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Slippery Slope "Fallacy"

Skynet
Posts: 674
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6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/1/2013 12:37:10 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

None of these are strictly slippery slope, though I have seen similar examples put forward by people. Slippery slope usually involves asserting that by sanctioning one action, you commit yourself to eventually sanctioning another less tolerable action, and another and another until you get to an obviously intolerable action. The fallacy is in assuming that we should always extrapolate moral judgements in this way, that we can't pick a stopping point. All of your examples are factual relations, not moral ones.

The only example of among yours that might be considered slippery slope is the mouse one. Though this depends on your reasoning. If the implicit assumption is that a cookie is no good without a glass of milk then your reasoning is valid. If the assumption is however, that a glass of milk only makes the cookie better (the cookie has value in and of itself), then your reasoning is not valid.

Slippery slope is not in the same class of fallacies as say begging the question because it applies to moral arguments, not factual ones. Morals are inescapably affected by human judgement and humans do indeed to have the tendency to extrapolate their moral judgements in an effort to make things black and white. The point of the slippery slope fallacy is that there is no particular reason to do this. It is simultaneously an attempt to get people to perform better moral reasoning and avoid this kind of extrapolation where it is unnecessary, i.e. it behaves both descriptively (of a particular fallacy) and prescriptively (the judgement that this actually is a fallacy). This is why it is committed so regularly.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/1/2013 12:49:35 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 12:37:10 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

None of these are strictly slippery slope, though I have seen similar examples put forward by people. Slippery slope usually involves asserting that by sanctioning one action, you commit yourself to eventually sanctioning another less tolerable action, and another and another until you get to an obviously intolerable action. The fallacy is in assuming that we should always extrapolate moral judgements in this way, that we can't pick a stopping point. All of your examples are factual relations, not moral ones.

The only example of among yours that might be considered slippery slope is the mouse one. Though this depends on your reasoning. If the implicit assumption is that a cookie is no good without a glass of milk then your reasoning is valid. If the assumption is however, that a glass of milk only makes the cookie better (the cookie has value in and of itself), then your reasoning is not valid.

Slippery slope is not in the same class of fallacies as say begging the question because it applies to moral arguments, not factual ones. Morals are inescapably affected by human judgement and humans do indeed to have the tendency to extrapolate their moral judgements in an effort to make things black and white. The point of the slippery slope fallacy is that there is no particular reason to do this. It is simultaneously an attempt to get people to perform better moral reasoning and avoid this kind of extrapolation where it is unnecessary, i.e. it behaves both descriptively (of a particular fallacy) and prescriptively (the judgement that this actually is a fallacy). This is why it is committed so regularly.

It doesn't matter if it is moral or not. It becomes a slippery slope once it is implied that you are obligated or will for sure go to the extreme. This can be seen in none moral cases where someone will claim that if you are in favor for any tax increases, then you want to tax everyone of everything. Or the flip, that if you want to lower taxes, that you essentially want no taxes at all.

Here's the difference.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - fallacy

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will likely become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - not fallacy (though it may be false, I haven't studied the issue)
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/1/2013 12:57:58 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 12:49:35 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/1/2013 12:37:10 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

None of these are strictly slippery slope, though I have seen similar examples put forward by people. Slippery slope usually involves asserting that by sanctioning one action, you commit yourself to eventually sanctioning another less tolerable action, and another and another until you get to an obviously intolerable action. The fallacy is in assuming that we should always extrapolate moral judgements in this way, that we can't pick a stopping point. All of your examples are factual relations, not moral ones.

The only example of among yours that might be considered slippery slope is the mouse one. Though this depends on your reasoning. If the implicit assumption is that a cookie is no good without a glass of milk then your reasoning is valid. If the assumption is however, that a glass of milk only makes the cookie better (the cookie has value in and of itself), then your reasoning is not valid.

Slippery slope is not in the same class of fallacies as say begging the question because it applies to moral arguments, not factual ones. Morals are inescapably affected by human judgement and humans do indeed to have the tendency to extrapolate their moral judgements in an effort to make things black and white. The point of the slippery slope fallacy is that there is no particular reason to do this. It is simultaneously an attempt to get people to perform better moral reasoning and avoid this kind of extrapolation where it is unnecessary, i.e. it behaves both descriptively (of a particular fallacy) and prescriptively (the judgement that this actually is a fallacy). This is why it is committed so regularly.

It doesn't matter if it is moral or not. It becomes a slippery slope once it is implied that you are obligated or will for sure go to the extreme. This can be seen in none moral cases where someone will claim that if you are in favor for any tax increases, then you want to tax everyone of everything. Or the flip, that if you want to lower taxes, that you essentially want no taxes at all.

