I already searched for this but it doesn't really contain what I'm about to ask.

The slippery slope fallacy, according to Wikipedia's definition, is "a logical device, but it is usually known under its fallacious form, in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any rational argument or demonstrable mechanism for the inevitability of the event in question. A slippery slope argument states that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant effect, much like an object given a small push over the edge of a slope sliding all the way to the bottom."

But putting it into actual practice, no one who uses the slippery slope thinks their progression of events is irrational. A rational sequence of events wouldn't be considered a slippery slope. This definition seems to be heavily subjective, unless they're using the formal-logic definition of the word "rational". In any case, without this requisite, any argument that argues long-term consequences from short-term actions falls under this fallacy, which is absurd.

It seems that the way to handle this is to show that their argument is irrational instead of claiming it's a slippery slope. Simply showing that the argument is irrational would suffice. Claiming it's a slippery slope doesn't work if the person believes their argument is rational. So is there actually a point in ever claiming that someone's argument is a slippery slope?

  • Fallacies and prejudices are recurring because they are tempting, and rewarding. The human mind is by nature a factory of good hypothesis, but disciplined and critical reasoning is an acquired taste. A luxury, in a way. I could, for instance, suggest that your argument is circular, but it would take at least some effort from your part to confirm, or to produce a refutation of my suggestion. May 15, 2015 at 15:37

1 Answer 1


One claims someone is using a slippery slope argument to prompt them to prove the actual likelihood of progression.

It does not challenge the argument per se but insists they detach predictions of the future from assertions about the past or present and analyze the prediction itself.

It is basically the most time-worn version of "correlation does not imply causation", where in order to acknowledge an explanation has merit, you must have a trend and a plausible mechanism, which establishes the possiblity of causation and its direction.

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