View Poll Results: Is the "Slippery Slope" a valid concept?

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Thread: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

  1. #21
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    I chose "maybe". It depends on the argument.
    The problem is, it tends to say that a middle ground doesn't exist.
    It also tends to confuse the issue. Either someone has to defend you're new definition of what the argument is or waste time refuting the fact it will lead to these massive expansions.

    For the example you give I'd say that higher taxes was inevitable as government has had to deal with more and more complicated issues. That those increases in taxes and government spending has taken place in EVERY modern government in the world. That in general the US taxes less than every modern government in the world. That the only countries that tend to have no bureacracy and little to no taxes tend to be places that are backwards.
    I don't see it as the middle ground not existing, but rather that people have a hard time leaving the middle ground alone. There's always something that "needs" tweaked, or changed, or "improved", or whatever.

  2. #22
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I don't see it as the middle ground not existing, but rather that people have a hard time leaving the middle ground alone. There's always something that "needs" tweaked, or changed, or "improved", or whatever.
    If I propose a small change and someone says it leads to a much larger change that is an argument against any sort of middle ground. "We can't make this small change because inevitably it leads to a large change". I'm not saying that always an invalid argument. As far as fallacies are concerned I want to say slippery slope is one of the less set in stone fallacies.

    I think there's an issue of using a whole argument based on a slippery slope. If it's a consideration I don't find fault with the argument. To say that you can't do X because it inevitably leads to Y.....well you better be able to prove it.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

  3. #23
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    If I propose a small change and someone says it leads to a much larger change that is an argument against any sort of middle ground. "We can't make this small change because inevitably it leads to a large change". I'm not saying that always an invalid argument. As far as fallacies are concerned I want to say slippery slope is one of the less set in stone fallacies.

    I think there's an issue of using a whole argument based on a slippery slope. If it's a consideration I don't find fault with the argument. To say that you can't do X because it inevitably leads to Y.....well you better be able to prove it.
    You can't prove what will or will not happen. That's an unreasonable bar. That's like trying to prove a negative. You can, however, point to countless examples in history. The slippery slope doesn't mean the "next step" is a done deal, it's merely a possibility. Often a well-founded possibility. I have seen many instances where it never came to pass. I have seen many that have. Enough to make me cautious.

  4. #24
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    some systems, once implemented almost guarantee going down the slope

    for example in jurisprudence we have what is known by the leftwing ratchet

    for years there were two basic kinds of judges

    the first were "progressive judges" who ruled that the New Deal was proper even if it violated 130 years of precedent

    the next type of judge are the so called conservatives who follow existing precedent. so they refused to overturn the radical decisions of the FDR court. then you have the warren court which ratchet the law leftward and then comes Burger who won't overturn most of the change

    People like Bork terrified the left because they and the "original intent" crowd tend not to respect precedent

    when it comes to income taxes a system that allows the many to demand higher taxes on the few is going to cause the system we have today. once congress was given the power to tax at a progressive rate, anyone with half a brain knew we'd end up with the crap we have today.

    as to James' comments, one gun law does not necessarily lead to the other if the MOTIVATION is not to ban guns. when the people start with that motivation then the slippery slope was planned all along rather than created or caused by the first step



  5. #25
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    You can't prove what will or will not happen. That's an unreasonable bar. That's like trying to prove a negative. You can, however, point to countless examples in history.
    Well...if you can't prove something will happen then how can they disprove it will happen? Like I mentioned, it can be a consideration but it can't be the crux of your argument.

    The slippery slope doesn't mean the "next step" is a done deal, it's merely a possibility. Often a well-founded possibility. I have seen many instances where it never came to pass. I have seen many that have. Enough to make me cautious.
    Well....if your argument is based on the "next step" than you are in effect arguing that the next step will take place. If you say that gay marriage leads to people marrying animals (chose a ridiculous argument on purpose) than you are arguing that X can't take place because Y is the conclusion of X. I either have to prove that X doesn't lead to Y or defend Y. If you can't prove X leads to Y then there's no place in the argument for it.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

  6. #26
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonramen View Post
    Well...if you can't prove something will happen then how can they disprove it will happen? Like I mentioned, it can be a consideration but it can't be the crux of your argument.

    Well....if your argument is based on the "next step" than you are in effect arguing that the next step will take place. If you say that gay marriage leads to people marrying animals (chose a ridiculous argument on purpose) than you are arguing that X can't take place because Y is the conclusion of X. I either have to prove that X doesn't lead to Y or defend Y. If you can't prove X leads to Y then there's no place in the argument for it.
    In theory, you are correct. Practical reality and history suggests otherwise.

  7. #27
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    the first were "progressive judges" who ruled that the New Deal was proper even if it violated 130 years of precedent
    This is my problem...."judicial activism" is subjective. When it is something that seems to support someone else, it's activism, when it supports your views then it's "following precedent". The whole idea of corporations as people or the idea of money or speech is activism. Or in your words, something that wasn't origional precedence but became precedence because of origional activism.
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

  8. #28
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    If we try something out, and the people decide it worked out well and want to go further in that direction, is that a "slippery slope"? Or is that just responding intelligently to what works and what doesn't?

    Like, say we take gun control. The classic right wing slippery slope argument. If we do a little bit of gun control and it blows, people will say "forget that, lets get rid of it", but if it works out well, people will say, "ok, maybe we should try a bit more gun control". At some point they'll implement a gun control step that people think isn't working, they'll repeal it, and you will have found the optimal level of gun control. That isn't like somehow this unstoppable external force is preventing us from getting off the course once started, that's people making decisions. That's what democracy is...

  9. #29
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    If we try something out, and the people decide it worked out well and want to go further in that direction, is that a "slippery slope"? Or is that just responding intelligently to what works and what doesn't?

    Like, say we take gun control. The classic right wing slippery slope argument. If we do a little bit of gun control and it blows, people will say "forget that, lets get rid of it", but if it works out well, people will say, "ok, maybe we should try a bit more gun control". At some point they'll implement a gun control step that people think isn't working, they'll repeal it, and you will have found the optimal level of gun control. That isn't like somehow this unstoppable external force is preventing us from getting off the course once started, that's people making decisions. That's what democracy is...
    Again, in theory, this is great. Again, in practical reality, not so much. We rarely go "backwards". We rarely actually repeal stuff that doesn't work.

  10. #30
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    Re: Is the "Slipper Slope Theory" a valid concept?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Again, in theory, this is great. Again, in practical reality, not so much. We rarely go "backwards". We rarely actually repeal stuff that doesn't work.
    I see it completely the opposite, we seem to cycle through ideas over time. Would you agree Reagnomics was a major departure from the norm in the 70's?
    “Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.” John Maynard Keynes

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