Here's the difference.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - fallacy

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will likely become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - not fallacy (though it may be false, I haven't studied the issue)

I don't think you understand what a fallacy means, if the premise does not support the conclusion, it is a fallacy... In which case if it is possible that the latter is false then it is still a fallacy. Did you mean to say that it is not the slippery slope fallacy? I would agree, but I'm not sure either of them are. Or perhaps you meant that the second argument is valid but possibly unsound? I doubt even its validity.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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7/1/2013 1:17:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 12:57:58 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 7/1/2013 12:49:35 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/1/2013 12:37:10 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

None of these are strictly slippery slope, though I have seen similar examples put forward by people. Slippery slope usually involves asserting that by sanctioning one action, you commit yourself to eventually sanctioning another less tolerable action, and another and another until you get to an obviously intolerable action. The fallacy is in assuming that we should always extrapolate moral judgements in this way, that we can't pick a stopping point. All of your examples are factual relations, not moral ones.

The only example of among yours that might be considered slippery slope is the mouse one. Though this depends on your reasoning. If the implicit assumption is that a cookie is no good without a glass of milk then your reasoning is valid. If the assumption is however, that a glass of milk only makes the cookie better (the cookie has value in and of itself), then your reasoning is not valid.

Slippery slope is not in the same class of fallacies as say begging the question because it applies to moral arguments, not factual ones. Morals are inescapably affected by human judgement and humans do indeed to have the tendency to extrapolate their moral judgements in an effort to make things black and white. The point of the slippery slope fallacy is that there is no particular reason to do this. It is simultaneously an attempt to get people to perform better moral reasoning and avoid this kind of extrapolation where it is unnecessary, i.e. it behaves both descriptively (of a particular fallacy) and prescriptively (the judgement that this actually is a fallacy). This is why it is committed so regularly.

It doesn't matter if it is moral or not. It becomes a slippery slope once it is implied that you are obligated or will for sure go to the extreme. This can be seen in none moral cases where someone will claim that if you are in favor for any tax increases, then you want to tax everyone of everything. Or the flip, that if you want to lower taxes, that you essentially want no taxes at all.

Here's the difference.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - fallacy

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will likely become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - not fallacy (though it may be false, I haven't studied the issue)

I don't think you understand what a fallacy means, if the premise does not support the conclusion, it is a fallacy... In which case if it is possible that the latter is false then it is still a fallacy. Did you mean to say that it is not the slippery slope fallacy? I would agree, but I'm not sure either of them are. Or perhaps you meant that the second argument is valid but possibly unsound? I doubt even its validity.

A fallacy means that faulty logic was used. It does not say anything for the accuracy of the statements.

For example. 2 + 2 = 4 because my teacher said so is a logical fallacy (appeal to authority), however, it is still true. If there were legitimate studies that backed that absinthe of discipline in toddler years leads to behavioral issues later in life, you could logically make the second claim. Of course, without a "because" statement after the claim, it is impossible to verify. However, that missing "because" statement makes the state of fallacy a maybe (for the second one that I added the "likely" into), while the first one is strait up false. Without the "because" it is simply an unsupported claim.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/1/2013 1:18:36 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 12:57:58 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 7/1/2013 12:49:35 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 7/1/2013 12:37:10 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

None of these are strictly slippery slope, though I have seen similar examples put forward by people. Slippery slope usually involves asserting that by sanctioning one action, you commit yourself to eventually sanctioning another less tolerable action, and another and another until you get to an obviously intolerable action. The fallacy is in assuming that we should always extrapolate moral judgements in this way, that we can't pick a stopping point. All of your examples are factual relations, not moral ones.

The only example of among yours that might be considered slippery slope is the mouse one. Though this depends on your reasoning. If the implicit assumption is that a cookie is no good without a glass of milk then your reasoning is valid. If the assumption is however, that a glass of milk only makes the cookie better (the cookie has value in and of itself), then your reasoning is not valid.

Slippery slope is not in the same class of fallacies as say begging the question because it applies to moral arguments, not factual ones. Morals are inescapably affected by human judgement and humans do indeed to have the tendency to extrapolate their moral judgements in an effort to make things black and white. The point of the slippery slope fallacy is that there is no particular reason to do this. It is simultaneously an attempt to get people to perform better moral reasoning and avoid this kind of extrapolation where it is unnecessary, i.e. it behaves both descriptively (of a particular fallacy) and prescriptively (the judgement that this actually is a fallacy). This is why it is committed so regularly.

It doesn't matter if it is moral or not. It becomes a slippery slope once it is implied that you are obligated or will for sure go to the extreme. This can be seen in none moral cases where someone will claim that if you are in favor for any tax increases, then you want to tax everyone of everything. Or the flip, that if you want to lower taxes, that you essentially want no taxes at all.

