Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

Beware Slippery Slope Arguments

Cass Sunstein: “The problem with slippery-slope contentions is that despite their occasional rhetorical force, they are often silly… The claim is that if you undertake Reform A, you will probably end up undertaking Reform B, as well, not because of logic but because of the likely unfolding of events… In many cases, however, your support for Reform A doesn’t commit you to support Reform B… If you favor background checks for gun purchasers, you can also believe that the Second Amendment provides firm protection for the right to own guns.”

“When opponents argue against Reform A by saying it will lead to Reform B, it is often best to assume that the slippery- slope argument is merely a rhetorical move. It isn’t the real reason they oppose Reform A.”

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    Keep in mind, as explained above, that a slippery slope is NOT an argument or a rhetorical trick…it is a logical FALLACY. Everyone should have learned this in a public speaking class in college. Please, if you see a pol or an operative using a slippery slope, call him or her out on it.

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