slippery slope

In this error in logic, the writer predicts that a single action or decision will result in a series of steps leading finally to inevitable disaster. But note that this reasoning is a fallacy only if there is not a strong enough causal link between the steps in the process, as in the following examples:

  • If we don’t take snack foods out of the schools, our children will develop poor eating habits. Before long, they’ll become diabetic or chronically ill and face death at a young age.
  • Smoke that cigarette, and you’ll get addicted. Soon you’ll be spending all your money on cigarettes, and you won’t be able to buy food or pay rent.

Because the end result predicted in these arguments is exaggerated and unlikely, they are examples of the slippery slope fallacy. Most readers will see that the reasoning is unsound and will not find such arguments convincing.

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