Logical fallacies that aren’t

“slippery slope fallacy”

Definition:

The act of pointing out what the Liberals’ next move is going to be before they have chosen to officially unveil it.

The “slippery slope” is an error because it violates the first cardinal rule of public discourse:  It is illigitimate to discuss any issue other than those chosen for discussion by Liberals or to discuss an issue in any terms other than those chosen by Liberals.  Public debates properly have two phases.  In the first phase, liberal intellectuals and social activists agitate for some new law or social experiment, softening up the public to the idea.  During this time, the new measure is not yet popular, and Liberal politicians officially do not favor it.  Therefore, conservatives are not allowed to counter the agitators, and they most certainly are not allowed to point out that the unpopular measure is a logically inescapable consequence of Liberalism.  That would be “scare tactics” and “divisiveness”.  In the second phase, the upper classes are won over to the new idea, and Liberal politicians officially embrace it.  At this point, opposition to the measure is “extremism”, “hate”, “racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, “fascism”, etc, and conservatives most certainly must not be allowed to voice such opposition.  Needless to say, after the new law is passed, it is never permitted for one to question it–that would be “extremism” and “turning back the clock”.  Instead, the previous absence of the Liberal law is cited as proof of society’s past guilt, for which it must atone by embracing yet more Liberal legislation.  Thus it is that, following the laws of proper public discourse, conservatives are never allowed to make their case.  The populace itself is never allowed to consider whether it wants to be reconstructed in a radically Liberal way, because they are only allowed to discuss the next step of the process, and that step they are only allowed to approve.

Note:  in preliberal times, this fallacy was known as the “reducio ad absurdum” and was actually regarded as a valid way to argue.  Those were benighted times.

2 Responses

  1. Sadly, most people who scream “logical fallacy” have never studied any kind of logic.

    A typical tactic is to open up a conversation with some calculated insult, smear, or shock tactic (such as posting a JPG of a disgusting injury) in order to lower the tone of the conversation. Then, when the target responds by saying “You’re a disgusting troll,” the perpetrator screams “Ad Hominem!”

  2. I remember Prof. Feser wrote a post on how easy it is to abuse the terminology of logic in this way.

    “In this way, the study of logic becomes precisely the opposite of what it is supposed to be – a rhetorical gimmick, a cudgel with which to beat opponents and advance agendas rather than an aid to the disinterested pursuit of truth. In the name of attacking sophistry and fallacy, a higher-order sophistry – a “meta-sophistry,” if you will – is perpetrated.”

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