Here's the difference.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - fallacy

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will likely become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older." - not fallacy (though it may be false, I haven't studied the issue)

I don't think you understand what a fallacy means, if the premise does not support the conclusion, it is a fallacy... In which case if it is possible that the latter is false then it is still a fallacy. Did you mean to say that it is not the slippery slope fallacy? I would agree, but I'm not sure either of them are. Or perhaps you meant that the second argument is valid but possibly unsound? I doubt even its validity.

Actually, that's incorrect. That would be a "non sequitur".
http://en.wikipedia.org...(logic)

There is a formal and informal definition of fallacy, that you might do well to learn:
https://en.wikipedia.org...

Ore was pointing out that in the initial example, the reasoning was flawed. That you don't discipline your children now does not necessarily mean they will become "completely rebellious" later. It might be likely, if the studies support it (in other words, more evidence may be required), but we can reasonably know that there is no guarantee, yet there is in the conclusion you reach.

A real slippery slope argument, though, would be more along the lines of: "If you don't discipline your children with a belt now, then you're saying you won't discipline at all, and if you don't discipline, it's likely to lead to a child who's behavior is inappropriate."

The "slippery slope" is that, being not in favor of whipping with a belt, you are required to also not discipline whatsoever.
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the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/1/2013 1:26:40 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Well I could just as easily say you should specify which kind of fallacy you mean, but I will take the advice in the spirit it was given.

I am aware of the distinction, though I still take issue with implying that a false statement can be non-fallacious.
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/1/2013 1:31:51 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 1:26:40 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
I am aware of the distinction, though I still take issue with implying that a false statement can be non-fallacious.

Well, arguments are capable of being fallacious, but not statements. A fallacy exists as a flaw in an argument's structure or pragmatic relevance, but not as a feature of the argument's conclusion. Or did I misunderstand your meaning here?
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker
bladerunner060
Posts: 7,126
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7/1/2013 1:32:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 1:26:40 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
Well I could just as easily say you should specify which kind of fallacy you mean, but I will take the advice in the spirit it was given.

I am aware of the distinction, though I still take issue with implying that a false statement can be non-fallacious.

That's because you're preferring the informal form of "fallacy".
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the_croftmeister
Posts: 678
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7/1/2013 2:41:47 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 1:32:49 AM, bladerunner060 wrote:
At 7/1/2013 1:26:40 AM, the_croftmeister wrote:
Well I could just as easily say you should specify which kind of fallacy you mean, but I will take the advice in the spirit it was given.

I am aware of the distinction, though I still take issue with implying that a false statement can be non-fallacious.

That's because you're preferring the informal form of "fallacy".
No actually I much prefer the formal definition... the informal definition I find to be incredibly vague and unhelpful.

I meant actually a statement of argument, which the above example appears to be. If a statement "Assuming X, Y" is false then surely the reasoning expressed in this statement 'From X infer Y' is fallacious. I realise that a statement is not the same as an argument and a fallacy is an argument. We do however, have to express this argument in some form.
Sidewalker
Posts: 3,713
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7/1/2013 7:25:36 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 6/30/2013 11:42:26 PM, Skynet wrote:
I think the generalization of "fallacy" has been too broadly applied to slippery slope. Hmm, an example that won't get anyone emotionally riled....well this is the internet. Someone's sure to get riled.

"If you don't discipline your 2 year old when they disobey you now, they will become completely rebellious later, and do very bad things when they are older."

Does that count as slippery slope? Because it seems to be true.

I think that when the start of the slope is a lynchpin for other things, the slippery slope argument is generally correct, or at least a likely prediction of the future.

"If you roll that rock down the mountain, you could start and avalanche!"
"If you don't kill these two cockroaches, you're going to have an infestation."
"If you give that mouse a cookie, it's going to want a glass of milk."
"If you feed that stray, it will never leave."
"If you don't put on a belt, your pants are going to fall down when you need to run."

If we don't stop challenging fallacies, pretty soon nothing will be a fallacy, logic itself will crumble, it will end in anarchy, and civilization will come to an end.
"It is one of the commonest of mistakes to consider that the limit of our power of perception is also the limit of all there is to perceive." " C. W. Leadbeater
Poetaster
Posts: 587
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7/1/2013 7:33:06 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 7/1/2013 7:25:36 PM, Sidewalker wrote:
If we don't stop challenging fallacies, pretty soon nothing will be a fallacy, logic itself will crumble, it will end in anarchy, and civilization will come to an end.

Hear, Hear! Wait a minute...you forgot to implore us to think of the children! Down with you and your anti-child policies!
"The book you are looking for hasn't been written yet. What you are looking for you are going to have to find yourself, it's not going to be in a book..." -Sidewalker