappropriately, and one should carefully consider the statements to examine whether they are actually fallacious before raising the issue.

Anne Ominous (talk) 18:29, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Can you be a little more clear? It seems like you don't like the example because it might actually be true - that legalizing gay marriage will lead to having sex with dogs. It's the prime example in the article and seemingly your only issue with the fallacy is when you think the argument might actually be true. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:23, 29 May 2015 (UTC)


It is shameful that there are no interesting examples of actual slippery slopes in this article. I've always felt the example I was introduced to in school was a good one. It is the banning of smoking on aeroplanes. First they banned it on aeroplanes, then in pubs, then cafes, then a number of other miscellaneous types of places, and finally in all office buildings.

The mere fact that people often claim there is a slippery slope when often there is none is boring and only deserves at most one sentence. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs 01:54, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Smoking in offices was not banned as a result of smoking in planes being banned. The example you listed is not a "slippery slope," and if it were, it's still a fallacy. Narky SawtoothNarky.png (BoN is paranoid!) 03:59, 4 August 2015 (UTC)


Isn't 'the Coué method' [1] an example of the slippery slope 'in the other direction'? (ie - why should the slippery slope always lead to 'worse things' - or is it something to do with gravity leading one down from heaven towards hell?) (talk) 17:03, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

Wow, no. One is an argument to convince others of something due to fear, really of nothing that can be proven in any way, the other is a self esteem exercise/mantra. One that's trying to help people not be their own worst critic. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 17:40, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
The Coué method is 'a glide [2] to improvement' - but can the slippery slope lead to 'a better situation' rather than a Nimbyist/Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells one? (talk) 18:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
You are going to have to describe how that would work, and why in comparison it would be. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 19:04, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
'Reversing the polarity' - the given is that the slippery slope leads to a worse situation (as the person using the phrase sees it) - but why shouldn't it lead to one that is better - or is there an alternative term (as with stopped clock/stopcock and reversed stopped clock? (talk) 19:28, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Except one is a situation as you say, as in gay marriage will lead to alien invasion, and one is a mindset, positive affirmations lead to positive thinking/outlook. The slipperly slope is to convince another you are right without any evidence, just HORRORS. They don't seem like they would be comparable any more than literally fiction and scientific studies.
I would say a better "slipperly slope" on the positive side would be something like people saying electing Trump would make America great again. Why? Well...reasons. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 20:46, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

'There is a saying' - if the reverse of something is nonsense, you are being insulted/the phrase is meaningless (shops signs 'fresh food' and 'latest fashions' - they never advertise stale food or old fashioned).

Does 'slippery slope' have overtones of a snarl word? (talk) 15:16, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Is there a way to finish the first question before moving onto the next? -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 15:04, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
Having 'the antonym-term' which is defined by 'the equivalent of "slippery slope" but operating in a creative/positive/neutral sense' would probably answer both questions.

Which is the better descriptive of slippery slope [3] or [4]. (talk) 17:13, 10 November 2015 (UTC)

Why is a mouse when he spins? Doxys Midnight Runner (talk) 17:15, 10 November 2015 (UTC)
All my eye and Betty Martin. -EmeraldCityWanderer (talk) 18:53, 10 November 2015 (UTC)


Some content Mʀ. Wʜɪsᴋᴇʀs, Esϙᴜɪʀᴇ (talk/stalk) 22:05, 22 November 2015 (UTC)

Countering the Slippery Slope[edit]

I don't think countering a Slippery Slope with another Slippery Slope is a good argument, as in this article.

Frequently, the slippery slope has no evidence presented for why one would actually go down the slope, even if it is hypothetically possible. Pointing this out is sufficient to logically counter the argument. However, slippery slope arguments that involve no evidence can usually also slip the other way: if it is argued that gay marriage will lead to man-on dog sex, one could just as well argue that restricting gay marriage will lead to restrictions on other marriage, until it's banned altogether. After all, you may find it repugnant that two men marry, but if enough people find May-December romances repugnant, could we not also ban people from marrying anyone more than 4 years younger? If evidence is presented for why the slip could occur, the argument may be valid, in which case countering it requires refuting the evidence.

Restricting marriage to heterosexual couples has not led to further restrictions on marriage (unless you want to count minimum age requirements). Further, if marriage restrictions are a legislative act, then yes, the duly elected legislature could restrict marriage to people within four years' age of each other. The argument for gay marriage is that gay couples should be entitled to the same rights as heterosexual couples, not that marriage should have not restrictions. Santorum was equating homosexual sex to bestiality. The counter argument is that homosexuality isn't bestiality, no one is arguing for allowing inter-species marriage, and there's no reason to allow it if they did based on gays being allowed to marry. I think a better example involves gun safety. "If some firearms are banned, pretty soon all firearms will be banned." Michael Moore addresses this in Bowling for Columbine with the fact that some firearms are banned. You're not allowed to possess a nuclear bomb. If you argue that's unconstitutional, you will be seen as unreasonable. If you admit that's ok, then you've conceded some level of gun control is reasonable and the argument should be over what is a reasonable amount of restriction. Read-Write (talk) 01:03, 16 February 2016 (UTC)